• Average weight male: 1200 kg
  • Average weight female: 800 kg
  • Shoulder height male: 500 cm
  • Shoulder height female: 450 cm
  • Mating season: All year

The giraffe is the largest ruminant and the tallest mammal on the planet. This tall animal can top out at nearly 18 feet in the largest of males. Horns are of solid bone and carried by both cows and bulls. The horns are skin-covered, tufted and thin on the female and thick on the male. This stately beast inhabits a variety of plant habitats, from the dry woodlands to the fairly dense low shrubveld. Always present will be the thorn trees on which he feeds throughout the year. The giraffe is neither water dependent nor territorial, and tends to avoid the very dense bush. He feeds on a 6-foot band of browse, not accessible to all other animals except the elephant. This also makes him a good surviver in dry periods, where other grazers may struggle to find green grass. He browse mainly during the day, never lie flat on the ground and rarely sleep.

These gentle giants are docile by nature, but will defend themselves if attacked using their front feet. Man and lion are their only real predators and, due to sheer size, the lion risks being kicked to death if he chooses to attack. When hunting giraffe, the approach can be very difficult due the terrain in which they are found. This animal has exceptionally keen eyesight, acute hearing, and a very cautious disposition – all of this, combined with his height, definitely give the advantage to him and not the hunter.

Hunting giraffe will most often be done by spot and stalk or tracking his very distinctive spoor. The giraffe has extremely thick, tough skin and will require the same bullet selection as the elephant. Minimum required bullet weight is 250 grain, so the 9.3mm and .375 H&H with good quality solids are good medicine for any body shot.

Shot placement can be tricky when hunting giraffe, as the heart lies in the center of the chest, far forward and above the shoulder joints. His lungs are positioned well forward and high in the chest cavity as well. If you choose to make a spine shot, place it in the center of the neck where the neck joins the body. Avoid the quartering-away shot, take it only as a last resort! Hunting giraffe can make for an extremely interesting and exciting stalk. Even though he is not recorded anywhere in the record books, this tall beast can make for a most amazing trophy skin.