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#2680039 - 05/05/14 06:19 PM Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that!
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 17122
Loc: S. Texas
I’ve fully enjoyed observing and photographing the many different species of exotics on the ranches where I have done ADC for the past 10 years. These exotics are available for guided hunts only, so I booked a gemsbok hunt for Thursday (and Friday if necessary) last week.

My predator hunting partner, with whom I have fished & hunted for over 60 years came along for the ride, and since the hunt was scheduled to begin at daylight on Thursday, we decided to go up Wednesday afternoon and do a bit of calling so we would not have to drive up before daylight Thursday morning.

After moving into the bunkhouse, we had enough time for three or four stands before dark. Not much moving until the last stand, which produced a bobcat right at dark. The cat appeared, sitting in the middle of a gravel road, 400 yards from our position. He was satisfied to sit and stare toward our call, but that's OK as cats are protected on this ranch but a lot fun to call and watch.

The next morning we met the ranch foreman, who is a good friend and who was to be my guide, in the camp mess hall and had a flour tortilla and cup of coffee before heading out to look for Gemsbok at first good light.

Unfortunately, my stalking days are winding down much faster than I would like, so we planned a spot & stalk hunt with the emphasis on the short stalk.

We hadn’t been out more than 20 minutes when the foreman quickly stopped the jeep and said he thought he had run over a rattlesnake. We both jumped out, he grabbed a set of shooting sticks and managed to pin the 4 ½ foot rattler just as it was getting into the bushes as I ran around the jeep to finished it off w/.38 S&W loaded w/snake shot.



Just a gentle reminder to watch our step while wandering around in the brush.

Spotted one very nice bull which I nearly got a shot at twice but wasn’t quite quick enough on the trigger either time. During the next couple of hours, we observed several small groups of oryx with negative results, as their biggest bulls either didn’t measure up or we couldn’t get into an acceptable shooting position in time.

At 1 PM, we spotted a group of 12 or more that held at least one nice bull standing about ¾ of a mile down a very wide pipeline sendero. They had not spotted us so we circled around them and picked up another road that would bring us within three or four hundred yards of the herd.

As we eased around a point of brush, I guessed the herd to be spread out over 300 yards but my hunting partner and guide both ranged the nicest bull @ 247 yards. Just as I got on him, he started walking at an angle away from us, moving from right to left. He paused before reaching the brush line long enough for a quick shot.

My 338 WM is sighted in dead on @ 100, is 1” low @ 200 and 7” low @ 300 with a 210 gr. Nosler partition bullet. Wanting to hit him about 1/3 up on the shoulder, I held over a bit and squeezed the shot off. Heard the bullet hit and the bull quickly disappeared into the brush. Not having a landmark, we had a bit of a problem locating exactly where the bull had been standing, so my partner went back and ranged the 245 yards from where I had shot. We still couldn’t find any blood. After quite a lot of searching, the blood was found 55 yards farther down the pipeline.

There was not nearly enough blood to suit me and what there was, was not pink as I would have expected, which troubled me a lot. My partner and I are both pretty good trackers (if I do say so myself), but we both lost the trail about 200 yards from the pipeline. Fortunately, the foreman was better and he picked up a single spot of blood where the bull had crossed a two track after he had split from the herd, probably due to the fact he could no longer keep up. Even more fortunately, the blood flow began to increase steadily after he crossed the road, making tracking much easier. He was also beginning to wander somewhat, as opposed to continuing on the straight path he had originally begun.

We followed the track a few hundred yards farther toward some pretty heavy brush, the bull was stopping more frequently and bleeding quite a bit more, when I spotted a buckskin colored rump disappearing behind a thick ebony tree as a gemsbok walked from right to left 150 yards ahead! My partner, who was not carrying a rifle, spotted him cross two more very small “tunnels” in the brush, still moving left. My guide and I moved out quickly at an angle calculated to intercept the bull; my guide was to my left and moving nearly parallel to the bull’s path and I was angling just slightly left.

It began to get a bit hairy when we lost visual contact, so I turned a bit to the right and hoped one of us would push the bull toward the other. I could see about 100 yards in a safe direction to shoot, so chose to stop and hope the bull would cross that narrow, natural clearing.

