Judging Red Hartebeest


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Jul 9, 2009
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I would like to know what would be a good hartebeest with regards to:
1. Horn length
2. Horn base


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RW has the minimum score at 23.
Which means the longest horn must be 23 inches long to make it into the book.
SCI min is 62 both horns length and the bases.

What I found when judging these animals for trophy quality is that you had to see them in profile to judge how far back the sweep actually goes.

When facing you the tips going outwards are also an indicator of trophy status, in concert with the long sweep length seen in profile.

The ears are 8 inches on average.
So three times the ears and you have one in the book.

Heavy bases will show the maturity of the boys. It is all proportional.

Hope that helps.
Thanx very much Brickburn that should give me an idea
On a mature animal, the bases will nearly touch.

That s quite easy to see with the animal facing you.
Here is a Red Hartebeest taken in Namibia.

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Good looking reds.

this my hartebeest,
the ph measured him at 23 and a half inches both sides .
his bell wasn't overly large and the bases had a slight gap between them but he made up for it with his tops .
he was also blind in that left hand eye ,from fighting we guess.....
I didn't relalise at the time but he is a cracker .......
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I the Red Hartebeest to be one of the tougher ones to judge. So when at HartzView in 2013, my PH Ockert said to take this one I did. I know his bases are heavy, he was gray around his eyes, the teeth just about completely worn down and that left ear had seen better days.

I find that the wildebeest and hartebeest are hard trophy's to judge. Of theses pictures I can not tell which one would score the best
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thefor sure both flavours of w/b and hartebeest are hard to judge .
they all score immaculanty, in eyes the of the beholder ........
and they taste ,so good ....
............... Of theses pictures I can not tell which one would score the best

Don't feel bad. That's cause they are really, really close to each other.

All good trophies.

One in the same category.
hows about this one
Nice red hartebeests posted in this thread. Yes, they can be tough to accurately judge. Best to have more than one mature male in vicinity for comparison. At a glance good ones appear to have a lot of head gear and that headgear appears at least as tall as their face is long. Yes, heavy bases and height and rear sweep- all good. Then the wide, somewhat angular appearing hourglass shape is good. All easier said than done of course under field conditions.

Here's another one for comparison. Heavy, with 24" length.

Red Hartebeest .jpg
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So many different shapes - the upright ones tend to look the longest, but often the ones that sweep back measure longer (if you are hung up on numbers) The one thing that RW and SCI scoring fail to recognize is mass in the horn above the base.

I will throw in a picture of a bull that just squeaks RW - but I've yet to see one that I'd trade him for - the mass in the upper part of the horn is phenomenal - length right at 23 with bases just under 14 and mass right out to the tips
namibia  260.JPG
Mine, left horn is 24 0/8 right is 23 7/8, circumf. of both horns are 11 2/8..

For quick decision..they should go high up and then out and back..should look like a Harleys handlebars..then bam!!
I really dig it when those horns sweep straight back..... or up & out. That and a Vaalie.... and a honey Badger.... and a caracal.... and a sable.... and a buffalo.... all on my list! Lol
Limpopo SA with Kuche Safaries. Every animal they put me on was an amazing trophy including this Red Hartebeest

Did not get any measurements on him during the hunt so that will have to wait until the taxidermy crate arrives.

This was a long spot and stalk , my PH finally got me within 35 yards and told me to take the shot. After I patted myself down I reluctantly admitted I could not, because I had lost my release! Without a word he CRAWLED back the way we came while I kept eyes on the Hartebeest. After 10-15 minutes my PH returned with my release, handed to me. I made the shot and here he is!
Like many here, have looked at a lot of them while not actively hunting them. But, perfectly happy with the one I did get- pic posted earlier in thread, IMO, need to have two angles to make best judgment. Straight on to judge mass and overall height. Profile to judge length of section that turns back. The more of them you have a chance to look at the easier it becomes to differentiate between so-so and good.
23 1/2” and if I remember correctly 13” bases. Cruiser Safaris. 2014

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