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Oryx in New Mexico


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As Golmer Pyle would say, surprise, surprise, surprise.  I just drew an Oryx hunt.  These are population reduction hunts.  Only 500 people get drawn and in the 2004 - 2005 season only the first 276 got called to hunt.  I am number 167 so it looks like I'm going Oryx hunting.  

I was so sure I would never be drawn so I hadn't checked the results until tonight, they have been posted for about two weeks now.

Have any of you hunted these critters?

If so, how long are the average shots?

Right now I only have two scoped big game rifles, a Sako 75 win 270 and a Rem. model 700 300 rum.  Both with VXIII 4.5-14 scopes.  I prefer shooting the 270 but these things look big, would the ultra mag be better?

Any other tips?

If you have done one of these hunts, how much notice did you get?

Thanks

Dave

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We get one now and then incidentally hunting elephants here in Georgia, they taste like chicken.

Use the 300 what else is it good for?

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insanelupus

Dave,

When I lived in El Paso I knew a couple of guys that had friends that went on these hunts.  My understanding was that most of them used what were their "elk rifles".  Most of the one's I knew were magnum fans and 7mm Mag was the reigning king of the group.  There are several on the missle range around Alamogordo for sure.  

According to Wikipedia the orxy species introdced into New Mexico from 1969--1977 is properly called the Gemsbok.  My understanding is that the average bull is between 500-600 pounds.  I would say that puts it in a similar weight class to the Rocky Mountain Elk.  As such, the 270 with 150 grain bullets (I'd personally opt for a "premium bullet", cheap given the cost and odds of a hunt of a lifetime) out to 300 yards would be "plenty of gun".  Especially if that's the one you shoot the most accurately and are the most comfortable with.  Though obviously the 300 RUM would do well also, but if you prefer the 270 I see no reason to not take it.

Congrats, that will be quite a trophy.  Incidently, I've had Orxy steaks grilled on the BBQ and it is fine table fare for sure.  Enjoy your hunt and if you are looking for a taxidermist, I can highly recomend Carl Chavez of Peralta, NM.  I have visited Carl's shop and he provides an excellent service at a fair price.  He has some true trophies in there and Carl is a very good man.  I've had the pleasure of examining his back room and he is a first rate guy.  If you visit with him or stop in, tell him that Nathan from NW Montana said to say hello.  Not sure if he'll remember me, but I have a cousin that stops there on occasion and introduced me to him.  Incidentally, his website Gallery shows an Oryx that I'm sure came off the missle range.

Have fun.  It'll be a memorable hunt.  Congrats again.

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Congratulations.  

While I've never hunted them in New Mexico, I took one in Namibia a couple years ago.  They are an absolutely beautiful animal and wonderful on the table!  They are tough, but any elk hunting round will do fine.  It is difficult to tell between sexes, as they both have horns.  A bull's horns will be shorter and thicker, while the cows will be longer and thinner.  Both are wonderful trophies.  I took a cow, 42.5 inches, with a .375 H&H (slightly more than needed).  I had a European mount done because, for me, I can get full Taxidermy OR hunt in Africa, not both).

As this is probably a once in a lifetime draw, should you be considering a guide?  I did with my Maine moose and it was a good move.  

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PartridgeCartridge

Congratulations on your tag. I have seen them on the White Sands missile base. Very cool animal. Have you given any thought as to how you are going to deal with one once it is on the ground? They are fairly large and, given the warmer temps in NM, you are going to need help.

I volunteer!

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I am really leaning toward the 270.  However there are a lot of good reasons to use the ultra mag for instance if it is likely to be a long shot.  I don't shoot the untra mag as well as the 270 due to the recoil, in fact I believe that any ballistic advantage gained by the ultra mag is greatly outweighed by my inability to shoot it.  The ultra mag does certainly have more knock down power.

At 100 from a bench I shoot 3/4" groups with the 270 and 1 1/8 with the ultra mag.  The 300 yard gong at our club can be hit all day long with either.  In the field I don't like shooting over 300 and I really try not to do that.  I like shooting between 100 and 200 best although I have shot alot closer including a charging moose at 30 yards (time for a change of underwear).

The thing I hate most about the ultra mag is sighting it in.  That is punishing.  Maybe I should just buy a lead sled, sight it in and forget about it.  

Now I almost have myself talked into using it.

Dave

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i have used a .300 WSM a-bolt for a couple years when hunting elk. i had a friend reload for me and used 200gr nosler partitions. i assume you'll be using factory loaded 180gr?

i hear you regarding the recoil. i did have a buddy with a lead sled and that helped as far as sighting it in. i have since shot several whitetails and a one 850lb bull elk with that gun and have absolutely no complaints in the field. i definitely don't even notice the recoil when hunting. i know i am over-gunned for whitetails but i concentrate on well placed shots only. normally i have always hunted whitetails with a 25-06.

obviously you will be concentrating on taking a well placed shot, but with a little torque or trigger pull i would have to say i would like the kinetic energy of the .300. you'd be more likely to recover the animal with a marginal hit.

as far as your maximum point blank range goes, each caliber would be pretty darn close.

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leave the .270 at home these things have thick hide and dense bone you need to break down. african animals carry their vitals lower in the chest than other game found here and you need to get through the front shoulder bone to get the job done fast .while hunting in africa we had some trouble getting an oryx recovered that was shot with a 30-06 using nosler slugs .both shots on the mark but would not break down the shoulder and hit the vitals.take all the gun you have ..and enjoy the hunt ...tony
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you took my tag!! I got the goose egg... again!! J/K!

I took on in South Africa back in 2000. Great animal and good eating as well. And tons of them on the range. I see tons of them right off the highway every time I go home that way.

One of these days I'll draw that tag.

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I'm going to use the 300 Ultra Mag, it is the full size one not the short.  My hunting buddies are calling me a sissy so I just have to bite the bullet and use it.  The recoil isn't a problem taking a shot on an animal it is just the sighting in that causes me grief.  

I will use a 180 gr bullet, I have a bunch of partitions so I may as well use them up.

From what I understand the Dept of Game and Fish will give me a call about a week prior to the hunt date and I can either take it or go to the back of the list of 500.  I have a pretty low number so the hunt is a sure thing unless it conflicts with business travel.  I'm going to try to get a rough estimate of the date, or even month, so I can plan around it.

Dave

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Are these Beisa Oryx  or Scimitar Horned Oryx?  Have they been released or are they on a fenced preserve?

I have always thought it would be fun and challenging to hunt Tufted Deer or Reeve's Munjac.

Calvin

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They are Beisa Oryx.  They were released thirty plus years ago and now estimates vary between 6000 and 7000 of them.  They were originally on the White Sand Missle Range and now they have spread over a larger area including White Sands National Monument and private and BLM land.  They have been spotted as far as Texas to the south and within 60 miles of Alburquerque to the north.  No high fences here, except to keep them out.

Apparently there are more here than in Africa.

By the way, I pulled the Ultra Mag out of the safe and shot it today.  Really bad, all over the paper.  As much as I hate them, it is time for a muzzle brake.

Dave

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Used to see those guys all over SW Texas when I worked out that way.  I can say, with certainty, that the grill guard on a Bronco will take one down.  Good luck on your hunt, sounds like a good time regardless of the outcome.

- Craig

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