Barbary sheep hunting

Slightlysober

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So why do guys like to chase these exotics? They are butt ugly. Why do people try to compare it to sheep hunting? I feel like it’s because it’s about as close to sheep hunting as many will get? Regardless it’s disrespectful to sheep and sheep hunting as a whole.

change my mind.
 

treedagain

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Try glassing a Aoudad from 3 miles away. Not like looking for a white sheep against a brown-green background. Sure you might get a snow day, but still. Plus Aoudad are more spooky than a dall.
For the most part dall sheep bed in the open, Aoudad will brush up. Brown sheep, brown vegetation. White sheep in the open brown-green background.
Getting to the dall is the difference.
 

Bambistew

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The Alaska average success rate for all dall sheep hunters ~32% (for unguided hunters its about 22%)

The New Mexico average success rate for barbary "sheep" is ~ 43%. I can't imagine many people pay a guide to hunt them, but I could be wrong.

Seems like they are about twice as easy to kill DIY?
 

Slightlysober

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Try glassing a Aoudad from 3 miles away. Not like looking for a white sheep against a brown-green background. Sure you might get a snow day, but still. Plus Aoudad are more spooky than a dall.
For the most part dall sheep bed in the open, Aoudad will brush up. Brown sheep, brown vegetation. White sheep in the open brown-green background.
Getting to the dall is the difference.
Thanks for the talking points. What metrics do you use to determine aoudads are more spooky than other sheep? What about comparing seeing a Rocky or a desert at 3 miles? Why use only dall sheep to compare?
 

Slightlysober

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The Alaska average success rate for all dall sheep hunters ~32% (for unguided hunters its about 22%)

The New Mexico average success rate for barbary "sheep" is ~ 43%. I can't imagine many people pay a guide to hunt them, but I could be wrong.

Seems like they are about twice as easy to kill DIY?
When I see a Barbary sheep mount my first thought is dead farm animal.
 

Dang big

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View attachment 23006
So why do guys like to chase these exotics? They are butt ugly. Why do people try to compare it to sheep hunting? I feel like it’s because it’s about as close to sheep hunting as many will get? Regardless it’s disrespectful to sheep and sheep hunting as a whole.

change my mind.
The only way I will get to go sheep hunting is if you take me ! lol
 

treedagain

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Thanks for the talking points. What metrics do you use to determine aoudads are more spooky than other sheep? What about comparing seeing a Rocky or a desert at 3 miles? Why use only dall sheep to compare?
Is a dall a sheep? White=stand out against a dark background. I find it hard to compare a dall to a rocky or desert. The hardest part of a dall hunt is getting to the sheep.
 

Slightlysober

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Is a dall a sheep? White=stand out against a dark background. I find it hard to compare a dall to a rocky or desert. The hardest part of a dall hunt is getting to the sheep.
How did you determine Barbary sheep are more spooky?

I see you’re trying to use dall sheep to prove your views regarding Barbary sheep but those arguments are void if you mention bighorns etc. the question was Barbary and sheep, not Barbary and dall.

There are many areas dall sheep blend in. It’s a common misconception usually based on people that only get to hunt them one time in their life.

I wouldn’t compare dalls to others. Many Rockies and desert rams are shot from trucks. I agree with you there.
 

Bambistew

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I mean if we're going to compare sheep to sheep... success rate for those hard to find and supposedly cunning "brown" sheep is 75-95% depending on state. There are units in some states that run 100% success and has for decades. But hey, those white sheep on a green/brown background are easy. hahahaha

The only animal I have less desire to hunt than an audad is a bighorn sheep. They have to be the dumbest animal on the planet to have success rates approaching "guaranteed." It sounds as challenging as a high fence hunt.

Think about it... if they were really that hard to hunt, then why are 90+/-% bighorns killed by guys that have never hunted sheep before? First time elk hunters are in the single digits for success as a comparison. Its as close as you can get to high fence hunting without having to tell your friends it was...
 

