Common Blesbuck

(Latin = Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi, Afrikaans = Blesbok, Tswana = Nônô)

  • Numbers: High
  • Weight: 60 – 82 kg (132 – 180 lb.)
  • Shoulder height: 95 cm (38 in.)
  • Record Horn Length:
  • SCI: 56 and three eights.
  • Rowland Ward: 20 and five eights in.
  • Females horns? Yes


The Blesbuck is only found in South Africa. It has a characteristic white face and forehead. Physically rams and ewes are very similar. Both sexes carry horns. Their body colour is brown with a lighter coloured saddle on the back, and the rump an even lighter shade. The legs are brown with a white patch behind the top part of the front legs. Lower legs are whitish.


The Blesbuck is a grazer that prefers short grass, and it favours fresh green grass appearing after a veld burn.


The Blesbuck is a seasonal breeder. Rutting occurs during March to May. Births peaks are during November and December after a gestation period of about 240 days. Females normally give birth to single calves.


The Blesbuck is a close relative to the Bontebok, and they can interbreed, but they do not share the same habitat in the wild. It prefers open grasslands with water and dislikes wooded areas.  They were once near extinction, but their numbers are stable now and are estimated at about 240 000.


The best time for hunting Blesbuck is while they are grazing in the morning or late afternoon. Like many other species, they tend to lay-up during the hottest part of the afternoon. Calibers like the .270 or .300 magnums with bullets of 130 to 150 grains give excellent results for longer shots out on the plains. Place your shot by following the rear line of the fore-leg about one third up into the body which will strike the top of the heart and the lungs.