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Stallion Oryx Hunt

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Unread 09-26-2011, 06:00 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 101
Stallion Oryx Hunt

I just got back from my Stallion Range hunt. If you plan on putting in for this tag you may want to consider Rhodes Canyon first. This was a lot more difficult of a hunt then I expected. I did go guided and had a great guide that has hunted the base a lot.

We couldn't hunt after orientation on Friday so we got there really early on Sat. We were told on Friday the hunt was ending early on Sat because of missions that night so we had to be out by 6:00, so no long stocks after 4:00PM.

Got to a glassing area first thing and glassed up a couple of nice ones at 1000 yards. Got to 800 yards of the nice one and ran out of cover. I had a nice shooting stick rest but he wouldn't turn broadside, just a quartering away shot and he was walking away slowly. No way to get into another position and I couldn't get prone. I just couldn't get comfortable enough for that long of a shot off of a small tripod shooting rest so I passed. If the animal had turned broadside I would have made the shot. At least I was hitting the bulls eye at 650 yards off the same sticks the day before at the range.

Hiked a mile into an area that used to be a honey hole but is now all dried up.

After the hike glassed up some bedded bulls and put a mile or so stock onthem. Got busted by some Oryx we didn't see along the way. I didn't have the Bog Pod but the smaller sticks so I couldn't get steady as a nice one ran 350 yards or so on by. So let that one go.

Over the next hour we glassed and moved along the base of the mountains were we blew the stock on the bedded bulls. Then we came up to an area we glassed 45 minutes earlier to see 3 trucks pulled over. They were all watching a guy that had got into position of 12 or so Oryx a half mile in. We watched as the guy missed. The Oryx ran in the direction our truck was pointed and we were off to the races. Everyone else just stood and watched.

3 or so miles down the road we bailed out and started to hustle to the base of the mountains. 30 minutes later the 13 Oryx were walking single file into our position. We got to 350 yards and were setting up when the lead cow busted us. I only had a shot at the first 4 animals because of the bushes. 2 avg to small bulls were now stacked on top of one another so no shot. My guide saw the 4th bull but I couldn't because of a Yucca. The rest of the string had stopped and were not visible from our position.

The lead Oryx was a non typical. The left horn was at a 90 deg angle running straight along the back. The other horn looked to come up a little higher and then go back as well.

In all the excitement I didn't see the rt horn was broken off. My guide was looking at the other 3 and I said I have one in sight and am going to shoot. The .338 RUM built by Kirby Allen barked and the animal dropped hard. My guide didn't know which one I had shot but we knew it was down and we saw a huge dust cloud as the animal kicked violently before expiring.

It was a cow, no big deal, and her rt horn was busted off. Something I didn't see in all of the excitement. During her thrashing on the ground she broke off her left side as well. No big deal, this is something that can be easily fixed by my taxidermist.

Here's where it goes from bad to worst. We shot the animal at 2:45PM and it was 90 deg or hotter. My dad watched this from the car now 2 or so miles away. We knew we had to get moving so we took some quick pictures and I headed back to the truck to get the game cart. There was a game official there who saw what happened. He warned my dad we had to hurry.

Finally got the game cart to the animal and we started to wheel her out and the wheel bends. We can't drive the truck back to here because the terrain was too nasty. My guide goes back to the truck, my dad who is now with us, stays with the animal and I head back to help the guide.

The guide gets to the truck and the official says we don't have time to retrieve the animal. It's 4:45 and we will get fined a million dollars a minute for every minute we are on the base after 6:00. So just leave the animal and get out.

My 64 year old dad is still a mile up the hill. Jim, my guide, is now running up to me yelling we have to go. I couldn't understand what was going on and he explains it once he reaches me. I now go running up the hill yelling to get my dads attention. He finally hears us and starts to come down. Jim runs up and helps to push my dad along. All the while I'm now pissed.

We are 40 minutes from the gate according to the officer who has now taken off. We break all the speed laws and get to the gate in 20 minutes, 5:15. Now I"m really ticked off. The officials new I had an animal on the ground at 2:45. They came up with some bull **** that we were going to get fined this large amount. It's hotter then snot and my animal is rotting on the hillside. And no game officials offered to help.

