2017 Free Range Public Land Aoudad

I apply every year for multiple public land Aoudad (Barbary Sheep) hunts. The odds are incredibly long with the chance of being drawn around 2%. Somehow I was lucky enough to draw an Aoudad hunt at the Palo Duro Canyon St. Park. My hunt dates were January 25th-27th.  I applied with a friend that is a much better big game hunter than I, and that has had the chance to hunt Bighorn Sheep. Without his help I don’t know if I would’ve even seen any Aoudad, let alone have the luck to harvest a very nice representation of a free range wild aoudad in north west Texas. My ram was spotted at over 2k yards by my eagle eyed buddy and his swaro’ spotting scope. My friend took two rams and unfortunately we were busted hiking out with his two rams by two rams that were larger than the one I shot a day earlier.

In two days we hiked over 8 miles a day, and got our butts handed to us by the massive canyon know as Palo Duro. I knew it would be a physical hunt, but I had no idea it would be as insane as it was. When we left, a day early due to blisters, and soreness that made it impossible to put in another 12hr/8 mile day,  we were the only group to kill rams. Only one other group saw Aoudad. We hiked our asses off and here are the spoils…..

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Above is a look at the glassing point my ram was spotted from. He and several females were on the far side cliff face just left of the juniper bowl (2k yards away).pd2

Above is my ram coming in at an unofficial 25.25 inches. He had a beautiful cape, and I am grateful to have harvested such a fine animal.pd4

The above picture shows the next canyon (to the right of where I shot my ram) that we hunted the following day for my buddy’s sheep.

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The largest of the two shot by my hunting amigo.

And now just some random shots…pd8

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It was a fun, crazy-tough hunt. I hope some day I get to return and participate again. I can say that I’ll be in better shape physically, and more prepared for just the shear size and ruggedness of the PD canyon.