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Location: Oregon
Joined: 07/02/2005
Posts: 19
On My Way

I am off to hunt sheep in the morning. I can hardly sleep, filled with anticipation. I went to the range today one last time to get comfortable with my 200/300 yard shots. Shot well, which is good, because I have a lot of shooting confidence now. I will post video/pictures when I return.

10 years applying for Sheep tag = 40$
3 months of purchase after Oregon Tag results were listed.= $2800
Family and friends coming sheep hunting with you on your once and a lifetime hunt = Priceless.

Big smile

cowgal's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Field Judging Sheep

Good Luck!!! Hope you do well. Big smile

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Location: Idaho Falls
Joined: 05/25/2005
Posts: 35
Field Judging Sheep

Good luck, I envy you having your family along. Can't wait to see results.

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Location: Oregon
Joined: 07/02/2005
Posts: 19
Wow - Words Can not describe my excitement

First the preface:

Steen Mountains
=====================
The Steen Mountains are home to an estimated 135 California Big horn sheep. 61 of which are rams. The Steens rise above the Alvord desert to a peak of 9700 feet.
Oregon allows 2 first season California Big Horn hunters during the first season, 3 during the second. 844 people applied for the first season hunt. I drew one of the tags.
You can see photos of the terrain by clicking the Steens folder from my site.

The Hunt:
====================
I packed up the motor home and drove my family to the Steens. We camped on a popular lake called fish lake. The kids (Grace 4, Ava 2, Griffin 6months) fished, hiked and enjoyed the scenery. My hunting partner brought his family along too. I also recruited my brother-in-law and another hunting buddy. We brought a long a family friend, Barry H to be camp cook and take care of the families while we hunted. We started each morning with an alarm buzzing at 4:00am. We would make the 6 mile drive to the top of the Steens and begin our moon light walk to glassing areas. We walked long and hard opening day, and found a few rams and ewes but no shooters. We arrived back at camp at dark physically and mentally drained. We decided to take a 2-3 mile walk for the second day of the hunt. This was a lot shorter of a walk, but still did its toll on our feet and bodies. At dusk on Sunday night, my hunting buddy, Sean spotted a couple of rams on some insanely steep rock cliffs. It was getting dark fast and no chance to get a good look or put on a stalk. We decided to head there in the morning. My brother in law spotted the Ram around 8 the next morning. There were 6, one heavy horned and heavy broomed ram. I decided to go after him. The stock would take place on a location I thought might not be possible for me to get to them. We planed out the stock to come in about 30 yards above them on a sheer cliff. This was our only chance, they would see me any other way. I started the 2 ½ hour stock, which included pulling off my boots and walking in my socks to help avoid rocks falling down and spooking them off. At last I was there, but I could only see the young rams from the top of the cliff. I was about 20-30 yards straight above them. I could not see the one I wanted though, and when I leaned over I was casting a shadow that they could see. I decided to belly crawl out to the edge and try to attempt a crazy shot. I could not put the gun in a good shooting position so I had to risk it and lean a little further out. I had him now, in my scope. Just then I noticed the other rams saw me. It was now our never. I remember my bow hunting rules and aimed low on the bedded down ram because of the extreme angle. I was lucky there, but I hit him high but perfect. He never even got up from bed. My buddies were screaming “nice shot”. From 500 yards on the other side of the canyon. It was over, wow what an experience. We packed the thing out up the extremely steep terrain and enjoyed the families meeting us with food and praises when we showed up at camp. We snapped a few photos, and my girls gave the ram a few kisses.

We checked him in at ODFW and he scored almost 156. Good enough for Oregon Big Game Record Books for the California rams. He was 5 ½ years old and measured 15 ¼ at the base with only a ½ inch of deductions.

His full measurements were:

Base 15 ¼ and 15 1/8
First quarter 14 and 14 1/8
Second quarter 12 and 12 ¼
Third quarter 8 3/8 and 8 3/8

Length of horns were 29” and 26”

You can find pictures out on http://www.theraperfamily.com

I have video of the stock and the passing of the sheep if anyone would like, just let me know and give me a few days to scale it down to a manageable size.

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Offline
Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Field Judging Sheep

Absolutely 100 percent totally fabulous ... CONGRATULATIONS!

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Location: Washington
Joined: 02/09/2003
Posts: 18
Field Judging Sheep

Congratulations Joel. Sounds like it was a great hunt, and nice job on the photo's. I would love to see the video of the stalk.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 600
Field Judging Sheep

congratualations on a nice ram

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Location: Idaho Falls
Joined: 05/25/2005
Posts: 35
Field Judging Sheep

Congratulations on your ram. I have a week to wait and I'll be starting my hunt. Nice to have all that help from friends and family.

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Location: Oregon
Joined: 07/02/2005
Posts: 19
Field Judging Sheep

you can see the video out at http://www.theraperfamily.com/video

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Joined: 09/29/2005
Posts: 2
some tips

1. look at the curl and make sure he's legal. of course a full curl is the best. you also want to judge the overall size of the curl since that translates to horn length. a big ram will look like you could fit a slowpitch ball through there. the horn will come down to his lower jaw. check out some pictures on the internet or in magazines and you will see what i mean.
2. look at the mass. start at the bases. if he looks heavy there, then look about halfway down the horn. if he looks as heavy there as he does at his base you can start to get excited. in any event, if he carries good mass all the way down then your in good shape.
3. Symmetry. look at both horns and at least see that hes not deformed and that both horns look approximately even.
4. broomed. the more of the horn tip that is broomed back the more length you loose. personally i would take a heavy horned animal that is broomed a bit rather than a sleek thinner horn even if it scores bettter. but that totally up to you.

chances are, that you wont be sitting there judging with alot of options. you'll be lucky to find a full curl or trophy class ram. work hard, enjoy the hunt and be happy with what god puts in front of you.

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