All of this is a roundabout way of telling you about an established operator we just heard about who hunts strictly free-ranging herds and charges a flat rate of only $2,350, with no trophy fee. His name is Steve Jones, and he operates Backcountry Hunts.
Jones runs his aoudad hunts in the Big Bend country of West Texas near the town of Marfa. He has access to a ranch encompassing 64,000 acres of rugged bluffs and deep canyons, featuring sparse evergreens and typical desert cover. Here, the rams usually reach 27 to 31 inches, with some larger sheep taken every year. With the right mass, a sheep this big can score well in the SCI record book, and a number of Jones' clients have successfully placed there. Also, Jones says this herd is so large that taking a trophy ram is almost assured.
These hunts are conducted spot-and-stalk, and they require the use of good optics and a flat-shooting rifle. Hunters spot sheep in the canyons and then move to get into position after locating a big ram. This hunt is for four days and includes accommodations on the ranch, meals and transportation during the hunt. Guiding is 2 x 1, although a 1 x 1 hunt can be arranged for an additional $600. Clients either fly into Midland or El Paso and rent a car for the three-hour drive to Marfa.
If you're worried about the sport in hunting aoudad, don't be.........(continued)