Excerpt from Texas Safari: The Game Hunter’s Guide To Texas
An extremely large antelope native to India and Pakistan, Nilgai can measure up to 5 feet at the shoulder and weigh close to 700 pounds. Males have small, bicurved horns that average only 7 inches in height with 11 inches being a terrific trophy. Males also sport beards of hair from their lower neck that can reach in excess of 5 inches in length.
Nilgai are tan to brown or gray to dark gray in color with mature males taking on a bluish sheen. Because of this nilgai are also referred to as blue bulls or bluebucks. Both sexes have thick skin with males having even thicker skin covering their chest and neck. This undoubtedly offers great protection from the numerous thorn and barb bearing vegetation of the South Texas Plains and Gulf Prairies and Marshes regions they inhabit.
Nilgai are fairly diurnal, being active mostly in the early morning and evening hours of the day. During the breeding season males gather harem groups and become extremely territorial. They mark their territory with large dung piles that they are constantly adding too. If threatened or challenged however, males will fight by utilizing their thick neck muscles to “neck wrestle” or by using their small horns to spar.
Due to their large size nilgai have few predators in their native Asia. Only tigers and man are of any serious threat to adults. In Texas nilgai have even fewer predators although calves are susceptible to coyotes and other large predatory and opportunist animals.
Nilgai are attributed with having eyesight and hearing equal to if not better than whitetails. Their sense of smell is considered to be poor at best.
Best places to hunt: Free ranging nilgai are found in the Gulf Prairies and Marshes and South Texas Plains regions.
Recommended calibers: Given their immense size and forward thick hides anything less than .375 H & H or .416 isn’t recommended. Nilgai are big game animals in the same vein as their African cousins.