Hunting Scimitar-Horned Oryx in Africa

Hunting Scimitar-Horned Oryx in Africa

The scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), sometimes called scimitar-horned oryx, or Sahara oryx, is a species of oryx that is now extinct in the wild.  Hunting scimitar oryx in Africa is mainly done on game ranches where breeding populations have been established. This spiral-horned antelope stands 3.5 feet at the shoulder and males weigh between 300 and 450 pounds; females are smaller at 200 to 300 pounds. 

The scimitar-horned oryx inhabited deserts and semi-desert lands, and were well adapted to live in the heat.  They were capable of regulating their body temperature to help radiate heat.  They could reduce the temperature of their blood that was going to their brain, and help stay cooler that way.  They usually form herds of up to 40 animals consisting of females, males and calves.  Their life expectancy was 13-14 years in the wild.  Now, being raised in captivity, they can live for up to 20 years.

These days, the scimitar-horned oryx is being bred successfully on private farms in South Africa.  Hunting scimitar-horned oryx in Africa requires access to private land, where the herds are now being bred and raised.  It is also being raised in captivity in Tunisia, Morocco, and Senegal on private reserves. 

Both sexes have horns; the female’s are more slender than the male’s, with average length being three feet to four feet for both sexes.  Their horns are so thin that they can easily break, and they won’t grow back.  It’s possible that a scimitar oryx with one broken horn gave rise to the myth of the unicorn. 

They can survive for extended periods of time without drinking water, as they get all of the moisture they need from the plants they eat.  Scimitar oryx have been known to go for up to ten months without water, partially because their kidneys retain water.  They are diurnal and graze on foliage, grass, fruit, and shrubs in the early morning when the plants are soaked with dew. 

Births peak between March and October; gestation lasts for nine months.  Females give birth to one calf weighing between 20 to 33 pounds.  Both mother and calf return to the herd within hours after the birth.  Weaning takes place after fourteen weeks.

It is possible to go hunting scimitar-horned oryx in the wild in one area of the Sudan.  This is in the Darfur Provence in the Western desert.  Right now the U.S. State Department states  that the terrorist threat level throughout Sudan, and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical, and the U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security for government employees including armored transportation.

The scimitar-horned oryx has been bred successfully on private land throughout South Africa which allows for hunting scimitar-horned oryx in Africa. They are hunted in very similar conditions to that of Gemsbok and display the same characteristics with males having slightly thicker horns than the females.  Hunting scimitar-horned oryx in Africa can be done using a rifle that is used on other plains game.  A.270 caliber is the minimum, with the .30 Magnums being a better choice at the distances that can be encountered when hunting scimitar oryx in Africa.