Our South Texas Free Roaming Nilgai Hunts take place on over 15,000 acres of historic Yturria Ranch located in Kenedy and Willacy Counties on the Coastal Plains of South Texas. Founded in 1858 it is still a working cattle ranch stewarded by the Yturria family This area of South Texas is home to an incredible amount of Nilgai Antelope, Whitetail Deer, Javelina and Rio Grande Turkeys. Hunts take place from December – April and are conducted Safari Style with Spot Stalk Tactics all shots will be from the ground from Shooting Sticks at an animal that we have stalked and is unaware of our presence. If you're interested in a real hunt please take time and read the rest of the information about this most challenging animal to hunt in Texas.
Nilgai Antelope also known as the Blue Bulls were first introduced to Texas in the 1920s. The first pair of Nilgai where given as a gift to Caesar Kleberg of the King Ranch (in the early 1900s it was customary practice that a pair of something be given as gifts when visiting) No one remembers who gave them to him, but somebody gave him a pair of Nilgai which were promptly named Valentine and Valentina. The initial pair never bred as Valentina escaped from there pen. After some time it was decided that Valentine the bull needed some companionship for he was quite lonely and ornery. At this time, the decision was made to get some more Nilgai and release them on the ranch. The San Diego Zoological Garden was the source of five bulls and seven cows which were brought to the ranch and released in the live oaks, today, known as the Norias Division. From these 13 original Nilgai their population is now estimated to be more than 50,000 animals with most of them living East of Hwy 77 north of Ramondville, Texas in Kennedy and Willacy Counties.
Nilgai are very challenging to hunt, with their keen eyesight, impressive hearing and great sense of smell and an uncanny sense of approaching danger and you have a game animal that is very challenging to approach. Nilgai typically herd in small groups of 10-12 animals although larger groups of 20 -50 are common. Males and females remain separated for most of the year with bulls joining cow calf groups only for breeding. Most of the mating activity occurs from December through March however, breeding can occur throughout the year. The cow's gestation period is 240-258 days and Nilgai commonly bear twin and triplets are not uncommon. With good range conditions females can conceive at 18 months of age, but few mate before 3 years of age. Bulls become sexually mature by 2-1/2 years of age but usually do not compete successfully with other males until about 4-5 years of age. For this reason large herds of adolescent males are commonly seen together until they're old enough to compete.
Nilgai are native to India and Pakistan and are one of the largest members of the antelope family. Bulls can weigh 600 – 850 lbs. and should not be taken lightly. They have thick elastic hide that covers there neck and chest area that is up to one inch thick offering them protection in severe territory breeding battles. Their elastic hide also covers seals entrance and exit wounds (if there is one) leaving little or no blood trail making tracking very difficult. Nilgai are notorious for taking multiple shots and are extremely difficult to take down. An average mature bull will have 8 inch horns or better with a base approaching the length. Horns that measure 9-11 inches are exceptional. Nilgai can live up to 20 years in the wild, this may be one reason they are so smart. I would have to say they have a great memory as well because they act like they have seen everything before.
Our typical hunting tactic is to hunt Safari Style from high racked 4 x4 trucks driving slowly into the wind. We are looking for bulls off at a great distance that are unaware our presence. Once a potential Trophy is spotted that is unaware of us, the hunt is on foot the rest of the way. Most stalks are ¼ to ½ mile some longer and may take an hour to get into position. We also do a lot of spot and stalk hunting in and around feeding and watering areas. Most shots will be in the standing position off of shooting sticks at 100 – 200 yards.
There is no secret in putting these tough animals on the ground one well-placed shot at close range is all it takes and bigger the caliber the better. We suggest a minimum of a .300 Magnum and larger is better, optimum calibers being .338 - .375 are perfect for Nilgai. We have a .338 Win Magnum, .340 Weatherby Magnum and .375 H&H Magnums available to rent for $50 a day. Well-built bullets are also necessary and the bigger the better. Nilgai have a lot of mass and it takes heavy well-constructed bullets to get deep penetration.
While hunting with us, it is not common to see 100-200 Nilgai in a day usually many more. For this reason we are able to be very selective of the animals harvested and only mature bulls are considered. With over 40 sq. miles of free roaming hunting, it's just a matter of time before we get you in range of a Trophy Nilgai Bull.
The Yturria Hacienda is Spectacular, Spacious and well appointed. The decor includes rustic furnishings , art work and artifacts from South Texas, Mexico and around the world. It is a true museum of Texas History and of the Yturria Family. Guest will enjoy relaxing after the days hunt on the beautiful grounds of the estate.
Accommodations include four large guest bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. With a first-class staff dedicated to giving you a memorable experience. And very evening is a dinning event at the Yturria Ranch as our executive chef will prepare delicious Southwestern meals that are sure to please. The facility also has a grand courtyard for siestas in the afternoon and relaxing in the evenings under the Texas sky.
Most shots will be from a standing position off of shooting sticks due to the tall grass and brush but there are times a kneeling shot will present itself. I suggest that you practice off of an adjustable tripod shooting stick especially, if you have never shot from shooting sticks before. We supply and carry a pair of sticks on the hunt so there is no reason to bring yours unless you plan on carrying them.
Since 1994 we have guided over 1,700 successful Nilgai Hunters, many return to hunt year after year. Although we make no guarantees, other than to do our best to provide you with a memorable hunt, we have been 100% on Trophy Nilgai Bulls since 1994. We know how to hunt Nilgai and how to make your hunt a success so that you will want come back again. We are professional hunters and do this for a living because we love it.
2 Day Nilgai Bull Hunts
2 Day Nilgai Cow Hunts
For those flying, you will need to arrive in Harlingen, Texas the day before your hunt at Valley International Airport (VIA) rent a car and drive 20 miles to Ramondville, Texas. Arrive early as possible. For those of you driving arrive early as possible the day before your hunt. If you decide to hunt with us in the upcoming season please look at our Trip Planner. It will go over everything in detail and what is expected from both of us. If you have any questions or want to talk hunting, please feel free to give me a call anytime.