Hunting Red Lechwe in Southern Africa

Hunting Red Lechwe in Southern Africa
Hunting Red Lechwe in Southern Africa

An extremely beautiful trophy, the red lechwe also makes for an interesting hunting experience, since it enjoys challenging its pursuer. It will watch you approach, and keep just outside of reasonable range.

The red lechwe is a medium-sized antelope with white underparts, reddish-yellow body and a darker back and flanks. The characteristic black markings on the front legs where the scent glands are located. The antelope's body tends to slant forward, with the rump being distinctly higher than the shoulders.

Only male red lechwe have horns, and the females are smaller than the average male's 200 live pounds. It stands at approximately 35-59 inches at shoulder height, with shorter forelegs, which enables them to run faster in marshy or muddy soil.The antelope has splayed hooves that enable them to navigate the moist habitats they tend to frequent, including open plains near water and dried up rivers and dams. They are at home between reed beds in rivers, along swamps and on shallow floodplains.

They tend to move slowly on land, but much more rapidly through water. You can most often find medium- to large herds of red lechwe knee-deep in water at just about any time of the day, enjoying water grasses and drinking water. When they don't feed during the early morning or late afternoon, they can be found resting on dry land.

Bachelor herds are easily distinguished from nursing herds. The ram's horns tend to sweep backward and then forward at the tips.

A quality red lechwe trophy is a male of approximately five years of age. The horns are lyre-shaped.When choosing a male to take during your hunting trip, consider the spread of the horns. It should spread outward and backward, with opened and forward hooked horns. An older male will have worn horns.
 

 

A quality red lechwe trophy is a male of approximately five years of age

 

Red Lechwe Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Kobus leche
Gestation Period: 225 days
Weight: 70 - 120 kg
Height: 90 - 100 cm
Male Horn Length: 66 cm

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Red Lechwe Hunting Considerations

Hunting lechwe is challenging and exciting, and will reward you with an exceptionally beautiful trophy. They are not particularly wary or nervous, and will often allow hunters to get within shooting distance. The major challenge will be to pick the best ram from the milling herds, which could be hundreds strong. On hot, hazy days, it can be difficult to estimate distances over swamps and flat plains.

Since retrieval is typically in water, it is important to plan to get wet.

Since the lechwe tends to keep a distance, shots will typically be long, and you should therefore choose a rifle with a far enough reach. Opt for a .270 or a 30 caliber magnum with a good quality 150 to 175 grain expanding bullet.

 

Shot Placement

Set your sights straight up the foreleg, approximately one third into the body for a standard heart / lung shot. This shot should put the animal down right away. If he goes into the water, it should not be hard to find and retrieve him.

It is always a good idea to rely on the advice of your professional hunter.

Hunting Red Lechwe in Southern Africa

Red Lechwe Placement Shot

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Hunting Red Lechwe in Southern Africa

Red Lechwe Placement Shot

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