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Handgun Double
By Steve Mahurin
     

On September 6, 1996, I made the trip up I-10 west to the area that is my favorite place around the Texas hill country. I'd decided to try for a couple of animals to work toward completing my Super Slam of Exotics, and had contacted my friend Thompson Temple about trying for maybe an Axis, Fallow, or BlackBuck Antelope, whichever I could find, that was of good trophy quality and could get close enough to for a pistol shot. We hunted one ranch for over a 1/2 day and saw numerous BlackBuck, Axis and Fallow but just could never find the right combination. Either a good trophy and too far away or a good shot but not a good enough animal. We later in the day tried our luck on the Cowboy Ranch off Highway 41 nearest to Hunt, Texas. It's not a very large place but has some of the thickest Cedar, fewest openings, and rockiest ground I've ever been on. I don't think Tinker Bell could fly across it without rattling rocks.

Our quarry on this place was a huge chocolate colored Fallow that had been hunted numerous times by rifle hunters to no avail. Figured I could at least give it a try with my handgun. I was using a Contender with a 10 inch barrel in 30/30 caliber, topped with a Leupold gold ring scope of four power strength. My bullet was a Winchester, 125 grain soft point. My guide and I spent a major part of the rest of the day negotiating the rocks and Cedar, seeing the big fallow three or four times but only in fleeting glimpses through the brush. But no chance for a shot. As the shadows grew longer we decided to try a drive. So I sat in a blind on the edge of the only decent sized opening on the place.

My guide and a couple of others who had come out to check on our progress walked through the Cedar, hoping to flush the buck past me. Would you believe I saw Axis, Aoudad, White Tail,Sika and Catalina goat, but not a single Fallow Buck of which there were at least five on the ranch. We went back to the bunkhouse Skunked.

We got a late start the next day as a friend asked me to help guide some Sheep hunters, which I did. So it was, that as we left, my host introduced me to a young couple and their 6 month old baby who were to hunt the next week and had stopped by to check things out. My host told them we were leaving for a Sika and Red Stag hunt, and would they like to come along and observe. They would. My guide from the day before wanted to come along as well since he had never seen a Red Stag taken with a handgun. Then the man and his two sons who had helped on the drive for the Fallow the evening before wanted to come along as well.

So here I was entering the ranch gate with an entourage of 7 adults and an infant along to watch me as I hunted my quarry. Would you believe we found a nice Sika buck within 15 minutes, standing broadside at about 50-60 yards. I shot under him and he was gone. Nerves maybe??. About two hours later and on the far side of the ranch from where we saw the Sika we lucked out and found a herd of over 50 Red Stags. We got within 30 yards for an easy shot. When I pulled the trigger I heard nothing but a click. A dud. So I quickly ejected the round and replaced it with another. The result was the same. But this time it wouldn't eject. So I had to look around the area for a stick or branch that was the right size and hardness to push the stuck bullet out. Of course by the time I did all this the whole herd had vanished.

Well, back to the chase. Awhile later we spotted my Sika buck again. He was standing facing me at 80 plus yards. The bad part was that it was standing between two trees with only a little of its neck and chest exposed. At my shot the rest of the herd ran off with my buck slightly behind them. I said to myself, it was a difficult shot but I should have made it. As it turned out I hadn't missed. While I berated myself for a second miss he had traveled about 20 yards and then went down to stay.

After congratulations, pictures, and field dressing we started back toward the gate. We hadn't traveled more than 500 yards and there stood the Red Deer I'd lost due to bad ammo. I was able to use my bipod and take a rest on the hood of the truck. Thank goodness, he dropped in his tracks at the shot. More pictures and congratulations and it was time to head for town and a taxidermist. Both animals made it into the record book and earned silver medals. This ended my handgun double.

Written by Steve Mahurin on March 5, 1998.

     
     
Handgun Sika
     
     
Handgun Red Stag
     
     

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

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011


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