Outside of the frigid late season whitetails and late depredation hunts, the majority of big game seasons end before or shortly after the New Year. Big game seasons kick back off in the early fall with archery hunts. But that still leaves a good chunk of the year without anything on the calendar. In New Mexico however, we enjoy off season hunts for free-range, nonnative species. These are year-round opportunities for archery and rifle hunters.
When you think nonnative or “exotic” species, forget the notion of high-fenced hunts. Here in New Mexico, Barbary Sheep and Oryx have made a home on the rugged desert landscape for more than 70 years. These are free-ranging and self-sustaining wild populations.
Because they are nonnative species, hunters have flexible season options with winter, spring and summer off-season hunts. The region has mild weather with cool nights and pleasant days during the hunting seasons. When the ground is frozen solid and covered with snow elsewhere, hunting for Oryx and Barbary Sheep becomes very appealing.
The draw odds vary by species and they are reasonable but not exceptional for normal applicants. Applying with an outfitter greatly increases the odds. Guided hunters have an excellent chance at drawing one of these tags. This shortens the waiting process and increases the odds of a harvest by utilizing our local knowledge of these unique species.
So before you apply, give us a call or email and let us help. We can cover units and walk through the process to ensure everything is done properly. When you have a successful draw, get ready for an incredible hunting opportunity. You can reach us at 512-865-8990 or email@example.com.
Barbary Sheep Hunts
You can wait a lifetime for a bighorn sheep tag. But this sheep hunt has drastically better draw odds. You could easily experience multiple Barbary sheep hunts before you ever draw a bighorn tag. Throw in the 100% shot opportunities for 27”-30” rams and this hunt is well worth pursuing during the off-season.
Barbary Sheep are also known as Aoudad and they thrive on cactus and yucca plants. Native to the mountains of Northern Africa, the species is hardy and resilient in desert climates. Living in rugged terrain with little water and unique food sources makes them a fun and unique big game species.
Learn more about our Barbary sheep hunts here.
Oryx are large and wary animals, living out in the open country. This hunt is similar to stalking pronghorn (they are a large antelope) and you can expect to crawl and slowly cut the distance once you find a herd. The stalks are technical and take place in sand and rock so bring a set of knee pads and get comfortable moving low to the ground.
Oryx are a bit different from our American pronghorn, in that a typical animal weighs up to 500-pounds. Native to southern and eastern Africa with populations extending into Oman, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, they are accustomed to gaining mass in ecosystems with little food availability. Oryx meat is also some of the absolute finest wild game meat you’ll ever taste!
Learn more about our Oryx hunts here.
Contact Us With Questions
If you’d like more details or specific availability for these off-season hunts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call or text us at 512-865-8990. Or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you plan a memorable New Mexico adventure on one of these outstanding off-season hunts.