Fantastic Three
By Betty Hathorn

FANTASTIC THREE On a hunt I already know that you need excellent shooting, the patience of job, and lots of good luck. I had recently received award certificates from the Trophy Records of the World. They notified me that my non-typical fallow and my Bison were #1 for 2001. Needless to say I was very proud.

Now lets begin this hunt. We started May 13,2002 a.m. in the morning. Steve Mahurin, and myself started at 2:0 0 a.m. n the morning. We were in route to our friend, taxidermist, guide, and outfitter, Richard Lozano. We arrived at his house, switched our gear over to his truck and took off for Sabinal, Texas. We met our guide Cully Vickers about 8:00 a.m. in Sabinal, where he was waiting for us. He said to follow him to the ranch. We had already had breakfast so when we arrived at the ranch we were ready to hunt.

Steve wanted a Gemsbok or Beisa Oryx, so we went off to look for them. It was then that I figured out we were going to shoot from the truck, safari style. My heart jumped in my mouth. I had always shot from a blind before. The only thing that made me feel better is that I thought Steve would shoot first, and I could watch how it was done. No, that wasn't the case. Steve looked at the Gemsbok and decided to look at the Beisa Oryx before shooting. I was after a Scimitar Oryx and mine would come between Steve's Gemsbok and the Beisa. I had the jitters from head to toe. When you are with Steve Mahurin who has a trophy room full of beautiful mounts, and my pro guide, Richard Lozano plus Cully Vickers, you can't let them see what a wimp of a woman hunter I was .My body felt like jelly from head to toe. Naturally we found a beautiful Scimitar, right on the middle of the herd. They all agreed, " that's the one " I should go for. Oh boy did I need help. Don't get me wrong; all the men were very helpful. But my jelly body and arms didn't know if I could lift my 30/06 Remington rifle out the window, let alone shoot. We waited and waited to get a clear shot. It seemed like forever, but the one I wanted finally moved away from the other Oryx. He still looked pretty far away, but when the men agreed that I had better shoot while I could, I did. All of a sudden I heard them say, he's down I couldn't believe my ears. One shot at 168 yards. That was wonderful news! The furtherest I had shot on a hunt had been 88 yards and at the range at 100 yards. Now it was time for pictures and I was one happy gal.

Next Steve decided on the Beisa Oryx, and he got a beauty. It will nibble at a new world record or beat it. However before getting his trophy, the Beisa led Steve and Richard on quite a chase. Steve's first shot was perfect, but the Oryx took them on a chase through the brush and many, many cacti. The fact was it was two hours and three shots later before Steve became the victor over his Beisa. I am sure he will always remember this hunt.

We finished our hunt there and went to Con Con, Texas where we ate lunch. Then we met Mike O'Neal. I wanted a Blackbuck Antelope. I have never seen so many in one place. There must have been over 300. I got in a blind that had been set up for me. Richard and I sat in the blind while Steve and Mike stayed in the truck and glassed for us. Just because there were so many, it didn't slow them down. I had always been afraid of such a small target. First you saw them and then they were gone. They can really run fast. There were Blackbuck here, there. And everywhere. Steve and Mike found a good one from the truck and then Richard saw it. Sitting in the blind from a weather standpoint was great. It had been in the mid ninety's since April 6th. We had a nice cool front come thru and it was in the 50's at night and the 70's during the day. Sitting in the blind waiting for the right buck to come along took a lot of patience for me. I would keep asking Richard, what about this one, or that one and he kept saying no. Well we did have some excitement. There were some white limousine cows coming toward our blind. We were next to a fenced irrigation pivot point. We just got inside the fence when about 40 of the cows, all sizes, decided to visit us. I don't think they would have hurt us, but they sure were intimidating. We were something new in their field, and they had to investigate. I must admit I felt good when I saw the truck coming to get us. Me and my 67 year-old bones don't want to move very fast. We went back to the lodge to have a snack and rest.

The lodge was very nice. Lots of chairs and couches, a lovely pool table, shuffleboard table and kitchen. The beds were upstairs. There was beautiful spiral staircase leading up to the loft where the beds were located, but there was no way this old gal would even think of climbing them. One of the couches was just fine to sleep on. There were many animals hanging on the walls all around the big room. It had a very high ceiling, all in all very nice.

Well, we had something to eat and drink and rested. Then it was back on the road again. We went to a different place. It wasn't very long till the cows showed up again. I didn't get a good look at a Blackbuck. At a good distance they were still bouncing and running to and fro. The cows were practically in our laps, so we decided to call it a day.

We went into town and Richard got some groceries for supper and breakfast. He grilled some steaks, fixes a salad, and baked potatoes. Actually I thought I was too tired to eat, but the food was great. It didn't take long and we were all bedding down for the night, and sound asleep. The alarm went off at 5 o'clock. Steve didn't even hear the alarm right next to his ear. Finally we woke him up. Every on e dressed and was ready to go when Mike got there at 5: 30. Richard and I sat in the blind again. Steve and Mike spotted the special buck. Finally they turned the truck slowly toward the bucks hoping they would come our way. I waited and waited and all of a sudden the animals came flying by. They had been moving towards us and suddenly something spooked them. It was about 10:00 o'clock so we decided to go back to the lodge and eat breakfast. Richard cooked a Mexican breakfast of fresh cooked pico de gao, biscu9its, and eggs cooked with sausage, topped off with milk and orange juice. It was all DELICIOUS.

Now we were ready to take off again. This time Steve and Mike saw the particular buck they wanted me to get. So instead of going back to the blind, they decided I could take it from the truck. Oh man, that wonderful breakfast didn't feel too good. My stomach went topsy-turvy when they said " take it from the truck ". I wanted to say ; hey guys ain't we pushing our luck. I saw the buck but it seemed awfully far away. I was concentrating on it and barely heard something about a 100 yards in the background. The next thing I heard was " take it when you can". Would you believe one of those pesky cows had the audacity to walk about 20 yards in front of me? I saw it and heard a hushed wait, wait. As the bull passed by me my target was perfect and I shot. Blackbuck and cows scattered everywhere. In what seemed an eternity, I heard a voice say it's down. I felt elated and fantastic. I could tell that Mike wasn't sure. He didn't want the animal to take off and disappear into the woods. After a long, long time he started the truck toward the direction of the downed Blackbuck. Yes he was down with one shot at 225 yards. It seems my rifle was shot in at 100 yards and they were afraid they would spook me if they told me to move my target sight up 3 inches. Being a beginner, I didn't know the bullet dropped at a longer distance. That's where I was very lucky. They all couldn't believe their eyes and neither could I? They all said what a great shot it was and that made me feel 10 feet tall.

It wasn't quite noon so we went back to the lodge, packed, and went into town to Mike's taxidermy shop in Sabinal. They cut and skinned the animals so we could get them into ice chests for the ride home. I am plenty stiff but it was worth it for several days of heaven.

Written by Betty Hathorn
Email: sketcher@mainlandinternet.net


Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568
409-935-9673

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

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