Hunting Klipspringer in Africa

Hunting Klipspringer in Africa

When you hunt klipspringer in Africa, you need to do a bit of research on the animal. The African klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) is a small African antelope found mainly in the area from The Cape of Good Hope through the rest of southern Africa.  Its habitat consists of rocky kopjes (rocky hills) and nearby woodlands and savanna.  Its Kiswahili name means “goat of the rocks”.  It lives primarily in the rocks, and is well suited for climbing.

Adaptations for its rocky home include a stocky build with massive hips and rear legs.  Its neck is short and the klipspringer’s tail is almost non-existent.  It stands about 23 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 23 and 28 pounds.  Ewes are slightly larger and heavier than the males.  Only the male African klipspringer has horns, usually four to six inches long.  It has a dense inner fur coat composed of brittle air-filled guard hairs.  The outer fur coat can be shades of gray, brow, or tan which serves as camouflage against a wide range of predators which include jackals, leopards, caracals, and hyenas.  Young African klipspringers are prey for baboons and eagles.

Unlike other antelope species, African klipspringers stand on the very tips of their hooves, almost tiptoeing around.  Because of this, they can put all four hooves on a piece of rock the size of a poker chip.  They are capable of outrunning most predators on steep slopes and rocky terrain, finding sanctuary in the rocks. 

African Klipspringers are herbivores, finding all their food in the rocky areas they inhabit.  They do not need to drink as they satisfy their fluid needs from the plants they consume.  Klipspringers mate for life and spend most of their time together.  They usually stay within a 20 to 120 acre territory.  The ram is very vigilant, spending many hours standing guard on high rocks where he can see predators and be seen by other African klipspringer males.  Should danger appear, the ram will sound a whistling grunt, and the ewe will immediately bound uphill to safety.  Often the pair will call out together in hopes of discouraging a predator, or give notice to a rival animal that the territory is taken.

A breeding pair can mate at any time of the year.  After a seven month gestation, the African klipspringer ewe gives birth to a single calf which the ewe will hide for two to three months.  After a one year period, the calf has achieved almost full growth and sets out on its own.

The African klipspringer will leave the safety of rocks to feed if necessary.  It is most active in the early morning hours and late afternoon, spending the hot hours in the rocks under shade.  To hunt klipspringer in Africa you must look for them in rocky terrain.  As the klipspringer is used to predators approaching from above, hunt from the bottom up.  Approach slowly and keep looking up into the rocks.  When alarmed, the African klipspringer will whistle and grunt; this trait could give away his position.

Kliipspringer Hunting Information

When you hunt klipspringer in Africa, watch if it becomes alarmed and runs.  Like many species of antelope, it has the habit of stopping to look back at what is perusing it.  This, if the hunter is prepared, will give an opportunity of taking a shot.  The African klipspringer will not run far, so move slowly as it will not go far, and because it will try to keep the peruser in sight, it will stop, turn and watch.

One way to hunt klipspringer in Africa is by using a call.  A “dying rabbit” call has been used to good effect.  The sound of the call can bring the klipspringer into range where a shot is possible.  Hunting this antelope isn’t an easy task.  The terrain is very rough and their excellent eyesight make closing on them difficult.  When hunting klipspringer in Africa a lot of time will be spent on the binoculars inspecting rocky ledges and cliff faces trying to spot these small antelope.  They can travel in small family groups of the ewe, the ram, and a young calf.  This makes spotting them easier, especially if the hunter is on top of a hill looking down.

Firearms for Klipspringer

The best caliber to use to hunt klipspringer in Africa is the .22 centerfire with a 45-55 grain bullet.  Also good choices are the .243 Winchester, any of the 6mm calibers, and the .270.  Anything larger than these rounds will do too much damage to the hide.  Shoot it with a .375 soft point and you might save the hooves, but little else.  A .375 solid is also a good choice, as it will leave minimal entry and exit wounds.

Shot placement is important.  With expanding bullets, keep the shot well behind the shoulder.  If you shoot solids, aim farther forwards.  Should an angled shot be required, aim clear of the foreleg bones or shoulder.  Chest shots should be low, away from any bone.