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Hunting gemsbok / oryx in South Africa

Gemsbok scientific name: Oryx gazella

Hunting gemsbok in South Africa is hunting for one of the best looking African antelope species. With the striking white facial markings and extreme javelin like horns gemsbok are one of the more easily recognizable antelope species in Africa.

With both gemsbok bulls and gemsbok cows sporting these horns that can be described as weapons, great care should be taken when approaching a wounded gemsbok. At times it can be extremely difficult to sex these animals as older gemsbok cows develop thick base horns

making an educated guess quite difficult. Before a hunt commences the hunter should decide whether he / she would prefer harvesting a gemsbok bull or a gemsbok cow. On average the only difference between the two (apart from the obvious) would be that gemsbok bulls have thicker, shorter horns while gemsbok cows have thinner longer horns.

Hunting gemsbok in South Africa with Hunting in Africa Safaris is a plains game hunting experience to look forward to. Our gemsbok hunting opportunities are not limited to a single Province as we have a variety of areas where gemsbok hunts can be booked.



General info for hunting gemsbok / oryx

Price

The cost for hunting gemsbok / oryx in South Africa for the 2016 and 2017 hunting season is $ 1 450. Due to the favorable exchange rates between the South African currency and other major currencies of the world, we have decided not to increase our gemsbok hunting prices until the start of the 2018 hunting season.

Our gemsbok hunting prices in South Africa are set for the whole of this hunting season unless major currency fluctuations take place. If such events take place we will honor our gemsbok hunting prices as agreed upon prior to the start of your hunt.

Caliber

The best caliber for hunting gemsbok in South Africa would be a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using. There are numerous calibers out there that will be able to effectively hunt gemsbok with and we wish not to get involved in debating on the merits of each.

Hunting in Africa Safaris suggests the following calibers as being the best calibers for hunting gemsbok in South Africa: 270, 7 X 57, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 mm 08, 308, 30-06, 300 WSM, 300 Win Mag and any comparable calibers.

Ammunition

Hunting in Africa Safaris recommends you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting gemsbok in South Africa.

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes TTSX in just about any weight. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium, Sierra and others.

Gun Scope

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. It is our experience that the more costly gun scopes like Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. However, if you can afford these optics is your choice. The single most important issue would be for the gun scope to be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.

A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope should be sufficient for hunting gemsbok in South Africa due to a wide zoom range and a long eye relief which will allow for greater flexibility to view the cross hairs quicker.

Average shooting distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting gemsbok / oryx in South Africa is 60 to 180 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Shot placement when hunting gemsbok / oryx

Broadside shot

The shot should be placed right on the shoulder in line with the front leg, one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back.

Quartering to shot

The shot should be placed at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs, aiming for the opposite front leg at the same height as for a broadside shot.

Quartering away shot

The shot should be placed at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs, aiming at the opposite front leg at the same height as for a broadside shot.

Facing to shot

The shot should be placed where the bottom of the throat meets the chest.

Shot placement diagram for gemsbok / oryx

Tips for hunting gemsbok / oryx

To walk-and-stalk when hunting gemsbok is the traditional way of going about it. Larger gemsbok herds can be more difficult to stalk due to every member of the gemsbok herd being alert most of the time. Solitary males can become extremely wily and are very hard to hunt indeed.

Extreme caution should be applied when on the final approach. Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary gemsbok and result in a no-hunt situation.

Best time of year to hunt gemsbok / oryx

Traditionally the bush in the best gemsbok hunting areas is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly and during September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.

The best time of year to hunt gemsbok in South Africa is the second week of April until the end of October and even to mid-November when the bush has receded most.

When hunting gemsbok in the Free State the terrain opens up to large open plains and even mountainous areas. This is where the skill of the hunter is tested with regards to marksmanship.

We can and do hunt gemsbok from January to December.