Mathews Inc.
Successful oryx hunt
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Contributors to this thread:
JSW 10-Jun-20
JSW 10-Jun-20
JSW 10-Jun-20
JSW 10-Jun-20
JSW 11-Jun-20
StickFlicker 11-Jun-20
Treeline 11-Jun-20
BULELK1 11-Jun-20
JSW 11-Jun-20
Rock 11-Jun-20
Adventurewriter 11-Jun-20
t-roy 11-Jun-20
iceman 11-Jun-20
Bou'bound 12-Jun-20
Treeline 12-Jun-20
Bowboy 12-Jun-20
Beav 12-Jun-20
Rock 12-Jun-20
Zebrakiller 12-Jun-20
Buffalo1 13-Jun-20
JSW 16-Jun-20
Treeline 16-Jun-20
Barrera 16-Jun-20
Treeline 17-Jun-20
tkjwonta 17-Jun-20
Barrera 17-Jun-20
JSW 17-Jun-20
Barrera 18-Jun-20
pav 18-Jun-20
Ambush 18-Jun-20
HDE 18-Jun-20
Spiral Horn 18-Jun-20
Barrera 19-Jun-20
ElkMtnODs 22-Jun-20
ElkMtnODs 22-Jun-20
ElkMtnODs 22-Jun-20
ElkMtnODs 22-Jun-20
Treeline 22-Jun-20
Huntcell 22-Jun-20
From: JSW
10-Jun-20
I've been helping Primero Conservation Outfitters try to get some bow hunts going on the Armendaris ranch in southern NM. I shot a great muley last fall and have since hunted oryx on the ranch twice. The first hunt was in February and because of snow and mud, we had a tough hunt. I missed one on a spot and stalk, got within range a couple more times and learned a lot. Out of five of us, one guy shot one with his bow but finished it off with a rifle, even though he probably didn’t need to. Since it’s an any weapon tag, you can use a rifle towards the end if you want the meat. Oryx are really good eating.

Four of us hunted there last week. I felt like if we could hunt water when it was hot and dry, we should have a good chance at getting our oryx.

From: JSW
10-Jun-20
Conditions were good but it was still tough. In 6 days we got 2 shots, spot and stalk and one shot at water. I was lucky to get a 37 yard quartering away shot on a stalk early in the hunt. The oryx bolted when I shot and since I was looking into the rising sun, I wasn’t sure about the hit. I marked the spot and found blood right away so I walked back to the truck and drove down the road to try to spot them. I glassed the one I shot and could see blood. It was a really nice cow and had blood on its rear leg. I kept it in sight for several hours before it dropped into some thick brush and I lost sight of it.

At this point I was worried that I would lose it so I made a poor decision. I went back to the truck and headed back with a rifle in one hand and my bow in the other. I later learned that I should have left the rifle behind and just given it a little more time.

From: JSW
10-Jun-20
I tried to track it into the thick brush but there were tons of tracks. I convinced myself that it had stopped bleeding, which could make recovery very difficult. Eventually, I located it laying down, looking at me from about 50 yards. I decided to back out and give it some time. Before I made it out it jumped up and ran through the brush. I pulled up the rifle and took a shot as it went through an opening at about 250 yards. I wasn’t sure whether I hit it or not so I backed out again and gave it more time.

I snuck back in and got close enough to put a couple more arrows into it. Like most African animals, oryx are extremely tough critters. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I had hit it with the rifle shot. I later found out that I had but it was not a very good shot. I should have just let the arrow do its job. It had been leaving a good blood trail, I just hadn’t found it.

From: JSW
10-Jun-20

JSW's embedded Photo
JSW's embedded Photo
I finally got a good shot at a trophy oryx with my recurve but due to my impatience, it didn’t end the way I’d hoped it would. I’ll just have to keep trying.

From: JSW
11-Jun-20
The other guys in camp took oryx with a rifle on the last day. It was a great time with a great group of bowhunters. We have another group coming in next week so I'll let you know how they do.

From: StickFlicker
11-Jun-20
Congratulations Jim! That's a great looking animal. It's hard for me to tell if the shot was too far back, since I don't know how hard quartering away it was. But the heart/lungs of African species are very far forward compared to N.A. game, as I imagine you already know. I hit one with an arrow just behind the crease and it went quite a ways. You really need to push the limit on how far forward you think you can get the arrow, to have a quick kill. I've shot three now with a bow, and they are just about the toughest animal I've seen. Congratulations again.

