The black wildebeest is often referred to as the clown of the hunting field by African bunters. These animals are in a world of their own. The black wildebeest has the typical wildebeest/ox like look about them but their horns grow out on the front side of their heads rather than on the sides as with other wildebeest species. The black wildebeest is famous for running about in circles and jumping and kicking when they feel threatened in the hunting field. It can be quite a show watching these animals do their aggressive display while out hunting them.
Black wildebeest are medium to large sized animals and weigh in the region of 350 pounds. both the males and females measure 45inches at the shoulder on average. Both sexes carry the uniquely shaped horns which grow forwards down and then outwards. As with all wildebeest the Black wildebeest has a stocky body and broad neck, the rest of their body is relatively elongated. The black wildebeest also has a long white tail which is hard to miss while the animals are running away from you.
Black wildebeest congregate in open grasslands and feed on grasses and shrubs. They will rest during the heat of the day during the summer. In winter it is found that they feed throughout the day and rest mostly at night. Black wildebeest will drink daily and when approaching a watering hole they do so in single file, which is often observed when a herd is seen from a blind or late afternoon in the field.
Black wildebeest males are extremely territorial. They will mark their territory with faeces and urine and protect their specific area aggressively towards other males. Cows and young wildebeest will wander between territories and the dominant male will try and herd as many cows in as possible. The dominant male will often trot around the herd members preventing them from wandering off. Bachelor herds are common in black wildebeest; young makes are easily identified as the hair from their bosses going upwards will have a red colour to it. With age the hair from the bosses going into the main gets very dark. Mature males will also have a well-developed beard and he’s bosses will be hard. These are all characteristics that will ensure a good representative trophy!
Hunting a Black wildebeest can be extremely rewarding, as wildebeest are tough animals to bring down in general.. The most successful approach will be to target them during feeding times during the summer or throughout the day in winter. While feeding their heads are down and not much attention is given to their surroundings. Early morning and late afternoon are your go to times for black wildebeest. A herd will be easy to spot from a long way out as they stay in wide open areas. Get the wind in your face and make the stalk until you are in range. Shots on black wildebeest average at about 150yards. They are generally quite inquisitive and usually stand around doing their aggressive displays before running off out of range.
It can be tricky to determine the sex and tell the males apart from the females due to both sexes carrying horns and being the same size. The dead giveaway is the developed bosses which the males carry and their horns are generally larger and have more mass to them.
The recommended calibre for any wildebeest is from a .270 shooting a 150gr bullet right up to a relatively fast shooting .338 or .416 calibre. A wounded wildebeest will keep you in the field for a long time and is obviously not part of any hunters agenda. There is an old saying when hunting in Africa-Make sure you use enough gun!
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