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AlpineClimber's picture
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Grand Slam with a Conscious

While hunting in British Columbia we came accross 3 Rocky Mountain Bighorns that decided to make a small burn in a logging area their home.  Apparently they were transported by Helicopter and became very active in transport forcing them to be dropped just shy of their final destination in the Kootenays.  Anyone in a vehicle could visably see these Rams and several hunters including myself had tags for the season about to open.  They simply decided to reside in their new temporary home until naturally pushed up the mountain to meet their relatives.

Two days into the season, they were still there.  It seemed like everyone had the same conscious about letting these tagged animals living within 200 yards of a logging road follow natures course.  I had a tag and wouldn't even consider of shooting one them.

On day 3, the largest animal gone.  I'm sure the hunter had a tag and shot it legally.  I doubt he was hunting to put meat in the freezer or he most likely would have shot one of the smaller ones.  No one will ever know.

We'll also never know if this person was trying to get his Grand Slam completed, but it made me wonder if a true Grand Slam Hunter would consider harvesting an animal like this or a Desert Bighorn on small rolling hills in Mexico.  You have to wonder if hunters that don't go through the agony of getting to the most extreme areas these animals live even deserve a Grand Slam Award or recognition.  Getting them the easy way just seems like gratification for who has the thickest wallets.

hunter25's picture
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You made the right moral

You made the right moral choice for yourself and realize that it's not just the taking of a trophy but what goes into it that truly makes a hunt.

These are magnificent animals that I hope to be able to pursue mysrlf someday.

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Slow the Rush to Judge

I totally agree with your choice not to shoot this ram.  Besides being a "fish in a Barrel" it only looked to be about five years old.  However, without knowing what happened to it, don't assume that a hunter shot it.  Relocated to a new and less desireable area, these sheep will be prone to predation also, unless this part of B.C. doesn't have mtn lions, wolves or bears.  That logging road a couple of hundred yards away could have been the killer also, with above mentioned bears or even coyotes cleaning up the remains.  And lets not rule out the "shoot it cuz it moves" idiot who in no way can be called a hunter.

Another possibility would be a legitimate hunter without the physical capabilities to hunt the way most of us can or want to.  The year before I had a California bighorn tag, a 76 yr old gentleman, asthmatic & with a bad leg killed a fine ram with the help of his guide close to a county maintained dirt road.  I hunted for 17 days without a guide & am still boiling the unfilled tag.  I do not begrudge that old man one bit & would be first in line to raise a toast to his success, be it a beer or a cup of tea.

Critter's picture
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I agree that you may never

I agree that you may never know just what happened to that ram, weather he was shot or if he wandered off on his own.  Also are you sure that they had been relocated or did they just wander into that area on their own?  A lot of animals will make a burn area their home since there is a lot of fresh tender growth there for them to eat.  Also if the ram that disappeared happen to meet my ideals of what I wanted to shoot it wouldn't matter if he was 100 yards off of a road or 5 miles back in if I had a tag.  Granted the story of how I hiked in 5 miles and spent 10 days of spotting and stalking to take one would be great to tell but so would be the one of just finding one to shoot that was legal. 

It is a lot like the thread that is going on about "What is a trophy to you"  A trophy is in the eyes of the hunter and shouldn't be looked down on by other hunters as long as the hunt was legal and the chase was fair. 

AlpineClimber's picture
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They were relocated.

These sheep were transported from a town outside of Kimberly where they continually roamed into a residential area.  I believe there were 14 total that were transported.  One of the sheep in this transport came off the sedative earlier than expected and made it difficult for the Helicoper so it had no choice except to drop them in a parking lot at a Hot Springs Area on a main logging road.  The animals have orange identification tags in their ears and when we arrived back for our overnight in town it was the main topic of conversation of anyone who'd been hunting that week.  In a small town like Cranbrook, you are not going to drive around with an Orange Tagged Big Horn without word spreading quickly.  Especially after so many fisherman, hunters and hot springs visitors had seen it.

ndemiter's picture
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i just read an article in SCI

i just read an article in SCI magazine, i think, about a 16 year old girl and her eperiences getting her grandslam (which she started at age 14) and how "challenging" the experience was.

