Texas Aoudad Hunt
I Just wanted to tell you about last weekend's hunt a little bit. The first day we didn't see a single sheep till 4pm and it was a big ram with a few females about 1500yrds away, they disappeared into the juniper and topped out toward the west . Later that evening we spotted another great ram topping out over a bluff face just before dark and all we could do was watch(It was well past shooting light and our only option for approach would have taken at least 2 hours at a steady trot.) . The second day was hard as well (which is so out of the ordinary for this ranch which every other day of the year you can't stop from tripping over them) We got on a handfull of ewes and one bachelor group of rams, which we spotted at a full run through the hills. We circled around where they were orriginally running toward and never caught sight of them again..disappointing but still exciting! Then the Third day was slow till about 11 am. The fellow i guided had a 10yr old son that wanted to shoot a sheep. By day 3 we really wanted the kid to kill something so we were going to let the kid shoot a few does and a cull deer if we saw one. At 11am we saw a little spike buck and the kid nailed him trotting at about 250 and rolled him and as soon as we shot 2 rams bolted out of the canyon and topped out in a matter of seconds. We got to the top on the ranger grabbed the deer and started walk around the top. I jumped the rams at 50yrds but the cover was so thick no one ever had a shot . When we got back the landowner said he just jumped a MONSTER at one of the feeders in the back when he was filling feeders. We took off after him with the landowner and spotted him only 500yrds from where he initially jumped him. We got within 250 but the cover was too tall for the kid and the slowly got up and topped out after watching a bunch of ewes and what we though was a ram after about an hour of motionless glassing. After they topped out we moved forward RAPIDLY in an attempt to catch them in the next bowl. We got to the top and saw what was originally 5 ewes and was now 25-30 sheep but we still didn't see the Biggest Ram. Meanwhile little Jake is trying to find a spot on the hill where he can shoot from and see. Finally the BIG boy stepped out! I couldn't believe my eyes, 300yrds away stood the biggest Aoudad I've ever seen in person! He had to have been close to 400lbs and a dark chocolate color. His hair was patchy from fights and scars and grizzled from age, his chaps dragged the ground with every step! The old ram's face was short and blocky and he had a double chin with long black goatees on the side. Jake was doing all he could to prepare for a shot. However the wind was blowing at a stout 15mph! After a few missed opportunities at a clear shot Jake finally shot! As the ewes started to leave the Monster Ram followed and clearly it was a clean miss. I handed his father my rifle and he shot at him twice as he ran out towards the top but by that time he was a good 4-500yrds. We made a plan to catch them, the father-son team headed back to the ranger to meet me at the top. I took off running after the sheep up the canyon in an attempt to find blood or get some eyes on him( we had radios to coordinate the plan of attack) when i got to the top i found no blood. i ran to the other side over the top and jumped a small group and then spotted the big group across the next canyon. I watched and waited glassing them over in hopes to spot the granddaddy......nothing. After confirming he was not there a rocked the canyon trying to kick him up.....still no granddaddy! So after that i ran and followed them hoping they might lead me to him and they never did,... that I know of . Then walking back down the steepest road on the ranch, I spotted another big ram coming up the spine parallel to the one i was walking on. I tried to radio the guys at the bottom, however their radio was left in the ranger. Finally I ran all the way down and told them about big one #2. We rushed to the top and got on the fence line he was walking but unfortunately he jumped the fence and took cover in a ceder thicket across the fence! Despite the typical 90% success rate The hunt did not end in a big Aoudad down but it built anticipation and was a [censored] of a chase for the biggest ram I've ever seen! By the way the ram was at a minimum 34" and at least 15yrs old! I'm still in awe not just at his horns but his shear size and majesty! Hope you all enjoy the story!!!