Nebraska Bighorn Lottery Winner Bags a Ram

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David Janssen of rural Hastings, took a full-curl bighorn ram at Peterson Wildlife Management Area southwest of Fort Robinson State Park on Dec. 11 to fill his 2008 Nebraska bighorn lottery permit.

Janssen took the ram with a high-powered rifle on the second day of the hunt. He was accompanied on the hunt by wildlife biologist Dean Studnicka of Crawford and Todd Nordeen, district wildlife manager in the Commission’s Alliance office. Biologists said the ram was approximately seven years old.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners authorized the issuance of one bighorn permit -- a lottery permit -- for the 2008 bighorn season. Janssen's name was drawn from a barrel containing 1,357 bighorn permit applications at a Commission meeting in Beatrice on Aug. 29.

"The lottery permit, which was made available only to Nebraska residents, is the first bighorn permit issued since the last bighorn hunt at Fort Robinson three years ago," Nordeen said.

"The bighorn hunt is an extremely rare opportunity to hunt for a trophy bighorn," Janssen said. "But the real story of the hunt for me is the work everyone is doing to bring the bighorns back to their historical ranges, here in Nebraska and across North America."

Once native to parts of Nebraska, bighorn sheep were reintroduced in the Pine Ridge in 1981 and to the Wildcat Hills in 2001. Significant disease losses in the both areas during the winter of 2004-05 resulted in bighorn hunting season closure in 2006 and 2007.

Funds raised by the sale of bighorn permits are used for the Nebraska bighorn sheep management program.

Additional information on Nebraska's bighorn sheep is available on the Commission's Web site at