Hunting eland in South Africa
Eland scientific name: Taurotragus oryx
Hunting eland in South Africa is hunting for the largest African antelope. These colossi travel vast distances overnight across any property and 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
- Bushbuck, and
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.
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.
Information on hunting eland in South Africa
Eland hunting prices
The cost to hunt an eland in South Africa during 2019 is $ 2 450.
Eland hunting caliber
If you use sturdy ammunition like Barnes, a 30-06 will be more than enough gun to hunt eland.
Subject to using the correct premium grade ammunition we recommend the following calibers as the best eland hunting calibers:
- 300 WSM
- 300 Win Mag
- 338 Lapua
- 338 – 378
- 416 Rem Mag
- 416 Taylor
- 416 Rigby
Ammunition for hunting eland
Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes.
Use the weight projectiles that consistently performs best in your rifle.
Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use are Federal Premium, Sierra, Woodleigh and others.
Best gun scope for hunting eland
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.
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.
Average eland hunting distance
The average expected shooting distance on eland is 60 to 180 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.
Shot placement when hunting eland
Place the shot 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
Bisect the angle formed by the front legs, aim at the opposite shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot. The large dewlap can and will deflect smaller, high velocity calibers.
The shot must be placed at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs. Aim at the opposite shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot. Do not shoot through the massive stomach.
Facing to shot
Aim where the bottom of the throat meets the chest. However, in this instance it should be noted that the large dewlap of an old bull can deflect faster, lighter bullets. If you do not have to take a frontal shot rather wait for a quartering to shot.
Shot placement diagram for hunting eland
Eland hunting video
Tips for 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 back to camp.
Best time of year for hunting eland 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 eland in South Africa is:
- from late May to end October when the bush has receded most making visibility easier
We can and do hunt eland from January to December.
South African big game hunting safari packages 2019