1992 my wife, Shirley and I had been on a lazy weekend, staying on a friends
ranch in the hill country of Texas near Mt. Home, Texas. This ranch was
located about five miles off highway 41, and was very aptly called Rocky
Creek Ranch. At the time I believed that was the rockiest place I had
ever been on. Lttle did I know that I waq greatly mistaken!
As we drove those few miles back to highway 41 we passed a ranch with
the name Southern Safaris on the big steel gate. About 100 yards inside
the perimeter fence we saw a herd of anmals with striking backward curving
horns. We stopped the truck and grabbed our binoculars to take a closer
look. This herd of about fifteen animals were all trophjy record book
class, Persian Ibex. We got our Canon 35mm, telephoto equipped cameras
and snapped of a couple of pictures and went on our way.
Afew days later when we got our pictures back we looked very closely at
those Ibex, as well as some great pictures of two Sika deer bucks fighting,
we had gotten on Rocky Creek ranch. I had been wanting to take an ibex
to go toward the completion of my Super Slam of Exotics. I figured that
all I had to lose was the cost of a few phone calls, and some of my time
to find out if I could afford to hunt one of those great lookinganimals.
I got the phone number and made the call. David Groce the head man of
Southern S`faris answered and after a fiftden-minute phone conversation
we had settled on a pricd and date for my hunt.
So here Iwas a couple of months later heading west on I 10 toward the
hill country again, for a try for my Ibex. The closer we got to our destination
the higher my anticipation got. As I pushed open the iron gate leading
into the ranch, Shirley and I could see a small herd of Dysbowski Sika
feeding near the lodge.Our accommodations were great. Just after dark
our host called to say that our guide the next morning would be well known
taxidermist and hunter, Jim Robinson, of Ingram, Texas and would be at
our door abnut seven a.m.
Sure enough, he was right on time. Heres where the weather kicked in,
making our chances of success a little more questionable. As we left the
lodge I checked out the cool feeling temperature on the temperature on
the porch. A cool 49 degrees, not a problem in itself, but qith the combination
of a drizzling rain falling, it looked like fog almost, our comfort zone
was going to be pushed seriously today.As we began thd drive to start
looking for our quarry a raw wind started blowing in from the north, making
it feel more like 29 degrees than 49. Icould just imagine what it was
going to feel like once the rain soaked our camouflage clothing to the
We tried finding the ibex herd by driving the acreage thru and around
the mesquite thickets to no avail. Of course the rocky ground, literally
covered with a carpet of at least golf ball to tennis ball sized white
colored rocks didn't help our trying to spot game before they heard us.
We did see a very nice Whitetail deer buck outlined in the mist.
Well we found out how it would be outside being soaked to the skin at
49 degrees, Miserable!!! We had decided to try hunting our animal on foot.
This seemed to accomplish the same as driving and looking for them. Nothing
but frustration. The main reasons were twofold. The main reason was the
spookiness of the Ibex and the rocky carpet of rocks. They were very noisy
for one thing, because every few steps you would step on them and no mater
how hard you tried not to, some of them would roll under your boots making
it difficult to even stand, muc` less try to make a quite stalk. Seemed
like it was strp,step, and a rock and a roll, walk and stalk, and a rock
and a roll.
We could stay at least in sight of our target animal most of the time,
but of course it was imbedded deep into the herd. We made our stalk attempts
at least six times but got busted each time,either too noisy or we couldn't
get the Ibex separated from the herd for a shot. On about our seventh
stalk the herd had split up and we spottd the one Iwas after all by itself
about 150 yards away.
It was barely visible through a misty, foggy, veil of rain. The only shot
possible was offhand, as there were no trees around big enough to get
a rest on. I had decided to plop down on my rear end and take a rest across
my knees. Painful !! Ihad rock impressions on my rear for hours afterward.
But at least the pain was worth it because when the gun went off my rock
and roll Persion Ibex folded in its tracks.
When we got to it I just had to put a tape on its sweeping horns. They
measuped out at 34 5/8 by 35 3/8, a solid gold medal class animal.
Written by Steve Mahurin on May 18, 2000.