Blesbok - Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi
Blesbok were an easy source of meat to the early settlers and were hunted close to extermination by the turn of the century. Today, they have been widely re-introduced and their range has been extended into Zimbabwe and Namibia by game farmers although they are indigenous to South Africa.
Blesbok are meduim-sized antelope with short, fairly straight, ringed horns carried by both males and females. They have a brown neck and back which becomes darker towards the middle and back of the body. They have a typical white blaze on their muzzle and small dash of white between their horns.
Blesbok form small herds of females and young with males holding and defending territories through which these herds pass. They are more common to the open plains of the Free State, the Karoo areas and the Northern Cape where they graze in the mornings and late afternoons and lie down in the heat of the day.
They have the funny trait of walking in single file and shaking their heads as if nodding acceptance (at being shot at). They also have a sharp snorting alarm call when spooked.
hunting tips - the hunt
Blesbok are mostly hunted on the open plains of the Free State and in the Karoo but they are found everywhere in South Africa and most hunters will shoot one. They are not overly nervous and are quite easily shot, sometimes at quite a distance on the plains.
hunting tips - the calibre
Any good long shooting calibre like the .270s, 30.06s. 7mm & .300 Magnums are good choices primarily for the distance aspect of the shot. They are also shot with .243's, 22-250's and even .22 Hornets if you can get close enough.
hunting tips - the trophy
Blesbok have two horn variations; one representing an upside down bell shape with long points flaring out towards the tips and the other has wide flared horns. Good rams have very heavy, ringed bases which are best judged from the side. These rings appear white and nicely worn on older males.
hunting tips - where
Blesbok are unique to South Africa but have been introduced to Namibia and Zimbabwe. However the best regions for good blesbok are the plains and highlands of the Free State and the expanse of the great Karoo which makes up most of the eastern Cape.
THE BLESBOK is the package King, included in almost every hunting safari package deal in South Africa. You will find the lowley Blesbok sometimes even given away free of charge, always a steady contender amongst the more glamorous likes of Kudu & Gemsbok.