Head game guy said come back in the AM. They new the story and would discuss what would happen. I was pissed about the animal rotting in the sun. Next AM they said I would not get another tag and if the animal is wasted to just leave it on the hillside. My once in a lifetime hunt was over.

Thanks jerk offs. I was so frustrated I couldn't tell you. I guess it's OK to waste an animal like that. We ended up packing 4 quarters and the back straps out. The biologist, game warden, guide and butcher said we got lucky. The meat appeared good and the hide appears to have not slipped. So I'm taking the meat to my butcher tomorrow and I think the meat will be OK. Will have to wait to see about the hide once it comes back from the tannery.

Why the officials let anyone shoot an animal after 2:00 or so is beyond me if you can't get help when things go bad. They knew we were in trouble 2 hours into the pack out. Yet not one offer to help and yea, it's OK to possibly waste the meat. They didn't care. Plus the one official with the BS million dollar fine just wanted us out of there. This was never mentioned in the orientation.

Over the course of the day we saw a couple of animals here and there but all were broken up. After we failed on a couple of stocks and seeing very few intact animals we were quickly realizing this first hunt of the year was a lot tougher then any of us were expecting.

On that fist day there were 85 hunters and only 23 harvested. Sun when we got out it was up to 26 and we saw 4 other animals that came out after us. I don't know what the final numbers are yet but I would be surprised if it was no higher then 50%. This hunt used to be 75% with 110 tags given out.

F&G has sold so many licenses over the past years they have wrecked the heard because of greed. Very sad to see. I believe the Rhodes Canyon hunt is better. They had a youth hunt there before ours and were 47 out of 50. I'm not sure how any of the next 3 hunts will turn out on Stallion this season but if you are heading out be prepared to hunt hard.

You may get lucky. On our way in on Sunday to my animal one truck in front of us and 3 trucks behind us failed to see 2 nice bulls 150 yards from the road. They all missed them but we didn't. That was easy for someone because on our way out a truck was in the field where we saw the 2. So someone was paying attention and was rewarded.

I don't have any pictures to post. My guide had his camera and will send me some. I was expecting to take some with mine when we got the animal out. Never thinking we were going to have to leave it on the hillside all night. Then in the AM I was pretty disgusted and forgot it in the truck as we hiked up to the animal.

If anyone has any questions about location or tips on this hunt feel free to contact me. I also have a great guide to recommend if you decide to go that way.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 08:52 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 48
Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

buzz4me2 Sorry for the problems. Fortunately my hunt was hard but better.

We were disappointed, as all were, about not getting to hunt Friday afternoon.

Saturday found us on the east side along the mountains. We hit the 2 track trail heading straight south. I developed a bad case of plantar fasciitis a month ago. I had to go to Minnesota to haul a bunch of personal belongings and spent 2 weeks with it loading and moving stuff in the pole barn up there. Then hit the trail on the Oryx hunt. Needless to say every step was torture.

About 3/4 of a mile onto the trail with the Avalanche and we spotted 3 Oryx with a VERY NICE bull/cow (probably 40" class" at the skyline to the south along the road. Figured we would just work our way down there. Well, there were numerous washouts along the way. Some we had to go about 30 yards to the side to get through. I started walking the road south and working the sides while a friend brought the Avalanche through. Most of the washouts we at least dug the front air dam and the back equalizer hitch into the ground. Took about 3 hours to get the 3 miles.

When we finally got to that skyline there were no Oryx of course. But we did get through to the other end. When we got to the last bad washout we found tracks coming from the south that had turned around and gone back. At least then we had a good feeling that we wouldn't have to go back the way we came.

We then headed south west and back up the west side on highway 5. saw 2 Oryx that some hunters were putting the sneak on. Didn't see anything else all the way back up on 5. We were told by Gilbert that we should go into Gallegos and glass. So, being it was about noon we went in and did some glassing. Saw some that were going east to the north of us so went up the trail to the NE and I got out and meandered into the center. Didn't see any Oryx, but 3 miles later my Grandson and I got to the Avalanche where the other friend met us.

