I just got back from my once in a lifetime Oryx hunt in New Mexico I was lucky enough to draw. It was a great experience from start to finish. My good friend Cody Stokes and I put in together and made the long trip down with our friends Garret Larsen and Dave Edwards. Total travel time from Boise was 20 hours one way. The hunt was held on an 800 square mile government missile range outside of Alamogordo. Oryx were introduced there from Africa in the 70’s and have since flourished. There were 100 tags given for this hunt.
The hunt is different than any other hunt I’ve ever been on. Because it is on a missile range, you first have to have your truck searched before entering the premises. They have all hunters and their parties meet together to go over rules and stipulations for hunting on the range. This lasts about a half an hour and then it’s off to the races. When the orientation is over you have literally hundreds of hunters and hunting partners running for their trucks trying to be first out of the parking lot. Then everyone races down the main road trying to get to their “secret spot”. Our strategy was to take it slow and make sure we were spending time glassing right out of the gate. Our strategy paid off. Not 5 minutes from the parking lot we spotted a herd of oryx on the horizon. They were out there a long ways, but one looked like it warranted a closer look. We made our way out through the desert sand in an effort to get closer. I was amazed at how many 50 caliber casings and the amount of shrapnel that we found scattered throughout the desert. It was a good reminder of where we were hunting.
After a 45 minute stalk we found ourselves within 400 yards of the herd. After putting the spotting scope on them we immediately spotted a big bull. The adrenaline started to flow as I knew this was a definite shooter. We slowly navigated the desert terrain and found ourselves 125 yards away from the big bull. I put the crosshairs on the bull, took a deep breath and slowly put pressure on the trigger. The shot rang out and the unmistakable connecting sound echoed back. Just like that, the bull was on the ground and my hunt had ended just how I had hoped.
We made our way up to the animal and that’s when things got exciting. Only after putting my hands on the animal did I realize just how big it really was. A trophy bull oryx would measure 34”. After putting a tape to my bull, the celebration really started. He measures 38” and has 8” bases. At the end of the day, we checked the bull in at the check station. He was the biggest oryx harvested that day and the manager said it was one of the biggest that had come off the range in recent history.
I feel very fortunate to have harvested such an incredible animal. This is one of my best trophies yet.