Aoudad Sheep are sought after in bow hunting, as well as, rifle hunting because they are elusive, challenging, and smart. All aoudads have horns, male and female, alike, therefore, either gender makes a great trophy with the rounded horns growing slowly longer each year. At Rock Creek Ranch the aoudads run in tight herds, enhancing the sport.
Also known as Barbary sheep, Wadden, Arui or Arruis. Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) are a species of caprid (goat-antelope) native to rocky mountains in North Africa, and were introduced into the Palo Duro Canyon area of Texas in 1957-58, where they have become firmly established. These sturdy, firm-footed animals were introduced to RCR ten years ago into aggressive land and animal management programs culminating in a successful breeding program. These animals have continued to flourish in the central Texas climate, on a variety of vegetation including grasses, bushes and shrubs.
Aoudad need very little water and are able to obtain a lot of their moisture from food. When water is available, they drink it and wallow in the pools. This has been very beneficial through the long drought. Aoudad are active in the early morning and late afternoon, resting in the heat of the day. They are also nomadic, challenging and smart. They are constantly on the move throughout the ranch. Males weigh up to 300 pounds, varying on pasture conditions. It is obvious that bowhunters, as well as, rifle hunters enjoy the sport these animals offer because of their elusive nature.
The male horns curve outwards, backwards, then inwards, and reach up to 36 inches. The females also have horns, and though impressive, do not reach the length of males. However both are sought after for their trophy status. Their color is sandy-brown and darkens with age, with a slightly lighter underbelly and a darker line along the back. The mature males have mane on their throat and “chaps” of hair on their front legs. The females, or ewes, do not have the fullness of the mane or “chaps” on the legs. The breeding season is September to November, with gestation period lasting 160 days. Lambs are born generally between late February and late April, but some lambs are born as late as November. Their main predators on our ranches are the coyotes. The newborns, or lambs, are of course subject to predators such as coyotes. Fortunately, horn growth starts almost immediately, advantageous in fending off their opponents.