The Bontebok (Damaliscus Pygargus Phillipsi) is an antelope endemic to South Africa. Bles is the Afrikaans word for Blaze such as one would see on the forehead of a horse. The Bontebok also has this characteristic. The Bontebok is found in large herds in all National Parks around South Africa.

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The Bontebok (Damaliscus Pygargus) is an antelope found in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia. The Bontebok is related to the common Tesessebe.

The Bontebok is a tall, medium-sized antelope. They typically stand 80 to 100 cm (31 to 39 in) high at the shoulder and measure 120 to 210 cm (47 to 83 in) along the head and body. The tail can range from 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in). Body mass can vary from 50 to 155 kg (110 to 342 lb). Males are slightly larger and noticeably heavier than females. The Bontebok is a chocolate brown colour, with a white underside and a white stripe from the forehead to the tip of the nose.  The Bontebok also has a distinctive white patch around its tail (hence the Latin name). The horns of the Bontebok are lyre-shaped and clearly ringed. They are found in both sexes and can reach a length of half a metre.

Bontebok are herbivores and their diet consists of various short grasses and plants. They are considered to be diurnal grazers, which means they will graze during the morning and evening. Herds contain only males, only females, or are mixed, and do not exceed 40 animals.

Bontebok mate between January and March, with calves being born from September to October. The gestation period for this particular antelope is seven to eight months, and their young are up and mobile within minutes after birth (called precocial).

Bontebok are not good jumpers, but they are very good at crawling under things. Mature males form territories and face down other males in displays and occasionally fight them.

Predators consist of Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Caracal and Jackal. They will attempt to defend themselves from predators by using their jagged horns when necessary; however, they prefer to just run away to avoid confrontation.

The alarm call is a short, sharp snort.


The Bontebok inhabits the open savanna with coastal grasslands plains and tall shrub-like vegetation called fynbos. Historically, these mammals wandered the coastal plain of the southwestern Cape, South Africa. They are diurnal, though they rest during the heat of the day.


What is Bontebok Taxidermy?

Bontebok taxidermy is the art of preserving the Bontebok’s skin and other body parts to produce lifelike sculptures for display, either at home as a hunting trophy or in museums for educational purposes. Skin is preserved and mounted on an artificial armature to display the specimen.

The contemporary English word “taxidermy” is derived from the Greek terms taxis, meaning “movement,” and derma, meaning “skin,” thereby combining these two meanings. This is why, in a broad sense, taxidermy is synonymous with “the motion of skin.”

For expert taxidermists, skills in sculpture, painting, and sketching are just as important as those in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, and casting.

The remaining parts of the body are synthetic replacements for real organs and tissues. Polyurethane foam is used for the manikin or form, which includes the anatomy of every muscle and vein; glass is used for the eyes; clay is used for the eyelids; for the nose and mouth the foam of the mannequin is sculptured.

Works of taxidermy can be found in a wide range of environments, including museums, classrooms, galleries, stores, restaurants, and private households, due to the complexity and delicate craftsmanship involved in the taxidermy process.

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity. Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost. Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

Hunting Bontebok

In Africa, hunting Bontebok is typically done by more seasoned hunters looking to fill up a specific trophy collection. Bontebok are commonly found in Western Cape and Free State, where they are hunted because they are easy to spot in their preferred habitat of broad grass plains with access to water.

Hunting for Bontebok is identical to that of Blesbok. Shots to the upper heart and lungs are ideal for a side presentation, as is the case with most antelope species, whereas shots to the area where the neck joins the body tend to be more effective when the animal is facing the shooter head-on. A trophy with horns of 14–15 inches would be typical, but any larger would be exceptional.

Bontebok can be hunted with the same rifle you use for other antelope, whether it’s a.270, 7mm, or one of the 30 calibres. When hunting plains game, or any African species for that matter, it’s important to use high-quality ammunition and keep in mind that shots may need to be taken from a great distance.

The Bontebok taxidermist’s process and method

When making an Bontebok mount, careful planning is key to getting a high-quality result. When tanning and oiling the skins, only the best chemicals and methods are used. This ensures that the skins will last for many years.

Your preferred form for the Bontebok will be chosen after taking your measurements into account, and the posture of your form will be changed at no extra cost. Full-mount Bontebok trophies come with bases made to look like the animal’s natural habitat and made just for the Bontebok mount.

The taxidermy process at Life-Form takes your prized Bontebok trophy and gives it a whole new meaning by using only the best materials and drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the field.

When repair is needed, every effort is made to fix cuts and scrapes and lessen bullet damage. Existing scars are left alone unless the client asks for them to be taken away.

Taking care of your Bontebok trophy

Using the helpful tips below, it’s important to take extra care of your prized Bontebok trophy to make sure it stays in perfect shape for years to come.

  • To keep your Bontebok mounts looking their best, it’s important to put them in the right place with the right temperature and humidity.
  • To keep your mounts from fading over time, try not to hang them next to a sunny window where they will be in direct sunlight for a long time. If you can, don’t put taxidermy near direct heat sources like furnace vents or wood stoves.
  • A taxidermy trophy should be handled and cared for like any other expensive and fine piece of art. Mounts should only be touched when they need to be.
  • If you want your mounts to look their best, you should dust them often and gently. A feather duster works well, and then you can wipe away any remaining dust with a damp cloth in the direction of the hair.
  • People often say that things like furniture polish work well to clean hair or fur, but you should avoid using them. Over time, these things can actually gather more dust and moisture.
  • You can also use compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush for the scenery. Be careful to work gently and follow the natural direction of the skin.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in glass cleaner to clean the eyes, and then use a clean, dry swab to polish them.
  • Even the most prestigious museums and trophy rooms have had items damaged by insects. Moths and tiny demisted or carpet beetles are the two types of insects that are responsible for this problem, so it is worth fumigating the room regularly.
  • A fine repellent mist should be sprayed all over the mount, and then the product should be carefully combed into the hair. A blow dryer can be used to restore the fluffy appearance of the fur on animals that have it.


How much does a Bontebok trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements.

Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you. Please contact [email protected]

How long does a Bontebok trophy take?

Taxidermy is an art form that involves a complicated step-by-step process to make sure that each trophy looks just right and is of a high enough quality that it will last your whole life.

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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