Exotic sheep hunt of Texas

gizmo

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Exotic Sheep of Texas

Hello all, I thought I would make a post about some of the common exotic sheep types that I carry on my ranch. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive post about every exotic sheep found in Texas but more of a what’s what so everyone knows what I am talking about in some of my threads. I’ve had many questions about the different species and I hope ya’ll find this informative and fun!

There are many types of sheep in Texas from the native dessert bighorn, to the exotic and spectacular Stumburg rams, and the almost pre-historic and crazy looking Jacobs 4-horn. For the purpose of this post I will stick to these species; Texas Dall, Corsican, Black Hawaiian, Merino/ Rambouilet, Painted Desert, Mouflon, Jacobs 4-horn, Catalina Goats, and Angora goats.

Texas Dall-
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The Texas Dall ram is not a true Dall sheep like what is found in Alaska and Canada. It is what is known as the poor man’s Dall much the same way as the Auodad is known as the poor man’s big horn. It is a white sheep though can also be blonde in color. They are a hair sheep meaning they have hair as opposed to wool. In winter they have an impressive mane but it is wholly different than the chaps that Auodad get. The average ram stands 21-31 inches at the withers and weighs around 100lbs, though they can weigh as much as 200 lbs. A trophy ram will have horns in the +- 30 inch range though the world record is 52 inches. The average trophy horn circumference around the bases is about 8 or 9 inches. Their horns curl and flare outwards. They were developed by the accidental mating between Mouflon Ewes and Horned Rambouilet Rams.

Corsican Rams-
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Also known as Barbados or Black Belly. Their body size, horns and trophy sizes are the same as Texas Dall’s. Their horns will grow approximately 1 inch a month for the first two years of life. In my opinion they are one of the prettiest of the exotic sheep. Like the Dall they are also hair sheep and develop a mane in the winter. They have a strong Mouflon influence which is what they were originally crossed with to develop the breed. It is easy to see the Mouflon influence in them in their coloring when seen next to a Mouflon.

Black Hawaiian-
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Again another hair sheep who has the same characteristics in body size, weight, general appearance, and trophy size. They are distinguished from the two before by their coloring as they are jet black. Many sheep guys such as myself will only consider it a Black Hawaiian if it is completely black with no other coloration in their summer slick coat. The above pic is a true Black Hawaiian, in winter they get a tanish wool like hair in places. As a matter of fact to be a registered Black Hawaiian it must not have any color other than Black in its coat. Some outfitters will pass of sheep with white stars or spots on them as Hawaiians but this is not a true Black Hawaiian. That is a sure sign it is crossed with something else. This is yet another sheep that has strong Mouflon influence. There is a common misconception that they are an original indigenous sheep species to the Hawaiian Islands. This is a myth. They like many others were developed by crossing Mouflon sheep with other breeds to develop the breed. There is some debate over how they came to be known as Hawaiian sheep. I’ve heard many different stories and it’s one of those things that everyone has some story that they know to be true. I personally do not other than they became popular some time ago and the original breed was established several decades ago.

Merino/ Rambouilet- AKA Rambo Rams. ( The wool sheep on the right)
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The following excerpt is from Wikipedia and is the easiest way to explain the breeds history. “The Rambouillet is a breed of sheep also known as the Rambouillet Merino or the French Merino. The development of the Rambouillet breed started in 1786, when Louis XVI purchased over 300 Spanish Merinos (318 ewes, 41 rams, 7 wethers) from his cousin, King Charles III of Spain. The flock was subsequently developed on an experimental royal farm, the Bergerie royale (now Bergerie nationale) owned by Louis XVI, and built on his Domain of Rambouillet, 50 km southwest of Paris. The flock was raised exclusively at the Bergerie, with no sheep being sold for many years.[1]

Outcrossing with English long-wool breeds and selection produced a well-defined breed,[2] differing in several important points from the original Spanish Merino. The size was greater, with full-grown ewes weighing up to 200 pounds and rams up to 300 pounds, live weight. The wool clips were larger and the wool length had increased to greater than three inches.

In 1889, the Rambouillet Association was formed in the United States with the aim of preserving the breed.[3] An estimated 50% of the sheep on the US western ranges are of Rambouillet blood.[4] Rambouillet stud has also had an enormous influence on the development of the Australian Merino industry though Emperor and the Peppin Merino stud.The fleece was valuable in the manufacture of cloth, at times being woven in a mixed fabric of cotton warp and wool weft, known as delaine.[5][6]The breed is well known for its wool, but also for its meat, both lamb and mutton. It has been described as a dual-purpose breed, with superior wool and near-mutton breed characteristics.” Another source I found states that, “The Rambouillet had its origin among the Moors of North Africa during the Fourteenth Century. Distant ancestors of today's Rambouillet accompanied Moorish conquerors to Spain, and their descendants were left behind when the Spaniards drove the invaders out”. Rambo rams are a very ancient breed of sheep! These sheep are also a foundation breed for many of the Texas exotics. They can grow spectacular horns and are very large bodied weighing up to 300 lbs as @graybird can attest to. They, like Angoras (which I will explain later), make absolutely stunning mounts. They are a wool sheep as opposed to a hair sheep like the above mentioned rams. There are polled breeds but for hunting purposes I am only interested in the horned version. Horns can get quite long and are also curled with two + curls being common.

