Hunting Common Reedbuck offers an exhilarating experience for hunters in the challenging and diverse landscapes of Africa. The Reedbuck is known for its distinctive whistling call and white underparts, making it unique quarry for hunters. Inhabiting the grassy wetlands and savannahs across sub-Saharan Africa, the Reedbuck’s elusive nature and excellent camouflage present a test of one’s stalking and hunting prowess. In this article we take a look at planning a hunting Safari and include prices, hunting packages, best areas and rifle calibers.

Common Reedbuck Hunting in South Africa
Common Reedbuck Ewe

Description and Characteristics of Common Reedbuck

The Common Reedbuck (Redunca arundinum) is an elegant medium-sized antelope found predominantly in the grassy wetlands and rolling hills of sub-Saharan Africa. Males, known as rams, can weigh between 40 and 65 kilograms, while females, called ewes, typically weigh between 30 and 45 kilograms. Boasting a reddish-brown to yellow coat with distinct white underparts, the Reedbuck’s coloration provides excellent camouflage in its natural habitat. The most striking feature of the male Reedbuck is its V-shaped, ridged horns that can grow up to 18 inches in length, curving gracefully backwards and then forwards. The species is characterized by its unique whistling alarm call, which alerts fellow Reedbuck of potential danger.

Common Reedbuck Trophy Size

Trophy size is an important consideration when assessing the success of a hunt. For Common Reedbucks, the primary focus lies on the male’s distinctive, curved horns. Trophy-quality Reedbuck horns are typically measured along the outer curve, from the base to the tip. A respectable trophy size for this species is around 12 inches, while exceptional specimens can boast horns measuring over 16 inches. In addition to horn length, the overall symmetry, thickness, and curvature of the horns are also valued by hunters and contribute to the overall appeal of the trophy. A large and well-proportioned Common Reedbuck trophy demonstrates a hunter’s skill and luck. Rowland Ward and Safari Club International both keep record books for this species, RW entry is 13 inches and SCI a score of 21.

World Record

The world record for a Common Reedbuck, as acknowledged by the Rowland Ward Records of Big Game, stands at an impressive 19 4/8 inches.

Best Locations for Common Reedbuck Hunting

South Africa offers exceptional opportunities for hunting Common Reedbuck. The species can be found in several provinces, with the most notable hunting locations situated in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Mpumalanga. The rolling hills, grasslands, and wetland areas in these regions provide an ideal habitat for Reedbuck to thrive. Game reserves and private hunting concessions in these provinces work diligently to maintain sustainable populations and enforce sustainable hunting practices. When planning a Reedbuck hunting trip in South Africa, it is essential to choose a reputable outfitter who is knowledgeable about the local terrain, animal behavior, and hunting regulations.

Rifles and Calibers for Common Reedbuck Hunts

Selecting the appropriate rifle and caliber is an important aspect of Hunting Reedbuck. A medium-caliber rifle is generally suitable for taking down Reedbuck, with popular choices including .270, .308, 30-06, or 7x57mm calibers. These calibers offer a good balance of power and accuracy, allowing hunters to make clean shots at the required distances. When it comes to bullet selection, it is advisable to use premium-grade bullets with controlled expansion properties, such as Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame, to ensure effective energy transfer and quick kills. Practicing shooting off a set of shooting sticks will go a long way towards a successful hunt.

Rifle Scopes and Optics for Reedbuck Hunting

Rifle scope choice plays a vital role in ensuring accuracy and precision during Reedbuck hunts. Given the elusive nature of the Common Reedbuck and the diverse landscapes in which it is found, a versatile scope is essential for adapting to various situations and distances. A quality variable-power scope with a magnification range of 3-9x or 4-12x is most often recommended, allowing hunters to adjust for close encounters or longer-range shots as needed.

When selecting a scope, factors such as light transmission, clarity, and durability should be considered. Opt for a scope with multi-coated lenses, as this feature enhances light transmission and image clarity, providing a bright and clear sight picture, even in low light conditions.

Investing in a quality scope and familiarizing oneself with its features will significantly improve the chances of a successful hunt.

Bow Hunting Plains Game in South Africa
Common Reedbuck Ram

Best Shot Placement

Achieving the best shot placement on a Common Reedbuck is crucial for ensuring an ethical harvest. As with most antelope species, the ideal shot placement is in the vital triangle, which consists of the heart and lungs. Aiming for this area will increase the likelihood of a clean, one-shot kill, minimizing the need for follow-up shots.