From: Treeline
11-Jun-20
Awesome Jim! They are one tough critter with a bow!

From: BULELK1
11-Jun-20
Very kool indeed!

I still want to do this hunt with ya man

Good luck, Robb

From: JSW
11-Jun-20

JSW's embedded Photo
JSW's embedded Photo
I was hesitant to share this picture but decided it was worth discussing. This was my first shot. Apparently the shaft was completely inside the body while I was watching it and tracking it. I think it worked it's way out as it ran off. A deer wouldn't have made it 150 yards with this shot and this thing was still alive 3 hours and over a mile later. If I had known the arrow was in the body like that I would have done things differently. In retrospect, I should have known the situation and dealt with it properly. It's kind of embarrassing that after 40+ years and hundreds of tracking jobs I still make mistakes.

I put 2 arrows in the chest to finish it off. It was trying to get up so the first one wasn't far enough forward. The final shot was just right.

From: Rock
11-Jun-20
Jim, Thanks for putting this hunt together, it was a fun hunt and I learned a lot about them . The Ranch area was pretty cool (actually really Hot), if we had done a couple of things different or earlier in the hunt we may have had a couple of bow kills, but that is hunting. I am sure you and Kyle will get this figured out and the bow success will increase in the future.

The Accommodations and food were excellent as was the Skinning cooling shed, first class all the way.

If anyone else does this try to get them to take you out to watch the Bats come out of the caves some evening, it is unbelievable.

11-Jun-20
Looks like the hip was broken the arrow or rifle shot???

From: t-roy
11-Jun-20

t-roy's embedded Photo
Entry wound on a perfectly broadside shot
t-roy's embedded Photo
Entry wound on a perfectly broadside shot
Congrats on your oryx, Jim! They are, indeed, one tuff critter. Like Marvin, I hit one in Africa right in the crease with what looked to be an ideal shot. We found it 8 hrs later, still alive and had to finish it off. I went to the skinners shed that evening to see how I could have missed the vitals. I was probably only an inch above the lungs. I was also amazed at how small the heart and especially the lungs were on them.

From: iceman
11-Jun-20
Very cool, Jim. Congratulations

From: Bou'bound
12-Jun-20
well done and thanks for sharing. That is a real accomplishment.

From: Treeline
12-Jun-20

Treeline's embedded Photo
Dan’s oryx
Treeline's embedded Photo
Dan’s oryx
I was with the group on the hunt down there in February and concur with Ron about the accommodations, food and skinning/cooler facilities. All excellent. The ranch is beautiful and very diverse as well. I really enjoyed the experience.

It was a lot cooler on our hunt. It actually rained and snowed the week before our hunt and that spread the oryx out quite a bit. Prior to the rain and snow, there had been quite a few coming into water during the day regularly at several locations. While we were there I think there was only one trail camera picture of one coming in after dark.

My buddy Dan was able to stalk in on a bedded oryx that I spotted driving down the road. It was a really windy day and they were not up and moving around much. I just saw the face in the brush in some creosote brush In a tight gully as I was driving.

It was easier for Dan to roll out of the truck with his bow and I wanted to get a little further away before parking. I told Dan to get out and ease back down the road toward where I had seen it. I drove on out of sight and went back to help guide Dan in for a shot.

Dan was able to get to under 30 yards and the oryx was still bedded. He shot through a hole in the brush while it was bedded and hit him.

The bull jumped up and trotted up over a hill and we kept him in sight as he walked down into some other gullies. Not much blood, but he didn’t act like he was feeling good. He disappeared in some brush and we figured he was bedded again.

I got on the trail and backtracked to where he had been bedded at the shot. Dan’s arrow was laying there without the broadhead or insert and not much penetration evident.

We decided to call Kyle to bring out a rifle before going after him. Kyle met us and we got on his tracks. Very little blood, but easy enough to follow the tracks.

I carried the rifle and Dan carried his bow. The bull jumped up and trotted over a rise at about 60 yard and Dan asked for the gun. He made a good shot just as the bull was going over another rise.

When breaking the bull down to pack him out, the arrow had hit the elbow and the broadhead had glanced backwards into the guts. We potentially could have closed the deal with the bow but did not want it to turn into a mess or lose a wounded animal.

The entry into the body cavity would have been a heart shot on an elk or deer.

Very tough critters.

From: Bowboy
12-Jun-20
Congrats they sound like thier pretty tough and don't die easily.

