DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP HUNT

Discussion in 'GREAT DEALS on Hunts Worldwide' started by Ray Atkinson, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have one permit for a Desert Bighorn Sheep hunt and that is the only permit in Texas as far as I know..

    Location is Van Horn Texas in the Sierra Diablo Mt. range on a 32,000 ac. low fenced ranch and this is a fair chase hunt. Season is Sept to July, 2009. The ranch has an abundance of huge rams and I mean big ones..It has been hunted only a few times in the last 40 years..The Bighorn Desert Sheep are native to that area as I have hunted Mule deer there many times as a kid and it always had a lot of sheep and a lot of big rams, but with proper management over the years the herds have grown, it is a very successful program..

    The accommodations are outstanding and the food is great, fully guided hunts.

    Cost: $72,000 and by comparison to other sheep hunts and auctions and drawings that is a steal, as they sell for as much as $200,000 or more...and the rams are the biggest I have ever seen in my life time of looking big desert sheep over in the USA and Mexico...

    I have extensive photos of the ranch, the sheep, the kills, and the beautiful desert rim rock country..see below....
  2. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Hunting Desert Bighorn Sheep in Texas

    Hunting Desert Bighorn Sheep in Texas

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  3. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Hunting Ranch in Texas

    Hunting Ranch in Texas

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  4. BangFlop

    BangFlop AH Senior Member

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    Now where did I put that extra 72 grand I had the other day ...??? Just kidding - what a great hunt this would be ..... !!
  5. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    ooops a big finger correction...The hunt is $71,000. so there ya go, now you can handle it. :)
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Ugh.............I am remaining silent on this sort of.......Ray, good on you. It is business, but this really annoys me and is part of what is wrong with the whole hunting industry these days.

    But it is supply and demand...............

    Glad you posted this though, it makes a 21 day hunt in Tanzania for ele, buff, leopard and lion look like a fantastic deal. At least there they are employing people and spending money in the local economy and you get a lot more bang for the buck for sure.

    I have ducked my head and am waiting..............

    $71,000.............after expenses that is great profit.
  7. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Kelly,
    I just sell them, they price them..but I will say they spend a tremoundous amount of money trying to keep these sheep in huntable numbers as they are so prone to desease and Lions love to eat them..It is truly a love of labor on the ranchers part and they only sell one ever now and then, so the profit margin, though substantial, is not near what one would expect. I suspect they do better with their good deer herd and cattle.

    But I sure would like a comm. off that $71,000 no doubt about that, :) and it is a fair chase and very sporting hunt for a wonderful and rare species of sheep.
  8. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    $71,000?

    That makes the 39 years I applied before drawing my tag in Arizona back in 1998 worth $1,820.60 a year!

    Incidentally, those are healthiest, biggest-bodied desert rams I've ever seen. My ram from one of the driest areas of our state may have weighed 100 pounds, but only during or immediately after a heavy rain.

    What also surprises me is that the horns on the oldest rams in your photos are not heavily broomed. Our sheep start losing their horn tips (as well as chunks of horn from around the curls) by the time they are eight or nine years old.

    Incidentally, were you aware that some of the ancestors of the sheep now in Texas were captured in southwestern Arizona and released in the Lone Star State after a major dieoff there many years ago?

    Bill Quimby
  9. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Bill,
    The condition of the sheep mostly depends on the rain year and the feed but that area as you can see is some of the best range in the state of Texas and they have the sotol plant that keeps the deer and sheep in prime condition..As to the broome, these are 5 and 6 year old sheep that have had some good years, the older rams will broom. Like most things in game management range conditions tell it all...

    I have hunted on a couple of the surrounding ranches in that area for Mule Deer and its great Mule Deer country. The average ranch in that area is probably 100,000 acres to 500,000 acres and they border the Sierra Diablo Game Refuge..Those sheep as far as I know are native to the area as Mrs. McAdoo shot a record sheep back in the 1940 or earlier..

    The sheep from Arizona are on the Black Gap Game Reserve South of Marathon, Texas as I understand it they were traded to the State of Texas for Mule Deer.

    They also have a few native sheep in Mexico across from the Big Bend Nat'l. park and thats a well kept secret as far as I know..
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  10. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Well I even have a few minutes to look at AH tonight. The bear hunter we had killed his bear 10 minutes after he got on stand and I already have it skinned and the hide cooling.