When presented with a broadside shot, aim behind the shoulder and approximately one-third of the way up from the base of the chest. This aiming point will maximize the chances of striking both the heart and lungs, resulting in rapid blood loss and a swift kill. If the Reedbuck is quartering away, adjust your aim slightly further back to compensate for the angle, ensuring the bullet still penetrates the vitals.

It is essential for hunters to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to present itself before taking a shot.

Bow Hunting Common Reedbuck

Bow hunting Common Reedbuck presents a uniquely challenging experience for even the most seasoned archers. Known for their elusive nature and keen senses, Reedbuck are difficult animals to stalk within the close range typically required for bow hunting. Stalking this animal often results in longer shots, demanding exceptional accuracy and skill from the hunter. Expect shots of from 40 to 60 yards.

To increase the chances of success, bow hunters need to focus on achieving a flat trajectory and faster arrow speed. These factors will minimize the impact of distance misjudgment on accuracy, enabling the hunter to make clean, ethical shots in the challenging terrain where Common Reedbuck are typically found. In addition, hunters must practice patience and persistence, waiting for the perfect shot opportunity to present itself before releasing an arrow.

Bow hunting Common Reedbuck is not for the novice archer, but the thrill and satisfaction of overcoming the challenge make the experience incredibly rewarding and unforgettable for those who dare to take it on.

Bow Hunting Equipment 

Referring to the challenges mentioned above, selecting the appropriate bow hunting equipment for Common Reedbuck is important for maximizing the chances of success. To achieve the desired flat trajectory and faster arrow speed, it is essential to choose a high-performance bow that delivers a sufficiently flat trajectory for an ethical, effective shot. Modern compound bows or crossbows, with a draw weight of at least 55 to 65 pounds, are recommended for hunting this medium-sized antelope.

In addition to the bow, choosing the right arrows and broad heads is vital for ensuring optimal arrow flight, penetration and lethality. Carbon fiber arrows with a well-balanced weight and spine will provide the necessary speed and stability, while mechanical broad heads with sharp cutting blades will maximize damage to the vital organs.

As with any hunting endeavor, practice and familiarity with one’s equipment are key to success. Bow hunters should invest time in perfecting their shot placement, trajectory, and arrow speed, in order to confidently take on the challenge of hunting the elusive and Common Reedbuck.

Common Reedbuck Prices and costs of a Hunting Safari

The trophy fee or price to hunt a Common Reedbuck is $ 1 550.

This price does not include the hunting day fee of $ 350 per hunter per day, hunting 2 on 1 (Two hunters sharing one Professional Hunter).

A five day hunt including the day fee and trophy fee will cost $ 3 300.

Common Reedbuck Packages in South Africa

Although Common Reedbuck are not normally included in hunting packages, one of these animals can be added to any other hunt or hunting package at a cost of $ 1 550.00 if they are available in the hunting concession.


  1. Jackson, P. (2008). African Hunter. “Common Reedbuck Hunting: Pursuing the Elegance of the Marshes.” Vol. 14(2).
  2. Skinner, J. D., & Chimimba, C. T. (2005). The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. Cambridge University Press.
  3. Nel, J. A., & Bigalke, R. C. (1970). Ecology of the Common Reedbuck Redunca arundinum. Koedoe, 13(1), 29-44.

FAQ’S Frequently asked Questions 

Where is the best place to hunt Common Reedbuck?

The best place to hunt Reedbuck is either Kwazulu Natal or Mpumalanga where they are commonly available and regularly produce the best trophies.

What does a common reed buck hunt cost?

A common Reedbuck hunt will cost $ 1 550 for the trophy fee plus $ 350 per day for the day fee if 2 hunters share the services of a Professional Hunter.

In other words if you would like a 5 day hunt plus the Reedbuck trophy the cost will be $ 3 300.

Adrian Anderson has been a Licensed Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter for 32 years

Adrian Anderson first obtained his Professional Hunters license in 1991. He is a Big Five and Dangerous Game licensed Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter. He has a tremendous love for wildlife and the African bush and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the hunting clients that he guides. Guiding hunters in Africa’s wild places is a passion and seeing them succeed with their goals brings satisfaction. With knowledge of the Safari industry built up over 32 years he is well qualified to give guidance to his hunting clients.