The Sable is a truly a unique animal and makes an excellent trophy. Their jet black coats and impressive horns are always special in anyone’s trophy room. Sable’s horns curve backwards are black in color and are ringed up until the last 4 or 5 inches. Both sexes carry horns, the female’s horns are slender and shorter than those of the males.
There are three subspecies of sable which are found in Africa, the Roosevelt Sable(Shimba), Giant or Royal Sable and the Zambian Sable(common).
The Zambian Sable is the most common Sable which can be hunted in Africa, with populations occurring in throughout Zambia (except areas on the western border), Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and large populations throughout South Africa. Many of the populations occurring in these regions have been hybridized with the Giant sable. This is due to game ranchers introducing giant sable genetics into their herds in order to try and conserve the specie. When hunted these animals are however still recorded as a common or Zambian Sable.
The Giant sable is slightly smaller in body size than that of The Zambian sub-specie but tends to grow longer horns. These animals are found only in the upper central parts of Angola between the Luando and Cuanza rivers as well within the Kangandala National reserve.
Roosevelt sable gets its name from the all famous Kermit Roosevelt who is the son of the former U.S president Theodore Roosevelt. This sub-specie is found along the Mozambique/Tanzanian border up into the Selous Game reserve and then scattered population northwards along Coastal Tanzania, right up to the Shimba Hills. There have been reports of the specie also being hunted within the Kilombero valley in Tanzania.
The name sable is developed from this magnificent animals color, the males with their rich dark black coat and females and juveniles a more reddish-brown. Whiteface and belly markings provide a contrast to the rest of the body and this is what gives them their camouflage ability in the field. Dependent on water sources the sable prefers an open woodland type of environment usually in close proximity to grasslands. Herds are generally found with 30 members, 1 dominant male and the rest juveniles and females. The Male sable can be very territorial and very dangerous. They will challenge another bull or anything which provokes them of that matter -by going down on their front knees and sweeping their horns back and forth. If wounded the sable will not hesitate to charge and can inflict serious damage with their sharp horns.
Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to pursue sable, as this is when they will come out into the more open areas and provide a good shot. Sables also drink water daily and can be ambushed at drinking holes. The male sable usually places himself at the back or on the outskirts of the herd. In Areas where the sable are plenty, bachelor herds may be found and usually, these herds contain good old males, which have been kicked out of the herd. A male sable is an aggressive animal and will often present himself with his head up giving a loud snort. This trait can be used against him, and often provides an open frontal shot.
Being a large animal and dangerous when wounded- a hard-hitting calibre is recommended. A 7mm rem mag, 300 Win Mag or even calibres such as the 375h&h are excellent choices for this specie. A broadside or frontal heart shot with the above-mentioned calibres or similar will make him leap into the air and usually a short follow up will follow.
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