Information

WATERBUCK

IDENTIFICATION: Large grayish-brown antelope with a shaggy coat and impressive horns. The most prominent feature, which no other animal has, is a white ring on the rump encircling the tail. The hair is coarse, shaggy and long. Horns: Only the males have horns.

DISTRIBUTION: South Africa and parts of Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.

HABITAT: A Savannah species: never far away from water, but normally avoids riverine forests. Found in woodland areas along rivers, dry floodplains and in reed beds along marshes. These areas usually have good grass for grazing. Very dependent on water.

HABITS: Mainly a grazer, with a preference for long grass, will browse from time to time. Usually forms herds of 6-12 (even up to 30). There are territorial males, nursing herds and bachelor herds. Herds become larger in summer but break up in winter. Young males become fully grown at about 5-6 years and then try to establish territories. Territories are defended by threatening displays. A subordinate lowers his head as a sign of submission. Serious fights are very common.

INTERESTING HUNTING NOTES: The Waterbuck is a much sought after trophy for many hunters traveling to Africa, with its impressive horns sweeping back and then hooking forward. Its sheer size makes it the #1 priority on many safaris. An old Waterbuck bull is without a doubt one of the most cunning trophies to hunt. Very alert with a keen sense of smell and super eyesight. Waterbuck secrete an oily secretion which covers their entire body giving them a musky smell; one can often smell Waterbuck before seeing them at close quarters. Judging the trophy quality of a Waterbuck can be very difficult at times, especially lone bulls. Always keep in mind, a thick heavy darkened neck is the first sign of maturity. Look at the basses and ensure ridges are prominent and rough, not smooth and soft indicating immaturity. The hook in the horns is where the hidden length lies. A good shape with smooth tips is a sign of a good bull and certainly one to consider taking.

  • Ave Age of Mature Bulls: +/- 7 Years
  • Ave Weight of Mature Bulls: +/- 550 Pounds
  • Hunting Permit Required: Hunting License
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