I met Russ and Perry in Alamagordo NM in a a breakfast room in motel filled with hunters who were trying to get one of the many Oryx in the 3-day hunting period allowed in that area. Both of these men who live in the the Four Corners area had not known one another previously until they met that morning. Ironically, they live only about 10 miles from one another in their hometown. They told me about the history of the introduction in the 1960's of 9 African Oryx into this area around Alamagordo that has exploded into a population of thousands. These animals are well-adapted to New Mexican terrain, and because the herds were not getting enough grazing food and had suffered starvation, hunters are now allowed to hunt them during a short time period of 3 days. Since Perry's wife holds the same negative opinion of hunting as I, we, nonetheless, had an interesting conversation about this hunting activity of theirs.
Here is some more information I learned about the beautiful Oryx animals:
The Oryx is a large African antelope that now lives in southern New Mexico. In 1969 the New Mexico State Department of Game and Fish decided to introduce Oryx to the Tularosa Basin in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish wanted to establish a huntable animal population in an area where there were not currently huntable numbers of big game. Oryx are specially adapted to desert life. They can go an indefinite period without drinking water. They feed on desert grasses, yucca, buffalo gourds, mesquite bean pods, and tumbleweeds.
To read a fascinating article, "A Graceful Gazelle Becomes a Pest," go here!