Got Invited on a Nilgai Hunt

snake284snake284 Senior MemberPosts: 21,857 Senior Member
I was at a Masonic function this weekend. It was an open house(non Masons Invited) for a joint centennial celebration for Seadrift Lodge and Tivoli Lodge. They are both 100 years old as of December 7th and I belong to both. The Grand Master of Texas Masons came and presented me, the current Worshipful Master of Tivoli Lodge and Jim W, the current W.Master of Seadrift Lodge, with centennial plaques in honor of these lodges 100th birthdays.

One of my old lodge brothers from Seadrift, Joe B. was there, since he's a Seadrift Lodge officer and several times Past Master, and he had his son there and his son is an avid hunter. Well, the conversation got around to hunting, and someone mentioned Nilgai. I said "Wow! I'd love to kill a Nilgai. They get as big as an elk. And Joe spoke up and said "Do you want to go?" I said something to the effect of does a large carnivore Pooh Pooh in the woods, and he proceeded to fill me in. So we go on the 27th for this three day outing.

It's on an island across the Intercoastal Canal from the King Ranch and there's more than Nilgai there. There's also trophy size whitetail and lots of hogs and I believe some other exotics such as Axis deer. So I was definitely interested. But, knowing how these things go and especially during the Holidays, I told him I'd let him know for sure in a couple of days after I checked my schedule. So yesterday morning after insuring my schedule was clear, I called Joe back to tell him to put me in. But to my surprise and shock he told me it was now full. Oh my LUCK! I should have jumped on it like a cat on a rat. But he told me there were usually a few cancellations and he would call me back if there was an opening. Well, this morning right after I got out of bed the phone's ringing. It's my Bro Joe. He says "Your In!" WOW! I'm on top of the world.

I had ask if women were allowed and Joe said no. It's an all male expidition. But Fe has to work anyway and she has no vacation left this year. I will go and try to make inroads for next year. When I show them pics of her skinning and cleaning hogs and deer I think they may make an exception to their rule. Anyway, at least I can search out more opportunities and maybe get something for her. Actually, Fe works with Joe's grandaughter, a sweet young thing named Cheyenne. They're both jailers and both very capable women and they both love outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. So maybe this all will open more hunting doors. I've found if you can behave yourself and are not an obnoxious drunk or something (or maybe dont brag on your .270 too much) and you have something to contribute you can find all sorts of great hunting opportunities, to say nothing of meeting some great people in the process.

Also, while we were discussing matters this morning Joe told me to bring a shotgun if I wanted to duck hunt (so my Over /Under Browning is going along since it's all I've got in 12 ga.) and a rod and reel if I want to fish. Joe is an old salt from Seadrift and he's been a commercial fisherman all his life. He doesn't even hunt, he only goes to be with his grandson and to fish. Joe is the salt of the earth. He's a solid Christian guy but he's not stupid about it. You can tell an off color joke around him and he'll laugh his ass off like the rest of the crowd. He'll also drink one or two beers on occasion. He's no hypocrite, rather he's realistic. He's just good people.

Now for decisions. What do I take to shoot? I have my .270 and some 150 grain Speer Grandslams I can load up, I have my 30-06 with a 200 grain Game King, I have my 280 Rem. and some 160 grain Somethings I can load for it, and I have my 300 Weatherby Mag with either 180 grain Hornady Interlocks, or 180 grain Game Kings. I think the 300 will get the nod and I'm going to load up some Game Kings.

This is not yet set in stone, so comments please. I want to hear as many points of view as I can to either help me decide or to make me feel comfortable with my decision, LOL! So please, comments.
Daddy, what's an enabler?
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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Replies

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,230 Senior Member
    Take the 9.3!
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,697 Senior Member
    quite a few years ago I had hunted on a ranch in Texas that had nilgai running around on it and I remember them being pretty big and wary. I know lots of folks have harvested huge animals with small calibers but I would still go with something 30 cal or better.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Take the 9.3!

    I'm tempted for sure, however they tell me some shots are in excess of 300 yards. But i still haven't counted it out, and I know it will do a number on a Nilgai, so now that you brought it to my attention, I'm considering it pretty strongly.

