Indianhead Ranch, Del Rio, Texas
Safari Club International sponsors a number of very well run educational summer programs available to teenagers that provide education and experience on ethical hunting practices and SCI in general. I have attended two such programs, the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Wyoming and the Advanced Apprenticeship Program at Indianhead Ranch in Del Rio, Texas. The latter offers the opportunity for young hunters to learn about all facets of hunting, from shooting rifles and bows, to tracking, to identification, to obtaining their hunters safety training. Furthermore, students are allowed to hunt a management animal of their choosing, or opt to pay the remaining balance for a trophy animal. My dad had told me earlier that year, “If you make the grades I’ll pay for the trophy.” With this further motivation, I met the goal, and had the opportunity to choose a trophy to hunt on this beautiful property.
My initial plan was to hunt an aoudad, and for the time allotted into our schedule, we hunted hard every day. At one point we came within five yards of two young rams fighting. How I longed for a bow! It is only because I am a hunter that I had this opportunity. Most people have never even heard an aoudad, let alone been five yards away from a wild one.
Having been unsuccessful and with the week wearing on, I decided to pursue new quarry. My fascination with the oryx family and successful harvest of a Gemsbok the previous summer turned my gaze to the herd of Scimitar Horned Oryx residing on the property. Their majestic sweeping horns are hard for any hunter to ignore. On our first stalk, we came in contact with a handsome old bull. One of his horns was well broomed, but he had beautiful mass In fact this animal that continued my trend of shooting animals with great mass, giving this site its name. Furthermore, I am a firm believer that an animal chooses you, not vice-versa. I lined up the sights on the single shot Thompson Center Encore .30-’06 and placed the bullet right in his shoulder. His front legs dropped immediately, and the scar on his nose is still visible in the mount. This beautiful animal signified the perfect end to a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend every young hunter apply and attend.
Posted on Wed, June 20, 2007
by Alec Janda filed under