April/May 2012 EHJ (Issue 130) - From riding in a baby backpack to standing next to him in the forest, I’ve watched my dad take some amazing animals. Every year, I’d explain to my dad how much I couldn’t wait for the day I’d be able to hunt with him. Growing up watching him and uncles take deer, elk and antelope only helped deepen my passion for the outdoors.
When I turned 13, the unthinkable happened. I looked at that drawing status and saw bighorn sheep in the successful column. My dad had taken a bighorn sheep five years before and I knew how hard these animals are to hunt.
Opening day came, and we had seen many 170-class rams, but no real shooters. School became a huge issue, and I wasn’t able to hunt all that often, but when I did hunt, it was non-stop sheep hunting. We had scouted a few weeks before season, but didn’t see anything that we could think about pursuing during the rifle season. As the season went on and my dad and I did not see any good rams, we decided to take a break because of how tiring it had become. We took about a week off and then went right back to it.
We went to an area where we hadn’t seen anything in the past, but that was about to change. We came around a bend in the road, which goes around a hill and immediately found sheep. At first, we only found two, but as we got closer, three more appeared; there were three shooters and one real nice ram. What looked to be a small climb up a hill became an almost vertical ascent up a mountain. It took about 30 minutes and we were near the top.
I was the first one to the top and as I peeked over the crest, I realized I was 20 yards away from one of the small rams. I dropped to my stomach and figured I had just blown this stalk. I signaled back to my dad, uncle and cousin come up to my position quickly. I soon figured out that that ram couldn’t have cared less that I was there. He ended up just walking down the hill a little ways.
We started to glass the tree line and right below the trees were the three rams and the one in front was the big one from earlier…and he was only 50 yards away. He was broomed off to a three-quarter curl, but was very heavy. After some time studying him through the glass, we realized that he wasn’t the ram we were looking for. However, we stalked them for about 40 more minutes and got within 20 yards of him. We backed down the hill and made our way out of the area.
A few weeks passed and those became the only three rams that were definitely Boone and Crockett rams. It was the last two weeks of the season and my dad told me that my straight "A” grades would allow me to miss some school for this coveted hunt.
For a full account of Wyatt's adventure, go to page 50 in the April/May 2012 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.