I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years holiday! I did, and really enjoyed the family time. My day job kicks into overdrive in the next couple months and I’ll be out of the country on business a fair bit, however before it gets crazy I’m off to Texas for about a week to hunt big game, small game, and predators. A friends invited me down to pursue gemsbuck, maybe Spanish goats, and he said the predators are thick right now. I’ve got seven days and plan to make the most of it; I’ll fly into DFW late Wednesday night and drive probably as far as Abilene, then on Thursday morning I’ll get off to an early start and arrive at Odessa by mid morning, then head down to the ranch about 2 hours south. On arrival I’ll get my guns sighted in, check on my gear, relax, and probably go out calling in the night to see if I can put some fur in the truck. Then it will be hunting straight through until Tuesday when I head back to DFW.
My primary game is the gemsbok, which is also called an oryx, a large African antelope that was released in Texas many years ago and is a wary and challenging game animal that can range up to 500 lb. For this hunt I’m taking the AOA Bushbuck .452 carbine, matching a very powerful rifle to a very powerful quarry. The bullets opted for are the 445 grain solids that Kip Perow casted especially for the gun, and out of this rifle they are generating just under 600 fpe with 2 full power shots.
I’m taking my Badger .40 caliber rifle for goats and longer range predator work. I’ve used this rifle for hogs, deer, and javalina and feel pretty comfortable with it out to 125 yards. I’m shooting the Robert Vogel 186 grain hollowpoints and getting about 200 fpe out of the combo. I think this will be a great pairing for the longer ranges stuff asnd also bigger predators like coyote …. and maybe a chance at a cougar (three have been hit by cars in the last couple months). A few years ago I was hunting bobcat in this area with a Sam Yang .457 and had a cat come in to 140 yards and hang up refusing to come in closer. With that gun I didn’t pull the trigger, however a repeat while I have the Badger in hand would go differently!
For small game and smaller predators (fox and bobcats) I’ll be using my Rainstorm .30 caliber and JSB Match Diabolo pellets. I am also bringing my night vision gear from Sellmark; a Pulsar IR scope and a thermal monocular which I’ve been ripping the northern yotes up with. Cant wait to get this set up into the thick predator populations of West Texas! My plan is to get a lot of video footage for a series of videos on my YouTube channel that not only looks at the hunts, but also the strategy and tactics around how I use my gear.
I get a lot of questions about the video and camera gear I take on these trips, and it can change quite a bit from hunt to hunt. On this trip I am focusing on video, and though my Cannon Ti6 is great for both video and still photos, I find the Vixea HF offers great video, a range of shooting options,great magnification, and is very easy to deploy quickly when I am under stress (read filming my own hunts). I carry 3-4 GoPro and SJ cams, but have been relying more and more on the Fuji XP. This camera looks like a point and shoot, but is a very high quality HD video camera, that unlike the smaller GoPro cameras has a 5x optical zoom. I am carrying two of these cameras on this trip.
Don’t know if I’ll have internet access from the ranch, if so I’ll post an update next Sunday. If not the post will drop ASAP. After the hunt I’m back at my office for a few days before leaving for the SHOT Show; my schedule there is crazy and I’m booked at meetings and events from the moment I arrive until I leave…. but I look forward to seeing a lot of old friends and seeing some interesting new product releases. After SHOT it’s home for a couple days then back on a plane for Tokyo, so no more hunts for a couple of weeks. But if the Texas trip goes well I might have enough material to keep me busy editing and writing for a couple weeks!
Hope you all have a great start to the new years and be back with you soon!