Two sub species are notable. The Black-backed Jackal is most common and found throughout Southern Africa. The Side-stripped Jackal occurs mostly in the northern reaches of Namibia, Botswana, and parts of Zambia. We will concentrate here on the habits of the Black-backed jackal, but most of what is said can be applied to his cousin. The Black-back is light reddish in color which accounts for his Afrikaans name: Rooijakkals or “red jackal”. He sports a saddle of black on his back accented with white speckles and thus his claim to: “Black-Backed Jackal”. The only notable difference between the male and female is male will tend to be slightly heavier.
This accomplished little predator is much like the coyote of North America and is given about the same respect as is afforded his American counterpart. Farmers and ranchers alike are intent on driving his numbers down as they prey relentlessly on young antelope. While the Jackal prefers open, arid areas such as woodlands or grasslands with enough brush for cover, this canine can adapt to just about any habitat. He is independent of water and usually solitary although they do live in pairs and establish territories. They scavenge carcasses and feed on lambs, mice, hares, as well as larger insects and fruit. Hunting Jackal is usually the product of a chance encounter while on the track of other game.
The Rifle you have in your hand will be the right rifle, you will probably have only seconds to make up your mind and shoot. If your aim is to hunt Jackal “on purpose” it will probably be a nighttime endeavor, complete with spotlights and predator calls. The Rooijakkals is an extremely resilient little predator, like his North American cousin, attempts to eradicate him are most likely futile. As his numbers are decreased significantly, he tends to produce larger litters to compensate. Hunting Jackal can provide an excellent diversion and he can usually be counted upon to show up just when the other game seems to be getting scarce.