Blesbuck (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi)
Blesbuck stand 95cm/36” tall at the shoulder. Both sexes have horns, although the ram’s horns are thicker at the base. The ewes’ horns are longer and thinner then the rams’. A good distinction of rams from ewes is to compare the front surfaces of the horns. The ram’s are whitish, whereas the ewe’s are pitch black. Blesbuck continually shake their heads from side to side, snorting all the time. This is due to a maggot per nostril – a natural phenomena. Herds usually between 10 and 20 animals. Mostly active during the early mornings and late afternoons. Lies down in the shade during the heat of the day. Being water dependant grazers, they prefer open grasslands. In bushveld habitat, they easily fall prey to Leopard. Blesbuck are often found facing the sun. Due to their dark skin colour, the broken white patch on the forehead serves to reflect sunrays.
Broadside and quartering away shots should be considered for these thin-skinned antelope. Not being very tough, they go down easily – given accurate shot placement. The best shot would be at the bottom of the chest, in-line with the front leg.
SCI - 39”
Rowland Ward - 16”
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