Springbok Hunting

Springbok or springbuck antelope are often refered to as the southern African version of a gazelle but it is not actually a gazelle - hence, the name Antidorcas, which indicates it is not of the Dorcas gazelle family.

The springbok is a unique antelope species because it has a pouch or skin flap along it's back which lifts into a white crest or fan when it does it's display pronking to attract a female. Incidentally this crest of fur briefly rises seconds after the animal is shot and if you sniff closely you may smell an aroma similar to candy floss.

Springbok Pronking
Springbok Pronking

There are in fact 3 recognised subspecies of springbok - the Angolan springbok, Antidorcas marsupialis angolensis, found in the south-western corner of Angola and northern Namibia, the western springbok Antidorcas marsupialis hofmeyri found in south-west Africa, north of the Orange River, through Botswana to Namibia and the South African springbok Antidorcas marsupialis marsupialis found south of the Orange River, extending from north-east Cape to the Free State.

Springbok Trophy Minimums

As far as Rowland Ward is concerned there is only one springbok species, with one set of records for any springbok taken in South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Botswana, regardless of the colour of the animal.

SCI has separate record book categories for black springbok, white springbok, copper springbok, Kalahari or Western springbok, the South African, Southern or Cape springbok and the Angolan springbok.

Antidorcas marsupialis (South African, Southern, Cape, Common Springbok)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
14" 193/8" 7 30" 484/8" 1
Antidorcas marsupialis hofmeyri (Kalahari, Western Springbok)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
N/A N/A N/A 35" 524/8" 1
Antidorcas marsupialis angolensis (Angolan Springbok)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
N/A N/A N/A 34" 397/8" 1

Where To Hunt A Springbok

If you are looking to hunt a specific springbok subspecies, you will be hard pressed to determine which it is you are hunting because they are so commonly bred on game ranches and genetically mixed up to produce the biggest and best. Most outfitters do not specify the type of springbok on offer, except the special coloured ones.

You can hunt all the different colour variants of springbok in Namibia and South Africa on private game ranches, as well as the regular springbok. If you are hunting a free-range springbok in the Kalahari you can nearly be sure this should be a Kalahari or western springbok.

You can hunt a normal coloured springbok on some private game ranches in Botswana.

Springbok Hunting Prices

  • In Namibia, a regular male springbok has a trophy fee of between US$450 and US$700. You can hunt a regular female springbok for about US$300. There are numerous all-inclusive hunt packages available which include a springbok or two. If you are after a springbok of a specific colour you will find a lot of PORs in the trophy fee lists, indicating that you will probably need to travel to another property for this hunt and there is no deal made on the price with the owner yet. Colour variant springbok are not so commonly available in Namibia as they are in South Africa. A black springbok has a trophy fee of about US$995.
  • In South Africa, where the art of breeding special colour variant animals has been perfected, you can hunt a black springbok for between US$650 and US$1500, a white springbok for between US$850 and US$2000 and a copper or golden springbok for between US$1500 and US$1800. The standard normal coloured springbok has a trophy fee of between US$350 and US$450.
  • In Botswana, a regular springbok trophy fee is about US$450.

Which Springbok Is Which?

The Kalahari or western springbok is the largest of all the springboks. It is a light fawn colour, with thin dark brown face stripes. The side stripes are dark brown to black. The forehead patch, dark brown or fawn, extends beyond the level of the eyes.

The South African or common springbok is the smaller subspecies. It is a chestnut brown colour, with thin light brown face stripes. The side stripe is deep brown. The forehead patch does not extend beyond the eyes and the nose is white or may have a brown smudge.

Click Image To Enlarge
Kalahari Springbok
Kalahari Springbok

Springbok Hunting Methods

  • As springbok prefer open, arid areas often with minimal cover, you will need to be prepared to take a long shot of around 300 yards.
  • They are very alert so you need to patiently get as close as you can using any cover possible or find a place to wait, in the hope they will wander within range.
  • Early mornings are a good time to hunt springbok as they feed around dawn when the vegetation is most moist. (They are not water dependent, gaining all the water they need from vegetatation).

A Good Springbok Trophy

  • A good trophy springbuck will have horns which go straight for 2" before the bell curve. Then if they go another 4"+ above the erect ears, it should be a good trophy.

Springbok Hunting Shot Placement

Springbok Vital Statistics

  • Shoulder Height: 30" / 75cm
  • Weight: 73-106lbs / 33-48kg

Springbok Habitat and Requirements

  • This antelope tolerates conditions from deserts to savanna but avoids dense vegetation and mountains. Springbuck are mixed feeders and only occasionally need to drink if the vegetation is dry.

Springbok Social Structure

  • Springbok gather in various herd structures and sizes - mixed, all female and young and batchelor herds.

Springbok Gestation Period

  • After a gestation period of around 7 months, one offspring is born.

Springbok Gender Identification

  • Both sexes have short, ridged, lyre-shaped horns.
  • The females horns are generally thinner than the males.
  • Females are slightly lighter in the body than males.

Springbok Trophy Permits (2015)

All Springbok
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
N/A N/A N/A N/A

Springbok Trophy Taxidermy

  • If your budget can stretch to it, the springbok makes a beautiful full mount display. If a full mount is not possible, they make a great pedestal, often teamed up with other similar sized antelope or different coloured springbok. Springbok shoulder mount or skull mounts are good alternatives. The springbok skin makes a particularly good-looking rug or sofa drape.
  • Don't forget to tell your taxidermist not to blacken and polish the horns, if you want the horns to look natural.
Click images to enlarge
Springbok Full Mount Springbok Full Mount Springbok Pedestal Mount Springbok Shoulder Mount Springbok Skull Mount Springbok Rug Mount
Taxidermy photos courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

So What About The Springbok Name?

  • The name 'springbok' comes from Dutch 'springen' and 'bok' meaning 'springing goat or buck'. It references the animal's pronking or stotting activity when it is alarmed or displaying to attract a female. It is a stiff-legged leap straight up into the air which reveals the white crest of fur along the back.
  • The scientific name Antidorcas marsupialis references that the springbok is a not gazelle and marsupialis (latin for 'pocket') pertains to the pouch-like skin flap which extends along the middle of the back which forms the fur fan or crest seen when pronking.
  • The Kalahari or western springbok Antidorcas marsupialis hofmeyri was named after Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr (1845-1909), known as 'Onze Jan', who was a South African politician.

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