Christmas came early for me in the form of a three day father/son Aoudad hunt at the Rockin G Ranch. This was my first hunt with Erik, but surely won’t be my last. There are a lot of factors that go into whether a hunt is successful or not. For me, that includes principally the people with whom I hunt. It was instantly clear that Erik and Justin - his lead guide - are good people. They treat you like family and, inportantly to me, took time and great care in talking with my son. They are true professionals who are committed to the hunt and giving their clients the best chance possible to get on an animal. The ranch where you stay is very comfortable. The food is delicious and plentiful, and neither Erik nor Justin will leave you wanting for anything. The hunt itself was hard. The terrain consists of rolling hills bisected by a series of draws and ravines. If you are going after Aoudad, you spend your days trekking up and down those draws and covering miles of ground. We had a number of stalks where we would see ewes but no shooters. We had a few stalks where we chased rams over long distances, but either lost them or decided that they were not what we were looking for. (Erik and Justin will not push you to take an animal. It has to be mature and has to fit within what the hunter is looking for). On day one, we had winds in the 25-30 mph range, so most animals were bedded down out of the wind. We spent the day putting on some miles to get a sense of the property and see what we could find. We had a fleeting glimpse of a massive Aoudad Ram as he busted out of a draw. So, we knew they shooters were there. On the afternoon of the second day, my son and I split up. Erik and I were glassing a draw and came across one of the two hogs that he has been looking to take off the ranch for a couple years. Always willing to perform a public service, I was happy to help remove the pig. Later that afternoon, my Justin and my son tracked down a group of shooter rams and put on a successful stalk. My son ended up taking his first auoudad Ram. The shot was 237 yards off of shooting sticks 12” bases and 33” in length - a pure monster. I could not be more proud of what he and Justin were able to get done. The pressure was now on me to get it done. The morning of day 3 passed without a shot. At one point, I had a Ram in my scope, but Justin pulled me off, thinking we could do better. We pushed through the day and, as it so often happens, we’re facing the last hour of the last day. We had glasses and stalked the draws on one side of the property for hours. Trusting their gut, Erik and Justin decided we should move to the other side of the property and see if we could push something. As we drove into the area, we spotted a group of Aoudad ewes and rams. We stalked in slowly, saw some shooters, and the chase was on - literally. The sheep busted us and took off. We ended up sprinting after them, finding them in clearings, having them move on, and running after them again. After about a mile, we found the group coming up the side of a draw. I was able to get on the sticks and heard Jusitin say - “the middle one - take him.” Beautiful words indeed. So, with my heart pounding, trying to catch my breath, and hoping not to screw up all of the hard work we had just put in, I settled the crosshairs and took a shot. I could not have asked for a better experience. Three days with my son and two great guys, who I now consider friends. The hunt was hard, fair, and exactly what I hoped we would get. Happy holidays to everyone. Thank you for indulging a proud dad and his story.