Stillwater165

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Barbary sheep are definitely not for me , no offense to anyone but they definitely resemble barn dwelling animals ! I asked my kids if they would hunt them them a while back , zero interest ! Now you put a bighorn in front of them any time of year and they are captivated ! We watch that small herd near Deadwood about every time we’re out there. Nothing compairs to the real deal !
 

Zeke

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SS,
If you're hunting animals only because of their "beauty", you're missing out ....but who am I to tell you what to think is beautiful or for you to tell me what you think is ugly?
There's no amount of information that can change someone's mind about ANYTHING so I see no reason to attempt it among strangers.
I've been blessed enough to personally hunt all North American wild sheep and a few others around the globe and even after all that, I think the aoudad is pretty dang cool. * Notice I said "I think they're cool" and didn't say "you should think they're too".
Bottom line is, you are totally free to think what you want and I'm totally capable of knowing what I know.

Zeke
 

littlebighorn

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I am also not a big fan of Barbary Sheep in NA They are a non-native species and much of their range should have desert sheep in it, but deserts can't co-mingle with an out of control invasive species.
I have no doubts that they are a fun game animal and can present as many hunting challenges as the REAL Sheep of NA, but I would prefer that Aoudad were left in their native Africa.
Until I saw a stunning Aoudad mount done by Tristate, I thought they were butt ugly...but his work changed my mind.
As far as calling them "Sheep", they are really not a sheep at all, but more closely related to goats. I suspect this discussion may not be happening if we called them what they are...Barbary Goats!
Some of my best MM friends (Zeke included) hunt Aoudad and love it. To them I say "good for you" and I hope they have a great time doing so!
Still, I will probably never hunt one.
 
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Slightlysober

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SS,
If you're hunting animals only because of their "beauty", you're missing out ....but who am I to tell you what to think is beautiful or for you to tell me what you think is ugly?
There's no amount of information that can change someone's mind about ANYTHING so I see no reason to attempt it among strangers.
I've been blessed enough to personally hunt all North American wild sheep and a few others around the globe and even after all that, I think the aoudad is pretty dang cool. * Notice I said "I think they're cool" and didn't say "you should think they're too".
Bottom line is, you are totally free to think what you want and I'm totally capable of knowing what I know.

Zeke
Thanks for your insight Zeke. But what is the driving force for you to go hunt aoudads? Their horns? Where they live? Time of year? I mean do people actually dream of hunting Barbary sheep?

I believe ones mind can indeed be changed on a subject. Hell I do it all the time in my marriage 😃.

To me now if they are going to lumped them into sheep hunting that would make them the equivalent of a participation trophy 😁

@littlebighorn thanks for the reply. Very interesting points! I didn’t think of potential conflict between them and desert sheep. I’m going to have to google to see if there’s been studies done.
 

buckrush

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The reason I enjoy hunting Barbary sheep is the areas they live, there super cool animals, and it’s another way to get out into the desert and hunt big game.

I have hunted desert bighorn sheep before and the Barbary sheep hunt was much more challenging in my opinion. To me the challenge of the hunt doesn’t determine whether it qualifies as a “sheep hunt.”

Many people do dream of hunting Barbary sheep just like any other sheep or exotic species.
 

Zeke

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Thanks for your insight Zeke. But what is the driving force for you to go hunt aoudads? Their horns? Where they live? Time of year? I mean do people actually dream of hunting Barbary sheep?

I believe ones mind can indeed be changed on a subject. Hell I do it all the time in my marriage 😃.