 

4 sheep in 2 years. kind of makes me want to puke a little.

i was really kind of irritated by the article, but i concluded on the question "what is hunting anyway?" being in the right place, at the right time, with the right resources.

 

it just so happens that her "resources" were boat loads of money.

 

tim
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ndmeiter i agree that dad

ndmeiter

i agree that dad paid the bills,but she did climb those mountains and make the shots.   some families just have more money than others. And kudos to dad if that is how he wanted to spend his money.

 

tim

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Grand Slam with a Conscious

 

The title of this old thread rubs me wrong every time I see it.

 

Not all hunters are obsessed with record books and Grand Slams. Unless they are a seasoned meat hunter, I think most hunters will shoot the "biggest" animal in the herd, regardless of the trophy quality or "score." One of the largest bull elk ever shot in Montana was shot by a rancher who just wanted some winter meat. Those antlers hung in his barn until a friend of his saw them and told him he should have them scored. At that time, the rancher didn't even know what the Boone & Crockett club was all about.

 

Bighorn rams do not always live in the high wilderness peaks. Some of the largest horned rams in Montana don't even live in the mountains. I used to regularly hunt some of Montana's Unlimited permit sheep areas. On my way home from one of these hunts where I had packed miles back into the wilderness peaks and had not seen a trophy ram, I had to almost lock the brakes on my truck to keep from hitting several bighorns that were crossing the highway to their evening drink in the river.

 

Not all hunters are physically able to get into and to hunt the extreme areas that sheep sometimes inhabit. After applying for a sheep tag for many years, a friend's 80 some year old and crippled father finally drew a ram tag. He was then fortunate enough to kill a beautiful old ram than had come down to its winter range that was only a few hundred yards off a county road. This man had hunted Africa and killed "the big 5" before most of us were born or were still in school, but until the day that he died, one of the trophies that he was the most proud of was that bighorn ram.

 

Years ago, I thought nothing of putting on a backpack, grabbing my rifle, and heading back into the wilderness by myself to hunt sheep, goats, or elk. I have many great memories of those hunts, and I am very proud of each of those animals every time I look at those that are mounted on my walls. But now I'm getting to an age that every year when I fill out my applications for mountain goat, bighorn sheep, or even moose, I think to myself "If I draw this tag, can I still climb to the top of those mountains?"

 

I guess the point of my response is that I don't think "Conscious" has anything to do with the disappearance of the ram mentioned in the first post. Game managers set hunting unit boundaries and in most cases they specify the sex and size of the animals that are legal to hunt. Biologists put collars and colored ear tags on many animals. These collars and tags may remain on those animals for years. Free range animals regularly travel throughout that unit. The bottom line is, any legal animal inside that unit boundary may be hunted.

 

We also don't know what happened to that "missing" ram. Did another hunter legally shoot him then take him home without parading him through town? Did a bear, lion, or wolf kill the ram? Did the ram simply wander off to the next mountain?

 

I think too many hunters are too obsessed with Slams. Fifty some years ago, Grancel Fitz coined the term "Grand Slam" for the four species of North American sheep for a magazine article that he wrote. Today, we have grand slams for just about every species that has more varieties than one. Recently I even saw a fishing show on TV where the anglers were making a big deal about catching the grand slam of trout in some river. Whatever.

 

And how does 'where an animal is hunted' determine the recognition of that animal? Does a ram that I shot on a DIY, solo, backpack hunt many miles back in a Montana Wilderness Area deserve more recognition that the ram that my friend's 80 year old, crippled father shot near a county road? Does a ram killed in a Wilderness Area by a wealthy guided hunter whose guide did everything for the hunter except squeeze the trigger (and many even tell the hunter when to squeeze) deserve more recognition than my friend's father's ram?

