Origins: The first Nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) were brought into the USA from India. Originally they were imported as zoo animals before the mid 1920's. Around 1930 the King Ranch initiated the first release in South Texas into Kenedy County. It's primary Indian predator, the tiger, being absent allowed them to flourish along with the favorably similar habitat of South Texas. Had the jaguar not been hunted out of Texas before this, it could have taken the natural primary apex predator spot in place of the tiger.
What Do Nilgai Look Like: The name nilgai is similar to the Hindi word for "blue bull" nilgaw. Adult bulls have a blue hue to their coat. Cows and calves are pale brown typically. Horns are present only on males and average around 7 in. long but we have definitely harvested larger. They are the largest of all Indian antelopes with adult bulls weighing between 440 and 530 lbs and cows between 330 and 440 lbs.
Nilgai Hunting Regulations: Since Nilgai are considered an introduced/non-native invasive species, there is no bag limit or season on their hunting. The same laws in regards to taking game from public roadways applies to Nilgai also. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department realize that exotics pose a threat to native habitats and species and wherever these conflicts occur, TPWD will ensure or encourage the continued health and population of the native wildlife.
Nilgai Nutritional Info: Texas A&M Department of Animal Science has published nutritional data from several exotics compared to domesticated meat sources. Here's how it stacks up for a 4 oz. portion of Nilgai uncooked meat:
What Do Nilgai Eat? Grass is the main diet for them in Texas with agricultural crops increasingly being encroached on by them. They will eat plant parts such as flowers, seeds, fruit, leaves, etc. as availability permits.
Nilgai Recipes: So are they good to eat? You betcha! We've found a wonderful blog of recipes right here
We are the #1 Nilgai hunting outfit in the Rio Grande Valley and will make your hunt one to remember for the rest of your life. If you'd like more information, call us at 1-956-778-1156 or fill out our online contact form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.