LAST EDITED ON Jun-12-10 AT 11:43 AM (MST)
LAST EDITED ON Jun-12-10 AT 11:41 AM (MST)
LAST EDITED ON Jun-12-10 AT 01:00 AM (MST) by Founder (admin)
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I want to start this "Quest" of mine off by first sharing a few things about myself and how this whole Stansbury sheep hunt came to be.
My interest in Bighorn Sheep hunting started in 2005, when I heard that some sheep would be transplanted onto the Stansbury Mountains. At the same time, a new unit was about to open up on the New Foundland Range. In 2006, I bought my 1st bonus point and continued buying points the next three years.
In 2010, it was announced that two tags would be available for the Stansbury unit. One would be drawn at the hunting expo in Salt Lake City in February and the other would be in the DWR draw for residents only. I put in for the expo tag, along with 29 other deer, elk, and antelope tags. I didn't draw on any of the expo tags.
I have been buying pronghorn points on and off for the last ten years, so now I have six points altogether and am about guaranteed for most units. However, I wanted to put in for the sheep hunt once again, despite the long odds of drawing the ONE tag. If I drew a pronghorn tag, I would not be eligible for a sheep tag this year. Therefore, I decided instead to put in for a high quality deer hunt. If I drew it over the sheep tag I would be just as happy. I put in for the the Paunsaugunt muzzy hunt with one point and the Stansbury sheep with four points. The odds of drawing either were long. (About 1:100 for the deer and 1:400 for the sheep.) I could not believe it when I saw my credit card statement with the $508.00 draw from Utah DWR. A few days later an e-mail confirmed I had been successful.
Now the only problem remained was how to break the news to my wife. First, about how much time I'd be spending on the mountain and second, what the expense of the hunt would be. I emphasized to her the fact that we only live 12 miles from some of the sheep--not only would this help on gas money but would insure that I could spend time scouting and not driving. I also promised her she could ride her horse to scout for me while I babysat the kids. (Maybe not a smart move on my part!) The one thing I can't compromise is that family must always come first.
In May of 2007, we moved from the Salt Lake Valley to Grantsville, a small farming town about 35 miles to the west of Salt Lake. Grantsville rests up against the East side of the Stansbury mountains. This is looking like where home will be for a long time. I think it will be awesome to look back in 20 or 30 years and tell my grandkids that I was the first one to hunt Bighorns on the Stansburys.
The first sheep I saw on the Stansburys was in Nov. 2007, while I was looking for rutting bucks on the North end of the mountains. It was a lone ram high up on the ridge about a mile away. It looked like a good one. In late January 2008, Corby and I saw some sheep on the West side of the range. We were able to get a few pictures. I'm hoping I can see these rams this year. They should be worth hunting.
Well, "THE QUEST" is on.