an unseasonably warm April as we made the trip up I 10 West on our way
to meet good friend, Barry Cox and his wife Janet for a weekend of exotic
sheep hunting. Barry has access to over 100,000 acres on a number of different
ranches in the famous Texas Hill Country. This was my second hunt with
Barry, who is a retired Air Force colonel, and has been outfitting and
guiding hunters fir many years. And this gentleman has a spotless reputation.
We did make one stop on the way. Both of us being native Texans and never
having done so, decided to swing by to view the remote location of the
Alamo Village, a near perfect duplication of the San Antonio, Alamo, located
near Bracketville, Texas. This site was used for the filming of movie,
The Alamo, depicting that battle for Texas independence.
Barry and Janet live on a ranch that sits in the middle of some of the
roughest, steepest, deep canyons and valleys, and twisting turning roadways
between Rock Springs and Camp Wood, Texas. We were to stay on their place
during the hunt. His ranch is heavily overgrown with the usual Hill Country
Cedar thickets dotted with small openings. After getting settled into
the camp house provided for our stay, we went out to look for our quarry.
Barry is the one responsible for my starting to hunt with a handgun. This
happened on my first hunt with " The Colonel". But that's another story
for a different day.
Anyway after awhile of pushing through acres of brush we spotted one of
the sheep species we had come for. I was using a Smith & Wesson .41 caliber
revolver with a four-powered Leupold gold ring scope sitting on top on
it. My ammunition was hand loaded 200-grain soft nosed bullets. Even with
all that brush for cover it was difficult to get close enough to the huge
old Merino ram, whose huge flaring horns made my mouth water. Finally
at 30 yards and with only a thin branch to at least try to get a rest
on, Touched one off. The shot went low. A miss. Did I mention that we
had a 30-40 mile per hour wind rocking us from behind, even in the brush?
The Ram ran off disappearing into a green jungle. Finally we found him
again! This time Took a spraddle legged off hand shot, at about 20 yards.
The old ram sagged to his knees and died. We got him to the walk in cooler
and went back to camp to rest up for the next day.
Thanks to the kindness of our hosts, we were saved from a cold meal. At
their insistence we took an evening meal with them. After a good nights
sleep they insisted we also have breakfast with them as well, which we
were happy to do. After two wonderful meals and very interesting and enjoyable
conversation we were ready again to take on the brush and the sheep. This
was to be our lucky day.
We did a lot of walking, looking, and sweating as we moved through the
thick humid brush. The lucky part comes now! All of a sudden down a long
clear lane of the brush there stood a herd of about 12-15 sheep, I never
got a good count. Right there on the edge of the brush, stood both the
Black Hawaiian and the Texas Dall sheep that I was after. I thought to
myself, here goes. They were standing about 30 yards away. On my first
shot from the six inch .41 magnum the Black Hawaiian went down on the
spot. Of course the whole herd bolted away at the crack of the gun. As
we got to the animal to check whether it was finished or not, we saw that
the herd had only went about 25-30 yards. They had held up in a thicket
and were milling around on the verge of moving out of my sight. I quickly
got on my rear end, rested my elbows on my knees and looked fir the Texas
Dall in my scope. Just as I found the ram in my scope he stepped away
from the edge of the herd. I started the squeeze on the trigger and was
surprised at the shot. The ram was mine. My three sheep weekend was over
and boy was I happy.
Written by Steve Mahurin on April 23, 1999.