COLLECTING THE UGANDAN KOB   Leave a comment

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Hunting buddy, Butch Among, sent an email asking if I am interested in hunting for a Ugandan Kob.  Butch, who manages a deer breeding an exotic game ranch in Texas, has run across one that is no longer a viable part of the herd.  Younger rams keep him out and his genetic contribution to the herd is no longer viable.

The Uganda Kob is one of three species of Kob.  The other two are the White-Eared Kob and the Buffon’s Kob.  Effective conservation, protection from poaching and hunting management protect these diminutive antelope in the native range just above the equator in sub-Saharan Africa.  There also small population in private hands and zoos of Europe and the US.

The main risk to the species comes from poaching and habitat loss.  The later comes from over population of humans and drainage of the wetlands the Kob needs.

The native range of the Uganda Kob is in northeast DRC, southwest Sudan and throughout Uganda.  Disease and widespread fighting in these areas discourages hunting by American and European hunters.  This leaves only those populations in areas such as Texas as the only accessible hunting.  Kob reach high densities where protected in favorable habitat.

Neither Butch nor I have ever seen this animal.  As we move into a blind overlooking a large food plot of various grasses and rag weed, the first thing we spot are four Lechwe.  Butch explains that they moved the Lechwe herd to another part of the ranch except for two does which kept escaping.  They each gave birth to fawns, a male and a female.

If time permits we will try to dart all four and move them to join the herd.  Right now we are looking for the Kob. The Kob is very similar in coloration to the Lechwe but is smaller and has smaller horns.

About 50-yards to the right of the Lechwe the Kob ram is standing watching them.  I put the scope on him just as he lays down in the ragweed.  Only his head is sticking out.  Waiting is the only thing to do.  As the Lechwe move toward the edge of the field, he gets up as if to follow them.  Raising the rifle again and he lies down again.

The third time is a charm and I connect.  He goes down and we approach his position to admire the lovely coloration and pattern of a golden brown and white.  I have my Ugandan Kob.  It is a once in a life time opportunity to be sure.

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