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Free Range Aoudad Sheep  
 
Back in the late 40’s and early 50’s, ranchers released Aoudad sheep in hopes of establishing a new species in the Trans-Pecos Mountains.  Also called Barbary sheep, they are indigenous to Chad, the Atlas Mountains, and the Barbary Coast of Africa.  Since they were released, their population in Texas and New Mexico has exploded.  In Texas there are free ranging sheep roaming from the Rio Grande River in West Texas up to the Cap Rock.  Though they are not native, they have adapted very well.  In fact, there are more here in Texas than in their home country.  The quality of sheep is also better here.  We hunt sheep on private ranges in the Glass and Davis Mountains. These hunts can be just as challenging physically as any of the sheep in the Grand Slam.  You will experience the same type of hunt at a fraction of the cost. This is typically a spot and stalk adventure.  Usually we spend time glassing the mountains until we locate a big ram or a herd of sheep.  Then we go to them. 
Other times, we pack food and water for the day and backpack into prime areas to start spotting from above. Once up high we may spend the day there.  While these hunts generally require a high physical output, we are often able to cater to people in lesser physical condition.   Depending on the time of the year, you may see groups of 10 to 250.   During the rut, which occurs in September and October, sheep congregate in lower areas.  This makes them more accessible, sometimes even by vehicle.  During the rut, it is not uncommon to see 100 head of sheep in a group, 20 of them being mature rams.  You can hunt aoudad year round, but late September thru late March is the prime time.  This is mainly due to climate.  After March or April, the weather becomes extremely hot in these areas, which leads to harsher hunting conditions.  Besides their impressive horns, aoudad have long hair that makes up their chaps and manes.  

 

 

Aoudad can weigh in excess of 300 pounds.  Their color enables them to blend with the surroundings very well.  The older more mature rams get a darker, chocolate color.  A trophy ram has horns that are 28” or longer.  Most of our clients’ rams range from 29- 30 inches, but we have taken sheep up to 34”.  This is a very rewarding experience and memorable adventure.  We take pride in having a high success rate for many years. The hunt is 4 days long and all inclusive.  Midland or El Paso airports are recommended.


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