Sex determination can be very difficult; males will generally be slightly larger and have more developed necks, but more than one professional hunter has shot a stallion that instantly became a mare once downed. Glass carefully when hunting zebra; if alerted, the stallion will most often trail the herd as they withdraw - this may be your best and only indication.
Zebra Stallions Fighting
The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands,savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills . Zebras have excellent eyesight. Like most ungulates, the zebra's eyes are on the sides of its head, giving it a wide field of view.
Zebras also have night vision, although not as advanced as that of most of their predators. Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses; like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras also have acute sense of smell.
Like most members of the horse family, zebras are highly social. Their social structure. Plains zebras live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Bachelor males either live alone or with groups of other bachelors until they are old enough to challenge a breeding stallion.
The common plains zebra is about 47–51 inches at the shoulder. It can weigh up to 700 - 900 pounds, males being slightly bigger than females.
Shot Placement for Zebra Hunting
Your zebra trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 50 inches, weigh about 800 pounds
Hunting zebra can prove very difficult in certain areas as judging stallions from mares can be very tough. Although it's the mares who choose the dominant stallion, the stallion will assume his position at the back of a retreating herd, thus being closer to the point of danger, often stopping to look back. Zebra are very resilient and tough and likely will require a follow up shot.
This is a remarkably tough member of the equine family; shot placement is critical and, if poorly placed, you will be in for a long day and at risk of losing your trophy. We would recommend the 7mm or 300 Magnums for your Zebra hunt.
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 Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor. The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X 200 grain ammunition. This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.
Zebra have been reintroduced in to the Eastern cape and are not truly free ranging. Standard cattle and sheep fences are an impediment to the movement of a zebra. Zebra are relatively widely spread across the Eastern Cape. Hunts are conducted mainly using ambush techniques in open country as well as walk and stalk techniques.
Zebra vital organs for shot placement
The zebra forms small herds, usually 8 to 10 in number, consisting of a stallion, several mares and their foals. Surplus males are ejected from the herd and form bachelor herds.
These habits may be useful when hunting zebra. Good glassing may be essential in trophy assessment. If it is the flat skin you are after, be advised that the old stallions will most likely be battle-scarred and worn. Look for a younger male or a mare if a nice clear hide is what you seek. Hunting zebra is best in the early morning or late afternoon. Regular drinkers, set up an ambush on trails leading to water holes or pans.
Zebra Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter