Judging Impala

dmyers

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Big vs. Average Impala? How to judge in the field?

How can you tell if an impala ram is bigger then just an average or "good one" in the field? Any photos comparing the two would be great!

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dmyers

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BRICKBURN

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Pictures 1,3,4 are good Impala.

3 and 4 have more sweep. If you were looking from the side, think of a lazy S.

Picture 6 is a more narrow frame and not as large. Although mature, looking at the bases.

You are not going to see the Monster in the last picture on any typical hunt in Southern Africa.
If you see something approximating the last picture, you should consider taking it.

Length and bases are what determine "measured" trophy size.
Large bases, wide, big sweep and height.

Good luck.
 
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dmyers

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Pictures 1,3,4 are good Impala.

3 and 4 have more sweep. If you were looking from the side, think of an lazy S.

Picture 6 is a more narrow frame and not as large. Although mature, looking at the bases.

You are not going to see the Monster in the last picture on any typical hunt in Southern Africa.
If you see something approximating the last picture, you should consider taking it.

Length and bases are what determine "measured" trophy size.
Large bases, wide, big sweep and height.

Good luck.
Thanks for the help. I enjoyed hunting them and got a good one. I'll hunt them again but I'll be a bit more picky next time. Wonderful animals.
 
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slam8031

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Love hunting them!! Three on my walls (five of six members of my family have nice impala and I have three) and four more rams in Chicago at the airport waiting for clearance...awesome specimen above gentlemen!
 

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Pictures 1,3,4 are good Impala.

3 and 4 have more sweep. If you were looking from the side, think of an lazy S.

Picture 6 is a more narrow frame and not as large. Although mature, looking at the bases.

You are not going to see the Monster in the last picture on any typical hunt in Southern Africa.
If you see something approximating the last picture, you should consider taking it.

Length and bases are what determine "measured" trophy size.
Large bases, wide, big sweep and height.

Good luck.

Very informative. Thank you for this post.
 

IvW

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31 inch Impala
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28.5 inch Impala
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27 inch Impala
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26.25 inch Impala
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26 inch Impala
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25.5 inch Impala
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25.25 inch Impala
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25.25 inch Impala
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25 inch Impala
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25 inch Impala
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25 inch Impala
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25 inch Impala
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24.5 inch Impala
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24.5 inch Impala
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24.5 inch Impala
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24.5 inch Impala
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24 inch Impala
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24 inch Impala
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24 inch Impala
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23 inch Impala
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22.5 inch Impala
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22 inch Impala
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21.5 inch Impala
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Looks like some of those 25 and 23 inchers have been overestimated.
 

IvW

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So on the really big ones I'm looking for a real spread in the horns- from what I can see.

Spread is always good but can be deceptive when trying to judge inches on impala.

Bases should be thick and black without grey which indicates softness. The backward sweep should be deep(the deeper the more inches). High straight up or flaring out horn tips are indicative of age and not only look good but add inches. Worn down tips obviously lose inches but are also an indicator of age.

Area where you hunt them is also important. KZN for example has smaller horned impala than Limpopo.

When judging horns that either spiral or sweep back a good tip is to try and look at one horn at a time to give a better indication.
 

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So if I have a ram in the 19'' or so inch range- should I be looking for something in the say 22"+ inch range? Would that be a reasonable ask for your hunt? I know if depends on the area you hunt and I'm not interested in record books, I just figure if I'm paying a trophy fee, if might as well be bigger then the one I already have. But I also want to be reasonable in my expectations and clear with my PH on my next hunt.
 

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Minimum ROWLAND WARD is 23 5/8 and the record is 31 7/8

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 10.02.15 AM.png


So asking to hunt a bigger trophy is your choice. 22 is certainly not unreasonable. Neither is asking to hunt a Rowland Ward. Expect to be looking over a lot of critters though.
Have fun hunting your Impala.
 

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Are they generally smaller in the Eastern Cape also?

Generally speaking yes, when compared to Limpopo, some ranchers may have brought in some good breeding rams which may have improved horn size.
 

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So if I have a ram in the 19'' or so inch range- should I be looking for something in the say 22"+ inch range? Would that be a reasonable ask for your hunt? I know if depends on the area you hunt and I'm not interested in record books, I just figure if I'm paying a trophy fee, if might as well be bigger then the one I already have. But I also want to be reasonable in my expectations and clear with my PH on my next hunt.

It all depends where you are hunting.

If you are hunting certain areas of KZN and that 19 incher is an old ram with thick hard bases and the tips are the right shape, I would take it. You could always discuss the issue openly with your PH and mention that historically in that area impala do not have record class horns. If you then bump into a much bigger one, which is possible but not probable, take it.

If you are hunting in Limpopo your request would be justified and you should be holding out for something better than 19" for sure.

Impala are not that easy to get into RW book. There are many 21-23 inch impala that look great and have excellent shape and that for me is more important than where they end up in the book.
 

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Are they generally smaller in the Eastern Cape also?

Depends on the area within both regions, and I would say who you hunt with.
I have visited areas in the Limpopo where a 20" ram was as good as you were going to get. These were solid, old rams.
 

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