First of all I don't think of myself as a hero but that's what the host was calling it so that's what I'm going with here.
I was lucky enough to have my name drawn out of a hat by a wonderful man who is blessed with a nice job that allows him to do things, like he did for myself and another man in appreciation of our service to our country and communities, in his off time.
His name is Nathan and he loves taking out veterans and first responders on hunts that most of us would never be able to afford on our own.....and pay for EVERYTHING! All I had to pay for was the gas down there and back,
This gentleman paid for the hunt, processing, mounting, lodging and meals. The other guy that was there with us, an Army Lt. Col Chaplain from Ft. Hood, both tried to pay for our own meals and some corn but Nathan wouldn't allow it.
The Chaplain was using one of Nate's 30-30 Marlins and I was using my 6.8AR that I just built. After seeing the 30-30 work I was impressed. Thats a great hunting round.
I had originally planned on going out for an Aoudad but with all the rain we had this weekend they weren't coming around much.
I did get to see a group of about five Aoudad for all of about 4 seconds as they crossed the road about 60 yards away. The one out in front WAS HUGE and I would have loved to have been able to take him but even if I had had my rifle up and looking thought the scope it would have been a rushed shot. He was amazing looking!
I got to see all kinds of exotic critters and some were just beautiful!
Some of the gorgeous animals we saw were a Black Buck Antelope that Nathan took that only had one antler and a HUGE Red Stag with massive antlers that just stood there and grazed on corn for about an hour.
Funny thing about that is that he might be deaf. Reason we think that is because Nathan literally shot the Black Buck right on the Stag's butt and the Stag just looked up and around kind of like "What the heck? Why are you on the ground? Oh Well....", and then right back to grazing around his dead unicorn buddy,
We also saw lots of rams, Catalina Goats, White Tail Deer, Fallow Deer. Oryx and a few Sika.
We were in a ground blind most of the morning and due to the storms we didn't see much that we could shoot, even though there were White Tails everywhere.
We eventually got out of the stand and on the Mule to drive around a bit to see what we could find, if anything.
We eventually came up on a group of rams and Catalina Goats.
We got off the Mule stalked to somewhere between 80-100 yards.
Chaplain took the first shot with Nate's 30-30 and dropped a ran in his tracks.
The herd scattered a bit and now it was my turn.....taking my 6.8, leaning up against a tree to steady my rifle, get a good sight picture, breath and with a little pressure on the trigger I send it.
The Nosler Accu-Bond 110gr round worked flawlessly and was a through and though on my goat.
After I hit him he reared back on his hind legs, stumbled for about 20 feet and then dropped.
My 6.8 has its first kill!
We gave the rest of the herd a chance to clear out before we went over to check on our critters.
This is myself and the Chaplain with our respective animals.
Chaplain on the left and I'm on the right.
Nathan(standing) getting in on the picture taking.
What was left of the heart after the Nosler Accu-Bond did its job.
After this we headed back to camp to clean our animals and prep them for the processors.
We took the animals to the processor and then headed in to town for lunch.
When we came back we hung out at the camp for a bit before we went back out to the stand since it was still raining pretty good. Once the rain broke to a light drizzle we went back out.
After about an hour in to our second session in the stand a nice little group of about 20 pigs came in.
We decided that Nathan would do a count down and that the Chaplain and I would shoot at the same time.
We both sighted in and made or pick, Nate made the countdown and I'll be damned if great minds don't think alike.....the Chaplain and I had just shot the same pig! This shot was about 40 yards away.
I thought about it before we shot but there were 20 of them...surely we wouldn't sight in on the same pig. Right? lol
Nate runs out there real quick and drags him(black one) back to the blind.
Then in comes the Red Stag and the Black Buck that would later meet a 30-30.
It was now starting to get dark when I look out the blind and behind us. I then see a small group of about 8-10 hogs on the move.
I can't get a great angle on them since they're behind me but I manage to get a good enough sight picture though my scope, though a little brush and from bended knee I let it fly.
The pig was quartering away a little bit and the bullet entered on the right side just behind the right leg and exited on the left side near the front legs. You can see that the Nosler Accu-Bond means business by the exit wound. It was even more impressive once you got up close to it and saw how devastating that round really was on my pig.
I'm pretty sure I hit an artery.
My 1 1/2 pigs
All in all I had a fantastic time.
I wish I had been able to get on an Aoudad but hey, you can't control the weather or a wild animals habits.
A HUGE thank you to Nathan and the people of DB Hunting Ranch for making this possible and giving us an experience that we'll never forget.
Hearing "thank you" is one thing but for someone to do so much in appreciation for the choices we have made to protect and serve our country and our communities means so much more to me personally.
Actions speak louder than words and and this weekend I was deafened by Nathan's and the Ranch's generosity!