One of South African hunters' favourite trophy animals
The blue wildebeest, otherwise known as the brindle gnu, as named by the Hottentot (Khoi) people for the sound it makes, is one tough animal. Like the black wildebeest, the blue wildebeest is an ox-like member of the antelope species. It is also referred to as the poor man's buffalo, due to its unfortunate appearance with shaggy beard and broad flat muzzle.
Blue wildebeest hunting is an enjoyable and exciting experience, particularly when the animals perform an amusing "dance" by whirling and jostling around. They have a characteristically bouncy run, due to the fact that their shoulders and chests are quite impressive, compared to their smaller hind quarters. For that reason, they also appear much larger in the distance.
Male and female blue wildebeest alike have horns. The boss size increases with age, and immature males and females have a brown V on their forehead. Older bulls tend to be darker in color and feature wider stripes. They may weight up to 600 pounds. Choose a more muscular bull with more droop and a thicker horn base.
The gregarious animals congregate in herds of up to fifty and prefer living in wide plains or open wooded savannas. Each herd would be headed by a few bulls that are constantly competing for superiority. Bachelor herds and solitary bulls can also be found.
During their annual migrations, thousands of these blue-gray animals move together across long distances at great speed.
When the blue wildebeest is not feeding on short grasses, it tends to lie down.
The blue wildebeest is very vigilant and therefore extremely difficult to approach, thus resulting in an exciting, if not challenging hunting trip. They are best approached on foot in a suspected resting area in the bush.
When a blue wildebeest is wounded, he tends to circle around until he returns to the same spot.
Since the animal is extremely tough, it is important to try avoid long shots. Opt for a medium calibre magnum, such as a .300 or a 7mm with 200-220 grain bullets. You may need an even larger caliber with heavier bullets if you're hunting blue wildebeest in the bushveld.
A good quality trophy has wide bases with approximately an inch in between. Horns should run outwards into a deep curl, and then curve up vertically.
|Scientific Name:||Connochaetes taurinus|
|Gestation period:||8½ months|
|Male Weight:||290 kg|
|Female Weight:||260 kg|
|Height:||1.1 - 1.4 m|
|Length:||1.7 - 2.4 m|
A well-placed shot in the shoulder area is typically sufficient to bring a blue wildebeest down. Be aware that the prominent shoulder hump and mane may interfere with your shot placement. Many a hunter has placed a shot too high, resulting in a very angry, extremely dangerous animal.
Position yourself on the broadside of the animal and point to the high heart position, about a third up the body, up from behind the front leg.
Be cautious with your follow up if your first shot was unsuccessful as blue wildebeests have been known to jump up and charge hunters. Approach the animal from the off side.