From: Beav
12-Jun-20
Congrats on our success! t-roy that is crazy that hit was over the lungs!

From: Rock
12-Jun-20

Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
Going to make a Rug or throw out of my hide. This picture is the raw hide layed out on floor prior to fleshing and final trimming.

From: Zebrakiller
12-Jun-20

Zebrakiller's embedded Photo
Zebrakiller's embedded Photo
Awesome hunt

From: Buffalo1
13-Jun-20
Jim sounds like an eventful hunt, but it ended (no pun intended) a success. Very respectable cow. Your buddy 's bull had some great mass. I'm guessing he is around a 30-32"?

From: JSW
16-Jun-20
We have 4 more hunters down there this week. I left yesterday after I showed them around. I got word this morning that one of the hunters got a quick clean kill with his bow. No pictures yet but I heard it was a nice one.

We learn a little more each time we hunt there.

From: Treeline
16-Jun-20
Awesome Jim! Can’t wait to hear the details!

From: Barrera
16-Jun-20
That ranch oryx hunting is like fish in a barrel. Heard the biologist ordered them to harvest 1000 cow oryx. Is this correct?

From: Treeline
17-Jun-20
Not from what I saw down there in February, Barrera.

The section we of the ranch we were hunting had a much lower population than other areas of the ranch. There were definitely oryx there, but they were not coming to water and were very difficult to stalk.

Easier than public land, most likely....

Fish in a barrel, no way!

From: tkjwonta
17-Jun-20
Eagerly awaiting more details as well, looking forward to hearing all about it.

From: Barrera
17-Jun-20
Treeline, I've never known a single hunter to not harvest thier oryx on that ranch. Possibly a bad shot and never recovered. But by those terms almost 100% success opportunity is a fish in a barrel to me lol. Weve only hunted off range so my comparison is a bit bias I guess.

From: JSW
17-Jun-20
Barrera, Like many people who post on social media, you have no idea what you are talking about. Don't you think that guided hunts on Range with the OIL tags is 100% under your definition? I've never helped a hunter on Range, who didn't get an oryx.

There aren't anywhere near 1000 oryx on the ranch so I have no idea where you got your information. Apparently you have an issue with hunting on private land. We are trying to an create opportunity for bowhunters to have a decent chance, maybe 30 or 40% to harvest an oryx with a bow. We have had some of world class bowhunters give it a try and our success is still low. It is a very difficult hunt.

From: Barrera
18-Jun-20
Never said 100% shot opportunity with a bow. Meant with a rifle that ranch is a slam dunk hunt no doubt. Carry on.....

From: pav
18-Jun-20
This is BOWSITE, right?

From: Ambush
18-Jun-20
Quote Barrera: “.... I've never known a single hunter to not harvest thier oryx on that ranch.”

How many hunters is that?

From: HDE
18-Jun-20
I've hunted the ranch twice. They have you keep shots under 200 yds with a rifle to reduce poor shot placement potential. They also have you bench shoot your rifle prior to your hunt at the ranch right next to the skinning shack to make sure it's on.

As Barerra points out, if you come home empty handed, it's because of the wounding policy and you couldn't find your animal.

He also commented on the difference between rifle and bow. These are the first hunts offered for bow, all in the past have been rifle so that is where the most harvest and hunt data is relative to the 100% harvest/shot opportunity.

From: Spiral Horn
18-Jun-20
“is a fish in a barrel to me lol” Don’t know why some folks always feel compelled to throw cold water on another hunter’s accomplishments.

Have taken numerous wild and free-ranging species spot-and-stalk with a bow and arrow — it is never easy! Much harder with a “wide-awake” species such as an Oryx in a desert environment. Will tip my hat to anyone taking one with an arrow.

That’s a trip that I never even considered. Thanks for sharing - it looks like a lot of fun.

From: Barrera
19-Jun-20
With archery tackle it's a huge accomplishment. Yes its bowsite I overlooked and didnt read the thread thoroughly. Grew up 45 min from there, family has done business with the ranch, buddy in HS has a small section of private bordering it which he has guided easily over 100 successful oryx hunts. Congrats to you all who do it with archery again.

