The mouflon (Ovis musimon) belongs to the turidae family. This is the only representative of the wild-faced sheep in our territory. It is originally from Corsica and Sardinia. During its long history, it gradually expanded to other European territories. Rather, it was artificially planted. It is therefore not a native species in our territory, however, we would not be able to imagine hunting in the Czech Republic without the mouflon.
The Czech Republic has become a world power in mouflon breeding and hunting. His trophies reach the strongest trophies caught in the world, both in the fields and in the wild.
A mouflon ram weighs up to 50 kg, a mouflon weighs around 35 kg. The mouflon measures around 75 cm at the withers and the body length is around 120 cm. The coloring is a brown body with a typical white saddle on the back. In winter, the so-called fleece, or mane, worn on the neck is prominent.
Mouflon horns are a very interesting trophy sought after by hunters from all over the world. Mouflons grow throughout their lives. Mouflon quivers are ideally symmetrical with the correct forward winding. The mouflon horns are prominently indented along their entire length. The coloring of the horns is dark brown. Thanks to the indentation, the age of the mouflon ram can be safely determined, because each year the mouflon grows one part demarcated by the indentation.
There is also a significant morphological difference between the mouflon ram and the mouflon female, as most mouflons are hornless. Although sometimes mouflons grow small horns, which usually do not grow more than 14 cm.
Mouflon horns are hollow. Properly established mouflons have within one year mouflon horns 25 cm long or more, the correct angle of horns deployment (around 90 °). In one year of life, mouflon horns already have 37 to 45 cm (from August to December – depending on the month of capture). In the second year of life, horns can grow up to 65 cm in length and the first girth of 23 cm and more. The total area of the horns is over 45 cm.
In three-year-old rams, growths are still clearly visible, when a three-year-old ram should have a horn length of at least 75 cm or more, a first girth of 24 cm or more and a total area of more than 50 cm. Four-year-old rams should have a horn length of at least 85 cm, first girth 24 cm or more. The area of horns over 50 cm. Older rams don’t have such large growths anymore, but the strength of their horns is still noticeable every year.
Mouflon horns stop growing around the age of 10.
The mouflon is found almost throughout the Czech Republic in island-like populations. It inhabits the entire rocky Mediterranean and, of course, is located in Central Europe, where they were gradually planted. However, their range extends partly to France or Bulgaria. His homeland is Corsica and Sardinia, where his original pure blood line is found. Mouflon likes mixed forest with rocky ground, which is its natural habitat. Soft soil does not suit him very well. It occurs from the lowlands to the highlands. It is widely represented in fields throughout the Czech Republic and across the country. Its occurrence is also from west to east, but always island-like. The mouflon is not an animal that would somehow extremely spread to new locations, like the European fallow deer.
Mouflon live in herds of several dozen individuals throughout the year. The leader of the pack is an experienced mouflon. The pack is closed by old rams. When threatened, the leader mouflon emits a warning whistle (hiss), which means an immediate run for the whole herd. The mouflon otherwise vocalizes like a sheep, with a short bleating.
Old mouflons prefer to stay alone or in groups of two or more rams of the same age. During the estrus, the rams rejoin the herd, where there are fights for the herd of mouflons.
Mouflon estrus takes place around November. Sometimes it still takes place in December. The rut is manifested by loud, hollow blows that can be heard for a long distance. This is rams hitting each other’s heads. In this way, they try to drive out the stronger mouflon and push the sap away from the herd.
Old rams from heat stay in the herd with mouflons until the end of winter, when they leave them again.
After about 22 weeks, mouflons lay one, sometimes two mouflons (which comes out in April/May).
Mouflon animals are not picky and their food is herbs, various fruits, annuals. In winter, it also grazes on mosses and lichens.
According to Czech legislation, mouflon can be hunted from July 1. until 31.3., but the hunting period may change in different countries.
Hunting is allowed in the game reserves all year round, just like any other game. Compared to deer, the mouflon has the advantage that it does not shed its antlers and is therefore not limited by the time when it grows new ones. As a result, mouflon can be hunted in the fields really all year round.
However, the quality mouflon hunting period starts from November to the end of February, when the mouflons have their winter fur and the dissected heads and necks look impressive thanks to the fleece.
Mouflon can be hunted individually, either by waiting or in the form of drifting. The mouflon is a very sharp animal with excellent eyesight and sense of smell, so the hunter must be very careful during the hunt.
Mouflons and mouflon babies can be hunted on joint hunts.
Abroad, however, hunting methods may change depending on the applicable legislation of a specific country.
To hunt mouflon, you need a ball gun with a caliber such as 6.5 mm, 7 mm, 7.62 mm, or 8 mm series. In other words, according to legislation, the impact energy of the projectile must be at least 1,500 J/100 m, but 2,000 J/100 m is given for better effectiveness of the projectile.
Optics are needed daily, as mouflon is allowed to be hunted in the interval one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset.
The prerogative of trophy mouflons is their wide horns, which normally reach 80 cm or more in length. Their coloring is dark brown with pronounced indentation. Every hunter will appreciate having a bleached white skull in contrast to the dark horns of a mouflon as a hunting souvenir. On the other hand, you can use the preparation of the entire head and chest of a mouflon, which has beautiful fur.
Of course, winter fur is suitable for tanning, which, thanks to the distinctive fleece on the neck, will beautify many a hunting lounge or cabin interior.
If the hunter does not care about the tanned skin, he should definitely remember the small trophy, the so-called brush, which is worn behind the hat. These are fleece dogs that are tied into a decorative quiver. It is basically a small case where the brush is placed.
Mouflon venison is a very aromatic meat characterized by a dark red color. It is a finely fibrous meat very similar to mutton. In this case, it is very important how old the piece was caught and whether it was male or female. Undoubtedly, meat from cubs or young females is a delicacy. The meat is tender, tasty and juicy.
For older cuts, especially males, it is recommended to marinate the meat to remove the typical aroma, which can give the meat an unpleasant taste and smell. Of course, this rule also applies to other species.
The meat can be used for goulash or perkelt. First of all, it is meat from the neck or trimmings. Mouflon leg or loin can be baked whole, or steaks can be prepared. It can be modified with garlic, root vegetables and other things. Mouflon can be used to prepare many dishes that are delicious.
We hope you found this article useful!
Your Huntastic Team