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 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 breeding season.
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
places we had been hunting 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 before heading
by Steve Mahurin on May 23, 2000.