also At Squaw Mountain Ranch we pride ourselves on providing a top-quality hunting experience with trophy animals any hunter would be proud to have on display in their trophy room. We offer elk, whitetail deer, red stag and a selection of exotic trophy animals as well. We are happy to be one of the hunting lodges offering Four Horned Sheep hunts in Texas.
The exact origin of the Four Horned Sheep is unclear. However some believe these sheep bear resemblance to sheep mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They may be descents from sheep bred by Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. In the Biblical account of Jacob’s life, he used the fleece of a sheep to trick his blind father into bestowing a blessing on him that had been meant for his brother Esau. Esau swore to kill Jacob for this, so Jacob fled to his uncle Laban’s farm.
Once there he fell in love with Laban’s daughter, Rachel and asked for her hand in marriage. Laban agreed on the condition that Jacob work as a shepherd over his flocks for a period of 7 years. Jacob agreed and was a good shepherd. His uncle’s cattle thrived. In fact, they had done so well that Laban gave Jacob his other daughter to marry instead of Rachel as promised.
He told Jacob he would need to work another 7 years to earn the right to marry Rachel. At the end of those 14 years Laban could no longer force Jacob to stay and begged him, asking him to name his price. Jacob agreed on the condition that he could have all the spotted sheep from Laban’s herds.
Through Jacob’s efforts, these spotted sheep paid off in a big way. They allowed him to support a large family. It is unclear if these sheep are the same breed bred by Jacob or not. However, pictorial evidence and genetic research suggests the potential origins of the Four Horned Sheep in Syria as much as 3,000 years ago. For this reason, the Four Horned Sheep also go by the name of Jacob’s Sheep.
How the breed was dispersed throughout the region is also unclear, but the Four Horned Sheep made its way from Syria into North Africa, the island of Sicily, and Spain. For much of their early recorded history, the breed was actually referred to as ‘Spanish Sheep’ because it was believed the breed first washed ashore after some 20 ships of the Spanish Armada sank off the coast of Ireland as they returned home from their failed invasion of England in 1588. Records indicate that the breed later appeared in England sometime in the 1700s and was popular as an ornamental ‘park’ sheep, adorning the sprawling estates of the British elite for hundreds of years.
Despite its popularity in England, the breed was not introduced to the United States until sometime in the 1960s. Today, most of the herds in the US are descended from sheep brought here within the last 30 years. While this breed is listed as ‘endangered – maintained’ with only around 5,000 registered sheep worldwide, it remains a popular trophy hunt. As counterproductive as it may seem, the controlled hunting of rare or endangered species helps incentivize conservation efforts and plays an important role in the continued survival of this heritage breed.
The name ‘Four Horned’ sheep can be a little misleading. While these sheep are known for having four horns, some herds typically produce sheep with only two horns, as where others regularly produce sheep with as many as six! Both the males and females of this species always have horns. The horns of the rams are usually longer and thicker than those seen on ewes.
On four-horned varieties, the top set of horns are usually straight and can measure in excess of 2 feet long. They may sweep backward off of the forehead or out to the sides. The smaller set of side horns usually curls away down the sides of the face in a standard double curl. Sheep with four and six horns are much more common in American herds. The horns of two horned sheep usually feature a standard double curl and are more common among British herds.
These small-bodied sheep usually weigh somewhere between 80 and 180 pounds, with the females being smaller and shorter than the males. They are, however, very lean and provide a decent amount of meat when compared to other ‘improved’ breeds. Their wool is usually white or cream-colored with patches of black, brown, or ‘lilac’ (brownish-grey). These patterns are unique to each sheep and can be used by shepherds to identify specific individuals in the herd.
While the neck and shoulders are typically dark, their triangular heads almost always sports a white blaze down the center of the face with a dark muzzle. Their heads and legs are always bare of wool. They produce wool year round but some may have thinner fleece in the spring and summer, so be sure to plan your Four Horned Sheep hunt in Texas for the cooler months when your sheep’s fleece is certain to be at its thickest.
The Four Horned Sheep is a hardy animal and well suited to life in a variety of climates ranging from dry, arid, and rocky mountain meadows to lush grasslands and pasture. Our property here at Squaw Mountain Ranch offers a variety of environments for our sheep to hide and find forage. With our careful vegetation management program you can be certain these sheep will not be easy to track. We are pleased to offer hunters the ability to hunt in a variety of styles:
Four Horned Sheep are grazers and will eat most types of vegetation that are available to them. They are especially fond of forbs; broad-leafed flowering plants, and will often prioritize eating these over whatever else may be available.
As with most other breeds of sheep, the Four Horned Sheep come into heat in the cooler months of autumn, anytime between September and November. Ewes will remain pregnant for around 5 months and give birth in the spring. Ewes usually become sexually mature and begin mating at the end of their first year. Young ewes usually birth only 1 lamb at a time but twins and even triplets are more common in older females. Four Horned ewes are instinctively good mothers and will nurse their lambs for 3 to 4 months.
There is no closed season on Four Horned Sheep hunts in Texas. To learn more about four horn sheep hunts in Texas, contact Squaw Mountain Ranch. We have a variety of majestic animals to complete any trophy collection. We can help you set up the trophy hunt of your dreams.