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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never sheep hunted before but realized what a special opportunity I had in front of me when I finally drew my OIL California Bighorn sheep with 21 points on the Newfoundland Mtns unit in my home state of Utah.

Back in June I was able to join some of the presidency of the Utah Wild Sheep Foundation and the Utah DWR to build a new water guzzler for the sheep on my unit. Such a cool experience to see the unit from a helicopter and to give back in some way to a resource I would be taking something from.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My hunt started on October 29th, but I didn’t plan to start hunting until November 4th. In hindsight that was not a good choice. We had some major weather move in with wind, precip and cold temps that made hunting very difficult and the sheep seemed to hold up high and were not real active.

Weather also made camping rough. We stayed in a wall tent with a wood stove, which was very nice, but one of the days, the wind was so fierce that it ripped the tent stakes out of the ground and flipped our tent over, exposing all of our sleeping bags, cots and gear to rain. Not good, but just adds to the adventure! We were able to dry things out enough to survive the cold temps.

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Tent after the wind 😳
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We found sheep and rams every day but the bigger rams were in difficult locations for stalks and weren’t showing a lot of rutting behavior. The wind and weather was keeping them high on the mountain. Finally on Friday, we had a sunny (don’t mistake that for being warm 😂) and wind free day and started seeing sheep lower on the mountain and more active. We found a group of ewes very low and then spotted a good ram all alone. He was a bit higher up the mountain, but worth going after so we put a game plan together and I started my stalk.

As I was working my way toward the first ram, I spotted what looked like sheep much closer with the tell-tale white “long-john” rumps popping in the early light. I pulled up my binos and sure enough it was a good ram with six ewes. They were about 200 yards away but there was a nice rise between us that would give me some cover to get even closer. I worked my way to that rise and the sheep continued to mill around and do their thing. Once I got to the top of the rise, I took my backpack off and readied my gun. The ram was under 150 yards slightly quartering away when I touched off the bullet, which found its mark with a perfect heart shot. He fell forward and I added two quick follow up insurance shots to anchor him, and suddenly, my long awaited once in a lifetime sheep hunt was over.

I am still processing all of the emotions and experiences of this hunt, but can see clearly how guys can become obsessed with hunting sheep. Such a cool and unique experience from other types of hunts I have been on. Really grateful to have an opportunity to experience sheep fever!!

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All of it. Hiking is terrible without a gun or rod in my hands.
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That's awesome. So how much does a ram weigh? How much meat do you get off of one?

You were in some pretty rugged, desolate, and dry country for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's awesome. So how much does a ram weigh? How much meat do you get off of one?

You were in some pretty rugged, desolate, and dry country for sure.
Body size was pretty similar to an average mule deer I would say - they are a bit stockier and lower to the ground than a deer. I am guessing he was around 200 pounds on the hoof.

The Newfoundland Mtns are a crazy place and so desolate - it is actually a little unnerving, especially when it is wet and muddy and you aren't sure if you will get stuck in the salt flats mud out there. The place is very unforgiving in all aspects. I won't miss the ~25 miles of crappy causeway road along the railroad tracks out there that is for sure!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Congratulations. Great looking Ram.
May I ask why your drilling a hole in the horn? Testing ?
Thanks! Most states, including Utah, require that you check in a harvested ram within a certain time period . Part of the check-in process includes the DWR drilling the horn and inserting a metal plug with an ID # on it that they record to show a legal kill.
 

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Sounds like a great experience and congrats on a great ram! How cool to get to see your hunt area from a heli too. How did you swing that ride??

I have been looking at the Newfies for my wife’s hunt in the near future, but with the DWR’s new management strategy to manage for lower age class rams (younger rams wander less decreasing the likelihood that they’ll wander too far and find some domestic sheep to go get sick on), I’m looking at the Oak Creeks now. I’ve heard the horror stories about that causeway road.

I was trying to figure out the age on your ram. Is he 5.5 or 6.5? I’m maybe seeing another line on his horns but can’t tell for sure.
 
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