This hunt was a quick hunt and so exciting for me. It was originally Erika’s hunt and we had Larry as our judge and we had Steve (the ranch manager) with us. We had spent most the evening looking for Erika’s management animal, unfortunately we didn’t find any management animals that she could take. So Steve decided we should go to a different area that would give me a chance at the animal I had chosen as well, an Aoudad. We only had about 20 minutes left of camera light. We
stopped just inside the area and they asked me if I wanted to keep driving around and see if we could spot them or park and walk. I wanted to walk, so Steve suggested a place to park the jeep to Larry and was in the middle of telling me to expect a quick shot at at least 200 yards, and that they were the toughest animal to hunt on the ranch, when we drive right up to them and spooked them. So we backed all the way out and quickly hopped out and got ready.
I had watched to see what direction they had spooked and made my game plan. There was a big section of trees that was between us and the Aoudad so I cut along those until I felt like it was the right spot to cut in. I had to move quickly because we didn’t have much light. I cut in and stayed low enough that the cactus still gave me cover. I caught movement just ahead of us and sure enough it was the band of Aoudad. They didn’t have a clue we were there and I got up to a good spot that gave me lots of shot opportunities and sat down. I got ready and when one of the big guys moved out in front I squeezed my trigger. He was only about 30 yards from us and I aimed for the shoulder in hopes of dropping him on the spot. Steve had told me they were extremely tough animals so I didn’t want to risk having to track him in the dark or looking for him in the morning. My planned worked and he dropped right where he was. I was so excited and couldn’t believe how heavy his head was! It had to have been 50 lbs by itself. I loved the beard and feathers on the legs, it surprised me that their hair was very similar to a horse mane and tail.
It was made even more special afterwards when Steve came to me and said that in all his years of running the ranch and taking hunters out for Aoudad that my hunt was one of the best ones he had been on. That was just the icing in the cake for me and I was on cloud nine. And I can’t wait until I have it home and mounted to preserve such a special evening for me!
Next episode is the dangerous game challenge. Watch as we take on a charging cape buffalo with a 375 H&H.