    Actually, I'm thinking of scrapping the duck hunting idea and maybe bringing both the 300 AND the 9.3. I am thinking I can scope things out on the first morning with one or the other, and them make a change if needed. Or maybe I'll bring em both to my shooting stand. I being a senior not so mobile hunter will have a stationary stand at the end of the island.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Yes Fish, You and Jerm are very convincing or maybe you're making me think clearly now. I'm either going with the 300 or the 9.3 or both. 18-

    I love my old .270, and my .280. They would probably do the job well with the right bullet. But with the bigger calibers you have more room for error. And I've killed deer with both the .30-06 and the 9.3. And if the 30-06 is any indication of the potential of its big brother, the .300 is capable of and if the bullet performance is any indicaton of its potential with larger bullets, then I'm confident the .300 and the 9.3 will make a difference. For shots inside 200 yards the 9.3 is just awesome. 270 grains of bullet do make a difference. For longer shots, the .300 is probably the ticket. If I had anymore 200 grain Game Kings I'd load some of them for the 300. But they seem to be in short supply at the present time, so I'll go with the 180s.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    So now that you, Fe and the rest of the family have killed all the deer in Texas you're moving on to Nilgais? Ohhhh, the humanity! PETA is not pleased.

    Good luck!
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,675 Senior Member
    Snake Nilgai can get pretty large and heavy. I would go with the thought that bigger is mo better. Your .300 is what I would take

    Best of Luck to ya on your hunt
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    I would go with the .300 Win mag and 180 gr boat tails to give you flat long trajectories and plenty of impact.

    If you zero it at 200 yards, a 180 gr Barnes TSX solid loaded at 3000 FPS will only be 1.2 inches high at 100, and 6.2 inches low at 300, and at 300 yards still traveling over 2400 fps . 3200 FPE at 100 yards, and still 2400 FPE at 300 yards. It is possible to load it hotter, but not really necessary.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,731 Senior Member
    Sounds like a perfect test for the new Zastava Mauser in .30-06 that you are going to buy :)
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    Worshipful, my esteem of you just went out of sight. I am a two time past master of my home lodge, in Florida, and I am a plural member of my Tennessee lodge. As to your rifle choices, take the one you shoot the best. Any of them will harvest a Niigai, with the proper bullet selection, even your lowly.270 ...........Robin :wink:
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,231 Senior Member
    You lost me in the first paragraph and I had to google image the Nilgai!
    But it looks like damn big animal, did you really ask THIS forum if you should take your .270? :jester:
    I would say the 30-06 or 300 Weatherby would be your best bet and I envy you, sounds like a ball! Congratulations and looking forward to a detailed report and lots of pics of the hunt.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Worshipful, my esteem of you just went out of sight. I am a two time past master of my home lodge, in Florida, and I am a plural member of my Tennessee lodge. As to your rifle choices, take the one you shoot the best. Any of them will harvest a Niigai, with the proper bullet selection, even your lowly.270 ...........Robin :wink:

    Yeah Bro Hawken. I guess I'm sort of a "Born Again Mason." I was raised in November 1989. Then I went on to the East in the Masonic year 95-96. Then I worked overseas over the next few years and only went to a handful of meetings. Then I came back and retired and have slowly been getting more involved again. This year I'm WM in Tivoli and I'm Sr. Deacon in my home lodge, Lavaca 36. Tivoli lodge is merging with Lavaca, and now I've joined Seadrift. We're all in the same district so we all know each other. But the beautiful part about it is there's a bunch of Masons that shoot and hunt. I lucked into this just by being at a Masonic Function. Now I'm lovin' it more than ever.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Sounds like a perfect test for the new Zastava Mauser in .30-06 that you are going to buy :)

    bullsi1911 = Enabler :tooth:

    However, it does sound Plausible.

    Maybe. We shall see.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    twa wrote: »
    You lost me in the first paragraph and I had to google image the Nilgai!
    But it looks like damn big animal, did you really ask THIS forum if you should take your .270? :jester:
    I would say the 30-06 or 300 Weatherby would be your best bet and I envy you, sounds like a ball! Congratulations and looking forward to a detailed report and lots of pics of the hunt.

    twa, I have a lot of faith in that .270. And 10 years ago, it would have gotten the nod by default because that was the hottest number i had. But I'm not totally silly, I do believe my 9.3 or my 300 would be a much better choice for a 500 to a 1000 pound animal. So it's probably safe to say that whatever I take will be a minimum of .30 caliber.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I would go with the .300 Win mag and 180 gr boat tails to give you flat long trajectories and plenty of impact.

