By Dave Hurteau
Two quick notes before we get stared: first you can click here if you missed Part 1, and second, for anyone who’d like to flatly call me a hypocrite or anything else, I invite you to do so in the comment section below, and don’t feel like you have to read the story first.
Okay. Here we go.
A Real Hunt
Taking several shots to check the zero on the .45-70, I threw one way high. On a Texas nilgai hunt, you shoot standing off sticks in the African tradition (even though nilgai are Asian). Noticing the flyer, Sports Afield Editor Diana Rupp, with whom I was hunting and who shoots standing off sticks far more often than I do, pointed out that with this method there’s a tendency to shoot high if you’re not careful to hold the fore-end down on the sticks. "Okay," I said, and we went hunting.
Nilgai were introduced on the King Ranch in the 1920s as a game species and supplemental food source for the cowboys. But the ranch’s low fence, designed to keep cattle in, does not prevent wildlife from getting out, and today about 30,000 free-ranging, wild nilgai roam various portions of south Texas, including about 10,000 of them on the King Ranch. What’s striking is how these huge, exotic beasts vanish so naturally into the scraggly branches of mesquite and live oaks—almost like they evolved here.