When it comes to hunting, the Bongo has several distinct characteristics that help to make it stand out among other animals in the wild. This is why it is among the most sought after by hunters who enjoy trophy hunts in Texas.
The Bongo is an antelope; the largest and heaviest forest antelope of its kind. Male Bongos can weigh anywhere between 240 and 405 kilograms while females usually peak at 235 kilograms. The Bongo’s coat is auburn or chestnut in color with about a dozen vertical stripes running down its side. Bongos also have notable white markings on their cheeks and legs. These stripes can serve as camouflage in the wild. Their colorings are believed to help them find each other in the dark. Bongos also tend to have shorter legs than other African antelopes. This combined with the rest of their body shape allows them to run quickly though the dense forest.
The male bongos have long spiraling horns that reach as high as 90 centimeters and are dark in color while the females’ horns are smaller and lighter in color. Bongos also have very large ears which make them sensitive to hearing. Besides a keen sense of hearing, they also rely on their sense of smell to help them find fellow antelopes.
Bongos are natively found in dense forests in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa. Here in the United States, there is a large bongo population in Texas which is why they are popular among hunters there. The Bongo population has decreased over 20% in three generations mainly due to the deforestation of their natural habitat.
Bongos tend to like tropical jungles with a dense undergrowth. They are known to be most active between dusk and dawn. In order to cool down, Bongos look for mud to wallow in. They use this mud to help them rub against a tree to smooth and polish their immense horns.
Male Bongos tend to be found by themselves while females are more likely to live in groups of six or eight with their young. Bongos can typically live up to 19 years.
Although Bongos are large in appearance, they are often timid animals and scare easily. They are quick and can run quickly when spooked. After, they will seek cover and will stand with their backs to whatever direction they were spooked.
The environment Bongos live in serves two purposes. The forest provides bushes which they rely on for cover while also providing herbs and bamboo for them to feed on. Bongos like to eat low-level green vegetation and look for water in swampy marsh areas. They also survive on vines, bark, shrubs, and fruit and require salt in their diets. They will visit salt licks to meet their needs.
While male Bongos tend to like to be anti-social animals that enjoy solitude, they will seek out females only during mating season which typically runs October through January. They use a series of sounds including grunts, snorts and even moos. These sounds are also used to warn fellow Bongos of danger that may be lurking.
Females will typically carry their young for nine months. In order to protect their young, females will try to give birth in an area that has dense vegetation so they will not be found. Once the calf is born, the mother will leave it lying silently for about one week to keep it protected as long as possible. While the calf is here, the mother will return regularly to nurse her young until it is strong enough to leave and go with her into the wild. Bongos tend to grow quickly with their horns showing by the time they are three to four months old.
Bongos are often prey for leopards, hyenas, lions, and of course humans. When humans hunt Bongos, trophy hunts are usually the most popular because of the Bongo’s unique appearance. In Texas, there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Bongos so there are ample opportunities year round.
Hunting Bongos requires patience and quiet since Bongos are easily spooked. Bongos can also pick up on any strange smells due to their strong senses in that department so hunters should not give off any scents that may give them away.
Due to a Bongo’s strong sense of hearing as well, hunters need to keep as still as possible and try not to make unnecessary moves. For this reason, hunters are encouraged to hunt Bongos by foot rather than by using a vehicle in the woods.
The method of hunt can also impact the results. When hunting bongos at Squaw Mountain Ranch, hunters can choose from among several different methods. Trophy Bongo Hunters can choose to Bow Hunt, Cross Bow Hunt, Rifle Hunt, Pistol Hunt, or Black Powder Hunt. They also choose their method of take.
Squaw Mountain Ranch offers long shooting instructions and caters to all hunters, including those with physical disabilities. Expert hunting guides will work with each hunter individually to customize his or her experience. At Squaw Mountain Ranch, hunters can be certain they will receive a fair chase hunt that will provide them with a formidable trophy that they will be proud to hang in their trophy room. Squaw Mountain Ranch prides itself on providing outstanding Trophy Bongo Hunts at an affordable price compared with other ranches.