Alexey Kim: Hunting for Armenian Mouflon in Texas

Alexey Kim (Russia) hunted red sheep and Armenian mouflon in Texas with Rowdy McBride back in November 2022. He had an Ovis Super 30 Milestone Feature in our Summer 2023 Slam Quest, but with no reports to go along with it. That has now changed, as Alexey sent the following:

We flew from Great Falls via Denver to El Paso, Texas, on November 19. After the Mexican Revolution in 1977, El Paso was divided into two parts, on one side the 1 United States (El Paso), and on the other side Mexico (Ciudad Juarez). The border runs along the river. Rowdy McBride met us at the airport. The road to the ranch is 250 km away and the ranch is an hour's drive (60 km) from Alpine, Texas. The sheep were transplanted here back in 1977 and Rowdy hunted his first mouflon here in 1988 at the age of 24. The area was doing exceptionally well with endless prairies rich in vegetation, a lot of water and large blocks of salt for the animals.
We arrived at the ranch by 9 p.m. The ranch had a large house with all amenities and a nice warm fireplace. The next morning, we went to the range to check a Remington 700 custom rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag with Zeiss optics with a ballistic turret, at 100 and 300 yards. Rowdy hired a young man named Jason as his assistant. We drove around the ranch in a Honda ATV that had a second-floor high rack attached to it. My wife Angela and Jason were sitting in the high rack while Rowdy drove, and I was sitting in the passenger seat. We had two rifles attached to the ceiling. The ATV was equipped very well. About half an hour later, Jason spotted a small herd of Armenian mouflon, so we drove closer to get a better look.
The distance was 300 meters. While we were determining the trophy quality they got spooked and began to run away from us. Later that evening we managed to find a group of 75 red sheep about three km away, but we didn't have time to get closer to them.
The next morning after some searching, we managed to find them again. They had moved about 10 kilometers. Jason, Angela and I started walking around them to get out of the wind. Suddenly we saw a white jeep driving in the direction of our sheep. We tried to get his attention and stop him, but to no avail. We had to hurry up and soon saw running sheep on another hill. Jason threw his backpack on a bush, and I added mine and prepared for a shot. A group of red sheep stopped and began to look back at us about 300 meters away. The ram we chose was blocked by some females, so we had to wait. When the ram was cleared I fired. He ran after the herd but began stumbling and disappeared. After walking 500 meters, I saw blood and after a while Jason found the sheep. We were very happy! It was a great 11-year-old red sheep! Later that day I also managed to get a javelina with good canines.
On the third day we hunted for the Armenian mouflon. After three hours of searching, we saw a group of five Armenian sheep on another mountain five kilometers away. We descended from our mountain and for two kilometers, began the stalk along a dried-up river and further uphill. The temperature reached 25 C and was very hot and difficult hiking. At first, Jason wanted to climb the cliff opposite the sheep's bed, but at the top the wind was blowing toward them, so we decided to climb much higher. We managed to get quite close to the sheep and they were now below us, in a valley protected on three sides by mountains. The wind was swirling strongly, and we were afraid to lean out so as not to be discovered.
Rowdy called us on the radio and said they were starting to move. At that moment a female noticed us, and the group started running on the opposite side of the mountain. Jason whistled a few times and they stopped and looked around. Two females were blocking our ram, completely covering him. He was the only male in the group. Finally, after a while, they calmed down and started eating again. The distance was 290 meters. I fired and the sheep fell on the spot. It was an excellent 11-year-old trophy Armenian mouflon! In just three days the hunt for two sheep was over! Rowdy McBride is an excellent professional outfitter. Also, many thanks to Stalker Group for organizing Rowdy and Jason. Special thanks to my wife Angela, who accompanied me for almost a whole month on this difficult trip to the United States hunting animals on the Super Slam and Ovis list.

SlamQuest, Winter 2024, page 98

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