Handgun Bighorn Slam
Part 2
By Steve Mahurin

It was an unseasonably warm April as we made the trip up I-10 West, on our way to meet good friend, Barry Cox and his wife Janet for a weekend of exotic sheep hunting. Barry has access to over 100,000 acres over a number of different ranches in the Texas Hill country. This was my second hunt with Barry who is a retired Air Force Colonel and has been outfitting and guiding hunters for many years. And this gentleman has a spotless reputation.

We did make on detour along the way. With both of us being native Texans and never having done so, decided to swing by to view the remote location of the Alamo Village, a near perfect duplication of the San Antonio, Alamo, located near the south Texas town of Bracketville, Texas. This site was used for the filming of the Alamo movie, depicting the battle for Texas independence.

Barry and Janet live on a ranch that sits in the middle of some of the roughest, steepest, brushiest, deep canyons and valleys and twisting turning roadways between Rock Springs and Camp Wood, Texas. We were to stay on their place during the hunt. His ranch is heavily overgrown with the usual Hill Country cedar thickets and dotted with small openings. After getting settled into the camp house provided for our stay, we went out to look for our quarry. After a while of pushing thru acres of brush, we spotted one of the sheep we had come for. I was using a Smith & Wesson .41 caliber revolver, with a four power Leupold scope sitting on top of it. My ammo was hand loaded 200-grain soft nosed bullets. Even with all the brush for cover it was difficult to get close enough to the huge old Merino Ram, whose huge flaring horns made my mouth water. Finally, at thirty yards and with only a thin branch to at least try to get a rest on, I touched one off. The shot went low. A miss. Did I mention that we had a 30-40 mile per hour wind rocking us from our back, even in the thick brush. The ram ran off, disappearing into a green jungle. Finally we found him again! This time I took a straddle legged off hand, about twenty yards away. The old ram sagged to its knees and died. We got him to the walk-in cooler and went back to camp to rest up for the next day's hunt.

Thanks to the kindness of our hosts, we were saved from a cold meal. At their insistence we took an evening meal with them. After a good nights sleep they insisted we also have breakfast with them as well, which we were happy to do. After two wonderful meals and very interesting and enjoyable conversation we were ready again to take on the brush and the sheep again. This was slated to be our lucky day.

We did a lot of walking, sweating and looking as we moved through the thick humid brush. The lucky part comes now!! All of a sudden down a long clear lane of brush there stood a herd of about 12-15 sheep, never got a good count. Right there on the edge of the brush, stood the Black Hawaiian and the Texas Dall sheep that I was after. I thought to myself, well, here goes. They were standing about thirty yards away. On my first shot from the six-inch barrel of my .41 magnum the Black Hawaiian went down on the spot. Of course the whole herd bolted away at the crack of the gun As we got to the animal to check whether it was finished or not, we saw that the herd had only went about 25-30 yards. They had held up in a thicket and were milling around on the verge of moving out of my sight. I quickly got on my rear end, rested my elbows on my knees and looked for the Texas Dall in my scope. Just as I found the ram in my scope, he stepped away from the edge of the herd. I started the squeeze on the trigger and was surprised when the gun went off. The ram was mine. My hunt for those three sheep was over and boy was I happy.

Written by Steve Mahurin on May 23, 2000.

Big Horn Slam 2

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011

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