Hunting bushbuck in South Africa
Hunting bushbuck in South Africa is hunting for the smallest member of the spiral horn family of antelope species. The members of the spiral horn antelope are: bushbuck, nyala, kudu and eland.
When hunting trophy bushbuck (both Limpopo bushbuck and Cape bushbuck) bear in mind they are solitary animals. Male bushbuck (rams) only team up with female bushbuck (ewes) for mating purposes.
Female bushbuck with their dependent offspring may team up with another female and her offspring for limited periods of time. So when you are out there you should be looking for solitary animals.
Limpopo bushbuck are secretive animals that will lay down in case of danger. A short bark, not unlike that of a small dog serves as a warning call alerting other bushbuck of any danger in the vicinity.
Hunting bushbuck can happen suddenly so be at the ready at all times. Both the Limpopo bushbuck and Cape bushbuck are native to South Africa. They occur from the far northern parts of the country right down to the Eastern Cape.
Bushbuck are known to be dangerous when wounded. They are not the largest antelopes alive, with a large male (male bushbuck are called rams) weighing in at between 110 and 125 pounds. However, what they lack in weight they make up for in tenacity and aggression when threatened.
Mature males have a dark brown furry coat with white spots on the flanks and white socks. A white chevron between the eyes are indicative of the relationship between bushbuck, kudu and nyala. Female bushbuck (ewes) are slight bodied and sport a lighter brown color to the rams.
Bushbuck hunting prices South Africa
The bushbuck hunting prices in South Africa for the 2020 hunting season is $ 1 650.
Unfortunately we do not have bushbuck cull hunts available.
Gun scope for hunting bushbuck
There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. If these optics are out of your price range buy a good scope. This will allow you to spend more on animals to hunt in Africa!
The single most important issue is the scope must be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.
A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope will work for hunting bushbuck.
Best caliber for hunting bushbuck
The best caliber rifle to hunt bushbuck with is the one you know best. We can argue calibers from now till chickens grow teeth and still disagree. Why try and fix something that is not broke?
Use a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using.
We consider the following as the best calibers for hunting bushbuck in South Africa:
- 270 using a minimum bullet weight of 140 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of just shy of 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- 308 using a minimum bullet weight of 165 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- hunting bushbuck with the greatest caliber on earth, the 30-06. Our best results have consistently come from using Barnes TTSX 150 gr ammunition at slightly shy of 2 800 fps.
- 300 WSM and 300 WM or any other comparable calibers for hunting bushbuck. Only use premium grade ammunition like Barnes, Nosler Partition, Federal Premium and others. For these two calibers use 150 gr or 165 gr anywhere between 3 150 fps and 3 300 fps.
The 300 calibers are usually not considered to be the best calibers for bushveld hunting. The possibility of having a deflection en-route to the target outweighs the full potential of these calibers.
Interesting bushbuck facts
Bushbuck scientific name: Tragelaphus scriptus sylvaticus
Bushbuck males seldom fight as an injury will almost always lead to death. Therefore, there is an unwritten age-respect rule within the bushbuck family. Mostly when males contest breeding rights, the males will have a standoff showing the other how big and strong they are. The males arch their backs and strut around, circling each other to the extent one decides he cannot stand it anymore and retires gracefully and uninjured.
In some areas bushbuck become nocturnal if they are disturbed too much to their liking during the day. Activity reaches a peak during the early mornings, late afternoons and during the evenings. Early evening will see bushbuck move to their preferred grazing areas which normally is an alfalfa field or an irrigation field with greens.
The picture on the right shows bushbuck in their typical habitat. This is why hunting bushbuck can be an extreme challenge.
Hunting bushbuck shot placement
The shot should be placed on the shoulder, in line with the front leg. Shot height to be one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back. This shot should lead to a high heart shot, low lung shot.
Alternatively, a very good shot placement area is right behind the shoulder approximately midway between the brisket and the hump. This will be a good lung shot.
On a quartering to shot aim for the back of the opposite side shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot.
Bisect the angle formed by the front legs and place the shot perpendicular to the top of the angle, at the same height as a broadside shot. Do not attempt this shot placement if using light calibers with light-weight ammunition. This could lead to a wounded animal when the projectile is stopped in the stomach content.
Place the shot where the bottom of the throat meets the chest. If you are wanting to make this shot on bushbuck remember you may be higher than the animal itself. Do not hit the nose by shooting too high.
General information on hunting bushbuck South Africa
Hunting bushbuck can be a slow, arduous process. And when you lose concentration for a brief moment it happens.
Walking slowly along a river bank you are likely to find these animals sunning themselves in the early mornings. Late afternoon to early evening will be another good time to be out there.
A wounded bushbuck can become rather dangerous. They are smaller bodied animals that make true to the words: big poison comes in small bottles. They are very strong and have charged hunters in the past. Always be at the ready when you suspect your bushbuck is wounded.
Our bushbuck hunting video slightly further down the page shows to what extent you can be tested when hunting specifically for bushbuck.
Make sure you are prepared for numerous situations with regards to taking a quick shot: shooting from shooting sticks, lying down while taking a shot, taking a shot from a tree and even from the tracker’s shoulder.
Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe and know where your rifle shoots.
Tips on hunting bushbuck in South Africa
Bushbuck are solitary animals only teaming up with a member of the opposite sex during mating season. Old males become extremely wily and are very hard to hunt.
Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary bushbuck and result in a no-hunt situation. Bushbuck prefer dense bush and forest areas making it difficult to move silently. They have a preference to congregate along river fronts and can be seen sunning themselves on the banks of open spaces in the early mornings.
Bushbuck are part of the spiral horn family of antelope (Tragelaphus), making it almost as difficult to hunt as its cousins kudu and nyala.
According to current law, it is illegal to hunt using dogs. Hunting bushbuck with dogs is only legal when the dogs are used to track a wounded animal.
Best time of year to hunt bushbuck in South Africa
Traditionally the bush is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly. During September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.
The best time of year to hunt bushbuck is:
- from May to end October is considered to be a good time of year to hunt bushbuck
We can and do hunt bushbuck from January to December.
Average bushbuck shot distance
The average expected shot distance when hunting bushbuck in South Africa is 50 to 100 yards.
Below is one of our bushbuck hunting videos.
Feel free to experience the excitement with us!