Hunting Oribi in Africa

Hunting Oribi in Africa

Oribi (Ourebia ourebi) are graceful long-legged, long-necked antelope located in grasslands throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  When hunting oribi in Africa, look for an animal very similar in appearance to a steenbok.  Found mostly on African plains, the oribi is native to countries from Senegal to Ethiopia and southern Somalia, south into eastern Kenya, across to Botswana, Uganda, and Angola.  They also exist in specific areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and eastern South Africa.

Male oribi weigh 26 to 50 pounds and stand 20 to 26 inches at the shoulder.  They can run at speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour.  In the wild, they can live up to 14 years, but 10-12 years is more common.  Only the males carry horns which average five inches in length.  When hunting oribi in Africa, look for the horns, as they can be hard to see.

Oribi normally associate in pairs, or in small groups of up to seven animals.  Usually such groups have one dominant male and up to three females.  They are territorial and will mark the boundaries with glandular secretions.  Diurnal animals, they graze on young grasses during wet periods, and live off of shrubs during dry times.  They will visit mineral licks every few days to provide for their dietary requirements. 

When alarmed, the oribi will give out a shrill whistle.  Rather than run at first sign of danger, they will freeze in the tall grass until the predator is within a few yards, then sprinting away, bounding into the air every few yards.  They jump vertically into the air with all four legs straight down and the back arched, in what is known as “stotting”.

Oribi are preyed on by numerous animals, including lions, leopards, caracals, hyenas, African wild dog packs, jackals, crocodiles and pythons.  Their young also fall victim to eagles and small carnivores.  During the breeding season, August to December normally, the dominant male will mate with the females of his group.  Gestation lasts six to seven months, after which a single calf is born.  The mother will hide the calf in high grass for eight to ten weeks.  Young are weaned after four months.  Males reach maturity at 14 months, females at 10 months.

Oribi prefer to feed during the cool hours, so hunting oribi in Africa should be best during the early morning hours, or just before sunset.  They have the same characteristic as other plains game.  When alarmed, they will run off a ways, then stop to see what scared them.  Sometimes they will even walk back a bit.  That is when you get your shot.  Because of their small size, there’s no need for a large caliber rifle when hunting oribi in Africa.  The shot may be at some distance across an open plain, so a flat-shooting caliber is important.  Minimum caliber when hunting oribi in Africa should be in the .243 Winchester range, with a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second, and 2,100 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.  Use a scope with at least 6x power.  Aim right behind the foreleg and one-third up the body