Best Aoudad Hunting in Texas
Free Range Aoudad hunts in Texas, more specifically in the mountains of West Texas are some of the most fun, and challenging hunts out there. I’ve got over 500,000 acres of some of the best aoudad hunting country West Texas has to offer! With ranches in the Chinati, Davis, and Sierra Vieja Mountains, I can hunt one ranch for several days and then move to another ranch. This keeps the hunting pressure down, and the trophy quality high for all of my Texas aoudad hunts.
It takes approximately 10 years to get a 30″ free-range aoudad. In order to keep my trophy quality and success rate high, I sell a limited number of aoudad hunts each year. I always sell out of my aoudad hunts and I’m typically booked 12 months, or more, in advance. When you book an aoudad hunt with Double Diamond Outfitters, you will be hunting with me, not a guide.
There are outfitters that run more aoudad hunts than I do, in order to allow more hunts they run bigger camps and have guides that take out the hunters. My operation is a little different in that I am, personally, on every Texas aoudad hunt and I will personally guide you to help ensure your hunt is an experience of a lifetime.
Texas Aoudad Hunt Success Rate
As of the Spring of 2020, I have a 100% shot opportunity on 150+ aoudad hunts and my average harvested aoudad is 30″ and 10+ years old. Of the 18 rams harvested in the fall of 2019, 7 rams were over 31″. 4 of those rams were over 32″ and 3 of those 7 were over 33″.
The biggest ram we harvested this fall was a huge ram with 15″ bases and 35″ horns. He scores 160-4/8″ (green score) making him the new #5 in the world SCI! This ram, combined with the 155+” ram we harvested last year, make Double Diamond Outfitters the only outfitter in the last 10 years to put 2 free-range aoudads in the top 25 in the world…which is something I’m very proud of!!
How We Hunt Aoudad in Texas
A typical day on your aoudad hunting in Texas begins with a quick and easy breakfast (coffee, juice, fruit, muffins) before sunrise. When hunting aoudad, we typically spend all day in the field, so my cook will prepare our lunches (sandwiches, fruit, misc. snacks) and load them, and our drinks, in the cooler.
The mountains of West Texas are rough and rugged and to cover this vast country we use my ranch buggy, a dune buggy style vehicle made specifically for the mountains of West Texas, to get around my ranches and locate the aoudad. With the cooler, and all of our gear, loaded in the buggy we head out for the day. We drive around the ranch stopping periodically to glass for aoudad.
Once we locate aoudad we drive as close as we can and then it’s time to strap on your backpack, lace up your boots, and start hiking. Hopefully, after hiking into a great position we harvest a big, mature aoudad ram, and take pictures and cape him on the mountain. After he’s caped, I load him in my pack and we hike back to the buggy. Once everything is loaded back in the buggy we head back to camp where we unload the buggy and get your aoudad in the freezer.
By the time the aoudad is taken care of and our gear out of the buggy my cook has a wonderful meal coming off the grill. Then it’s time to relive the day’s events while enjoying dinner (ribeye steaks, cheeseburgers, chicken fajitas), and a few drinks.
Aoudad Hunting Season in Texas
Aoudads are considered an exotic hunt in Texas and they can be hunted 12 months out of the year, but if you’re really wanting the best opportunity at harvesting a giant ram, you should plan on coming on my fall aoudad rut hunts in September and October. I start these hunts around the middle of September and wrap hunts up around the beginning of November every year. This coincides with the peak of the rut, which is when the biggest, most mature rams come out of their bachelor groups and head into the big herds of ewes looking for a receptive ewe.
I know the fall is a busy time of year for a lot of people, so I also offer aoudad hunts in the spring. The weather in West Texas can be pretty volatile in early spring, so I typically wait until late February through early March for these hunts. These hunts are a little different than my fall aoudad rut hunts because the rams are typically in their bachelor groups. This means there’s exponentially fewer eyes to spot you as you move in for a shot, which is never a bad thing. We still kill big rams in the spring, so if you can’t make it out for one of my Fall aoudad rut hunts, then let’s get you booked for late February or early March.