    Ray I hope you know I was just kidding you and being a smart ass. :) It is of course a supply and demand sort of situation and there just aren't too many desert sheep hunts to be had.

    I have killed a few rams but fortunately I am not a sheep nut and if I had that sort of coin available i would be off to Tanzania. One of these days however I wouldn't mind hunting that country for a nice desert mulie.;)
  11. robert tolliver

    robert tolliver AH Member

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    great looking hunt. besides mule deer, over in the glass mts. their are quite a few elk as i under stand brought in by cap yates in the 1920's. aoudad also are in abundance around in this area. due to the times if a steamship ride around the world cost $.25 i couldn't get on add blow the horn.keep up all of the good stories and such, i so enjoy them.
  12. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Robert T.,

    I worked for Cap Yates as a kid growing up in Marathon, texas..In fact I was his working ranch hand and private choufer! :) He was a great old man..I have hunted his ranch many many times..His son Fayette was also a good friend of mine..

    Cap came by the house one day and picked me up and I drove him to the Charlais Assn. in San Angelo..I told him he needed a tux for that deal so we went and he bought us both a tux, then to Mercer boot Company and he bought us both some $400 boots, big money in those days..We went and then returned to Marathon...I saw cap about a month later and he was loading Cotton seed meal and still had that tux on, and it was all green from the meal and about worn out and he had the boots on and his spurs on them...He said he didn't see any need in wasting his money on something he couldn't use...

    For those of you who are unfamilair with Cap Yates, he would be just another poor old cowboy if you saw him except that he owned Yates Field, Lock stock and barrel, the largest oil strike in the history of Texas and it is still the top producer..He had a buck or two, but I don't think he ever knew it, he was just an old cowboy that got lucky, he never changed his lifestyle except he bought a better ranch as the oil derriks bothered him...

    God rest his soul, what a great old man he was and his life is wrought with funny stories and Texas history, and he never forgot his roots. He re-introduced elk to the Glass Mountains of Texas and it teems with Coues deer and Mule deer..The last time I hunted it was in 1968 I guess.
  13. robert tolliver

    robert tolliver AH Member

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    thanks, may all of your loops be full of horns or hocks. last time I hunted in the glass mts. was1974 my hunting boots, justin ropers their was a good amount of snow on the ground before day light we built a fire out of sotol , dried my boots by dinner all I had left were the tops. those old timers were the salt of the earth, their word you could take to the bank.
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    This is what I love about this website! Hunters remembering days gone by and the great people they meet along the way. My hat is off to Cap Yates. Sound like he was a great man, with a good head on his shoulders.
  15. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    He was that..When the kids put him in a nursing home, he whipped the guard with his cane, jumped a frieght train and walked back to his ranch, at about 95 years old I think, got out his 30-30 boared up the house and built a fortress, and defied the whole damn world...

    The FBI got involved and some other law enforcement agencies and were going to take him on until Jim Skinner the Sheriff told all of them to get the hell out of his county are there would be hell to pay, and topld them that old man ain't hurting nothing and nobody, I mean nobody is going to ---- with him..

    They all left and Cap died on the ranch some years later, and in his extensive will he made them buy 6 white horses, a horse drawn funeral carriage, custom built, for his coffin, they had to build a road to the top of the mountain and build a musalim for him to rest in on a point on the mountain where the sun was first to hit every morning..It was the funeral of all funerals and when those big horses carried Cap up that road I damn near died myself...It cost the family more than a million dollars I am told.. I rode caps old grey horse by that grave sight the hunting season after he died and that horse had a damn fit everytime we passed it going and coming. I got off and watched the sun sit on the grave every day of the season and listened to the elk bugle, That horses action to the grave sight made the hair come up on the back of my neck, but I wasn't scared or anything like that, just amazed...I have no doubt the horse knew where he was and who was in that tomb..

