Handgun Scimitar
By Steve Mahurin

On April 14th, 1998, I first met a gentleman named Dwayne Dusharme. Dwayne was a man of many talents. Sporting a long luxuriant handlebar mustache, a quick wit, and a seemingly endless supply of stories about the hunting and trapping of exotic animals. He was the man who had found a great Scimitar Oryx for me to pursue with my handgun. I was introduced to him by my good friend Richard Lozano, who is also a taxidermist and outfitter from Houston, Texas.

We met Dwayne part of the way to our destination, which was nearest to the town of Mountain Home, near Kerrville, Texas. Our route took us up Highway 41. When we turned off the main highway towards our destination, about 3-4 miles down a rutted, bumpy, only partly paved road, we ran into a major obstacle. About a mile off the pavement, we came to a very unusual sight. Sitting completely across the road and hung up on the high spot of a big dip in the road was an 80 foot trailer home.

After about 30 minutes or so, I was beginning to think they were going to have to blast to get it free. But with jacks, sweat, and a little strong language, they finally got it past the high spot. I was still wondering how long we would be creeping down the hot dusty road. But thank goodness they were ahead of us and they pulled down a portion of a fence and pulled it into the pasture for us to pass.

As we traversed the rest of the road we passed three other ranches I've hunted on in the past and relived some pleasant memories as a result. We finally arrived at the ranch gate and Dwayne swung it wide for us to enter. I'd asked him the name of the place but he said the owner actually didn't have a name for it, so I'll just call it the no name ranch. It consisted of rolling hills, cedar thickets, big openings, and quite a bit of prickly pear cactus plants. I know we must have assassinated a couple of hundred cactus plants in our search for my first African, Super Exotic with a handgun.

We didn't have a whole lot of trouble finding the Oryx. We spotted them the first time about 30-45 minutes into the hunt. Of course they were bunched up and moving away. But what a sight it was to see 25-30 animals that are very scarce and endangered in their native land in a viable breeding herd here in Texas in huntable numbers. In fact there were a couple of calves running besides their mothers.

The herd disappeared into a mesquite filled depression three or four hundred yards away. We circled around the other way trying to catch them coming out the other side, but they were smarter than us and doubled back. Of course we didn't know that until we had spent quite a bit of time searching that thicket. We tried that same tactic twice more with the same results.

It was decided to try an ambush. Dwayne dropped Richard and I off and we made our way into an area of low brush and thin trees to find a good spot for a rest and for the handgun. Hopefully we'd figured out where they might appear when Dwayne moved them across a big opening and into the same area of dense cedar as they had done before. It just wasn't to be. We did have two exotic sheep walk by within rock throwing distance but no Oryx. They had slipped by us and went back to the big opening they always seemed to be drawn to.

There was a huge long horned female in the bunch with about a foot broken off of one side. We all figured that the unbroken side would be in the 44-46 inch range. Easily in the world record class, if not for the broken horn. She was also the spooky one in the herd. Always the first to run and lead the rest away from us. For that reason we were continually having to figure out which animal was the bull we were after, since each time they ran and mixed together we would lose track of him for a while. This made it even harder to get him in the scope. We came down one trail and there stood our bull, broadside at about 50-60 yards. I bailed out of the truck and with my bipod done, lay across the hot metal of the hood for a shot. Alas, just as I put the crosshairs on his shoulder, and was taking a deep breath, he bolted.

So it was back to the chase again. About an hour later, after not seeing any Oryx for a good portion of that time, curving around a huge stand of cedar there was the whole herd standing still in a big opening. Taking advantage of the few seconds I had, I laid the gun across the side mirror, took a deep breath, let half of it out, and squeezed the trigger. No explosion of sound from the Winchester 200 grain, .375 Caliber, Thompson Contender, just a thunk. No it wasn't a dud cartridge, it was a dumb mistake on my part. In my effort to make sure of a steady hold for my shot, I'd let my left thumb get in the way and the hammer had fallen on that thumb. Talk about feeling like a fool. Of course my two cohorts got a good laugh out of it as well.

Well here we go again! Luckily GOD looks out for fools, and it wasn't 30 minutes later that lo and behold there he stood again, in the open and broadside at about 100 yards. Calmness settled over me and the shot seemed easy, despite the distance pushing the envelope for a good handgun kill. When I touched it off the Oryx leaped straight into the air about three feet, humped his front shoulders, and kicked out with his back legs. When he came down he ran about 20 yards to our right, then reversed his direction and went down almost where he started.

My companions congratulated me on a good shot and we slowly walked up to my trophy from behind to make sure it was down for good. Then it was time for the tape measure and pictures. My Scimitar stretched the tape to just over 41 inches, placing it in the top five for most record books. By the way the trailer was gone and the road was clear on our way out.

Written by Steve Mahurin on May 28, 2000.

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: SMahurin@houston.rr.com

Copyright 2003


Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011

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