Judging Impala

IvW

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I would say they are both fine rams and decent trophies. The first one has more mass, more backward sweep and worn down tips and he is older than the second. A fine trophy indeed.

The second is also a mature ram, with hard bases, not so much mass, less backward sweep but longer not worn down tips yet, he ain't getting any longer than he is. Also a fine trophy.

Estimating inches from photos especially with animals that have backward sweep is not something I do and is not easily done it would merely be a quess. In order to accurately judge them one needs to see the horns from different angles. As for these two, the right decision was made to shoot them both are fine trophies.

All the best.
 

IvW

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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.

Very true. Some areas within given areas are always better than others. The game management on properties are also very important.

I would however not book a hunt in Northern KZN for a RW impala or a hunt in the Free State for a RW springbuck.

If you have to have a record book specimen of any given animal, you need to discuss this with whomever you plan on hunting with in order to give yourself a chance of getting one. However having said that, things tend to work out better if you arrive with open expectations, hunt hard enjoy yourself and not be dogmatic about the tape measure.

Invariably things work out for the better and you will most probably end up with some great trophies.

If you book with a reputable outfit you can trust your PH and outfitter and the trophies will take care of themselves. as the PH will know if he can do better for you in a given area.
 

Divernhunter

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I shot this one in 2013 in the Eastern Cape area. It went SCI Gold #48. Measured 61 5/8".
I forget what the Blackfaced one measured.
There is one my daughter shot as a cull

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Africa trip 828.jpg
Kelli Impala2.jpg
 

Nick BOWKER HUNTING SOUTH AFRICA

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The Impala


The Impala or Southern impala is found in woodlands and sometimes on the interface between woodlands and savannah; it inhabits places close to water ans is a trophy most hunters take on their first African hunt. The smooth skin and two-tone red coloration make for a unique trophy.

Taxonomy notes


Usually two subspecies are distinguished; namely the common impala Aepyceros melampus melampus) and the black-faced impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi).
Common names: Common Impala, Impala (English), Rooibok (Afrikaans), Mhara (Shona), Phala (Sotho,Tswana, Venda), Impala (Zulu)

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Fig 1: The Impala

Description:


The impala is a medium-sized, slender antelope. The horns, strongly ridged and divergent, are circular in section and hollow at the base. The glossy coat of the impala shows two-tone colouration – the reddish brown back and the tan flanks which are in sharp contrast to the white underbelly. Facial features include white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout Of the subspecies, the black-faced impala is significantly larger and darker than the common impala.

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Fig 2: Horn Growth and size charts.

Distribution:


The range extends from central and southern Kenya and north-eastern Uganda; in the east to northern KwaZulu-Natal in the south, and westward up to Namibia and southern Angola. This lovely antelope were also introduced to other areas on game ranges and farms.

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Fig 3: Distribution in South Africa.



Interesting facts:


Impala antelope have unique black glands on their ankles known as metatarsal glands. When threatened by predators, they scatter in all directions and they kick back their hind legs and release a scent which makes it easier to find each other again once the threat is over. This behaviour has an added advantage of confusing the predator

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Fig 4: Scenting glands.



Habitats and Ecology:


The impala is active throughout the day and night, alternating resting and grazing, and drinking at least once a day. The impala inhabits woodlands or interface between woodlands and savannah, due to its preference for shade, it needs to be close to water, and also are seasonal feeders. Impala tend to keep away from areas with tall grasses as predators could be concealed there.


Natural enemies are lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and the locational hyaena.

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Fig 5: Natural Predators.



Behaviour


Like most wild animals, the impala’s behaviours are mostly centered around feeding and reproduction. The mother–calf bond is weak, and breaks soon after weaning; juveniles leave the herds of their mothers to join other herds. Allogrooming is an important means of social interaction in bachelor and female herds; in fact, the impala appears to be the only ungulate to display self-grooming as well as allogrooming.

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Fig 6: Impala mom and lamb



Types of herds


Although impala tend to be fairly social for most of the year, they break off into subgroups during the rut, or mating season. Impala typically form three types of herds: all-female herds (often led by a territorial male who may be replaced multiple times), bachelor herds, and mixed-sex family herds led by territorial males and temporary nursing herds with 1 or 2 females.

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Fig 7: Different types of herds.



Hunting Impala


Hunting is done by setting up ambushes and walk and stalk techniques.It can jump as high as 3 meters, even jumping over other individuals, and covering a distance of 10 meters.

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Fig 8: Shot placement.



The Impala Trophy


Your impala ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 46 inches, weigh about 130 pounds, and have a horn length of approximately 22 inches.

The minimum Safari Club International score for an impala is 52. The trophy is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.

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Fig 9: The Skull.



Hunting the Black Impala


Black impala is a color variant of the southern impala. A great trophy to add while on hunting safari and a must for any collector interested in collecting both of the impala color variations.

The black impala is not a subspecies, but a color phase of the southern impala. Black impala was developed by selective breeding; the color of the skin is all black.

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Fig 10: The Black Impala.


References:

Smithers, RHN, 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 1st edn. University of Pretoria, CTP

Book Printers, Cape Town.


New World Encyclopedia, https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Impala#Taxonomy

SafarisAfricana, https://safarisafricana.com/animals/impala/

Brent Huffman, www.ultimateungulate.com, http://216.19.70.191/Artiodactyla/Aepyceros_melampus.html

Wikipedia.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impala
 

375 Ruger Fan

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I saw this impressive Impala while doing a photo safari in Masai Mara, Kenya


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My daughter took an exceptionally nice Impala in the Eastern Cape with @GAME 4 AFRICA SAFARIS

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PARA45

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I'll be there in less than two year :)
 

BeeMaa

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