The Sable is one of the most popular trophies that can be taken on a hunting safari in South Africa. Here follows a couple of interesting facts and features about the majestic Sable:
The Sable is a large and handsome antelope. Sable bulls are characterized by shiny black coats with white underparts and white facial markings. Cows and young are dark brown/reddish brown in colour. Both bulls and cows have long horns, which are ridged, and which curve backwards. The horns of the sable bull are exceptional and the longest of any African antelope, excepting the kudu.
Sable are grazers which crop grass at a relatively high level off the ground. Their diet consists predominantly of grass.
The gestation period of sable are 270 days, after which they give birth to single calves.
They prefer open savannah woodlands, in which they select for medium height, good quality grass cover. They normally live in herds of up to 30, but larger herds are not uncommon. Sable bulls can be very territorial and the challenging interloper is in for a serious encounter if he does not retreat. Combat is usually done kneeling with rapid sweeps of their sharp and powerful horns, which can sometimes result in death.
Sable are most active during early mornings and late afternoons and drink water at mid-day. Ambush them at drinking places. Do not be under gunned when hunting Sable. Just like the Roan, the .300 caliber and up is your best choice. When you are faced with a side-on view, the high heart/lung shot directed straight up the foreleg about one third into the body is required. Because of the size and aggressive nature of this beautiful antelope, hunting sable can be an interesting endeavour. Be sure to use enough gun, shoot straight and this coveted trophy will be yours! The sable can be very aggressive and will not hesitate to charge if wounded, cornered, or simply feels threatened.