To me now if they are going to lumped them into sheep hunting that would make them the equivalent of a participation trophy 😁

@littlebighorn thanks for the reply. Very interesting points! I didn’t think of potential conflict between them and desert sheep. I’m going to have to google to see if there’s been studies done.
SS,
The fact is that most of us cannot hunt “real” (haha) sheep as often as we want so we can fill the gap with other animals.
Aoudad is one of those critters which is hunted for the horns but it’s much more, like the challenging terrain...mountains and cliffs and hopefully see enough to make a choice of one you like. And the desert! I love the desert!
My hunt in November was for ONLY the kind of ram I wanted to shoot and I was willing to spill the blood and sweat and come home empty if needed. I wanted age, mass, mane (hair) and length, in that order so the challenge was set since they’re not built all the same.
Yes, it’s an exotic and some think they shouldn’t be here, but they are. Yes, many areas are being shot out if aoudads so desert sheep can flourish thus allowing another tag or two. Desert sheep will always be super limited.
I’ve been on 6 or 7 desert sheep Hunt’s and about to go on another one this year and they’re the best ever....but I’d someone doesn’t draw, a guy can usually go hunt the same type hunt for aoudad rams.
pretty cool, to me.
Best, Zeke
 

Zeke

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I don’t really expect to change your mind or to justify why I like them ....or even why I like to hunt at all.
With that said, I know you hunt sheep and know guys who hunt a bunch but still have no desire to chase sheep. We think they’re misguided souls. Haha
Luckily we have all choices, at least for a while! Haha
Zeke
 

Slightlysober

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View attachment 23120
I don’t really expect to change your mind or to justify why I like them ....or even why I like to hunt at all.
With that said, I know you hunt sheep and know guys who hunt a bunch but still have no desire to chase sheep. We think they’re misguided souls. Haha
Luckily we have all choices, at least for a while! Haha
Zeke
Thanks! I could see them being more spooky than desert sheep. What is the age of the one in the pic? Great field shot and it looks like a big one! Congrats!
 

Zeke

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This ram was so broomed and worn down that it was hard to know what we were missing for rings but we aged it several times and got to 14. We knew it had to be older than 10 before I shot because of the freaky mass but didn’t know at the time of the shot that he was THAT old.
Ya, he’s a good one and should be in the top 10 in Texas for 2020.
 

Tristate

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I don't know if I can change your mind but I can tell you about hunting aoudad.

So that I can be completely honest I have never hunted native North American sheep. I have never even been with someone while they hunted North American sheep. I have hunted mountain goat twice.

This is what I can tell you about aoudad sheep hunting. I have hunted them for many years. I have personally killed 3. I have guided many more than that. I have seen quite a few killed.

Aoudad do inhabit some incredibly difficult areas to access. Much like mountain goat hunting you can find aoudad in areas that you can not safely access and retrieve a trophy. Intelligence changes with age and sex. Ewes tend to be a lot more tolerable of human contact. Immature rams are a little less tolerable of human contact. Mature rams are completely intolerable of human contact. Mature rams seem incredibly intelligent and adapt quickly to pressure.

Aoudad have exceptional vision. I have had them spot me at close to 1500 yards and leave before. Aoudad also have an exceptional sense of smell. If they smell you they are gone. They don't have to see and smell you. One whiff of human and they get the hell out of Dodge.

Aoudad are exceptionally tough animals. They can suck up a .30 caliber magnum round and go. And go. They can still go up mountains with lungs shot and a shoulder broken. I don't care if you believe that statement. I've seen it multiple times with my own eyes. High shoulder hits will almost always end with a lost animal. Broken legs or gut shots will not be recovered either. If you want to recover the trophy a shot into both lungs and/or the heart is what you have to do.

If you locate a mature ram you need to expect to have only one approach on him. If you bump him he is gone. He will go miles away before settling in to a new spot. Once I bump a mature ram I give myself less than a %10 chance of locating that ram again. If a ram is in a position that looks "iffy" to me, I DON'T GO. I either pull out and come back later to see if he is in a better position or sit on him until he does get in a better spot to kill him.

