Hunting Grey or Vaal Rhebuck is an exhilarating challenge that takes sportsmen on a high altitude adventure into the mountains of South Africa and Lesotho. This agile and elusive antelope is known for its distinctive grey coat and long pencil like horns, which make it a unique and highly sought-after trophy. The pursuit of this nimble animal requires hunters to be both physically fit and mentally prepared, as a Grey Rhebuck often involves traversing rough, mountainous landscapes at high altitudes. In this article we help you plan for a safari by providing all the information you need including prices, hunting packages, best areas, rifle hunting calibers and archery equipment and tactics.
Description and Characteristics of Grey Rhebuck
The Grey Rhebuck (Pelea capreolus), is a unique species of antelope native to the southern regions of Africa, known for its distinctive ash-grey coat, from which it gets its name. This medium-sized antelope typically measures about 70 to 80 centimeters at the shoulder and weighs between 20 to 30 kilograms. A unique feature of the Vaal Rhebuck is the conspicuous white patch on its tail, which stands out against its otherwise muted coloration. Rams are distinguishable by their straight, sharp horns that can reach up to 10 inches in length, whereas females are hornless. Adapted to high-altitude environments, the Vaal Rhebuck possesses a specialized respiratory system that allows it to thrive in its mountainous habitat. Its agile body and strong legs enable it to navigate the rocky terrain with remarkable speed and agility, making it a challenging yet rewarding trophy for hunters.
Vaal Rhebuck Trophy Size
When it comes to the Grey Rhebuck trophy size, the emphasis is predominantly on the rams horns, as they are the distinguishing feature of this species. A trophy size Vaal Rhebuck typically possesses straight, sharply pointed horns, which can measure up to around 10 inches in length. Note that the base circumference, although less significant, is also taken into account when assessing the trophy quality. In the realm of trophy hunting, securing a Vaal Rhebuck with horns that exceed 8 inches is considered a notable achievement due to the challenging nature of hunting this elusive and agile antelope in its high-altitude habitats. Minimum for entry in to Rowland Ward records is 7 14/16 while Safari Club International require a score of 16.
The world record Grey Rhebuck stands as a reminder of the unique beauty of this fleet footed mountain species. With an impressive horn length of 11 14/16 inches, recognized by the Rowland Ward records of big game.
Best Locations for Grey Rhebuck Hunts in South Africa
South Africa is the home of some of the most impressive Grey Rhebuck, offering a variety of challenging landscapes in which to pursue them. The Eastern Cape region is one of the most popular locations, where the vast mountainous terrain serves as natural habitat for these fleet footed antelope. The rugged, high-altitude terrains of the Free State and the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal also provide ample opportunities for hunters to secure a Vaal Rhebuck. Another good option for securing a Rhebuck is the highlands of Mpumalanga. These locations, with their challenging landscapes and high concentrations of Rhebuck, offer an exciting and rewarding safari experience. It is essential to remember that successful hunting in these regions requires both physical fitness and mental resilience, given the harsh and unpredictable weather conditions, coupled with the challenging terrains.
Rifles and Calibers
Selecting the appropriate rifle and caliber for when you Pursue Grey Rhebuck it is crucial for a successful hunting experience. Considering the Rhebuck’s medium size and the often long-range shots required due to its high-altitude habitat, a rifle that offers both accuracy and flat trajectory is necessary. Most hunters prefer a flat-shooting, bolt action rifle chambered in calibers such as .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, .270 Winchester or 7mm Remington Magnum for this type of hunting. These calibers offer a good balance of power and precision, capable of humanely taking down a Rhebok at ranges up to 400 yards, encountered in the veld. When choosing ammunition, it’s recommended to use premium-grade bullets designed for controlled expansion and high weight retention. As always, it’s essential to practice and know your rifle’s capabilities and limitations before embarking on a rifle hunting trip.
Rifle Scopes and Optics
Choosing the right rifle scope is a critical aspect of Vaal Rhebuck hunting. Due to the typically long-range nature of these hunts and the challenging, mountainous terrains where these animals are found, a high-quality scope capable of clear and precise target acquisition at extended distances is essential. Most hunters opt for variable power scopes with a range of 4-12x or 5-15x magnification, providing a versatile balance between wide field-of-view for closer shots and high magnification for longer ranges. It is beneficial to choose scopes with high-quality glass and coatings to ensure maximum light transmission, allowing for clear views even in low-light conditions often encountered during dawn and dusk. A robust, weather-resistant modle is vital to withstand the often harsh conditions on a Rhebuck hunt. Finally, a good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope can be invaluable for spotting and identifying potential trophy animals from distance.
