Be careful with heroic names around Randy Moran.
In the last few years Moran has shot and killed ‘Unkillable Bob’ and a world record ram ‘Corona.’
The Tallapoosa County native and avid outdoorsman has shot guns since he was a kid and trained championship beagles known throughout the country, but Moran’s most recent accomplishment is dropping a world record mouflon ram at almost 200 yards.
“We walked up to him and looked at him and I said, ‘I thought that would be a top 10 ram,’” Moran said. “At 10 yards we just stopped and I said that son of a gun is huge.”
Moran had sought out a place to hunt record mouflon and corsican rams to complete the Texas Ram Slam after already harvesting a doll and black Hawaiian in Nebraska. Moran found a 13,000-acre ranch an outfitter owned.
“I picked up the phone and called him,” Moran said. “We talked for 30 minutes. He didn’t seem like he was real interested in me coming. I waited a week or two and called him again. He said how interested are you in wanting to come out here and hunt. I said I would like to kill the corsican and the mouflon and would like for them to go in the Top 10.”
Moran placed his deposit, the outfitter called back explaining he had seen a large mouflon but it wouldn’t be an easy hunt as the ram was roaming free range, not in a high fence. Moran and the outfitter set up a hunt for last summer.
“July 14 I got on a plane in Montgomery with my masks and gloves,” Moran said. “There were five others on the plane.”
Moran was met by the outfitter and stayed at the ranch with the outfitter and his wife. The first afternoon Moran found a corsican ram but they rode around looking for the elusive big mouflon. Not seeing the mouflon, Moran went for the corsican first.
“It was Friday morning,” Moran said. “We were riding around just looking at all the wildlife. We found him again. We came back through and he was standing there in a little meadow with a bunch of ewes.”
Still no shot on the corsican.
“We went and ate lunch and came back and I killed him at a couple hundred yards,” Moran said. “We came back and put him in the freezer.”
Saturday morning the outfitter went looking before Moran woke up for the mouflon seen on game cameras.
“I ate breakfast with his wife, she said he is going to look for that ram,” Moran said. “He came back and said he found him. He was on the side of one of them mountains with a bunch of ewes.”
Moran and the outfitter went looking for the mouflon again.
“He wasn’t there when we got there,” Moran said. “So we sat there a while and he came back out. We didn’t want to get real close to him and spook him. I was shooting a 7 mag. I felt real comfortable with my shot.I killed from about 187 yards.”
Approaching the freshly dropped ram, the outfitter paused.
“He said, ‘He is bigger than I thought it was,’” Moran said. “He said he was going to get the ranger and wait on me and don’t let no coyotes get on him. ‘He is something we need to really look at.’ He got his measuring tape out and he measured him at like 148 inches. He said he is definitely in the top 5.”
The ram would measure 148 inches in the field. The world record from 1987 was 145 7/8. But now there was a wait. The measurement had to be official and a special taxidermist and master measurer was used. It would be months before the record would be official.
It was February and Moran was in a Tallapoosa County deer stand when he received a phone call. He recognized the number from Safari Club International, who maintains the records.
“I gotta answer that,” Moran said. “They said, ‘Mr. Moran, we are calling to let you know you have a world record.”
Moran’s world record mouflon would measure 148 4/8.
It would still be a few months before the mounted new world record mouflon ram would join the other three rams of the Texas Ram Slam on his cabin wall, walls decorated with memories of Moran’s favorite hunts and turkey slam. One such mount is probably one of the smallest deer Moran has harvested, a coues deer from Mexico.
“That is probably the hardest hunt I have ever been on in my life, mentally and physically,” Moran said. “They call them the grey ghost. They just disappear in that desert. I hunted that 3.5 days before I killed it. He was never still. He walked behind those does and brush.”
Moran saw the coues multiple times before pulling the trigger, but doesn’t know if he will try to hunt another.
“Mentally it’s tough,” Moran said. “You get nervous. They hide in brush and he won’t stop moving with their head down. The little things won’t weigh 80 pounds. Quick and stealth. You can see him but not hear him. It was something.”
Another favorite hunt was in Nebraska for a turkey called ‘Unkillable Bob.” Moran is familiar with the area having taken numerous friends to hunt turkey on multiple occasions. The outfitter had been sharing stories and photos of ‘Unkillable Bob’ with Moran.
“Get up before everyone and go out on the porch and look through the scope and you will see ‘Unkillable Bob,’” Moran said. “It was at least a half mile. That morning he come out and I watched him for 30 minutes.”
With an afternoon free, Moran goes to a blind in the area he watched with the scope early that morning with no luck. The outfitter said ‘Unkillable Bob’ always finds a way out. A few days later Moran returns to the blind and waits.
“I had been there an hour or hour and a half,” Moran said. “I would give little yeps every once in a while. Three hens come up and were feeding around my blind.”
Moran was being patient using the low and slow method of calling he learned from Tallapoosa County game warden Charles Ream who taught Moran how to turkey hunt.
“I looked to my right out of a peep hole, 150 yards I could see white feathers and a strut right above the weeds; It was ‘Unkillable Bob,’” Moran said. “I sat there and he walked back and forth. His fan disappeared.”
Moran remained patient in the blind. The hens were still around him.
“I saw him at 75 yards; he was coming, about a half strut,” Moran said. “I yepped real low again and went into full strut. In about 15 minutes he walked right up there and I got him.”
Moran said he was lucky to harvest Bob but Ream’s technique helped.
“I didn’t talk much to him,” Moran said. “I bet people talked to him too much. I thought about (Ream) that day. I’d seen him call up a bunch of birds. He would yeep just a little.”
‘Unkillable Bob’ is in Moran’s cabin along with his first turkey from 1979 and the birds from Moran’s Turkey Slam — Gould, eastern, osceola, merriam and Rio Grande.
Moran is now working on the deer slam. Moran is also a farmer down to about 22 head of cattle.
“That is what I do now, piddle around and hunt and run my dogs” Moran said as new puppies were running a rabbit in on his pens. “I just turkey hunt mostly, a little deer hunt.”
But the world record is still fresh in Moran’s memory recalling a recent conversation with the outfitter who helped Moran find the large ram.
“I talked to him the other night,” Moran said looking at his fresh mount on the wall. “He asked about how old ‘Corona’ was doing. I said, ‘Well I got him on the wall and I’m admiring his beauty.’”