Since I do not have North American sheep experience I am going to compare to Mule deer for a quick example. If I locate a mature mule deer my odds of killing that buck are around %80. If I locate and bed a mature mule deer my odds of killing that buck are about %95. If I locate a mature aoudad ram my odds of killing that ram are about %35. If I locate and bed a ram, for whatever reason, my percentages actually go down to about %25. I don't know why but I actually have less success on bedded rams. Something there I haven't figured out.

Right now in Texas I believe aoudad are the most difficult animal you can hunt. Luckily there are a lot of them so opportunities are plentiful. Downside is they are inedible. I don't care what you do in the kitchen they are the toughest meat with the crappiest flavor ever invented. I think they are handsome creatures. I know some disagree. No problem there. I never thought elk were that pretty.

The best tip I have for stalking an aoudad is put him in a position where he has to look directly into the sun to spot you. The sun really screws up their vision. Go hunt them once. You don't have to call yourself a sheep hunter but you will be hooked.
doodad3.jpg
 

Bambistew

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@Tristate, they sound like a difficult animal to hunt. 35% success? Damn. I presume you must pass up a lot of smaller rams looking for a really big one, vs the "average" guys that look for any ram and have higher success rates? Or maybe you're just hunting more difficult terrain. I don't read a lot into success rates, but its interesting yours is lower than the average, its usually the other way around, seasoned hunters usually have a much higher success than the "average.'

I was just looking at Double Diamond Outfitter's website, they state 100% shot opportunity on over 150 hunts.
 

Zeke

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I'll quickly add this and then slow down on the replies:

Yes, they are "exotics" so many folks think that this means "tame".
It does not. A free-range aoudad is every bit as wild as any wild critter we hunt. These animals don't know they're exotic, they were born here, live here, they just know they will do everything in their power to put miles of super-nasty country between us and them if we screw up or the wind changes. Many a big ram have broken hearts!

Best, Zeke
 

Tristate

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@Tristate, they sound like a difficult animal to hunt. 35% success? Damn. I presume you must pass up a lot of smaller rams looking for a really big one, vs the "average" guys that look for any ram and have higher success rates? Or maybe you're just hunting more difficult terrain. I don't read a lot into success rates, but its interesting yours is lower than the average, its usually the other way around, seasoned hunters usually have a much higher success than the "average.'

I was just looking at Double Diamond Outfitter's website, they state 100% shot opportunity on over 150 hunts.
Bambistew,

Thanks, I should clarify that. I hunt a free range area where there is no feeding of the game. We only shoot mature rams. If we were shooting young rams our success would probably be above %90. If we were shooting ewes our success rate would probably be %100. Sorry I wasn't clear about that.

Also when I was talking about %35 I wasn't talking about hunt success I was talking about success on a specific stalk. I would say my hunt success is around %70 for mature rams.
 

Bambistew

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Bambistew,

Thanks, I should clarify that. I hunt a free range area where there is no feeding of the game. We only shoot mature rams. If we were shooting young rams our success would probably be above %90. If we were shooting ewes our success rate would probably be %100. Sorry I wasn't clear about that.

Also when I was talking about %35 I wasn't talking about hunt success I was talking about success on a specific stalk. I would say my hunt success is around %70 for mature rams.
Makes much more sense. I failed at reading comprehension. Thanks
 

littlebighorn

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@littlebighorn thanks for the reply. Very interesting points! I didn’t think of potential conflict between them and desert sheep. I’m going to have to google to see if there’s been studies done.

Once a non-native species is introduced, there are always collateral damages. Then someone's livelihood and politics start to co-mingle. Domestic sheep/goats have long been the primary reason why native sheep are no longer thriving and abundant in the US. But since we don't want to just do away with wool grower's, native sheep suffer. The same thing is true with Aoudads and desert sheep in Texas.
I for one would much rather hunt a desert sheep than an aoudad (goat), but that's coming from someone who's never done it.

https://www.kut.org/texas/2019-08-2...ting-in-the-way-of-bighorn-sheep-conservation
 

Slightlysober

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I say we should try and kill every pheasant, chuckar, Hun. Damn exotics.i have tried but with little impact overall.

