Tuesday afternoon we picked up Marty and his son Zach. We went to Richards place (Action Outdoor Adventures).
I primarily wanted an Oryx. Richard had some nice ones running around the ranch and one that was a monster. Paul knew where we would see it from a distance and took us to get a look. Richard had told me he had a couple Zebras on the ranch. Another hunter got the other one on monday. The remaining zebra was super wild and spooky. We got lucky and he happened to be with the Oryx so we got to see both. The Oryx was huge! Bigger than the Gemsbok I got in Africa. If I got a chance at him I'd take him. The zebra was absolutely spectacular. A really super top notch one. He had no shadow stripes, bite or kick scars. Zebras fight a lot and getting an un-scarred one in Africa is rare. I knew how tough it would be to get the zebra after hunting them in Africa. They are extremely elusive. I decided to concentrate on the Zebra but if an opportunity arose for the Oryx I'd take him and be happy.
The first afternoon, a hot six hour sit. A really nice blackbuck showed up and I was really tempted to take him. Getting a blackbuck with a bow is a serious accomplishment. Passing him up was hard but I wanted to not spoil my chance at the zebra. Then a nilgai cow showed up. Nilgai are antelope from India. They are considered the most difficult of the exotics to get with any weapon. With a bow it is practically impossible. I passed on the nilgai cow too. That was tough. The sun set, the Zebra didn't show up in his favorite spot. Par for the course. I knew this was an elusive animal and getting one specific animal on the ranch with a bow was gonna be super tough. Especially with a bow. On top of it this animal was on full alert. My chances didn't look good.
Next morning, I went back to the same blind. Four hours after sunrise. I spotted the monster oryx in the distance. I wouldn't pass him up, even for the zebra. The oryx started working my way. I got ready. Suddenly, for no apparent reason the oryx broke into a quick trot and zoomed towards me. He came within 15 yards but never stopped. A few minutes later Paul showed up in the truck. The oryx must have spotted him coming. Paul had to have been far away. That oryx was very sharp.
Paul says, "The zebra is on the other side of the ranch. I'll set you up in a blind there."
I packed up, and we took off. Paul showed me the blind. I eyed it. I told Paul I might not be able to draw in that blind. I got in and checked it out. Nope. No way. I'm just too big. It would be physically impossible to draw a bow in that blind. We decided to get some stuff to set up a ground blind. On the way back we spotted him. I decided to attempt a stalk. Slow but steady movement was working. A group of red deer was bedded between me and the zebra. They spotted me first and the game was up. We got the call, Frank spotted the zebra from his stand. That was at another area halfway accross the ranch. We headed that way. The zebra was on the road heading back to that stand he spotted us and tucked into the thick Texas brush. Frank's stand it would be. We circled around the area and got to it. Frank had tried to video the zebra and got busted. He was surprised by how alert this animal was. He thought a whitetail would have never noticed him. They set me up there. Frank spotted the zebra sneaking my way and they left. A nilgai cow came in again. It was easier to let her go this time. An hour and a half passed. Paul returns.
"The zebra is in front of the blind you were in this morning.", he tells me.
I replied with something not appropriate repeating. This was wearing me out.
We head for where I started. As the truck closes the distance the zebra just stares. Paul gets to where the truck is shielded by the blind and I slip out and belly crawl to it. I make it to the blind. It's zipped shut. Marty and Zach were in there after I was. I hope the truck noise covers the zipper noise and I can get in unnoticed. It doesn't. The zebra leaves the area. I'm done moving around. I'm staying put. Even if he shows up somewhere else. I'm waiting right here.
Almost 2hrs pass. It's hot. If I was a biscuit I'd be done. Paul comes by. I'm staying put. I mean it. Thirty minutes later I spot a striped leg through a window unzipped only enough for a 2 inch hole. He's coming in! He steps out at fifteen yards, perfectly broadside. I steady the bow putting the pins over the vitals and draw back. Just as I'm reaching anchor. My elbow touches the back wall of the blind. Some velcro slips. UUUURRRRRPPP! The zebra reacts by starting to spin around to dart back into the brush. I react by accidently punching the release. The arrow sinks into the zebra's neck. NOT GOOD!
I call Paul. Bring a rifle. I'm sure the shot will still be lethal but finishing him quickly is the humane thing to do. I expect we will have to finish him off that way.
Everyone shows up. I don't like this. Makes me nervous. The zebra is hurt bad though. The sign is obvious. He made it 125yds. Frank says there he is. Richard moves in with the rifle. No finishing shot required. The zebra is mine. Everyone is slapping me on the back saying what a great job I did. I was lucky and I know it. The good Lord guided that arrow. This could have been a very sad story. I'm really really happy. And very thankful.
He weighed just over 500lbs and is the prettiest zebra I've ever seen.
Another view I can thank Frank for coming up with (Good job Frank!)
This what the Rocket Stricknine Broadhead looked like after penetrating about 16inches of Zebra and lodging in the opposite shoulder blade. It's bent up, yes. But nothing is broken. I'm really impressed with how much abuse these blades took and did not break.
Action Outdoors is not just about exotics they also have access to free range indigenous animals as well. If you want to hunt ANYTHING in Texas I highly recommend you call them.
Edited by Leo, 07 May 2008 - 10:17 AM.