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Oryx in New Mexico


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Instead of a muzzle break sell the rifle and buy one that shoots a big heavy bullet without punishing you. You will hate it if you put it on the gun.

35 whelen, 358 wichester, 338 08, 338 06, 4570 to name a few. I sold my last MAGNUM and I don't miss it.

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Bill Calton
Take the big gun, carry some extra rounds, get a good rangefinder if you can, maybe it will belong to your gunbearer and he will be good with it.  Tape your chart to the gun or have it memorized.  Some guys are lucky and shoot one close.
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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

Bwana,

Actually..the oryx in New Mexico are the Gemsbok oryx of subSahara Africa. They are native to the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.. and there are WAY more back in Africa than in NM! But still plenty of them here stateside as well.

When I was working in South Africa, we took a trip into Botswana for a few days. I was struck at how many oryx were out there. We saw literally hundreds of herds..

New Mexico released them into the White Sands because there was a lack of large game animals that resided there. No deer, elk, etc.. They decided on the Gemsbok Oryx as the game animal that would be introduced there because the Gemsbok's noted reputation to withstand the harshest climates and ability to thrive in areas that lack any surface  water. Once released, they thrived without any natural predators to keep them in check.

The Besia oryx are a species that is native to Eastern Africa.. ie Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Somolia.. They are similar in appearance, but the Besia oryx is smaller in size than the Gemsbok and more buff colored.  The Fringed-Eared Oryx is also native to the same region.

And the scimitar-horned variety is now considered extinct in his native North Africa home of the Sahara desert countries of Chad, Libya, Sudan, etc.. but there are plenty of them in Texas. There are enough of them that limited hunting occurs.

here is a pic of my Scimitar bull I took back home in TX back in '02.

simitar.jpg

Good luck with your Gemsbok hunt. And don't forget to bring lots 'o coolers with ya! There is alot of fine tasting meat that comes with a successfull oryx hunt...

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Get a 375 H&H.    Only way to go.   If you don't want to re-rifle, shoot heaviest available bullet for your 300mag.

When I went to Africa to live, I took a 300 mag and a 375mag.  My thinking was I would use the 375 for dangerous stuff and the 300 for everything else.    After a couple of hunting trips, I bought a 465NE for dangerous game, put the 300 away, and exclusively carried the 375 for plains game.    There simply wasn't any reason to carry anything less.    I use the 375 now hunting whitetail.  

Forget velocity.  Think about bullet weight.  300 grains is the right one for the oryx.   penetration is king.  

Chuck

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You could use this as a reason to buy a new rifle!  Trade the ultra mag for a .375 H&H for the reasons Whiterock listed. (And hey, you never know when the opportunity for an African safari or grizzly in AK will come up)  I shot mine with a .375 (300 grain bullet and no exit hole) at about 100 yards and she dropped in 50 yards.  

Or, as you already like the .270, borrow someone’s 7mm mag and see if that works better for you.  That will do fine on a gemsbok too, although not as good as the .375 H&H (which is a classic).

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I looked at some recoil tables and the cartriges being advised recoil more than the 300 Ultra Mag.  The Ultra Mag recoil is about double the 270.

I am going to try a muzzle brake.  I hate them due to the noise but I will just try to wear hearing protection in the field at the time of the shot as well as at the bench.  When I got the Ultra Mag I could shoot moa groups with it but I guess I'm just getting too recoil sensitive these days.

I spoke to the Dept of Game and Fish today and they said the hunt could be anytime after April first.  You get two or three days notice and it is a two day hunt.  Since these are population reduction hunts the success rate is extremely high.  Since my number is 167 I should have a fair amount of time to get the gun issues sorted out one way or another.

Dave

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A buddy of mine had one of first "off range" licenses for these a few years ago. He took his 375 and hit it in the shoulder. The orxy still traveled 1/4 mile or so before he went down. When found though it was quite dead. I was with him and couldn't believe it traveled so far.

BwanaDave, one thing you need to keep in mind, this will not be a hunt. The NMG&F will be with you and they will point out which one you need to take. They will also back you up on your shot, just in case it decides to charge. This is one of the reasons they do not allow hunters to try and take one with a bow.

