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Do you want to take up the challenge of hunting Aoudad? Would you like to learn how to hunt aoudad? Aoudad lives in steep regions around rocky areas. This poses a challenge when hunting them as they are camouflaged well with their habitat.
Moreover, they have the habitat of vanishing right before your eyes. You can spot them and if you take your eyes off them to get a shot ready, they can be gone the next minute. They also have a great sense of their surroundings. In this article, we will share information as well as hunting tips to put the odds in your favor for the aoudad hunt.
Table of Contents
History of Aoudad
Aoudad is an exotic species in Texas. It was claimed that United States soldiers stationed in North Africa during World War II discovered it and after the war, introduced it in Texas. A good look at an aoudad and you will realize that it has features of both an antelope and a goat. They are also found in New Mexico and California.
Aoudad is found in steep regions of rocky areas. They are well camouflaged in a rocky region and that makes it more challenging to spot them. You will have to be patient and have endurance for an aoudad hunt. It is no easy feat and you must be mentally and physically prepared for the nature of the hunt.
Additionally, you will experience extreme temperatures of cold and hot weather. It will be very cold early in the morning while the afternoon will be windy and hot. To manage these extreme temperatures, you will have to bring the right hunting clothing as well as hunting boots. Make sure that your hunting boots are “broken in” for aoudad hunting.
Aoudad feed on the same browse that other big game animals eat. Bighorn browse, Mountain Mohagany and low browse brush are all food sources for aoudad. They will also feed on Javelina Bush and Morman Tea. Additionally, junipers and yucca are also food sources that they eat.
Many don’t believe that there is an Aoudad rut but most of their births happen between March and April. This means that there is a rut that happens with them. However, they breed any time of the year. Additionally, studies indicate that some births happen between February and March which will confirm a second rut.
Aoudads spend most of their time in groups similar to other species of game animals. There are nursery groups of ewes, lambs, and subadult males. There is a group of mature rams and another group of solo mature rams.
The solo mature rams colonize new territory. They can move 50-80 miles from their original home range. The nursery and bachelor groups tend to remain in a small home range.
Moreover, you can find them in larger groups during the winter and early spring. This happens because of the rut that happens during October and November and they focus on the available food sources on canyon flats and bottoms during the winter.
The hunting method often used for free-range aoudad hunts is the spot and stalk method. Most hunters will glass the area and when they spot big rams, they will stalk them for the opportunity of a good shot.
It can be physically demanding to glass and stalk barbary sheep in steep and rocky areas in hot weather. As a result, some hunters will sit on flats or bottoms for the sun to fade away and wait in ambush to catch large rams as they leave the rough terrain.
Additionally, bigger rams will come down to get water during midday, if there is water. Hunters will wait for them near the water sources as this is an easier way to hunt them. This is possible if there is a water source that you found.
Some hunters will plan aoudad hunting from September to October so that after it, they can hunt mule deer during the mule deer hunting season.
Moreover, this period from September to October also coincides with the peak of the rut. During the rut, the mature sheep come out of their bachelor groups in search of ewes.
How To Hunt Aoudad In Texas
Aoudad hunting in Texas is very challenging as the terrain is rocky and steep. You will have to take physical preparation seriously to improve your chances of taking down Aoudad.
Additionally, you also have to be mentally prepared for the Aoudad hunting as it is dangerous. Many times you will be climbing areas where you are close to falling off a 150 to 250-foot cliff.
Additionally, aoudad, or barbary sheep, blend well with their habitat and have a good sense of their surroundings. You can spot them one minute and the next minute, they are about 1,000 yards from where you last spotted them. High-quality optics will be needed for sheep hunting. Vortex optics is one option as they provide quality and reasonable optics.
Binoculars and spotting scopes will get the job done. Moreover, a long hunting rifle and range finder will be the right weapon for sheep hunting. You will encounter extreme angles when shooting aoudads and the range finder will help you with those situations.
Hiring an outfitter is the best option for aoudad hunting since most of the time they are hunted on private properties. An experienced outfitter will know where they can most likely be found, the best hunting methods, weapons, and other information that can help you succeed with sheep hunts.
Your hunting clothing is also important as the mornings will be very cold and after midday, it will become very hot. Additionally, make sure the hunting boots fit well and have been broken before using them on free range aoudad hunts. January to March is when most of the hunting is done although aoudad hunts are also done year round.
Aoudad Hunting Tips
1. Aoudad sheep are found in steep regions around rocky areas.
2. It is challenging to spot them in their habitat as they are well camouflaged in their surroundings.
3. To improve your chances of taking down an aoudad, you will need to be in the best physical shape.
4. Use a long-range rifle and maintain a distance of up to 200 – 400 yards when hunting aoudad as they have a good sense of their surroundings.
5. A range finder can help you easily locate this barbary sheep.
6. Aoudad are found all during the year which makes it convenient to hunt whenever you want to take up the challenge.
7. Choosing the right hunting clothing is important for hunting aoudads as you will encounter extreme cold and hot weather.
8. Make sure that your hunting boots are broken before going on a free-range sheep hunt.
9. To spot aoudads, you will do a lot of glassing, and high-quality optics are a must. Binoculars and spotting scopes will work well when hunting aoudads.
10. Aoudads can vanish right before your eyes as they move fast. You will do a lot of stalking when hunting them.
11. January to March is when most of the hunting is done in Texas although they are hunted all year.
12. Aoudad breed between March and April.
13. Javelina brush, yucca, junipers, Mountain Mahogany, and bighorn browse are food sources that they eat.
14. Aoudad sheep will come down to water during midday and hunters wait in ambush for that chance on aoudad hunts.
15. Many hunters plan hunts from September to October so that after it, they hunt mule deer during its hunting season. Moreover, this period from September to October also coincides with the peak rut when big Aoudad rams come out from bachelor groups in search of ewes.
16. Do a lot of long-range shooting practice from about 400 yards when you want to go on hunts.
17. You also have to mentally prepare for this since you will be climbing steep regions that are several hundred feet high and very dangerous.
Hiring a good outfitter is a good option as they have access to many private land for hunting although you can hunt sheep on public land.
The Bottom Line
Aoudad hunting is one of the most challenging and exciting hunts for exotic sheep. They are challenging to hunt as their habitat is steep regions around rocky areas.
Hunting barbary sheep will test the limits of your physical abilities. Moreover, they blend well with their surrounding which makes it difficult to spot them.
Besides the physical challenge, sheep hunting is appealing to many hunters as they love the challenge and want to take down a trophy ram. This alone drives them to hunt.
In this article, we discussed how to hunt free range sheep and shared tips and other information to help you be successful on the sheep hunt. You can also read about how to hunt dall sheep, how to hunt mountain goats, how to hunt javelinas, how to hunt kudu in Texas, how to hunt oryx in New Mexico, and how to hunt wild sheep.