Grysbok Hunting

Grysboks are usually hunted as the opportunity arises while on a hunt for other other animals. However there are hunters who want to collect the 'tiny ten' antelopes and may devote whole hunts to this enterprise.

There are 2 subspecies of grysbok - the Cape or southern grysbok and the Sharpe's or northern grysbok.

The Sharpe's grysbok is slightly smaller than the Cape grysbok, though the Cape grysbok can fluff out the fur at its rear end to make itself look bigger. It has a short and almost invisible tail.

The primary physical difference between the two grysboks is that the Sharpe's has a pair of 'false hooves' above the fetlocks. However if you want to make sure of the type of grysbok you are hunting, clearly you would not try to check out the fetlocks but hunt in areas where each type is definitely prevalent.

Grysbok Trophy Minimums

Raphiceros melanotis (Southern, Cape Grysbok)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
3" 51/4" 7 5" 13" 1
Raphiceros sharpei (Northern, Sharpe's Grysbok)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
13/8" 41/8" 7 5" 912/16" 1

Where To Hunt Grysbok

  • In South Africa, you can hunt the Cape grysbok in the southern mountain valleys of the East and West Cape provinces. They are native to the Fynbos biome or Cape Floristic Region. Any other grysboks encountered in other areas of South Africa are likely to be Sharpe's grysboks which typically occur further north in the Lebombo mountains and Mpumalanga.
  • You can hunt a Sharpe's grysbok in most hunt areas of Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Namibia, grysbok occur only in the northern Caprivi Strip.
Click images to enlarge
Cape Grysbok
Cape Grysbok
Sharpe's Grysbok
Sharpe's Grysbok

Grysbok Hunting Prices

  • In South Africa both the Sharpe's and Cape grysbok are TOPS species meaning you need to inform your outfitter ahead of time if you want to hunt one, so he can apply for a permit in your name. You can hunt a Cape grysbok between US$1000 and US$1550. The Sharpe's grysbok trophy fee is around US$900 to US$1000.
  • In Mozambique the Sharpe's grybok carries a non-refundable licence fee of between US$275 and US$350. The trophy fee is between US$500 and US$1400.
  • In Tanzania you may hunt a Sharpe's grysbok on a 16 and 21 day licence. The Government trophy fee is US$350 but when the Community Development and anti-poaching fees are added, you will have a trophy fee of between US$350 to US$680.
  • In Zambia the trophy fee for a Sharpe's grysbok is between US$600 and US$1000.
  • In Zimbabwe the Sharpe's grysbok trophy fee is between US$250 and US$1250.

Grysbok Hunting Methods

  • Walking and stalking in the likely habitat at the edges of thick vegetation, along roads, river courses and small clearings.
  • They are nocturnal so may be spotted very early at sunrise or very late at dusk.It will be advantageous to still hunt them in position before sunrise.
  • A shotgun is preferable to use for grysbok but as most hunters will come across them when looking for something else, a rifle will do.

A Good Grysbok Trophy

  • Look for solid bases and good horn length. Only the male grysboks have horns. The Sharpe's grysbok horns can be hard to see because they are so small in front of the ears. Anything over 11/2" is a great Sharpe's grysbok trophy. The Cape grysbok generally has longer horns which are more easily seen and judged in relation to the ears.

Grysbok Hunting Shot Placement

Male Grysbok Vital Statistics

Male Grysbok Vital Statistics
  Sharpe's Grysbok Cape Grysbok
Shoulder Height 18-20"

Grysbok Habitat and Requirements

  • Grysbok prefer dry savannah woodland for cover and forage.
  • They are browsers and grazers and are water-independent.

Grysbok Social Structure

  • Grysbok live mostly in pairs.
  • The male grysbok will mark out an exclusive territory of which he will be protective.
  • The species is territorial - sightings are mostly of individual animals.

Grysbok Gestation Period

  • After a gestation period of 6-7 months, one offspring is usually born.

Grysbok Gender Identification

  • Only males possess a pair of very upright horns - these are never found in females.
  • The horns are simple spikes which are entirely smooth, lacking ridges over their entire length
  • The female is usually larger in the body than the male.

Grysbok Trophy Permits (2015)

Sharpe's & Cape Grysbok

Grysbok Trophy Taxidermy

As with all the tiny antelope, a full mount of a grysbok makes a great display with or without habitat.

Click images to enlarge
Grysbok Full Mount Grysbok Full Mount
Taxidermy photos courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

So Who Is Behind The Name?

  • The Afrikans word 'grysbok' literally means 'grey antelope' and refers to the fact that these antelope have white or grey hairs sprinkled through their coarse red coat, giving a 'grizzled' effect.
  • The Sharpe's grysbok was named after Sir Alfred Sharpe (1853 - 1935) who was a professional hunter and naturalist who became a British colonial administrator and Commissioner of the British Central Africa Protectorate (later, Nyasaland and today, Malawi) from 1896 until 1910. In 1896 he found his grysbok in Nyasaland and at the time it was thought to be so similar to the steinbok that it was called Sharpe's steinbok.

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