    If you zero it at 200 yards, a 180 gr Barnes TSX solid loaded at 3000 FPS will only be 1.2 inches high at 100, and 6.2 inches low at 300, and at 300 yards still traveling over 2400 fps . 3200 FPE at 100 yards, and still 2400 FPE at 300 yards. It is possible to load it hotter, but not really necessary.

    IMHO

    D
    x
    also
    Yes, the .300 is probably a shoo in to go. But I'm still thinking taking the 9.3 x 62 also. Of course, an 06 with a 180- or 200 grain bullet will kill all the Nilgai in South Texas, and what bullsi suggested is tempting. And don't forget, my pet load for mine is a 200 grain Game King that I have a lot of faith in, so I don't think I would be slighting myself with it. However, I've never fired a round with a Barnes anything in it and I don't know if I have the time right now to go working up a load with one. But I am seriously thinking of trying Barnes out soon.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    Snake Nilgai can get pretty large and heavy. I would go with the thought that bigger is mo better. Your .300 is what I would take

    Best of Luck to ya on your hunt

    Yes Diver, I agree. And now I'm thinking to bring both the .300 and the 9.3. But then the 06 is tempting too.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    So now that you, Fe and the rest of the family have killed all the deer in Texas you're moving on to Nilgais? Ohhhh, the humanity! PETA is not pleased.

    Good luck!

    And YOU! Did you rat me out to PETA? :yikes:................:fan:....................:rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    And YOU! Did you rat me out to PETA? :yikes:................:fan:....................:rotflmao:

    Yes, they bribed me with a unicorn that farts rainbows, an all expenses paid trip to Lala land and all the veggies I can eat. I can be bought but I'm not cheap.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • bowserbbowserb Member Posts: 277 Member
    That's intracoastal, not intercoastal.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history." - Ayn Rand
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    I would go with the .300 Win Mag.

    My BIL has spent many months doing land surveying work for EXXON on the King Ranch, and has learned a good bit about Nilgai. They are extremely wild, in that they run fast and far at any sign of something they aren't used to seeing. Think in terms of 300 yards plus, if you're lucky.

    On the other hand, he said that they tend to crap in the same location for a long time, if not disturbed. He said that if he was hunting them, he would find some fresh or day old Nilgai crap, and set up under deep cover (watch for buzztails) at 200 yards.

    Of course, if they are being fed daily, just park at the feeder and wait for them to come galloping up.

    :yousuck:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Yes, they bribed me with a unicorn that farts rainbows, an all expenses paid trip to Lala land and all the veggies I can eat. I can be bought but I'm not cheap.

    :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    bowserb wrote: »
    That's intracoastal, not intercoastal.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    In Texas it's Intercoastal, unless you actually work on a boat that goes to OTHER places. I mean didn't they build it so I could go from Matagorda Bay to San Antonio Bay in my in my fishing boat more faster?

    :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I would go with the .300 Win Mag.

    My BIL has spent many months doing land surveying work for EXXON on the King Ranch, and has learned a good bit about Nilgai. They are extremely wild, in that they run fast and far at any sign of something they aren't used to seeing. Think in terms of 300 yards plus, if you're lucky.

    On the other hand, he said that they tend to crap in the same location for a long time, if not disturbed. He said that if he was hunting them, he would find some fresh or day old Nilgai crap, and set up under deep cover (watch for buzztails) at 200 yards.

    Of course, if they are being fed daily, just park at the feeder and wait for them to come galloping up.

    :yousuck:

    You mean there are sssssnnnnaaakkkesss out there??? OMG! They didn't tell me that!!!

    :yikes:................:yikes:................:yikes:

    :silly:...................:silly:..................:silly:

    :rotflmao:..........:rotflmao:............:rotflmao:

    Actually we have a lot of them here too. Out on my lease when driving to the first internal gate on a warm day, about half the time I'll see one crossing the road and usually they're at least 3 or 4 feet long if not longer. Such is life in Southern Texas and especially along these bays.

    And not only Rattlers. We have two rice fields on the place and all along those are planty of Cotton Mouths too.

    We won't be on the King Ranch but rather on some Islands across the canal from there. And these Islands are anywhere from 100 to 500 yards long. They're actually spoil banks. But guess what? Nilgai can swim, LOL! The way we will hunt is they will drive them out of the brush from one end towards the other. Since I'm older and handicapped(my left leg is weak from Neuropathy and I have trouble walking on rough ground) I'll sit as a blocker at the opposite end. But Joe tells me the blockers get some of the best shots.

