Trophy Exotic & African Game Hunts
This huge sable had to know we were there, and he was not going to stick around long. I’d just thrown my rifle onto the shooting sticks guide and ranch manager Butch Amlong had put it in position for me. Now it was a matter of getting lucky and finding an opening to shoot through in the thick Texas brush.
We spotted the bull earlier in the morning feeding on the edge of the thicket with his herd of cows. It was like an ethereal replay from an episode of “Winchester World of Whitetails” on Versus.
The early morning light gleams off the ebony ribbed horns curving like a giant sickle over his pitch-black coat. He is the most magnificent animal I have ever seen. Proud and majestic, he is the king of his world and his herd follows his every move.
We wait until the herd settles in to the thicket to bed for the day away from the hot Texas sun. It is not the normal hunting season I am used to back home. Here in Texas it is big game season all year long, especially with the availability of over 40 species at Morani River Ranch. Hunting season is never over, so I took the time during the summer to plan a trip with my entire family to enjoy some Texas hospitality and the many activities at Morani while treating myself to a much-deserved hunt in the middle of the year.
As I wait patiently for the opportunity for the majestic bull, we see movement in the brush ahead. Through a gap in the thicket, two cows move into the opening and stop to stare. We freeze. They know something is there, but the wind is in our favor and our brush country camo does its job. The cows move on.
Butch whispers, “Be ready. He will follow those cows,” and he is right. Several cows and calves pass through the opening, and then I see the dark shadow of the bull moving through the brush towards the opening. Of course the bull does not stop in the opening like the cows do. He stops mere inches before the opening and stares intently through the brush at our position. Seconds turn to minutes as my eyes water from staring at the bull for so long.
Finally, he feels comfortable and slowly walks into the opening. Butch whispers, “Take him when he gives you the shot, low and in the shoulder.” I sight through the scope of my trusted gun that I hunted with in Africa last year. I know it will do the job. In fact, this hunt takes me back in time to that African Safari in many ways, minus the 20 hours of travel time.
As the bull steps into the opening, I find the spot and slowly squeeze the trigger. At the report of the rifle, the bull mule kicks, in a classic lunge shot fashion, and disappears in the thick brush. For several seconds we hear the herd crashing through the brush, and then complete silence. Butch tells me he knows the shot is good by the way the bull reacts. After an appropriate wait, we follow the blood trail to my downed bull. He is every bit as magnificent as I expected. As I move my hands over the heavy black horns, I am taken back to Africa and chasing exotic animals of a different continent, only this time I am much closer to home.