Painted Desert- (The sheep on the right he his holding, it is a tan/white color variant)
cody\'s hunt 012.JPG
( Note the Black and White Sheep in the middle)
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Also hair sheep, their coats have multiple color variations. Just about any one can think of. Think of a paint horse but a sheep. They are very similar in appearance with the same characteristics in body size, weight, general appearance, and trophy size as the Dall’s, Corsican, and Hawaiians. What also is neat about them is the colors of the eyes vary from dark brown, golden brown to amber with some blue eyes appearing in sheep with Jacob bloodlines. This is another breed with strong Mouflon influence. Paints are quite striking in appearance due to their unique coloring. This is another sheep that less than reputable outfitters will try to get one over on someone. Just because a sheep has a spot on it of a different color doesn’t make it a Painted Desert.

Mouflon (Ovis orientalis) -
mouflon.jpg

This is an absolute wild sheep species of which there are several different subspecies much like there are of Ibex (which is a goat not sheep, I mention only for explanation purposes). Mouflon are very spectacular and are a foundation breed for most of the exotic sheep used for hunting purposes. Mouflon are also believed to be the one of the two ancestors for all modern sheep species. According to the United Hair Horned Sheep Association, “ Horn Length generally range from 20 - 29 inches with broomed ends (tips broken off by the ram). Exceptional horns are 26 - 33 inches in length. Bases generally range from 8 - 10 inches in circumference. An exceptional few will have 11 inch bases. Most will only complete ¾ of a curl when viewed from the side and by age 3 - 4 a ½ curl is visible as viewed from the side. By 5 to 6 years of age, rams may exhibit ¾ of a curl. Horns generally slow down during late winter/early spring unless fed to overcome the slowdown.” Mouflon are extremely weary and are very challenging to hunt!

Jacobs 4-horn-
jacobs.jpg

A extremely old sheep breed. They are mentioned in texts as long ago as 3,000 years. I was told once, though please don’t quote me as I surely don’t know whether it is gospel truth or not, that they a remnants left over from the last ice age. What I do know for sure is that they are a very very old breed that is another of the foundation breeds in modern sheep. Called four horn because they have typically four fully developed horns. They can have as many as six or as few as three. One of the most unique of the exotic sheep, they really like to fight and often break their brittle horns during confrontations with other sheep. They tend to be pretty solitary and don’t show the strong flocking habits as most other sheep.

Catalina Goats (Capra Hircus) - AKA Spanish goats.( Note the three goats on the right)
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They are quite large for a goat weighing up to 175lbs. They are one of the most popular of all the Texas Exotics and can be very challenging to hunt. They have massive sweeping horns that reach upwards of 40 inches with the world record over 50 inches. They have a beard and have many different color variations. They make quite spectacular mounts and are believed to be of Spanish (Spain) origin from my understanding.

Angora goats (Ankara keçisi) -
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image(2).jpg

Hands down one of the prettiest mounts you’ll ever see. Horn configuration varies a bit but generally is similar to Catalina’s. Ever heard of an Angora sweater? Well, this is where they come from. They have absolutely gorgeous coats. They are similar to hunt as the Catalina’s and often pair up together when they inhabit the same space. Another quite challenging animal to hunt. They are originally from Turkey in the Ankara region commonly referred to as Angora (hence the name). According to Wikipedia, “The Angora goat has been regarded by some as a direct descendant of the Central Asian Markhor (Capra falconeri).[1][2] They have been in the region since around the Paleolithic.”

I hope you have found this of interest. If you decide to hunt one of these unique animals please don’t hesitate to pm me. You can also see my recent thread under the great deals section on the hunts for the above mentioned species. You may find further information on my website. Thank you
 
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siml

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Erik thanks for an interesting write up. How wild do the merino or angora get in the wild? Are they a challenge to hunt?
 

gizmo

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Very wild if released and left to their own devices. Merino's will pair up with other sheep. They will prefer a more open habitat so they can see. They have a strong flocking instinct. Angora much like the Catalina will choose the rockiest toughest nastiest terrain they can find. They are an absolute pain in the ass to get close to and won't stick around long if they see you. All can be pretty nasty if cornered and or wounded. They will typically prefer to run away but if push come to shove, bad news. Ya know that mean ass billy or ram everyone has a story about, imagine that x10 on steroids. Don't get me wrong they are by no means dangerous game or anything. As per our previous conversations though just be careful when handling them in close quarters or if wounded. Getting nailed by one really hurts I can attest!
 

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Thank you for sharing this info.....
How many acres do you have ?
What part of Texas is the ranch ?
What else can be hunted ?
 

Nyati

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Interesting post, Eric, what you call Catalina Goats are indeed originally from Spain. From Mallorca Island. Legend says some were left by the conquistadors on Catalina Island, and somehow survived, tough animals !

They are called Boc Balear in the local language, and are hunted. It is and expensive trophy, shooting one up to 62cm. can set you back around 1.500$, up to 90cm. (gold medal) will be 4.000$.
 

gizmo

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Interesting post, Eric, what you call Catalina Goats are indeed originally from Spain. From Mallorca Island. Legend says some were left by the conquistadors on Catalina Island, and somehow survived, tough animals !

They are called Boc Balear in the local language, and are hunted. It is and expensive trophy, shooting one up to 62cm. can set you back around 1.500$, up to 90cm. (gold medal) will be 4.000$.
Thank you sir, very interesting. I knew they were from Spain but weren't exactly sure on all the history.
 

gizmo

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Thank you for sharing this info.....
How many acres do you have ?
What part of Texas is the ranch ?
What else can be hunted ?
Hello, I have over 1200 low fenced acres. I have hogs, exotics, whitetail and mule deer, turkey, and wing shooting.
 
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James.Grage

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interesting..
 

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Gizmo, a feast by all means......
 

ActionBob

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Erik, how much are the 4 horn and mouflon?
 

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