    I would love to get me a Nilgai, but if an Axis buck comes my way I will definitely nail him. I've about decided on my choice of rifles. I'll take the 300 to the range this weekend and make sure it's sighted in.

    The 9.3 is already sighted in.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,526 Senior Member
    Never hunted them but from what little I know about them ya made the right choice in using the .300, good luck and I hope ya get one.

    As a personal note the GK have never let me down.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    Never hunted them but from what little I know about them ya made the right choice in using the .300, good luck and I hope ya get one.

    As a personal note the GK have never let me down.

    JAY

    Me neither Bro Jay, the Game King is Bullet Proof, pun intended! I've shot a load of deer and my share of hogs with them. I like them better than Nosler Ballistic Tips. And I agree, I just don't see any flies in the 300s soup when it comes to larger animals with the potential of long shots. Since I'll be stationary, I'm really thinking about taking my 9.3 along too. If they're within 150-200 yards I think it will do a number on one, especially with a 270 grain bullet. Anyway, I need to look at where we'll be hunting before I come up with any strategy, but I know I'll have the right equipment.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    Well I took the .300 out of the safe and unwrapped it from its gun sock and dusted it off. I also looked and found I had 39 loaded rounds. They are all 180 grain Hornady Interlocks. I had a brand new unopened box of 180 grain Game kings in my reloading cabinet so I pulled the bullets on half the Hornadys and loaded the cases with a lessened powder charge of 86.7 grains of RL-25 (The Hornady's were loaded with 87 grains of the same stuff) and 180 grain Game Kings. I'll take the .300 to the range either tomorrow or Sunday and shoot a few and make sure the .300s sited in.

    I have a good bit of faith in Sierra Game Kings and with this load if I do get some shots at game and I can do my part I feel i will connect with some nice animals. OK, now about sausage grinders.....Anybody ever eaten Nilgai Sausage?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Just looked them up. Ugly suckers! And they can get over 600 pounds. Bring the big guns.

    When you drive down 77 through the King Ranch you can see them out in the brush. They don't look particularly imposing until you see one next to another animal. They tower over a whitetail like the Giant over Jack!

    I've been wanting a chance at one for the last 35 years when I heard about guys going down to these islands and hunting them with 4 wheelers. I've eaten the meat and it's damn good too. Makes a hell of a sausage. I'm gonna check this out real good and if I can swing something maybe i'll have a hunt of my own at some point in the future. This is like a poor man's elk hunt. We shall see. Oh and yes, the .270 will not make the trip. Neither the .280 or the 30-06. Not that I don't think any of these with the right bullet wouldn't do the job, but in this case bigger is definitely better and this is the opportunity of a life time for me so why chance it? The .300 and the 9.3 are definitely in now. Actually If I had a good strong rifle in 45-70 it would be great for this also, I believe. Depends on the ranges. But we'll see. I know that with these two rifles I'm bringing everything should be covered. And besides, those are the two biggest guns I have.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Great OutdoorsGreat Outdoors Member Posts: 221 Member
    sounds like a great hunt- remember- there ain't nothing that walks that a 30-06 won't kill, and you're huntin with a souped up 06.
    good luck and post some pics of the trip
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    sounds like a great hunt- remember- there ain't nothing that walks that a 30-06 won't kill, and you're huntin with a souped up 06.
    good luck and post some pics of the trip

    Thanks i will. I love Sierra Game kings because I've had so much success with them. When I first got the .300 all I could find around here was some 180 grain Hornady Interlocks. I guess they're ok but I've had bad luck a couple of times with them and don't trust them like I do Game Kings. Later after I had loaded the brass I had with the interlocks I found some 180 grain Game kings at Midway I think. I bought them and had them in my component cabinet. So yesterday I pulled the bullets on half those interlocks, Re-Sized the necks and seated the game kings. So I have 20 Game Kings ready to go now. I'm taking it to the range today and checking it out to make sure it's still on. I had it sighted in with the interlocks but that was nearly two years ago and I want to make sure it's dead on in case I have a long range shot. I wish I had some more 200 grain Game Kings. I load them in my 06. But I can't find them anywhere. Midway says they're "Out of Stock-No Back Order. So I guess the 180s will have to do.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,658 Senior Member
    If you shoot one in the ass, please don't tell us - it would break my heart. :tooth:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,857 Senior Member
    OK! I'm off to see the Wizard. Leaving for CC right now. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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