The spotted Hyena is also referred to as the laughing hyena due to the human liken laughing sound that they make. The spotted hyena is famous for the noises they produce and communicate by means of grunts, howls, whines, groans, yells, and course the all famous laugh. The spotted hyena is a carnivore and is a very opportunistic feeder, often relying on lion and other predators to feed. When in contact with another predator these animals will defend themselves very aggressively and can be very intimidating.
The spotted Hyena occurs in partially deserted areas throughout Africa. They can be found in woodlands, savannah areas, miombo forests, and mountainous areas but tend to stay away from coastal and dense thickets. The Spotted Hyena can be hunted on license throughout Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe right up north to the Guinea and Sudan savannah area. Compared to the brown hyena, the spotted hyena is a far more social animal and hunt in a matriarchal clan. ( dominant female) The brown hyena is a solitary animal and will only pair up during the breeding season.
The skull of a spotted hyena is extremely strong, and a lot larger in size than any other hyena species. This combined with their incredible large jaw muscles these animals have a biting force like no other. This is an adaption that the spotted hyena has developed in order to crush the strongest of bones to get to the bone marrow. Make spotted hyenas weigh between 80-120 pounds and females are larger at 90 to 140 pounds. Both sexes stand at an average height of 30 inches at the shoulder.
Hunting the spotted Hyena is usually done while out in the field pursuing a different game specie. 80% of spotted hyena hunts occur merely by chance when the animals are spotted in the field. Of course, these animals can also be targeted by baiting and ambush methods. Baiting with a fresh buffalo, zebra or similar carcass has proven to be successful, however blind construction is very important in this instance as these animals are very alert with a keen sense of smell. The spotted hyena is often taken on a bait set out for lions, and can also be shot at afresh lion kill. These animals have a somewhat symbiotic relationship with lions, often scavenging what is left over, after the lions have finished feeding. Not to be mistaken the spotted hyena does hunt on its own, and very successfully of that matter. There have been reports where a clan of spotted hyena have taken down large plains game species from impala right up to zebra.
Rifle calibers suited for hyena hunting are the same as many plains game species of Africa. A caliber from .270 up to .375 will work very well. Shot placement should be right behind the shoulder when quartering away on dead on the shoulder when broadside. One-third of the way up the body will bring down the animal with a perfect heart shot. The sex of the Hyena can be challenging to determine. There are various folk stories explaining that the spotted hyena is actually a hermaphrodite, this is not true. The female has what is known as a pseudo penis, which is used for urinating, scent marking and giving birth. The reproductive organs are still that of a biological female and not both male and female. It is good to remember that trophy size is measured by the size of the skull. If there is more than one animal spotted when hunting the spotted hyena, choose the one with the biggest head. The females are larger than the males in this species, and also have a larger head.
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