Bunch of bad luck, best hunt ever! II

Day 2 We are on the field one more time. This time with “that” feeling in our backs knowing Mendonza was that close and there was nothing we could do.

Bad luck N1: 40 yards to Mendonza, no clear shot.

With that feeling where you know, he will be aware of us. Waiting for us much more cautiously than the day before. As the hours pass and you’ve been able to see your trophy, the adrenaline goes higher and higher. Every opportunity sounds like it could be the last one.

As the day before, we took the truck but this time we parked a little further. 

Mendoza might be waiting for us, so if it’s ok with you Steve, the idea this morning is to leave the truck further than yesterday, said Horace.

Sure! Whatever it takes replied Steve.

And there we were the three of us. Walking in between big bushes, in search of our revenge.

We walked for about 2 hours. Mendoza was very aware of his females and that’s why we have the advantage now. Every roaring was sounding louder and louder. It’s difficult to express the tension we were breathing at that moment. Every step was a challenge. It was either a step closer to the target or a step closer to start all over again. This is not a clean ground, there are branches everywhere on the ground and those bushes with big thorns can make a lot of noise if you are not too patient.

Finally, the same scenario presented to us like the day before. The guys were very close to Mendoza but again, there was not a clean shoot there. At that moment I remembered Horace telling us that he wanted to check this area because is where they have most of the bushes, branches, and trees where they can hide. There is a so much cleaner area where they go for water.

“He is 8 years old, and he got that old because he goes for water by night. He knows during daylight some shit might happen to him if he dares to go for some water. He is too way to smart, and this is why he survived this long”.

So, Steve was aiming to Mendonza. Or to the area, he thought Mendoza should be. Again, we could only saw his horns. But since we learned from our mistakes, this time we decided to stay and see what happens. I can’t remember how much longer we stayed but now was Mendoza who did his first mistake, and HE MOVED!

There was a shoot there! And even it was not the perfect angle to shoot the guys finally took that call. Mendoza was giving us his back so the shot was not a regular shoot to the front-side part of the body. But there was a chance to wound him bad from the side-back where Steve was aiming. 

I couldn’t see Mendozna this time because unlike the previous day, I was not behind the guys. I stayed hidden behind some bushes like about 15 yards from where the guys were aiming to Mendoza. I was doing some close footage to Steve when I finally heard BUUM!! I checked Horace’s face to see if I could get any clue of how that shot was. I big smile was covering Horace’s face so I decided to do some more images before joining the guys…but suddenly:

SHOOT HIM, SHOOT HIM!!! Horace shouted Steve’s.

Buum…Buum! Two more shots came from Steve’s rifle and Mendonza started running again. Of course this time he wasn’t running like Usain Bolt but he was going very fast though.

We started running and following him. It was a difficult run through the bushes and the big thorns. We stop and Horace did one last shoot but Mendonza was too far away.

 He is wounded, he is very bad wounded said, Horace. Let’s go the same direction he took and see if we can find some trace of blood.

What happened buddy? Why didn’t you tell Steve to take a second shot as soon as he did the first one? (of course, my question was a curious question. I wasn’t and will never judge his work. These guys are professional’s guides with more than 15 years in the business).

He went straight down after the first shoot!! Right there, in less than a second he was kissing the ground. We thought he was dead or at least to way too wounded to move again. Don’t worry guys, we will find him

It is good to stay positive (I thought).

We took the rest of the morning but we couldn’t see not even one trace or what it worst, not even blood. But of course, we knew he was very badly wounded.

“Juan, please tell Steve we are gonna go back to the Lodge and we will come later with 2 horses and 2 dogs each”.

Bad luck N2:  Very depth wounded but no stag or clue at all.

After a great lunch and a short nap, we left the lodge by 15:30hs in search of Steve’s trophy.

Once back in the field we met the 2 guys who were going to look for the stag on horseback; Gaby and “Marciano”. Horace gave them a radio each and we started looking for Mendonza. The idea was to search the area with the truck and when one of the guys called us, we would go and take Mendonza down. Horace was with a rifle himself too now.

No more than 30 minutes passed when we saw Marciano moving his arms trying to call our attention. We finally get near to him and he goes to Horace:

Gabby saw your stag! But he can’t communicate with you! Something went wrong with his radio and it’s not working anymore.

No way! said, Horacio. Having Gaby without a radio is like not having him at all. Communication is very important at this time. We can’t do this if we can not talk each other.

