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Mar 25th, 2012
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Palo Duro Exotic Success #7708033 01/04/20 10:22 PM
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Stevarino Offline OP
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Just returned from the panhandle after chasing aoudad for a few days. We got it done but let me tell you what, everything I read about this hunt being difficult is a flat out lie. It’s more than difficult in my opinion unless you hunt smart and luck out like a forum member on here. Jokes aside, this was the hardest hunt I’ve ever been on. I’m 99% sure we won’t apply again but I’m glad we gave it a shot.
The lodge/accommodations were great, good group of guys and beautiful yet brutal country.
The units were redrawn this year, so you have 3 units, 2 groups of 2 in each (12 total hunters for the mathematically challenged). We drew unit 3 which is the Far East side.
Day 1, we met at 8 am and were turned lose around 10. Our plan was to descend down a bit to get a better view of the Mesa on the north side of the river in preparation of a day 2 hike up and over. Not 15 min in, we saw a young ram at 28 yards, but didn’t pull the trigger. Fast forward another 15 min and I fell down the side of a hill about 15 yards leaving me with a nice bruised thigh, a beat up gun and crushed gear. Sore as heck but didn’t let that stop me. Because we saw a ram so high, we spent the end of the day scouting little flats in the southern part of 3 with no luck.
Day 2, I loaded up on Advil and we hit the trail early. Went down through unit 2, followed the river east into 3, then made the hike up and over the north Mesa. Fortunately we found a heard of appx 25 sheep with several nice rams at 600 yards. We made a quick move and closed the gap where my buddy connected with one at 357 yards.. I go to grab my gun for a follow up and hear an odd noise. My scope moved! Probably from the fall but didn’t notice until that moment. I had been carrying a 12 lbs paper weight all day.. so I grab my buddies rifle and shoot at one right at 350. These sheep don’t really scatter much for a few after being shot at.. we could have probably shot a third before they were completely out of site, but held off.
Now the hard part. We hike down the second canyon wall to cape cape these things out. The hike back up and over the north Mesa, then across the valley back up the south Mesa to camp was hell. There were a lot of oh S&@$ moments. We were never lost but there were times we just didn’t know if we had the best path down or back up these canyon walls. Our decent led us through a cave that fortunately came out where we needed it to.
Day 3, we packed up and headed for home as we could barley pull ourselves into the truck. There were only 2 groups out of the 6 that checked in the last morning on day 3 so I didn’t feel too bad.
In total for 2 days, I believe 10 Aoudad were killed and 0 pigs. The two nicer rams came out of unit 3. As mentioned earlier, the better ram taken came on the south side of unit 3 but it sounded as though the rest were all killed on the north side of each unit.
It may have been easier to camp to put you closer to where the sheep should be, but it was really nice to come back to a hot shower and comfortable bed each night.
If anyone has questions, send me a pm. I had a lot of help from other hunters and happy to pass on the knowledge. Just know this hunt is a young mans game and you’d better hit the peleton hard before attempting this one.



View from camp
[Linked Image]

First ram spotted at 28 yards
[Linked Image]

Outstanding views
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The pack out
[Linked Image]

The cave to “who knew where”
[Linked Image]

Truly an adventure of a lifetime. We both feel accomplished but will leave this hunt open for the younger crowd going forward!

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708040 01/04/20 10:38 PM
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TexasOutdoorsman Online Content
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Awesome!

I hope to draw mule deer hunt there one year. Looks
Likes good experience and some good looking audad


texas

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Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: TexasOutdoorsman] #7708041 01/04/20 10:41 PM
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Stevarino Offline OP
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Originally Posted by TexasOutdoorsman
Awesome!

I hope to draw mule deer hunt there one year. Looks
Likes good experience and some good looking audad


I’m not sure if the mule deer hunt takes place in this area of the park or not, but we did see a few leaving in unit 1. We saw a few whitetail in the bottom of unit 3 song with a couple sheds

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708054 01/04/20 10:49 PM
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up


"One cannot be a mediocre squirrel hunter, and at the same time a skillful deer hunter. The two techniques go together." Francis E. Sell
Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708067 01/04/20 10:58 PM
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Good job, congrats on a successful hunt. It is fun, but that long pull back up the hill out of Unit. 3 is a struggle. When we hunted it a few years back, several hunters gave up after the first day!!!

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708077 01/04/20 11:07 PM
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Stevarino Offline OP
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This is how the units are laid out this year. 1-3, left to right

[Linked Image]

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708160 01/05/20 12:50 AM
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Looks like a fun hunt but tough hiking. Congrats on a couple fin rams!!!!!!!!!! cheers

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708255 01/05/20 02:35 AM
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Awesome public land trophies! Congrats

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708911 01/06/20 12:13 AM
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My kind of hunt, congrats


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7708989 01/06/20 01:32 AM
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cheers

I love this to death! It makes my heart happy smile

Congratulations!


-Bryan

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Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7709151 01/06/20 12:34 PM
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That is awesome. Good story and good info.
Congrats, I would love a hunt like that


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Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7709702 01/06/20 08:50 PM
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Congrats. I just got back from Laguna Atacosa. That is a tough hunt too. It's all about the suffering. I love it


Jason
Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7710630 01/07/20 05:33 PM
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Awesome hunt, thanks for taking the time to do the write up.


Semper Fidelis
Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7710692 01/07/20 06:25 PM
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That's awesome! Nothing like doing it on your own. Congrats to all.

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Erny] #7712469 01/09/20 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Erny
Awesome public land trophies! Congrats


Originally Posted By: skinnerback
Milf does the trick.

"You're statistically more likely to be killed by Hillary Clinton than an NRA member. - PolitiDiva

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7716982 01/14/20 01:47 AM
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Awesome write up Stevarino! Love that kinda hunt and I have been putting in for that hunt for years now. Really hope to draw in some day. Did Devils river last January and not quite as rugged as Paulo Duro but awesome hunt as well.

Are you going to get that mounted? I did mine from DRSNA because a public ram is a trophy! Yardbirds in Cedar Park did mine and 2 euros. James is a great guy and a sheep nut!

Congrats! I feel your pain too, I was beat after 3 days hard hunting. Learned a few things too-good pack and boots are critical! My rifle was about half your weight and I had a spare. Longest shot was 330 for me.

Great photos too!

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7717852 01/14/20 08:00 PM
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Good hunt! You actually drove through the ranch that I outfit getting into and out of the unit.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7721347 01/18/20 03:02 AM
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Good looking ram. I pulled one out of compartment 4 I believe in 2017. Looks liked you had fun too!

Re: Palo Duro Exotic Success [Re: Stevarino] #7721425 01/18/20 05:55 AM
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Congrats! Glad you both connected. Type 2 fun is the best kind in the long run.


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