Finally, Oryx in NM

Discussion in 'West' started by aaldape, May 17, 2015.

  1. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    Well, after trying year after year, I drew an off range oryx hunt. I've been hunting elk and deer here in NM for years now, but the oryx is a foreign animal to me.

    I've been doing some research on the subject, and aside from the off range pressure making the animals hard to come by, it seems an effective strategy is doing a fair amount of driving, getting away from the crowds, looking for tracks and/or getting out on foot and glassing from a high vantage.

    I will happily put in the miles on foot, since it sounds like just the sound of a truck going down the road will spook them. I was just hoping that any of the experienced hunters on this forum might be able to lend some useful advice for locating these animals (don't worry, I won't ask you to give away your favorite spots).

    It seems that the area around the missile range is the best bet for starting out, with the west edge being more heavily pressured than the east due to the interstate access and major cities. My initial thoughts are to run a few scouting trips over the weekends and just cruise the west edge of the base (I'm in Albuquerque), and then maybe try the NE and east side down towards Tularosa. Just a lot of gas and ground to cover in a limited amount of time...

    Anybody have any advice for a native NM guy finally getting his chance to find and fill a rare oryx tag?
     
  2. rooster740

    rooster740 Well-Known Member

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    I am following this one! For some unknown reason this exact situation of hunting New Mexican Oryx, is my ultimate quarry!

    What are the dates of your off range hunt?
     
  3. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    Yea, I happened to meet a guy yesterday in town who has been able to get 3 oryx, and his biggest suggestion was patience. Unless you're from the area where they are, it's a sort of educated guess and some luck trying to find them on your own.

    My hunt is in October, which will be nice for temperature and lots of walking.
     
  4. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    Looks like this isn't too popular as far as discussing possible tips. Thanks for those that looked, I'll just have to hope my scouting yields something useful. Hopefully my next update here has an oryx with it.
     
  5. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

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    I never knew what an oryx was until I moved to NM. My friends daughter drew for this month (june) so I'll be out trying to help her harvest. They move so much and have so much constant pressure I don't know how much good a scouting trip would do other than to familiarize yourself w/ the areas.

    Walking in that sand becomes a real PIA fast! But I'd take that any day over road hunting. Have plenty of water and gatorade, I about died when I killed mine in october 2012, it was 85 so don't think you're getting off easy w/ an oct hunt. Have multiple sharp knives. I broke 3 blades on my havalon, but if it weren't for the havalon I'd still be in the field cutting... I think I'm going to take a box cutter this year.

    Personally I'd use a 300wm or bigger esp if attempting long range which very well could be your only option. I killed mine w/ a 280 but I shot it at 80yds w/ a 168gr berger in the neck and did not get an exit, just to give you an idea of how tough they are.

    NM off range oryx is probably my most brutal hunt to date.. physically and hands down mentally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  6. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    I appreciate that insight - it sounds like a little persistence and luck are going to be needed. My hunting partner and I aren't much for the road-hunting style ourselves - we'll be hiking, but it's good to know that the temps will still be warm during the day, we'll definitely pack the water, and the ice!

    Is the hide unusually thick/tough? I went through field dressing my first elk last season with a Havalon and it was perfect (aside from breaking a couple blades). I'm always sure to have extra blades though...

    Funny you mention the .300WM, that's the exact rifle I picked up for this hunt. I actually nailed my elk last year with a perfect shot from a .308, but everything I heard about the oryx just sounded like a good excuse to pick up a magnum. Everything I have heard from locals is that the chances of stalking up to a heard within close range are low, just due to the minimal coverage out there, so I'll anticipate a bit longer shot.

    I due appreciate that feedback though! Sounds like I'll have my work cut out for me, but even if I come back empty handed, I've never disliked a hunting trip. Good luck on the hunt this month!
     
  7. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

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    The hide is thick and tough around the neck. They are african so they're on the lion's menu, so a thick neck and thick neck hide helps when those pesky lions decide to bite. Maybe mine was too old for his own good, but aside from maybe a pig that was the worst. My dehydrated delirium probably didn't help much either. If you wound one be very careful around those horns! They have deadly precision w/ them.

    I was in Africa talking to my PH about them. He said if you were to spine one and they still had control of their neck/head and you throw a rock at them they can hit the rock w/ their horns. I talked to one guy who saw an oryx w/ a coyote in his horns.

    Sunscreen is probably a good idea.

    *** Also study their anatomy. African game's lungs are not like N.American game's. They are long and run mostly north and south, not east and west.
     
  8. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    Good advice about the horns, I don't think I'd just cowboy up to a laying oryx unless I was certain it was toast. Pretty crazy about the coyote!

    As for the hide, I'll just be sure to have those extra blades handy for the Havalon, sounds like I'll need 'em.

    Thanks for pointing out the anatomy, that might not be obvious. I had actually looked up a photo I found on this website showing the lung/heart/spine position, which will be very useful.

    One thing I was curious about was their general behavior. I know with deer and elk you get a lot more morning/evening activity, with the animals bedding down during the day. I have been successful hunting elk and deer, and so I just intended to work the mornings/evenings where there may be sign, water, draws, etc, and then do lots of hiking and glassing in the day. I just don't know what to expect in terms of their movement - do they tend to be habitual and return to familiar places (water, shade, hard to reach areas)? Or do they just roam like hell? You did imply that with so much pressure, a scouting trip doesn't necessarily provide a lot of use for later, aside from just getting familiar with the land...
     
  9. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in my experience they roam like hell and can see you further away than you can shoot. Oryx only need to water about every 4days, so if you're going to sit on water better bring a lunch... and a sleeping bag. Who knows you may get lucky tho. I'd check the water holes for sure to see if there is any activity and figure which way they are traveling perhaps you can find where they are crossing a fence.

    As for pressure, these things are hunted year round so they never get a moment of rest. The closest thing to rest they get is when the get on the turner ranch in a big heard.
     
  10. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

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    double post
     
  11. aaldape

    aaldape Active Member

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    I appreciate the advice. Not too far from what I planned on trying out, aside from assuming they roam a lot less than I initially thought they did. Should be enjoyable either way, I just like getting out there. And who knows, maybe with a little patience and luck, I'll have some freezer filler this October!

    Thanks for chiming in, all useful information! Best of luck with your June efforts, I hope you can help them out with filling that tag!