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An African Sort of Day
By Steve Mahurin
     

Well, I wasn't in Africa, but the animals I had seen so far, this day, made me feel like I was. I had seen Eland, Scimitar Oryx, Gemsbok, Wildebeest, and a few other I don't recall, including other exotic species from other parts of the world along with a number of native North American game animals. My buddy, Richard Lozano, who was also, the outfitter and taxidermist for this trip, and I were in the South Texas brush country near Pearsall, Texas.

We were after a Kafeau Flats Lechwe, and possibly a common Waterbuck. Both were antelope of African origin. We met our guide, ranch foreman, Felix Arnold at the lodge at the end of a game filled road. He told us that there were three or four Lechwe bulls on the ranch all almost identical. Ditto with the Waterbuck.

The Galloway Ranch, where we were hunting, is famous for the size and diversity of its trophy animals. As we drove around the ranch, we came upon (if what my friends that have been to Africa say is true) a scene right off the plains of Africa. Stretched out before us was a wide-open area dotted with water holes and tall trees. Scattered over the veldt type plain were a number of African species, including a pretty good Lechwe Bull. Felix said, "That may be the best on the place, but since its early, let's see if we can bust a little brush, and see if we can get a look at the rest of them." As we searched, Felix made some observations.

First was, he wasn't to sure about hunting with a handgun, especially for Waterbuck since it has a very thick hide and tipped the scales at up to 700 pounds. Richard told him that I was shooting a .375 Contender with a Leupold 4 power scope, and that he had been with me on some other hunts for pretty big animals and would vouch for my marksmanship, so Felix said, "Okay, we'll see." He also told us that the Lechwe and Waterbuck on the ranch were nearly all the same age and size, and any one of them horn wise would be very close to the same size. He also passed on to me, that they seldom saw the Waterbucks and if we saw a bull it might be wise to take him, if the chance came. We did some major brush busting, but no Lechwe bulls. We did see a big Waterbuck bull cross a road trailing a harem of females. Going from one dense thicket to another, we got to the spot in less than a few minutes, but there was no sign of him. We circled around and through the area, but didn't spot him or them again.

It was now past midday and seemed to be as hot as any African day. We decided to head back to the lodge and cool down and get something cold to drink. We started back out about an hour later. Even I find it hard to believe, as did our guide, but within 30 minutes we saw what Felix said, was as good as Waterbuck as he had seen on the place. It was standing in the middle of a large opening with 18 females, just standing there looking back at us. The trouble was, he was close to 200 yards away. Which is a little past the reach of both my .375's, Winchester 200 grain power point bullets, and frankly, my ability.

We drove at an oblique angle in their line of travel trying to cut the distance down a little. We were at least partially successful. They started getting antsy, and started ambling toward a huge expanse of brush. We figured the bull to be at least 130 yards away, the longest attempt at a shot I had ever taken. At the shot the bull started to run, but then started to slowly walk in the other direction and even more brush. I decided even though the bull was now out to at least 150 yards, I had better try and anchor him. I knew the first shot had connected, because I had seen blood behind its shoulder at the first shot. The second shot was dead on, and nearly a mirror image of the first one but on the opposite side. The three of us could barely roll him upright for pictures.

Felix said he would go back to headquarters and bring a front loader to transport it back to camp. It's a good thing, since we estimated him to be 600 pounds plus. Next thing I knew we were headed back to the plains area in the hopes that the Lechwe bull we had seen earlier in the day would still be around. He was, just not in the same spot. Luckily after awhile, I was able to get myself in a position at about 70 yards. The shot was true and the Lechwe was down and my African day was nearly over. The Waterbucks horns were 27 inches plus, and the Lechwe were right at 27 inches long as well. Both animals placed in the gold medal category in the record books.

Written by Steve Mahurin on April 26, 1999.

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

Email: SMahurin@houston.rr.com

Copyright 2003

     
     
Africa1
     
     
Africa1
     
     

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

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011


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