Caribou Gear

Youth Oryx Hunt

CMF

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Apr 25, 2019
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Well, with New Mexico draw any day now, I'm hoping for a repeat! Here is our off range Oryx story from this past season.

Me and my 14yo daughter left Mississippi on Friday November 11th around daylight, overnighted at a hotel in Texas, and made it to the hunt area around Saturday at lunch. We checked the Browning 300 win mag, on loan from her Pops, and then made our way to a glassing point, seeing nothing that eve. We spent the next two full days riding and making a couple of hikes looking for Oryx, without seeing a single one.

On Tuesday the 15th, our luck changed, and a fellow hunter we'd met called about a small oryx he spotted and was passing on. We had already hiked half a mile into a lava field, so we ran out and hauled azz to the area. We ended up getting a shot off around 250yds, but missed.
Later that evening the same guy called and had a broken horn cow spotted, we made our way to him, got her spotted, and made a play to get out in front of the direction she was moving. she ended up changing course and passing by at 4-500 yds and too far for a shot.

On the 16th we spotted an oryx close to the fence line and after hiking in a mile plus, we jumped him right at the fence and he ran into the missile range, stopped, turned around to laugh, and then ran off.

17th/18th - no sightings - covered lots of ground in the truck.

19th - Spotted an oryx a mile plus from the road, hiked into where we first saw it, but couldn't see it after we left the truck due to the terrain. As we started to scout the area thinking he was gone, an oryx jumps up. I quickly put the tripod up and she gets on it quickly, firing off a shot around 100yds out and missing. We followed his tracks over 0.8 miles never finding blood or catching up to him

20th - Shot the gun again to double-check it. hiked into the area we spotted oryx the day before and turned up nothing.

21st - We move to a new area that we passed thru a few days earlier and spotted some droppings on the road. We spot 3 or so Oryx and make a stalk, but they vanish into thin air while we lost sight of them.

22- We spot oryx the next afternoon in the same area and make a stalk within 200 yards or so, she gets a shot off, but misses. We watch the direction they go and make a plan to look for them from another road in the morning.

It's at this point she has to decide, if she wants to go home for Thanksgiving, we'll have to leave this night. She decides to keep hunting.

23rd - We get to a glassing point in the area they ran to the evening before. Immediately we spot Oryx. While stalking toward a group of 3 cows, a huge bull walks by, presumably heading to bed, 150 yards from us, but never pauses long enough for a shot. We continue stalking toward the cows and get around 200 yards or so and they see us and stand up. We get the gun on the tripod and as one turns broadside she squeezes off. A miss. Again. We track them on foot for a ways, then return to the truck to head in the direction they went, spending the rest of the day glassing and riding. We ended up seeing 3 oryx 50yds from the road but they quickly ran off and there was only minutes of light left at that time.

24th - Thanksgiving day - We wake up and glass the area we'd been seeing them. Nothing. The wind begins to pick up immediately after daylight and the forecast was 25mph+ winds all day and coming night with a chance of rain. We decide we'll spend the day riding in the truck. We head for a new road. Not long after heading down this new road, I see 2 oryx from the road, they split directions and we follow one down the road, park, and stalk after it. Losing it, we head back to the truck. As she is putting her gear back in the truck, I tell her to get ready! I spotted the other one (plus two more) a mile from the road. The blowing wind made for an easier stalk. We got within a few hundred yards and spot the three oryx bedded. We crawl to within 140 yards, get the gun on the Deathgrip tripod, kneeling height, and wait. I keep going back and forth in my head about whether we should try and get closer or sit tight. After 40 minutes they stand up, they keep getting in front of each other and finally one is alone and broadside. I say shoot. She fires! The Oryx in my Binos disappears. I look up to see what is now 4 oryx running off. I'm like what the hell, there were only three before, now you shoot and there are 4. I guess they were still bedded and we couldn't see them. I say get ready, let's ease up there, I think you may have dropped one. Sure enough, as we approach, I see a black horn sticking up in the grass! Bull down! It was one heck of a moment! It's still twitching and after the stories we've heard, we decide to put a couple of extra rounds in him to be sure he's not going anywhere. We call home to share the news with mom and pops. After running to the truck for the good camera and some lunch, we go to work skinning. It took two trips, I hauled 65lbs and she took 35lb the first trip and she made it look too easy. I took 65 and she took 50 lbs on the second trip and still made it look easy going under a barbed wire fence. We shot at Noon, had all the meat, full cape, and head back to the truck for 7, and camp packed by 8. We didn't make it very far east before hitting a hotel that night. It was a good thing we got to pack camp that night as the heavy winds filled our tent with red sand.

We tent-camped most nights and slept in the truck a few when we wanted to stay mobile and were too tired to pitch the tent. We got a hotel after every 4 nights in the field and slept in those next mornings. Other than those hotel mornings, and one evening we ran to town for a busted fuel filter that was leaking diesel, we hunted all day, every day.

I think I calculated about 500 miles we put on the truck, just riding roads and glassing, not counting the ~2400 miles roundtrip from MS.

We spotted one coyote, only saw one muley buck and few does. We did see a good bit of quail and jackrabbits and would definitely bring a shotgun if those seasons are open next time.

Gear:
Her pack - Western Edge Gear Elkhorn
BOG Deathgrip Tripod
Browning 300 win Mag, 180-grain trophy copper (we started with 200gr. Nosler but ran out, lol)
Vortex diamondbacks15x56 was the best glass we had, also had some 8x42 and 12x50
 

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Congrats! Hunting with your kids is special time. Glad you had such a good experience!
 
Good job to her for being persistent after a couple misses. Congrats on a memorable hunt!
 
She seem's to have had several miss's shooting off a tripod. They hard to shoot off of or is she being effected by recoil? I'm thinking a 7mm-08 with a 160gr bullet or even a 260 Rem with a 140 gr bullet might be quite a bit easier on her. She doesn't look very big in the photo's. congradulation's to her for sticking it out, wish my grand daughter would get into hunting.
 
She seem's to have had several miss's shooting off a tripod. They hard to shoot off of or is she being effected by recoil? I'm thinking a 7mm-08 with a 160gr bullet or even a 260 Rem with a 140 gr bullet might be quite a bit easier on her. She doesn't look very big in the photo's. congradulation's to her for sticking it out, wish my grand daughter would get into hunting.
The tripod is not at all hard to shoot off of. We actually switched to a .270 with I think 140 or 150gr bullet after the first or second miss, but after a few days of not getting a shot off and consideration and talks with my father-in-law we went back to the 300. I had heard so many stories of how tough oryx were and I didn't feel like the recoil was the problem. She drilled the target with both guns off the tripod. The first day before we hunted she was getting sub 2" groups at 200yd off the tripod with the 300, and did the same mid-hunt with both rifles.
The Bog deathgrip weighs about 8lbs and actually clamps to the gun. Between the muzzle brake and the added weight of the tripod, the kick isn't much.
I think it was mainly buck fever. I do have plans to get some shooting coaching for her and my sons.
The first miss definitely had some anticipation built up and some urgency since it was moving off. The 100yd shot was rushed cause we jumped it. The third was a nice and settled shot, but there was probably some excitement as we watched multiple oryx. The fourth had some urgency since they had spotted us and stood up.
 
Congratulations! The area in and around the missile range is very interesting, I'm sure the trip had many life-long memories. How you enjoying that oryx meat?
 
Sounds like a very cool hunt. I'll second the question; how was the oryx meat?
 
The meat's been great. I find it to be the same as elk, although I've heard many say it's better.

I can confirm a 300 win mag bullet will kill a meat grinder 🤣
 

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