From: ElkMtnODs
22-Jun-20
A big thanks to Jim for showing us the hunting area and sharing what he had learned on his hunts. I made 5 stalks in a day and a half on the hunt. Sunday was more of a mission to see the area, animals and try to get a stalk in. We partnered up and took off. A couple stalks were made before dark that ended with us getting picked off by the sharp eyesight of some oryx. Monday morning I got close right away. After trailing a herd, a group of 3 split off and went over a small rise giving us the chance to cover ground quick. As we creeped up and over the rise I caught the horns of a smaller bull feeding at 68 yards. This was about the only time during the week that the wind wasn’t blowing steady. As I tried to get another 10 yards the two other bulls, still unseen picked up my movement and ended the stalk.

Monday afternoon started with me trying to cut off a lone bull in a draw. He was feeding away and the wind was iffy at times due to an approaching storm to the north. As I closed to under 200 yards the bull started to walk back toward my location. I was stuck behind a lone bush that didn’t due much to hide someone who is 6’4” tall. The bull got to 110 yards and picked me off behind the lone bush. I made my way back to the ranch road and found my hunting partner moving in on what we thought was 2 oryx standing in the shade of some taller brush. We worked in from different angles as they fed over a ridge to find 32 animals in the next draw. A stalker caught some movement and spoked the herd. They ran a short distance and started feeding again, with several bedding down. With a couple hours until dark, we sat tight to see what they would do. The lead cow started taking the herd down the draw and we moved back to where the original 2 were spotted under the tall brush. The herd started feeding by at 175-200 yards going down a wide draw with little cover. As they started down the draw I could see a small saddle in the next lava ridge. The herd started for this saddle and through it. The saddle was about 10 yards wide and just deep enough to hide them as crossed though. After waiting for what seemed like an hour the last bull and calves walked into the saddle. This was our chance!

We ran across the draw to the lava ridge in no time. Once reaching the ridge we crawled up and peaked over to see the oryx coming out still 90-110 yards away. Several were now standing on the ridge and keeping us from moving closer to the saddle. As the started filtering out of the saddle, I was ranging the first animals at 100, 90, then 80 yards. The next one into view was at 70 and the few on top of the small ridge were getting closer to a point they would be able to see us. Just as I was thinking all of them would be out of range a bull popped into view at 56 yards feeding toward us.

Now his is where being tall has an advantage. Peeking over the ridge, I could see closer to the bottom of the ridge that my partner. The bull turned broadside and started feeding to our left. We already had decided that the first shot opportunity would be taken by either of us at the beginning of the hunt. My hunting partner whispered to take the shot if I had one as the bull stopped at 60 feeding unaware we were there.

With the wind in our face I drew and tried to get steady in the wind gusts topping the ridge. It felt like forever before the wind subsided for a second, the pin settled and the arrow was off. I watched it arc and knew instantly it was going to connect. The shot was a couple inches right of where I wanted to hit, but blood spurted when the arrow disappeared and the bull jumped forward.

The bull ran to the next small knob 80 yards away and started doing circles and back pedaling before going over backward. He never got up again. The arrow had struck low passing through he bottom of the heart and both lungs.

From: ElkMtnODs
22-Jun-20

ElkMtnODs's embedded Photo
Success
ElkMtnODs's embedded Photo
Success
Horns. Long 35”, short 34 1/2 “ ,

From: ElkMtnODs
22-Jun-20

ElkMtnODs's embedded Photo
ElkMtnODs's embedded Photo

From: ElkMtnODs
22-Jun-20
This was a great hunt. The ranch, accommodations are great. I highly recommend anyone thinking about going after oryx with the bow to reach out to Jim or Kyle.

From: Treeline
22-Jun-20
Awesome work, Paul!

From: Huntcell
22-Jun-20
Holy! Moly! spot and stalk Oryx!!! WoW you da man!

Those are some great photos, the color pops.

Hunted ranch 2 years ago, interesting place, a lot things going on various research projects by different scientific and academic organizations, eco-tours, a guy whose entire full time job is to tend to and monitor the hundreds of quail feeder / waters, Ted Turner likes to quail hunt a few weeks each year. Also may well be the only time I will ever see coyotes just walking around and even sit and watch you go by, only coyotes I have ever seen anywheres else are always on the move. this ranch there is a no shoot or harass coyote rule so they just wander about at their leisure no concerns about getting shot evertime a truck shows up or stops . When I did my research for this off-range hunt , I come to find out this ranch was lowest price hunt of 4 Outfitters i contacted. Surprised me expected it to be most expensive. I seen hundreds of Oryx, guide Mike said at any given time there could be up 500 on 400,000 acre ranch. He guides 70-80 rifle hunters a year and that is not enough to keep the numbers from increasing. They breed year round.

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