BULL & BREED

Bontebok Love


Adriaan Snyman   |   Opinion   |   18 June 2017   |   Wildlife 

Chart 1: Growth in GDP (%)

The bontebok has in recent years seen very little six-figure price tags, not like some of the colour variants of the blesbuck did, yet it keeps a good margin within the hunting circles.

 

Where some hunting websites put the availability for blesbuck and white blesbuck at $420 and $640 respectively, a bontebok will put an international hunter more than $1750 out of the pocket.

We are all familiar with the devastating history of this medium-sized, dark brown antelope, that more than a century ago, was brought to near extinction and then saved again, with figures having been secured ever since. Most South African game ranchers also has a clear concept of the various factors that determine animal prices, both on game auctions as well as in the hunting circles.

But is the end-consumer price for a bontebok based on the easy assumption and quick answer of supply and demand? Or are there trends in the hunting industry determined by a whole range of other factors, not necessarily associated with the breeding side of the industry?

True, one would not today use the words bontebok and abundance in one sentence, but keeping these animals in their natural habitat, that is among the coastal areas with ample fynbos to chew on, they aren’t too difficult to breed with. Fencing (according to Freestate regulations) need only to be 1.4m in height, and if it were not for a few other blokes who tried to snatch a piece of meat ever so often, one would have had very little difficulty in keeping the herd save. Their jumping ability, along with their blesbuck cousins, are limited to little leaps only, not quite near the 1.4 m in fence height required in the Freestate.

The bontebok are however found nowhere else in the world, and with estimated numbers of between 2500 – 3000, they would most certainly be considered a rare species which would certainly justify their steady prices.

If there is one thing we cannot miss, then it is that in the last couple of years, some superb animals and excellent genetics have been bred by some of the most prominent game breeders in South Africa, and whether you are a local game breeder, a tourist or a hunter, it would seem that the love for this beautiful species will remain for yet a long time to come.

 

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This opinion piece was written by Freelance Journalist, Adriaan Snyman and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of the publishers, editorial staff or any company employees of either My Wildlife SA or the Reinhuys Company of South Africa.