Intro to the Aoudad
Along with thick, sweeping horns, aoudad can be identified by their long tufts of hair running the length of their chest and forelegs, sometimes referred to as "chaps" (you will often see aoudad rams taxidermied as a 1/2 body mount, standing on a rock, showcasing this unique attribute). Aoudad have a tan to sandy brown coat that helps them in blending in to rocky, barren landscapes.
They have a deep chest with seemingly small hindquarters - giving a "stocky" appearance. Males and females both have horns, with the females' being much shorter and with less mass than an adult male - similar to that of a young male. Female horns will usually measure 12-20 inches in length, with males stretching to 35"+ (aoudad rams with horns reaching 30" from base to tip are often compared to whitetail bucks scoring 150 B&C). Average weights of a male ram is around 200 lbs., but can exceed 300 lbs., while females typically weigh in at 100-120 lbs.
Adapting well to rocky, desert-like environments, aoudad introduction into habitats like that of parts of New Mexico and West Texas have been quite successful. Their ability to scale steep terrain has lended well to their survival in these dry, harsh conditions consisting of mountains or large rock outcroppings. Newborns are able to scale rocky terrain almost immediately after birth. Aoudad will often escape to higher ground when threatened. Will wallow for extended periods in shallow water if available. Prefer moving in cooler parts of the day, seeking shade during mid-day.
Aoudad food and eating habits
Grasses, bushes, acacia, and lichens. Derive much of their daily water from plant matter, but will drink freely when available.
Males compete for dominance and breeding rights. Aoudad come into breeding age at 18 months. The peak of breeding takes place from September to December, but can occur throughout the year. Their gestation period is a quick 160 days allowing females give birth twice a year, typically having 1 young, but up to 3 possible.Young are weaned for first 3 to 4 months.
Aoudad average life span
Up to 20 years.
Do poorly in moist habitats. Prefer dry heat and rugged landscapes but are adaptable. Aoudad are competitive at feed stations, so steps should be in place to ensure ample feed (natural or supplemental). Usually compatible with other species that can tolerate competition for resources. 7.5 ft. fence usually adequate, are capable of jumping a 6 ft fence from a standing position.
Expect to pay from $2000-$6500 for a guided aoudad hunt depending on outfitter, hunting package, and horn size. ---> avg. cost for a trophy aoudad is ~ $3000.
For hunting opportunities, dry climates like parts of New Mexico and West Texas support large populations of aoudad. The population of aoudad in Texas is estimated to be over 25,000.
Average pricing for blackbuck antelope: $200 - $350 for females and yearling rams; trophy stock --> $1250 - $3500.