Spotted a few aoudad Sunday morning. One big ram in the bunch. I didn't try to guess inches, but he was a big mature ram, and we have a lot of trophy-class 30+ inch aoudad on our place. I've seen some, got pictures of tons of them, but haven't been able to kill one yet. I was in the bottom of a canyon, They were about 3/4 of the way up the side of a hill, I guessed about 500 yards away.
I decided to shoot. Last opportunity I had I tried to get closer and spooked them onto the neighbors. I was shooting a Howa model 1500 .270, 130 grain Hornadys with a Swarovski 4-12x50 scope. I am very accurate with this rifle at 100 yards. I've shot it to 200 and I'm pretty dang good out there as well, as long as I have a good rest. I've never tried to shoot at anything further than 200 yards out. I've studied some ballistics charts before on bullet drop, so I thought I could make a pretty good guess on the drop. Laid down on the roof of my ranger, used a backpack as a rest.
This picture sums up the scenario I was looking at. We later ranged it at 450 +/- yards. I placed the crosshairs pretty far back to account for the wind. I have no idea how to account for windage. This was a complete guess. I shot once, and thought I saw one of them running off, holding a leg up. They were far away, darting through cedars and I couldn't tell for sure though. I didn't find any blood. I know I was looking in the right place, it rained the night before, and I could see some of the tracks they made when they were gettin' gone.
I looked at a ballistics chart today. I'm guessing the bullet probably dropped about 30 inches. I still have no idea how to account for wind, or the fact he was about 175 feet higher in elevation than I was.
What would ya'll have done? What should I have done differently? I'm still trying to decide if I should have taken the shot, or tried to stalk in closer. I would feel very comfortable at 250 yards. I felt good with the shot I took, but I'm guessing I put the crosshairs in the wrong place. I know I need to practice these long shots if I'm going to try to kill an animal at that distance, but I just haven't done it yet.
I'm not happy at all about it right now. I will be investing a long range rifle, probably a 7 mm mag, I'm open to suggestions on caliber for hunting these critters in canyon country. I'd like to hear yall's opinions on what you would have done in this scenario.