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Location: texas
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latest hunt for exotics

i have not been successful in pig/deer hunting this year, partly because i had a cataract removed in december, right in the middle of deer season, so i felt the need to go after something else.  i headed off to my local exotic ranch for either a scimitar oryx cow or eland cow for the freezer.  we came across the eland first so i took one of them (mmmm,tasty).  i used my steyr scout rifle in .376, using a 270 grain hornady spire point bullet.  the shot was from about 100 yards, right in the shoulder.  she turned and ran maybe 5 yards.  later, we chased some aoudads so a friend of the owner could further train his new tracking dog.  the owner shot this young aoudad in the hip, but i finished him off after the dog tracked it down.  enclosed also is a picture of the recovered bullet from the eland.  notice complete core separation and loss of a fair amount of the core.  the eland weighed around 400-500 pounds. 

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hunter25's picture
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That eland looks pretty

That eland looks pretty impressive, I didn't realize the cows had that nice of horns. I have not really looked at any of the exotic ranch hunts because the couple places I saw while I was down there were just fenced farms of a couple hundred acres.

What can be expected from some of these places? If they were big ranches with animals that did not just stand there and look at you I might be interested.

Please fill us in on some details or point in the right direction for more information.

Thanks for the pictures and congratulations.

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congrats!

Congratulations on filling the freezer! 

Thanks for sharing the photos too.  It will be a long while before I can get out to chase anything again.  Nearest open season is spring turkey in May.

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Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
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a lot depends on the place

a lot depends on the place hunted.  some of them are pretty much point and shoot operations as the animals are clustered around feeders or can be depended on to arrive at a nearly set time.  often the animals are pretty tame as they are accustomed to moving vehicles.  it depends on the animal species also.  the aoudad need to feed only for a short time and then like to hide out in the dense brush.  on this hunt it was only luck that we saw any aoudads and we never saw a trophy male.  they are too wily to be seen often.  the eland were not so wily and stayed in sight even after seeing us, thus her demise.  another factor is hunting pressure.  the owner told me they shot over 60 scimitar oryx last year (getting ready for the change in CITES status) and they became very reclusive.  there had been no pressure on the elands so they were not very wary.  some places offer very difficult hunts where the animals are not accustomed to people.  it is very difficult to tell from websites or advertisements which is which.  on this particular place, i hunted all day for an axis buck and never saw him after entering the exotic pasture.  it was a hot day also.  the next time, the axis bucks were everywhere and i got a very nice one in the afternoon.  in texas so many places offer supplemental feeding that it is hard to get a true in the wild experience, unless they do not allow shooting near the feeders.  i have only hunted four places for exotics in texas, two of which are no longer in business, so i cannot give much in the way of recommendations. 

 

i really like elands, scimitar horned oryx, gemsbok as the females all have nice horns, although they lack the mass of the male.   in the latter two, they are often longer than a male's horns.  plus they are very tasty.

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Location: texas
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::hello1  our turkey season

::hello1  our turkey season opens march 17th , pigs are all year without a limit, it is just a matter of finding the time!  Applause

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i forgot to mention that  the

i forgot to mention that  the exotic most likely to give a challenging hunt is the nilgai.  they tend to spook on sight or even sound and can be very difficult to hunt.  my personal history is three tries and no nilgai.  some places only offer a couple of species and thus will likely offer more challenging hunts.  the places that list 10-20 species will always have heavy supplemental feeding programs just to keep all of them alive and will tend to be much easier hunts.  i can recommend the king or kennedy ranch for nilgai hunting.  then again, part of it is luck.  you might find a nigai in the first 5 minutes or spend days looking for one that waits long enough to set up a shot.

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Very nice animals!  A big

Very nice animals!  A big congrats to you!

A Steyr .376???  I'll have to look into that. Not familiar with it.

Thanks for the photos!

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Location: NE NV
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Tell Me It Ain't So!

Kevin, sounds like a lot of fun, if the ranch has some serious acreage to wander around in.  Love the rifle choice too.  But here's the BUT.  Please tell me that the ranch owner didn't purposely shoot the aoudad in the wrong end just to "further train his new tracking dog".

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Location: Montana, USA
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I don't know Kevin's story,

I don't know Kevin's story, but when I hunted Aoudad in West Texas last year, my guide kept telling me how hard Aoudad were to anchor, and that I should shoot it in the butt to break the femur/pelvis to put it down.

I was shooting my new .300 Weatherby that I had just built, and the 168 gr TSX bullet that I put through his shoulders dropped my ram dead within a few yards of where he was standing when I shot him.

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Glad you didn't listen

For the animals' sake I happy you didn't listen to that guide.  A theory regarding this that I came across awhile back specific to hunting exotics in Texas I found interesting.  Because of the typically dense and painful cover in alot of Texas deer country, many whitetail hunters use rapid expansion bullets (Ballistic Tips come to mind) at extreme velocities and have the luxury to wait for the "perfect" broadside shot (Gonna have to try one of those fancy all amenity included tower blinds overlooking a grain dispenser on a dirt road sometime) to minimize tracking into the puckerbrush and leaving a large blood trail to follow when needed.  When faced with a larger and more stoutly constructed animal at less than perfect shot angles, these bullets fail to produce.  Having a professional guide purposely request a shot in the ass end of an animal just seems wrong in every way.  I wouldn't have paid attention either & would have told the "guide" that was the last he'd see of me or my money. 

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 132
Great looking animals, i am

Great looking animals, i am heading down to Texas to hunt Audad and Axis in June.

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