14th, 1998, I first met a gentleman named Dwayne Dusharme. Dwayne was
a man of many talents. Sporting a long luxuriant handlebar mustache, a
quick wit, and a seemingly endless supply of stories about the hunting
and trapping of exotic animals. He was the man who had found a great Scimitar
Oryx for me to pursue with my handgun. I was introduced to him by my good
friend Richard Lozano, who is also a taxidermist and outfitter from Houston,
We met Dwayne
part of the way to our destination, which was nearest to the town of Mountain
Home, near Kerrville, Texas. Our route took us up Highway 41. When we
turned off the main highway towards our destination, about 3-4 miles down
a rutted, bumpy, only partly paved road, we ran into a major obstacle.
About a mile off the pavement, we came to a very unusual sight. Sitting
completely across the road and hung up on the high spot of a big dip in
the road was an 80 foot trailer home.
30 minutes or so, I was beginning to think they were going to have to
blast to get it free. But with jacks, sweat, and a little strong language,
they finally got it past the high spot. I was still wondering how long
we would be creeping down the hot dusty road. But thank goodness they
were ahead of us and they pulled down a portion of a fence and pulled
it into the pasture for us to pass.
As we traversed
the rest of the road we passed three other ranches I've hunted on in the
past and relived some pleasant memories as a result. We finally arrived
at the ranch gate and Dwayne swung it wide for us to enter. I'd asked
him the name of the place but he said the owner actually didn't have a
name for it, so I'll just call it the no name ranch. It consisted of rolling
hills, cedar thickets, big openings, and quite a bit of prickly pear cactus
plants. I know we must have assassinated a couple of hundred cactus plants
in our search for my first African, Super Exotic with a handgun.
have a whole lot of trouble finding the Oryx. We spotted them the first
time about 30-45 minutes into the hunt. Of course they were bunched up
and moving away. But what a sight it was to see 25-30 animals that are
very scarce and endangered in their native land in a viable breeding herd
here in Texas in huntable numbers. In fact there were a couple of calves
running besides their mothers.
disappeared into a mesquite filled depression three or four hundred yards
away. We circled around the other way trying to catch them coming out
the other side, but they were smarter than us and doubled back. Of course
we didn't know that until we had spent quite a bit of time searching that
thicket. We tried that same tactic twice more with the same results.
It was decided
to try an ambush. Dwayne dropped Richard and I off and we made our way
into an area of low brush and thin trees to find a good spot for a rest
and for the handgun. Hopefully we'd figured out where they might appear
when Dwayne moved them across a big opening and into the same area of
dense cedar as they had done before. It just wasn't to be. We did have
two exotic sheep walk by within rock throwing distance but no Oryx. They
had slipped by us and went back to the big opening they always seemed
to be drawn to.
a huge long horned female in the bunch with about a foot broken off of
one side. We all figured that the unbroken side would be in the 44-46
inch range. Easily in the world record class, if not for the broken horn.
She was also the spooky one in the herd. Always the first to run and lead
the rest away from us. For that reason we were continually having to figure
out which animal was the bull we were after, since each time they ran
and mixed together we would lose track of him for a while. This made it
even harder to get him in the scope. We came down one trail and there
stood our bull, broadside at about 50-60 yards. I bailed out of the truck
and with my bipod done, lay across the hot metal of the hood for a shot.
Alas, just as I put the crosshairs on his shoulder, and was taking a deep
breath, he bolted.
So it was
back to the chase again. About an hour later, after not seeing any Oryx
for a good portion of that time, curving around a huge stand of cedar
there was the whole herd standing still in a big opening. Taking advantage
of the few seconds I had, I laid the gun across the side mirror, took
a deep breath, let half of it out, and squeezed the trigger. No explosion
of sound from the Winchester 200 grain, .375 Caliber, Thompson Contender,
just a thunk. No it wasn't a dud cartridge, it was a dumb mistake on my
part. In my effort to make sure of a steady hold for my shot, I'd let
my left thumb get in the way and the hammer had fallen on that thumb.
Talk about feeling like a fool. Of course my two cohorts got a good laugh
out of it as well.
we go again! Luckily GOD looks out for fools, and it wasn't 30 minutes
later that lo and behold there he stood again, in the open and broadside
at about 100 yards. Calmness settled over me and the shot seemed easy,
despite the distance pushing the envelope for a good handgun kill. When
I touched it off the Oryx leaped straight into the air about three feet,
humped his front shoulders, and kicked out with his back legs. When he
came down he ran about 20 yards to our right, then reversed his direction
and went down almost where he started.
congratulated me on a good shot and we slowly walked up to my trophy from
behind to make sure it was down for good. Then it was time for the tape
measure and pictures. My Scimitar stretched the tape to just over 41 inches,
placing it in the top five for most record books. By the way the trailer
was gone and the road was clear on our way out.
Steve Mahurin on May 28, 2000.