Aoudad Hunts in Texas is a year round excitement. Being an exotic, there’s no closed season on them and all that’s required to hunt them is a $48 (for non-residents) Special 5 day texas hunting license. All aoudad are tough, and one particular 350-pound ram was toughest of all. He took the bullet with no notice and ran toward us, as I tried to shoot again. But, there was no shot, only head and horns, so I hesitated. Just as the managed to get the second shot opened up, he sagged and tumbled down a hill. The problem was instantly clear, but he rolled just once and hung up on a scraggly bush. Carefully and slowly we made our way down, and the split-second judgment had been correct. He is my best aoudad, with extra to spare. This is a problem, because I may not find better. But I will have to keep looking because mountain hunters must hunt mountains. Our American aoudad not only offers a great mountain hunt in wild, challenging, and ruggedly beautiful country…it’s an affordable and accessible mountain hunt!
That makes it sound easy, but many sightings were at great distance across stuff that could not be crossed, and some afternoon sightings were too far to reach before dark. We saw that amazing ram with the long mane and chaps on the first evening and we put him to bed…but when we got into his herd the next day, he wasn’t there. As gorgeous as he was, he was hardly the only big ram. On several aoudad hunts I’ve hovered around that magical 30-inch mark, a hair above or a hair below. This time, amazingly, we saw a couple dozen rams in that class! Hunter and his guides take quite a few big Aoudad every year, and even he was perplexed. In March, the rams should have been solitary, harder to find but easier to stalk. This March was especially green after the first good rains in several years, with wildflowers everywhere. The mature rams were still with the herds, showing rutting behaviour that should have been months past.
With conditions like that the odds are with you…and you take chances. We passed aoudad that, in a free-range situation, only a fool would pass. Of course, there are luxuries with animals you’ve hunted before. You don’t really have to have one, and it doesn’t really have to be bigger than any you’ve shot. So you take chances and keep hiking, climbing, and looking, maybe into just one deep canyon.