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Aoudad Hunting with Captain Experiences in the Davis Mountains

Aoudad Hunting with Captain Experiences in the Davis Mountains
September 6, 2023

Join us on a journey from the lush hill country of West Texas to this arid wilderness, as we encounter the unexpected oasis of Balmorhea. Here, we meet our guide, Bobby, a Texan with a passion for wildlife and hunting, who will lead us on a 4-day Aoudad hunting expedition. With humor, expertise, and respect for nature, Bobby introduces us to the challenging terrain and the thrill of spotting these elusive creatures. As the adventure unfolds, adrenaline surges, shots ring out, and camaraderie deepens. This is West Texas sheep hunting at its finest, guided by a true expert. Aoudad, with their impressive horns, become trophies to cherish, and their meat, a culinary delight in skilled hands. Explore the exhilaration of West Texas sheep hunting and discover the expanding world of hunting adventures with Captain Experiences.


The land between Balmorhea and Fort Davis, the heart of rugged West Texas, feels lost to time. The vertical stone escarpments and expansive mesas of the Davis Mountains tell the tale of a land steeped in western history and expansion.

Once dominated by the Comanche, then etched in the history of Texas Cattle farming, and now a stronghold between the oil fields of the Permian Basin and the increasingly popular destination of Marfa, the Davis Mountains refuse to yield.

Similar are the Aoudad that now dominate the region. Bison, elk, and mule deer, the original fauna of the land, were driven out by the likes of the McCutchens and the growing cattle herds of the late 1800s. In their stead, Aoudad, known in their home ranges of North Africa as the Barbery Sheep and in West Texas simply as "sheep", have made a home and thrived in numbers and size.

Driving the 6 hours west from Austin to the mountains, the topography slowly transitions from lush hill country dotted with oaks and prickly pears to wide open, expansive desert with views for days.

Water seems like a stranger to these parts, yet all of a sudden pulling into Balmorhea off I-10, an oasis forms like a Saharan mirage. Green grass puts my Austin lawn to shame, and treetops hold court.

We’re here to meet our sheep hunting guide Bobby before ascending into the mountains, and we’re early. This otherwise sleepy West Texas town has a unique crown jewel, and we kill some time checking out Balmorhea State Park, a 3.5 million gallon freshwater pool fed and kept cool by the San Solomon Springs. Beyond the pool sit the Davis Mountains.

We stop at another local watering hole of a different sort and meet up with Bobby to kick off our 4-day aoudad hunt with an afternoon pack-in.

Bobby is a Texas Native with an extensive background in wildlife management, whitetail breeding, Aoudad hunting throughout West Texas and the Hill Country, and Axis, Turkey, and exotics hunting throughout the Hill Country.

His specialty is guiding for exotic species, aoudad sheep, mule deer, and elk, across his vast network of statewide ranches. His years’ of experience working many exotic game hunting ranches throughout the state grants him a wealth of knowledge he's eager to share.

Beyond the X's and O's, we immediately pick up on Bobby's sense of humor, passion for the chase, easy going demeanor, focus on the task at hand, and respect for the wild animals and places they call home.

We follow Bobby’s old faithful pickup through winding open roads that cut through buttes, rims, and mesas, wondering if and how we’ll be tackling this terrain on foot– crimps and carabiners seem more appropriate than “all terrain” hiking boots.

We peel off into one of the many ranches contributing to Bobby's over 100,000 acres of private, free range hunting access out here. As we gear up, Bobby sets expectations.

For the next 4 days, we’re to expect early mornings glassing ridges, peaks, gulches, and canyons for sheep. Once a herd is spotted, we’ll ditch the pickup, hike in, glass again for rams, determine if there’s a shooter, and stalk up to a secluded hideaway for a 200-700 yard shot.

The hints of adrenaline percolate as we start our trek. We haven’t spotted any sheep, but Bobby suggests we hike up to a mesa and take a look.

Nearing the crest of our first ridge a few miles in, Bobby turns back, telling us to keep our profiles low and our voices lower.

We cozy up to a boulder outcropping in the shade of a towering mesa to peek into the valley below. We scan the opposite hillside and spot more sheep than you can count.

The sheep are doing their thing, slowly working their way across the hillside as they graze on the greenery.

Glassing our way through the herd, we lock in on a tank. “He’s got some curlers and real dark chaps” Bobby whispers in reference to the telltale signs of a mature ram.

Jay, up first, settles into a crouch shot and controls his breathing. His scope skims the herd, finds its target, and he takes the cross-valley shot from 300 yards on an outgoing breath.

“Smoked him.”

High fives fly and pats on the back leave a bruise.

We hike down the valley, slicing through cat claws and cacti and thanking God for Duck Camp brush pants.

Climbing up, we realize these mountain sheep really mean business– the hillside is steeper than it looked from across the way and is littered with loose boulders and scorpions.

We snap a few shots of Jay and his trophy ram with a breathtaking West Texas backdrop, clean the sheep, and pack out heavier than we came in.

Exhilarating is an understatement in describing West Texas sheep hunting, and Bobby is a master at it all. Easy going with a sharp wit and a great eye for finding you the sheep of a lifetime, Bobby is a sheep hunter's sheep hunter.

Aoudad make incredible mounts with their imposing horns and impressive manes, and Bobby has guided many first-time big game (me) and seasoned hunters (Jay and Trace) to rams boasting over 30" horns.

Aoudad meat has a tough reputation, but in the right hands (and in the right crock pot) Aoudad backstraps can be done just right.

Heading back to Austin after such a successful 3-days of hunting that we didn’t stick around for a 4th, I made it back with aoudad meat to share with friends, a new trophy, a new lifelong friend in Bobby, and memories I’ll share with Jay, Trace, and Bobby for a lifetime.

At Captain Experiences, our mission is to Unlock the Outdoors. We’re excited to announce our expansion beyond international and domestic fishing trips into hunting so you can book the trip of a lifetime every time with damn good hunting guides like Bobby.

Check out the West Texas Aoudad Ram Hunt guided by Bobby and see here for other hunting trips that might scratch your itch. 

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