Marciano told us where Gaby saw the stag for the last time so we hurried up in the same direction. But before we leave Horacio told Marciano to join Gaby and to look for the red stag together so we can all be communicated.

Bad luck N3:  The radio stopped working.

We walked like about 25 minutes when the radio started sounding.

He is on the other side of the Hill you are right now. Not too far from you. He limps a lot but somehow he manages to keep on walking!!!

We started running until we got to the highest part of the hill. From there we walked like about another 15 minutes and there he was! One more time leaving us without a clean shoot. I can imagine that “F” word going on Horace’s head once and again. 

This can’t be happening. He said. Again he is hiding in between this big bushes. Smart-ass! There is nothing we can do from here, let's go (unlike when Steve took the shot, this time we were about 100 yards from Mendonza).

We walked for another 20 minutes and bad lucky N4 is coming now:

Nooo!!!…. come on, seriously?

What's up, Horace? 

Somewhere on our last run, I lost my radio!!! Surely it was with one thorn.

This are big thorns, two times Steve’s rifle opened with these same big thorns losing the bullet from the magazine (we founded the second one though).

(check the photos below guys you will see what I’m talking about).

Horace couldn’t believe our luck this far.

It’s the first time in 20 years that I lose a radio. It happened before that a thorn takes it away from my belt but I had never lost one. Let’s go back for a minute and check if it’s where we last used it.

So… long story short, when we were going back we crossed Marciano who told us one more time they saw Mendonza and Gaby was after him. We got close to Gabby and we realized two big males were prowling the area. We lost Mendonza for a few seconds and when we saw him again he was already running, and although the guys set up the rifle they couldn’t take the shoot.

Bad luck N4:  Horace lost the radio.

You can’t imagine the feeling we were all having. Far from having Mendonza trophy with us. He was running and seems to be more alive than ever.

I can’t believe the things that happened to us today, said Horace.  We are gonna kill this stag! He can’t be smarter than us!! No, no. I will find him again! He will not escape from me!  Tell Steve tomorrow morning we are gonna come and hunt him like if we had never shot him before. I know him, he is gonna be on that hill over there (Horace pointed the same hill where we first saw him). I know him, he said again. Tell Steve we will come tomorrow morning before the roaring time. We will hide somewhere close the hill and ones he starts roaring we will get close to him!

Once in the truck going back to the lodge, I told Horace:

Hey Horace, we are not gonna let this stag to change our energy, our good sense of humor. There is no way we are gonna go back quiet to the lodge. We are gonna get this son of a bitch, so don't let him silence you.

Horace started laughing and one more time, we were making jokes talking about how Mendonza was going down on the following day when the truck suddenly goes little up for a second and then WROOMMM…. we definitely went down! 

Mmmm this is weird I thought. We have been driving this area all day long and there were no holes here. We all got out from the truck and we started laughing so as not to cry.

Hahaha, no no. That didn’t happen, I said. This is not true. We didn’t have just lost THE ENTIRE TYRE from the truck!! 

Yes! we have just lost the entire front left tire from the truck!! Said Steve in between laughs.

Steve’s attitude was really cool. After all these things happening to us and he never lost his good attitude. Not even with a wounded stag lost somewhere in those big fields.

Bad luck N5:  We lost the entire tire.

We were at the back of the truck with Horace looking for the tools when I do not know why I just turned around and gave him a big hug and we started laughing together (I think I saw him stressed so this was a way to get him back with a good attitude again).

I’m gonna kill you, Juan! I'm gonna kill you lol.

Of course, it was not my fault. But we needed to start doing some jokes again.

Horace tried to communicate with the guys at the lodge but, one more time, It was not our lucky day:  

We might be out of range, Horace said.

Steve took his flashlight from his camo bag and went back the road to check if he could find some of the screws we have just lost. He found one!. Not bad at all (keep in mind it was too dark and we were in the middle of nowhere). We took one from each wheel and 30 minutes later we were “back on the road”.

We didn’t do more than 500-700 yards when the radio started sounding. 

Horace, Horace….do you read me? (this was Nico from the Lodge).

Of course, now that we don’t have the need to talk with them, the radio start’s working again murmured Horace. And he goes: There is no dinner for me tonight, just a glass of water. With the luck, I had today I’m gonna choke and die!!! Wanna read a happy ending? Go to


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