 

We each have our own ethics that we live and hunt by.  The various states and countries determine and set their hunting laws and regulations.  What’s legal in one state or country may or may not be legal in another.  As hunters we can each hunt by our individual ethics as long as they meet the laws and regulations of the state or country where we are hunting.  We don’t have any right to impose our individual ethics on other hunters as long as they are hunting within the laws and regulations of the state or country where they are hunting.

 

 

 

tim
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Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
very good post

buffybr wrote:

 

The title of this old thread rubs me wrong every time I see it.

 

Not all hunters are obsessed with record books and Grand Slams. Unless they are a seasoned meat hunter, I think most hunters will shoot the "biggest" animal in the herd, regardless of the trophy quality or "score." One of the largest bull elk ever shot in Montana was shot by a rancher who just wanted some winter meat. Those antlers hung in his barn until a friend of his saw them and told him he should have them scored. At that time, the rancher didn't even know what the Boone & Crockett club was all about.

 

Bighorn rams do not always live in the high wilderness peaks. Some of the largest horned rams in Montana don't even live in the mountains. I used to regularly hunt some of Montana's Unlimited permit sheep areas. On my way home from one of these hunts where I had packed miles back into the wilderness peaks and had not seen a trophy ram, I had to almost lock the brakes on my truck to keep from hitting several bighorns that were crossing the highway to their evening drink in the river.

 

Not all hunters are physically able to get into and to hunt the extreme areas that sheep sometimes inhabit. After applying for a sheep tag for many years, a friend's 80 some year old and crippled father finally drew a ram tag. He was then fortunate enough to kill a beautiful old ram than had come down to its winter range that was only a few hundred yards off a county road. This man had hunted Africa and killed "the big 5" before most of us were born or were still in school, but until the day that he died, one of the trophies that he was the most proud of was that bighorn ram.

 

Years ago, I thought nothing of putting on a backpack, grabbing my rifle, and heading back into the wilderness by myself to hunt sheep, goats, or elk. I have many great memories of those hunts, and I am very proud of each of those animals every time I look at those that are mounted on my walls. But now I'm getting to an age that every year when I fill out my applications for mountain goat, bighorn sheep, or even moose, I think to myself "If I draw this tag, can I still climb to the top of those mountains?"

 

I guess the point of my response is that I don't think "Conscious" has anything to do with the disappearance of the ram mentioned in the first post. Game managers set hunting unit boundaries and in most cases they specify the sex and size of the animals that are legal to hunt. Biologists put collars and colored ear tags on many animals. These collars and tags may remain on those animals for years. Free range animals regularly travel throughout that unit. The bottom line is, any legal animal inside that unit boundary may be hunted.

 

We also don't know what happened to that "missing" ram. Did another hunter legally shoot him then take him home without parading him through town? Did a bear, lion, or wolf kill the ram? Did the ram simply wander off to the next mountain?

 

I think too many hunters are too obsessed with Slams. Fifty some years ago, Grancel Fitz coined the term "Grand Slam" for the four species of North American sheep for a magazine article that he wrote. Today, we have grand slams for just about every species that has more varieties than one. Recently I even saw a fishing show on TV where the anglers were making a big deal about catching the grand slam of trout in some river. Whatever.

 

And how does 'where an animal is hunted' determine the recognition of that animal? Does a ram that I shot on a DIY, solo, backpack hunt many miles back in a Montana Wilderness Area deserve more recognition that the ram that my friend's 80 year old, crippled father shot near a county road? Does a ram killed in a Wilderness Area by a wealthy guided hunter whose guide did everything for the hunter except squeeze the trigger (and many even tell the hunter when to squeeze) deserve more recognition than my friend's father's ram?

 

We each have our own ethics that we live and hunt by.  The various states and countries determine and set their hunting laws and regulations.  What’s legal in one state or country may or may not be legal in another.  As hunters we can each hunt by our individual ethics as long as they meet the laws and regulations of the state or country where we are hunting.  We don’t have any right to impose our individual ethics on other hunters as long as they are hunting within the laws and regulations of the state or country where they are hunting.

 

 

 

 

very good post

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