We then wondered up a very old and abandoned 2 track road and got a LONG look at a group of Oryx. I put the scope on them and had my first "issue" with the new scope. It is a 6x21 with mil dot reticle. According to the mil dots the Oryx was covering just over 4 mil dots. at 48" to the shoulder that would be about 11" per mil dot or just over 300 yards. Yet with the naked eye I estimated them at right at 600 yards. Decided I would trust the mil dots because if I was off I would just hit the dirt between and spook them. That is just what happened.

We then went back and made a sweep to the mountains to the east. Saw a couple but nothing that we could get that late in the day. So, off to the gate and back tomorrow.

Bright and early on Sunday we were back at Gallegos and driving south, then east on the 2 lane trail along the power lines. When we turned east and went about 1/2 mile the grandson spotted on about 75 yards out. It was like a bull but the horns were only about 4" long but about 7" around at the base. He just watched us as someone came up behind us. I motioned to them that there was 1 Oryx out there that had 2 very short horns. Then we cleared the area and they put the sneak on it.

We went about 1 mile further and drove up on a burm to glass. Saw a herd of about 25 north about 1500 yards and headed slowly NW, the way we had come from. Decided to go back and put the sneak on them. Drove back west and about 1 mile north along the power line. Then we sneaked about 2 miles out into the desert expecting any minute to see something coming up through the brush. Nothing. Got to a fence line with no wire so we used it to get further east. Got about 1/4 mile and saw too apparent bulls messing around SE of us and headed north. They got even with us and spotted us.

We positioned ourselves behind some 6x6 posts and waited about 30 minutes. They were just messing around and obviously wanted to come our way but didn't trust us to just pet them. I decided I would sneaky a little bit along the fence line to get closer. I estimated them at about 600 yards. I sneakied about 100 to 125 yards along the fence line and figured I couldn't get any closer without spooking them.

I put the scope on them and found both to be right at 4.5 mil dots high from the ground to the top of shoulder. That is 10.7" per mil dot or 300 yards. Looked like 500 to me. Again, I figured I would trust the equipment (how do you mess up a mil dot?) and if I was wrong I would hit the ground in between. And again that is what I did. Now I had a good estimation at what the range really was and decided I would try a 2nd shot.

Chambered a new round, lined up on a broadside with the Rem 700 in 30-06 and the trigger wouldn't pull. SOLID. Tried dry firing about 10 times and same thing. So, dead in the water.

We then hobbled back the 2.5 miles to the vehicle and I dropped the stock. Backed of the top screw on the front of the trigger and all was good again. I had set it with nearly 1/2 turn spare and used nail polish to lock. Had just fired 3 sight in shots on Sat afternoon. ???

Then, in my frustration, I had dropped the shell carrier and didn't notice it. So, forgot to put it back in as I was more concentrating on it firing. Set back in the passengers seat and finished my sandwich.

We decided to go back south along the power line and back to the burm and do some more glassing. I am driving along, watching the road and pretty well ignoring the area just south of where we had just walked. Suddenly a flash of gray broke my peripheral vision and there were two Oryx about 25 yards out and racing to cross in front of the Avalanche. They were definitely the 2 that we were trying to get earlier. They both were good sized but had 18" horns with about 6" diameter bases. Obviously broken horns.

I stopped, got out and grabbed the 06, 2 shells out of my pocket, opened the chamber and dropped a cartridge on the where the carrier SHOULD have been. The shell just dropped into an open cavity. I then realized I now had a single shot. I loaded and dropped across the hood just as the 2 Oryx stopped about 30 yards out and about 30 yards in front of the truck. Just as I pulled the trigger the Oryx moved quick heading out again. Not sure the exact aim point as I was in a bad position due to the pain in the foot. Anyway, the 165 grain Nosler Partition it is in the spine and dropped it right there.

So, instead of getting it 2 1/2 miles out and having to transport or find a way in, we had it 30 yards from the road. Nice of them to come to us, especially the way the foot was hurting by that time. That don't happen too often.

Gilbert said he would estimate the length to have been about 35"-36" if they hadn't been broken off. So, after gutting, we hauled it to the A-frame and quartered it into the coolers and cleared the gate by about 2:30pm. Took about 3 1/2 hours from the time it dropped till we cleared the gate.

