LAST EDITED ON Aug-25-17 AT 05:37 PM (MST)
Sure Zeke, I believe I owe you for all of your sound advice.
This hunt took place in the Fra Cristobal mountain range on Ted Turner's Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico. Not being public land, I was allowed one weekend to scout before my hunt, and because I was in the middle of finishing my final semester for my MBA, the only weekend I had free was seven weeks prior to my hunt (last Jun 30/July 1).
I took two fellow MM brotherhood members with me (one that recently killed a 172" desert) and we first spotted this ram along with his harem and two other rams on Jun 30. We continued scouting the rest of that day and the next, and saw at least 40 other sheep, but none that looked as big as this guy.
Because of work, school, and ranch restrictions, I was not able to get back to the ranch until the day before my hunt. On the day before we spotted another 120 sheep, including one really good ram that in hindsight may have outscored mine because of better symmetry. But from just eyeballing him, he still did not look as big to me as how I remembered this ram. So we headed back to the same canyon that we had saw him seven weeks earlier, and sure enough we jumped him again, and he still looked bigger to me than anything else we had seen. Looked like he was still with the same bunch of ewes, but the other two rams were no longer around.
So I made plans to go after him specifically the next morning. Before the sun peaked over the mountain I spotted a group of sheep feeding their way up a ridge about a mile from where we had seen them the previous afternoon. I wasn't positive it was same group, but I could tell in the mix was a solo big ram, so with the wind in our favor we headed up the mountain after them. We got inside 600 yards as they fed through a saddle, and by then I could see it was the ram we were after.
They dropped out of sight, allowing us to close the remaining 600 yards and then sneak over a cliffy area that was above the saddle. When we peered down into the drainage, they were just 40 yards below, but because he was surrounded by ewes I couldn't get a clear shot. As I tried to work my way to a better vantage, I got busted, and they ran up the ridge. At about 175 yards, they stopped on a rocky outcropping to look back. At just 7:35 opening morning, that was the clear shot that I needed.
Length: 30 & 35. Bases: 15 6/8.