Two Once in a Lifetime Tags Filled

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Matt McColly drew out two once in a life time tags this year, a feat that has never taken place in Oregon before. One for a Rocky Mountain Goat and one for a Bighorn Sheep. Matt became well known across Oregon after the feat, his odds of getting both these tags was 1 in 108,277. Matt kept quiet though as the season approached, because he did not want to say much and then get skunked.

The two hunts were not alike at all. He went with his father Dennis McColly, John Williams and Doug Mitchell. For the opening day of the bighorn hunt they headed to Sheepshead Mountain and spent 4 days in 90 degree weather searching for the bighorn sheep. On the fourth day they went in 20 miles by ATV to an area near Bone Creek and then hiked a couple more miles. Dennis and Mitchell were spotting, Matt and Williams were getting closer to a group of six rams. Matt aimed his Winchester Model 70 Classic 7mm Remington Magnum from 250 yards and fired twice. Dennis and Mitchell could not see the rams, but they did see Matt and Williams shaking hands - so knew that the first part of the hunt was filled.

Fast forward to the goat hunt, the weather was drastically different. They lost one day waiting out a storm and decided to try the north end of the Elkhorns. The party consisted of Matt, Dennis, Mitchell, and this time Dan Smith who is a taxidermist. Smith was brought along in case a trophy mount needed to be prepped. The group approached the hunt from a different direction than most other goat hunters, and on their first day were rewarded with a view of 12 goats. One they nicknamed the Volkswagen due to his large size. They decided the next day they would split and compare Volkswagen with the other goats. That ended up being the day they stayed at camp due to bad weather. The next day Mitchell and Dennis were the eyes and helped Matt and Smith on a four hour stalk of Volkswagen and another larger goat. After four hours Matt was within 100 yards, and was able to take down Volkswagen's companion who ended up being the same size if not larger.

Now Matt can tell anyone what tastes better; goat or sheep, and also be proud of a season well done. From


Retired2hunt's picture

  Congrats to Matt McColly! 


Congrats to Matt McColly!  That is an awesome chance happening in the first place to receive the two once-in-a-lifetime draws while also getting his deer and elk draws at the same time... and then an even greater happening to fill the two primary tags with two great animals in a goat and bighorn.  I like the goat picture very much.  Sure would like to see what the bighorn looked like.  I searched the internet but could not find any picture of the other animal.  Being successful with an elk harvest as well definitely puts the icing on the cake so to speak.  Not harvesting a deer would be a disappointment but certainly not a draw back on the entire year of hunting as a whole.  I think I would have bought a lottery ticket as well if I had drawn those two tags and then had filled them. I just started my preference points on a moose.  This next year I am adding the bighorn to my preference points so someday I could possibly win these draws.  And if it happens the same year you just may also see my name on the winning state lottery!  One can only dream!


Ca_Vermonster's picture

I was waiting to see how this

I was waiting to see how this guy did.  Very nice, I am happy for him!  The article does not really go into it until the last page, but when the article about this guy drawing these tags first appeared here on BGH back a few months, it also mentioned the fact that he had also drawn 2 other tags, deer and elk.  Granted, it wasn't too hard to draw those, but it made for an interesting fall to say the least for this guy in Oregon.

I would like to see the photo of the "smallish" elk they got.  Also, it just says that the deer hunt was just camping in the woods.  Does that mean he did not harvest a deer?  I'd like to see a photo of him with all his mounts, from the goat, sheep, and the elk and deer, if he got one.  Truly some great animals, and a great "against all-odds" accomplishment!

Congrats to the hunter!  He was truly priviledged this fall!

GooseHunter Jr's picture

While drawing two tags like

While drawing two tags like that would be awesome.  I at the same time would be worried about it.  You have to have some great info on the area you are hunting as you would not be able to scout alot for both and then to boot you have to be able to have all the time to get the hunts in.  Soundslike he had some great resources to help him complete what is truly a great year for any hunter.  Congrats to the hunter and to all the guys that help it get it done.

hunter25's picture

I like to dream about getting

I like to dream about getting one once in a lifetime tag someday let alone more than that. Congratualtions to this lucky hunter for beating some unbelievable odds to get both of these tags in one year. Fortunately he was able to have the time off that he needed to pursue both of these great opportunities and fill both of his tags with very nice trophies. I get discouraged sometimes as I put in year after year but stories like this one bring my positive attitude back to the top. Thanks for sharing the story and maybe one of us will be even close to that lucky in the coming year.

COMeatHunter's picture

Now that's one lucky guy!

Now that's one lucky guy!  What a surprise to draw both tags thinking is was a real longshot just to draw one.  I wouldn't have slept for a week after hearing the news.  I don't spend money on lottery tickets either, but I might have gone down to the store and bought a few of those too.  Never know if you've got a little more luck just waiting to get used.

Even better to hear that he was successful in filling both tags.  A couple of great hunts to spend time with your dad and good friends.  

jaybe's picture

What a feat! As has been

What a feat! As has been said, not just to draw the tags in the same year (if at all), but then to have the time and resources to pull off two great hunts.

It's pretty obvious that these folks knew their stuff and had planned in advance for the time when one of these coveted tags would be in their possession.

Congratulations all around!