Where to hunt White Bearded Wildebeest
Who hasn’t seen, at least on TV or in an illustrated magazine, the breathtaking scene of an uncountable herds of Wildebeest during their annual migration? If these scenes are filmed in Tanzania, the animal in question is most likely to be a subspecies of Blue Wildebeest: Eastern or Western White-Bearded Wildebeest. The Eastern variety is said to differ from the Western by somewhat lighter color and longer horns, however, the differences are minimal and it would take an expert to tell one from the other. Some trophy books list both subspecies in the same category. Both can be hunted in Tanzania, to the East and West of the Gregory Rift Valley.
Tanzanian outfitters still carry out their safaris in the old-fashioned way, as a big journey. The trophy fee for White-Bearded Wildebeest run at around $1,800, which is about on par with other antelope species, but the minimum cost of a Tanzanian safari before the trophy fees is about $18,000. It’s hardly practical just one animal this way, so most hunters add a few other species to the trophy list, which, considering the unique environment from the old classic safari books, makes the hunt a better value.
Learn more from our blog story
When you’re only beginning to consider your first African hunting adventure, it’s easy to get lost in all those “package deals”, “trophy fees” and “daily rates” in the hunt descriptions. How much to budget for travel, tips, taxidermy, and whatnot, is also an equation with many unknowns. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, this blog post covers all items of a safari budget and gives average spending figures for each, to help you plan your trip.August 17, 2017 All said and done: What’s the bottom line for an average South African hunt?
When to hunt White Bearded Wildebeest?
Hunting season in Tanzania runs from July 1 to December 31. The amount of precipitation is more important for planning a safari than temperature, as some areas are difficult to access and hunt during the rain season, which starts in November. The dry season often works better for plains game hunting, as the animals are easier to see and concentrate over sources of water. July is perhaps the best month to book a White-Bearded Wildebeest safari, as the hunter still has the chance to catch the end of the rut.
Typically for the denizens of savannah, by far the most popular way of White-Bearded Wildebeest hunting it is the traditional spot-and-stalk. The hunter and the PH cruising the area in a vehicle or on foot, and stop to glass for a herd with a good bull in it. This part is the easiest, even though the abundance might pose a problem for a dedicated trophy hunter who is after record-book class horns. The big one may be hard to identify in a big herd, and harder to keep track on as the herd moves about. Fooling a thousand eyes and ears in the herd to stalk in range is also a challenge, and so is shooting. Wildebeest’s hump on the shoulder makes unaccustomed hunters miss high. The antelope is hard to bring down, too; most PHs advise a rifle of the 7 mm - .300 Magnum class for it.
Why hunt White Bearded Wildebeest?
Formerly a part of British East Africa, the modern Tanzania was the place where a large share of safaris in the old days actually took place. So, White-Bearded Wildebeest hunting will take you to the iconic areas you’ve read about in the classic safari books. Following the trails of the elders, perhaps, overshadows other reasons why Wildebeest is hunted: meat (which is said to be tough and dry when fresh but a delicacy when converted to biltong) and the skin, a source for high-quality leather. And the short, curved horns of your trophy will become a material reminder of the moment when the yellow pages and TV shows came alive before your eyes!
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