Hunting eland in South Africa

Hunting eland in South Africa

Hunting eland in South Africa is hunting for the largest African antelope. These colossal animals travel vast distances overnight across any property. Eland are famous for the clicking sound emanating from knuckle bones in the lower legs. Eland are gregarious animals with big bulls wearing down a scale at almost 2 000 lbs.

Old bulls have a tendency to become blue around the neck with a very prominent dewlap extending from the throat area down to the chest.Frontal shots penetrating the dewlap should be limited to larger caliber rifles such as the 375 and larger.

Eland hunting opportunities are becoming extremely popular because of the effort involved from both the hunter and the Professional Hunting Guide.

Bull eland can grow to 5’6” at the shoulder. Both bulls and cows sport a set of horns that twist from the base to the tip. Eland are considered part of the spiral horn family of antelope together with

  • Nyala
  • Bushbuck, and
  • Kudu

Eland are, in spite of their size, extremely agile and can clear regular cattle fences with ease. It has been noted that bull eland can clear 8’ fences when under duress. If eland jump an 8 ‘ fence, the top two strands of the fence are usually broken.

Eland hunting prices

The cost to hunt an eland in South Africa during 2020 is $ 2 350.

Eland have a high value locally for the quality of their meat. Therefore, unfortunately we do not even have eland cull hunting prices.

Best gun scope for hunting eland

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. Purchase the optics you can readily afford. Save some money to hunt more animals while hunting in Africa! Remember you will always use the same gun scope when hunting in your country of origin.

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 is sufficient for hunting eland in South Africa under all conditions.

Eland hunting in South Africa caliber

The best caliber to hunt eland 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- to large bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using.

We consider the following as the best calibers for hunting eland in South Africa:

  • 270 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity at 2 700 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition. When using a 270 on such a large animal, please be very sure of your shot placement.
  • 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 eland 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. It will be sensible to look at 180 gr bullet weight at around 2 650 fps when hunting eland with a 30-06.
  • 300 WSM and 300 WM or any other comparable calibers for hunting eland. Only use premium grade ammunition like Barnes, Nosler Partition, Federal Premium and others. For these two calibers use 165 gr and 180 gr anywhere between 3 130 fps and 2 950 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. Rather reserve these guys for the open plains when hunting in the Free State.

Best caliber for hunting eland in South Africa
Hunting eland in South Africa facts

The common, or Cape eland, are one and the same antelope and should not be confused with the Livingstone eland that occurs mainly North of the Limpopo River.

Cape eland are tan colored and have a series of white vertical lines down the flanks.

Although there is not a specific calving season, peak birth rates are recorded during the rainy season from October to March. A single calf is born after an approximate 9-month gestation period.

Due to the large areas eland move in bulls do not display any territorial behavior towards other bulls. This changes when a receptive cow is in the herd.

Eland occur and adapt to a wide area and seemingly do very well once they are settled in that area. Adult eland can only be preyed upon by apex predators like lions. Calves can fall prey to leopards.

Eland hunting prices

Hunting eland in South Africa shot placement

Eland shot placement diagram
Eland broadside shot

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 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 back. This will be a good lung shot.

Quartering to

On a quartering to shot placement on eland; aim for the back of the opposite side shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot.

Quartering away

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.

Facing on

Eland facing on shot placement: place the shot where the bottom of the throat meets the chest. Due to the tremendous dewlap beneath the throat of eland, this shot should only be attempted with calibers of 375 and bigger. The dewlap can lead to a deflection of faster calibers causing a wounded animal.

Gallery of eland trophy hunting pictures

General information on hunting eland in South Africa

Hunting eland in South Africa is an astonishing hunt. These are the plains game species that certainly roam the property most of all animals. They like to consistently move from one place to the next.

A good sign you are in eland country is when you come across broken shrubs and medium size trees. Eland love breaking down fodder to reach the most succulent and young leaves. They break branches by twisting the branches between their horns.

Eland are herd animals looking to maintain safety in numbers. It almost always seems like eland are not in a hurry when relocating. This is due to a trot that makes them seem slow, but they manage to put big distance between themselves and imminent danger in a hurry.

Make sure you are prepared for 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 eland in South Africa

Larger eland herds are more difficult to stalk due to many eyes and ears. Solitary bulls can become extremely wily and are very hard to hunt indeed.

Archery hunting eland is on the increase and in such a case you can bow hunt eland from a hide or blind.

Any sudden movements and not releasing the safety catch under control will attract the attention of any weary eland. This will result in walking the walk of shame back to camp.


Best time of year for hunting eland in South Africa

The best time of year to hunt eland in South Africa is:

  • from late May to end October when the bush has receded most – visibility is much better during these times

We can and do hunt eland from January to December.


Average eland shot distance

The average expected shooting distance on eland is 60 to 180 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Below is one of our eland hunting videos.

Feel free to experience the excitement with us!

Plains game hunting packages

  • Plains game hunting packages South Africa
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