Latest On Desert Bighorn Sheep in Texas


Published: October - 2001

On a brighter note, several subscribers have asked us recently for the latest on hunts for desert bighorn sheep in Texas. Here is what we found out, thanks to correspondent Ray Sasser: "Desert bighorn sheep were extinct in Texas when the Texas Bighorn Society (TBS) was formed in 1981 and began lobbying for a reintroduction program. Restocking began in 1983 with sheep donated by Arizona and Nevada. The initial sheep were released on Texas Parks and Wildlife's (TP&W's) Sierra Diablo Wildlife Management Area. As a result of that original release, over 400 free-ranging bighorns are now spread across seven west Texas locations. Limited hunting of mature rams began in 1988. Last year, a record six permits were issued for Texas bighorns and five hunts were taken, resulting in rams scoring 163 to 175 4/8 B & C. The sixth permit, a private landowner permit, was not utilized.

"There are two ways you can get a permit to hunt a Texas bighorn. First, you can buy one at auction through the Foundation for North American Wild Shee. Just be aware that these permits have sold for as much as $85,000 recently. Second, hunters can buy one of a very limited number of permits from landowners who have the wild sheep ranging on their property. The prices for landowner permits are not a matter of public record but you're unlikely to find a bargain. Jerrell Coburn, president of the TBS, said his organization acts as a go-between for hunters shopping for a bighorn permit and landowners with permits to sell. `We keep a list of hunters who have an interest,' said Coburn. `When a permit comes up, we e-mail or fax the prospectus to everyone on the list.'

"There is a third way to get a desert bighorn permit, and that is through the state's Texas Grand Slam Hunt Program. TP&W doesn't like referring to this as a lottery, but that's what it is. Hunters buy chances for $10 each. The winner receives a fully-outfitted hunt for a Texas bighorn ram, a whitetail buck, a mule deer buck and a pronghorn antelope.........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Foundation For North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS); Texas Bighorn Society; Texas Grand Slam Hunt Program;

  


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