Hunting Roan Antelope

Discussion in 'Articles' started by christophe morio, May 9, 2011.

  1. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Hunting Roan Antelope

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    Big 32 inch Roan bull hunted in Central African Republic.

    In English Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus) and in French known as Antilope Chevaline, Antilope Rouane and Hippotrague, Roan Antelope is a large, prestigious and sought after antelope by hunters sportsmen.

    Six subspecies have been described, but the validity of most of these is still in doubt, and recent genetic studies have shown that only the western African subspecies (koba) constitutes a genetically separate group from those in the rest of Africa. The Roan Antelope formerly occurred very widely in the savanna woodlands and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, but has been eliminated from large parts of its former range. Remarkably, the species remains locally common in West and Central Africa, while in East and southern Africa, the traditional antelope strongholds, the species is now very rare. The species is now locally extinct in Burundi, Eritrea and possibly Gambia. It was also eliminated from Swaziland and later reintroduced to the privately owned Mkhaya Nature Reserve.

    Roan Antelope stand about a metre and half at the shoulder (average shoulder height: 143 cm (56 inches)) and a large male weighs between 260 kg (570 lb) and 320 kg (700 lb) while the average weight of the Roan is about 250 kg (550 lb). It has a tawny coat with a black and white mask (lighter in females) which gives it a special character. Named for the "roan" color (a reddish brown), they have a lighter underbelly.

    Their habitat consists of savannah woodlands and grasslands, and the bushveld and lowveld of southern Africa, with the cover of high grasses and woody plants playing an important role for both grazing and calving. A water-dependent grazer/browser.

    They live in herds of up to 45 individuals with one or two large males but it is more common to see dozens of animals together forming harem groups with a single dominant male. Roan Antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.

    Groups of males are very rare however the male loners, young and old are fairly common. It is better to hunt the loners as it is disturbing to shoot the dominant male in a herd since it can take up to a year before another male is accepted within the harem.

    The hunt takes place either by encounter in the great grasslands plains in the middle of the day or by tracking which is very delicate and hard. A fairly powerful class of rifle must be used such as a 300 or 375HH. An average trophy measures 65 cm (25.6 inches), and 70 cm (27.6 inches) for a good trophy, anything above 70 cm (27.6 inches) makes for a great trophy. In 8 years of hunting in Benin where the density of Roan is very high, average horn length was 64 cm (25.2 inches) and 68 cm (26.8 inches) in CAR.

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    27 inch Roan bull hunted while feeding algae in the river!!

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    Two 27.5 inch Roan bulls.

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    Two 27 inch Roan bulls.

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    30 and 29 inch Roan bulls.

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    32 and 29 inch Roan bulls.

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    Roan Antelope.

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    29 and 30.5 inch Roan bulls.

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    30 inch Roan.

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    28.5 inch Roan bull.

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    Herd of Roan Antelope, check out the bull...

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    Roan bull and cow.

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    Roan bull and cow.

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    Roan bull.

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    Roan in water!!

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    Roan Antelope

    (click on thumbnail to view videos of Roan)
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    Roan bull.

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    Herd of Roan Antelope.
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Those are some spectacular photographs! I didn't know about the herd behavior, and that it was best to hunt loner bulls. Thanks for the blog post!
  3. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    Christophe,

    As you said none of the recognized varieties of roan are remarkably different in appearance so I 'm very happy with the roan bull I took in Zambia some years ago. I had opportunities in Tanzania and Cameroon but they just looked all the same as my Zambian bull so I passed.

    I think I would get some arguement on this but I find the roan to be a a far more desirable trophy than the sable. The roan is not as classically beautiful as the sable but to my mind he is much more exotic.

    Great pix BTW!
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks Christophe for sharing your knowledge and great pictorial with us!
  5. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    thanks,
    Mark, I agree with you, they look the same, the one I saw in Benin, CAR and South Africa are similar. Amazing, as I am use to see and hunt Roan for many years, for me it is common but when I see a sable ( in Tanzania ) I got quite excited!!!! In any case they are both beautiful animal and when you get one you really want to kill a 2nd or it is a very big trophy. It is not like a Buffalo that you can hunt them every trip..
  6. christophe morio

    christophe morio SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  7. pinotguy

    pinotguy AH Member

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    Terrific info. Christophe. The only PG species that is more desirable to me than the Roan is the Mountain Nyala.

    Isn't the Roan the second largest antelope in Africa, behind the Elands? Anyway, a magnificent animal.
  8. bwanawannabe

    bwanawannabe AH Senior Member

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    Great blog Christophe. Thanks for all the pictures and the information that I never knew before about roan.
  9. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Now this is an animal that i will hunt in the near future...

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