.416 vs .458: Just how tough are Nilgai?

C.W. Richter

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There is no legal hunting of any kind in India. You may want to google the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Perhaps Professor Mawla knows the latest? That's a long time ago. I've heard of PAC-type hunts. Not much desire to go there these days...America is just fine for Indian species.
 

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Perhaps Professor Mawla knows the latest? That's a long time ago. I've heard of PAC-type hunts.
Really? PAC hunts? In India?

It would come as a surprise to most Indians. But good luck booking that hunt.
 

C.W. Richter

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Really? PAC hunts? In India?

It would come as a surprise to most Indians. But good luck booking that hunt.
for starters: if you really want to go through all the BS, anything is possible!
hunting in India is permitted only in:

  1. Cases where an animal is dangerous to the human population
  2. Cases where an animal is completely disabled
  3. Cases where an animal is too diseased to recover
 

C.W. Richter

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for starters: if you really want to go through all the BS, anything is possible!
hunting in India is permitted only in:

  1. Cases where an animal is dangerous to the human population
  2. Cases where an animal is completely disabled
  3. Cases where an animal is too diseased to recover
w/ a population of 1.5B, most of which do not hunt, i imagine it would come as a surprise to most Indians! :p
 

Red Leg

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for starters: if you really want to go through all the BS, anything is possible!
hunting in India is permitted only in:

  1. Cases where an animal is dangerous to the human population
  2. Cases where an animal is completely disabled
  3. Cases where an animal is too diseased to recover
You are just showing your lack of understanding of the management of Indian wildlife. Only government rangers/hunters may take game under those conditions. Hey, but do show us how anything is possible and let us know when you get that hunt booked and with whom.

Standing by.

Oh, by the way, I have been over there quite a bit.
 
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C.W. Richter

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Almost anything can be overcome with 1) money and 2) who you know! lol Again, Zero desire to go to India. One of the reasons I hunt is to get as far away as possible from the human-ruined nature of the urban-suburban setting...I've heard a few stories of people who've gone to school in America and Europe w/ the children of higher ups of India. It's amazing what's possible with such a network! :) You can immerse yourself in Indian culture by simply driving down Oak Tree Rd in Edison NJ. (Their hunting regs too are nearly as stringent, but no cobras out of control electrical services or teafields.) lol
 
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Red Leg

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Almost anything can be overcome with 1) money and 2) who you know! lol Again, Zero desire to go to India.
Lack of desire is a cop out. LOL LOL LOL LOL

Since you have this all figured out. I really want to hear with whom you book your nilgai hunt in India.
 

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And, it is the entire Lack of Wildlife Management that has ruined most all sport hunting in India! 1,800 tigers/1 Maharaja is simply INSANE. I'm not going there, so it'll never happen. Same w/ S. America. Why? Mongolia? Yes!
 

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In my copy of the July issue of The Hunting Report, which I received today, there was brief discussion of the appropriate caliber for hunting nilgai - an animal I have never seen in the wild, let alone hunted.

In the June issue, an individual had said he used a .416 (didn't say which one) he planned to take to Africa to shoot Nilgai in Texas. Apparently this set someone off, who actually phone The Hunting Report to say that he believed that the .416 was 'inadequate' for nilgai, and that nothing smaller than a .458 Win Mag would be appropriate.

I was more than a bit surprised by this statement (and that anyone would feel strongly enough to call!). I've shot elephant with a .375 H&H and while I thought I was a bit under-gunned, I've never questioned that my .416 Rigby is entirely appropriate for elephant. And if it's appropriate for elephant, is should be more than enough for nilgai.

I also think that the .458 Win Mag, in factory loads, has very little additional punch than the .416, if any. Note that the caller did not say the .458 Lott, which would be a much different comparison - this was the Win Mag. In addition, while I would never have called the .416 flat shooting, it sure seems to be when compared to the .458 Win Mag. And aren't Nilgai typically taken at a distance?

I have never found a PH in Africa who thought so highly of the .458 Win Mag (even if he had one) that he would take it over the .416 Rigby for any purpose. Maybe I'm talking to the wrong PH's?

So this takes me to the two issues. Who thinks the .458 Win Mag is a better caliber for tough game than the .416 Rigby (or Remmington, or Taylor . . . or maybe the Weatherby Magnum?), and who thinks that you need to go to a .40 caliber to shoot nilgai?
Can only offer my experience. 300 win mag. 200 grain. 1 lung. 55 yard trail. 13 inch horns which is considered world class trophey size. Repeatedly told lucky we found him based on hit. I'm 6' 7" for reference.

20200530_202029.jpg
 
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Red Leg

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Can only offer my experience. 300 win mag. 200 grain. 1 lung. 55 yard trail. 13 inch horns which is considered world class trophey size. Repeatedly told lucky we found him based on hit. I'm 6' 7" for reference.
Great bull. Congrats.
 

wesheltonj

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I have zero experience hunting the Blue Bull, but 50+ years of experience tracking deer in South Texas brush. You don’t want your animal to get too far into the brush from your sendero or you may not not find your animal. The brush is too thick.
 
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In my copy of the July issue of The Hunting Report, which I received today, there was brief discussion of the appropriate caliber for hunting nilgai - an animal I have never seen in the wild, let alone hunted.

In the June issue, an individual had said he used a .416 (didn't say which one) he planned to take to Africa to shoot Nilgai in Texas. Apparently this set someone off, who actually phone The Hunting Report to say that he believed that the .416 was 'inadequate' for nilgai, and that nothing smaller than a .458 Win Mag would be appropriate.

I was more than a bit surprised by this statement (and that anyone would feel strongly enough to call!). I've shot elephant with a .375 H&H and while I thought I was a bit under-gunned, I've never questioned that my .416 Rigby is entirely appropriate for elephant. And if it's appropriate for elephant, is should be more than enough for nilgai.

