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Oryx Hunt Advice


New member
Feb 22, 2015
I have a son leaving for college and want advice as to whether to pursue an off-range tag or not for this summer--only time to hunt together is July. We would have at least a week to hunt and I have about four additional days to scout.

Your advice is welcome. If this isn't worth it (or we don't draw an out of state tag) we'll fish the high country.

I'm not an Oryx expert, but I believe most of the off-range opportunities are on private land. It will cost u a couple thousand on top the license.
Having hunted off range Oryx during the month of July on several occasions I can tell you that the hunt is worth it. You can expect to see few animals if any in a week and you will likely see temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. This is a low success hunt, but worth the experience. As a nonresident your odds of drawing in the unguided pool are very low and you will not see many animals on your side of the missile range fence if you do draw. There is a ton of public land to hunt all around the WSMR, but very very very few animals to hunt. Most guys hunt an entire month for one shot opportunity. Early mornings are beautiful, but the heat can be more than most can tolerate. A very difficult desert hunt that can be rewarding to those willing earn their luck. This desert is not for the faint of heart and can be dangerous during the heat of summer.
I assume you are talking about public land, they are very hard hunts but success is still running in 30-50% range. The summer hunts actually have pretty good harvest numbers, but it will be dang hot. There is a huge area you can hunt, and finding an oryx usually requires a lot of driving, glassing, and luck. I have drawn 5 off-range hunts and the last two took 8-9 days, and I got lucky. If you are a non-resident then it is an expensive gamble, but if it is the only thing that fits your schedule then it beats staying home. Since they now apply the quota in the draw a non-resident actually has a much better chance off drawing an off-range tag than a resident. I'd recommend searching threads on monster Muleys to get a better idea about the off-range hunts. One other thing is you can't be picky, you better shoot any oryx you find.

If you go, good luck,
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Fellow Hunters thank you! Great advice. I think we'll put in. Thinking any hunt is better than none. Your words very valuable for expectations.
Good luck in the draw and please do not hesitate to circle back for some more detailed information if you guys pull tags. These crazy critters can be found in some unlikely places off range.
JR is right about the odds based on what I see on the harvest reports. I can't tell how much of that are on private though.

Here are the numbers for success in order from earliest to latest off-range in 2013. No 2014 numbers yet.

I believe those numbers are deceiving as I do wonder how much they are influenced by private land hunts which can have success rates approaching 100%. Seems really high to me given the quantity of unsuccessful weekend-warrior road hunters I've run into on top of the countless days and weeks I used to spend eating dust off range, but I guess you never know. Those hunts can end in less than an hour or go on for weeks...
The success rates are especially counter intuitive to me as the overall oryx herd numbers have been cut back so drastically over the past years from a herd of 6,000 down to around 2,000. That said, the number of on-range hunts and tags has been significantly cut back from the days when there were 12 on-range hunts a year with 110 tags a hunt down to the current 5 hunts with 55 tags (45 OIL tags + 5 broken horn tags + 5 returning veteran tags) and a mobility impaired hunt with 20 tags. It may not be so much that the private land success rates are skewing the overall average, but that the decreased hunting pressure inside the range is starting to now positively affect the off-range hunts? JR is also right in that the application of the quota means that a nonresident should likely draw an off-range tag if they put in…however the NR odds for the OIL on-range hunts are pretty abysmal. While this is a tough hunt, guys who know how to hunt will have opportunities on off-range animals. A couple of giants have been killed by unguided off-range hunters on public land in the past two years.
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