It could be any of those depending on the circumstances but more difficult on average especialy in thick bushveldt it would be Eland.
Then when it comes to trophy size there is a reason why 60" kudu become old and get a set of 60" horns.
I'm not sure which one will become the hardest. I think Kudu will be a matter of finding the right ranch and hunting hard. The bushbuck are small and in habitat not good for glassing. So I think to get a nice bushbuck is not going to be easy.
I have never hunted Eland or Nyala so I can't say for sure on them , but I know finding a good Bush buck has been a lesson in futility!! Eland would have to be right in there as several veteran African hunters warned me that if you find a good Eland shoot as some of them had been to Africa 2-3 times & still not collected one!! In 2 trips to Africa I have only seen 1 Eland - that being a nice female! My next journey to Africa will be mainly for the spiral horned antelopes!!
I would probably pick the Kudu, but the Mountain or Vaal Rhebok can be just as elusive and tougher to get to..The Bushbuck is elusive..
I seriously doubt if there is a true/correct answer to such a question as circumstance plays such a big part in these things.
I have only tried for two of them so far, the bushbuck and the nyala.
The bushbuck was defenately the hardest to get, perhaps due to the dense riverine bush along the Limpopo.
Also the Bushbuck blended magically in with the sunspots on the ground and on the leaves and scrub under the big trees.
Besides it´s a nasty little devil and a beautyfull trophy :)
The nyala was spotted across a big open field.
A herd of zebras told us off a couple of times, but we managed to hang on, find the spoor and stalk within aprox 150 yds.
Not that big, but in my eyes a beautyfull animal and a trophy I´m proud of.
Two spiralhorns is not much to make statistics of, but so far that´s all I got ;)
Gun used was a Ruger M77 / 338 Winmag with 250 gr Woodleigh RN bullets.
Definately eland in bushveld conditions, or even on more open plains where they are regularly hunted. They become skittish very quick, and if they start trotting, you better be very fit to catch them again...
Eland for my vote. Big & agile/wary animal that can pack lead. Much like the N.A. elk only with a 2 meter vertical jump.
Compared to hunting elk on public land in North America, none of the African antelopes listed above is especially difficult to hunt. Bushbuck are the most difficult to hunt of those listed, though.
Mr. Quimby, it is a pleasure to see you post here sir. I really enjoyed reading your travails of bushbuck hunting that you wrote in Safari Magazine some time back. I have only been to Africa three times but have yet to take one of the sneaky little buggers myself. Jim
Free range Eland
Close second is Bushbuck under walk and stalk conditions
Thank you, Jim. It's amazing that you would remember that article from so many years ago.
Since breaking my bushbuck jinx with a Chobe bushbuck in Zambia in 1996, I was able to also collect several Cape and Limpopo bushbucks on trips to South Africa and Botswana.
Incidentally, please call me "Bill." My father was "Mr. Quimby," and he was a miser and an abusive alcoholic, and not someone I would want to emulate.
I think the Eland in the bushveld is a very hard animal to hunt...especially if you are after the herd bull. And that is the animal you really should be hunting. The younger ones have nicer horn...but they are too young.
I'll say the bushbuck! It is a small target. And they use the vegatation to hide very well. I'm very proud to have gotten one in the East Cape. I don't think too many people appreciate them there. They seem to get shot on sight. They are hunted hard!
From my experence;
I think that their sheer numbers eliminates the kudu. Big ones are certainly harder to come by but kudu can be found in very good numbers in most of SA.
Eland are big and easier to spot in some terrain. We had very good luck finding and following tracks in the heavy veldt, and when the wind cooperated getting in for a shot.
Nyala territory is much smaller than kudu but finding good numbers in Zululand had good success glassing the very hilly terrain.
Bushbuck; I know of many folks that have taken good ones, some with luck, some with perseverance, and some thru access to very fertile areas, and some by shooting after dark when they are most active. To date in spite of good ph’s, decent areas, and several days on several safaris, Bushbuck, have eluded me, at least one of shootable standards.
I'd have to agree on the thoughts on bushbuck. Add to it that when you do find one they are small targets and quick.
I've been fortunate to take all but the eland. I could have but they just didn't do it for me. The Lord Derby Eland is another story!
I think 'Frederik' said it best: "It could be any of those depending on the circumstances. . ."
Each hunt and our particular experiences as hunters vary so greatly that I think it would be difficult to pick one of them as the single greatest challenge. One thing is for sure, they are all definitely fun to hunt and each presents a unique challenge.
I would say the Eland if you Hunt it in the Bushveld because of dens vegetation and very sharp senses that Eland have.
There seems to be many differences of opinion, but in my experience the Bushbuck wins this one "hands down". It takes a lot more effort and time to get a good Bushbuck trophy than any of the other species mentioned; Largely because there are far less of them than the other species mentioned, and also the type of habitat that they live in makes it a very difficult species to hunt. If you want a serious challange, hunt for a good Bushbuck!
Adding spice to the forums today...bump to the front...would like to hear some more comments on the subject!