Elands have become the target of many trophy hunts because of their large size, meat supply and the effort that goes into putting them down. At Squaw Mountain Ranch, eland trophy hunting is one of the most popular due to the terrain where the elands are located and the fact that there are no seasonal restrictions on eland hunting.
What is an Eland?
An eland is an antelope. There are two species; the giant eland and the common eland. The giant eland is slighting larger as its name suggests. These animals are mainly found in central and western Africa. The common eland is the more popular of the two species and is more widely found. Elands like to make their home in areas that have abundant brush and that are semi-dry. They can also be found in woodlands and mountaintops but tend to avoid forests, swamps, and deserts.
The common eland is the largest antelope in the world, weighing in anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 pounds. Female elands usually weight about half of the males. It is not only the weight of the eland that is immense. The eland’s horns are also quite large, measuring as much as 26 inches long with the females’ horns sometimes even longer!
The eland’s coat is mainly orangey-brown in color for most of its life. As it ages that color turns grayish. While it has a rough black mane, most of its coat is smooth. An eland’s lifespan is anywhere from 15 to 20 years.
While elands may be the largest antelope, they are the slowest. Despite their speed, they are known to be excellent jumpers, leaping a two-meter fence with no problems at all.
Elands often move in herds of up to 500. Females and young elands usually stick together while male elands will go out on their own. Besides staying with their own species, they will sometimes interact with zebras, oryxes and other antelopes. Lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and spotted hyenas often prey on elands. When a predator is spotted, the leader of the herd will bark and pace back and forth to let the others know danger is ahead.
Besides being the target of many hunters, elands are also often farmed for their meat and milk. A female can produce as much as 7 kilograms of milk a day. Since they typically need less water than cows, their milk is richer. Their milk does not need to be refrigerated right away. In fact, it can last for up to eight months when it’s prepared the right way.
Eating Habits of Elands
Elands are herbivores that enjoy eating leaves from flowering plants as well as shrubs, grasses and seeds. They get most of their water from their food and typically do not seek out other liquid sources. They tend to eat in the morning and evening and rest during the day when it’s hot.
Breeding Habits of Elands
Elands can mate year round. The male elands will tend to test the female’s urine to see if they are in season. When more than one male eland wants to mate with the same female eland, they have been known to fight and lock horns.
Once mating occurs, a female will be pregnant for nine months. When she is ready to give birth, she will leave the herd to do so. Female elands will only give birth to one calf at a time. They usually return to the herd about 24 hours after giving birth. Young elands will usually form a herd together and stay close to the female herd. They will typically start weaning around six months but will stay in their calf herd for up to two years. After that time, they will typically go to join a female or male herd.
When hunters seek out elands, many will pay close attention to any clicking sounds they may hear. The eland’s hooves tend to go apart and then click back together as they walk. Because of their weight, this sound can often be heard from far away, giving hunters an indication that elands are near. Despite this, elands are often very alert and can get startled easy, which can make it tricky during the hunt. Elands can also travel very far which can make finding one a challenge. But, their large hooves will often leave prints which can help to track them down more easily.
Due to their large size, abundant amount of meat and spiraling horns, elands are popular prey among hunters, especially those interested in trophy hunts. At Squaw Mountain Ranch, hunters can choose from a variety of hunting techniques such as safari hunting, blinds, or spot and stalk.
Once the technique is chosen, hunters can then decide their method of hunting. Bow hunts, pistol hunts, rifle hunts, and black powder hunts are all options at Squaw Mountain Ranch. Since elands are such large animals, you will need a weapon that is strong enough to take one down. Keep this in mind as you plan your hunt.
If you’re still unsure, Squaw Mountain Ranch provides hunting guides that will give you insight and advice as to the best methods and techniques. Long range shooting instructions are also available. Squaw Mountain Ranch can also accommodate those with disabilities. Hunters just need to bring their rifle and ammo, hunting clothes, a Texas hunting license, cooler to transport meat and any other desired personal items. A fair chase hunt is ensured each and every time as well as a trophy any hunter will be proud to display.
There are different trophy hunting packages and price ranges to suit your needs.