If you want Aoudad sheep hunting, come to 303 Ranch Outfitters for that one-of-a-kind experience, hunting one of the most challenging and sought-after animals there is. We offer you our free-range, fair chase Aoudad sheep hunts at a price that is arguably the best value for your dollar.
Aoudad Sheep History
Native to the Atlas Mountains and Barbary Coast of Northern Africa, aoudad sheep, commonly referred to as Barbary sheep, was introduced into the Northern Panhandle and Trans-Pecos mountain regions of Texas in the late 1950s.
They have since flourished from a few dozen animals during the release period to well over 25,000 free-ranging animals in Western Texas alone, significantly outnumbering their Northern African counterparts today. Biologists now consider the aoudad sheep as one of the most successful exotic translocations in the history of our state.
What Makes Aoudad Sheep Special?
Aoudad sheep stand 2.6 to 3.3 ft tall at the shoulder and weigh 88 to 309 lb. They are sandy-brown, darkening with age, with a slightly lighter underbelly and a darker line along the back. The upperparts and the outer parts of the legs are a uniform reddish-brown or grayish brown. There is some shaggy hair on the throat (extending down to the chest in males) and a sparse mane.
Their horns have a triangular cross-section. The horns curve outward, backward, then inward, and can exceed 35 inches in length. The horns are fairly smooth, with slight wrinkles evident at the base as the animal matures and is ridged on the front surface. The record for aoudad horns is 36.6 inches, and exceptional bases can range from 14 to 16 inches. The more common male lengths though are 26 to 32 inches.
Females also have prominent horns, although they are not as large as those of the male.
The usual size range is 12 to 27 inches.
What Makes Aoudad Hunting A Distinct Experience?
Aoudad rams are big (300 pounds) and incredibly compact and muscular. They’re tough, wary, and totally unpredictable—you can watch a band of aoudad hang out in a canyon at sunset, and they might travel to the other side of the ranch by morning. They have keen eyes and can pick up an approaching hunter from 500 yards or more.
Aoudads thrive in terrain that is one of the roughest and driest imaginable. They can retain water from sparse vegetation and survive long periods of time without it. This adaptation gives aoudad the ability to live in habitats that are too harsh for other animals. But when they find an abundant water source, they can be seen taking advantage of it and enjoy wallowing in the mud occasionally.
Like most desert dwellers, the aoudad is most active in the cooler hours of dawn and dusk, seeking shade and shelter during the day. Aoudad are exceptionally sure-footed and have such jumping power that they can clear a 6.6-foot obstacle from a standing start with relative ease. The lack of vegetation for cover in their habitat has caused the aoudad to conceal itself by freezing in the presence of danger. These factors, combined with the aoudad’s sense of smell, hearing, and alertness to danger, make aoudad hunting very challenging.
What Do You Need for An Aoudad Sheep Hunt?
Aoudad sheep hunting can be conducted all year-round. It is very important to consider prevailing weather conditions for your hunting attire. Hunters are recommended to plan on clothing that is drab or those that blend well with the environment. Good walking boots, those that you are already comfortable with and not brand new, are also a must.
Your hunting gear should include a good pair of binoculars and excellent optics on your rifle. A minimum of a 150-grain bullet or a bullet that will retain much of its mass, but will also have good expansion, such as A-frames, partitions, and bonded bullets are highly recommended. You may also consider flat-shooting and hard-hitting calibers. Aoudads are extremely tough, can absorb a tremendous amount of punishment, and are quite difficult to bring down.
Resident hunters need only their regular hunting license, while non-residents need a special 5-day non-resident hunting license. We offer you the option of taking care of your license for you if you let us know in advance.
Your shots must typically range from 200 to 400 yards with a sharp shooting angle. Bipods can also be helpful as prone shots are the most common in this area. You may also need to factor in the unpredictable Texas winds to be able to pull off that challenging shot.
When Is The Best Time For An Aoudad Hunt?
As was mentioned before, aoudad sheep can be hunted all year round. The quality of their hides is basically consistent throughout the year, so you can be a bit flexible when you schedule your hunts.
The majority of Aoudad hunting in Texas usually takes place from January through March. The sheep are concentrated during this time, making them easier to glass or spot. Herds from 25-50 having 6-12 mature rams per herd can be encountered during this season.
It is not uncommon, however, to conduct aoudad hunts from September through November. Although the number of mature rams per head is less, with an average of 2-4 during this hunting season, patience always leads to success.
Aoudad Sheep Hunting at 303 Ranch Outfitters
If it has always been your dream to hunt aoudad in Texas, 303 Ranch Outfitters is your ticket to fulfilling that dream. We are a family-owned and operated outfit since 2010, located in beautiful Texas. We offer you over 2,000 acres of rocky rolling hills, cedar thickets, and wide-open vistas perfect for high-quality hunting.
Our team of expert guides will make sure you have a memorable hunting experience. We offer excellent full-service lodging with all meals and linens furnished. Our all-inclusive price (no hidden fees) also includes 100% opportunity, a personal one-on-one guide, field dressing, cold storage, and first-class processing services.
When you hunt with us, we promise you an unbeatable experience and long-lasting memories. We make your dream hunt a reality.