Gazelles are fascinating animals in that they have horns that distinguish them from other animals. If you glance at a gazelle quickly you may mistake it for a deer. But when you look closer you’ll immediately be able to tell the difference. Gazelles have large curved horns with tan or reddish brown coats and white rumps. Understanding these magestic creatures including gazelle eating habits and mating habits is important when it comes to understanding the animal as a whole.
The gazelle’s impressive horns are what make them so attractive for trophy hunts at Squaw Mountain Ranch. The male’s horns are typically longer than the female’s. Some types of gazelles can grow horns as big as 14 inches long. Their coats also often have spots or stripes that help to set them apart.
There are 19 different species of gazelles. Each has different characteristics and can weigh anywhere from 26 to 165 pounds. Despite the number of different species, gazelles share common traits when it comes to their eating habits.
Gazelle Eating Habits
Gazelles have typical eating habits when compared to similar animals. Gazelles are herbivores. They will typically only eat grass, shoots, plants, and herbs. They’re natural grazers so they will eat whatever they find. They tend to go out to look for their food in the morning and late at night so that they’re not out searching for food in the heat. When gazelles can’t reach their food, they are able to stand on their back legs to get to the tall branches. When they do go out to get food, they’re known to get more than they need for just one feeding. Gazelles also have an extra stomach to store food so that they don’t have to go out as often.
An interesting fact about how gazelles eat is that they will usually get the liquids they need to survive from the foods they eat. They have unusually large salivary glands which help them to secrete fluids to compensate for their diet of generally dry foods. When they’re young, gazelles need a lot of water to survive. But, as they age and are able to fend for themselves, they learn to depend less on water. Their bodies get water from the extract from the plants they eat. In fact, some gazelles can survive the rest of their lives without drinking regular water at all.
Gazelle Eating Habits during Mating Season
Researchers who have observed gazelles often compare their food gathering techniques to those of giraffes. Just like giraffes, the gazelles live in harmony with each other when it comes to food gathering. That’s not the case when it comes to mating season! During this time gazelle eating habits change somewhat. But, most of the time, when you’re talking about food, gazelles are known not to encroach on another gazelle’s food. They calmly get their leaves and grasses and move on, often time eating from the same areas or trees peacefully. Since they are known grazers they will also take their time to get their food.
Gazelle eating habits change some with the seasons. From July to September, gazelles often move deep into the brush and wait for the next rains. During these months they will eat red oats and small tough plants that other animals often avoid. This is how they survive during the dry season. In the wet season, they mainly eat grasses and will get their liquids from the wet grass.
If gazelles are grazing and are seen by predators, they will often use their speed to escape. Gazelles are known for their speed as they typically run 30 to 40 miles per hour. They can sprint as fast as 60 miles per hour! Their speed is what helps them to stay away from hunters and other predators. They also flick their tails or stomp their feet to warn others in their herd of a lurking predator. Gazelles have a strong sense of sight, hearing, and smell which they also use to protect themselves in the wild.
Gazelle eating habits can affect hunters because gazelles like to hide in tall grasses to protect themselves from hunters. They use this and their speed as their main forms of defense. This is why many hunters often take the spot and stalk approach. These hunters are often most successful by surprising their prey.
At Squaw Mountain Ranch, hunters can decide what approach they would like to take as well as the method. Our highly trained staff can make recommendations that will help to send you home with a trophy you can be proud to share.