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Hunting Jacobs Sheep
By Steve Mahurin
     

In May 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 for home.

Written by Steve Mahurin on May 23, 2000.

     
     
Jacobs Sheep
     
     

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568
409-935-9673

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011


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