Great photo. How about a little narrative about your hunt? I understand these critters can be very skittish and difficult to get within range. What caliber shootin' iron and size bullet were you shooting?
That's true, Big Tuna. I think of them as brown trout with fur and horns; not from here but still great sport in the wild open spaces of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Now if the animal kept and hunted in a small confined area, well, that's the same as fishing in a hatchery to me.
Hello Fisherman/women a narrative was requested so this is it
I drew the Oryx hunt under a Iraq war veteran hunt. I was fortunate to draw first round since it is a once in a life time hunt. I hired a guide. The hunt is only two days, so it is a no fail mission. Some people wait for years to get this hunt and don't get a shot, I heard many complain that they didn't see any but if you look hard enough they are there. They blend in very well! Having a guide helped a lot! SOOO WORTH IT!
They were introduced from 1969 to 1977 along with other African species that did not handle the cold winters. Oryx are also known as gemsbok and all over south Texas in hunting ranches. They thrive down there but on a ranch they will cost you about 8000 dollars to kill.
The first day of my hunt we went through a briefing in the freezing cold and waited for light. When we were released on to the military installation we drove out to an area that had some high ground. We were competing with 105 hunters that day but the installation is about 20x60 miles. The Oryx were bedded down and we could not see anything. The winds were high and the weather was cold. It snowed the night before. You might think new Mexico, cold? Yeah it gets effin cold here! When the Sun came up we could see a few here and a few there and then about a mile out we came across a huge herd what we thought was 60 which turned into about 250! They were all over the place, you might think that's awesome but that just more eyes to spot you and send the herd running. My guide and I stalked in to about 224 yards and they were milling about, there were a ton of broken horned Oryx so we were looking for the BIG one to take home, I had my bow and rifle with me hoping I could work into 60 yards and take my trophy with my Mathews DXT. My back up was a Remington Model 700 300 Win Mag RMEF with a leupold 3x9 40mm scope. The Oryx were walking around and before we could pick one out, a group of other hunters tried to get in on my herd, I'm wearing a blaze orange vest in the middle of a clearing behind some small yucca CLEAR AS DAY! So they busted out and I spend the first half of the day chasing a 100 that broke off. Every time we would get close a truck would drive by on a road and stop when they saw them in the distance and they boogied!
After lunch we drove around some of the rest of the installation looking for a smaller less pressured herd and had no luck. About 5 in the afternoon we spotted a herd of about 15 at the first location we went to in the morning.. They were a good mile away from us so we went jumped in the truck and took the road to the back side of them. We approached their location hidden by some small valleys. We worked our way into about 425 yards and I felt confident it is now about an hour before last shooting light. I took a shot on what looked like a 40 inch cow. Would of been the biggest of the weekend (39 was the biggest taken). I missed! The herd boogied and I was pissed at my self, I was counting on that shot and getting to come home Saturday night and be able to fish Sunday! After that long day I wasn't looking forward to another freezing morning. After the herd took off we looked for others and came up empty. However another veteran buddy was out there with us in a separate vehicle and happened across the same herd next to the road. If he would of stopped they would of taken off so the driver slowed and he bailed out with anther friend of mine. The Oryx were oblivious, 300 yards from the road. They worked their way in to about 225 and he takes a kneeling shot at the same cow I shot at, this thing must have 9 lives.. He missed her too, the randomest act happened next. He shot underneath her and Knee capped a 29inch sub-adult (adolescent) Oryx cow. The Oryx was in mid step and flipped end over end and broke off a horn. (you cant right shit like this I promise you its all true.) He thought he missed completely and went to check for blood and found this little one laying on the ground so he put it down. He called me and my guide on the radio to check our status and we were not making headway so we went to help gut and load this thing up. That's when the story was told.. Its pretty unbelievable. We took this little guy to the processor but he is happy because he filled his tag.. Small Oryx is better than no Oryx! I didn't have one at this point and had the stress of one day left to harvest. We went back to Socorro and drank some beers and BS'ed about the day.
It started off cold and we tried to check out other areas of the installation and found onesies and twosies but they were broken horns, at this point I'm thinking I'll take a broken horn if it comes down to it. We searched for about 3 hours and decided to go back to the location from he first morning. Its now about 930 am. We see a herd of about 15 again close to the road, so we drive by and go around a burm. We get out of the truck and leave the doors open, and climb the burm, I took a shot at about 300 yards and hit too far back. ORYX need to be shot straight through the shoulder unlike an elk. The vitals are further forward. I knew this but in the excitement I forgot! She takes off running along with the rest and I'm thinking I missed, pretty soon she slows and lays down about 1000 meters out, and eats a little bit. I'm thinking I missed but we checked an there was blood. again at about 600 and missed trying to guess distance and windage. At this point she is too far out and beds down. I approach and she takes off running again! At this point I don't want to loose her so I have a buddy stay at a high point and watch her. I drive around like I did the first day and make my way in from about a mile out. She is making things difficult because she is in the middle of a valley. We stalked to about 600 meters before getting to the clearing and noticed we had small low grass and yucca to stalk further, I'm thinking get to 300 and play it safe. So we low crawled to 300 meters and her body was hidden by grass and maybe a small mound. We crawl into about 225 yards and wait for movement she is licking her wound. So my guide whistles to get her to stand up, we get no reaction. He whistles louder and nothing. Starts howling like a coyote and nothing! I'm getting itchy and stressed so I yell HEYYYY! we see movement, it starts to stand and I put a round right through the shoulder and it buckled! Thank god! I got my trophy and she was bigger than my friends Oryx from the day before and my friend that had a hunt in October. "Bragging points" It was a tough hunt but well worth it. Oryx meat is really good! I'll get her back in 2 weeks and be good on meat for a while.
If you get this hunt hire a guide! They know the area and your chances are better. The rifle is now for sale.. I'm a bow hunter and it was bought new and used just for this hunt. I'd sell her for 1100 and take a 250 dollar loss or trade for a Kimber 45. 1 percent of oryx hunts are taken with a bow, I was not among the 1 percent.