So, it turned out to be a pretty good hunt as a first big game hunt with the Grandson. He had a good time and got in some dessert hiking and field dressing. Saw it wasn't all easy shooting and that you can put in a lot of pain and effort and come out empty handed. Also saw that Grandpa wasn't a "perfect" shot after all.

Weather was hot and dry but no real wind. So, all-in-all a good hunt.

Now I have to figure out just what is going on with the mil dots. I called the scope manufacturer and they said the mil dots are calibrated at 21 power which is where it was set. I couldn't range the animals with the range finder during the actual hunt so I couldn't confirm the range myself. But the drop on the bullet confirmed that it was a lot more than the mil dots indicated.

Again, buzz4me2 sorry for your bad experience. So for anyone going to Stallion later, I would recommend that you plan on a very hard hunt and we found the Gallegos area to be productive. Good luck to anyone going.

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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: corpus christi,tx
Posts: 882
Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

I know it was going to be a hard hunt for u But i had no idea that they would make you leave your animal there over night, that sucks. Be glad you got one its not a hunt to take lightly. could u not take a ATV to use to get your animal out????? We where able to but didn't but got lucky the game warden helped use out on both of them with there atvs. sorry u had a hard time but as long as the hide doesn't slip count it as a good hunt being it's a once in a life time hunt and YOU CAME HOME WITH TROPHY you could be setting at home with nothing like a lot of other hunters. I think if we had payed a guide and this happened i would be pissed at him that's his job to make sure you game could get out with no trouble. if you could use an ATV then he should have had one. i would be more pissed at your guide you paid all that money for.

Glad you got one its a hard very hard but fun hunt.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:50 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N. Texas and S. Africa
Posts: 8,094
Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

Sorry to hear you had such a sorry time of it due to the F&G boys. Occasionally you find great wardens that really are there to "serve" the public rather than to service you.

At least you came away with more to show for your hunt than blisters and aggravation though.

In case you ever get into a similar situation it's wise to have a tarp or trash bags and a shovel along.

Even if you don't have time to get it out, you can quarter it up and bury it at least two feet deep (to the top of the meat) thus protecting it from both the critters, the heat, and bacteria.

As for the above, no it's not reasonable to be angry with the guide when the F&G guys change the game on you at the last moment. They have no control over it at all.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,828
Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

Hehe...You would need dynamite to dig a two foot hole where they were. Its really rocky and mountainous..well mountainous for Southern New Mexico. Sorry you guys had such a bad hunt especially on a once in a lifetime hunt. HOWEVER..the meat is top notch. By far the best game meat that I have ever tasted. The good news is, if you ever want to do it again, you can put in a for a broken horn hunt every year. There are a lot of broken horn Oryx out there. Next time though, if you can, bring an ATV. Makes things SO much easier.

If you ever have any questions about the different hunts, just shoot me a PM.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N. Texas and S. Africa
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Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

Originally Posted by Korhil78 View Post
Hehe...You would need dynamite to dig a two foot hole where they were. Its really rocky and mountainous..well mountainous for Southern New Mexico. Sorry you guys had such a bad hunt especially on a once in a lifetime hunt. HOWEVER..the meat is top notch. By far the best game meat that I have ever tasted. The good news is, if you ever want to do it again, you can put in a for a broken horn hunt every year. There are a lot of broken horn Oryx out there. Next time though, if you can, bring an ATV. Makes things SO much easier.

If you ever have any questions about the different hunts, just shoot me a PM.
Actually I know the area pretty well and there's lots of deep sand and gravel in the washes... .

However if I ever do make a hunt out there you can bet I'll be looking for some local help because knowing the area terrain and foliage wise is far different from knowing how to hunt it especially for a species I know nothing about.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Unread 09-26-2011, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,828
Re: Stallion Oryx Hunt

[QUOTE=WildRose;551108]Actually I know the area pretty well and there's lots of deep sand and gravel in the washes... .

Yessir there are. I figured that they shot it on the side of one of those smaller hills/mountains and just imagined them trying to dig a 2 ft. hole in that area. I didn't even stop to think that they could quarter it and carry it down to one of the arroyos. I stopped quartering animals ever since I got my ATV BUT I have not drawn an elk tag in NM yet (no ATVs for that). I would definitely bring a shovel for each person in the group though haha. Never know when you will hit a huge rock underneath that stuff.
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