(Latin = Raphicerus campetris , Afrikaans = Steenbok, Tswana = Phudufudu)
- Numbers: High
- Weight: 9 – 14 kg (20 – 31 lb)
- Shoulder height: 52 cm (21 in.)
- Record Horn Length:
- SCI: 6 and two eights in.
- Rowland Ward: 7 and five eights in.
- Females horns? No
The Steenbuck has a rufous-brown to fawn coat with long, broad ears. Hindquarters and underparts are pure white. Only rams have upright, slender horns projecting above the eyes. Conspicuous black, facial glands are situated in front of the large, dark brown eyes. These pre-orbital glands are noticeable in both sexes.
It is exclusively a browser, and shows a preference for forbs. It is generally highly selective for green material such as young leaves, flowers, fruits and shoot tips of various plants. The ability to exist independently of free water is related to its selective browsing habits. Roots, tubers and bulbs are taken during dry months by raking the ground, and even digging shoulder-deep, to reach these nutritious food supplies which are high in moisture content.
Breeding season has not been clearly defined. All year round births have been recorded. They have a gestation period of about seven months, after which single lambs are born.
Inhabits open savannah country where they are reliant on adequate cover in the form of taller grass and clumps of bushes. Absent or rarely seen in forests, mountains, dense woodlands and rocky areas.
When hunting steenbok, stalk carefully, as your quarry will lie flat in the grass to avoid detection. He will only flush at the last moment, running away with great speed. If you can get your heart ‘jump-started’ after this fleeting encounter, be ready, as the steenbok is sometimes known to pause for a moment to look back before continuing his flight; there is his mistake, and there is your shot. All calibers have been used successfully. You will probably be forced to shoot with whatever you have in your hands at the time of the sighting. With a side on presentation, the high heart/lung shot is best; aim straight up the foreleg one-third to one-half into the body.