Montana, 2009, DIY, Public Land
“Ram! Right there on the skyline!” Waylon, my good friend, steadied his binoculars and I heard my favorite words. “He’s a shooter!”
It was week nine of chasing rams, and my hunger to grab a set of sheep horns was growing out of control. I lost count of how many rams we had seen as I kept searching for the perfect ram that had everything. I wanted mass, 40-inch horns, a drop below the jaw, curl above the nose, and heavy, broomed tips that flared. Yep, I had my work cut out for me.
Eleven years ago I saw my first ram when my cousin, Brian, harvested a massive ram that grossed 190 inches. Brian caught sheep fever that year, and he in turn gave it to me. A decade later, I was fortunate enough to draw a ram tag. I had heard many stories of hunters who were 60 years old and still had never drawn a sheep permit. At 28, I couldn’t ask for more.
Brian was step for step with me for eight weeks in 2009. We took pictures, video, and practiced stalks on every ram possible. Opening morning we found a honey hole for rams. Every time we hunted it, we saw different rams. One group had 14 nice rams in it. Brian was so fascinated by these local treasures that he would literally look at the same group of rams for hours through his spotting scope. I definitely love looking at bighorn sheep, but with a tag in my pocket, if there wasn’t a shooter in the group, I was headed to the next spot. There was more than one occasion when I left Brian watching and videoing a group of rams and then picked him up at that same spot later that afternoon on my way back through.
These rams were no babies. Most of them would qualify for Boone and Crockett, and they live in some of the most beautiful country I have seen. We captured many nice photos of broken canyons and good rams as we continued on in search of my perfect ram.
For a full account of Crockett's adventure, go to page 24 in the April/May 2010 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.