Barbary sheep, also called aoudad, were introduced in New Mexico roughly 70 years ago. Native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, New Mexico’s rocky desert environment resembles that of their native home. As a result, they have adapted to the dry, rough, barren, water-scarce areas in our state. Their food consists of a wide variety of vegetation including grasses, forbs, and shrubs. Barbary sheep live in small groups comprised of old and young animals of both sexes. These sheep are free-ranging and occupy a large home range due to their nomadic nature. They have the ability to obtain water from dew and the sparse vegetation of the desert which greatly expands their range due to their independence on surface water.
Mature aoudad rams have horns at least 22” long and rams over 30” are a true trophy. They're often referred to as the "Poor Man's" sheep hunt, but make no mistake, killing a good one will make you feel like a million bucks!
Like all sheep species, glassing is key to success when hunting aoudad. They are expert climbers and have incredible eyesight. Consequently, hunters need to be prepared to shoot out to 500 yards at steep angles. The further you can shoot accurately, the better the odds will be that you will harvest a trophy ram. We recommend you practice shooting at distances out to 500 yards and at as steep of an angle as you can. Modern rangefinders are able to calculate the proper distance factoring for the angle, so buy one and use it during your shooting practice.
We hunt on public land in units 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 36, and 37. The hunting dates are different for each unit, but in general, there are hunts between early October through early February. Licenses are obtained through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish draw. The application period to draw a tag opens mid-January and closes mid-March. Be sure and apply with us through the Outfitter Draw for the best opportunity to draw a tag.
We also have access to private land in many units and these hunts can be a good alternative to drawing a tag. We vet the ranches we hunt to ensure there are plenty of mature Barbary sheep to hunt. The private land hunts are held at the same time as the draw hunts in the same unit.
New Mexico also offers statewide licenses in specific units. The season lasts all year, allowing you to hunt during the off-season. The unlimited tag areas don’t have the same trophy class of animals that the draw units have. Occasionally, however, a good sheep is taken in these areas. Contact us for more info before planning one of these hunts.
Both statewide license and private land aoudad tags can be obtained over the counter from licensed vendors, from NMDGF offices, over the phone at 1-888-248-6866, or online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. If planning to hunt within 14 days of online or telephone purchase, hunters may be required to obtain tags at a license vendor or NMDGF office, unless the E-Tag option is chosen.
1-on-1 5-day Barbary Sheep Hunt - $5,500.
2-on-1 5-day Barbary Sheep Hunt - $4,500 per hunter. (2-on-1 is two hunters and one guide.)