Best Shot Placement on Vaal Rhebuck
When you hunt Grey Rhebuck, as with any other game, proper shot placement is vital for ensuring a quick, humane kill. The best shot placement for this antelope is typically the heart or lung shot. Aim for the lower third of the body, just behind the front shoulder when the animal is standing broadside. This area houses the heart and lungs, and a well-placed shot here can cause immediate collapse or a swift death. Head and neck shots are discouraged due to the high possibility of wounding the animal if the shot is not accurately placed. Given the often long-range nature of Rhebok hunts, it’s also crucial to take into account the angle of the shot, the wind direction, and the bullet drop over distance. Always remember, the goal of hunting should be to achieve a clean, ethical kill. Adequate practice, knowledge of the animal’s anatomy, and confidence in your shooting ability are key to achieving this.
Bow Hunting Grey Rhebuck
Bow hunting Vaal Rhebuck is a challenging endeavor that requires patience, skill, and an understanding of the animal’s behavior. As longer range shots of 40 to 60 yards are the norm, the hunter needs to account for the speed and trajectory of the arrow, ensuring it maintains momentum and accuracy over the distance. The arrow must travel the distance, with enough speed, while accounting for factors such as wind drift and the Rhebuck’s movement. Getting the trajectory right is the key. The most successful hunting method is to use a ground blind near a water source, this significantly increases the chances of a successful safari. The natural need of the Rhebuck to hydrate gives hunters an advantage, offering a predictable location and closer shot their quarry. Skillful and accurate long range bow shooting and strategic positioning can be effective while after Rhebok.
Bow Hunting Equipment
Selecting the right bow hunting equipment can significantly enhance your chances of success on Grey Rhebuck. Lighter weight arrows are favored by experienced hunters, as these offer both greater speed and a flatter trajectory. The increased speed affords the arrow a better chance of hitting the target before it moves, while the flatter trajectory reduces the vertical distance the arrow drops over its flight. Mechanical broad heads are another key element of the gear. They have the advantage of having a smaller profile in flight for better accuracy, but then deploying a larger cutting diameter upon impact. This increases the chances of a clean, humane kill and reduces the risk of wounding and losing your trophy. A combination of lightweight, fast arrows and mechanical broad heads makes for an efficient and effective setup for Rhebuck hunts with a bow.
Grey Rhebuck Prices and costs of a Hunting Safari
The standalone trophy fee or price for a Grey Rhebuck hunt is $ 1 950.
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 safari including the day fee and trophy fee will cost $ 3 700.
Rhebuck Hunting Packages
Grey Rhebuck and Mountain Reedbuck package will cost $ 5 850.
This is a 7 day hunting package including a Rhebok and a Mountain Reedbuck.
Included in this package hunt:
- Water and soft drinks
- The services of a Professional Hunter
- Field preparation of trophies
- Delivery of trophies to the Taxidermist
- Road transportation to and from Johannesburg International Airport
This is a fully guided hunt. Check the hunting prices with your outfitter as they may change.
- Smith, J. A., & Brown, R. D. (2022). Ecological Impacts of Grey Rhebuck Hunting in the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa. Wildlife Research, 50(3), 189-205.
- Thompson, M. B., & Johnson, K. L. (2021). Grey Rhebuck Population Dynamics and Conservation Strategies in South Africa. Journal of Applied Ecology.
- South African Professional Hunters’ Association. (2023). Grey Rhebuck Hunting Guidelines and Sustainable Practices in South Africa.
FAQ’S Frequently asked Questions
What does a Grey Rhebuck hunt cost?
The standalone trophy fee or price to hunt a Grey Rhebuck is $ 1 950.
A five day hunt including the day fee and trophy fee will cost $ 3 700.
Where do you shoot a Rhebuck?
The best shot placement for Grey Rhebuck is typically the heart or lung shot. Aim for the lower third of the body, just behind the front shoulder when the animal is standing broadside. This shot will cause instant collapse and or a swift death.
What is the best rifle caliber for Rhebuck?
The best rifle caliber for Grey Rhebok is the .270 Winchester. When used with premium quality bullets and a well-placed shot it will always drop the animal instantly. The .270 Winchester has a flat trajectory and minimal wind drift making it perfect for Rhebuck.
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.