Texas Blackbuck Antelope
Originally from the plains of India (hunting has been discontinued here), Pakistan and Nepal, Blackbuck antelope were originally released in Texas in the Edwards Plateau (Kerr County) in 1932. In 1988, only eight Texas counties had free-ranging blackbuck, but these antelope were confined on ranches in 86 counties. Of the total number of exotics confined on Texas ranches in 1988, only the axis deer outnumbered blackbuck antelope.
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About the size of a small deer, the blackbuck is a member of the antelope family. The permanent horns, not antlers which may shed, of the Blackbuck are ringed with 1 to 5 turns, rarely more than 4 turns, and can be as long as 28 inches. A trophy Blackbuck is 18+ inches. In the male, the upper body is black (dark brown), and the belly and eye rings are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Blackbucks usually roam the plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male.
There are no restrictions on hunting the Blackbuck Antelope in Texas, which makes it a very popular suitable trophy year round.
Trophy Blackbuck Antelope prefer to graze on short length grass and common brush species including fall witchgrass, mesquite, and live oak.
Adult Blackbuck males are highly territorial and defend their areas vigorously against trespass by other males. Female Blackbuck groups may graze through male territories but other males are excluded. Young Blackbuck Antelope males, and bucks without territories, form their own all male groups. At physical maturity (2 - 2½ years of age) young bucks may split from the all-male group to establish or win their own territory.
Blackbuck Antelope breeding can take place at any time of the year, yet the bucks are more active in spring and fall. The length of gestation for a Blackbuck Antelope is about 5 months and within a month of giving birth, the female blackbuck may breed again.
The Blackbuck Antelope female reaches sexual maturity around 8 months of age, but usually do not breed until nearly 2 years of age. The Blackbuck Antelope lifespan is up to 15 years.