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ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
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oregon bighorn

Has anyone out there been lucky enough to get a lottery bighorn tag in Oregon?

from what i've learned about the state, they have good bighorn numbers and habitat, but they do not have preference points, so getting a tag may litterally be improbable in your lifetime.

some of the statistics say your odds yearly are 1/2500. and since they have no point system, they never improve.

i'm seriously thinking about applying for this hunt, but didn't really know anyone who's done it.

i would like to hear some stories if you've gotten the tag. how's access to these areas? can you drive close to the hunting areas, like within 5 miles?

is this endeavor just a lesson in patience and futility.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
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I just started appling for

I just started appling for the sheep tag. I know a few people who have been trying to draw for 30+ years and others that have hit it within 3 years. so it really is a lottery. As for as hunting goes it really depends on what type o hunt you want to do. There are only a few units that have non-res tags and i think we only give out like up to 9 non res tags a year it may be a little less. I'm going for he E john day river unit, You pretty much have to float the river for access but its not to expensive to rent a raft. The John day unit has the largest sheep population in the state and has the best trophy potential. The hunts in NE oregon will be a rough and rugged mountain style hunt and no you wont be able to drive to the hunt areas atleast into the good areas, you might get within 5 miles. In the centeral oregon units its more of rolling hills and canyons, more open country, You can go the the ODFW website to see where the non res tags will be and you have till may 15 the apply  for this year.

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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hopefully, i'll be able to

hopefully, i'll be able to have a decent boat to float the river with by the time i get the tag. I believe the john day unit was the one i was going to apply for. i found a chart in a hunting mag with some of the oregon units in it, and i think it was listed highest for oppertunity and trophy potential.

i don't ask for much, but i'd like to at least be able to drive within about 5 miles of the unit boundary if not itno the unit itself. i don't expect to drive to the top of the mountain, shoot out of my truck window, drag it into the bed and go home, but i sure don't need to spend a week packing in a camp and supplies.

i kind of like the mountain hunts, but on the other hand, i'd like to get a nice sheep. i guess that kind of makes up my mind.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
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.

I should have said it  better, you can drive into any hunting unit in the state and hunt, but as any seasoned hunter knows you need to be off the roads to get a "trophy" animal, we have great access to most units. The  W john day unit will have atleast 1 nonres tag, its a great float and hunt. I havent hunted it before but i have floated it for fishing. we saw a lot of sheep. one thing to remember is you'll see about 30 rams a day just dont shoot the first one because the better rams are father down the river. Oregon has probaly the best sheep hunting in the lower 48. in 2010 2 190 class rams where taken, the size of the animals seem to be getting bigger and better every year, another great hunt is on the desuttes river but i dont think they have any non res tags. the john day unit has about 850-900 head and the desuttes has about 600-650 head both have great trophy potential. hope this helps, If i dont draw this year I might try the Hart refuge tag, the terrain is pretty mild and that unit has some great sheep as well. But i really want to do the flost hunt. I've had a few buddies do it and they said it was a once in a lifetime trip both got 170 class sheep.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Don't know where you float

Don't know where you float the John Day but a big drawback to it is that it is mostly private land. The public land is accessable mostly by river and you won't find much in the way of sheep on accessable public land. Twickingham almost all the way to the Columbia River is mostly private but there is public land there. I live in Wasco County, 95% private land.

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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boy, i hope they make a good

boy, i hope they make a good blm map for the gps with the john day river system on it. last thing i need to do is float a river and poach something like a sheep because i'm not where i thought i was.

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