Editor's note: For this #ThrowbackThursday, we're going to August 2009, when James Noe sent us this story of his Barbary sheep hunt. The Barbary sheep, also known as an “aoudad,” is a species of goat native to North Africa. It’s been introduced to the southwestern United States, where it thrives in arid, mountainous conditions.
My name is James Noe and I was one of seven from the Bullseye 4-H club to go on this hunt. Big Al’s Outdoors Adventures Foundation, along with Mr. Russell Gardner and Mr. David Baca, set up the hunt on the Twin Canyon ranch south of Roswell, N.M. My grandpa Charlie and I left after school on a Thursday, arriving at the ranch before dark. We ate dinner and went to bed. On Friday, the first day of my hunt, Grandpa got me up at 4:00 a.m. We had breakfast, and I left camp with Mr. Baca, Brittney (another Bullseye 4H club kid) and her father. We got to the doghouse blind, but I did not see any sheep, only deer. Consequently, we went back to camp empty-handed. On Saturday, the second day of my hunt, I got up at the same time, had breakfast and went to the blind. Around 9:00 a.m., our luck turned and we saw some sheep.
Mr. Baca said, “On the count of three, shoot!”
My heart was racing and the crosshair of my scope was going in circles. I kept saying to myself, “What if I miss? Will I get another shot?” I was so nervous and excited that I was not sure I could even pull the trigger. Brittney shot first, and the sheep ran in all directions. I shot next, and killed my first sheep with one shot at 115 yards!
On Sunday morning, we broke camp and wished those still there good luck. We returned to Las Cruces late Sunday afternoon.
I would like to thank the owner of the Twin Canyon ranch, the manager, Mr. Whitaker, Big Al’s Outdoors Adventures Foundation, Mr. Gardner and Mr. Baca. The guides were very knowledgeable and did a great job providing me with an excellent hunt that I will always remember.