Common Reedbuck Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the Common Reedbuck

  • There are three known types of reedbuck. The mountain reedbuck, the southern or common reedbuck; and the bohor reedbuck. The typical lifespan of the reedbuck is between 10 and 14 years.
  • All three of the reedbucks have common features however there are some distinct features that separates each one. The general color of the reedbuck, in some place of the body, is a reddish-brown color. The color of the coat allows them to camouflage themselves in their habitat which is almost the same color.
  • The southern or common reedbuck is the largest of the species. The light- brown or greyish-brown animal has a silky coat and a lighter shade of color on the neck and chest

The difference between a male and female common reedbuck

Male common reedbuck has horns while females do not.

Common Reedbuck male with horns

Common Reedbuck Male

Common Reedbuck females without horns

Common Reedbuck Females

Background information for African Common Reedbuck Hunting

The southern reedbuck is larger than the mountain reedbuck. It stands 31–35 inches at the shoulder. Females weigh 106 pounds, while the males weigh 150 pounds.

It has a distinctive dark line running down the front of each of its forelegs and lower hindlegs and whitish rings around the eyes. It has a lifespan of 10 years.

The coat is silky and almost woolly. The color of its coat ranges between light and greyish-brown, and may be lighter on the neck and chest. A small, black, bare glandular patch can be noticed at the base of each ear. White fur covers the underparts and the areas near the lips and chin.

The tail is white underside, and appears short and bushy. Southern reedbucks measure an average of 33 inches at the shoulder. Females lack horns. Males bear forward-curving horns, about 14–18 inches long, with the base having a distinct band of pale, rubbery tissue.

Southern reedbuck live in pairs or alone. Sometimes, they form herds consisting of about 20
members. They prefer to lie in grass or reed beds in the heat of the day and feed during sunrise and sunset, or sometimes even at night.

Old reedbucks are permanently territorial, with territories around 35-60 hectares, and generally live with a single female, preventing contact with rival males. Females and young males perform an 'appeasement dance' for older males. During the dance, the bucks run around speedily and take considerably long jumps, with the tail curled up and scented air being released from a pocket in the groin at every bounce, making a popping sound.

Their main predators include lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, Cape hunting dogs, pythons, and crocodiles. They can camouflage themselves in the grasslands due to their coats, which are almost the same color. If startled or attacked, they stand still, then either hide or flee with an odd rocking-horse movement, and cautiously look back to ensure the danger is gone, generally. They use vocalizations like a shrill whistle through their nostrils and a clicking noise to alert others about danger.

Common Reedbuck Hunting in South Africa

Your Common Reedbuck trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 37 inches, weigh about 140 pounds and have a horn length of approximately 12 inches. The Safari Club International score for a Common Reedbuck is 21. This is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

The Common Reedbuck forms part of the Reedbuck family and is the largest of the family in Africa. They have a distinctive "whistle" when alerted and uses it to great effect when indicating danger to others. Although very alert and quick out of the tall grass or reeds, reedbuck will never run too far before stopping, often giving the hunter the desired opportunity for a shot. Judging the trophy quality of rams can be very tricky at times, as the base of the horn is made of pulp and not solid horn. Always look for a dark black pulp on the base and horns with good hooks and overall length. Common Reedbuck males boast extremely thick necks and well-set shoulders, making for very handsome trophies and super mounts in any hunter's trophy room.

Common Reedbuck trophy ram. Where to place your shot when common reedbuck hunting in Africa

Shot placement for Common Reedbuck Hunting

Sometimes easily confused with the impala or mountain reedbuck, the reedbuck lacks the three black stripes found on the hindquarters of the impala and the impala is much redder in color. The mountain reedbuck is much smaller in stature and a bit grayer in color. To be sure, his habitat is quite different, for as his name implies, he is found predominantly on the mountainsides. Hunt common reedbuck near the water as they are water dependent and always found where water is abundant. They will usually present themselves in pairs, but may be found in larger herds, especially during the winter months.

They graze during the cooler parts of the day and often at night. During the heat of the day they tend to lay-up in the reed beds or tall grass. When “spooked”, they tend to run with a rocking horse movement, tail held high showing its white underside.

Your favorite deer rifle will be adequate medicine for hunting reedbuck. The 7mm is more than adequate. For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle in to South Africa Nick Bowker Hunting has available a 7mm custom made Remington Magnum fitted with a suppressor. The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X ammunition. This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

As with all African hunting, be sure to use quality bullets. Aim point will be straight up the foreleg about one third into the body. This will affect the high heart shot and your reedbuck should not go far.

IDENTIFICATION: Medium-sized antelope with yellowish, grey-brown color and sometimes black spots below the ears. The front of the forelegs is dark brown.