Oak Creek Sheep

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
11
I was fortunate enough to draw a sheep tag this year, i've done a little scouting but i'm just curious if anyone on here is familiar with that sheep herd and what I should be looking at size wise and if there are any pictures of rams on the unit.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,132
I was fortunate enough to draw a sheep tag this year, i've done a little scouting but i'm just curious if anyone on here is familiar with that sheep herd and what I should be looking at size wise and if there are any pictures of rams on the unit.
How many points did you have? I will have 20 points this next year and have been considering oak creek or Newfoundland. Would be very interested in hearing how your hunt goes. Best of luck!!
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,132
Wow that is awesome for both of you! Keep in touch as I would love to hear if you recommend the hunt and what the quality of rams on the unit is like. Have you been seeing rams during your scouting?
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
11
Wow that is awesome for both of you! Keep in touch as I would love to hear if you recommend the hunt and what the quality of rams on the unit is like. Have you been seeing rams during your scouting?
I have seen a couple good rams, they upped the tags from 4 last year to 14 this year so I’m curioUs what it will do to the age of the rams
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,132
Wow I didn't realize the tags had increased that much - seems a little aggressive, but I don't know anything about that herd.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,020
I assume you are aware that the Oak Creek sheep are of the California Rocky variety, so they are smaller than Rocky Mountain Bighorns. Mature rams tend to be heavily broomed and short, so if you don't know sheep, you might pass up on a good old ram looking for something with length. If a Cali ram has lamb tips, it's typically a young ram and probably should be left for a future hunter.
An old ram is what I'd be searching for. Anything in the 150" range is probably a ram to consider.
I've applied for that unit, but I don't have many points. If it were my tag, I'd try to look over as many sheep as I could and find one with mass and age.
I agree if they gave that many tags it will skim the cream off the top pretty quickly, but that herd has been doing well numbers wise.
It ought to be a fun time for you and your nephew. Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

Blackie6

Member
Messages
98
Send me a message if you would like to talk. I have spent every year out there watching the sheep sense they brought them out there. Last year the rams just seem to explode and be everywhere! Awesome tag. Good luck.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,663
My buddies wife has the late tag this year. After talking to the biologist out there, and if I remember right, the herd is getting big and they were afraid of the rams dying of old age. These #'s may be off a tiny as I dont remember exactly. Something like 140 sheep on that unit and 77 are rams. And lots of them are older. So they issued more tags instead of letting them die of old age. I was happy to hear that. But we will be out there the 1st week of the hunt on Oct 31. My wife will have to be ok with that, especially if they cancelled Halloween already.
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
11
My buddies wife has the late tag this year. After talking to the biologist out there, and if I remember right, the herd is getting big and they were afraid of the rams dying of old age. These #'s may be off a tiny as I dont remember exactly. Something like 140 sheep on that unit and 77 are rams. And lots of them are older. So they issued more tags instead of letting them die of old age. I was happy to hear that. But we will be out there the 1st week of the hunt on Oct 31. My wife will have to be ok with that, especially if they cancelled Halloween already.
My 12 year old nephew has the late tag as well, so I might run into you out there!
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,132
My buddies wife has the late tag this year. After talking to the biologist out there, and if I remember right, the herd is getting big and they were afraid of the rams dying of old age. These #'s may be off a tiny as I dont remember exactly. Something like 140 sheep on that unit and 77 are rams. And lots of them are older. So they issued more tags instead of letting them die of old age. I was happy to hear that. But we will be out there the 1st week of the hunt on Oct 31. My wife will have to be ok with that, especially if they cancelled Halloween already.

Robiland - I would love to hear about your experience out there via PM if you don't mind. I am strongly considering putting in for this unit next year and have good odds of drawing.
 

edwardsc

Active Member
Messages
424
I spent an evening on the mountain with the biologist last week and talked with him for an hour. He had his rifle and was looking for a domestic sheep someone had seen that morning so he sat and glassed with us. Very nice dude. From his own mouth he said the reason they increased the tags on the unit was because he was really worried about the rams leaving the unit and coming in contact with domestic sheep and then returning and bringing pneumonia back to the unit and wiping out the herd. They flew the unit in April and did count 76 rams most of them class 3 rams. He did say there were 3 class 4 rams he thought. My daughter has the late tag and I have spent tons of time on the unit. They are scattered in really small groups across the whole unit right now. In all my scouting I have seen 2 I would let her tag. There is alot of young rams on the unit. If you see a 150 ram you better tag him. Worried about them dying of old age wasn’t even mentioned and I don’t think that’s what they are worried about with this herd. When I say class 3 I’m meaning the low end of class 3 about 6 years old. I think the future looks good. My daughter had 5 pts and drew the tag. I had 18pts and did not draw.
 
Last edited:

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,663
I spent an evening on the mountain with the biologist last week and talked with him for an hour. He had his rifle and was looking for a domestic sheep someone had seen that morning so he sat and glassed with us. Very nice dude. From his own mouth he said the reason they increased the tags on the unit was because he was really worried about the rams leaving the unit and coming in contact with domestic sheep and then returning and bringing pneumonia back to the unit and wiping out the herd. They flew the unit in April and did count 76 rams most of them class 3 rams. He did say there were 3 class 4 rams he thought. My daughter has the late tag and I have spent tons of time on the unit. They are scattered in really small groups across the whole unit right now. In all my scouting I have seen 2 I would let her tag. There is alot of young rams on the unit. If you see a 150 ram you better tag him. Worried about them dying of old age wasn’t even mentioned and I don’t think that’s what they are worried about with this herd. When I say class 3 I’m meaning the low end of class 3 about 6 years old. I think the future looks good. My daughter had 5 pts and drew the tag. I had 18pts and did not draw.


If you have 7 tags and 76 rams, and most of them in the class 3/6 year old rams, most of them will die before being harvested. Simple math shows that. Anyways, that was what he told my friend who has the tag. And think how many new rams will be born each year. I think most should realize this is not a trophy unit if you are worried about inches. For us, its a trophy unit with a chance to harvest a ram. We are getting excited.

Lets hope they find that domestic sheep.
 

mevertsen

Active Member
Messages
933
I spent an evening on the mountain with the biologist last week and talked with him for an hour. He had his rifle and was looking for a domestic sheep someone had seen that morning so he sat and glassed with us. Very nice dude. From his own mouth he said the reason they increased the tags on the unit was because he was really worried about the rams leaving the unit and coming in contact with domestic sheep and then returning and bringing pneumonia back to the unit and wiping out the herd. They flew the unit in April and did count 76 rams most of them class 3 rams. He did say there were 3 class 4 rams he thought. My daughter has the late tag and I have spent tons of time on the unit. They are scattered in really small groups across the whole unit right now. In all my scouting I have seen 2 I would let her tag. There is alot of young rams on the unit. If you see a 150 ram you better tag him. Worried about them dying of old age wasn’t even mentioned and I don’t think that’s what they are worried about with this herd. When I say class 3 I’m meaning the low end of class 3 about 6 years old. I think the future looks good. My daughter had 5 pts and drew the tag. I had 18pts and did not draw.

Why not let your daughter decide which one she wants to take?

If the biologists have concern about over population, domestic sheep, dying of old age, etc, and its a once in a lifetime tag, and the population allows for the harvest, it seems responsible to me to harvest a ram, even if it doesn't quite get to 8 plus years old or a certain horn size. California rams don't get crazy big anyway.
 

treedagain

Long Time Member
Messages
5,215
The thought is that if she kills an older ram that will put 1 more class 3 ram in the mix next year, another yr older. Shoot old and let the younger live another yr.
 

mevertsen

Active Member
Messages
933
The thought is that if she kills an older ram that will put 1 more class 3 ram in the mix next year, another yr older. Shoot old and let the younger live another yr.

I understand the premise of it.

But if there are only 3 class 4 rams and 14 tags between both hunts, the class 4 rams are obviously not there but the sheep numbers are, which they want reduced for a specific reason.

I was more questioning the thought process of telling someone (even my daughter) to not shoot a legal animal because it might not be to the standard by one or two years, which is not even available in the unit in numbers for everyone to even have a reasonable shot at.

