Thanks! I was made aware of the guzzler project by a couple of forum members on another site, so I reached out to a couple of the Utah Wild Sheep Foundation board members that were in charge and asked if I could join. They were grateful for the help and it was an awesome experience for me. The guzzler we built was in a pretty rugged area, so they flew us and the materials in to the site and we built the guzzler and then hiked back out to the vehicles.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.
I wrestled with the same things you are thinking about for your wife's hunt. None of the units with California bighorns (Newfies, Oak Creek, Stansbury) have older trophy rams. I knew I would not kill a monster on these units, but also knew it might take me 10 more years to draw a Book Cliffs tag with true rocky mtn bighorns. I opted to hunt for the experience and hope that I can also draw a Desert Bighorn tag before I am 80 years old!! I scouted each of the cali units and landed on the Newfies simply because the unit has more sheep, but it is a rugged, desolate place and the causeway road and the lower roads around the mountain range can be rough and easy to get stuck in if you get a lot of weather (which we did this year so it was a little stressful). If I were to do it over again, I think I would go with the Oak Creek just to reduce the logistical challenges and focus only on hunting. You'll likely see more sheep on the Newfies but the size and age of rams is pretty equal.
My ram is likely 5 or 6, but his bases are so smooth that it is hard to tell. The biologist that checked in my ram and plugged the horn thought 5 but wasn't sure. I sent in some teeth so should know for sure in March. He has 14" bases which is above average out there, but doesn't carry the mass all the way through the tips, which is obviously indicative of a younger ram. I am happy with him and the experience. Did see a couple rams that were bigger but they were mostly alone and cruising and nearly impossible to get close to.
Happy to talk and share more with you if it is helpful as you are deciding on your wife's hunt. How many points does she have?