No one would have blamed Dave for giving up on his red stag hunt after four long days of multiple busted stalks…but that’s just not the kind of guy he is.

In Argentina with John and Suzy O’Dell at Algar Safaris in Patagonia, Argentina, Dave was after a trophy red stag during their annual roar. He and John had hunted with Algar Safaris in the past and their success usually came on the first day. This third trip down would break that precedent.

Though the stags are chasing hinds at this time of year, they’re still no slouches when it comes to their alertness. The environment also provides another layer of complexity. At that elevation with the arid climate, the vegetation is dry, prickly and loud. Staying quiet on a stalk is no easy task.

On day four, John finally killed in the morning, Suzy in the afternoon and with an hour left of day light, it was looking like Dave would have to pin his hopes on one final day five hunt. With shooting light fading, he spotted a mature stag from a high vantage point. There was still hope for a day four kill.

The plan involved working down a sandy drainage to intercept the stag as he moved into the wind. That soft ground provided just the quiet pathway toward the animal Dave needed. It took 40 minutes just to get into place, then a few more minutes to figure out a shooting lane through the brush.

The stag was at 42 yards quartering away when Dave finally found a path to shoot through. Four long days of pursuit had distilled themselves into this one fluid draw on his PSE Carbon Air. The shot broke and Dave watched his arrow tipped with a Rage strike the second to last rib and push through the vitals. The stag bolted leaving a clear blood trail that ended 120 yards later where the animal fell over. A day that was almost given up on as a loss had turned into one ending with Dave putting his hands on 319 inches of Patagonia red stag antler.

The phrase, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” rings true on this hunt. Tired and ready for a sit down, it would have been easy for Dave to call it quits long before shooting light ended on his second to last day of the hunt, but he kept at it. Perseverance in the field doesn’t always guarantee success, but it’s hard to have success without it.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.