The poor man's "desert sheep" hunt
While I certainly respect hunters who have honed in on a particular species to hunt, I have a strong desire to hunt as many species and locations as possible. The possibility of different areas and different terrain excite me. Although focusing on only a few species helps you become an expert on that particular animal and its patterns, hunting multiple species allows you to gain a vast amount of knowledge on a variety of species. Of course, there are pros and cons to each and everyone should be respected for their hunting desires and goals. This is why I choose to widen my hunting. A good example of this is my recent trip to West Texas to hunt aoudad. It was an adventure I’ll never forget, filled with anticipation, excitement and lots of great hunting.
After a long drive south, we finally made it to the ranch where we would be hunting over the next couple of days. West Texas offers some unique home designs and engineering that can only be found on family ranches. It was truly amazing to find a lodge in such a rural area with so many amenities.
After we got settled at the lodge we loaded up and headed out into the Glass Mountains of West Texas to see if we could find some aoudad.
The ranch was 30,000 acres so we had plenty of terrain to hunt. We spent several hours behind the glass looking for the ideal ram to harvest for both my client and myself.
We watched some rams for awhile as they were bedded and wouldn’t give us a good view. Once we determined that they would hit the 30” mark, we were off to get a good shot. We passed on the ram in the right of the picture, but my client ended up harvesting the one on the left. As you can see it was a great old ram that we passed up.
Once it was all said and done, my client harvested a tremendous ram that measured 31.5” with decent curls. He made a great shot and was full of energy and excitement at his success. My clients reaction reminded me why we hunt!
Here is another photo from the back so you can really see how the ram hooks in. These animals are tough but stunning.
This shows how their feet get manicured running across this rocky and rough terrain. I have seen aoudad killed in high fence places in the hill country of Texas that have hoof problems because the terrain isn’t their natural habitat. It basically looks like a long curled up toenail.
Once we got my client’s aoudad taken care of, it was my turn to get a ram. We did more hiking and glassing over the next couple of days. We made some stalks, but things just didn’t work right for us; we kept on hunting.
The nice thing about hunting the Glass Mountains for aoudad is that there aren’t as many thorny bushes like there are in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. The views were spectacular. It is important to take in all the sights to help rejuvenate the soul.
While the terrain doesn’t look that steep in pictures, it was definitely a challenge. It was in the mid 90s every day so heat and exhaustion caused us to slow down a bit. The picture here is where I shot my ram. We made a great stalk down the mountain with probably close to 75 sheep in a group. We finally got in position and determined which ram I wanted to harvest.
Boom! Thwack! One shot and he was down. I couldn’t have been more pleased. I was—and still am—extremely pumped over this aoudad. He is a slammer ram and has lots of mass. This was the perfect ram to take out of the herd.
Here is another picture to give you an idea of how old he is and how much mass he carried all the way through. He measured 30”, but he had broomed off probably a good 3” and we guessed him to be at least 12 years old. If you look you can see the age rings stacked in there. An excellent ram! I would be happy to help any hunters who are looking for a great aoudad hunt. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss my thoughts in more detail.