Sure enough, a bull stepped out at the end of the clearing, stood broadside a moment looking at me. Not seeing any blood, or evidence of a previous hit, I was a bit reluctant to shoot, but judged that due to the slow movement of the animal it must be the wounded bull and took an offhand shoulder shot just as he started to step out of sight.

Heard the solid hit followed by guide yelling, “did you get him?” The thorn brush was so thick it was difficult to get through, but we managed and quickly found the fresh trail. Yes!!! The blood was the right color and quite plentiful!

Found the bull about 50 yards away. He fell on his right side and I discovered my first shot had been too high, thus the sparse blood trail early on. I was beginning to wonder if this was a different animal as I was expecting a passthough and mistook the hole on his left side as my 2nd shot's exit. The guide assured me it was the animal he had pointed out for the shot since it had a 3” fresh split in its left ear (barely visible in photo below) which he had noticed before the shot.

The animal had travelled nearly a mile back into some pretty heavy brush, so the guide called a ranch hand to bring a tractor which was rigged for running in the brush and three hours from the shot, we had the bull back to the pipeline.

After skinning, we found that the first shot had angled forward and lodged inside the right shoulder and 2nd shot hit dead center in right shoulder; neither exited. I’m surprised that he was able to travel so far. They are one tough animal!

Only pictures taken were where the bull fell. He measured 36” and 35 7/8” w/ 7 7/8 and 8” bases.








We wanted to let the animal cool down before transporting it to be processed, so decided to make a few predator stands Friday morning.

We had time for three stands before breakfast. My partner saw a bobcat cross the road just around a slight bend which I could not see beyond on the first stand.

Second stand brought in this Gemsbok cow which responded to Snowshoe Rabbit 3. She stepped out of the brush about 300 yards down the sendero and was really interested in the Mojo, coming within 20 yards or so of the decoy.



On the last stand, we decided to set up in the area where I had shot the Gemsbok the day before, reasoning that one or more coyotes might have crossed the Gemsbok’s blood trail during the night and remained close enough to hear the call.

My partner set out the call and decoy and was just getting ready to sit down when a bobcat walked across the pipeline 200 yards out. As soon as my partner settled in, I started out with bird calls, hoping to call the cat back, then switched to snowshoe 3, at which time the cat ran back across the pipeline as if the devil himself was hot on his tail.

A minute or two later, my partner, who was watching my 6, barked once, immediately followed by another bark, this one from his 22-250 thus winding up a very memorable hunt.



Regards,
hm


_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#2680053 - 05/05/14 07:24 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
Kizmo Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/26/09
Posts: 2350
Loc: Georgia
Wow!
_________________________
'Tis better to have shot and missed than ne'er to have shot at all (unless you're shooting at a dad-blame rattlesnake).

"There are real problems, and there are imaginary problems."
Judge Belvin Perry

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#2680143 - 05/05/14 11:36 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
Infidel 762 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6968
Loc: Okie
That is a nice trophy... Congrats

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#2680211 - 05/06/14 08:43 AM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
JTPinTX Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1202
Loc: Wellington, TX
Excellent story, sounds like a really nice hunt!

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#2680288 - 05/06/14 01:26 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
Mr. Poppadopalis Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/25/13
Posts: 3487
Loc: Metro Denver
Excellent HM!!

Great pic's and great story:-)

Well worthy of the HOM!!

Best of luck my friend..........

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#2680314 - 05/06/14 03:31 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
DesertRam Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 9108
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
That's a darn fine bull! Well done sir, well done. thumbup
_________________________
"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

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#2680319 - 05/06/14 03:38 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
elkhunter2002 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 181
Loc: Eastern Nevada
Cool story and great photos, thanks for sharing.

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#2680328 - 05/06/14 04:16 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
nyttrain5150 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 891
Loc: Kansas
Wow, congrats!

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#2680362 - 05/06/14 07:27 PM Re: Bobcats, Rattlesnake, Gemsbok & a Coyote; Doesn't get much better than that! [Re: hm1996]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 17122
Loc: S. Texas
Thanks for all the kind remarks, guys!

Regards,
hm
_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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