Aren't rainbows (trout) exotic?
Rainbows are native to Alaska, but I don’t think the lower 48.

I agree, kill those exotics off. So lame people hunt think it’s hunting.
 

dwalton

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The reason I want to hunt them comes down to economics. A Dall hunt in NWT is now $32,000+. Add in all the other costs, and youŕe looking at $40K. The other three sheep are about $20-30K more than that if you can´t draw a Western bighorn or desert tag (Stoneś are pay to play). Roughly $6,000 to $7,500 will get you into a great Aoudad hunt. Yes, they´re not a native sheep, but the guys I know who have hunted them say it´s a helluva adventure!
What do I know, though? I´m kind of a wannabe sheep hunter.
 

Slightlysober

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The reason I want to hunt them comes down to economics. A Dall hunt in NWT is now $32,000+. Add in all the other costs, and youŕe looking at $40K. The other three sheep are about $20-30K more than that if you can´t draw a Western bighorn or desert tag (Stoneś are pay to play). Roughly $6,000 to $7,500 will get you into a great Aoudad hunt. Yes, they´re not a native sheep, but the guys I know who have hunted them say it´s a helluva adventure!
What do I know, though? I´m kind of a wannabe sheep hunter.
All valid points. Have you booked a hunt yet?
 

Adventurewriter

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I like exotics....more hunting opportunity taken three Oryx and all the hunts (except the On range hunt) were really hard the are great looking animals and the best meat in NA and super spooky great eyesight live in crazy barren places...I am working on a trade for a Barb Sheep hunt and think they are bad ass looking like a cartoon bully and my hunting buddies in NM mirror Tristates thoughts never drew in NM for Barbs but did an off range hunt really hard rocky country and in three days of hard hunting we saw nary a whisker
 

Adventurewriter

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Not off range Barb hunt but I meant an OTC Hunt There is so much really really barren and lifeless land in NM I say let er rip let the Barbs go the Ibex spread...the Oryx...
 

Muleman

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You can’t go by success percentages as a comparison. Dall sheep have restrictive bag limits, most areas you can only harvest bigger mature rams. Barbs in NM is any sheep and a lot of hunters are just happy to get one.

Ive hunted Bighorns and Barbary a lot in NM and Barbary on public land are 2-3x more challenging than bighorns. Partly cuz the bighorns don’t get pressured enough to be spooky. And when you look at Dall, the country they live makes them challenging not so much the animal. Barbary on feeders on large private ranches aren’t as challenging either.
The fact of how Barbary produce and spread compared to how Bighorns can verily keep a stable population in the same habitats tells you which are a heartier species.
Anyways I love Barbary that are super cool looking and fun to hunt.
 

foldem_aug

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I would have to agree with Muleman I did a Barbary hunt in new Mexico on public land a couple years ago. It was guided and we crawled all over those desolate rocks to find a mature ram. Covered close to 70 miles on foot. Pack out was14miles. A public land hunt is no joke. I am totally hooked, it was a adventure to say the least. That being said, hunting over a feeder in Texas low country doesn't trip my trigger.

As for introduced, almost every population of sheep in the lower 48 has been supplemented by humans, released, feed, vaccinated, ext.....

As they always say, don't knock something till you try it!!!!

aoudad3.jpg
 

Adventurewriter

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Also this talk about success rates is wacky as for the value of the experience. Pronghorns are pretty much 100 percent....getting a legit nice buck different story...and that is where the fun begins...and Pronghorn hunts are just plain fun...but when I go hunting I want it all to come full circle I am not out for a stroll I want blood on my hands. I think OTC NM Barb Hunt is a tough one for sure for dam sure from what I have experienced and hear
 

Deepcolor

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What are the options for tags in NM and Texas? OTC or is this a draw type of tag? I know I could look it up but there seems to be plenty of experience within this thread.
 