    That Big Bend of Texas is rampant with history and greatness, and Cap Yates lead the procession of great men....
  16. robert tolliver

    robert tolliver AH Member

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    mr. atkinson; what a true and fitting story,for a true and and not so old west hero.langtry juno, comstock , alpine,marfa and marathon all had few. i had and old uncle who was a governoment trapper around that area. was jim skinner from sonara. also are you familar with the apple ranch. also about fair chase hunting in this area aint nouthing fair about, 20% flat, 40% straight down. 40% straight up and every thing either stings , sticks , stinks or bites. every anamial here can go 60 mph up or down. if you hunt here the bias is man or woman is about 25%, anamial 75%. at my age i'm going to be the cook , less work. all jokes aside this is a great hunting area ,and a lot of good folks. there are so many names , places and stories in west texas it would fill a book or ten viya con deios
  17. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Si senor es la verdad, es una pais muy bueno!...

    It is a grand country full of history and tough strong men. My family herded 1000 head of goats to the Big Bend on a 1200 mile journey, took them a year, they fought bandits, Mexicans, and indians and the graves still stand on the ranch. they had less than 100 goats when the arrived...My great uncle said his brother ate most of them!!! :) :)...It is a proud heritage to come from...

    Me and my brother and cousins went to Colorado hunting with my dad and uncles and we were playing football and thought we were pretty tough and we actually wondered if those old men ( 60 to 75) could take it in those Colorado Mountains. We took a load of mules to pack and hunt on and sell before we came home. We left the ranch with a couple of long trailers loaded with livestock, packsaddles and what all.......

    No tent just a big tarp that we all threw our beds on it and folded it over and covered up with. After about 2 weeks of snow and terrible weather and packing elk, getting up in the wet and cold, we boys were worn to a frazzle and almost in tears to come home..Those old men acted like they were on a Sunday Picnic. I learned a lesson that trip!! :)

    We stayed up there for nearly a month btw..those old guys loved it, they smoked cigerettes, chewed tobacco, and coughed their lungs out every morning, drank coffee by the gallon and laughed all the time, never seemed to notice the weather...

    I told my mom how bad it was, and she just looked at me like I was an idiot and told me "son, they have lived outside for their whole life and so have I, you and your brother were born under a chuck wagon, you don't remember those days I don't suppose as you were too young. I just could not imagine my mother, such a prim and proper lady living under a wagon..You just never know when you see and older person, what their life has been, a lot can happen in a lifetime....
  18. AndresRam

    AndresRam AH Member

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    Wow

    Mr. Atkinson, really what a wonderful hunt you offer, it happens to be my dream hunt and you're on the money; even though it's crazy expensive it's still almost a bargain today, if you look at it, it's about the price (maybe less) that a new BMW...I'd rather have that Desert Bighorn full mounted where everyone could droll over it (not over it, a good distance away but you get the idea!) than a new Beamer any day of the week without having even to thing of it twice!!!

    I am still to young and on the process of making my first bucks that can go into hunting, I'm shopping (and saving every Peso) for my first Safari next year and don't have nearly enough financial capacity to round up that kind of money for a sheep hunt today, but god willing someday I will, and I promise to give you a call about those huge Texas Sheep you have there!

    I really hope the hunter that does pursue the hunt has great success and creates beautiful memories, since at least to my opinion, Desert Big Horn Sheep ranks very, very high on the very best trophies you can get world wide!

    My dad you was a great hunter (recently left us for better hunting grounds) had an opportunity at these Sheep in the eighties here in Mexico's Sonora, and if you don't mind I would like to share that very old Sheep he got, which is along with another two or three more, my favorite trophy in our family trophy room and will for as long as I last, have a place of honor in whatever place I can call home.

    Thanks and good hunting!

    Andres Santos

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  19. AndresRam

    AndresRam AH Member

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    The image I think was to small, but I couldn't find out how to make it appear full size! But anyway there's my dad's Ram!

    Cheers!
  20. beermonky

    beermonky New Member

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    Im new here I just got drawn for the bighorn hunt thru TP&W drawing for this year I just sent my paperwork back to Autin to get my permit and hunt date. This is a fully guided hunt on the Sierra Diablo all for a whopping $10 I know these hunts were pricy but not that pricy. I found out TX has 12 permits for this year 9 for landowners 1 for bighorn socity raffle 1 for TP&W grandslam hunt and 1 for the bighorn hunt which is the one I was LUCKY to draw. It will be a hard hunt that I will remember forever

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