Arizona, 2008, DIY, Public Land
My epic journey began when I received a picture of an amazing desert ram only one week after being drawn. He was perfect – a specimen in his prime, down well into the curl. In the process of doing extensive research, I learned that this particular ram had been nicknamed “Headache” by one of the previous year’s tag holders. I knew that this was going to be the ram I would look for.
While aggressively scouting on November 25, we had seen many rams but not him. We scaled halfway up a mountain and noticed sheep feeding 400 yards out. We glassed them for 20 minutes and counted four rams and several ewes. As we were talking and sizing up the biggest ram, one of my buddies said, “Look at the one that just crested!”
I looked through the spotting scope, paused, rubbed my eyes, and settled back in. I couldn’t believe it. It was him! In astonishment, I shouted, “It’s Headache!”
After three days a week of scouting for six weeks, (with seven-hour round trips just to get there) and staring at pictures of him for four months, I was ecstatic. While watching this majestic animal, we noticed he was favoring his left front leg. We watched him feed and chase ewes for three hours. Sadly my time with him had run out. I had to leave due to my daughter’s junior hunt the next day. I had promised her that I would be back to take her. I left and headed for home. A promise is a promise!
I returned a few days later, hiking the same hill and glassing but couldn’t locate him. I broadened my search but still couldn’t turn him up. Determined to find him, I then went to another area and hiked and glassed until sundown, but found nothing - not one ram or ewe! Needless to say it was a very long night. The next day, I went back into the area where I had last seen him but again the area turned up empty. As the worry quickly replaced the excitement, I decided to move once again.
For a full account of Arthur's adventure, go to page 36 in the April/May 2010 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.