The brown hyena is significantly different to other hyena species as it has a long shaggy coat and pointed sharp ears. When mature they develop a cream coloured mane around their necks. Brown hyenas weigh in the region of 80 pounds and stand at 17-25 inches at the shoulder. The male and female brown Hyena are the same size and telling the two sexes apart is almost impossible when they are in the field. Brown Hyenas are predominantly scavengers but also hunt easy prey.
The Kalahari Desert and Limpopo regions of South Africa are the top producing regions to hunt brown Hyenas and have in no doubt produced the most amount of trophies over the years. Hunting of these predators can take place at any time of the year but does require that the hunter has a TOPS permit issued in their name. Unfortunately the brown Hyena cannot be imported into the USA.
Trophy class of a brown hyena depends on the size of the skull and inherently the size and condition of the mane. Only safari Club International includes records for brown hyena and their skull is measured using the same method as what is used to measure big cats.
The brown Hyena can be hunted in Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. There have been a good amount of trophies taken in South Africa especially in the Kalahari Desert and Limpopo regions. They also occur in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces. A lot of livestock farmers consider the brown Hyena as a pest. This Hyena will prey on livestock animals such as new born lambs and calves as these are easy prey. In areas where the Brown Hyenas are plentiful farmers often set traps to catch them before they get the chance to kill their livestock.
Brown hyenas are solitary animals and will only pair up for a very short period during the mating season. These hyena roam large areas in the search for food and can cover great distances in an evening. It has been recorded that the brown hyena will travel as far as 20 miles in the search of their next meal. The brown Hyena has an exceptional scent of smell and extremely strong jaws. These animals will eat every single bit of a carcass, including the bones which they crush in order to access the bone marrow. The brown hyena is not the cleverest hyena out there, if stumbled upon while out hunting during daytime they are generally unsure of what to do and can seem quite clumsy. At night they are more orientated to what is going on around them.
Hunting methods used for targeting brown hyenas include spotting the animal from a safari vehicle while driving and scanning thick brush areas with a spotlight at night. Walking on foot following a hyena track is also common but can be tricky and time consuming. Baiting for a brown Hyena is also a proven method for targeting these animals and it is a way of using their natural instinct against them. A solid elevated blind will have to be built downwind from the bait as these animals have an extremely good sense of smell. The best baits are rotten meat and guts which will be able to attract Brown hyenas from long way out. Once found the Hyena will come into the bait after dark.
The best calibre and rifle to choose to take a brown hyena is the same as what you take on your plains game hunt. They are not very large animals but looking at the way that they are hunted especially if from a blind, the first shot needs to put him down.
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