At Squaw Mountain Ranch we offer the opportunity to hunt a number of trophy animals including elk, whitetail deer, red stag and a variety of exotic animals as well. One of the animals we are happy to have on offer is the Corsican Ram. Our Corsican ram trophy hunts in Texas are among the best in the nation. Read more to find out why.
Origin of Corsican Rams
Corsican Rams are a relatively new breed of sheep introduced into Texas approximately a half-century ago when wild European Mouflon sheep (native to Corsica and Sardinia) were interbred with varieties of horned wool sheep, namely Churro, Jacob, Rambouillet, and Merino. The males of this variety very quickly became popular trophy animals due to their impressive horns and how challenging it can be to bring one down.
Due to the several different varieties of sheep that contributed to the development of the breed, Corsican sheep come in a wide array of colors. They can range anywhere from a light fawn to deep browns or even red and usually have either a light or a black belly. Some Corsican sheep may sport what is referred to as a ‘Moufflon pattern’, so-called because it mimics the coloration of the European Moufflon sheep. These sheep will have a light to a dark brown or red body with a dark stripe down its back and over the shoulders, as well as light-colored belly and saddle patches.
Some of these sheep will also have a mane that runs down their neck and chest, usually measuring between 3 to 8 inches in length. Some of the rams have this mane year-round while others may only grow one when their winter coat comes in. While this mane is typically black or dark brown it will often turn a creamy white as the weather turns colder. Something to keep in mind is that these animals are shedding sheep. They grow a thick wooly undercoat that sheds completely in the spring. If you hope to bag a top-quality hide we recommend planning your Corsican Ram hunt in Texas during the colder months when their coat is at its thickest.
Corsican sheep can stand anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 feet at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere between 65 – 200 pounds. Our herds here at Squaw Mountain Ranch have excellent genetics and produce amazing trophy quality Corsican Rams every year.
Like most other breeds of sheep, Corsican ewes are smaller than the rams, standing between 1.5 to 2 feet tall at the shoulder and are usually between 65 – 80 pounds, however, our ewes are on the heavier side, usually weighing somewhere between 80 to 100 pounds. The rams are larger, usually standing 2 – 2.5 feet tall at the shoulder with mature males weighing between 80 – 100 pounds. The rams we have here at Squaw Mountain Ranch usually weigh in at an impressive 130 to 160 pounds.
Other than the difference in their size, ewes and rams are easily distinguished from each other by their horns or a lack thereof. Ewes may have short horns or none at all, as where rams can have horns ranging in length from 14 to 35 inches. Their horns come in 3 different shapes: heart-shaped, corkscrew, or webbed. Some rams may even have multiple sets of horns. The rams in our herds have a variety of horn shapes and regularly measure in around 30 – 32 inches.
The Corsican ram, having been developed from a variety of breeds, are hardy animals that can survive in almost any climate. Having been developed in Texas, these sheep are especially used to our hot dry summers and cold, wet winters. These grazing animals prefer lightly wooded areas with plenty of forage but are just as happy in open grassland and prairie as they are on rocky mountainsides.
Corsican sheep are grazing animals, so they eat mostly grasses and a lot of it! They also strip leaves from bushes and young trees if they are able to reach them but they do not make up a large portion of their diet. At Squaw Mountain Ranch we are careful to prevent overgrazing so our animals have plenty of forage for healthy weights and to ensure our hunters have a challenging and rewarding experience when they hunt with us.
Like many other types of cattle, Corsican sheep run in gendered herds. Rams congregate in bachelor herds and develop a strict hierarchy through posturing and headbutting. As they are a feral sheep, the rams are much more aggressive than in domesticated breeds, so this behavior is prevalent throughout the year but is especially common during the rut. The ewes and their lambs live in nursery herds with a small handful of older rams. During mating season, typically August through September, these two herds will flock together, separating again after the mating season has ended.
The females will remain pregnant for approximately 5 months, lambing sometime between January and March. Females typically will carry 1 – 2 lambs with each pregnancy. Twins are not uncommon for this breed. As a feral breed, Corsican lambs are sturdy on their feet shortly after birth and mature quickly. Males reach maturity at roughly a year and a half with females reaching maturity much younger, usually around the 7-month mark.
There is no hunting season for Corsican rams and they can be hunted year-round. This makes them a popular hunt as you will not need to plan your Corsican ram hunt in Texas several months, even years in advance as may be the case with other trophy animals.
Hunting Tips for Successful Corsican Ram Trophy Hunts in Texas
Corsican rams were bred specifically to be trophy hunt animals but it is not just their handsome horns and beautifully colored hides that bring hunters to Texas each year. These feral sheep also offer a challenging and rewarding hunt.
Corsican sheep are most active earlier in the day, taking shelter in lightly wooded areas during the hottest parts of the afternoon or may flock to hilltops in search of a cooling breeze. When the weather is fair they will seek out sunny patches to sunbathe. In wet or other bad weather they are most likely to take shelter in one of our many oak canyons. This may give the impression that Corsican rams are easy to track and take down, but their excellent eyesight allows these sheep to spot hunters quickly, usually before the hunter has a chance to spot them.
These sheep are also very ‘flighty’. Once they become spooked, Corsican rams will alert the other sheep to the presence of a predator causing them to form a tight herd. This flocking behavior can make it extraordinarily difficult to get a clean shot. Any hunter planning a Corsican Ram hunt in Texas will need to devote a lot of time and patience if they hope to bring one down.