Overview of this species and the hunt
Weighing a massive 2 000 pounds, the eland has the prestige of being the largest African antelope. Eland have beautiful spiral horns and a thick neck, along with a hump and a dewlap, something that gives it the characteristic of a Braham bull. Eland are normally a grey brown and as the males mature in age, they develop a blue-grey colour around the neck. This is something to look out for when selecting an animal. Some eland have a few vertical stripes down the flank. All mature eland have horns, whether they are male or female.
In terms of their nature, eland can be nervous and they are quick to run when scared. They live in herds of up to 12 animals and they prefer a habitat that consists of open woodland and veld where they can graze. Eland can provide a challenging hunt.
One thing to keep in mind when hunting eland is that they are jumpers. Some eland can easily jump 6 or 7 feet! This makes having the right rifle all the more important. A .375 rifle is about the best you can have and with it, you need to make a well-placed shot. You don’t want to wound the animal as you will spend the rest of your day tracking it. A double pointing rifle is a good choice along with 286 grain or 300-grain bullets. Be sure to have enough ammunition as this is an animal that might not go down as easily as you think. Another thing to keep in mind is that encountering an eland might be something that happens almost accidentally. So if you are already hunting in Africa, you might want to add eland to your list should you come across it.
Eland are difficult to approach, so this is certainly a hunt for someone with a bit of skill and a good aim. You might have to do a lot of walking before you get close enough to take a shot, and usually, the shot might have to be through dense cover.