Stumberg Sheep Ram…A Lesson in Patience!
Bill had come to the ranch to hunt a Stumberg sheep ram. The hunt had been planned for over a year and the right time of year for the best hair coat had arrived. The extreme heat of the summer had lessened and the weather had put us more into the “hunting season” mode. We had a one day window for the hunt, but felt that we would be able to find and hunt the ram in that time frame.
After the check of weapons at the rifle range and confirmation that all was well with the equipment, the group departed immediately for the pasture. The habits of this Stumberg sheep breeding herd enable them to be spotted most days when searching for them. However, that is the easy part. The challenge appears when trying to approach a herd of animals in a large oak savannah type habitat that are wary and sight oriented in their defense. This herd of 30 plus animals has plenty of sentries on hand watching all directions at any time even though most are involved in feeding. When some movement or activity that the herd feels is not normal occurs, more “sentry sheep” become defenders of the herd and their gaze more actively roams the surrounding area to raise the alert if necessary for the rest of the herd.
We take up the story at the point where we have arrived as close as possible to the herd without causing them enough discomfort to leave the area. Their nervousness was beginning to be more apparent, but the herd had not reached the point of leaving. The tendency of the herd in this situation is to group closer together and to put more eyes on the suspect activity. We knew that Bill was able to shoot comfortably, accurately and quickly at this distance of 150-200 yards, but the bunching of the herd was now the problem; shooting one ram could result in wounding or killing of other sheep in the close proximity. The larger ram was selected and Bill became proficient at following his movement in and out of the herd as they slowly grazed and mixed across the hillside. Constant reinforcement of the large ram’s position in the herd was softly spoken every time the ram would move. Lines like “…he is third from the right…wait second from right…wait, the other ram is behind him…he is behind the ewe…” were spoken countless times in the 30 minute stand-off. We were confident that Bill had the ram in his sight all of the time now. Finally, before the words “He is moving off to the right…” could be completed, Bill’s rifle barked. The ram fell where he had stood. The rest of the herd tried to determine where the disturbance had originated and then finally moved off to find more peaceful grazing grounds.
After the herd had cleared the area, Bill approached the fallen great ram. What a tremendous, magnificent old ram! Congratulations were heaped upon Bill and the “last bite” was presented to this wonderful sheep. Quiet contemplation were intermixed with constant praises of this sheep and the wonderful shot. The picture shows why Bill was willing to wait so long for the right time to hunt this animal!
Please join us in congratulating Bill on a great hunt and the fulfillment of a dream. We invite you to give us a call to see if we can help you with your dream of a special hunt. The Patio Ranch would be honored to help you or someone you know have an experience that would allow them to personally “…tell a different hunting story!”
May you and your loved ones share a blessed and joyful Christmas season!