Field judging Aoudad Rams

Elkeater

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Ok so three of us including @shooter7 are headed down to Texas in mid January to hunt aoudad sheep. The question has come up about judging these rams. For those of you who have hunted these things does anyone have any good advice on judging them in the field prior to pulling the trigger?
 

snox801

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Yes never Jugde them walking away. Lol
Also the amount of hair between the base of the horns. That helps determine how big around the bases are. Then take a look at his side if it looks like he has rubbed some hair off with the tips of his horns it’s good size ram.
This was all passed to me by my guide last year when I went. Others better than me may chime in
 

26Reload

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Look at his chaps.......really good goats have awesome chaps...
And look at his horns.....definitely circumference on those critters...its all about the mass then the lenght......
 

squeezenhope

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Look at his chaps.......really good goats have awesome chaps...
And look at his horns.....definitely circumference on those critters...its all about the mass then the lenght......
Be sure you get a look from either straight on or straight away. That is about the only way you can judge the amount of hook to the horns. Aoudad grow their horns pretty fast, but when those rams get about eight or nine years old they start looking more like a buffalo in body configuration. I agree with prior post in that I have never seen a great ram that did not have good chaps.
 

Plinker147

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The thick deep fronts end on the old rams bodies is noticeable. They look like a bulldog. They start getting full chaps around 25-26 in. Look for wide rams, width translates to length. When the horns tips turn and look like the hooking/ going parallel with a wide frame your looking at around 30in. And the rub marks on the shoulders from horns is a good indication with that.

The big 30in plus you will know real quick it’s a shooter. The 26-29 are the harder ones to separate.

In NM 27” is the start of what I call a mature trophies. In TX they seem to grow faster with the better habitat so 27 might not be as mature as where I’m at.
 

Indyal

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Info I have gleaned from 3 hunts, talking with the guides/outfitters and the internet(so it must be true).
Agree with earlier posts.
Easiest to spot a big ram if he is in a group of other rams. This year I spotted 5 rams and one was obviously bigger. Another hunter got him as I had already taken a ram that was smaller :(.
Look for the horns to remain thick without taper over halfway.
Look for the tips to point horizontal to ground or even up.
Horns that sweep out often look bigger than horns that sweep back.
I think looking at still pics tends to make the horns look bigger than in videos.
Be sure to post pics.
Regards
 

T.Rep

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As others have stated look at the chaps. And if his horns have been scraping his shoulders then give him a dirt nap. Good luck!
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Good chaps...look for hair scratched off their shoulders on the sides...thesebelow were both big 30 plus inch rams--pull the trigger any time you see...when you see them up next to other rams you know..they will be heavy in the shoulder and chaps will be thick. Most of them are 28+ will have some hair scratched off their shoulder or back. If they are dark--and the horns look grown together up front and they are a good 1/3 larger than what is around them--consider pulling the trigger...
 

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David1975

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David1975

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What I mean is that when you see the horns from a distance they do not look very thin at the tips, the end of the horn should look a little bit fat , and if the bases touch each other, that is a mature ram , good thing is oftentimes they are in a group and you can compare
 

Orange Dust

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The horns will look fat and the tips should look blunt and not pointed in a good ram. You should be able to see rub marks on the shoulder, and like everyone has said, great chaps. I got lucky, found a half dozen rams together and just shot the biggest one. He was a really good one and all these things were noticeable to even me, who had never even seen one in the wild until I hunted them. was the toughest hunt I ever went on, and one of the most memorable and exciting. Broke me from wanting to ever hunt sheep again, and gave me the utmost respect for those who do.
 

Orange Dust

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One other thing. Make up your mind quickly, they don't seem to stay in one place very long. At least the ones we were chasing didn't.
 

Elkeater

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So On our hunt in January it ended up being pretty straight forward. We killed a 29.5” a 30” and a 31.5”. Mine was the 29.5” and had fantastic chaps, big shoulders and bases that are very close together. The 30” ram was easily the oldest he was a tank. The 31.5” had noticeably shorter chaps than the 29.5” ram despite having an extra 2” of horn.

29.5”
870F809B-0D8B-4EF7-A4C5-69F5A01B3456.jpeg


30”
3CDA7C4F-E17E-45EF-8275-9D8A274D5EBC.jpeg


31.5”
76863E7D-575F-4D04-A9D1-5586293899FA.jpeg
 

Elkeater

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The horns will look fat and the tips should look blunt and not pointed in a good ram. You should be able to see rub marks on the shoulder, and like everyone has said, great chaps. I got lucky, found a half dozen rams together and just shot the biggest one. He was a really good one and all these things were noticeable to even me, who had never even seen one in the wild until I hunted them. was the toughest hunt I ever went on, and one of the most memorable and exciting. Broke me from wanting to ever hunt sheep again, and gave me the utmost respect for those who do.
All it did was made me want more sheep hunting. Would really like to do another Aoudad. That desert country is rough and beautiful. And the animals are awesome. Was probably one of the funnest hunts I’ve done.
 

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