Blue Wildebeest Hunting
Hunting the blue wildebeest, also referred to as the brindled gnu, can be a lot of fun. This large, bearded antelope is native to the acacia savanna and short grass plains and has been dubbed as the "poor man's" buffalo. The blue wildebeest's population has dwindled in many of its former habitats, but on the Serengeti ecosystem, the numbers may exceed one million.
Game ranches in southern Africa maintain managed populations of this majestic creature, providing exceptional opportunities for hunting the blue wildebeest. Identifying the bulls from the cows can prove to be a challenge as both sexes possess horns and have similar body size and color. However, heavier muscled individuals with thicker horn bases and more droop are usually bulls. Darker in color and boasting wider stripes, mature bulls can weigh up to 600 pounds.
Blue Wildebeest Hunting Methods
Spotting a wildebeest on the open plains is an easy feat, but hunting this creature in the bushveld can prove to be a challenge. Within the bush, the wildebeest can be elusive and shy. An effective technique for hunting the blue wildebeest in these conditions involves walking slowly into a suspected resting area, either into or across the wind, while scanning the area ahead for any movement.
It should be noted that the blue wildebeest is a particularly resilient antelope, and it is highly recommended to use a caliber of no less than .270 and a reliable 150-grain bullet. When hunting in open country, flat shooting .300 magnums with 200 or 220-grain bullets are an excellent choice. For hunting blue wildebeest within bushveld conditions, even larger calibers and heavier bullets may be required.
Shot Placement for Blue Wildebeest
The prominent hump on the shoulder and mane of the blue wildebeest may lead to inaccurate body shots being taken too high. For optimal shot placement, it is suggested to position oneself for a side-on shot, draw up the back edge of the front leg, and place the shot approximately four inches (or the width of a hand) above the point of the elbow. This 'high heart' shot will penetrate the heart and lungs, causing the animal to stumble and likely fall within a distance of 50 yards.
In cases where the shot placement is not optimal, extreme caution should be taken when approaching a downed blue wildebeest, as they have been known to become exceedingly dangerous when wounded. When approaching from the 'off' side, care must be taken, as the wildebeest has been known to rise and charge.
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