Nilgai Blue Bull

Discussion in 'Hunting Asia & Middle East' started by monish, May 8, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Nilgai, Blue Bull, from India

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    Nilgai also known as Blue Bull

    The Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), sometimes called Nilgau or Blue Bull, is an antelope, and is one of the most commonly seen wild animals of central and northern India and eastern Pakistan; it is also present in parts of southern Nepal. The mature males appear ox-like and are also known as Blue Bull.

    Locally it is called 'Roz' and the Hindi word Neelgai (Nilgai) refers to the bluish color of the adult male, and therefore Blue Bull is another name for the animal. Neelgai probably evolved in open, dry Indian forests during the Tertiary geological period. Nilgai are classified as bovids (family Bovidae), and with their close relative, the Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, are the only living representatives of the tribe Boselaphini.

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    Nilgai antelopes under the rain in desert; Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India

    Neelgai are the largest of the Asiatic antelopes. They have a life expectancy of 20 -30 years, most of which they prefer to spend in open jungles and scrubby grasslands. Adult bulls weigh about 220 kg, while the cows weigh about 180 kg and calves about 7 kg at birth. The blue-gray adult bulls have black legs, and some may be brown-tinged, particularly younger bulls. Cows and calves are fawn or pale brown. All have similar dark and white markings on their ears and legs. Only the males have horns, which are black-colored, short (about 18 cm), sharp, and bi curved. The hair of adults is thin in density, wiry, and somewhat oily. Their skin is thick, particularly on the chest and neck of the bulls, where it forms a dermal shield. The eyesight and hearing of neelgai are quite good but their sense of smell less acute. They have good speed and endurance.

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    Male Nilgai antelope; Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India

    Neelgai make several low-volume vocalizations, including a short, guttural "bwooah" when alerted. Calves may bawl and may make a grunting sound while nursing. In India, Nilgai occur from the foothills of the Himalayas southward to Mysore. They live on a variety of land types from hillsides to level ground with scattered grass steppes, trees, and cultivated areas, but not in thick forests. Their habitats are characterized by paths, water holes, defecation sites, and resting cover. Neelgai were common in India during the 1880s and were hunted for sport by the British. Besides man, the tiger is their main predator. In the 1980s neelgai had drastically declined because of shooting and loss of habitat.

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    Female Nilgai; Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, India

    Neelgai segregate into male and female groups except during the breeding season. Bulls do not maintain a fixed territory but defend a space around themselves. Fighting occurs between dominant bulls, and serious injury or death sometimes results. Neelgai make dung piles by defecating repeatedly on the same sites. The social and territorial significance of this habit is not known. Some breeding takes place year-round. At that time breeding groups of one dominant bull and one to several cows are found. The peak calving period is September through November. Female neelgai breed at age two to three years, whereas males may not breed until their fourth year. The gestation period is approximately 245 days. Twinning is common, and triplets occur occasionally.

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    Nilgai also known as Blue Bull

    Neelgai eat mainly woody plants supplemented by agricultural crops. They upgrade their diet nutritionally by eating forbs, browse, and plant parts (flowers, seeds, fruit, leaves, stem tips). In the absence of preferred food they readily alter their diet. In India they share certain diseases with livestock and wildlife. Perhaps the most universal of these are foot-and-mouth disease and malignant catarrhal fever. The hunting ban on neelgai in India and hence their recent increase in numbers is causing a major concern for the farmers. The reason for their growing numbers is that many Hindus consider it to be a sacred animal. Allowing controlled hunting in some seasons may be the best.

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    Head of male Nilgai


    Monish
     
  2. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Monish, I hope to go to Texas and hunt the free range nilgai they have running around down in the south. I will not hunt the high fenced ranches in Texas, but I did hunt for free range aoudad in west Texas near Alpine and it was a fun hunt. I know quite a few who have hunted the blue bulls under free range conditions and they all said they would do it again.
     
  3. Steelcon

    Steelcon New Member

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    Do you have a particular ranch you hunt in Tx?

