A few months ago a Nathan Nelson gave me the invite to come hunt with him and his program, Hunting With Our Heroes. I can't began to tell you how excited and honored I was just to be picked. He said to get ready to hunt a Sika Stag. I barely knew what a Sika was at the time. Fast forward a little he learned a Sika that they were eyeing for me had dropped his horns due to the funky spring like weather. So a change of plan was to go after a Blackbuck antelope. I was not complaining when I heard this as I think they make awesome mounts and are supposed to taste good to.
So it was time to go, Nathan set me up in the La Quinta near his home. Shortly after my arrival, he comes to pick me up and we head to his hog lease as he called it. We drove around awhile on the mule with no luck on hogs , I then told Nathan to stop and let me try and call in something. About 10 minutes later a huge dark phased yote shows up out of nowhere but didn't hang out long before he knew he was about to get lit up. It was a trophy yote for sure. Weather wasn't helping and it began to sprinkle and get cold so we called it an evening and headed back for the hotel. Nathan got to go home and spend an evening with his family which he said he doesn't do to many weekends because he dedicates so much of his time hunting and working with his program.
Next morning Nathan picks me up and we head towards a little ranch near Copperas Cove where we met guide Mike. We got on the Polaris Ranger and the hunt was on. I have a new found respect for the Blackbuck. I always thought they were stupid and would just hang out in the field as I see them when I drive down the highway. Boy was I ever wrong! The best ways to describe them is like fleas on crack. They were bouncing and running around like crazy. It didn't help that they were love struck and chasing does. We drove and did the spot and stalk thing for a few hours. I was getting flat warn out trying to be sneaky. We never got within 300 yards of one! Locating a good one was tough as well because the wind was zipping along. I was starting to question myself if I could have even made the shots at the distance with the wind, short shot opportunity, etc. As we headed to another part of the ranch this animal known as an Auodad popped out. There was a small group of them and as we were glassing them one turns out to be a pretty good one. Nathan and Mike said it was pretty odd for them to be hanging around like that on that ranch especially a mature ram. As we were glassing , Nathan asked if I would like to take that Aoudad in substitute for the elusive Blackbuck. He didn't have to twist my arm on that one! Both Blackbuck and Aoudads have been on my hitlist a while. Mike the guide said to get ready because they probably wouldn't hang long and my shot opportunity would be quick. Mike set up the Bog shooting stick and I sat there watching the group of Auodads. The one I was after had a stare down on me and a young juvenile was blocking him from any shot. Mike said I would probably have to shoot him straight on. I was pretty much ready. The juvenile had enough of us and bolted to the left. The ram had the same idea and started heading to the left. Before Mike and Nathan could say anything I pulled the trigger. Mike saw it go down and said , "great shot". I think they were expecting me to hesitate. I put another shell in the chamber and waited for him to get back up. It wasn't happening. I had just taken my long awaited Aoudad and couldn't believe it. We walked to about 140 yards and there he laid. Lots of high fives and fist bumps were taking place. I can only imagine the grin on my face. I sold my rifle a few weeks back and had to borrow one of Mustafa's guns. Gotta give props for him lending me his custom 308 and the 150 accubonds. The gun and bullets did their job flawlessly. Here are the pics, I hope you enjoy.
Myself and Nathan
A few weeks ago yall might remember a little custom made knife that Mike C. posted called the "Sharpfinger". I contacted Mike and told him I wanted the knife for Nathan and had him make a sheath with Nathan's initials in it. Little did I know that Nathan is quite the knife guy. The little knife was perfect and the best thing is that Nathan put the knife on and got it dirty as he helped Mike the guide cape the auodad. Thanks Mike C. for making the small token of appreciation I could give Nathan.
After the hunt me and Nathan enjoyed a nice lunch and made a few stops. Every stop and every conversation was Nathan doing something for his past and future hunts with his program. It is truely amazing the time and $ he dedicates to his beliefs. We got back to the hotel north of Austin and Nathan and I said goodbye.
Coming to a close, I cannot began to tell you how good of a person Nathan is. Not just because I was lucky enough to get a trophy animal but just the overall generosity in his heart with his efforts for his HWOH program. Nathan is truely a genuine guy. If yall ever get a chance to hunt with him do it, and if he continues and puts together fundraisers for the future and you can help, do it.
Nathan , Thank You my friend