The hunt is in oregon. SE part of state. Steen Mountains.
We don't have a requirment for size to shoot but I am looking for a good ram. I have been scoutting a few times, found a fair amount of rams total. I believe I have found some good ones, but never closer than 800-1k yards. Hunt starts Aug 20th. I will share the videos once I get my ram, I have scouting videos now, but don't want to give up my locations until after the hunt.
The hunt is for Cal. BigHorns so something is the 160 and above range is what I am after. I know they are there, just wanted some tips on best way to judge.
Judging sheep at long distance is difficult, as there is many factors to consider regarding what a ram will score(B&C). You're looking for mass and length. Emphasis on mass because length can be deceiving with lamb tips still present. Heavy mass is usually a sign of an older age class mature ram, which will probably have broomed off. So, ideally look for heavy mass all the way out, broomed, but age and continued growth has given length back to him. That is a beautiful ram Serious Hunter killed, but the difference in score compared to a ram with the same length but broomed off, would be substantial. Try not to be fooled by how wide a ram might be, you do not get credit for width, but they look very impressive. How deep of a curl is more important, as this translates into more length, which you do get credit for. One other thing I will mention is bighorn sheep are all magnificent animals. That you are happy with whatever size ram it is, is most important. Regardless of what it scores B&C. If you decide a ram is the one you want and are able to kill him, great. You'll have no regrets and appreciate having just had the opportunity to hunt them. I hope you have a great experience. Good luck.
Well said. I am looking for a sheep that looks great on the wall. I imagine the sheep I harvest will be a true treasure to me no matter the B&C score. I will update you all with my pictures.
BTW, That IS a very nice RAM you bagged!! Thanks for sharing.
What where the habits you picked up on for the sheep. I have found that they tend to bed 8ish in the morning then get up and bed back down in the shade a little later. Not so sure about what they do during the evening. I mostly have seen them early in the morning.
I got the video tape done by Duncan Gilchrist "Field Judging Bighorn Rams". The quality of the video is like a home movie but the information is very good. Jack Atcheson Jr. covers basic judging and then they have 24 scenarios where you view a ram in the wild and estimate it and then they re-show it and an expert panel estimates the same ram. Lots of good info and practice. The web site is http://www.wildramhunters.net/
What I got from it, look for horns that carry their mass all the way out, bottom of the curl below the jaw line. Horn tips above the bridge of the nose. Atcheson said if you have to spend a lot of time judging the score it probably is not a B&C ram. When you see a 180 plus ram it will stand out so much that you will know it's a big one.
When placing a trail camera don't just look for a well used trail. What you want to do is look for a freshly used trail off by itself that goes from a north facing ridge, thick forest, brushy knob or some other similar bedding area to a food source. Don't forget water sources. Especially in the summer months the deer need water so look for a good trail going down too a creek surrounded by thick cover and place the camera 100 yards up from the water source.
Scent control is very important...