I don't think that I ever posted this one so here goes.
In September of 2010, I was fortunate enough to be holding a Badge hunt Oryx tag. A friend of mines dad works on the White Sands Missle Range and would be the one taking me on the hunt. You have every weekend for the whole month to hunt on the Badge hunt. We started out on the range bright and early in the morning. I was pretty pumped because I have never hunted one of these animals before. We drove on the roads looking for animals. We spotted some right off and broke out the spotting scope to view them but they were not very big so we moved on. We drove for a few more minutes and spotted three oryx on at the base of a large hill. Looking through the spotting scope, we could see that one of them was a very large bull. There was an arroyo running along the base of the hill that would put us within 300 yards for a shot. We start our long stalk down the arroyo. When we go to where we thought the oryx would be, we climbed out of the arroyo and used some cedar trees for cover as we moved towards the oryx. We were not going to be able to see the oryx until we cleared the cedars. We finally cleared the cedars but the oryx were no where in site. We figured since the wind had changed directions that they had winded us and took of. We headed back down the hill to the truck. As we were walking, I heard that oh so familiar rattling sound as my foot fell near a clump of rocks. The rattlesnake was about 5 feet away and NOT happy. I was lucky to have a rock in the way of my foot and him so it allowed me to move away without being struck at. My friends dad confirmed our suspicions when we got back to the truck and he told us that when we were half way through the cedars that the oryx took off and ran down the other side of the hill. Oh well, there were plenty more oryx to look for on the range so we continued on. We saw a lot more but none of them were shooters. We ended the day unsuccessful but I still had a lot more time to get my oryx.
The next morning we found ourselves in the same area and I was definitely hoping to see that bull again. We never did find him but saw a lot of oryx. These animals are very easy to spot in the desert of New Mexico. The white, grey and black colors stick out like a sore thumb. We ate our lunch and talked about our next move. We decided to go up to an area that we had not yet been to. The area that we went to was at the opening of a canyon. We all got out and started glassing the base of the mountain. I looked a little higher up on a series of small up risings on the side of the mountain and saw 5 oryx grazing there way around the up risings. They were pretty far away but when we looked through the spotting scope we saw that there was a pretty nice one in the group. We were debating the long hike up to them but in the end we decided that we wouldn't be true hunters if we didnt attempt to go after them.
We needed to hurry if we were going to cut them off so we set out on a dead run down a sandy wash that led into the canyon. We go to the first small hill and got up to the top of it and we glassed them going down two hills over from us. That was perfect because now they couldnt see us heading up to the next hill. We started out again and go to the top of the next hill. We glassed and could not see them anywhere. FINALLY we saw them trotting down the hill, crossing the sandy wash and starting to climb the side of the mountain. They finally stopped and just milled around. I got the gun set up with the bipod while my buddy looked for the largest one. They started to move again and I asked him to find the largest one. He started to get nervous as he was trying to decided. Frankly, it was making me a little nervous that he couldn't decide as well! He finally told me to shoot the third one and he ranged it at 338 yards. I dialed in for the elevation and given that there was no wind, no dialing for windage was necessary. I put the crosshairs on the lower back part of the shoulder and squeezed the trigger. I tried my best to keep the scope on target as the gun went off. I could here the lough THUMP as the bullet hit home and could see the dust kick up on the other side which let me know that the bullet had penetrated all the way through. The Oryx was slow to move but still tried to follow the others as they took off up the mountain. It only got about 15 to 20 yards up before it fell over and expired.
I was totally excited at this point. We walked over and I couldn't believe how awesome these animals are up close. It turned out to be a cow but the horns on it were very long. I took care of the gutting job while my buddy went back to get my ATV. The Oryx was still so heavy after gutting it that both of us still couldn't get it on the back of the ATV. I had to drag the Oryx down the side of the mountain with my ATV to the sandy wash. I then backed my ATV up to the high bank of the wash and we just tipped the Oryx over onto my ATV. We tied it down and then made our way out. I was very glad that I brought my ATV as it made things A LOT easier. All in all it was an awesome hunt. One that I am looking forward to doing again! My wife drew an off range tag for March of 2013 so we are looking forward to that. By the way, it is some of the best wild game meat that I have ever tasted. No gamey taste whatsoever.
The horns measured 37.5" for the right horn and 38" for the left. I was using a factory Remington 700 CDL in 7 RUM. I loaded up 140 gr Barnes TTSX for the job. The gun was my brother in laws and he had never shot an animal with it and wanted me to take it and use it. It worked pretty well and is a very smooth shooting gun for a factory rifle.