Steenbok Hunting

Patience is critical when steenbok hunting. A hugely underrated trophy. Mainly due to their size or the fact that so few people notice them have the time to study them before they disappear over the horizon.

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for steenbok hunting.
Shot placement for steenbok hunting

Table of Contents

  1. Steenbok Hunting Cost
  2. Interesting facts
  3. Difference between male and female
  4. About the Steenbok
  5. Steenbok Hunting in South Africa
  6. Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
Steenbok Hunting | Nick Bowker Hunting

Steenbok Hunting Cost

Hunting is done through walk and stalk techniques. A Steenbok will cost $250.

Steenbok trophy shot in the Eastern cape South Africa.
Steenbok hunting – trophy shot in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Steenbok makes for a cheap add-on to any of our packages.

The Steenbok in Pictures

Description of the steenbok.
Local African names of the steenbok.
Growth and size development chart.
Steenbok distribution across Africa.
Steenbok predators.
Steenbok habitat in South Africa.
Steenbok mother and lamb. Steenbok breeding.
Steenbok in the plains. Steenbok species.
Shot placement.
Steenbok hunting in South Africa.

Interesting facts about the Steenbok

  • Steenbok form mating pairs which share a defended territory. However, they forage and rest away from one another.
  • This probably because it is less conspicuous in the open habitat where they live.
  • The steenbok will scrape the ground before, during, and after defecating and urinating and sometimes bury their dung.
  • This action is to demarcate territory and done by both males and females.
  • Steenbok has glands below their eyes, but they do not like other antelope, use them for scent marking.
  • Instead, they will use glands between their hooves for this purpose.
  • They will browse and graze depending upon what is available due to their location and the season.
  • When grazing, they can rapidly increase the micro-organisms in their stomach required to breakdown the fiber.
  • Steenbok is known to hide in old aardvark holes when the cover is sparse.
  • The steenbok name is derived from the Afrikaans word “Steen,” meaning brick due to its brick-red coloration.
  • Steenbok hunting – all hunters should take a steenbok if the opportunity presents its self.

The difference between a male and female steenbok

Males have horns while females do not.

Steenbok males have horns while females do not.
Steenbok male
Female camouflaged in the grass. Females do not have horns.
Steenbok female

About the Steenbok

Description of steenbok

Steenbok resembles small Oribi, standing 18-24 inches at the shoulder.

Their pelage (coat) is any shade from fawn to rufous.

The steenbok’s underside and the chin and throat are white, as is the ring around the eye. Their ears are large and have “finger-marks” on the inside.

Males have straight, smooth, parallel horns of around 4 inches.

The tail is not usually visible, being only an inch or so long.

Steenbok is active during the day and the night; however, during hotter periods, they rest under shade during the heat of the day.

At the first sign of trouble, steenbok typically lies low in the vegetation.

If a predator approaches, a steenbok will leap away and follow a zigzag path to try to shake off the attacker.

Escaping steenbok frequently stops to look back.

They are known to take refuge in the burrows of Aardvarks.

Known predators include:

  1. Southern African wildcat
  2. Caracal
  3. Jackals
  4. leopards
  5. Martial eagles
  6. Pythons.

Information for steenbok hunting

Steenbok is typically solitary, except for when a pair come together to mate.

A pair occupies consistent territories while living independently, staying in contact through scent markings to determine their partner’s whereabouts.

The steenbok is a browser and is very selective of greens such as flowers, fruits, shoot tips, new leaves, and various plants.

Its selective feeding habits enable the steenbok not to be dependent on open water sources.

It rakes and digs for tubers, roots, and bulbs that contain moisture and are high in nutrients during dry months.

A single lamb weighing 1 kg is born after a gestation period of about 7 months.

The mother steenbok hides her young for the first 3 to 4 months after birth and only feeds her lamb in the early morning and late afternoon.

During her visits, she eats her young’s dung and drinks its urine to eliminate odors that make it detectable to predators.

Steenbok Hunting in South Africa

Vital organs showing the position of the heart and lungs.
Vital organs for Steenbok hunting

Your steenbok ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 22 inches, weigh about 25 pounds, and have a Horn Length of approximately 4 inches.

The Safari Club International minimum score for a steenbok is 8. This is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

An underrated trophy, mainly due to its size or that they are rarely noticed before they disappear over the horizon.

The steenbok gets its name from the very first Dutch settlers who traveled to Africa.

The word “Steen” means brick – as you can well imagine, the color of the steenbok resembled that of a red building brick, and thereby got the name steenbok.

A magnificent trophy to add to any trophy room.

An ideal and cheap trophy to add to our 7 animal packages, which include as standard such trophies as Kudu, blesbok, warthog, and black wildebeest.

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber

Steenbok Hunting. Trophy taken with Nick Bowker
Steenbok trophy shot with Nick Bowker

Juveniles take flight when adults approach. When hunting steenbok, he will lie flat in the grass to avoid detection and flatten his ears.

He will only flush at the last moment, running away with astonishing speed.

A challenging quarry to approach on the open plains. The steenbok often pauses for a moment to look back before continuing his flight; the hunter should be ready to take the shot.

As a caliber, we would recommend the 243.


For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of bringing a rifle into South Africa, Nick Bowker Hunting has available a Sako carbon light 243 fitted with a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope.

We use Sako factory ammunition.

Mainly a browser, the steenbok will occasionally graze on newly sprouted grass.