The steenbuck, also pronounced steenbuck is a small but strikingly beautiful antelope. They are found in the open plains of South Africa. Steenbuck weigh in the region of 20 pounds and are 22 inches at the shoulder. They carry a reddish brown coat with a white underbelly. The steenbuck are renowned for their large ears which makes their head look out of proportion. These are truly beautiful animals and a great addition to any trophy room.
The steenbuck can be hunted in South Africa, they occur in areas where it is relatively open with minimal cover. Good steenbuck trophies come out of regions where the terrain is majority sandy and there are few rocks. The steenbuck tend to break their horns off and work their horns down in areas where the terrain is more rugged. The Kalahari of South Africa as well as the Northern Cape and Free State produces top scoring steenbuck.
Only the Male steenbuck carry straight upright horns which reach an average of 3 inches. The horns are thin and delicate and often only appear to be two black stripes above the head. They have slender legs and round bodies, the perfect combination for covering short distances very quickly. Males and females are seen in pairs whilst the females are in oestrus. The rest of the time they are solitary animals but are highly territorial. The male and female of a particular territory will always stay in the area and fight off any other individuals which may enter their territory. The steenbuck are monogamous meaning that they partner up for life. However, they will readily take on another partner should something happen to one of them.
Steenbuck are most active late afternoon and at night. They may be seen early morning drinking at a water point or slowly feeding but usually rest for the majority of the day. The steenbuck are highly selective feeders and feed on new green growth, berries, leaves and sweet grasses. In areas where the steenbuck are under high pressure by predators they will only feed at night and will not be seen or heard of during the day.
Hunting a steenbuck is relatively straightforward as due to their secretive nature they often give a hunter some time to take a shot while they stand dead still thinking they can’t be seen. Spot and stalk is the most common and proven method to go after these guys. Late afternoon and early morning will be the times. Slowly walking in areas where they occur is also a good way of targeting them. Be alert when targeting steenbuck as sometimes one will not see them while they are bedded down and they will suddenly spring away from beneath your feet. After being bumped the steenbuck usually runs 40 or 50 yards and then stops to have a look, this is a good time to shoot! Steenbuck can be hunted at night in south Africa using artificial light. To cover ground relatively quickly many PHs will drive around in areas where steenbuck are known to occur while searching for animals with a spotlight. Once spotted, the steenbuck will have to be carefully observed to determine the quality of the trophy which can be tricky at night. The animal will then need to be stalked to take a shot.
Look for a steenbuck with sharp horns that have not been worn down. The ears of the steenbuck are 4.5 inches when alerted and looking at you, so any male with horns that are the same length as the ears or longer will be a good trophy. If hunting steenbuck at night be sure to double check the horn length, Their horns are thin and black and they can be very tricky to see in the dark.
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