Preparing for your Aoudad Hunt in Texas
Don’t fool yourself. Aoudad hunting in Texas is real sheep hunting! Depending on which ranch we end up hunting the elevation will vary from about 4,500′ to 6,200′ above sea level. The terrain is very rough and rocky so come prepared to hike in the high desert carrying your backpack, water, and rifle. Do as much hiking as you can, carrying the same weight you plan to carry on your aoudad hunt, wearing the same hiking boots you plan to wear on your hunt and you will have a much more enjoyable hunt. We drive as much as we can, but plan on hiking if you want to kill a trophy aoudad ram!
Practice, practice, practice! I tell all of my aoudad hunters to be prepared to shoot 400 yards, so get out to the range and practice as often as possible. We will do our best to get as close of a shot as possible, but the great eyesight of the aoudad (they have 8 power vision) and sparse vegetation make getting any closer than 400 yards impossible fairly often. These are big, tough critters, with a very strong will to live, so a large caliber rifle is a must. In 2014 I started requiring a .30 caliber minimum (unless previously discussed and approved by me prior to your hunt) on my aoudad hunts to help assure that you are able to take your trophy ram home with you.
If you have any medical, or physical, issues that might hinder your aoudad hunt please let me know ASAP! All West Texasaoudad hunts are strenuous, but some of my ranches are better suited to certain hunters versus others, and given enough notice I can plan accordingly.
Aoudad Hunts in Texas Prices
2 hunters/1 guide – $5950/each
1 hunter/1 guide – Call me for pricing
Deposit – $1500/Hunter
Make sure to read my FAQs before you book. It has all the details about my hunts.
Included in all Texas Aoudad Hunts
- 4 days & 3 nights
- Transportation around the ranch
- Caping your aoudad on the mountain
Not included in all Aoudad Hunts:
- Valid Texas Hunting License (Non-resident 5 day Special Hunting License – Type 157 – $48)
- Transportation to ranch
- Caping hide off of the skull and freezing for transport home
- Export permits (CITES and/or USDA vet certificates) for non-US hunters
- Drinks other than coffee and water
Additional services available for all Aoudad Hunts:
- Non-hunting guests – $250/person/night
- Rifle rental – $250/day
- Caping off the skull & freezing hide for transport home – $100
Texas Aoudads – Animal Specifics
Aoudad, or Barbary Sheep, is a species of caprid (goat-antelope) native to the rocky mountains of Northern Africa. They are a sandy-brown color and big mature rams stand about 3-1/2’ tall at the shoulder.
I can’t say I’ve ever weighed a big aoudad ram, but most reputable sources say they weigh about 300 lbs, but having seen a lot of big West Texas aoudad rams laying on the ground I think they crowd 350 lbs.
Texas Aoudad Hunts – Packing List
If you are packing for a fall aoudad hunt plan on the weather being warm to hot. I wear a lightweight, long sleeve, tall collar shirt all the time. While riding in the buggy to/from the areas we’ll be hunting I wear a jacket or coat as necessary. The sun in West Texas is brutal, so it’s best to stay covered up all the time.
If you are packing for a spring Texas aoudad hunt, plan on cool to cold weather. We may get lucky and have some nice warm sunny days, but the mornings and afternoon in the buggy will be cold.
I prefer to wear wool when hunting in the mountains, but if you like synthetic that will work also. “Cotton kills” in the mountains, so leave the cotton at home unless you plan to wear it around camp.
Here’s my suggested packing list:
- Backpack – a water bladder in your pack is extremely helpful. Not mandatory, but extremely helpful
- Good binoculars
- Rifle & Ammo
- Valid Texas hunting license
- Rain gear – more necessary in the spring than fall, but double-check the weather
- Comfortable hiking boots – make sure they are broken in, and not brand new
- Camp shoes
- Jeans or Pants
- Several Long Sleeve Shirts – lightweight shirts for fall hunts and wool, or synthetic, for spring hunts
- Jacket/Coat – for the ride in the buggy in the mornings/afternoons
- Insect repellant Sawyer Permethrin
- Uninsulated & Insulated underwear (insulated for Spring hunts)
- Socks – I wear wool socks year-round
- Personal Toiletries & Medicines
Also make sure to take a look at my recommended hunting gear list.
Aoudad Hunting Regions in Texas
My Texas Aoudad hunting takes place in the mountains of West Texas. I have several ranches out there in the Chinati, Davis, and Sierra Vieja Mountains of West Texas.
Aoudads are amazing animals and a great hunt for the experienced hunter. Don’t wait too long, my Texas Aoudad hunts fill up quickly and you should reserve your spot as soon as possible.by