The lesser kudu is a much smaller but just as impressive cousin of the Greater kudu. They have more white side stripes than that of their cousin, but bodies only grow one-third of the size together with their horns. An adult Male lesser Kudu will weigh between 150-200 pounds, stands 40 inches from the ground at the shoulder and horns grow to an average of 28inches. Only males carry a set of spiraled horns, the female lesser kudu weighs up to 150 pounds with a shoulder height of 35-40 inches. The lesser kudu can be hunted in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. There are populations of the lesser kudu which occur in Kenya and Somalia, but they can not be hunted in these countries.
The methods used to hunt the lesser kudu are general kudu hunting techniques, although the lesser Kudu can be very curious at times, You may be fortunate enough to take a shot on a good bull while he stands and stares at you, or maybe even while he is walking closer to get a better look. Dense thicket and impenetrable woodlands are where Lesser Kudu are usually found, these animals are often bedded down and hiding during the heat of the day. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to go after Lesser Kudu, during this time these animals come out into more open spaces which increase one’s chances of spotting a good trophy.
Seeing that these animals are not reliant on water but will drink daily if water is available, hunting them is can be done close to water points by ambush or simply spot and stalk. Waiting in an area where a good bull kudu has been spotted a few days before or close to a well-known feeding area has also proven to be extremely successful when going after these animals.
As with many other antelope, Male kudu can be found in bachelor groups, although fully mature bull kudu are more likely to be solitary. The dominance displays of kudu do not usually last very long, when males do have a face-off they will raise the hair on their backs a lift heads very high to try and appear as big as possible. Male kudu also lock horns when fighting and pull against one another, if this occurs in such a manner that the two animals cannot disengage their horns it may lead to starvation and dehydration. The males are seen with females only during the mating season, the family groups consist of between 5 and 15 animals including the young.
A very interesting fact is that Kudu were extremely susceptible to the rinderpest virus( which is now eradicated thanks to a vaccination in domestic cattle). Scientists believe that this virus reduced lesser kudu populations drastically in east Africa, today’s consensus suggests there are 110,000 thousand lesser kudu remaining. All Kudu, the greater as well as lesser species are highly susceptible to rabies in times of extended drought. They have been known to enter farmhouses and other buildings when infected. Infected animals appear tame and have a distinct frothing at the mouth. Rabid kudu are fearless, and bulls may sometimes attack humans who get too close to them.
Rifle choice when hunting the lesser kudu is anything in the .270-.300 range. Often while hunting these animals the shots are opportunistic and need to be taken very quickly. Quite often the shot will have to be taken through some brush or through a very narrow gap. The hunter should know his rifle well and shoot premium bullets, this will ensure a successful lesser kudu hunt.
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