Hunt Report: Texas Aoudad Hunt
Our goal was to find a trophy Texas Aoudad destination in the famous Davis Mountains of West Texas. We were very pleased to discover not only large herds of Aoudad holding some huge trophies, but some awesome potential for trophy Desert Mule Deer. This is great opportunity to do a combo hunt in some beautiful desert mountain terrain.
We had great success on our Texas aoudad hunt, as we all took great trophies from the very first hour to the last day. This can be an easy hunt with some good luck on your side, or typically you will have to earn it by wearing out some boot leather. Be prepared to do lots of glassing, hiking, stalking, pulling cactus needles out of you knee caps, and sweat!! I would consider this one of the more difficult animals in North America to hunt, due to their great eyesight, keen sense of hearing, and elevated flight response compared to all other species. Fortunately the numbers of Aoudad are very high on this ranch, which offers more opportunity to find a good trophy.
I truly believe there is a direct correlation between your personal physical condition and the success of your hunt. This is not a drive by hunt, it requires hiking up, down and across the mountain side to glass all the rim rock, canyons and feeding areas. In training for this hunt, there is no substitute for actually hiking up and down any mountain, it is one thing to condition yourself in the gym, however it is another to add the elements you do not get in the gym. This includes packing all your gear, wearing your hunting boots, binos, backpack filled with all the necessities (water, food, spotting scope, camera, shooting sticks, range finder, clothing etc…), and of course your rifle or bow. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there is no shade, that Texas sun gets hot, and you can’t hide from it. Patience is a virtue, as long periods of glassing the mountain ranges is required to spot critters that blend in so well with their surroundings. Once your trophy is spotted, it requires a successful, well planned stalk to get within shooting range. You can count on sweating it out while you climb the steep, rocky mountain side, hoping you do not get detected by the ram as he offers you no grace before he effortlessly escapes out of sight in a flash.
Regarding shooting distances, I have always heard this is a shooters hunt, this couldn’t be more true. The shortest shooting distance on our hunt was 206 yards, with the longest being 440 yards. That being said, we did have some great opportunities that could have been successful with a bow. You will be faced with situation to either shoot long distance, possibly from one canyon side to the other, or consider a very long stalk to shorten the distance. The problem with the second option is if you lose sight of your trophy while trying to get closer, he may have naturally moved off as they move often, or you may have spooked him and not even know it till you find yourself searching for him for hours.
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I would rank this hunt as one of my all time favorite hunts, it is definitely the most rewarding because I earned every inch of this magnificent 32 ¾” trophy. I learned so much of my physical condition and where I need improvement, this has motivated me to get back into the shape I thought I was in.
by Mike White