Auodad Hunt at the Indio Ranch


Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2011
Salmon, ID
We just wrapped up a free range auodad hunt at the the Indio Ranch with West Texas Hunt Organization. It's been a great few days. We opted for a semi-guided hunt in which our guide would give us a ranch tour then point us in the right direction. The rest was up to us.
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Alright full right up time. I opted to do the right up on @shooter7 and I's Aoudad hunt. So we started off by arriving at the Indio Ranch in far west Texas south of Van Horn last Sunday. We got to the ranch around 4 PM after an hour on a (and I'll use the term road loosely) rough dirt road. We set up a nice camp with a wall tent, wood stove, cots, etc. so nice and comfy. We opted for the semi guided option which on this ranch was the lowest option seeing as how the ranch is actually owned by University of Texas El Paso. This meant that a West Texas Hunt Organization (mike Mckinney) had to have a rep on the ranch while we were there but otherwise we were basically on our own.

The first evening we drove the truck up to the top of the first pass and got our first full view of the ranch all 50,000 acres of it and we had full access. After watching the beautiful west texas sunset we drove the half mile back to camp and enjoyed a campfire and a mountain house meal. The first morning our guide showed us the "roads" around the ranch which took until about 0900 when we spotted out first band of sheep. Since our only view of them was running away at 800 yards it looked like about 30 sheep with several good rams and we quickly set off after them on foot. We moved around a large wash and a small hill and didn't see any sheep. We did encounter a group of Javalinas which we had to wait to pass before continuing on. As soon as the Javalinas passed we mved up to the edge of the ridge and my eye caught the curl of ram bedded on the opposite side of a small wash. Shooter7 and myself crawled about 10 yards up to the edge of ridge looking across. It turned out to be two lone rams by themselves. After looking at both rams I saw that the ram on the right was a full skirt with great looking hair and his horn hooked nicely which having never seen one of these things before made me think that this was a mature ram. he got out of his bed and took two steps before he caught a 199 hammer hunter from a X bolt Hells canyon Long Range .300 WM. Topped with a Zeiss 4-16x44 V4, MV 3128FPS. The Ram was perfectly broadside and the bullet drilled him perfectly through both shoulders. He hit the ground at the shot and as the rifle came out of recoil I saw him roll once down the hill and stop. he was dead on the spot. My Ram Measured 29 1/2".

Once we got my ram packed out we moved over to a different part of the ranch called "red rocks" we made it about 3/4 of a mile down the road before spotting about 20 sheep skylined with one ram that looked like it need a second look. The herd took off over the main ridge into the next drainage. as Shooter7 and our Buddy Ken took off after them they turned around and spotted a bachelor herd of 5 rams about 650 yards away. After moving in on them Ken took the shot at 443 yards quartering away. The 160 accubond at 3125FPS out of the Fierce Fury 7mm Rem Mag topped with a 4-16X44 Zeiss V4 hit the ram around the last rib and headed out the opposite shoulder. The ram went about 100 yards and bedded down. Once Ken moved to within 100 yards the ram it took two more shots to the boiler room and neck to put the ram down for good. Ken's Ram measured right at 30".

Day two found us looking for a ram for shooter7.

shooter7 chiming in on Elkeater's account. Day 2 was much different than day 1. We set off bright and early headed towards Red Rocks. We had intel from our semi-guide that there should still be a plethora of sheep in Red Rocks. We ended up seeing a herd of approximately 70 sheep about a mile short of where we intended to park. The initial stalk started early. There was one large ram with a limp that I wanted. He had the size and the limp to set him apart from the others and I'm a sucker for weird stuff. I initially wanted one with one horn but we were unaware of any on the ranch. The big guy with the limp would do. Ken and I headed down into a wash in an attempt to cut off the group that was slowly feeding to the south. After a couple hours we had ended up a mere 50 yards in front of the group. The herd was spread out and we couldn't locate the ram with the limp. He was separate from the group about 200 yards north of us hidden by a small rise. After being that close to the herd for about 10 minutes we were finally busted. The herd began to hastily move away and head into Red Rocks.

A couple hours later, Ken and I had managed to catch up with the group. They had moved about a mile since we last had eyes on them. They had a perfect vantage point and had the wind, sun and terrain in their favor. We managed to use the last bit of topography to close the distance to 580 yards on a nice ram. we sat there for half an hour trying to find a way to shorten up the distance but it was a futile effort. The sheep had all the advantage. I decided a 580 yard shot was my best bet on a nice ram. After attempting to build a nice stable shooting position I was ready to take the shot.......
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..... And I missed. I shot just a tiny bit under the ram, I think. Ken, my spotter, said it looked like great hit. Well, he was still standing so I let another one rip. Just underneath him again. The second shot clearly alerted sheep and they were ready to get out of dodge. As they started to take off we noticed that the ram sure didn't act hurt or was pouring blood. We spent the afternoon looking for any sign that I had actually hit the animal. No blood, no hair, no body. Turned out to be a clean miss. We turned in an hour or so early on day two. I felt like I had my chance and blew it. It kinda took the wind out of me.

DAY 3:

On day 3 we decided give Red Rocks a break and let the sheep calm down. After all the commotion the previous day we figured the sheep would be on edge. We set our sights on Squaw Peak on the north end of the ranch. We hadn't been up that way yet and wanted to explore it and hopefully find sheep that weren't so on wary. About 2 hours into glassing on day 3 and we hadn't seen a thing with the exception of a few desert mulies.

Back to Red Rocks.

We decided to hit Red Rocks from the north end as we had a predominantly south wind. We were in only about half a mile when we spotted the first group of sheep. There were approximately 25 head. Shortly after we spotted another group about 1200 yards out feeding away. Soon after both group had moved away from us over the next ridge. We had the wind and topography in our favor and made a dash towards them. By the time we had crested the ridge that they had disappeared behind, they had skirted us back north and were bedded 1100 yards away.

At this point we slowly worked the face of the mountain until we closed to 490 yards. We kept closing the distance until I had managed to crawl to a rock ledge across a small canyon from the herd. I was now at 330 yards. I started quickly looking over the rams as they were up feeding again. I had one in my crosshairs that looked good. Then another stepped into view that was substantially larger. I knew he was the one. I dialed 2.75 MOA and let the 200gr LRX eat. The ram was quartering towards me. I clipped the front of the close shoulder and destroyed the off shoulder. He ran about 50 yards down and towards me. My second shot hit him square in the brisket, one petal bruised a hind leg. My CA Mesa topped with a Zeiss Conquest V4 4-16×44 performed flawlessly that day. The ram measured out at 31.5"
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