lifetime hunt-Oryx on White Sands missile range

wildcat westerner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
416
Hello,
Thank you all as an update I shall be hunting in Rhodes Canyon. is it possible from outside the WSMR to scout that area in advance?

WW
 

nickjandrews

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Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
San Antonio, TX
Hey, finally something I know more about than many members! I lived in Las Cruces for high school and college, then moved back again 2005-2017. Did a lot of work at WSMR and Holloman AFB. Driven on most of the range roads. Even built a village of a dozen CMU block buildings on the eastern side, with an underground tunnel between two of them. Southern half is patrolled by WSMR Police with radar guns and they will give you speeding tickets. Ask me how I know... North half is (or was at least) patrolled by rent-a-cops without radar guns. But you need to be careful, because roads are varying conditions and sharp corners come up fast. Don't expect cell coverage, and have a jack and good spare... A friend has worked out there as a biologist for years and seen a lot of things and shown us pictures. Believe it or not, there are black bears in the mountains! Also crashed missiles, ruins of old ranches before the govt stole the land from them in the 40s, and Indian artifacts and petroglyphs all over. There is still UXO out there in random places, but I've never found any even building miles of tank trails, roads, rebuilding 14 wells all over, etc. Trophy hunts might have a game warden, whereas ours usually had a sponsor, someone who works at WSMR and volunteers to guide folks.

I've harvested 3 oryx, my Dad 6 of them. All depredation hunts. Dad has a 42" bull on the wall and a matching 41" cow. I had my first one, a 36" cow shoulder mount done. That was actually NE of the range on BLM property. My last one, part of our hunt area was closed due to the balloon program, so I got to hunt on the San Andres Wildlife Refuge, ironically. Most of the dumb ones are already in someone's freezer. Depending on what area your hunt is, could be mostly flat or some very, very rugged mountains equal in every way to Afghanistan minus being shot at with an AK... These days any animal without a broken horn is a trophy due to increased hunt numbers. The Army would like to exterminate them due to alleged danger of collisions, but that's pretty much impossible. They've spread west to AZ and down into Mexico already. Any female you shoot will almost certainly be pregnant. I forget the gestation period, but they will be preggered again a month or so after giving birth. They are also a lot more skittish than they used to be. While we used to always see groups of them along US70 between Las Cruces and Alamogordo, it's been years since I saw one from the highway.

Shots can be anywhere from 100 yards (unlikely and better be fast) out to as far as you can. You're not going to sneak up on them or chase them on foot. Shoot through that front shoulder. Go for the heart, not the lungs. Dad hit one in the liver and it ran for miles and miles, lucky we found it. They are extremely tough animals. We've dug other people's bullets from them when butchering them before. They are also tough to gut! Unlike a deer or elk where the guts practically fall out for you, these antelope have it all attached in there and you'll have to work at even cutting the diaphragm out. September will be quite hot, so take plenty of water. When you get one down, get it gutted as soon as possible to start cooling the meat. If you can't get it off range and somewhere to skin it out fast, take bags of ice in big chest to pack the cavity with. The meat is excellent, better than any deer and better than elk but very, very lean. Cooking it too fast, too hot will make leather though. I've used meat we vacuum sealed 8 years later and it's still good. Congratulations and good luck!
 

Plinker147

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Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
882
No need to scout. You can literally get on any high spot and glass up an Oryx they are spread across you hunt area and not hard to find.
 

L.Sherm

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,979
My nephews been there twice, he says better obey the rules or the will kick you out and not let you back in.
As far as gutting id learn the gutless method.
 

wildcat westerner

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Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
416
To: DX baile, pinker 147, LRS NM, and Cfuentes: who I cannot contact on this website: Have you hunted this Rhodes canyon area? Is it possible to locate some lesser used trails in this hunter area. I see 60+ other hunters have also drawn for this hunt. Is it possible with due diligence, and thorough scouting using Google to find a lesser used area, without dealing with 20 other hunters?
If I am sounding a little paranoid in this, its because Las Lunas is the furthest south I have been in New Mexico and this whole area of the hunt will all be the first time for me.
 

dxlbaile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
515
Location
New Mexico
There is a huge amount of area out there to hunt and, there are side roads you can take that are frequent..
I hunted the Rhodes Canyon 6 years ago and killed a nice bull the second day of the hunt.. I would look at the Map and choose north south East or west and focus on one.. Just pick one... Oryx are everywhere out there and you will find them if you glass.. They will give you a map with some areas marked off you can't go in.. They change it a little every hunt depending on the numbers of oryx in certain areas. But,, Pick one and make a plan You will spend too many hours running around if you don't.. There is no golden spot out there that people don't know about.. YOu will see other hunters.. Just be friendly and get along, there are plenty of oryx to go around.. Success rate is near 100% If you were new to hunting it might be difficult for you but, sound like you aren't new so, go out there and get it done.. Honestly.. No secret honey holes... There are places the oryx like it better but, if you look you will find them. Who are you hunting with out there.? I would be glad to talk with you 4358960750..
 

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
906
Location
Alberta
Study the anatomy below. The reason African game has a reputation for being rea;lly tough to kill DRT is most hunters shoot them like they would deer or ELK. They are built WAY different. Hit them properly and they go down on the spot. Shoot them behing the shoulder like an Elk, or where you think on the shoulder is and you will chase them a long ways. Best of luck, should be a great hunt.
Oryx-anatomy.jpg
 

wildcat westerner

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Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
416
I am hunting with a very good friend of mine, born and raised here; so far. Earl runs conservation programs for the state and BLM and is a serious fisherman, winning many bass tournaments. I'm the "other side of the fence". Although my hunting has virtually been shut down since a serious accident in 1984, I have won shooting contests with 307 other shooters, have set two Worlds Records at 600 yards, and have written about precision shooting since 1986. That is shooting, NOT hunting. I have been given a 24 foot motor home to use for this hunt which has only 60,000 miles on it. I have to repair the bunk and shower areas. I am fully prepared to try and discover some less traveled areas within this Rhodes Canyon hunting area.

Will be calling,

WW
 

LRNut

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Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
321
Location
Arizona/Colorado
I haven't seen anyone mention this, but one way to tell a bull from a cow (other than a cow has thinner horns and are often "bent") is to look at the space between the horns - if you can "fit" another horn in between that gap, it is a cow. If you can't, it is a bull. I have shot over a dozen of these in Africa; they do make a spectacular mount. And they are tasty.
 

the blur

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Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
253
I haven't seen anyone mention this, but one way to tell a bull from a cow (other than a cow has thinner horns and are often "bent") is to look at the space between the horns - if you can "fit" another horn in between that gap, it is a cow. If you can't, it is a bull. I have shot over a dozen of these in Africa; they do make a spectacular mount. And they are tasty.
If you shoot them in Africa, the meat stays behind, so I see no point.....
 

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