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2 Mag Sneed

My first Trophy! (of any species)

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A preface to my story....

 

My first discussion of going on a "ram" hunt occurred before Christmas 2012. Justin, aka "bloodbath", invited me to go on his annual "ram hunt", which would be located on a game ranch in Benavides, TX. He proceeded to show me a photo of a couple of rams that were taken off the ranch over the past couple of years, one of which included one from last year that a good friend of his took. Not knowing what to expect, I was tickled to just be able to go. I've seen plenty of rams shot before while hunting on various ranches, but never had any inclination to do so myself... $$ for the horns didn't really excite me...

 

 

Fast forward to 22 Feb 2013. We travel down to the ranch, packed to the gills with goodies (food, beverages, and ammo!) We arrive around dark-thirty, and unload our belongings. After we unload, we decide to take a bag of corn and take a tour of the facilities: the ranch is a commercial exotic ranch, but the hosts are in tight with the management. We managed to tour the high-fenced portion of the ranch, and take a little stroll through the herds of animals. After adjusting ourselves to the cooler weather, and relaxing from the long trip (from SA, it took us roughly an hour and a half...two after we stopped in Muy Grande's in Freer), we headed back to the lodge to commence our protein fest. Over dinner (some mighty fine skirt steaks, chips and salsa) we discussed the plans for the following day. Much bloodshed was eminent.

 

Saturday morning, 24 Feb 2013, we venture out.... we first produce some serious sausage and egg burritos/tacos, with salsa. I managed to get at least two Dr. Pepper's in me before I was finished, but then again, a pot of coffee was not-a-brewin'... I had to improvise somehow! (those that know me, know that I am a Dr. Pepper fiend).


We meet up with our guide/chauffeur, Anthony, who runs the ranch, as well as runs and manages a local convenience store, and we head to the herds. There's 5 folks in our group, including myself. The main host, Andrew (turns out, he is a Posse member here as well, "Haz".... ), brought his boy along: Gavin. Andrew was able to take his first thing Saturday morning. His goat was an old billy, red/white Catalina. The bases of this ram were every bit of 9" in circumference. Here's a photo of the ram from the website of the ranch. Of course, this is prior to us arriving at the ranch.

Red-White-Catalina--Andrew_zps04e73633.p

After Andrew connects with his, he immediately gets his son ready for his shot. After roughly 2-3 hours of meticulous planning, stalking and waiting, Gavin unfortunately misses a bit high on his shot. The goats just didn't want to cooperate. All of them huddled together, traveling close.... no clean shot.... always an animal directly behind he intended target. After his miss, the rest of the party decides to take their shots. Justin was next.

A corsican ram was on his hit list. First shot from his STA .223 landed on the backside of the left front shoulder, and slammed hard against the opposite shoulder. The 53gr VMax destroyed the shoulder. Second shot went right where it had been intended originally: the neck. Another goat down. I'll get a photo of that one in a bit.

The herd moves off again, to another portion of this segregated area. The high-fenced portion is roughly 1000 acres. Densely populated with palmettos, scrub, cactus, and mesquites; most of which is quite dry. Having picked out my strawberry doll already, or potentially paint or even corsican, I sought after the herd to get a clean, singular shot. While stalking the herd, Justin told me to go ahead and take a New Zealand, or potentially catalina. they're in the same group as well, bigger, and offer a more 'cost-effective' trophy, considering my plight.

Walking down a little road the cotton-pickers decided to head into the brush. Urgh! Why!? Because I'm chasing after them, and they know that Justin and I are terrified of snakes, and hate getting cactused. a few hundred yards later, we finally get to a point in the thick stuff that I can finally see a catalina quartering away from me, but with it's head pointed directly at me. I raise my AR, a 16" lightweight Wilson Combat 6.8SPC barrel in an Aero Precision M4 Upper receiver on top of the TPP Spikes Tactical lower I have. Shooting a 95gr TTSX from Silver State Armory, produces groups of less than 1" CTC at 100 yards. Touching the Geissele SSA-E trigger, the 2nd stage broke at what seemed an eternity. Scope's shaking, and bobbing/weaving. Suddenly, my eyes focus on the branches in between me and the goat. Really!? You didn't see this before, I think to myself.

So I reposition, 3 feet to the left of me, with a slightly less quartering away , but still the goat is looking back towards me. The herd is starting to pull away from the rest of them, and he and another stay still for a little bit. I take the second stage again of the SSA-E, and suddenly feel a candy cane break, a quick report , and suddenly, at my astonishment, the animal in my crosshairs of my scope 30 seconds prior, is no longer. Justin pats me on the shoulder, and we walk to my goat. Sure enough, 95grs of TTSX sent the goat to ...... the afterlife! LOL..

2232013-Catalina-SSA95TTSX-STA_zps9867ec

The ram I took is definitely a trophy in my book. The horns at the base are bigger in circumference than my short, skinny fingers can reach. The idea of mounting a goat didn't cross my mind, so when the question was asked what I planned on doing, I said: euro the skull, and cape the hide I suppose to make a rug, or whatever. I'm glad I did. The junky photo below is the hide stretched out before heading into the cooler.

image_zpsfb9ede7c.jpeg

 

 

What a blessing to have a good friend, who, in my "noob" status as far as trophy hunting goes, was willing to upgrade my hunt from a standard goat, to a catalina. This is a special hunt for me, not only because of whom I was able to spend the time with, but the fact that it's my first true experience hunting in the field with my business partner, good friend. We both were able to take animals with demo rifles from STA, and show the other guys in the party how well they perform under real world stresses, but also to the hunting ranch operators how our work holds up in the field. Hopefully next year will be just as much fun: we've already started planning the next year's goat hunt.


Thanks for following the story... to end the story, concisely, the fourth member of our group, a friend of Justin's, and customer of STA, was able to connect on a very healthy and nicely curled Corsican as well. Photos of that one are forthcoming. The last shooter was Gavin again, and was able to take a really healthy looking strawberry doll with his dad's Weatherby .308. What a shot, too! Kid was PUMPED!!!

Here's his "trophy"

Gavin-StrawberryDoll-Photo2_zps4f8bf035.


All of our trophies:

554947_612040932143439_1197619904_n_zpsc

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Great report. Glad you, Justin and the rest had a great time and were all successful.

 

Congrats

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That's what you call "getting your goat" big-time. Way to go, Brandon.

 

Jerry

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Very nice pile of animals. Hunting with friends is what makes a trophy memorable. Great job and great story.

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Great story, great pics, great fun, Brandon, congrats on a very fine trophy! :)

Congrats to Gavin ^_^ , love to see the young ones get in on the fun too.

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Great job!

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Way to go guys!! Nice write up and very nice trophy!!

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That sounds like a great time was had by all!
Nice write up Brandon!
Thanks for sharing!

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Good story , got a talent for story telling !! Looks like you all had lots of fun !!

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Congrats on ya'lls success and thanks for sharing the details!

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