of 1989 my wife, Shirley, and I started what turned out to be a very eventful
weekend. As we neared our destination of Hunt, Texas, we thoroughly enjoyed
the sights and smells of a beautiful spring day, in the scenic Hill Country
of Texas. This landscape is chockfull of Whitetail Deer and Turkey, as
well as a long list of exotic species that reside in the rolling, rocky
hills with many sparkling, clear, cold, spring fed streams cutting through
the landscape. Sometimes there is a veritable carpet of wild flowers of
all shapes, sizes, and color, looking for all the world like the largest
patch work quilt in the world.
Our drive ended at the entrance to Honey Creek Ranch, a beautiful patch
of ground with a number of different types of terrain within its boundaries.
The ranch is owned and run by a tall, 75 year old, bear of a man, called
Luther Graham, who doesn't do a lot of talking, but when he does, he sure
doesn't mince his words.
The first animal we wanted to try for was one I didn't even know existed
until a few months earlier, when I had seen one on Luther's place while
on another hunt. This animal is a strange looking beast called either
the Jacobs Sheep or more commonly as the Four (4) Horned Sheep. Yes, you
heard me correctly. This animal has four horns. Two on the top of its
head like many animals, but also two more growing down beside its jaws.
This sheep is pretty big and really wooly, with males sometimes tipping
the scales at up to 160 pounds or so. The Four Horned Sheep is supposedly
named after Jacob in the Bible and descended directly from those sheep
of those biblical times. Luther told me that they were fierce fighters
and many would break off one, sometimes two of their four horns during
We eased our way up the steep hill to a plateau of sorts, where the particular
ram Luther wanted me to check out had a tendency to hang out, and hoped
he hadn't broken off any of his horns since we had last seen him. This
area had pretty good grazing, but on three sides there was a steep drop
off, of rocky ledges that went down for almost a hundred feet. We played
cat and mouse, up and down, with a good-sized bunch of sheep, but no four
horn. We tried two or three different areas that were adjacent to the
areas well for two or three tiring hours. We finally spotted our quarry,
towards the middle of the day resting under the shade of a big tree, on
the edge of one of the drop-offs we had hunted early in the day. We started
a stalk, hoping that if he spooked, he wouldn't go over the cliff edge
and disappear. Most of all I hoped that if I did get a shot at him, he
wouldn't bail out over the cliff and maybe break up those brittle horns
on the rocks below the cliff. I was lucky on both counts. When I closed
in on him, he jumped to his feet but paused to look back at me for a second
and I was able to get a shot off at about 75 yards and he made about two
steps before piling up amongst the rocks about 10 yards from the cliff
edge. After loading him up and trucking down the hill to skin him out
for a shoulder mount we decided to put him in the freezer and rest for
a couple of hours from the warm sun.
A little later feeling a little refreshed, we headed out to the higher,
back part of the ranch, looking for either a Corsican, Texas Dall, or
Black Hawaiian Sheep, whichever we could find big enough or quick enough
before our stay at the ranch was over. We would have to leave by noon
or so the next day to make the six hour drive back to the Galveston, Texas,
area to where we lived. Luck was with us and after driving the ranch for
two or three hours through the open spaces and along the thick cedar along
the edges, we saw a good Corsican Ram in a little meadow at the back of
a canyon. The area was pretty hard to get to. About all I could do was
find an elevated area and take a downhill shot. The distance was a little
farther than I liked but I figured I could do it. I got my rump as comfortable
as possible on the rocky ground and my elbows on my knees and started
my trigger squeeze on the Remington Model 700, 30/06. The gun boomed across
the openness and the thunk of the Remington, 180 grain core lokt bullet
bounced back to me as the rams legs buckled and he was down for good.
It took awhile to get him back to the vehicle, but finally he was skinned,
quartered, and in the freezer. We just had time to grab a quick bite and
it was time to hit the sack for a good night's sleep and hope we would
have lots of good luck the following morning, in getting the other two
animals we had hoped and planned for.
Very early the next morning Luther rolled up to pick us up for our try
for the other two animals we hoped for. As we drove up the winding road
to the top of the hill, all the luck we could have hoped for came about.
Right at the top of the ridge about 50 yards away, there stood two of
the prettiest snow white Texas Dall Rams you would ever hope to see, they
were just standing there looking at us. They were on a little finger of
land, jutting out of the edge of a rock face. I got out and moved to a
pile of rocks to use for a rest. It was a relatively easy shot and the
finger of land was at least wide enough so when the ram dropped, he he
probably wouldn't fall off the edge. Sine it was still fairly cool, we
field dressed him, put him in the truck, and continued on up the road.
The chances for getting that fourth animal was looking better all the
time. This was working out to be one of those days when " good luck was
better then skill", in hunting sometimes. Within three hours we found
a good sized bunch of Black Hawaiian Sheep with one decent ram in it.
Any of you ever heard some old-timer brag about killing two deer or other
animals with one shot and you said. " Yeah Right". Well listen to this
one and I even have two witnesses to prove this story. When I was able
to finally able to sort the Black Ram out, and separated from the rest,
I took my shot at about thirty yards and he dropped like a sack of potatoes.
BUT, about 20 to 30 yards away and 90 degrees to my left a black ewe also
dropped in her tracks. Talk about shocked, then worried about killing
her and paying for one of those teal valuable, baby producing female.
After all, in those days, any Hawaiian was hard to come by. Much less
a female that might produce many more blacks in the future.
To Luther's credit, when I apologized, he just said,"accidents happen".
The only thing we could figure was that the bullet had hit a shoulder
or rib bone and ricocheted into the ewe. We had finished our task of taking
four gold medal trophies in two days, plus of course one accidental ewe.
by Steve Mahurin on March 16, 2000.