18 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 01/13/2009
Posts: 46
Sheep Hunting

Is there any place in the US you can get an over the counter tag?? Its my dream to hunt sheep some day and most states its a slim to none chance of ever getting one.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Sheep Hunting

In the lower 48 you can get a tag for Montana's unlimited zones. Those are units: 300, 301, 303, 500 and 501.
There are a lot of catches too. The hunting success is terrible, the sheep density low, so is trophy quality and access. Plus you have to check in frequently to make sure the quota hasn't been met, which sometimes happens on opening day. And you can't put in for a limited unit, then buy the unlimited tag when you don't draw. You have to declare that first.
It's not a secret, but there's a reason few people attempt this hunt.
Your best bet is drawing Idaho. It's between 10 and 20:1 in most units, which means you actually stand a chance of drawing within the next 10 years.

Alaska is a much better bet for a tag and harvest, but you have to hire an outfitter, and I sure like Bighorns more than Dall's.

Oh and Montana has ewe tags, where the draw odds are better than 50% in a lot of units. I know it's not the same, but it's something.

Offline
Joined: 01/13/2009
Posts: 46
Sheep Hunting

Thanks unless i toss down some big money i dont think its gonna happen ever, i guess i can always hope to win the lottery someday

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

hey exbio, how much do you know about the Montana unlimited hunts? I have my eye on those hunts from time to time. I know they are tough, but so was Idaho.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Sheep Hunting

I wish I had known more about them when I actually lived there. I never looked into where the unlimited units were until I left. Turns out I've actually hunted in some of them. Never seen a sheep in any of those units though. I was under the impression that it was totally inaccessible country until I realized I'd already been there. But who thinks that going on a sheep hunt is possible while they are still in college?
Anyway, I kick myself for doing that now.
If I were to guess, I'd bet that the Salmon River Country in Idaho is worse than Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth Country (the 300 series sheep units area there). However, there's not a lot of sheep in these units, and it's big mountains, not river canyons, which makes sheep habitat a little more limited.

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

... hey, thanks for the reply. The interesting thing about sheep is that even if you are in country, they are a different kind of creature to look for. (You probably already know that). The Unlimiteds still intrigue me. If I can carve out some time and $, and if I can get into premimum phys condition - maybe I'll go for it.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Sheep Hunting

I'm tempted to give it a whirl in the next year or two myself. Not this year, but maybe next.

Offline
Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunting
mrklean wrote:
Thanks unless i toss down some big money i dont think its gonna happen ever, i guess i can always hope to win the lottery someday

I'm learning that money comes and goes (and is presently gone). If you wanna do something in life, do it anyway.

If you think it's never gonna happen, it won't. If you think it can - it just might!

I think I could be ready for the Montana Unlimiteds in a year, maybe two. This year might be rushing it a bit, ... but nothing is impossible.

Offline
Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Sheep Hunting

Serious Hunter..................you are absolutely right. People seem to want to wait until setting aside the sum of money needed for their special hunting trip is relatively easy to do. Life rarely works like that and it is always easy to find something else that takes a priority over it.

Family and their needs will of course come first and that is as it should be, but if you never actually commit to making things happen..........they won't. It also sometimes requires giving up some of the day to day luxuries you like to set aside that cash and if you are not willing to do it and simply do not have the will power then again all you will ever do is dream about that hunt.

I have seen way to many people I know put things off and say I will do it later. For some later never comes, for others medical problems crop up as they age and even if they have the 'coin' and the desire, they are no longer physically able to do it.

Lastly, things never get any cheaper.......it just keeps going up as the price of operation increases and availability for a lot of species decreases or disappears entirely. Not to mention political issues and government instability which can severely restrict access or preclude it entirely.

When I am no longer physically able to do a lot of things, I am not going to be one of those guys who sits back and wishes I had done a lot of things and didn't. There are always hunts beyond our personal economic means, but many things are achievable and the only thing that prevents them from happening is a lack of motivation and the drive to make them happen. If it is attainable and you don't do it, it is because you simply didn't really want it bad enough.

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

Flat broke, in debt ... BUT LIVIN' THE DREAM!

Offline
Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Sheep Hunting

Oh I know the feeling............my first sheep hunt, an un-guided do it yourself hunt, took me four years to save for. At the time I was a new Dad, new mortgage, vehicle payments. Cry It took some doing, but with a like minded buddy who came along we split the costs and pulled it off. It was a backpack hunt. We chartered a float plane to fly us in to a small lake and then humped it from there. We ate a lot of trout, spruce grouse and ptarmigan on that ten day hunt.

It was a lot of fun.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
SHEEP HUNTING .......... STONE SHEEPweber406/05/2004 11:29 am
Sheep hunting magazinetrouthunter006/15/2004 10:34 am
Great Taxidermist!! For Sheepjraper108/31/2005 18:01 pm
quotes about sheep or sheep huntingrobert wand908/07/2006 13:52 pm
Brown Bear/Dall sheep hunt swapTreemantwo007/15/2006 15:28 pm