Milt Sanburg outside of Montrose, Colorado had a herd of mouflon sheep. Rocky Mountain bighorn rams from the nearby national forest periodically came over and bred a number of ewes. The result was 10 to 15 rams and ewes that were 1/2 bighorn and 1/2 mouflon. The rams were very impressive!
Alan Baier of Collbran, Colorado and myself met with the Colorado Fish and Game. They were anxious to get the crossbreeds out of Colorado. An agreement was reached to transport the sheep to my ranch in Texas.
In recent years I have attempted to replace the mouflon portion of the sheep with a larger breed of sheep- Stumberg Sheep. I have also purchased Urial rams to do the same thing.
The results have been fantastic! Heavy bodied rams with large think horns have been harvested. A limited number of trophy rams are available to hunt for $2900 plus a $250 per day guide fee.
Stocking age live ewes and young rams are available for $1200 each f.o.b. our barn.
(Photo: Mount by Tom Mudgett for Tad Puckett of the White Elk Ranch)
Stocking Age Urials $1500.00/each
Trophy Hunt Urial Rams $6500.00/each
The Urial sheep is the largest of the wild exotic sheep to be found on U.S.A. hunting ranches. The urial sheep stands tall at the shoulder with horns frequently exceeding 40 inches in length; and are twice the size of a mouflon ram. This sheep is the first exotic sheep to rival our native North American sheep!
This sheep can be identified primarily by the white hair found from the top to the bottom of the beard as found in the picture above. They are the most desirable and expensive of the Urials.
This sheep can be identified by a white mane on top and a black mane on the bottom as found on the ram above. The horn size on U.S.A. specimens equals the Transcaspian's and are equally desirable.
In the summer, the beards are less or even non-existent. It is also possible for a urial to have no white on the mane.
My experience with urial sheep on large acreage, medium acreage, and even small acreage is that their number one defense after they detect danger is to run very fast. On Steve Forest's 23,000 acres, I have seen them run for 3 miles at a hint of danger before they stopped. They have long legs, like a race horse, that are made for running! As I said before, they are much more athletic than the normal exotic sheep we have in this country. I have not seen them with the innate intelligence like an aoudad however. If the urial sees something they don't like, then they just run - similar to a blackbuck.
Urial rams are being bred to Texas Dall ewes, mouflon ewes, Hawaiian black ewes, Corsican ewes, and painted desert ewes.
The stocking price is usually a factor of the hunting price. The hunting price is high, so the stocking cost is higher than what you might expect. I have seen breeding age young males and females go for $4,000 each on top quality animals. I have seen the Afghan Urials go for $1,500 each. The lower grade hybrids are less.
They will probably do best on ranches of 200 acres or more. This is true except where they are raised in confinement. You can take them from a pen to the pasture, but it is hard to go from a pasture to a pen.
Urial- Texas Dall