I can count the number of testimonials I’ve written on one hand. I don’t make a practice of it, but every once in a while one is deserved. Nilgai hunting with Sam Ilse and Lomas Chicas Outfitters definitely deserves one.
Prior to hunting with Sam, I had only hunted Nilgai two times. Both times were on a King Ranch lease, and both times the hunting style was less than impressive. We rode around in a truck and when an animal was spotted, it was chased with the vehicle. In two trips (5 hunts) I saw perhaps 10 – 12 animals total and only 2 mature bulls.
I had heard Sam’s hunts were different, and what I had heard was correct. We used a vehicle to get to likely areas, but the hunting was done on foot. Once an animal was spotted, the stalk was planned based on the wind and terrain. As with any antelope species, the Nilgai’s eyesight is incredible and they are very wary. If you appreciate the hunt itself, this is the way to do it. If you appreciate huge stretches of south Texas country with very little human influence, this is the place to hunt. Sam and his guides are very experienced and know what it takes to anchor one of these animals. These are not North American critters, and their vitals are better protected than our native game. Listen to these guys when they tell you where to place a bullet.
I saw more mature bulls on the first afternoon hunting with Sam than I had seen total Nilgai (bulls, cows, calves) in all my previous hunts combined. I was able to anchor a very fine bull the first afternoon. The hunting method, abundance of game, scenery and excellent guiding became addictive. On the second day I couldn’t stand it anymore and purchased a “second animal” hunt … a Nilgai cow. The hunt was on again, and after an even more challenging stalk than the first day, I was able to drop a cow.
Sam and his guides are very professional and work hard to ensure you have a quality hunt. The number of free ranging Nilgai on this vast stretch of land is hard to believe. I can strongly recommend Lomas Chicas Outfitters, and I will return.
— Jerry Beardmore