First Ram: A Bucket-List Texas Aoudad Adventure
“The author’s wife gave him a wish list of adventures, and at the top was a sheep hunt. So they packed up an overlanding rig and headed for West Texas
Every marriage is subject to tests, and my wife, Michelle, and I are being tested by a herd of aoudad on a rocky cliffside, a setting sun, and a 30-mph wind. The sheep are probably 350 yards off, but they’re on a steep incline, at least 45 degrees above us, and my angle-compensating rangefinder spits out a shoot-to distance of 270 yards. The animals are flighty, and light is fading fast in the final hour of our three-day hunt.
We’d snuck up a dry creek bed toward the sheep and had been peering over the bank on occasion to keep tabs on them. But as we neared the base of the cliff, we knew we couldn’t get closer without spooking them. I’d kicked clusters of cactuses out of the way so Michelle could get into a prone shooting position without being covered in quills. But the legs of her bipod weren’t long enough, so we frantically built a makeshift gun rest, starting with her pack, then some sweatshirts, and finally her binocular case.
With the gun’s fore-end resting across that, she can see the aoudad in her scope, but struggles to get steady given the wind and the distance. Finally, a nice ram stops broadside, and I hear the click of the rifle’s safety.
“OK,” Michelle says. “I’m going to shoot.””
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Photo Credit: Original Author