Barbary sheep

MSUcat61

Active Member
Apr 7, 2011
245
0
ABQ, NM
Was lucky enough to draw this unique tag this year. Since this isn't a typical species most guys hunt, was wondering if anyone had any advice or experience hunting them. I'm guessing a lot of hiking and glassing, but anything specific about this hunt would be appreciated. Judging a good ram seems difficult too.
 

luckynv

Active Member
Aug 3, 2014
274
1
Henderson, Nv
Hey Jimmy, my buddy got one in New Mexico 3 years ago. If your up to it I can ask him to call you. I still have your number from a couple of years ago unless you changed it. He used to subguide in New Mexico for many years also. Good guy, Let me know, congrats on the tag they make a nice mount, God bless
 

MSUcat61

Active Member
Apr 7, 2011
245
0
ABQ, NM
Hey thanks Mark, I'd absolutely be up for a call from him. Feel free to give him my number. Thanks in advance!

And I'll definitely be sharing my experience with everyone. Looks like the country they live in is pretty crazy. Should be a wild hunt.
 

Alabama

Veteran member
Feb 18, 2013
1,277
57
Sweet Home Alabama
Good luck MSU! I've put in 3 years now and can't get drawn! Post up some pics for us please. It looks like it will be a tough hunt in some rocky country.
 

luckynv

Active Member
Aug 3, 2014
274
1
Henderson, Nv
Will do Jimmy, his name is Tom. He was out of town last week. Hopefully I will see him at Church this week, Good luck and God bless
 

prhunter

Active Member
Apr 18, 2016
265
40
Far West Texas
I drew 29/30 as well
Here is my posting from another site regarding my Barbary sheep hunt 3 years ago. I figure that you would probably wanna see pics of the area you will be hunting. I did not harvest a sheep but it was still a good hunt and great learning experience. Wish to get drawn for that one again. PM me if you have any ???


http://www.biggamehunt.net/forum/tomorrow-hunt-begins
 
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Ringo

New Member
May 23, 2016
2
0
I hunted 29/30 with a friend in February. Had a really good hunt did the minimum guide thing. Guide said don't get discouraged after not seeing sheep for the first couple days, we spent a lot of time glassing. Had some pretty aggressive wind for two days the guide said to expect that in that country for a few days every trip. We didn't see much the first two days then got into a couple groups of sheep ended up getting 4 for 4 biggest was 23 " nothing huge but had a fun hunt and going back this year. We did see a pretty big ram come out of the next canyon over when we shot a couple sheep. Good luck
 

MSUcat61

Active Member
Apr 7, 2011
245
0
ABQ, NM
This is a long time due, but figured I'd update everyone how the hunt went, post some pics, and share what I learned:

We spent the first two days hunting the Rim area. Got into some crazy steep canyon and cliff country with more than one instance of getting cliffed out. Ended up finding 3 rams the first day with one definite shooter. They disappeared like ghosts and I can still not understand where they could have gone. The wind was a little bad on our approach, but the terrain essentially forced us to use that route. We didn't see a sheep the second day and decided to check out a new area the next day.

