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Gemsbuck

Gemsbuck / Gemsbok

The Gemsbuck is a large antelope of striking appearance and is part of the Oryx genus. Gemsbuck are found in the dry regions of Southern Africa. The current population of Gemsbuck in South Africa is estimated at 373,000. Gemsbuck are able to survive in very harsh conditions as the result of an intricate network of blood vessels situated in the nose. These blood vessels cool down the blood supplied to the brain and protects the Gemsbuck from the deadly temperatures of the Kalahari. Because of this high body temperature Gemsbuck needs to perspire less and therefore preserve water for longer.

postheadericon Gemsbuck / Gemsbok

Gemsbuck / Gemsbuck

Scientific Name : Oryx Gazella

Size :

-         Total Length : 190 to 240 cm

-         Height : 1.2 m

Weight :

-         Males : 220 to 300 kg

-         Females : 100 to 210 kg

Horns : Both Male and Female animals have horns

Gestation : 9 months

Lifespan : 18 to 20 years

Conservation Status : Least Concern

Trophy Information :

-         Rowland Ward Minimum : 40”

-         Rowland Ward Maximum : 49 1/2”

-         Method of Measurement : Method 7

Introduction

The Gemsbuck is a large antelope of striking appearance and is part of the Oryx genus.

Gemsbuck are found in the dry regions of Southern Africa.  The current population of Gemsbuck in South Africa is estimated at 373,000.

Gemsbuck are able to survive in very harsh conditions as the result of an intricate network of blood vessels situated in the nose.  These blood vessels cool down the blood supplied to the brain and protects the Gemsbuck from the deadly temperatures of the Kalahari.

Because of this high body temperature Gemsbuck needs to perspire less and therefore preserve water for longer.

Appearance and Habitat

Gemsbuck have a horse like posture with muscular necks and shoulders. They gallop and are known to reach speeds of up to 60km/h.

Gemsbuck coats are light brown in colour with lighter patches to the bottom rear of their rump and sandy grey flanks.  The legs are black in the top half and white in the bottom.

Both male and female animals have long sabre like horns.  The male horns tend to be thicker with large bases while female animals have slightly longer thinner horns.

Diet and Behaviour

Gemsbuck are herbivores and grazers.  They consume tough dry grasses which the supplement with foliage.  They also have a great capacity to digest fibre.  Gemsbuck living in the desert satisfy their thirst with moisture from tsama melons and by digging up tubers, roots and eating bulb plants.

They are sociable animals spending time on open plains.  They normally form herds of between 10 and 40 animals.  However during drought when food is scarce they will form smaller groups.  After good rains they can form herds of up to 300 animals.  These herds are led by a territorial male who marks his territory with urine and piles of dung.

Gemsbuck are known to hold off predators such as lions with their horns lowered parallel to the ground and lunge at potential attackers with great accuracy.

Reproduction

Gemsbuck are known to mate through-out the year.  A single calf can be born at any time of the year after a gestation period of 9 months.

Male animals will reach sexual maturity after 5 years while female animals will do so after 2.  Calves are suckled by their mothers for 3-6 weeks.  Female animals will come into heat again shortly after the calves are born.

 

Hunting that Trophy Springbuck

As Gemsbuck are prized for both their meat and their horns it is a trophy that would look good in any trophy cabinet.

As with Springbuck hunting a Gemsbuck will require a lot of open land to be covered. As a result of excellent eyesight, hearing and smell your approach will have to be carefully planned.

Gemsbuck are tough antelope and the .270 calibre loaded with a 150 gr should be considered the minimum.

Hunters should be aware of the predominant humped shoulder which might lead to high shots.  Follow the back line of the front leg to about one third into the body and squeeze the trigger.

Scoures

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Wildlife at Animal corner
  3. African Sky Hunting
  4. SA-Venues

Images

Gemsbuck Gemsbuck with Calves Gemsbuck Graizing Gemsbuck running in Desert Gemsbuck - Shot Placement