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Texas is home to more free-range nilgai antelope than their native country of India. Originally stocked on the King Ranch in the 1930’s, these sporty game animals quickly took hold and are currently free- ranging on a handful of large private properties in lower South Texas.
Nilgai antelope are the second largest member of the antelope family, with the older bulls often being referred to as “blue bulls”, as the dominant males typically become very dark, taking on a blackish and blueish hue. These are large, sturdy animals with mature bulls weighing upwards of 600-700 pounds on the hoof. Trophy size nilgai antelope bulls will normally sport vertically oriented horns measuring 8.5” - 10” in length. They feature a unique tubular shaped beard on the midsection of their throat. Nilgai antelope can present a challenging and fun hunting experience, as they very skittish, and their keen eyesight is atop an elongated neck, making it difficult to approach them without being spotted. They are horribly difficult to bring down, and rarely do they get dropped in their tracks unless taken with a spine shot. We have a minimum caliber restriction of a .300 mag.
Our Nilgai antelope hunting takes place on two historic properties that are located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Region of deep South Texas. Two of the divisions of H. Yturria Ranches, located near Raymondville, provide almost 20,000 acres of prime nilgai country, with an estimated herd of over 500 nilgai. These properties are chock full of native wildlife including whitetail deer, Rio Grande wild turkey, bobwhite quail, javelina, and an assortment of nongame wildlife. Other exotics here include one of the state's largest scimitar horned Oryx herds, as well as waterbuck, lechwe, blackbuck antelope, springbok, eland, addax, kudu, gemsbok, beisa oryx, white-bearded gnu, and sable.
The two camps at these H. Yturria Divisions are unique and comfortable. Each camp is built with an African safari type of facade, with both camps having several chalets, each chalet having two beds and private bath facility, all of which are air conditioned. Each camp also features a central building for dining and lounging, and a fire ring provides a perfect evening venue for relaxing with a cool drink and enjoying the endless supply of stars. Both camps are carved out of the South Texas brush, well off the beaten path so that you can be immersed in tranquility.
The other property that we offer nilgai hunts is the El Sauz Division of the East Ranches, located on the edge of the tiny fishing village of Port Mansfield. This property is also steeped in South Texas history, comprising over 28,000 acres. With several miles of coastline along the Laguna Madre, this property is rich with native wildlife. Nilgai are the only animals that are commercially hunted on this property and there are is a large population of these amazing animals on this place. Hunts are conducted from a large private facility that is located 1 mile from the ranch gate. The lodge is exceptionally well-appointed with high end amenities and plenty of room for everyone to have a relaxing and comfortable experience while they are back at the lodge. Depending upon the group size, sleeping arrangements are either single occupancy or double. It is common to see 20 - 30 nilgai bulls per day. It is a matter of finding the right bull and making a successful stalk. These nilgai hunts are as good as any that are on the market today.
Our nilgai antelope hunts are set up as 2.5 day packages including 3 nights lodging. Some hunters are guided 1x1 and some clients are 2x1 on the Yturria, while all hunts at the East Ranch are based on a 2x1 format. Three meals daily are served. For a $100 per trip charge, we will furnish you with airport shuttle to and from Harlingen, which is only a 50-minute drive. Your harvested bull will be skinned and caped as part of the package and you may choose to pay to have the meat commercially processed at a nearby facility. Incidentally, nilgai meat is excellent eating, which makes these hunts even more attractive.
Due to the size and hardiness of nilgai bulls, this property has a minimum caliber allowance of a .300 mag. Well-constructed bullets such as partitions, A-Frames, and bonded bullets are recommended. No highly expandable bullets, such as Nosler Ballistic Tips, are allowed. Your guide is required to carry a back-up gun in case a follow up shot is necessary to prevent a wounded nilgai bull making it into the Texas brush.
Most of these hunts take place from October – April, with January – March being the most popular time periods. We can accommodate as many as 8 hunters on the East Ranch on a given hunt, but we can also accommodate singles and small groups on either property. We do operate under a restricted quota, so booking well in advance is recommended.
East Ranch Nilgai 2016
H. Yturria Nilgai 2016
East Ranch Nilgai 2016