    Steelcon
     
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Footage of male Blue Bull at Bannerghatta National Park in India

     
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  5. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Hunting Nilgai

    Nilgai are one of my favorite animals to hunt in North America. I have hunted in Kenedy county several times. The last time was with Sam Ilse and it was my best nilgai hunt to date. no high fence, free range and spent quite a bit of time on foot.

    Lomas Chicas Outfitters, Hunt Nilgai in South Texas

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  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I must admit Nilgai have been on a list of animals I have always wanted to hunt now...for almost 20 years now....most people will tell you they are too ugly to hunt...but I always thought they were unique and fascinating animal. I think the horns look cool! I've heard they are a very tough animal...don't underestimate their strength.
     
  7. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Mike,

    Thats a massive Nilgai Bull you got there, what caliber did you drop it with ? They tend to take loads of lead.

    Monish
     
  8. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Kelly,

    Taking these giant antelopes is great , I bet you must have had a implausible time hunting them. What caliber did you use ? I had taken some with my 404 and 366( 9.3x62) they are very hardy & tough guys & at times do carry heavy lead to quite far off distances similar to zebra, even with a good chest or a shoulder shot.

    Happy hunting

    Monish
     
  9. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have shot a number of Nilgai, most on the King ranch in Texas and I suggest that there is no free range Nilgai that I know of, but some of those ranches are quite large at 50,000 or more acres. The King is about the biggest ranch in the USA and the animals are free roaming as far as I'm concerned on most of these ranches..A few have escaped into some land that is on the ocean front, and they could be considered free roaming I suppose but that would be stretching a point. I have hunted them there also, mostly they jumped the fence back into the King ranch and you don't follow them there.

    I was raised in the Alpine area and ranched there for years, its all fenced with 4 strand barb wire. but it has no Nilgai, its too cold in the winter. They are warm weather animals and 20 degrees with kill them off.

    The Nilgai is the most phyicallly tough plainsgame animal that I have hunted, they can take an awful lot of killing so I would recommend the biggest gun you can shoot accurately, not to say an 06 won't do the job but I have seen a number of them run a very long ways shot well with the lighter calibers and even with the bigger bores on a couple of ocassions. ..

    I like the meat, its exceptional.

    I have a lot of respect for the toughness of a Nilgai, but like any animal they can be killed instantly with about any reasonable caliber, but you can't depend on that with Nilgai and Buffalo.
     
  10. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Ray,

    I have hunted and killed quite a few nilgai over the years and none were behind high fence. All were behind barbed wire for cattle but the nilgai moved freely between pastures. Kenedy ranch is several hundred thousand acres of great nilgai hunting withou high fence. There are many large operations from Sarita down to Raymondville. I have never hunted on King ranch and did not realize it is high fence.
     
  11. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Ray, what is your opinion of the Nilgai hunts on King Ranch overall??? I had one guy tell me they pretty much chase the animal down with the vehicle until he is exhausted and then you shoot him.

    I would like to do one because I have heard the meat is excellent and I want an excuse to break out my .375 here in North America but I do want it to be a decent hunt.
     
  12. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Mike,

    Would you share contact info for hunting the Kenedy ranch?

    Thank you!
     
  13. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Sam Ilse is a good guy. We enjoyed our hunt with him. We would spot from the jeep and stalk or walk areas that Sam flet there would be nilgai. Good fun.

    Sam's site

    Welcome to Lomas Chicas Outfitters | Lomas Chicas Outfitters


    My story from the hunt it is a litlle ways down the page. As I always say my site is for fun only I am not an agent or profit in any way from hunting.

    News & Info
     
  14. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks Mike

    Read my profile, About Me, Hunting Tips LOL....you and I are the exception to the rule.

    I share my experience to help other hunters have good hunts, not to make a buck off them.
     
  15. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    If you've gone onto Sam's site (Lomas Chicas Outfitters), my story is under the testimonials. I can highly recommend Sam's operation. Tough, wary animal that is a true challenge to get close to. The Kennedy Trust is a huge track of land, low fenced, and native game is, for the most part, protected. You'll be amazed at the number of whitetail, turkey and javalena that you'll walk next to. They have little fear of humans. The nilgai, however, are very much afraid of humans.

