Gemsbuck (Oryx)

Gemsbuck (Oryx)

  • Average weight male: 240 kg
  • Average weight female: 210 kg
  • Shoulder height male: 120 cm
  • Shoulder height female: 110 cm
  • Mating season: All year

The oryx (more correctly named Gemsbok) is a magnificent animal. He inhabits the open country and can survive in the harshest of conditions in terms of water. A native of the Kalahari, he can go without surface water for months, absorbing moisture from what he eats. A social herd animal, he is primarily a grazer but will occasionally browse if necessary.

Extremely aggressive and very dangerous when injured, cornered, or threatened, both sexes carry very long spear-like horns. The female (cow) of the specie tends to be slightly smaller in body. Her horns, however, though more slender, are most often longer than those of the bull. The cow’s horns tend to curve slightly backward, while the bull’s horns are thicker and straighter. In assessing the trophy, remember that the cow’s horns tend to be longer and will often out-score the bull.

Hunting gemsbok requires a good pair of boots, as you are apt to cover a lot of country. This open country will demand one of the flat shooting rifles. Always alert with excellent eyesight, hearing, and smell, your approach will have to be carefully planned. This is one of the tough antelope – the .270 caliber should be considered the minimum, with a good quality 150 grain bullet. The 7mm and 30 caliber Magnums are an even better choice.

Beware of the predominant humped shoulder, as it will try to trick you into shooting too high. Follow the back line of the front leg to about one third into the body and squeeze. Never shoot above the horizontal midline of this beautiful antelope unless you are in need of a good day’s hike! Hunting gemsbok will provide a beautiful trophy and his meat is one the most delicious to be found amongst the antelopes.

Recommended calibers: .7mm rem. magnum, 30-06 or bigger