Ten important things to consider before you go Aoudad hunting.
- Temperatures: Even though you are most likely aoudad hunting in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, the morning temps will be cold and likely windy. You need a good layering system like Kryptek for example. Wind chill will get ya when you are trying to glass on top of that rim rock. During the day it can get hotter than Hades. Make sure you can strip down to very minimal clothing by mid morning and into the day. Be prepared for lots of wind… don’t forget your chap stick and sunscreen.
- Aoudads are a busy animal: Many times we spot them only because they move. It’s amazing how well they blend in. Because they are a busy critter we often found that once we made our move and lost sight of them, we peeked over where they should have been and they had covered a 1,000 yards or more since we saw them last. Plan your stalk so you can check in on them regularly as your sneaking in, move quickly if possible.
- Long range shooting bow or rifle: Aoudads are doable with a bow, but the stars have to align and you’ll likely need multiple opportunities. Practice long range and extreme down hill angles as that is likely what your shot opportunity will be. As far as rifles, I like the 300 Win or something close. They are tough. The shots can be long and there is a lot of wind that will push lighter calibers around. You should be proficient out to 300 minimum and the longer the better.
- Boots: Spare no expense on your hunting boots and have them broken in. Aoudads live in tough, rocky, nasty country. I like the Kenetreks Mountain Extreme.
- Bino’s: Bring the highest quality binoculars you can afford. You will do a lot of glassing. Bad bino’s will make your effectiveness much lower. These critters are tough to spot. I suggest bringing a spotting scope as well, your guide may not have a good one. It’ll save a lot of walking if your wanting to get a big one. I like Vortex Optics for the budget hunter. I’m a Sworovski fan for the guy that can afford them.
- Range Finders: Because of the extreme angles that are very likely in your shot opportunities, it’s important to have a rangefinder with TBR (True Ballistic Range). In my opinion, the best range finder in the industry that does that is Leopold.
- Javelina: Javelina are a blast to sneak in on and there are a lot of them in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. If you hunt both rifle and bow, bring both.
- First Aid Kit: Make sure you have a medical kit you pack along with you. Your Outfitter should have one as well, but it never hurts to be prepared. This is rough, tough country and you need to be prepared to take care of yourself if necessary. Many of these hunts will be multiple hours on dirt from the closest town. I learned this lesson first hand as you can see in the pictures.
- Physical preparation: This is not a hunt to come on when you are out of shape. You should be training before you come or your chances of success will go down substantially. Help your outfitter help you by being in shape when you show up. I like www.traintohunt.com for clients looking for some help.
- Outfitter: Make sure you consult with us on a good outfitter. We have high ticket and budget hunts available for free range Aoudads. We also have a feeder based “guaranteed” hunt for the guys who just want to make sure you get it done. See the Aoudad hunts that we offer.
by Marc Warnke