for the Super Slam as recognized by Records of Exotics can be long, difficult,
expensive and usually lots of fun. This slam consists of ten specific
species of exotic animals. The highest scoring super slam each year by
a hunter with a specific weapon will denote the hunter of the year with
that particular weapon. This story will tell you of five of them.
My first ever exotic with a handgun was a Corsican sheep. I had a booked
a rifle hunt with Barry Cox near Campwood, Texas. He had just gotten back
from a gun show at which he had traded for a Thompson Contender in .223
caliber. He said "Let's go out back of the house, I want you to try this
handgun out". I said "Why Not". So out we went. We set up some rocks on
a log about 30 yards out. I tried three shots and close but no cigar.
Barry said, "extend your arm more and you can get a full field of view".
The gun was topped with a two power scope. When I then shot, I hit the
target twice. Then Barry sprung an idea on me. "Why don't we hunt that
ram with a pistol ?" I told him, "Are you out of your mind!," I haven't
shot a handgun for years, with the exception of just now, much less one
with a scope. He laughed and said, "Heck, you did okay awhile ago, and
I will get you close." "You really think that is a good idea," I replied.
I thought it over, and said "If you think it will work, I'm game". You
know, he was right. We got within 20 yards in the thick mesquite and I
put two rounds within an inch of each other. I had just taken my first
handgun exotic. As a result I decided to hang up my rifle and try to become
a handgun hunter. My next trip was for a Persian Ibex. We went to a place
near Harper, Texas. The owner's son was our guide. We found our Ibex okay,
but the problem was, that it was running in the middle of a herd of about
twelve Axis. And I do mean running. Every time we saw them over the next
fours hours, they were moving and of course my Ibex was right in the middle
of the bunch. We had played cat and mouse for a very long time. I was
still new to handgun hunting of course, and had also changed weapons.
I was now using a Smith & Wesson, 6 inch revolver in .41 magnum caliber,
with 200 grain soft point ammo and topped with a Leupold Gold Ring 4 power
scope. To make a long story short, after many sightings and more misses
than I like to think about, I got the best shot of the whole day. It wasn't
as high a percentage shot as I like to wait for, but it was as good as
we figured we were going to get. It was a running shot, at nearly 60 yards.
It connected and broke it's spine. A nice gold medal animal.
Next up, was to try for a Catalina Goat. We were back in the hill country
on the Hi-Hatch Ranch. A good friend had given us access to the ranch
and I was to guide myself with my wife along as spotter and driver if
need be. My friend had told me the best area to check first. It was called
the rock patch, and he was sure right about the name and location. We
spotted a bunch of Catalinas and decided to try a stalk. It turned into
a belly crawl of about 50 yards. I finally got a shot with the Smith &
Wesson .41 magnum. It was from a prone position at 40 yards. Would you
believe I shot under his belly, and they all took off and headed in a
big half circle toward the other side of the ranch. I got back to the
truck and Shirley said she had spotted where they had gone. We made a
big circle and lo and behold after about ten minutes there stood my Billy.
One shot at 50 yards and he was mine. Wouldn't you know he fell right
in the middle of the only mud puddle on the place.
Our scene now shifts back closer to home and a hunt with S & H Adventures
near Alvin, Texas. It had been a miserably wet few days in the area with
four to six inches of rain falling. After a couple of hours of slogging
through the woods in water and mud holes, over the tops of our boots,
we finally saw the big Axis Deer I had come for. He was standing between
two scrawny sapling's, 150-yards away looking straight at us. We could
barely move without his spooking. I was able to get partially behind a
bush. All I could do was grab a branch and try to use it to steady my
hold. Of course, the only shot I had was a straight on chest shot. When
I fired my Thompson Contender in 7/30 Waters caliber the buck whirled
away, made about three jumps and went down with a big splash. There wasn't
any ground shrink on this one.
In August, 1991, I traveled to an area outside Mountain Home, Texas, to
hunt Sika deer on the Blackbull Ranch. We hunted the afternoon I arrived,
and saw large numbers of Sika including five pretty big ones. Trouble
was, every Sika we saw was spooky. We tried till darkness settled in and
it was too dark to see the dark bodies against the brush. We were out
again at daylight the next morning to give it a try. Funny thing, that
morning the animals were not nearly as jumpy as they had been the evening
before. We drove and glassed a couple of dozen bucks that morning and
around 1:00 PM, after a lucky encounter and successful kill on a silver
medal hog, we found our buck. A shot from something over a 100 yards from
my .375 Caliber Contender with Winchester 200 grain Power Point ammo and
he was down for keeps. This put me halfway to my Super Slam of Exotics.
The second half will be concluded in Handgun Super Slam, Part Two.
by Steve Mahurin on April 24, 1999.