HUNTING Steenbok

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Oct 1, 2007
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Hunting Steenbok Shot Placement

Post your questions, comments or pictures relating to hunting shot placement.

Hunting Steenbok

Hunting Steenbok
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This little guy was shot from left ham to right shoulder with my son's .243 useing 100 Partitions.


Edit: Shot placement would be critical with the smaller .22's. I would love to hunt one of these with my Ruger No.1 in .218Bee.


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As said by Code its more critical with a small caliber like a .22 a well placed shot in the vital area will kill it almost instantly.The trophy should also be taken into consideration to do the minimum damage by choosing the correct caliber and ammunition.
I would say from a taxidermist point of view, if you want to mount your steenbok then don't shot it in the shoulder. Most hunters are shooting a 300 or larger when that little guy pops up and bang, now we have large holes or front legs missing. Some years ago a PH told me that he tells his clients to gut shoot the Steenbok and Duikers, if they have a large caliber gun. I have been telling hunters this and it works well. Personally I take the Ruger 204 for Duiker & Steenbok.

Any thoughts from the PH's around here?
With but a few exceptions the small game animals such as Duiker, Steenbok and Klipspringer I've taken over the years have been incidental encounters while hunting larger plains game species. As with 'J P Baker', long ago while carrying a .300 WBY, the PH told me to gut shoot the mini antelope or there would be little left to mount.

It was good advice and I've successfully taken small game on many occasions using that method with very nice (mostly shoulder mounts) resulting. Although an appropriate small caliber would be best, as I said, my encounters have generally been while hunting larger species and while carrying a too large for mini antelope caliber rifle.

I like my .22 Hornet for the little guys. Unfortunately I haven’t been carrying it when my best mini trophies have popped up.
Most of my guns shoot Bridger, North Fork or GS Customs flat nose solids to the same POI as a soft..I work with them to get that done..If I see a small animal then I just use a solid..

With the advent of the North Fork cup point, I would be perfectly satisfied to use it on any animal except perhaps elephant head shots MAYBE....It performs great on Cape Buffalo, Eland, Lion, Zebra and duikers.
Shot placement Steenbok

Remember a small hole in the heart is better than a big hole anywhere else. If you are using a big caliber rifle it is better to use solids to prevent trophy damage.
I definitely agree on the solid! With a big caliber, a softpoint will just ruin the skin while a solid just make a small exit hole, but still with a good "knock down effect."

As these small animals often are hunted "by chance" or spotted when going after other plains game (as Big5 also mentioned) it's a good idea to hunt with a medium or big caliber and just have a couple of solids in the pocket.

I've shot a lot of duikers and smaller game with a 22 mag, and it works fine in most cases. The problem is that there are no room for mistakes, without a perfect shot they will not go down. When wounding a small animal like this it's not an easy task to track and shoot it again.

So I would definitely go for a bigger caliber and a solid.
Anton. . . I certainly do agree that the best advice for chance encounters with the 'mini's' would be to always carry at least a couple of solids in your ammo pouch.

Although a soft/solid ammo mixture is always carried when hunting the big tough buggers with a large bore, it seems to be a practice which is not so common when carrying a medium or small bore. I suppose you never think you'll really need solids for plains game and thin skinned stuff . . . and then that great little 'mini' will always pop up and pose right there in front of you while you stand there and wish you had a solid!
Anton. . . sure thought I would have learned by now!

Over the years I have been amazed at the lack of knowledge about the solids ability to kill game cleanly..

I agree in the smaller bores that can be the case, but in the big bores, 375 and up, I have always found the solids to do a good job on most all plainsgame, especially the flat nose solids and as I said before the North Fork cup point adds a whole new demension to shooting both DG and plainsgame.

I might add that proper bullet placement is required with a solid, but hey it is also required with a soft. It is, in fact, the determining factor in any successfull kill.

I am not advocating that all sportsmen use solids, far from it but I am saying that there is a place for the solid in game shooting.. I have used them to supply meat for our Tanzania camp; I have used them on culling operations; and for dispatching downed animals. Over the years I have developed a certain respect for their use under the right circumstances. They kill much better than most folks think.
Ray . . . you are so very correct. A great post which brings back many fond hunting memories.

On my first few trips to Africa 20 some years ago all I ever carried and used was my trusty .375 H&H. Along with it I always carried both 300 gr. softs and solids which were quite accurate to the same point of impact. Although just a medium bore, I found that rifle to be both effective and all that was necessary for a wide variety of game, large or small. Small game was dropped cleanly with a solid, medium game always dropped to a soft and large thick skinned game was dispatched with a solid followed by a soft.

I’m not necessarily advocating the use of a .375 H&H for everything that roams the hunting fields, but I am saying with the selective use of softs and solids along with proper shot placement its all one really needs. Again, I’m not necessarily advocating it’s use on elephant, but I’ve even found it to be quite effective in cleanly dropping a bull elephant at 12 paces with a frontal brain shot by way of using a 300 grain solid. It will do the job.

Like most of us, over time I’ve enjoyed adding new firearms to my collection and becoming more specialized with my hunting tools. Heck, at the drop of a hat I can now make an excuse and talk myself into why I need a new rifle in a particular caliber. Presently I got a very wide variety of firearms ranging from a .22 hornet up to a vintage Rigby .470 NE double. But in reality all I ever really ‘needed’ on ‘most’ Africa hunts was that good old .375 H&H.

Ray, you said “there is a place for the solid in game shooting” and I couldn’t agree with you more. There is a definite place for the solid on the largest of game down to the smallest. In keeping with this post . . . even steenbok.
I guess my take on this is a bit different as I have hunted all of my pygmy antelope as the specific animial I am hunting. I have taken 3 with 16ga buck, 1 308 (borrowed), 1 416 Taylor (airline carcked stock on drilling) and 4 with 338 WM using solids. Leaving in 47 days for RSA with Suni at the top of the list and the repaired drilling will be in the gun case.
Ruwenzori Red Duiker

Here is a villager (perhaps a poacher) in the Democratic Republic of Congo whose weapon of choice seems to be 12 or 16 gauge side by side shotgun. He has taken with this well used shotgun one of these small forest creatures, a Ruwenzori Red Duiker. Check out the length on this machete!

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My son and I were told to gut shot them, my son's .270 with interlocks left the little guy in good enough shape for a full body mount. My .325 with Accubonds was a different story. I am having a pedestal shoulder mount being done, no doubt a shoulder shot would have ruined that idea.

The smaller animals, steenbok, klipspringer and common duiker who gets shot the most for trophies are most of the time chance encounters. Sometimes at very close range and unless you are carrying a suitable caliber in 223 or 6mm with low to max velocity of 2500 fps avoid the shoulder at all costs. Shoot it behind the shoulder and try to avoid big bones.

BTW shooting it with a solid in the bigger calibers and still hitting the shoulder results in good damage as well not always but I have seen it.

I have seen some wonderfull patch jobs on the smaller stuff from taxidermists but sometimes it just cannot be repaired.

If you look at the shot placemnet photos placing a shot in the top of the lungs behind the shoulder will give you a DRT on steenbok on most .30 calibers and even if you miss the ,lungs and go a bit more back the power and shock from the bullet usually works just as well.

Instead of going a 1/3rd up the leg for most plainsgame go a 1/3rd back away from the shoulder in the middle of the body line. Going for the middle of the animal gutshot is pushing it a bit rather stay close to the lungs and liver.

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