Blue Wildebeest Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the blue wildebeest

  • Blue Wildebeest got name as their coat has a blue sheen.
  • There are around 1.5 million living in the Serengeti alone! They are widespread in many areas of Africa.
  • Their main defense from predators is living in a group. Wildebeest stick together and move in herds to be safer.
  • They can run up to 40 mph, which is pretty fast! Although, unfortunately for them, not as fast as lions or cheetahs. They migrate in Kenya and Tanzania as many as 1000 miles each year – that’s longer than the length of Britain and around the same distance from Minnesota to Louisiana. That distance would take around 20 hours to drive.
  • They have a dangerous migratory route, during their migration they cross two rivers – both of which are crocodile infested
  • Wildebeest spend on average 53% of their time resting (32% lying down and 21% standing) this includes ruminating, 33% of their time is spent grazing and 12% walking and only 1 – 1.5% of their time in social interactions.
  • The Blue Wildebeest is also often called the Brindled Gnu, this is because of its coloration. It has dark bands over its shoulders and flanks which give it a brindled appearance. The Gnu term refers to its call, a Gnuuu sound.
  • Mature male wildebeest will actively defend and mark their territory by means of scent markings. They have specially modified glands situated under the eye called pre-orbital glands which they will rub against trees leaving a scent, thus marking his territory. They also have pedal glands in between their toes which are used by raking the ground (sometimes forming bare patches of soil) after which the scent is transferred to the soil thus marking its territory.

The difference between a male and female blue wildebeest

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 on the plains

Blue Wildebeest Male

Blue Wildebeest and calf

Blue Wildebeest and calf

Background information for African Blue Wildebeest Hunting

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.

Blue wildebeest trophy bull. Where to place your shot when blue wildebeest hunting in Africa.

Shot Placement for Blue Wildebeest Hunting

Blue Wildebeest Hunting in South Africa

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 hunting in Africa. Shot placement

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.

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

Blue Wildebeest Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter