My 2020 Rocky and Nelson Sheep hunts

LIK2HNT

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This year I beat all the odds and drew 2 sheep tags. A Utah Rocky and a Nevada Nelson Desert tags. This post will take me quite a while to complete, but I will try and finish it with in a week. Both hunts were DIY with by hunting partner Kevin, daughter Karen , and son in law Cody coming along to hunt. They all deserve a big thank you for all their help. Also must thank my wife Carole for putting up with my hunting addiction.

Utah first
A big thanks also goes out to MM members, and Huntin’ Fool members that contributed knowledge of the area and past hunt experiences, Brad the Utah Biolgist that meet us late Saturday evening to check in the ram so we could get out of town to beat the storm.
MM member Coby Hunt reached out to me when I posted that I drew this tag. By the time I had my maps and basic research done I realized he was a local guide in Green River. I was reluctant to call and talk to him because I felt it wierd about asking him questions when I was going to go DIY. Finally I called and explained that I was going DIY and what my plans were. He was very helpful explaining terrain, sheep movement as season progresses, and judging sheep.

This story may ramble on. I do not care about grammar, sentence structure , etc.
 

LIK2HNT

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844
Meet another MM'er that had the tag for the unit next to mine. Bill from Bakersfield CA know as rachele39 on MM. He did a great job posting his adventures as he hunted. I enjoyed our conversations whenever we meet in the field.

Also, I submitted a story to Huntin' Fool and they said they will use it in their February issue. My daughter Karen took a lot of photos and videos. I am still waiting on some of them. She has started an Instagram and Youtube sites for outdoors and hunting women. She has been posting pictures and video as she gets them edited. Check her out on Vallauri Huntress.

These hunts are something I wish I could have done in my 20's or 30's when I was in great shape. Always though that as I would get older things would mellow out in life and I would stay in good shape. But being a couple years shy of 60 and a few surgeries have kicked my butt and life just seems to get busier and busier.

Saw a lot of great country and had a great STRESSFULL hunt.

Looks like I have to figure out how to post photos again.
 

LIK2HNT

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All right, guess I have not posted photos from my laptop since the Photo-Bucket days. They come up as to large. Is there and easy way to load them where they automatically get resizes, or did I miss a post on how to do it. I really do not want to go into my laptop photos and resize everyone before posting.
Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
 

LIK2HNT

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Alright, got it to work resizing. Going to resize and get backto posting later. View of Price River east of Woodside
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LIK2HNT

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Robb that's probably the end of my slam unless I win a hunt in a raffle or move to Alaska. Good thing is, I hope to hunt sheep one or two times more in the next 10 years with all the points I have and crossing my fingers. This hunt was amazing but VERY stressful and emotional. Spent most of one day working a canyon that had a lot of sheep sign. Amazed at all the rock formations. These animals that live here are really special.

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LIK2HNT

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As the canyon narrowed there was really only one way through. As the sheep go though their hooves scape this rock as they climb.

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This was a very steep water catch. Empty now but I almost expected to see a skeleton of some animal down in the bottom that tried to get a drink and fell in. No way out once you slide in.
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The only Ram I found on this hike. Peaking down over the cliff at me.
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Even found a few deer
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LIK2HNT

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Now to where things got stressful. Up until the fourth evening I enjoyed watching sheep and really was not interested in shooting anything I saw. I was not looking for a B&C ram, just something that I liked the look of and would have that wow factor. I like the look of rams with large open curls. Then we found this ram. He stared at us from 325 yards away. Bases did not look that good and he had no wow factor. For 15 to 20 minutes he looked our way. When he finally turned I saw he had great mass, but a tight curl. Still no wow factor. Proves how little I know about scoring sheep. This was the best ram we had seen by far. We took more pictures. After awhile with everyone telling me to shoot him it finally sunk in to my thick skull. He had enough of us and got up and walked away. As he slowly made his way back into the canyon I frantically tried to find a spot to set up and shoot. By the time I found a spot clear of brush and set up he was at 500 yards and stopped. Very doable shot but he only offered a Texas Heart shot. Not the way this ram deserved to die. I laid there for 5 plus minute waiting for him to turn one last time before he moved and slipped around the ledge. My opportunity never came and the ram vanished. My mistake never really sank in until the drive to camp in the dark.
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LIK2HNT

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That night at camp I kept looking at the pictures we took and wishing I would of shot the ram when he was sitting there watching us. Next morning we were at our glassing spot before light. Found the ram mid morning way up top where we could not get to it. A little after first light a side x side drove past us and stopped a few hundred yards up the road. Latter when I talked with him he said he was a guide for Wade Lemon and he had a client waiting in town. He also said they have been trying to get this ram for a couple of years. The ram stayed up top all day. With couple hours of glassing light left in the day we left the ram and went to check out a canyon we had not glassed yet.

Next morning I expected a zoo around the glassing area but things were quiet. Found the ram working his way down but lost him in the rocks for a short time. A little while latter the side by side came by and up the road. Latter he came back down and said they were giving up for the day. After he left we moved to getter view and position for a shot. This time I thought I had time with no one around. We spent to much time trying to figure out how to recover the ram once I shot it. Finally I set up dialed the scope in and was about to shoot when a rifle shot rang out and the ram fell. Watching the ram fall in my scope with my finger on the trigger was an unbelievable low.

The guides and client were about 200 yards under the ram. Neither of us knew the other was their. We went and talked to the other group and congratulated them. Now it was about 10:30 am and I wanted to hurry down to the canyon we glassed last night before dark to see if the ewes we saw in the canyon had picked up a ram. Found the ewes quickly and saw the WOW factor I was looking for. Talk about luck.
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LIK2HNT

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Rushed to get the raft in the water, Crossed the river to a large island and shot around 1:30 pm. Had to carry the raft over our heads a couple hundred yards through the sandy, rocky, willows to get to a place we could safely raft the kids across and hike up to the ram. 2 hours latter I was able to put my hands on this beautiful ram.
left to right
Karen (my daughter), myself, Kevin (hunting partner), Cody (son-in-law) Team effort. Very thankful for all their help!!
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Hopefully have more tonight or tomorrow morning
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
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1,324
What an awesome ram and experience LIK2HNT! Thanks for sharing with us. I have 20 RM Bighorn sheep points, so I am getting closer and could potentially draw a couple of the Cali Bighorn units, so it is fun to see the details around your hunt.
 

cowhitey

Active Member
Messages
151
Great Ram! Thanks for sharing the story.

BTW was the first ram the client shot better than this one? Looks like you may of got the bigger ram in the end?
 

treedagain

Long Time Member
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5,345
Great ram and story, what an adventure. That live pic is pretty damn cool. I have some of the rams I have taken and I look more at them than the harvest pics. Congrads on a hunt of a lifetime. Now lets hear the next! Nevada desert is an adventure in itself.

I thought the guides were done for the day?
 
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LIK2HNT

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To me this ram had everything I could dream of. Mass, large open curl, and horn length.. 17 inch bases, long horn measures 40 1/8", short horn was 36 4/8". When we walked into the DOW office with the skull the biologist's eye's lit up. He was excited and wanted to score it after we checked it in. The ram has an unofficial gross green score of 188 0/8" and should net about 186" which according to a few people should place it in the top 10 ever killed in Utah. If it did not broom off 5" on one side (which looked freshly broomed) he would of been in the low 190's.

The drive home was also exciting. Kevin and I had tags for deer in Colorado also, so once we broke camp he headed to Colorado. Karen and Cody loaded their truck and equipment trailer and followed me and my enclosed cargo trailer. From Green River to Spanish forks was crappy weather and terrible road conditions. Can't believe all the deer on that road, both dead and alive. they stayed a little way behind me and every time I saw a hazard (deer on the road, ice, etc) I would tap my brake light a few times to warn them. Neither of them have driven in snowy weather before. Everything went pretty good on the way back to California until just out of Wells NV.

