A Blesbok is a type of antelope that are extremely popular among hunters because of its meat. While they are numerous in South Africa, they are also plentiful here in the United States, especially in Texas where hunters take part in Blesbok Trophy Hunts quite frequently.
What is a Blesbok?
Blesboks are a type of antelope that belongs to the bovid family. They are one of the most abundant types of antelopes in South Africa and are closely related to the sassaby. The name Blesbok comes from the Afrikaan word “bles” which means blaze. This is in reference to the Blesbok’s white-colored marking on its face.
That white-colored marking is in addition to the reddish-brown fur it has on the rest of its body. There is a brown stripe that divides the eyes. The Blesbok’s belly, legs, and area around the tail are all typically white. Both male and female Blesboks have S-shaped spiral horns that can be as long as 20 inches. Females typically have thinner horns compared to males. When it comes to weight, they can weigh in as much as 175 pounds, with the males weighing more than the females.
They are also quick animals who can run as fast as 43 miles per hour when they’re being chased by predators.
Blesboks are sometimes confused with the Bontebok. But the difference is that the Blesbok rarely have continuously clear white lower legs like the Bontebok.
Where are Blesbok found?
Blesboks are found in South Africa as well as in Texas and some other parts of the United States. In South Africa, Blesboks are among the top three types of antelope that are hunted for their meat. The majority of Blesboks are found on private ranches, like the Squaw Mountain Ranch in Texas. Only a small number are roaming freely in the wild. Blesboks were nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Due to conservation efforts and hunting policies, their population was restored. Now they typically live together in herds of 10-25 animals. The males protect the females and the young in the group. Blesboks can survive as long as 17 years in the wild.
Eating Habits of the Blesbok
Blesboks like their plants and base their diet off of different types of grass. They tend to migrate seasonally to different types of grass and are in competition with grazing cattle for food. This can impact some Blesbok’s survival rate and is also among the reasons why they don’t thrive as much in the wild. Blesboks also need water to survive and are most active in the morning and early afternoon. These animals are certainly not night owls!
Breeding Habits of the Blesbok
The months of March to May make up the typical mating season for the species. Male Blesboks fight aggressively with each other during this time as they choose their female counterpart. A female Blesbok’s pregnancy lasts anywhere from 7.5 to 8 months. When they do give birth, one baby is born at a time right into the herd, unlike other types of antelopes who are not introduced to the herd right away. Most baby Blesboks are born during November and December which is typically the rainy season when there is a lot of food around for the young. When Blesboks are born they are usually beige in color.
While Blesboks breed amongst themselves, they can also interbreed with closely related Bonteboks whom they are often mistaken. These hybrid animals are known as “bontebles”. When these species interbreed they lower the number of genetically pure blesboks and bonteboks in the wild.
While there are ample Blesboks to be found in South Africa, Texas also has a large population which is popular among avid hunters. At Squaw Mountain Ranch, the habitat and terrain supports Blesboks which means there are plenty to be hunted. There is a great herd with excellent genetics that produce amazing Blesboks. That’s why trophy hunts of this breed have become increasingly popular at the ranch.
There are no restrictions on hunting Blesboks in Texas which means they are fair game all year round; another reason why trophy hunts of this species is now so popular.
The best time to hunt Blesboks is in late morning or early afternoon when they’re often grazing. Like many other animals, they tend to lie up during the hot afternoon sun. Since Blesboks like water, they are also often hunted near water holes.
Hunting Blesboks can be challenging because they tend to like to stand together with their heads towards the sun and their faces looking down to the ground.
At Squaw Mountain Ranch, hunters can choose their method of hunting Blesboks. They can choose a safari style hunt from high rack vehicles or hunt from a modern comfortable blind. They can also choose to go old school with the spot and stalk technique.
Also, hunters have their choice to bow hunt, rifle hunt, pistol hunt or black powder hunt when on a Blesbok Trophy Hunt. Long range shooting instruction is also available at Squaw Mountain as is help for disabled hunters. Each hunter is catered to individually at Squaw Mountain Ranch. Each hunter will go home with a trophy they will be proud to hang in their trophy room. All of this comes at an affordable price that Squaw Mountain is known for throughout Texas.
Call Squaw Mountain Ranch today at 830-275-3277 to find out more about the variety of hunting packages available.