SOUTH AFRICA: The modest Blesbuck, making the first benchmark
Making the first benchmark
It all started with share luck.
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When dad bought the Range a small piece of the property where cut off by a road. The piece was 120 acres of size. They main property was to have Bontebok so there was no room for Blesbuck痴. So I bought 30 Blesbuck痴 for my small parcel of land. After 6 months I had a phone call from the neighbour saying one of my animals where running up and down the border fence on his side. After going out to see if this was the case I found a male on the outside of the camp of really impressive proportions. He was not one of my animals but with very little effort we managed to herd him into the camp. He was boasting horns in the excess of 18 inches. So the idea was hatched to breed animal with above average quality horns. Two years later I caught a male three years of age and already 18.3 inches long horns and introduced him to the group. The first four years I took out all the young male offspring. Showing horns off average or less quality. The benchmark was 14.5 inches at 24 months, anything less was removed from the group. To sum things up. The group is only 70 animals strong. I have 4 males of 18 plus. 8 Males of 17.5 at the age of 4 years and healthy bunch of younger males. I harvested an old male last year that was 17 7/8, just below 18. But this year I did it. One client took an 18+ animal. The 17.5 was taken by his brother because he liked the mangled ear. A shame really for he was still young, 50 months or so. I am looking forward to next year when I will harvest two more males.
With the 18 mark achieve I will start looking at the 19 mark and maybe in the near future have 20+ animals. It took 8 years for 18 so let痴 hope I am still around to see the 20 mark.