Barbary Sheep and Mule Deer Illegally Hunted in Southeast New Mexico

Department Officer Ryan Francis received an anonymous tip from Operation Game Thief in December 2021. He was told of violations involving Barbary sheep. When he shared this information with his colleagues, Officer Trevor Nygren reported that he had received text messages about similar violations.  

A Barbary sheep hunting guide was leading a hunter in the Brokeoff Mountains Wilderness Study Area. Suddenly, a shot rang out and a Barbary sheep ram went down. The poacher walked away, leaving its carcass to waste. Later, the guide heard shooting and bleating from a different group of sheep. A herd of Barbary sheep ran off and the poacher disappeared into the trees. 

Following the anonymous tip and the guide’s text messages, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officer Trent Boone discovered a Barbary sheep carcass within 100 yards of the original coordinates. He determined that the Barbary sheep had been killed within 24 hours of his discovery. A necropsy was performed, and an intact bullet was removed from the animal.  

Department and BLM Officers received further information about an additional Barbary sheep that had been illegally harvested. Working together to identify the poacher, Francis and Boone identified a suspect named Victor Corral, a local hunter who matched the guide’s descriptions.   

Corral was caught red-handed after taking a Barbary sheep and a mule deer to a Carlsbad taxidermy shop. He denied killing that Barbary sheep illegally when questioned but couldn’t produce any evidence.  

Corral’s hunting privileges were revoked for five years. He is charged with poaching Barbary sheep and mule deer in Eddy and Otero counties. Thanks to the combined efforts of organizations like the Department and BLM, poachers like Corral will always face the consequences of their actions.

About Melissa Garnett

Melissa Garnett is the Public Information Specialist in the Southeast Area for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.