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Old January 8, 2014, 06:06 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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Off to Alpine, Texas - Audad Hunting!

About a year ago, give or take, my best friend bought an Audad hunt at the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation annual banquet. The next day, he convinced me and two more friends to also purchase a hunt!

Friday we leave the cold of Wyoming to drive to the great state of Texas! Now, me being me, I have never been to Texas. Can you imagine? Living in the west my whole life and never visiting Texas? I mean really!

Any how, are there any Texas TFL'ers who have hunted these Barbary Sheep around Alpine? What am I to expect? Also, what is the pig population in that country? I've never sluiced a swine, either, and am looking forward to the opportunity!

TEXAS BOUND!
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Old January 8, 2014, 06:48 PM   #2
huntinaz
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Right on man, have a blast. Been looking into Audad hunts myself.

Post pics of the hunt when you get back, eh?
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Old January 8, 2014, 06:58 PM   #3
Panfisher
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Good Luck! Definitely post pics.
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Old January 8, 2014, 07:50 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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I've seen aoudad in the open grasslands between Marfa and Fort Davis. I've seen them down south of Alpine in some of the most rugged country you can imagine.

It all depends on where the ranch is.

Driving? If so, I guess you'll run I-25. I suggest cutting east, not far south of Santa Fe, and come down through Roswell/Carlsbad to Pecos. Then to Ft. Stockton and Alpine. Saves a hundred or so miles.

The overall quickest is to get off I-25 at Las Vegas, NM, and then on down to Roswell, but it's a bit tricky to find the turns. I've done it regularly on runs up to Colorado.

The nearest commercial air service for Alpine is Odessa, 150 miles away.
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Old January 8, 2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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I was at a guy's house in October that cuts up wild game for people and he had one hanging that someone shot south of Cheyenne. Funny that the first time I heard of them was at home and now someone from Wyoming is going elsewhere to shoot one.

I think he said it was from an exotic game farm in northern Colorado that closed down a while ago.
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Old January 9, 2014, 12:06 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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There is a season on aoudad up in the Panhandle. Down in SW Texas, they are feral pests.
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Old January 9, 2014, 04:07 AM   #7
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I hope you get some big horns to hang on the wall as you'll probably not want to try eating one. As far as I know there is no way to make one palatable.
I manage some property just south of Ozona...and try not to go there often, but they have really been moving in there. The feral hogs have been moving into that area big time over the past couple of years too but I don't know why. Other than corn from hunter's feeders, there isn't much to eat other than cactus, mesquite or rattlesnakes. Deer do very well there though.
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Old January 9, 2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman
Driving? If so, I guess you'll run I-25. I suggest cutting east, not far south of Santa Fe, and come down through Roswell/Carlsbad to Pecos. Then to Ft. Stockton and Alpine. Saves a hundred or so miles.

The overall quickest is to get off I-25 at Las Vegas, NM, and then on down to Roswell, but it's a bit tricky to find the turns. I've done it regularly on runs up to Colorado.
Thanks, Art. We are driving. The heads up on the route is appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Stony
I hope you get some big horns to hang on the wall as you'll probably not want to try eating one.....The feral hogs have been moving into that area big time over the past couple of years too but I don't know why.
I am curious how they taste. A friend of mine who makes cabinets in Salt Lake, UT hunted them a few years back and said they were pretty tasty! I'll see for myself, soon enough. A fun part of hunting a new species!

I am taking my Winchester Model 70 .270 WSM topped with a 3x9 Leupold for the Aoudad, and my Springfield M1A for hogs! It is good news to hear that the hog population is large! Never been part of any Hog Homicide, looking forward to it!
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Old January 9, 2014, 12:54 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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Terlingua locals who have killed and eaten aoudads have spoken positively about the meat.

I've not heard of many hogs in the general Alpine area. I have heard of a fair population around the Presidio area, along the Rio Grande.

As far as scenic driving, if you have time, it's much less boring to go from Pecos to Fort Davis and then take 118 for the 25 miles south to Alpine. Carlsbad-Pecos-Fort Stockton-Alpine? The only reason that land is there is to keep the coasts from drifting off into the oceans. Holds the country together. Even the buzzards carry rations in that country.
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Old January 9, 2014, 07:34 PM   #10
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I don't know about feral hogs, but you'll probably run into the little wild pigs we call javelinas. They're fairly common in that area.
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Old January 9, 2014, 07:48 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Javelinas? Yeah, really wild, vicious critters.
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Old January 10, 2014, 11:39 PM   #12
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terlingua

hey art ... I love terlingua, Steaks and margaritas at the "starlight theater".
Is there any public land you can hunt in that area?
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Old January 10, 2014, 11:57 PM   #13
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Young aoudad are quite tasty though the meat is very lean and some added fat is needed. They are not sheep but a unique species so they don't taste anything like mutton. Thank god.

They are also very tough animals, and you won't get close to them, so a 7 mag or 300 win mag is not out of the question. It's hard hunting so be in shape.

