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African Animal of the Week: Klipspringer [PICS]

Biodiversity Explorer

The klipspringer is a small species of antelope that lives in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Read on to learn all about hunting the klipspringer in Africa.

The dainty klipspringer is another small species of antelope that is found across many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. They can be very challenging to hunt and are unique trophies, which makes then relatively popular among visiting hunters.

Due to these factors, they are probably the third most commonly hunted antelope in the Tiny 10 behind the steenbok and bush duiker.

Read on to find out more about these incredible little creatures.

Klipspringer Description

Scientific Name: Oreotragus oreotragus

Full-grown klipspringer are about two feet tall at the shoulder and weigh around 25-35 pounds. They live all over Africa, but are always found in rocky and mountainous areas. They have coats that are a yellowish color with gray sprinkles; perfect camouflage for their rocky habitat.

Males are territorial and they are typically found in the same places over and over again. Their diet is variable and consists of a wide variety of grass, shrubs, and fruits.

Klipspringer also have excellent eyesight, which is their main form of defense from predators. They are also extremely agile animals and are adept at quickly moving around their rocky habitat to escape from would be predators. These attributes make them a challenging and physically demanding animal to hunt.

Klipspringer Sex Determination

Male (left) and female (right) klipspringer are very easy to tell apart because only males have horns.

klipspringer male female

Recommended Calibers for Hunting Klipspringer

Klipspringer are small, fragile animals and their hides are even more vulnerable to damage from high velocity bullets than either steenbok or duiker. Small bore cartridges like the .223 Remington or .22 Hornet firing full metal jacket bullets are great choices for hunting klipspringer.

However, perhaps the most commonly used cartridge for hunting klipspringer is the .375 H&H. Loaded with non-expanding bullets, the .375 H&H will cleanly take the animal and cause surprisingly little damage to the trophy.

Similar to steenbok and duiker, hunters pursuing klipspringer with archery equipment can use a lighter archery set up of an arrow weighing around 300 grains shot from a bow with a 45-pound draw weight.

However, it may be best to use a heavier setup while bowhunting klipspringer that will also enable you to hunt larger animals, such as eland or blue wildebeest without adjusting your bow or using different arrows.

Klipspringer Shot Placement

As stated above, klipspringer are quite fragile animals and shot placement is important not only for a quick and ethical kill, but to avoid destroying their fragile hides. With this in mind, you should aim for the heart and lungs, while trying to avoid the shoulder blade on a klipspringer.

When the animal is standing broadside, aim just behind his shoulder, about one third of the way up the body.

trophy klipspringer hunting shot placement

Klipspringer Trophy Care

Regardless of the method used, it is extremely important to take proper care of your klipspringer trophy after the hunt. Klipspringer have very beautiful and unique coats, but they are extremely vulnerable to hair slip. Do not worry about skinning or field dressing it. Place your klipspringer trophy on ice or in a freezer immediately after the hunt and get it to a taxidermist as soon as possible.

Klipspringer Hunting Methods

One of the most common methods for hunting klipspringer is to set up among the rocky koppies that they call home and call them in with a whistle. Klipspringer can be curious animals and it is not unusual for them to investigate the sound and potentially present a good shot.

Additionally, while they do not need to drink water daily, they may sometimes be encountered and ambushed at a water source.

trophy klipspringer hunting in south africa water hole

Cost to Hunt Klipspringer

Because they are such unique animals and are so challenging to hunt, there is a relatively high demand for klipspringer among some of the more experienced hunters visiting Africa. Unfortunately, this means that they are somewhat more expensive to hunt than their physical size would indicate.

Their trophy fee usually ranges from $1,000-$1,500.

Ready to go klipspringer hunting?

Unless otherwise specified, all images from 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.

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African Animal of the Week: Klipspringer [PICS]