2. Waterbuck---South Africa
A bull waterbuck stands erect and stately; an impressive looking animal. A big bull
will weigh about the same as a bull elk. Only the males have horns and they are ringed,
and curve backward and upward. The horns grow in length, and especially in mass,
as the bulls age. Their fur is a coarse, shaggy brown with sweat glands over the
entire body. These glands provide an oily waterproof secretion with a musky scent.
Predominantly a grazer, the waterbuck lives in wetter grass savannahs and woodland
patches scattered from central to southern Africa. They are always near a source
of water as they cannot tolerate dehydration in hot weather.
I shot this bull on the last night of a hunt in South Africa in 1998. I was in a
blind on a very large pond, and just at dark, 12 cow waterbuck came into the water
to drink. I knew a bull had to come, so I got ready. He then came to the water. The
cows were wary, so with little movement I got into position for the 30 yard shot,
which was perfect. He ran off, and about 60 yards out he ran through a huge herd
of waterbuck. When the professional hunter came, he found very little blood and lost
the track in the mix of waterbuck tracks. The next morning one of the trackers figured
it out and an hour later we found this bull. He was very old, with heavy horns. Note
that the tip of the right horn (left side as you face the animal) is broken off,
probably during a fight. . Most feel the meat is not as palatable as many African
animals. Good numbers are found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana.
This old bull is as big as waterbuck can get, and the professional hunter said it
was the largest waterbuck he had ever seen. When harvested he was number 5 in the
Safari Club International record book. A magnificent animal.