Blesbok Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the Blesbok

  • The name "blesbok" originates from the Afrikaans word "bles" which means "blaze". It refers to unusual white-colored marking on the face of these animals.
  • Blesbok has medium-sized body and short tail which ends with black tuft. Both males and females have S-shaped, spiral horns that can reach 14 to 20 inches in length. Females have more slender horns (compared to males).
  • Blesbok is active mostly during the morning and early afternoon.
  • Natural enemies of blesbok are cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, wild dogs, pythons and eagles.
  • Blesbok can run at the speed of 43 miles per hour when it needs to escape from predators.
  • Blesbok migrate seasonally toward the areas rich in grass.
  • Blesbok live in small herds that consist of 10 to 25 animals. Mature males protect females and young animals within the group. Herd usually resides on a territory of 2.5 to 6 acres. Males use piles of dung to mark the borders of their territory.
  • Mating season of blesbok takes place from March to May.
  • Pregnancy in females lasts 7.5 to 8 months and ends with one baby. Unlike other antelopes, females give birth within the herd (babies become part of the group from the moment of birth). Most babies are born during November and December (during the rainy season), when food is abundant. Young blesbok are beige colored and have dark-colored "blaze" on the face.
  • Blesbok reach sexual maturity at the age of 2.5 years.
  • Blesbok can interbreed with closely related species of antelope called bontebok and create hybrids are known as "bontebles".
  • Blesbok can survive around 17 years in the wild

The difference between a male and female blesbok

The male blesbok has thicker and heavier horns when compared with the female.

Blesbok male with thicker horns

Blesbok Male

Blesbok females with thinner horns

Blesbok Females with young

Background information for African Blesbok Hunting

Blesbok can be found in open veld or plains of South Africa. Their preferred habitat is open grassland with water. They often occupy relatively small territories of 2.5 to 6.0 acres in size. Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar.

Their mass can be as much as 150 pounds. A characteristic of the blesbok is the prominent white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown stripe which divides this blaze above the eyes. Body color is brown with a lighter-colored saddle on the back, and the rump an even lighter shade. The legs are brown with a white patch behind the top part of the front legs. Lower legs whitish.

Both sexes carry horns, ringed almost to the tip. Female horns are slightly more slender. The neck and the top of the back of the blesbok is brown. Lower down on the flanks and buttocks, the coloring becomes darker. The belly, the inside of the buttocks and the area up to the base of the tail is white. Blesbok can be easily differentiated from other antelopes because they have a distinct white face and forehead.

Blesbok Hunting in South Africa

Your blesbuck ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 35 inches, weigh about 130 pounds and have a horn length of approximately 13 - 15 inches. The Safari Club International score for a blesbok is 31. This is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

Nick Bowker Hunting has two large herds of Blesbok both well over a hundred strong. Including white Blesbok mixed with common Blesbok. The blesbok are very wary and difficult to approach. Longer shots will be required. However, this is one of the few times you will be able to shoot prone to facilitate a longer shot. Blesbok however bunch together and shooting the right one will need careful communication with Nick Bowker your professional hunter. Hunting is mainly done through setting up ambushes looking down valleys.

One of the fastest breeding plains game species in Southern Africa. Seen by many as the perfect trophy for the first-time hunter to Africa. When judging the trophy quality of Common Blesbok it's important to look at the width of the boss, the color of the horn and the overall length. Mature rams will stand out in herds with their shoulder height and chest width being much more prominent than that of the females and young rams.

The blesbok shares a common behavioral characteristic with his cousin the bontebok - that of standing together with heads facing toward the sun and faces low to the ground. He sometimes shakes his head violently, stamps and runs in a complete circle only to resume his original place. As available water is essential to this species, hunting blesbok near the approaches to water holes can prove productive.

Blesbok hunting in Africa. Shot placement

Shot Placement for Blesbok Hunting

The blesbok lives on the open plains of the South African. Primarily grazers, they form herds consisting of females (ewes) and juveniles, while the males (rams) tend to be solitary. Care must be taken when hunting blesbok to ensure that you take the animal of choice. The best time for hunting blesbok is while they are grazing in the morning or late afternoon. Like many other species, they tend to lay-up during the hottest part of the afternoon.

This once near-extinct antelope has been reintroduced on the game farms of southern Africa and boasts a population somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. Distances tend to be longer on the plains when hunting blesbok. We would recommend the flat shooting 7mm magnums or even the 300 magnums. 

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.

IDENTIFICATION: Distinct white blaze on the face. The belly, inner parts of the buttocks and the legs, below the knee, are white.

A blesbok trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

Common blesbok Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter

White Blesbok Hunting in South Africa

The white blesbok is a color variant of the blesbok. A great trophy to hunt while on safari and a must for any collector interested in collecting both of the blesbok color variations.

The white blesbok is not a subspecies, but a color phase. Although the white gene has proved to be the recessive gene, great numbers of white blesbok have been built throughout South Africa. The price difference between a common blesbok and a white blesbok is now relatively small. Many hunters now opt to shoot the white blesbok rather than the common blesbok as their first blesbok trophy

White blesbok has all the same traits as the normal blesbok. Hunting the white blesbok is no different to hunting a normal blesbok

A White blesbok trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

White blesbok Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter