Identifying Exotic Rams at Stone Creek Ranch: Tips for Spotting Your Trophy
In our previous blog, we discussed how you have the unique opportunity to harvest a trophy Aoudad right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. However, this striking member of the wild sheep and goat family is just one of several related species that call Stone Creek Ranch home. Each is unique, from its pelt to its horns, and sometimes it can be a puzzle to determine which type of animal is which.
In this blog, we’ll discuss three of the noted exotic goat species at Stone Creek Ranch— the Nubian Ibex, the Hybrid Ibex Ram, and the Markhor. By pointing out a few distinguishing features, we hope to help you identify the trophy ram you’re seeking when you join us for a hunt.
While it originates in North Africa, the Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana) can be found far across the Arabian Peninsula, the Sinai and the Levant. Like most of their species, they thrive in steep, rocky terrains, and spend most of their time in these areas. Countries with protected reserves include Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Oman and Jordan.
While it is a relatively small animal, A Nubian Ibex’s horns are often longer than those of other species of Ibexes, and they can often grow to 3-4 ft. Nubian Ibex horns also contain very deep ridges and large nodes, and the animals’ coats are often a darker brown.
Because the Nubian Ibex thrives in arid and semi-desert environments, it fits in well in the Texas Hill Country. Its diet consists primarily of leaves and grass, although it occasionally eats wild fruits and vegetables. Because Nubian Ibex tend to feed in the early morning and late evening hours, these are generally the best time to spot these animals while they’re most active.
Hybrid Ibex Rams
The reason this branch of the Ibex family is called a hybrid is that it is a cross between a Nubian Ibex and an Angora Goat. They possess sturdy bodies which closely resemble goats. However, they also possess the trademark horns of the ibex. Their body coat is sandy brown to tan in the summer, generally transitioning to a grayish color in the winter months. Their hindquarters may appear paler in color, and most underparts are white. The underside of the tail and a long tuft of chin hair (goatee) is black. Males also have a small black ridge of hair running along their backs.
Natives of Southern Asia and the Himalayan countries, the Markhor is a high-altitude animal that prefers to inhabit remote areas and rocky slopes. Males in particular are loners, while females thrive in small herds. The Markhor is one of the largest wild goat species, and most animals are 25-45 inches high at the shoulder. Like the Ibex, they tend to feed on vegetation and are generally active in the morning and evening.
The most distinctive features of this unique animal are its coat and (of course) its horns. Its coat is long and shaggy, with a coarse topcoat and soft, wooly undercoat. However, its horns are very different from those of Ibexes. Long and spreading, the horns often take on a spiraling or curly shape and can reach almost five feet in length. These distinct features make the Markhor a top-level trophy for any exotic hunter.
Hunt the Perfect Trophy Ram at Stone Creek Ranch
Whether you’re looking for a Nubian Ibex, Hybrid Ibex or a Markhor, the place to find them is at Stone Creek Ranch. These unique animals thrive in the beautiful, rugged habitat of the Texas Hill Country, which is quite familiar to them. No matter which trophy you seek, you’ll have one of our trained guides by your side throughout your hunt to ensure you have the best chance of coming home with the perfect catch. Don’t wait for summer’s hunting slots to fill up on you. Book your hunt in the Hill Country today.