Male blue wildebeest have heavier horns and when mature a totally black face. Females and sub adults have a brownish color just below the base of the horns. Mature bulls will be heavier than females.
Blue Wildebeest Male
Blue Wildebeest and calf
The blue wildebeest is mostly active during the morning and late afternoon, with the hottest hours of the day being spent in rest. These extremely agile and wary animals can run at speeds up to 40 mph, waving their tails and tossing their heads. The wildebeest usually rest close to others of their kind and move about in loose aggregations.
Males form bachelor herds, and these can be distinguished from juvenile groups by the lower amount of activity and the spacing between the animals. Around 90% of the male calves join the bachelor herds before the next mating season. Bulls become territorial at the age of four or five years.
The blue wildebeest males are larger and darker than females. The average height of the species is 45–60 inches. While males weigh up to 400 pounds, females seldom exceed 300 pounds.
Both sexes possess a pair of large horns, which are shaped like parentheses. These extend outward to the side and then curve upward and inward. In the males, the horns can be 30 inches long. Despite being an antelope, the blue wildebeest possesses various bovine characteristics. For instance, the horns resemble those of the female African buffalo. Further, the heavy build and disproportionately large forequarters give it a bovine appearance.
Shot Placement for Blue Wildebeest Hunting
Your blue Wildebeest trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 58 inches, weigh about 350 pounds and have a horn length of approximately 25 - 27 inches.
Blue Wildebeest, also known as the Poor Man's Buffalo, - not only in looks but for sheer brute strength once hit. These animals have been known to travel up to 300 yards with a well-placed heart shot. Bulls are larger in stature than cows. As both sexes carry horns and are of similar body size and color, sorting out the bulls from the cows can sometimes be difficult.
When judging the trophy quality of the blue wildebeest it is important to look at the size of the boss, the hardness of the boss and the curl of the horn beyond the tip of the ears. Mature bulls will display black/darkened hair between their bosses or leading to their bosses and not red/brown hair, the sign of immaturity.
Blue Wildebeest vital organs for shot placement
This is a very tough antelope. The prominent hump on the shoulder and the mane may often lead to a body shot placed too high.
In our open country, the flat shooting .300 magnums with a 200-grain bullet we believe is the best choice. For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle into 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
When hunting blue wildebeest, always try to position yourself for the side-on shot; aim up the back edge of the front leg and place the shot about four inches (a hand’s width) above the point of the elbow. This 'high heart' shot will take heart and lungs; the animal will rock to the shot and probably go down within 50 yards. If your shot placement is not quite on the mark, be very cautious in a follow-up. This animal can be extremely dangerous when wounded. Approach a downed wildebeest from the 'off' side with great care, as they have been known to get up and charge.
IDENTIFICATION: A very strong muscular appearance. The face, mane and tail are black with a bluish appearance. Dark vertical stripes on the neck and flanks. Males and females have horns.
Blue Wildebeest Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter