Corsican Ram Stalk

My recent trip to West Texas might be unsuccessful in some people’s eyes because I did not harvest anything, but as most hunters know, it’s not about the harvest; it’s about the adventure, the experience, the journey. I had the opportunity to see animals at close range I had never seen before and experience a terrain and land I had never hunted before.

One of the highlights of my trip however, came on one of the last days. Because we were truly in the middle of nowhere with very little traffic, the land we were hunting didn’t even have a front fence near the deserted highway allowing all of the animals to continue to roam free. As my husband and I were headed back from the morning hunt, we spotted a single Corsican ram on the side of the road. He was out in the open, enjoying some bar ditch snacks as we creeped in closer. After looking through the binoculars at him I decided he was too small and not quite mature enough to take; however, knowing that most rams we had seen on the ranch traveled in large herds, I knew there were some close by.

As I moved off the road into the brush to stalk up into the herd I was pumped. The wind was in my favor and I could hear the sheep baying giving away the herd. Unfortunately the terrain is very rocky in West Texas which makes stalking and being light-footed very difficult. A few times I would get within 15 yards of the ewes but a noise from the rocks would push them further away. They wouldn’t run off too far, just enough to feel comfortable within the herd so I continued to stalk. As I neared a small river bed I had to slide down the side and work my way back up the other side as quietly as possible, hoping when I reached the top again I wouldn’t get busted.

As I got the herd back in view I knew I had to make quick work of closing the distance because they were getting a little apprehensive. The sheep had stopped playing around as much and being free rambunctious kids and were staying close to the ewes. Finally, I spotted two rams that looked mature; dark coats, with good horns. As I was holding still on my hands and knees (the brush had become extremely thick, forcing me to crawl while holding my bow) I surveyed each ram. One of the two I had spotted was much larger, sporting almost 2 full curls and I knew he was my target.

As I continued to crawl through the brush to get closer, the herd had moved down another slope. I was able to get within 40 yards of my target ram but I had a problem; because I was on my hands and knees I couldn’t shoot. I couldn’t even get to my knees to draw my bow (I typically practice shooting from this position for moments like this) and I knew there was no way I could get a clean shot from the position I was in. I looked around for a small clearing to possibly provide an area to kneel or stand but no luck. I would have to travel another 20 yards to the edge of the slope before I could get a proper shot and I knew with the herd being on high alert it was going to be tough.

As it turned out with the rocks and the terrain I wasn’t able to get any closer before they headed away from me & up the mountain. I was going to need some serious ninja skills to pull off a successful stalk with my bow on a ram in that terrain. I watched them bounce freely up the mountain, completely out of reach. This was my first encounter with a ram up close and I was beyond fulfilled. Although I wasn’t able to harvest one, I did however get extremely close to the ewes and sheep and had a total adrenaline rush stalking through the brush that had my heart pounding and left a smile on my face and in my heart. So in my mind, it was a success!!

 

Mar 07, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none

 

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