Take the 30 cal.

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As a zookeeper, I find this all very interesting.  Our last bull Beisa Oryx was sent out just as I began here 10 years ago.  I was talking with our mammal Curator about this today.  He didn't know of any Oryx being released in N. Mexico.  Just shows you can never know everything.

Calvin

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This is an interesting topic.  A few years back, maybe 2002, there was a Wall Street Journal front page article on the oryx at the missile range and national monument.  Apparently they are so well suited to this environment that they have proliferated like rabbits, destroying the natural habitat in the area.  Seeking to control the herd, the agency responsible decided to open a hunt, but animal rights activists protested and filed suit to prevent a hunt.  They wanted to impose chemical sterilization to control the herd, and failing that, proposed that the government helo out excess animals, at a cost of some hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars per animal.  

Perfect illustration of ARF thinking, they would allow the destruction of the habitat, affecting not only the oryx but all native species, in order to get their hugs around the few individual animals that need to be eliminated from the herd.

Enjoy the hunt, I wish I were fortunate enough not only to hunt such a magnificent beast but to be able to do so in such a magnificent American setting.

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Steve Hunts

Dave,

If you don't have one already try a Sims limbsaver recoil pad.  They are about the best out there these days.  Try and avoid the muzzle break unless the Sims doesn't give you enough recoil reduction.

http://www.limbsaver.com/

Enjoy hunting those gemsbok.  Should be a great hunt!!

Steve Hunts

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Three Crosses, thanks for the info.  I am having a hard time getting info on how they do these things.  The guy at Game and Fish indicated that they were only a middleman, they would get a call from White Sands to send a hunter at such and such a date and time.  It was my impression that Game and Fish was only adminsitering the selection of hunters.

My understanding is that it is not like a high fence type hunt.  Your comments about having a person telling you which animal to "cull" are a bit disappointing.  I once watched a buffalo "hunt" in Alberta where the rancher would take the "hunters" out into a pasture in a pickup truck to shoot the buffalo.  It was sickening to watch.  I surely hope this isn't that kind of thing.

Dave

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Bill Calton

3crosses may be thinking of the sheep hunts, where you have to have a game department guy approve the choice you make.  

If your hunt is like the usual oryx hunt they will assign you a location, you may already know, and they have a check-in time with a "school" about regs on the range, what you can and cannot do, etc.  This is well before daylight on the first day.  On a standard hunt you can bring a companion, good if it is someone with experience.  Most people need help getting an oryx into a pickup or other vehicle and it is fun to have someone help outline a plan.  By now the animals on the range have been hunted several times and may be wary.  They have good eyesight and can be difficult to approach.  The range also requires blaze orange for hunters, which is not at all like Seclusion Open Country.  The limit of 2 days means that you don't really have a chance to scout as you might for elk or deer.

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insanelupus

Dave,

Steve Hunts has an excellet suggestion on the limbsaver pads.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think Sims may be making the Remington R3 pad for Remington.  If they don't they are similar.  I have one on a 7 1/2 pound .35 Whelen Model 700 and that thing is an absolute joy to shoot.  I'm launching 250 grain Speers with IMR 4064 at 2450 fps.  That may not completely eliminate the problem, but I bet it would make it much more tolerable.  A gunsmith can fit one in an afternoon real easy and if you use the thickest one you can get for your rifle you may be real pleased.

After the pad is on, you'll want to check the zero.  After that, you might just take a .22 to the range and spend half an hour shooting.  At the end of your .22 sessions, shoot 1 round from your 300 RUM.  Then finish up with a few more rounds of your .22.  This is a techinique I used before I put a recoil pad on my .45/70 Highwall (steel crescent buttplate) and I was moving 405 grain bullets at around 1800 fps.  That sucked and I developed one hell of a flinch.  But with a reproduction Steven's Favorite I got over it.  (And added a recoil pad and backed off my load a couple hundred fps.)

I absolutely despise muzzle breaks.  Yes they do work, but I just never cared for them.  But then, I've never had to use one, I've been with those that did though.  But I'd sure give the recoil pad idea some serious consideration.

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