Mickey’s Markhor…Dream to Reality!
Mickey started hunting on the Patio Ranch in the early-1980’s. Since that time, Mickey has become a good friend and has shared many hunts with us here on the ranch. Mickey is a man that is focused, knows what he wants and plans on success. This has served him well in his business dealings…and in his hunting life! This markhor hunt was no exception and the results should be as one would expect from Mickey…a dream to a reality!
Since this conversation in the early fall of 2010, the exact words have slipped my memory. But the question was clear: will there be any really big markhor available next year? The planned markhor trophies that would possibly be available were reviewed. Mickey decided that the possibilities looked great to him, so a tentative time frame of late January or sometime February was agreed upon so that the markhor would still have the magnificent winter coat. During our conversations about the markhor, stories were related to Mickey of past hunts and our recommendation of allowing at least two full days for a markhor hunt. As other markhor hunters have found, the hunt may take that full time and more. However, with the winter coat time for the markhor drawing to a close, Mickey had a one day window open in his busy schedule. He decided to take a chance and make a sudden quick trip to hunt this large eight year-old markhor .
The day started after full light had come to the sky as markhor are known for hiding in dark shadows and we wanted to have the best opportunity to spot the markhor if he was near. We decided on a strategy that looked good on the drawing board: Mickey would set up in a spot where a good sized opening between two large blocks of brush was visible and this would theoretically give time for Mickey to get a shot if the large markhor tried to cross the opening in passing from one side to the other. A couple of helpers would walk one block of the brush in a slow, quiet walk searching all of the shadows and brush piles as to hopefully get the markhor to move slowly ahead of the walkers if he was hiding there. Then, if all worked as planned, the markhor would then cross the opening to elude the pursuers and get to the security of the other larger block of brush, giving Mickey a small window to spot and get a shot on this elusive animal. Now, all that was needed to complete the plan was for the markhor to actually be in one of the blocks of brush!
The execution of the plan began. Everything worked great…except the markhor was not in the first block of brush. That meant we now moved to the second half of Plan A: walk the other block of brush with the same strategies. After walking most of the second block of brush, that plan appeared like it would have the same result as the first part of the plan. But, suddenly the markhor appeared at the brush edge, surveyed the situation, and then set off at a run to cross the opening. Now, as many of you know, a running shot on a markhor or any running animal is difficult. The degree of difficulty increases with a markhor as it has so much long, flowing hair that the outline of the body is hard to define for a clean shot. However, Mickey knew that he might only get this one chance. He took a breath, swung with the running markhor in his sights and fired. When Mickey recovered from the recoil, the markhor was no longer in sight! He swung his scope back a short distance and there lay the majestic markhor… The shot was worthy of such a magnificent animal!
Mickey took the time following the hunt to give thanks for this wonderful opportunity; he knows that plans often do not work as smoothly. He also knows that preparation, positive thinking and taking an opportunity when available increases chances of success whether applied to hunting or any other aspect of our lives. Please join us in congratulating Mickey on this successful hunt. I know our lives were enriched by sharing this hunt with Mickey. We hope that many others will share his enjoyment of hunting and of God’s natural world as Mickey shares his experiences and continues to “…tell a different hunting story!”