Pics from day one:
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MSUcat61

Active Member
Apr 7, 2011
245
0
ABQ, NM
On day 3, we got into a new range that had many more sheep (saw a fair number of mule deer too). We found a group of 9 that were all ewes and lambs except for one small ram that I passed on. My buddy knew a guy that hunted a week straight without seeing a sheep, so he thought I was a little crazy for passing. Luckily that proved to be a good choice, a few canyons over we found a group of 9 that had 7 rams and 5 were very good. One old ram in particular was very impressive. He was so old that his coat almost looked white. He actually didn't have the longest horns, but definitely the heaviest and his chaps were dragging on the ground. The group was bedded at the base of a cliff at the bottom of a canyon in a position that we could definitely get into shooting position. Luck is a funny thing, and it can always dictate how a hunt goes; both good and bad. As we were sneaking down a ridge to get into position to shoot, some other hunters in the adjacent canyon started shooting at a different group of sheep. Unfortunately, this sent our sheep into high alert. I was literally setting up my rifle to shoot at 360 yards when the whole group just busted up the ridge. The big, old boy was massive compared to the rest; so old and big that he took up the rear, lumbering far behind the rest. They scaled a mountain, that would take a guy an hour or more to climb, in about 5 minutes. We checked our maps and formed a game plan for catching up to them. We caught up with the other hunters who had wounded a small ram or ewe (it is fairly difficult to tell a small ram from a ewe) but had lost the blood trail and were heading back to their rig. We ended up finding a 2 ewes and a lamb farther down the canyon but didn't turn our band of rams up. We continued around the canyon and actually crossed a blood trail. We eventually found the wounded sheep. He was hit in the back leg but remarkably agile still climbing and jumping up cliffs. We marked were the sheep was in order to relay the info to the other hunters. (We stopped by their camp later to tell them. They were extremely grateful, gave us a beer, and actually ended up finding the wound sheep the next day, but unfortunately never got him.) We then continued over the next ridge and glassed up our group original group of sheep. We were close to a half mile away and we were running out of time in the day. We made a move but could never get under 600 yards without blowing them out. Barbary sheep tend not to go anywhere at night, so we put them to bed, and made a game plan for finding them in the morning by coming in from a different direction.

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MSUcat61

Active Member
Apr 7, 2011
245
0
ABQ, NM
The morning of day 4 was a disaster. We kept running into locked gates on public land and impassible roads. We eventually found a way to get somewhat close to where we wanted to be, but never got to the area we left the sheep, were several steep rocky canyons and miles away, and, not to mention, hours behind schedule. We glassed up a few ewes and lambs on our way to where we had left the rams. As we finally got to where we last saw the group, it was well past noon and hours of glassing and hiking the adjacent canyons turned nothing up. At this point, it was well over 80 degrees, we were all out of water, and were dog-tired from the past four days of getting destroyed by the jagged rocks and mountains. As a last ditch effort, we found a hidden smaller side canyon that deserved a closer look. Amazingly, we found a group of 7 rams that I'm almost certain were the original group sans the 2 ewes. They were bedded on a cliff with each ram looking a different direction. It was uncanny how well they were set up detect danger. As I attempted to make a stalk, they just randomly decided get up and walked over a cliff face and out of our lives. Just walking, without being spooked, they could cover more ground over steep nasty terrain than you could ever imagine. We made one last attempt to catch up to them but could never turn them up. With empty water bottles and discouraged spirits, we made the final trek to the truck. We got there right at dark and found we had a flat tire and one slowly leaking tire. We threw on the spare in the dark on uneven rocky ground, and drove out praying that the other tire were hold up. This essentially ended the hunt for us, as it was just way too unsafe to continue hunting out in the middle of nowhere being on the brink of ending up completely stranded. We met some really nice folks in a little city of Dell City, TX that helped us fill our leaking tire.

Things I learned:
- Bring at least 2 spare tires and a pump can be very helpful
- Bring way more spare fuel and water than you think you need.
- We consistently found the sheep in the shady, north-facing cliffs. Once we figured this out, they seemed to start popping up out of nowhere.
- Super fun but very, very exhausting hunt, both mentally and physically

Can't wait to draw this tag again. If anyone ever has questions about chasing these guys, I'd be happy to point them in the right direction.
 

hoshour

Veteran member
That's a great story and set of pics. Sorry, it ended without a sheep on the ground, but the story and pics together really make the point of how tough a hunt that is. I don't think most guys would picture a hunt that brutal. Appreciate you passing on what you learned.
 

prhunter

Active Member
Apr 18, 2016
265
40
Far West Texas
Well, at least you got to see some sheep. I can relate on how exhausting these hunts can be. I'll be putting in for Barbary sheep again soon. TFS!!!!