This spiral horned antelope has no season restrictions in South Africa, making it a perfect trophy for hunters looking to add a classic African trophy to their collection, no matter what season they hunt in.
The Cape Eland is the largest antelope in southern Africa, and can come in weighing over 2,000 pounds! This ox-like bovid is the largest of the spiral-horned antelopes. It has the thick neck, hump, and dewlap of the Brahman bull. However, in spite of his size, he is a remarkable jumper, and can easily clear obstacles in excess of 6 or 7 feet.
Grayish-brown in color, with older males displaying a bluish-gray around the neck, some Eland specimens have faint, vertical stripes down their flanks. Cows and bulls both have horns, the bull’s being distinctly shorter and heavier.
The eland is seldom found alone, and is typically in herds of 8 to 12 animals; however, it is not uncommon to find them in very large herds as well. While grazing during the day, Eland prefers the open woodland and scrubby veld where they live.
Hunting Eland can be one of the more challenging trophies you will hunt, as he is generally nervous and takes flight as soon as he senses danger.
The Eland used to be widely found from Southern Sudan, Central and East Africa to Angola in the west, down to Southern Africa, however you will now find Eland in good game farms.
Among Eland’s three species are the Cape Eland, which can be hunted in South Africa, the Livingstone Eland, which can be hunted in Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and has been introduced to South African game ranches.
However the most impressive is the Lord Derby (also known as the Giant) Eland which can be hunted in the Cameroon and Central African Republic. SCI has an additional classification for the East African Eland which is frequently hunted in Tanzania and Uganda, and is often referred to as Patterson’s Eland.
Each time you step out to go trophy hunting, you will encounter some challenges. However, hunting Eland – a skittish animal that will take flight at the slightest sign of danger – may be even more challenging.
Taking down a trophy Cape Eland bull can be extremely challenging, and it may be difficult to approach within striking distance. In most cases, walking and stalking or spot and stalking will yield better results, as they will bring you closer to your prey, especially in thick cover. Hunting blinds could also serve as a good option for a successful eland trophy hunt.
Cape Eland hunting is best accomplished with a quick, double-pointing rifle such as the 9.374R, or .375H&H with 286-300 grain bullets. It is advisable to keep some solid bullets on hand for back-up shots, as the eland does not go down easily.
A wounded or cornered eland may become aggressive, which means that your professional hunter should exercise caution when placing follow-up shots. Kepe a 30-06 or larger caliber rifle close to hand and wait at least 30 minutes after a heart or lung shot to follow up, at least an hour if you suspect you made a liver shot, or 6 hours if you made a gut shot.
When it comes to selecting a good gun scope to hunt Eland in South Africa under most conditions, you can use a 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope. There are so many gun scopes and gun scope brands on the market today, it really comes down to personal choice. We recommend saving your money and rather spending it on more hunts while you’re here in Africa!
The most important thing to consider when selecting a scope is that it has the ability to withstand recoil when the trigger is squeezed.
Because Eland are large animals with strong bone structures, we recommend only two shots when hunting Cape Eland in South Africa:
- A broadside shot into the chest (heart-lung area)
- A quartering away-shot.
It is always advisable to rely on your professional hunter for advice based on many years of experience hunting Eland in South Africa.
In order to hunt Eland with a bow in South Africa, you need patience, top-notch bow hunting equipment, and a steady hand to shoot the arrow at the correct spot. Shot placement is imperative when bow hunting Eland, and it is not advised to take a frontal shot as it can be that the magnificent dewlap on eland makes the trophy seem even larger than it is. Eland offers a large area in which an accurately placed needle can severely damage the trophy’s vital organs, leaving the trophy easily retrievable.