I also think that the .458 Win Mag, in factory loads, has very little additional punch than the .416, if any. Note that the caller did not say the .458 Lott, which would be a much different comparison - this was the Win Mag. In addition, while I would never have called the .416 flat shooting, it sure seems to be when compared to the .458 Win Mag. And aren't Nilgai typically taken at a distance?

I have never found a PH in Africa who thought so highly of the .458 Win Mag (even if he had one) that he would take it over the .416 Rigby for any purpose. Maybe I'm talking to the wrong PH's?

So this takes me to the two issues. Who thinks the .458 Win Mag is a better caliber for tough game than the .416 Rigby (or Remmington, or Taylor . . . or maybe the Weatherby Magnum?), and who thinks that you need to go to a .40 caliber to shoot nilgai?
@Hank2211
I just had a quick Google search of what they are and I think anything gv from a 270 w ith 150 grain bullets or a 130 grain Barnes up to what you want t o use.
They are about the size of a big sambar stag or elk so not that big.
The person that called in needs some shooting lessons or a reality check.
I've never hunted nilgai and never will but I've shot a few sambar with different calibers and even the 270 was more than enough.
Bob
 
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Saw an article where they sang the praises of the.338 Lapua as the ultimate Nilgai medicine. Like I need another reason for one!
@Saul
Might be the right caliber for sniping them at 1,500 yards but hey what ever floats your boat.
A 270 would be ample.
Bob
 

C.W. Richter

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@Hank2211
I just had a quick Google search of what they are and I think anything gv from a 270 w ith 150 grain bullets or a 130 grain Barnes up to what you want t o use.
They are about the size of a big sambar stag or elk so not that big.
The person that called in needs some shooting lessons or a reality check.
I've never hunted nilgai and never will but I've shot a few sambar with different calibers and even the 270 was more than enough.
Bob
Size isn't everything, as most African hunters know. Rather, how an animal's body is constructed (muscle/bone/skin thickness) dictates the ideal weapon to take it. An American elk is thin-skinned (easier to kill than a 100 lb Impala ;) 'Just want to be clear. A grizzly bear and moose are easier to take down than many African (or in the subject case, Indian species). Bigger is better. High SD, heavy for caliber, high ME is recommended. 416 is definitely NOT the starting point...A 270 is not the ideal Nilgai caliber, but it'll kill 'em (and, you'll find it somewhere inside the fence.)
 

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One does have to respect the power of the internet and our forum. I mean seriously - where else would it it be possible for several guys who have never seen a Nilgai, much less shot one, nevertheless have determined conclusively what is necessary to kill one cleanly. I mean we have contributors from places like Australia who have determined everything there is to know about shooting a Nilgai in South Texas by killing a sambar in the South Pacific. That is awe inspiring comparative analysis. I guess we Texans are just lucky to have people like them to sort it all out for us.

And then to further enrich the discussion, we also have Americans who have never set foot on a ranch in South Texas imply that they understand everything about the environment in which these animals are actually hunted.

I can't imagine why I ever thought my, or any other experienced nilgai hunter's observations, were remotely of value to anyone. I mean, our conclusions were only based upon actually hunting the animals in the free range environment usually found in South Texas.
 
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One does have to respect the power of the internet and our forum. I mean seriously - where else would it it be possible for several guys who have never seen a Nilgai, much less shot one, nevertheless have determined conclusively what is necessary to kill one cleanly. I mean we have contributors from places like Australia who have determined everything there is to know about shooting a Nilgai in South Texas by killing a sambar in the South Pacific. That is awe inspiring comparative analysis. I guess we Texans are just lucky to have people like them to sort it all out for us.

And then to further enrich the discussion, we also have Americans who have never set foot on a ranch in South Texas imply that they understand everything about the environment in which these animals are actually hunted.

I can't imagine why I ever thought my, or any other experienced nilgai hunter's observations, were remotely of value to anyone. I mean, our conclusions were only based upon actually hunting the animals in the free range environment usually found in South Texas.
@Red Leg
This Australian was only going on the size of the animal and in my humble experience with sambar of the same or similar weight with the right person can be shot and killed with the 270.
We have people out here that use the 35 Whelen, 350 rem mag,338, 300, 375, 444 Marlin, 45/70 and even the 458 on them.
They will all kill the animal if shot properly even if what the are using is dramatic overkill.
As I said I have never shot and will never shoot a nilgai but based on their size regardless of the his and muscle I still fell a 270 with a good 150 grain would do the job.
The sambar was introduced into Australia from India where its main predators were the tiger and leopard and I can assure you that the hide on these critters will give a knife a good workout in the thickness and hair department and isn't thin skin. The skin on the rump can be 3 to mill thick on the rump and thats after tanning.
I have heard of them absorbing a couple of 338s or 375s before falling over. The last one I shot was dry with one shot using a 270 and a 130grain ACP( similar to the Barnes TSX)
Sorry If you are upset about what I said but I was basing my logic on similar sized animal from the same continent.
Bob
 

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There is a lot of stuff in Australia the masses don't know about & on one property I worked for they was near as many species as on the King or 777 Ranch, we shot a few Nilgai on there to most are inside a massive high fence but out are near as many from Red Lechwe to Dwarf/Pygmy Hippo (one got shot by pig hunters, great waste) loads heaps of Rusa, the Addax get hammered by the Dingo's inside & out (I think no young survive out with the Dingo & Wedge's) in many areas they are exotic's apart from the normal Deer Species .
 

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I stubled upon this thread. It seams that there is a very strong population of Nilgai in Texas.
Fo my understanding, are all of the texas Nilgai, restricted to fenced ranches only, or there some nilgai numbers spreading to public lands?
 

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