The hill west of Wells was pretty icy. I started tapping my brakes to warn them about half way up the hill. By the time I crested the hill I was going under 40 mph and could see their headlights a ways back. A little ways after cresting the road was all ice and my trailer decided it wanted to be in front of my truck and pitched me sideways. Luckily it only made it half way there and I was able to straighten everything out. Now I started to worry about the kids. I kept looking for their headlight, yet none were coming over the crest behind me. Now I was doing about 5 mph and frantically calling them over and over with no response. When I finally got through to them I found out they had hit the ice at the bottom of the hill and got spun around backwards and were sitting in the center divide facing Wells. Luckily no real damage done. I found a place to turn around and we meet in Wells to wait for the sun to come up and thaw the roads. Rest of the trip home was uneventful.
When in Wells I took a picture of my passenger for this trip.
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Will get pictures from my daughter this weekend and combine with mine to add to the Nevada hunt story next week.
Thanks everyone for the complements. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas
Bill
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
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4,130
Wow 17" based rams don't grow on trees...or almost anywhere for that matter! Congratulations on an outstanding trophy. It sounds like you made a lemon (ram shot out from under you) to the best lemonade ever!!! Merry Christmas
Can't wait for "the rest of the story"!
 

LIK2HNT

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OK lets finish this
After the first hunt, three weeks being slammed at work and getting everything at work and home lined out for the second hunt, I was beat. I wanted this hunt to be an enjoyable stress free DIY hunt. Goal was to enjoy the hunt and shoot a ram that I thought was pretty. No concern about score, No waiting to the last minute for a monster.
Once again I was accompanied by my friend Kevin, Daughter Karen, and son in law Cody.
Few scenery pictures
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Karen & Cody
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Sheep were found from the lower flats to the top of the ridges. The ones in the flats were like glassing for mule deer .
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LIK2HNT

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These are the rams from the previously posted video. About a mile and a half away. The one laying down above and to the left of the 4 rams working out their picking order caught my eye. None of the other rams would bother him. There was another ram off to the far right that was equivalent to the one laying down. They were about three quarters of the way up the ridge. We tried to make a stalk, but at 800 yards we had to cross a small area and the sheep saw us and worked their way to the top.
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Spent until dark trying to find a way up to the sheep with no luck. Next morning found us in the same area glassing up the ridge to find the sheep. We found the sheep way up top and that was where they wanted to stay, so mid day we hiked back out. After a little map research and glassing up canyons we finally found what we thought would be a way to access the top from the other side of the ridge. The kids were tired from the mornings hike in and out and went to glass another area as Kevin and I started hiking up in 20 plus mph winds. Once on top the wind was really blowing. With in 20 to 30 minutes after getting to the top we spotted the group of sheep and snuck to within 250 yards at which point they busted us. The 2 rams I liked were staring at us and I figured the first one to offer a shot was going home with me. The one that was laying down the day before turned first and I fired as soon as the ewes behind him cleared.
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Once again we got it cut up and loaded in the packs, hiked out in the dark and got back to camp late.
Next morning we slept in, checked in the ram at NDOW, and relaxed. That night we BBQ'd the backstraps. This ended up being one of the most enjoyable hunts we have had in a long time. There are bigger sheep on the unit, but this hunt could not have turned out any more relaxing and enjoyable to me. Unless I was retired and did not have to go back to work. Hopefully I can draw another sheep tag or two before I can't climb these hills any more. Can't thank Kevin, Karen, and Cody enough for all their help. And a special thanks to my wife for putting up with my hunting addiction. Thanks for following along.
Bill
 

rachele39

Member
Messages
73
Well done Bill! Thanks for sharing your hunts with us and it was a pleasure meeting you all. Look forward to seeing it on Vallauri huntress if your daughter posts it.
The other Bill.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
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4,130
For most of us, drawing tags for both bighorns in one year would almost be too much of a good thing. However, with the outstanding support of friends and family, you obviously pulled it off in fine fashion. "drawing another sheep tag or two"???..wishful thinking for most of us, but with your luck...maybe!

Congratulations LIK2! What an incredible year.
For me it's great vicarious fun to follow along when someone posts like you have. Thanks for sharing.
 
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LIK2HNT

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Thanks everyone.
Littlebighorn I am just trying to keep positive. Everyone told me to go buy a lottery ticket after I drew the tags. I told them I don’t mess with my hunting luck, so maybe I still have some luck to draw another tag 😊.
Bill
 

BradA

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1,667
Wow so awesome! We’re these both nr draws as well? If they are you really beat the odds to draw two nr tags in one year! Congratulations and thanks for sharing.
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
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9,218
Like Robb said "WOW just WOW" ...and I totally agree with him.

Well done sheep crew!!!
Zeke
 

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