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In May of this year I got the unexpected surprise of a $513 charge on my credit card. I had nowhere near max points for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep on any of the units in Utah but someone has got to be lucky and I'll volunteer to be that person. I had drawn a once-in-a-lifetime tag to hunt these awesome animals.

With the rarity of these tags, I've never been on a sheep hunt before. I didn't have any clue where to start. I started talking to friends, and friends of friends, and eventually our buddies up at Strawberry Bay Marina put me in touch with someone who knows a thing or two about sheep.

Trips to the unit in June, August, and the first parts of October yielded no sheep. We kept on hearing that the sheep would show up as the hunt approached and we trusted that advice but I couldn't wait to see my first sheep and hoped each trip would be the one.

Finally on October 25th, just a week before the hunt we saw our first sheep and we kept on seeing them after that just like we were told. Even still, these things are difficult to see.

The hunt started on Halloween. Opening morning had us locating 18 sheep that had 5 mature rams with the group. We found them from a long way out but one of them appeared big enough that he needed a close look. About 3-4 hours later after hiking over two miles on the tops of cliffs, we were on top of the sheep. The rams were all bedded behind a large rock and we only got a few glances of their horns every once in awhile. Suddenly they all got up and made their way out of the draw and into the next. We only got to look at the one ram for a short period of time before he was out of view. Our window of seeing him was not long enough for us to get comfortable to take a shot but we did think that he may not have had the mass we were hoping when we'd seen him from so far away. His length was good enough but our thought was he was below average on mass. We went into the next draw that all the rams went into and they appeared to be gone. We still don't know where then went but we imagine that they dropped all the way into the bottom of the canyon and out of view to go to water. The stalk turned out to be an all day endeavor and we didn't get back to camp until well after dark.

Sunday brought a few small rams but nothing that piqued our interest enough to get a closer look.

Monday morning, same story. Another hunter that we were in communication with ended up taking a beautiful dark ram in the morning. I heard him shoot so i ended up spending the next several hours helping them out with their sheep and taking pictures for them etc. Not that I was expecting any payout or my willingness to help, but it ended up getting me four more sets of eyes to help with finding sheep which were needed since the last helpers from my camp had to head home after Monday evening for other obligations at home for a few days and wouldn't be back until the weekend.

After getting his ram back to camp we had a quick lunch and went back to glassing to find a great ram.

We all spread out along some faces on Monday evening and a couple of the new helpers located some sheep from a long distance (this seems to be a common theme of sheep hunting) right before dark but weren't able to make a good assessment of the ram. We set out to the same place to look for the sheep Tuesday morning to get a closer look. We got within about 1000 yards and still thought he deserved an even closer look.

We put together a plan and and got up the draw just to the north of the sheep. As we got to the top of the ridge that separated the two draws, we were holding our binoculars on the ground with the brims of our hats and tops of our heads the only things that would have been visible on the skyline for the sheep. We were only 125 yards away. The ewes thought something was up but the ram was completely unaware as we took our time looking at him and coming to the conclusion that I needed to take him.

We had to wait him out since he was laying facing away from us. After about 10 or 15 minutes he stood up and turned broadside as he moved uphill closer to the ewes. I made sure the spotters on each side of me were ready for the shot and lined up the cross hairs where I wanted to thread the .270 150 grain Nosler Partition. With the final OK I let it fly and it was true to the mark and dropped the big ram in his tracks.

My hunt ended up with virtually every box that I wanted checked. It was an awesome experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I had to take this great ram.

I want to thank everyone who was involved with my hunt and also my wife and kids who have endured through nearly 4 months of hunting weekends.
 

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GREAT looking ram there. Well done and thanks for sharing.
 

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Very nice ram. Big congrats on a job well done. I' m headed back out to the Stansburys this weekend to try and find mine. It's been hard to concentrate at work this week!!!
 
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