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Stallion Range Oryx Hunt
After 20+ years of applying, my elk hunting partner and I finally drew a OIL Oryx tag on the Stallion Range. Anyone who has hunted this area before that cares to comment about the hunt would be welcomed. Reading previous threads online it sounds like this is doable without a guide. Am I correct here? After hunting elk DIY for 30 years really don't want guide unless it increases your odds dramatically. Another question, is Socorro the best place to stay while on the hunt. Thanks for any comments.
No guide needed. We usually stay in Carrizozo. If you need help send me a pm.
Bring a pick-up, a step ladder and good glass. You will spend way more time glassing than anything else. Plan a bunch of spots to drive to and glass, that way when you get to one and someone is already there, you can drive directly to the next one. I assume that you're going to be using a rifle? Hard to imagine getting within bow range. I hunted in Sept, daytime temps were 100, and below freezing at night, so bring appropriate clothing. Bring thick leather gloves and good knee pads, the final stalk will probably be on your hands nd knees. A bipod for shooting off of is a must as well. When I went they'd just gone to the "3 day" hunt. Friday was a briefing day, and if nothing was planned/going on, they'd let you hunt. Well we listened to the briefing, then they said "sorry, we have something going on today, see you tomorrow".
Spend some time getting to know the anatomy of an Oryx, it's different than a deer or elk. Yes it's doable without a guide, but you have 2-3 days and the guides have been on base a bunch of times, so you are probably decreasing your odds, but upping your satisfaction if you get it done. Have a plan for the meat, (there will be processors parked outside the gate if you want to go that route). PM me if you want the name of a good guide.
Good luck, when are you hunting?
When I hunted Rhodes Canyon you had 2 days. Not sure what your season length is. I used a guide. It is personal choice but my reasoning was it was a 2 day hunt, there is no pre-scouting and I had no previous experience with an Oryx or their habits. Oh yeah, and it is once in a lifetime and you paid $1500 for the license. I know several people who were convinced they could do it on their own and did not get one. Sure it could work out but why not tip the scales in your favor? When I got there my guide told me "this is how it works, 1st day we look for the 40"er, 2nd day we look for anything respectable". I got a nice bull on day 2 in the afternoon. It is not a cake walk but it is a fun hunt.
I sent you a PM,a great article that Chris usually puts out every year is on monstermuleys.com has great info on this hunt.you may have to search for it
Don't know where you are hunting. I have killed on oryx with a bow and lost one with a bow and photographed many.
The best advice I can share is go straight up the leg and shoot in what I call "the big muscle." This is basically equivalent to the deltoid (rounded contour of the shoulder) on a human arm. Getting behind the shoulder, which is a good North American game, is a gut shot on African game. Vitals are always forward on African game.
Go to www.africahunting.com and look up shot placement for gemsbok. Oryx is one of the most beautiful creatures on earth and some great table fare. Best of luck on your hunt.
Thanks for the replies and PM's.
The stallion range is a little more open than Rhodes but that doesn't make a lot of difference. I've been there many times and have never come home without one. Some guys just drive around until they spot some and then go after them. I pick out some high spots and just glass. I've spotted 5 or 6 different groups from one glassing spot. They can be very hard to spot so you have to be patient. There are high points that you can drive to so you probably don't need the step ladder like you do on Rhodes. Last time i was there, the guy I was helping got 8 or 10 stalks and maybe 13 shots before he filled his tag. That was 3 years ago. He had a tough time but I had a blast. Their spine drops really low behind the shoulders and if you hit a little high, you will knock them down bu they will get up and be gone. Don't aim high!
I drew a Stallion tag many years ago and also went on a couple other hunts with friends. 2 days go by super fast and with a bow you will definitely have your work cut out for you. Back when I drew there were a lot more oryx on and off the range but they have upped tags significantly. Oryx hunting in NM is very similar to antelope hunting. Open spot and stalk hunting. I'm not sure if there are many guys that have been successful with bow on the 2 or 3 day hunts but that's totally up to you. The tags take a long time to draw and oryx have eyes just as good or better than pronghorn. When they are in groups it can be pretty tough getting within rifle range of them! They are some of the best eating wild game available....so make sure to take good care of every morsal of meat!
It's one of the funnest hunts there is for a great eating animal.We made sure we had all of our coolers full of ice as it was July.Just know all the rules because they don't give warnings.I am trying to get buddies to apply just so I can go again
Don't shoot them here! (too high). I shot this gemsbok (oryx) in Africa with a bow. Perfectly broadside, videoed the shot and the PH said it was almost perfect. The animal was still alive 8 hrs after the shot. I went to the skinners shack to see what I hit...and not hit. I missed the top of the lungs by possibly 1/2". They are supposedly one of the toughest plains game animals. I was amazed by how small their lungs and heart were.
Good luck to you & your buddy on your hunt!