The springbuck is a very unique and equally beautiful animal which can be hunted in Africa. The springbuck is well known for the pouch-like – skin flap along its back which lifts into the most beautiful white crest of hair when excited, or while doing a mating display. There are three recognized species of springbuck, the Angolan or Damara springbuck, The Kalahari springbuck and then the Cape or Common springbuck. Within the Cape springbuck species, there are few color variants which are the white, black and copper springbuck. These animals are truly beautiful and makeup what is popularly known as the springbuck grand slam.
The Angolan Sub specie of springbuck is found only in the southwestern corner of Angola and in scattered populations in the north of Namibia. This sub specie is the biggest of the three springbuck subspecies in both body size and horn length.
The Kalahari springbuck is found in the southwestern parts of Africa. These animals are found from the Orange River in South Africa and Namibia up north into Botswana. The Kalahari springbuck is noticeably bigger in body size than the common cape springbuck. Many private game ranches in South Africa have introduced the Kalahari genes to their common springbuck herds, with a goal to increase the general size of their animals.
The Cape springbuck is the most common springbuck hunted in Africa, these animals occur south of the Orange River in South Africa. They have a very wide distribution throughout South Africa and occur in good numbers. These animals can be hunted from the Free State province in South Africa right down south into the Western Cape. There are various colour variants of the cape springbuck which have been bred with by exotic game ranchers in South Africa. The black springbuck, white springbuck and Copper are the most popular and it is these three variants together and when all three are hunted together with a common specimen it is known as the famous springbuck grand slam. The black, white and copper springbuck have the same distribution as the common specie, they can be hunted all over south Africa but obviously do not occur in as many numbers. The copper springbuck is the rarest of the colour variations and being able to take a good mature copper springbuck make is truly special.
The Rowland Ward Record of Big game only recognizes one springbuck specie. Whether an animal is take in Namibia, Angola South Africa or Botswana it falls into the springbuck category. Rowland Ward does not recognize the color variants and these animals are also recorded under one set of records, same as the common specimens. The RW minimum for a springbuck is 14 inches.
Safari Club international on the other hand has separate record books for the Kalahari springbuck (minimum 35’), Damara springbuck (minimum 34’), Cape springbuck (minimum 30’) as well as the three most popular colour variants of the Cape springbuck-the black, white and copper springbuck.
The common colouration of a Springbuck is a light chestnut colored coat with brown and black side stripes which run horizontally. They also have thin dark brown face stripes which lead to a dark patch on their forehead. Both the males and females carry horns, the horns of a male are easily recognizable as they have a lot more mass to them as the female’s horns and also grow longer. Mature males weigh in the region of 80 pounds and females 65 pounds.
Springbuck are found in large open areas often with very little cover. They congregate in herds from 10 animals into the hundreds, consisting of Males, females and young. Due to the areas where these animals are found- hunting them requires patience and careful thinking. Waiting in an area where a springbuck herd is known to graze early morning or late afternoon is a very successful way of taking one. Shots can often be over 300 yards which gets challenging and is super rewarding on their small bodies
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