Tristate

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I don't know about all units or areas in New Mexico where they have Aoudad hunting but I did look into one place one time for it. If I remember correctly there were areas in New Mexico which were draw for aoudad and areas that were over the counter. The ranch I was looking at hunting was an over the counter tag. The big problem was there was a specific season for Aoudad in that unit. If I remember correctly that season was late April and May. I will go ahead and tell you that if your goal is to kill a mature ram you don't want to be trying it in April or May. The big old rams scatter out across the country at that time of year. They get far away from the family units and actually lot of times go to areas which you would not think of as typical aoudad habitat. Where we hunt it is not uncommon to run into mature rams at that time of year in big mesquite flats. There is absolutely no way to approach them when they get in there. When I found out the season dates for the ranch I was looking at hunting I declined the spots. I knew I was just going to end up with disappointed hunters.
 

trayball20

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My brother and I went on a DIY hunt in west Texas for Aoudad about a month ago. It was a super tough hunt all we had to go on was a map of the ranch and a general area where we might find some. We were only able to scout for one day prier to the start of our hunt which ended in no sheep spotted. On our first day of hunting it took us until 11:30 to find an aoudad. Long story short 5 hours later we were able to take 2 rams out of the same band. Both sheep are over 29" not sure they will get to 30". It was a tough and rewarding hunt. As for licenses we had to have a 5 day non-resident license that was around $50.
 

Zeke

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Seems like NM has OTC, draw tags and OTC private land tags. Is that correct?

Texas is all $48 otc but the issue is a place to hunt. I’d suppose “most” landowners with enough land and a good aoudad population would have the property leased an outfitter.

This, of course, is based on my limited knowledge.

They are a hoot to hunt but I’ll agree that a feeder hunt or high fence would be a deal killer for me.
 

Tristate

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Click the attach files icon from your phone. It should bring up all your pics. Then just click the one you want. It will download and then hit "insert". Last hit "post reply" and we can start drooling.
 

jims

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I've been on many bighorn and mtn goat hunts over the years and would say my exotic hunts (auodad and oryx) were pretty darn exciting! In my eyes 1/2 life-sized auodad ram mount with super long chaps or oryx pedistal mount is an awesome addition to any trophy room! They are also great critters to hunt in the off season! My New Mexico oryx hunt was just as challenging as several of my sheep and mtn goat hunts. The country where auodad live in NM and Western TX is challenging and harvesting a quality animal is often super tough...especially after they are spooked. The eyes, nose, and hearing on auodad and oryx are just as good as the bighorn and dall sheep I've hunted. NM ibex is another incredible exotic species. As mentioned in another post....oryx is THE best wild game available! Auodad....not that great!

If anyone has hunted NM ibex in the Florida Mtns the terrain is pretty darn treacherous! I'd give my left nut to draw one of those tags!

If you don't want anything to do with hunting or fishing for exotic critters it's totally up to you! Many hunters aren't aware but mtn goats are considered exotic animals in Colorado and other lower 48 states. A lot of hunters across the country enjoy hunting ringneck pheasants, chukar, and other exotic game birds. Fisherman in the Western US enjoy catching rainbows, browns, and brook trout that are non-native fish in North America.

I think it's kind of funny but if a mtn goat enters Rocky Mtn Ntl Park they are pretty much exterminated. There are lots of non-native brook trout and other trout species in Rocky Mtn Ntl Park that are tolerated at the expense of native Colorado cutthroat trout? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me?

I guess everyone has their own opinion on non-native species. If someone enjoys pheasant hunting or fishing for rainbow trout.....but is against auodad hunting it seems a little bit odd?
 
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mozey

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I actually hate calling any more attention to barbs--they used to be OTC, but now they're getting harder and harder to draw. That's unacceptable to a 20-year addict like me. So, to any newbie who is thinking about experimenting with barbs, just say no--they're not worth it. Save your money for a real sheep hunt... :)
 

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