So that animal lives, the person can't apply again, and there is still this over population problem.
 

mevertsen

Active Member
Messages
933
I understand the premise of it.

But if there are only 3 class 4 rams and 14 tags between both hunts, the class 4 rams are obviously not there but the sheep numbers are, which they want reduced for a specific reason.

I was more questioning the thought process of telling someone (even my daughter) to not shoot a legal animal because it might not be to the standard by one or two years, which is not even available in the unit in numbers for everyone to even have a reasonable shot at.

So that animal lives, the person can't apply again, and there is still this over population problem.

An example I see here in NV is the 072 bull elk.

There is a 1 to 1 bull to cow ratio. A bull tag is a seven year wait. Period. Harvest or not. And there are still people that don't kill bulls. In my thoughts, if I hunt for several days, don't see a "monster " and have to go home, I'm killing an elk if I have a shot.
Not because I need the meat, but because there are too many elk, and culling that one leaves more feed for the future.

Killing a ram (regardless of age) opens the habitat for more sheep to survive.

If the sheep are over populated and leave the unit, likely looking for food or fame, have contact with domestic sheep, and return to spread that disease, then I see a problem with that.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,020
Sheep management is a tricky business, especially new herds like this one. It takes 6-8 years for the herd to build up to the point where there are decent numbers of "mature" rams. In the mean time all the "teenagers" (class 3 rams) get horny and go looking for girls off the safe zone and bring back "sheep COVID". (Domestic sheep are like some people...they don't wear masks and get the vulnerable's sick)
It happened on the Stansbury unit a few years back. Hopefully it doesn't repeat itself.
In the mean time, all you tag holders have a blast.
Look at lots of sheep and have fun!
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,663
I do need to back track. I apologize. I did talk to my buddy last night about the sheep and him talking to the Biologist. He did say they are worried about the sheep leaving the unit or mixing with domestic sheep. I must have mixed up his story with someone else on a different subject. He did not say they would die of old age, just leaving the unit and possible mix with the domestic sheep bringing in disease. My bad! Sorry for the confusion or misleading anyone.
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
11
here’s the ram I ended up getting, he’s a 9 yr old ram and I couldn’t be more happy with him.
E4A1167E-7EEE-46BC-ADF1-944477112B17.jpeg
B1B77AA6-8D60-407C-A110-ABCEA802184A.jpeg
DC76AB26-DD3C-4227-BA3A-BE8371184F01.png
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,020
Well done Burnt Ridge! We'd love to hear more about it if you are able to share.
Any way you look at it, I'm sure it was an amazing adventure. Sheep hunts usually are!
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
11
Well done Burnt Ridge! We'd love to hear more about it if you are able to share.
Any way you look at it, I'm sure it was an amazing adventure. Sheep hunts usually are!
So kind of a cool story actually, I spent all summer looking for this specific ram as I was told he was the oldest ram on the unit. I never could turn him up and I kind of just gave up on him as there was 6 other tags and all the rams were funneling in to the main canyon for the rut. I was going after a different ram opening morning but I ran into another gentleman that was hiking up the same ridge as me going after the ram i was after so I decided to just eat my morning hunt and help that gentleman out. About 11 in the morning my friend radio’d to me and told me he found the red tag ram I was after. I had a tough decision to make though because another guy I met off of here @Blackie6 drove up to help me on my hunt and he was radioing to me saying he found a really big ram. I decided i needed to go take a look at the red tag as I had my eyes set on him all summer. I got over there and I watched him for about an hour and a half trying to make a decision on if I wanted to end my hunt or not. I had my nephews and a couple of really good friends there with me so I decided it was a perfect time. The ram ended up being a 9.5 year old ram but the memories made that day were what made the hunt awesome and made me realize that there are still a lot of awesome people out there despite what hunting has become over the past couple of years.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,020
Awesome recap BurntRidge! Sheep hunts are so rare, I think it's important to make the most of it. It sounds like you did that very well. And yes, I think most sheep hunters are awesome "despite what hunting has become". Congratulations
 

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom