There are several subspecies of ostrich throughout Africa displaying variations in colour of plumage, legs and necks.
Ostrich Huntable Species
- Southern - Struthio camelus australis
- North African or Red-necked - Struthio camelus camelus
- Masai - Struthio camelus massaicus
- Somali - Struthio camelus molybdophanes
Habitat and Requirements
- These birds prefer dry open savanna areas
- They live in nomadic groups of five to 50 birds (led by a top hen) that often travel together with other other grazing animals like zebra.
- Ostriches lay about 25-30 eggs which hatch after about 45 days.
Ostrich Gender Identification
- Mature males have predominantly black plumage and the females have brown/grey plumage.
- Males are taller generally.
- During courtship the males legs and neck turn a brighter colour of orange or red, depending on the subspecies. The Somali ostrich legs and neck go bright blue.
Ostrich Hunting Methods
- Spotting, walking and stalking the likely habitats. These species are really hunted as animals of opportunity.
A Good Ostrich Trophy
- A mature male preferably.
Ostrich Hunting Shot Placement
- Remember that they're not as big as they first look and that a very large part of what you see is nothing but feathers.
- With the animal standing at right angles to you, the heart can be found by drawing that imaginary line up the foreleg and dividing the body in half and half again and where the lowermost line and foreleg line cross, you'll find the heart.
- Apply the same rule to the frontal chest shot and you'll also find the heart.
- Other options are the neck shot and the head shot, but both of these are small targets and liable to do serious damage to the trophy.
- The 'Texas Heart Shot' is also very effective on ostrich.
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Home Life on an Ostrich Farm by Annie Martin was originally published in 1890. The author accompanied her husband to South Africa in 1881 and they resided there for several years engaged in ostrich farming. There is a good deal of information on the subject of ostrich breeding. It includes an interesting account of a wounded buffalo attacking a hunter's horse, a springbok hunt in the Karoo region and additional mention of hunting leopards and baboons.
More African Game Animals