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This type of wildebeest is very similar to the blue wildebeest and the brindled wildebeest. They have increased greatly in numbers in recent years in their native ranges. In 1950, a census revealed approximately 100,000 individuals in the Serengeti region; today about 1.5 million white-bearded wildebeest are believed to be present in their native homeland region. However, the growth of human settlements along their northern migration routes have begun to disrupt their natural patterns. The grazing and trampling of the grasses by such large herds helps to stimulate grass growth, while their
waste provides nutrients for the soil and plants. Wildebeest are also an important food source for predators such as lions and hyenas.
In Texas, white-bearded gnu have become a popular exotic on game ranches and their physiological make-up is apparently well-suited for certain parts of the state, as witnessed through their success. Hunters should NOT under-estimate how difficult they are to bring down, as they are tuff, hardy animals. Males will often weigh 400 – 550 pounds on the hoof and females are only about 10% smaller. The males have a bit heavier horn structure, but the females make impressive trophies, as well. The thick hide, and heavy muscle and bone structure require plenty of gun and a well-constructed bullet.
Wildlife Systems’ wildebeest hunts are generally set up as a 2-3 day package. We charge a daily fee which includes meals, lodging, and guide. In addition to the daily fee, our hunters pay a kill fee which is a set amount and is not dictated by the size but is simply a flat kill fee. For more details on our exotic game fees, click on this link.
Most of these hunts take place on the historic H. Yturria Ranches, located near Raymondville and McAllen, Texas. These properties are steeped deep in South Texas History. Francisco Yturria was the patriarch of the Yturria Family who was a successful businessman in both South Texas and Mexico. Along with other prominent business people from the mid-1800 era, such as Richard King and Mifflin Kennedy, Yturria amassed tremendous land-holding in the Rio Grande Valley Region of South Texas. Today, descendants of Francisco Yturria continue to operate 3 divisions of H. Yturria Ranches. The white-bearded gnu are found on the La Chata Division and the La Joya Division which encompasses approximately 12,000 acres collectively. The wildebeest herd on these properties is one of the largest herds in the state, containing over 200 animals. This is a great hunt for an amazing animal.
The meat from these animals is excellent eating. So, in addition to a great trophy, you’ll also end of with great table-fare. As part of the package, Wildlife Systems will quarter the meat. We have a walk-in cooler, as well as limited freezer space. On the trophies, our guide will fully cape the head and freeze the cape. You can either take the horns and cape back with you, or we can overnight ship the frozen cape, and you’ll be invoiced for the shipping charges along with a nominal service charge for our time on boxing and shipping. We do not ship meat.
For those hunters who are traveling in from out of state, Wildlife Systems can take care of processing your non-resident license. The cost is $48 and is “over the counter”. You’ll simply need to fill out the Hunter Profile that we will send to you and we’ll take care of the rest.
This is a warm part of the world, but it’s best to check the local weather forecast a few days prior to your departure and to pack accordingly. In addition to your regular hunting gear, you might want to bring some sun screen and bug spray. Regarding size of gun, we recommend a minimum of a 180-grain bullet. Please stay away from high expandable bullets such as Nosler Ballistic Tips, Berger bullets, and hollow points. We recommend a bullet that will expand but hold its mass, such as a partition, A-frame, or bonded bullet.
The nearest airport is Harlingen, if you are hunting the Yturria Ranch and that property is located about 7 miles north of Raymondville. We can provide CONDITIONAL airport shuttle from Harlingen for an additional fee. Most hunters rent a vehicle and drive to the ranch where the guide meets them at the gate. For hunters who are driving from their home, our Wildlife Systems office staff will provide directions, as well as a contact phone number for the guide.