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African Animal of the Week: Springbok [PICS]

springbok featured
All images, unless specified, courtesy of Big Game Hunting Adventures

The springbok is a medium-sized species of antelope found in arid areas of southern Africa. Keep reading to learn all about springbok hunting in Africa.

The springbok is an extremely common and widespread species of antelope that is found in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and Angola. They are so common, and so closely identified with South Africa that they are the national animal of the country and the mascot of several sports teams, specifically the national rugby team (featured in the movie, “Invictus.”)

Indeed, no hunting safari in southern Africa is complete without a springbok.

Springbok Description

Scientific Name: Antidorcas marsupialis

Springbok are a medium-sized species of antelope that is found across most of southwestern Africa. They thrive in arid and semi-arid areas and are quite common in South Africa’s Karoo region as well as the Namib and Kalahari Deserts in Botswana and Namibia.

Full-grown adults usually stand about 30-36 inches tall and weigh approximately 75-100 pounds. They are tan-colored on their backs, have a white tail and belly, and a brown stripe on their sides. Both males and females have inward curving horns, though the horns on males are generally longer and thicker than those of females.

Like blesbok, springbok are another animal that are often specifically bred to display certain color configurations. In addition to the common (tan-colored) springbok, there are also copper, white, and black (pictured below) springbok.

The only real difference between these different springbok is their color. A springbok slam is when a hunter successfully takes a springbok of each color, which can be both challenging and extremely expensive.

black springbok
Safari Club International

Since they are commonly found in such dry areas, springbok do not need much water to survive. They will drink water when it is available, but they can go long periods without drinking and are adept at fulfilling their water needs from their food.

Springbok are both browsing and grazing animals and will adjust their diet seasonally as the food sources change. Since they live in areas that receive very little rainfall, they are often found in herds numbering up to several hundred animals that can be seen from great distances on open plains and grasslands.

springbok herd

Recommended Calibers for Hunting Springbok

Like the steenbok and mountain reedbuck, springbok are not very large animals and many hunters have had lots of success hunting them with smaller cartridges. For instance, the .243 Winchester and .270 Winchester are both great choices for hunting springbok, though there is nothing wrong with using something larger like a .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield either.

Because they are not very large animals, it is possible to bowhunt springbok with a lighter archery setup than what would be necessary for a large animal, such as a kudu or an eland. An arrow weighing around 300 grains shot from a bow with a 50-pound or greater draw weight is a great setup for bowhunting springbok.

Springbok Shot Placement

Shot placement on a springbok is relatively simple: aim at the center of the shoulder about a third of the way up the body.

springbok shot placement quartering towards

Just remember to adjust your aiming point accordingly if the animal is quartering towards or away from you (aim slightly forward if it is quartering towards you and slightly to the rear if it is quartering away).

springbok shot placement quartering awaySpringbok Hunting Methods

Since they often inhabit open areas, springbok are most commonly hunted via spot and stalk. This usually involves finding a herd and trying to pick out a promising ram. Then, the hunter normally tries to get within shooting range without being spotted. This often means taking shots at moderate to long range (150-300+ yards).

 

Cost to Hunt Springbok

Since they are so common and widespread, springbok are not very expensive to hunt, even though there is a relatively high demand for them among visiting hunters. Though the cost varies slightly between different countries and outfitters, it usually ranges from $300-$600, with an average of around $400.

Ready to go springbok hunting?

NEXT: You’ll Never Guess What Happens After This 10 Yard Shot On A Cape Buffalo In South Africa

All images, unless specified, courtesy of Big Game Hunting Adventures

Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams at The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.

African Animal of the Week: Springbok [PICS]