Chasing Texas Aoudad
The idea of this trip was to take our major sponsor Venture Roofing on an Aoudad hunting trip to the rough and tumble cactus country around Marathon Texas.
I had just taken our truck to Triple C Welding, who builds special racks for vehicles and was hoping it would be ready for the trip. They called me the day before and said it would be ready in the morning. We had this rack built like the ones we were riding in while in Africa, and it turned out just what we wanted.
Jeron flew in and I picked him up at DFW, in Dallas and we met with Kenneth and were off on another adventure. Kenneth and Jeron were in the dually and I was in the Hunting truck with the new rack following along. Chad Lacefield and Dwain Webb of Venture roofing were to meet up with us in Marathon Texas at the Famous GAGE HOTEL. As usual food is on the menu after checking in and they had a great menu and food, so we ate and discussed the hunt for the next day.
We met up with Ken Cheatam who was to be our guide on the 30,000 acre Bruce Ranch about 16 miles from Marathon. We saw lots of country as we headed into the vast mountain range searching for Aoudad.
We saw a small herd with about 30 in it but nothing we could get on to shoot that morning and stopped and had lunch somewhere back in the mountains and hills, it was a nice break from all the rocky roads and creeks we crossed. We were fortunate enough to come upon some Javelina Pigs, and Chad was able to take a big one. We saw some Elk and mule deer but no Aoudad.
As we got close to the bottom of the mountain we saw some Aoudad cross the road and now we were in HUNT MODE for sure, as we came around the corner and crossed the creek we saw at least 150 Aoudad headed up the mountain to our left. Kenneth, Jeron, and Chad, decided to see if they could stalk them to get closer they were at least 300 yards away and moving. Dwain and I watched as they tried to get closer but with all their efforts they could not get close enough for Chad to make a comfortable shot. Now the long walk back to the truck and head to town for a hot meal and shower with all the wind and rain and 38 degrees we were ready.
Well, this was a misty rainy day again and cold but when you’re hunting you deal with what Mother Nature decides. We tried another section of the Bruce ranch and hunted till noon without much luck. Chad and Dwain were going to have to leave around noon. We were sorry they could not have stayed seems sometimes the last day last hour of a hunt comes through. Kenneth and I decided since we were in no hurry to go back to where we hunted the first day and saw the Aoudad and hoping it wasn’t to muddy to get to where we had seen them the day before.
Jeron and I got wrapped up in warmer clothes and rain suits and got in the high rack of the truck and we were off. Kenneth and Guide Ken Cheatam were up front driving and as we started up the mountain I saw 3 Aoudad running down the side of the mountain and told Kenneth to stop. NOW things are definitely looking up for us. The Aoudad ran across the road and headed north and I had in my mind there can’t just be 3 Aoudad, there had to be more and sure enough as we rounded the curve in the road there they were about 80 head spread out like ants running all over the mountain. Now comes the hard part, how do you pick out an Aoudad to shoot in that big of a herd and get the camera man on the same animal. Jeron and I were talking constantly about which one I was on and hoping we were both on the same one. Finally I had to make the decision to take the shot at 270 yards.
I squeezed the trigger and down he went and hoping we go it on film and luckily enough he did. Kenneth had gotten out of the Truck as I was shooting and trying to glass them for me. When mine fell I gave him the rifle and said get one! I took the rangefinders handed him the rifle and gave him the yardage on a big one trailing towards the back, now they are on the move still so I ranged the Aoudad at 342 yards and told Kenneth and he took the shot. Now we have two awesome Aoudad on the ground. Persistence and patience had paid off for us both to stay with it that day.
We saw lots of beautiful country and even a lodge the owner had built way back in the mountains that was never finished. It had rock floors, benches and even a lookout tower on top that had a staircase inside that actually wove around the fireplace to get to the top. What an awesome place it was not to be completed.
Thanks again to all our great sponsors and especially to ORION COOLERS for their awesome products and supporting DLO. We hope you enjoy the article of another adventure with Double Lung Outdoors. Don’t forget! Enjoy what we have here in life and its many beauties and adventures out there for all of us.
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