Exotics: Addax Cartridges
By Chuck Hawks
The addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is an endangered species of medium size antelope that is native to the Sahara desert in North Africa. Addax have been successfully bred on private game ranches, where they have become quite common. Their numbers on game preserves and ranches in the U.S. is almost certainly greater than their remaining numbers in the wild. Once again, the often maligned (by non-hunters) game ranches and hunters have given a critically endangered species a new lease on life.
A mature addax might measure about 40" at the shoulder and usually weighs between 130 and 260 pounds. Let's consider 175 pounds on the hoof a reasonable average for a mature male, which makes the addax similar in size to the North American mule deer. Both male and female addax develop horns that have two corkscrew twists and in males can reach 48" in length, an impressive trophy.
Addax are two-tone antelope. During the summer their body is white with brown patches on the chest, neck and head. Their face is marked by white around the mouth and they have long brown hair on the underside of their neck, probably an adaptation to make it more difficult for big cats to grab them by the throat. In winter their white body turns brown.
Like most antelope, addax are herd animals. They live in small, mixed (male and female) groups of two to twenty individuals led by the oldest male. Addax typically spend the day resting and feed at night, an accommodation to the intense daytime heat of the Sahara desert.
Addax are properly hunted with the same rifles and calibers appropriate for the larger species of North American deer. Ranges are typically moderate in exotic hunting, so medium range cartridges on the order of the .30-30 and long range cartridges such as the .270 Winchester are both appropriate. Remaining kinetic energy at impact should be at least 800 ft. lbs.
These are thin-skinned animals and soft point or plastic tipped bullets will usually provide quicker kills with heart/lung shots than deep penetrating premium bullets. Examples of appropriate bullets include the Hornady InterLock, Nosler Ballistic Tip, Remington Core-Lokt, Sierra GameKing, Speer Hot-Cor and Winchester Power Point.
Attempting to list every possible addax cartridge would be cumbersome and I would inevitably leave out someone's favorite in any case. So the cartridges mentioned below are just examples of satisfactory addax cartridges. If a cartridge is not listed it does not mean that it is inappropriate. Look for a cartridge with similar ballistics. If you find one, then the cartridge in question is also probably okay.
Examples of cartridges suitable for harvesting addax include:
6x62 Freres, .240 Weatherby, .257 Roberts, .25-06, .257 Weatherby, .260 Remington, 6.5x55 SE, 6.5mm Rem. Magnum, 6.5x68S, .264 Win. Magnum, .270 Winchester, 7mm-08, 7x57, 7x64 Brenneke, .280 Remington, .30-30, .300 Savage, .308 Marlin, .308 Winchester, .30-06, .303 British, .32 Winchester Special, 8x57JS, .35 Remington and similar cartridges.
Cartridges on the order of the 6.5x55 and 7x57 are probably about ideal, since they will do the job effectively with minimum fuss. As always, the key factor is bullet placement, not raw power. Any reasonable mule deer cartridge has enough power to harvest addax if you have the skill to put the bullet into the heart/lung area. Make that first shot count!
Copyright 2006, 2010 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.