Spent the past weekend on friends ranch hunting Aoudad sheep. This ranch is just outside Marathon TX in the Glass Mountains and is something I look forward to as much as any hunt I have ever done.
The mountains on this particular ranch reach a height of 6400 Feet. Cathederal Mountain. Hunting these sheep (goats technically) is much like hunting Ibex in Mongolia. The rock mountains are very steep and of course the Aoudad just love to stay in the most difficult to reach areas. There are no roads up the mountains so the method of hunting is to drive to the base which is around 4000 feet, strap on your backpack full of whatever you will need for a day and start for the top. Once on top you go from canyon to canyon spending hours glassing, finding the sheep and then figuring out how to get to them. It is physically demanding and about as much fun as hunting an animal that is not trying to hunt you back.
This hunt is typicllay a numbers reduction hunt and we shoot as many sheep as we can over a period of a few days. On one hunt we took over 30 sheep in two days between 4 of us. The land owner wants to keep the numbers in check as they are over run with Aoudad. The ranch is a working cattle and sheep ranch. As I am sure many of you know Aoudad are pretty hard on fences. As I said there are no roads up the mountain so repairing fences that have been broken by Aoudad is not an easy proposition. Anyhow, I have taken some nice 30" sheep hunting this ranch but I wanted to spend the time on this hunt looking for the best sheep I could find.
I ended up taking the best sheep I have taken to date pushing the tape to nearly 33". I took this sheep from a herd of over 20 rams. 3 of which were around the 30" mark and great trophies as well. I spend from 8 AM to a little after 2 PM working the mountains and wind, getting in position to take this guy at 288 yards with my 375 Allen Magnum. I took one other sheep from this herd at 533 yards also after I shot this big guiy. He was a smaller sheep but made the mistake of stopping on the ridgeline to look back at me. Giving me an opportunity to stretch the 375 AM out a little.
It was a great hunt! Now toting a 18 pound rifle all day up and down those mountains along with a back pack was not the easiest way to do this hunt but I wanted to get some time in with the 375 AM. I might not carry the big 375 up into the mountains again but im glad I did it this time.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.