we are in Part Two of our quest to complete the Super Slam of Exotics.
My first step was just down the road a ways outside of Houston, Texas.
I was hunting with a friend, Mark Strickland for the beautiful native
if India and Pakistan, the Black Buck Antelope. I was shooting a Thompson
Contender in 30/30 caliber with Winchester 130 grain ballistic tip bullets
and a Leupold Gold Ring 4 power scope. I spent three days on this hunt,
thanks to a muffed shot the first day. The third day I was set up for
an ambush in the waning hours of daylight. Out of nowhere, there he was
ghosting along the edge of the brush 40 yards away. I took the kneeling
shot and the buck flinched and sped away. I was sure he was hit and we
found clipped hair and a few spots of blood where he had been standing.
We looked and looked until it was to dark to see but no luck. I headed
for home following the tunnel of light cast by my headlights, totally
crest fallen. After a nearly sleepless night, the phone rang, just after
daylight the next morning. Mark had found the Black Buck just a few minutes
after dawn. I had shot a little high and its spine was partly gone. It
hadn't went far, but into thick enough brush so we couldn't find it. My
smile was a large one.
On a bright clear morning in September, 1991, my friend and outfitter,
Richard Lozano, of Lozano Taxidermy in South Houston, Texas, and I rolled
through the gate of the Double S Ranch, for a hunt for what was described
to us as a "Big Red Deer Stag". We were a little over 100 miles from Houston,
Texas, just outside the picturesque town of Halletsville, Texas. Our guide
told us the area we were to hunt consisted of dense trees, and dense undergrowth,
interspersed with some open areas which would be full of tall grasses
and bushes. Luck was with me this day and within a hour we spotted a small
herd of about eight Red Deer, deep in the shade of a grove of trees. They
were having no part of the interlopers to their territory. Every move
we made was mirrored by theirs in the opposite direction, always keeping
the same distance and the trees between us. We had identified the stag
we were after, our only problem was getting a clear shot. As nothing we
had tried so far seemed to work, we decided to try another method. Richard
and I would set up an ambush in a large thicket in the middle of a big
opening. Out guide would start a mini drive through the trees in the hopes
that the stags would separate, move through or around the edges of the
opening in the hopes of getting a clear shot. Richard would watch my back
in case the stags showed up behind us. Within a pretty short time we saw
movement in the trees. Seemed like stags were everywhere, appearing at
all the points of the compass. Now all we had to do was to make sure we
tried for a shot at the right animal. All of a sudden, "he" was there
at the edge of an opening, standing under a tree and looking right at
us. I moved the monopod into position and rested the .375 caliber Thompson
Contender on it. I took a deep breath, let it out, took another, and let
half of it out as the cross hairs of the four power Leupold Scope on the
top of the handgun settled on the animals heart area and slowly squeezed
the trigger. At the crack of the shot, the stag jumped up straight into
the air and came down running at top speed. He only went about 50 yards
and stopped with his head lowered. I put an insurance shot into him as
he started to go down. His main beams were 42 x 40 5/8 long with an inside
spread of 29 4/8 inches. A high gold medal animal.
My agenda now took me near Hunt, Texas and the game rich, scenic, Texas
hill country to try for The. elusive Mouflon sheep. I was to hunt this
time with a good friend, Thompson Temple, on a ranch he had been leasing
for a number of years. We arrived on the ranch on a typical late November
day. Hot and clear, and around 85 degrees. This ranch is weird and I emphasize
weird! The front half is covered with nice stands of timber and has nice
hard sand roads traversing it. The ground is hard enough every where so
you can cut across country if need be. The other half is very rocky, very
rough, and what few roads that exist are nearly invisible. We searched
the flat part first, hoping in vain, that we would find our ram there.
Of course, that didn't happen, even though we did see a good number of
rams there. So it was to the rock pile we went, as my friend had said
that was where the sheep and goat type animals usually hung out. We bounced
around quiet a bit and quite awhile seeing many animals and many species.
Thompson said, he knew there was a better ram than we had seen so far.
We kept searching the rocks and brush to no avail. We both arrived at
the same conclusion. "if it's not here, it must be somewhere else". That
else, has to be on the other half. So we decided to go back to where we
started. Wouldn't you know it, there it stood in an opening not 400 yards
from where we started hunting earlier in the day. We were able to get
within 50 yards of him. When I touched off the shot from my 30/30 caliber
Thompson Contender, with 4 power Leupold scope he dropped like a rock.
When we got to him, we found strangely, the remains of the of the Winchester,
130 grain ballistic tip bullet mushroomed and hanging by a few hairs of
the rams coat, on the far side if its body. He made the gold medal classification.
I next returned to hunt with Mark Strickland for trophy class Fallow Deer.
He told me that he had a big spotted buck he was sure was gold medal class.
This turned into a hunt with kind of weird circumstances. It took some
time to find it but we did. I was able to get a good solid rest for my
.375 caliber Thompson Contender, handgun. Trouble was for nearly 45 minutes
my Fallow played hide-and-seek with me behind a big bush, near the edge
of a clearing about 40 yards away, never giving me time enough for a shot.
In the meantime, my guide and I were visited by eight or ten exotic sheep
meandering down a trail within ten yards of us. To make matters worse,
eighteen hogs trickled along around us, some within five yards. Finally
I got a shot Trouble was it was facing straight at me, and the only shot
I had a chance at was a spine shot, when it put it head down to graze.
With a lot of luck working, I did make the shot. I was almost there.
Well, here I was back in the Texas Hill country for what is probably in
my mind and many others the wariest of all the many exotic species imported
and flourishing in our great state of Texas. This animal is the Aoudad
Sheep, native of the Enni Mountains of Africa. It is said, that there
are more Aoudad in Texas, then there are left in its native habitat. There
have been a number of higher scoring animals taken in Texas than the largest
ever taken in Africa.
I was again hunting with my friend, Thompson Temple,and my trustty .375
caliber Thompson Contender with it's 4 power Leupold Scope , and Winchester
200 grain Power Point bullets. He had seen what he believed to be a ram
that sported horns of at least 32 inches, which is what I had been looking
for. After a hard hunt, my final shot in this endeavor came while dangling
my tired feet over the edge of a 80 foot cliff. The ram was at the bottom
of the cliff going away from me, at about 60 yards away. Miracles and
Luck!! I made and offhand shot and the ram dropped in his tracks in the
middle of a cool, clear, meandering stream. When we got down to my trophy,
Thomson was quick to put the tape to him. He looked at me with a sorrowful
expression and said, "I was wrong Steve, he is not 32 inches long after
all." Of course my heart dropped into my stomach and my hopes sank as
well. Then a big smile crossed his face as he said, "He's not 32 inches
long, he's 36 1/2 inches long." Boy did my mood get lighter. We barely
got his 300 pound plus carcass into the bed of a pickup truck.
After the scoring was over, this not 32 inch ram, was certified as the
new handgun world record. My quest was over and at the Records of Exotic's
dinner my Super Slam was declared the Number One and I was named Handgun
Hunter of the year.
by Steve Mahurin on April 25, 1999.