The Giraffe is an animal unique to Africa. It is a sought after trophy amongst hunters and is one of the largest animals which can be hunted in Africa. Mature Giraffes can reach heights of 20 foot and weigh up to 4200 pounds. Interestingly there are 9 subspecies of giraffe, but of the nine only a few may be legally hunted as the rest are strictly protected. The Nine Species are: South African Giraffe, Masai, Somalian, Nubian, Rhodesian, West African, Kordofan, Rothschild and the Angolan Giraffe.
The Rothschild Giraffe is very unique as it is the only sub species which has five ossicones or horns. They are found in Uganda and In Kenya.
Angolan Giraffe are found in North Namibia, Southern Angola, southwest Zambia, Botswana and western Zimbabwe.
The Kordofan Giraffe originates in northern parts of Cameroon, North eastern Congo as well the central African Republic.
West African Giraffe are found only in South West Niger,
Rhodesian Giraffes originate in the Luangwa valley in Zambia, and are found in scattered populations in Zimbabwe.
Nubian Giraffes occur in SOUTH Sudan as well as Ethiopia.
The Somalian sub species is found in North East Kenya, Southern Ethiopia and Somalia.
The Masai Giraffe is also known as the Kilimanjaro giraffe and is found from south central Kenya going down into Tanzania.
The South African Giraffe is found in a wide distribution throughout South Africa, southern Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
There are only two subspecies of Giraffe which may be hunted and they are the South African Giraffe and the Angolan Giraffe. These two species have been conserved by game ranchers who admire the value that hunting has put on these animals. The Giraffe is the perfect model to demonstrate the way in which hunting works as a conservation tool. The Giraffe species which may not be hunted are under tremendous pressure to survive as a species, and due to poaching and habitat encroachment.
Hunting Giraffe is far more challenging than one thinks. Due to their height and good eyesight, a Giraffe can see a very long way. Coupled with acute hearing these animals can sense danger very well. When a giraffe is bumped or decides to flee they cover ground extremely fast. All these aspects should be taken into account when going after these animals, which can get very frustrating.
Spotting, stalking and walking are the most successful way to bag a giraffe. Fresh tracks can be followed to save time, not that they are difficult to spot even from a long way out. There are usually a few animals in the herd but never more than 15, so be careful to choose and pick the right one. Some Bull Giraffes go dark with age and some don’t, many hunters will often talk of a dark Bull or black bull, these old guys are the ultimate trophy, but not very common. A Bull Giraffe can easily be identified by the hair which develops on the top of their horns, Females do not develop these hair tufts but rather a hard callus like horn.
Shot placement on a giraffe is completely different to any antelope species. A shot behind the shoulder will simply enter the stomach and not damage any vital organs. In order to shoot a giraffe through the heart the shot should be placed above where the shoulders end and below the base of the neck. The shot should be vertically in line with the front leg when standing broadside and on a frontal shot it can be placed at the base of the neck. The heart of a giraffe is a big target if you know where it lies. A brain shot on a giraffe can easily be taken providing one can get close enough.
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