    The bull pictured in the website was shot with a .375 H&H, 300 grain Barnes TSX. Complete pass through and dropped on the spot (took out both shoulders). I borrowed Sam's 300 Win Mag for the cow (much longer shot). Spined it like Sam suggests with a Berger VLD bullet and it too dropped at the shot.

    To ensure there is no confusion from previous posts, the King Ranch is not high-fenced. It would be a massive undertaking to high-fence over 850,000 acres. Nilgai are an odd animal. Like Blackbuck, they will seldom jump a 4 ft fence. They're more than capable, but they have some mental block about jumping a low fence. They will, however, put their head underneath a fence and with those massive shoulders, stretch almost any fence up enough to pass under it. The usual barbed wire fences for cattle prove useless for containing a nilgai, and they'll create passage ways under some of the toughest woven wire fences in existance. I'll bet that a majority of the nilgai in Texas are free ranging (exist on low-fence ranches and are very capable of going under or through the fences that do exist).

    Great animal to hunt, and when done right, it is a real accomplishment and an impressive trophy.
     
  16. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Shaky,

    In the late 90s we had about 35,000 acres leased on Kenedy ranch. It was the Telephone pasture and we accessed it just south of the checkpoint at Sariti. Great whitetail and phenomenal nilgai hunting. We used it to bring clients and all they wanted to hunt was the nilgai. The Northern boundary was known to us as the "Holy Land" and you did not consider crossing that fence.

    It was great hunting with Sam in the Holy Land after just being able to look over the fence.

    It is amazing to watch a big bull literally run under a fence.
     
  17. alimufti

    alimufti New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Nilgai can still be hunted in Pakistan - both in appropriate sized game ranches and free range and in native habitat. The same applies for Para or Hog deer (axis Porcinus), Chital (axis axis), blackbuck, goitered and chinkara antelope.
    These unique species could only be hunted in India and partially in other countries. Now after many years the safari industry has organized itself and a very few select hunts are being offered.
    This is not to mention the mountain game that one needs to visit Pakistan for to complete the grand slam of sheep/goat species. Markhor (astor, straight horned, pir panjal and flare horned), Urial (sind and Shapu), Chilten Wild goat, Himalayan Ibex, Sindh Ibex, Blue Sheep and a few others.
    Of course very limited licenses available but reliable quality and safe despite what one may hear.
    Craig boddington, jim shockey and a number of others have had very safe, reliable hunts here - see Petersons hunting magazine and Craigs review.
    I will post some pics soon.Also there is wing shooting - both upland and wildfowl that rivals argentina.
    And for fishing - both salt and fresh, check out Official Website of The Pakistan Game Fish Association | PGFA

    cheers
    Ali Mufti

    Craig Boddington and others visit Pakistan regularly as it is necessary to take certain species from here
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I just Craig Boddington's hunt for markhor last night on the Sportsman's Channel. It was a incredilble hunt. TV show's name: Trijicons Sports Afield.
     
  19. Kilimanjaro

    Kilimanjaro AH Senior Member

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    I went to college at A&M down in Kingsville. I hunted a few bulls on the Yturria ranch down south of the King/Kenedy properties. The Y was LOADED. with nilgai! I haven't been back down there in over 11 years.. May be high-time I head down and go chase a blue bull. They are a consummate game animal ..tough, wild, damn fine eating, and make a heck of a trophy. We always said that if nilgai had 50" horns they'd be 50k to hunt!!
    Go chase ya a blue blue. You'll love it. They are the perfect animal to break out that big bore for and get some great field time in with your favorite big stick.
     

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  20. Kilimanjaro

    Kilimanjaro AH Senior Member

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    BTW, Monish those 1st & 5th pics are about the best pics of live bulls I've ever seen. They're fantastic!! Thanks for sharing them!
     

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