Gazelles are antelopes that are found in Africa, Asia, as well as parts of the United States, including Texas. The gazelle’s name comes from the Arabic word “gazal” which is the word for love poems. Understanding the basics about gazell mating behavior, eating habits, and other facts all help contribute to a successful trophy hunt.
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 are easily distinguishable due to their large curved horns and their tan or reddish brown coats and white rumps. Their 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.
In total, there are 19 different species of gazelles. Each has different characteristics and can weigh anywhere from 26 to 165 pounds. The Dama gazelle is the largest of the bunch weighing in anywhere from 88 to 165 pounds and standing as tall as five and a half feet. It is also the rarest with a population of less than 500.
Gazelles are social animals with as many as 700 belonging to just one herd. The male herd is often referred to as the bachelor herd. At times gazelles do segregate and flock with their gender, especially during mating season.
Gazelle Mating Behavior
Many refer to the gazelle mating behavior as ritualized. Gazelles will typically mate during the rainy season so that their offspring have plenty of water to drink. When gazelles are ready to mate, the male lowers and stretches his head and neck. He’ll then follow the female closely and march. As he does this he lifts his head and prances around.
Males will also lift their foreleg during their so-called mating march while making moaning or grunting sounds. The females will respond by urinating. They may then walk away and walk around in circles until they are ready to mate. When it’s time to mate, Females will be submissive and hold their tails out.
Gazelles are pregnant for about six months, giving birth to one or two fawns at a time. Many gazelles will give birth twice a year. During the birth, the mother alternates between standing and lying down. Typically about twenty minutes after the birth, the baby gazelle will stand up to be nursed by its mother. The baby gazelle will typically weight 10 to 12 percent of its mother’s body weight.
After birth, the mother gazelle will protect her babies from predators by hiding them in tall grass. Fawns and calves will stay with their mothers while they are still nursing. After each feeding, the calves will typically go and hide in a different place.
When the calves are done, they will go off and join the male herd. Fawns will stay with their mother. Female gazelles will reach their adult size when they are about 18 months old while male gazelles may not reach their full size until they are about three years old. Gazelles can live anywhere from ten to fifteen years.
Knowing the facts about gazelle mating season and behavior can be helpful for hunters. Being aware of when gazelles are mating and birthing can help hunters know when a good time to hunt is and when they should wait.
There are no seasonal restrictions on hunting gazelles in Texas, so it is a year-round activity. At Squaw Mountain Ranch you will find Dama Gazelles, Grants Gazelles, and Thomson’s Gazelles.
Due to their speed, light frame, and keen senses, hunting gazelles takes time and skill. At Squaw Mountain Ranch, our team of experienced professionals can help you determine the right method for a successful trophy hunt.