Kudu

adult male kudu

(Tragelaphus strepsiceros) Southern Chad to Somalia and south to southern Africa.  Greater and Lesser kudu.

Greater kudu is most common introduced kudu to Texas.

ID

Tall antelope with long legs and large, rounded ears.  Males are typically gray with 6-10 slender, vertical stripes. Females are orangeish-brown with similar markings to those of males. Kudu bulls have a mane that runs from their chin to their chest and shorter hair ridge along spine on upper shoulders.   They also show a white line across their snout, under the eyes.  Males sport large, openly-spiraling horns that twist 2 to 3 times in an overall v-pattern and can reach lengths of up to 6 feet along the curve.  Horns become evident at 6 to 12 months and do not fully curl until about 2 years of age.  Two and a half curls are not usually observed until age 6.  Female (cows) lack horns.  Mature bulls are much larger than females, averaging 500 lbs. and weighing up to 700+.  The average weight of an adult cow is around 375 lbs.

female kudu

Behavior

May be active at any time during the day or night. Per their large ear size, kudu are sensitive to sound that makes them difficult to approach.  Tend to sneak away and hide to evade a posed threat.  If startled, disperse with high jumps with tail curled upward.  Often run short distances before stopping to look back.  Kudu are not generally territorial, but do inhabit “home” areas.  The home ranges of males often overlap 2 or 3 female group ranges and are often marked by breaking trees and branches.  Males fight for dominance, sometimes interlocking horns to the point of entanglement.  Greater kudu have a number of vocalizations, including barks, grunts, hooting bleats, and a strangulated whimper.  Drink at dawn and dusk, as well as mid-day during hot days.

Food Habits

Largely browsers.  Diet is comprised of a large range of leaves, creepers, dry seed pods, and fruits.  Stand on hindlegs to reach leaves and flowers from trees and brush.  Will feed on melons and succulent fruits (like oranges) when available.  Feed much of the night and during the day.

Breeding

Able to breed and give birth all year.  Female gestation is 7 to 8 months, giving birth to 1 young.  Mothers separate from the herd prior to giving birth.  Newborn kudu are weaned for 6 months.  Both sexes mature at a year and 5 months.

Life Span

7 to 8 years in the wild.  Average 15 years in captivity and up to 23 years.

Keeping Kudu

Often not compatible with sableSable bulls are known to fight and kill kudu bulls.  Despite their large size, kudu are great jumpers, able to clear fences in excess of 8 feet in height.  Take this into consideration before releasing kudu or building a 6-8 foot high fence.  Ten ft. fence is recommended.  Kudu are wary animals that can panic and injure themselves against fencing.

Kudu Hunting

Check out our ‘Find A Hunt’ section for featured outfitters.

Scoring Your Trophy Kudu

SCI Record Book Minimums:

  Standard Bow
Bronze (Greater kudu - introduced)" --"
Silver 108" --"
Gold 109 1/8" 121 1/8"

Lesser kudu (non-introduced)

  Standard Bow
Bronze 62" 55"
Silver 67 1/8" --"
Gold 71 4/8" 67 7/8"

Current Record(s) Held:

145 7/8 - Dwight H. Evans (pictured)

Current Record Holder for TrophyKudu

Score Your Trophy

Kudu Trophy Score Sheet

Click here to find an official Safari Club International (SCI) Measurer.