While you're in the area go to Ft. Davis and eat at the Cueva de Leon for good TexMex.
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Old January 11, 2014, 08:08 AM   #14
Art Eatman
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bcarver, TP&WD has drawings for limited hunting at Elephant Mountain WMA south of Alpine and in Black Gap WMA east of Big Bend National Park. Contact them for info about their deal.
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Old January 21, 2014, 04:33 PM   #15
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I'm Back!

I am back from my Texas Aoudad journey!

The hunting was very, very tough. Not many animals, and even fewer rams.

While I very much enjoyed hunting west Texas, it just seemed we couldn't find any male Aoudad. Saw several bands of ewes, and had a great time with friends, but couldn't get any luck with the big boys.

Here is a picture of the small (only) ram I had a chance at:


My hunting companions didn't kill. One friend missed a ram about this size and another missed one a bit larger. The fourth guy in our party didn't even see one to shoot at.

The two rams that were missed were on the run, in a group of ewes, at around 300 yards.

All in all, the trip was pleasant, but I sure wish there were more sheep to look over!
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Old January 21, 2014, 04:40 PM   #16
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It took my Father four trips to get his leopard.

Trips are about the experience, not about the kill.
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Old January 21, 2014, 07:24 PM   #17
Art Eatman
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Where'd you hunt? Whose ranch?
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Old January 21, 2014, 10:57 PM   #18
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We spent time on the Sears Ranch north of Alpine, near Mitre Peak, and on the Macyntire (Mo?) ranch south and west of Alpine. Ring any bells?
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Old January 22, 2014, 02:00 PM   #19
Art Eatman
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I've ratted around some on the Cathedral Mountain Ranch, just south of the McIntyre. Mo's brother lives down at Terlingua.
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Old January 22, 2014, 02:08 PM   #20
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Art,

Thanks for correcting the McIntyre spelling! We did get to the south fence just north of Cathedral Peak! Beautiful cattle country.

BTW, thanks again for the driving route hints. We took the Las Vegas, NM exit to Roswell then to Van Horn. Guadalupe NP was an excellent route! We had some extra time and drove through the mountains north of Alpine where the observatories are. Saw a mangy coyote and some nice mule deer in the road near there.

All in all a good trip, just wish we saw more and larger Aoudad!

P.S. West Texas folks are a really friendly bunch! Met some strangers at one of the beer bars in Alpine, they took us home for a good Tex-Mex meal!
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Old January 22, 2014, 02:24 PM   #21
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I did shoot one javelin.



Saw many, many more. The darn things are just too funny! It was pretty easy to get right in the middle of a pack of them, they don't see well at all!

When you get in the middle of them, one will smell you, bark like a dog, stand it's hair straight up, jump all fours 6" off the ground and run off 30 or 40 yards! Hilarious, actually!

Their antics were so amusing that we didn't shoot anymore, just took pictures of them acting goofy!

Strange animals, to say the least!
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Old January 22, 2014, 02:32 PM   #22
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Their antics are funny until they charge. I've had to kill three over the years with the intent to eat my leg off. Be careful with them, they are unpredictable and can inflict nasty wounds. When I was 13 I was dropped off at a tank dam on my in uncles property in mcamey tx. I had two come up to the dam and when they smelled me they charged me. I climbed a small mesquite and shot them from the tree. They weren't going to leave. They were actually on their hind legs standing against the tree. Scared the crap out of me. I was only 2 ft above them lol.
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Old January 22, 2014, 09:29 PM   #23
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I've only taken one aoudad, a ewe a bunch of years back on an exotic ranch over near Kerrville during a management hunt.
I didn't know much about how to cook 'em, so I tried several ways... my favorite was "swiss" style, with a tomato based sauce. Simmering the cutlets in the sauce made them very tender, and quite tasty.
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Old February 3, 2014, 11:22 PM   #24
chaska
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Quote:
I am back from my Texas Aoudad journey!

The hunting was very, very tough. Not many animals, and even fewer rams
I am heading to Alpine in less then 3 weeks to hunt aoudad. Did you hunt with a guide? Not encouraging that you only saw a few rams. I don't need a trophy but I would at least like to know there some around.

What was the weather like. I will be better than Minnesota, which is where I am now, but how much better is the question.

In your photos you are wearing jeans. Was that enough protection from thorns? I have chaps I wear pheasant hunting. I was thinking about bringing them.
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Old February 4, 2014, 10:32 AM   #25
Wyoredman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaska
I am heading to Alpine in less then 3 weeks to hunt aoudad. Did you hunt with a guide? Not encouraging that you only saw a few rams. I don't need a trophy but I would at least like to know there some around.

What was the weather like. I will be better than Minnesota, which is where I am now, but how much better is the question.

In your photos you are wearing jeans. Was that enough protection from thorns? I have chaps I wear pheasant hunting. I was thinking about bringing them.
We did hunt with an outfitter. Y-Barr-A Outfitters. Nice guys. I don't think you could hunt these things without an outfitter. All the property in West Texas is privately owned with hunting leases. You need to hunt with someone who has lease on a ranch or two. There is almost zero public land!

The weather was in the upper 40's and lower 50's. A bit windy, but real nice.

Jeans were OK, but your chaps will help. I took my long shirt off one day, the cat claw thorns tore my arms up. Our guide wore jeans.

I hope you have a good trip and see some big sheep!
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