Gray – Giant Bighorn Sheep – Montana
The trio of Jack, Kevin and Gray got it done in the a Montana Unlimited area finding the “needle in the haystack” – the ram Jack and I photographed, and MT FW&P Sheep Biologist Shawn Stewart had been photographing (attached live photo) on New Year’s Day 2014 on winter range. I named him “my ram”
then, but he is now “OUR RAM”.
We found him on day four of season and day six in the field 30 miles from winter range in a hellish mountain range. We took him at 3:30 pm that day about 20 miles from truck and with 100+ lb packs each (Jack & Gray). we started a descent towards a trail and not our spike camp (1-2 miles away). At dark and after two hours of tortuous descent, we did a garbage bag and fire bivy thru a thunder storm night then resumed the descent the next day – six more hours through some of the worst 1-4 layer downfall, slick rock boulder fields, and jack pine hell you could imagine – each step treacherous and bone or back breaking likely with our 100 + pound loads.
We cached the sheep once we reached the trail and hiked the 3+ miles back to base camp…our spike camp still on the mountain. We met Kevin at base camp and he and I rode three horses back up to the sheep cache and then returned to base camp Friday night…we all hiked and led the horses out 13 miles the next day and reached the trucks at 3 pm and Red Lodge, MOntana at 6 pm last night to check in “Our Ram” with Shawn within the mandatory 48 hour reporting period – with 6 hours to spare.
Our spike camp is still 15 miles in and a 2.5-3 hour climb up the mountain – it includes my Swarovski spotting scope, my iPhone, tent, two sleeping bags and pads, my Sitka jacket, and stove and mess kits plus misc gear.Weather permitting, I will horseback back in this next weekend and retrieve what has not been destroyed by bears. I am canceling my planned B&C Group fly fishing trip next week. I need to be in the office. Back in the game Tuesday.
From < 1 Club to 1 More for 4 in 13 months! Who da thunk?!
Feelings blessed and so grateful for the wonder team of my sheep hunting mentor, Jack Jr. and sheep conservation mentor, Kevin – this boy is “Our Ram.” THANK YOU! WE GOT IT DONE!