Contributors to this thread:
Tom Edgington - Desert Bighorn Sheep
We are sitting in the Santa Fe Hotel, and Ty Miller is downstairs getting ready to take us to Juncalito, after we stock up on groceries. Tom should be glassing for his first desert bighorn ram by mid-afternoon today....as long as I don't drive us off of a cliff before then.
I'll start the "rest of the story" upon our return from the desert......
Good luck!!! Looking forward to seeing his Ram pics..I am optimistic it WILL happen.
Best of luck to all of you, i cant wait to see how this story plays out!
Good luck! How's the weather?
Good luck guys. Both hands on the wheel, Jake.
Good luck Tom. I'm looking forward to the reports.
Good luck! Take LOTS of pictures.
good luck tom. anyone know how long this hunt will last. how many days does he have to try to get one.
Yep, Tom in PA. Good luck guys!
Very cool! Thanks for posting Jake, I will definitely be following this thread. Good luck Tom!!!
Whatever you do, don't let Ned drive in the mountains! Best of luck to you.
Enjoy the hunt Jake, put my Stealth MF44 (monofoil) to the test. Mike
He can stay till he kills one or go back, Ty is a great outfitter, good area and great support team in the field. Tom will be slaming and arrow in Del Barrachos before we know it.
Five days in the field, any word?
Has Mrs. JakO heard anything? Is she monitoring this thread?
I shot Jake a text. Have not heard anything back. Not sure if they have service there or not.
Depending on which side of the mountain...maybe? Keep us posted Rick.
any word from the guys at all.
I am waiting to see the picture fo the ram and the arrow shot into the wall !!! Come on boys!
Hey guys, Tom's son Brad here. Still no word from the guys at all, but I'm hoping for a big ram.
We're out of the desert. Let us get some rest and we'll start the rest of the story and maybe some photos as early as tomorrow.
Good luck Jake--Get it done--
Cant wait to hear this adventure!
Can’t wait to hear the story, I hope this means Tom killed a big one!!!
I have been able to download the photos to my computer. We'll try to type up a summary of the hunt throughout the day, and we'll post it tonight with a few pictures while everyone else is sleeping....that way the complete story can be posted all at once.
I can say that Ned and Tom sure were a lot of fun to hunt with......and the stories that our shoes could tell.....LOL!!
Thanks, Jake. Can't wait to hear about the adventure.
Can't wait to hear the story , hope you guys had a great time. Bill V.
Oh yea, the beer is flowing and the arrows flying in Del Barachos tonight.
JakO, you are making me mad, I am going to kick you butt then next time I see you, get the info up buddy :)
Me thinks that Jake & Company have a bad case of Tequila poisoning this AM :)
Something about a worm and a large hat!
Okay it is official, I have the details and he is holding back for sure.
We are having some challenges down here......including computer issues which have prevented me from updating the thread....I am currently using the hotel computer, not my computer which has some photos. Our biggest concern is trying to get in touch with Ty Miller or one of his people to determine the status of our next course of action. Until that priority is resolved, the rest of the story is on hold.....sorry guys.
"the status of our next course of action, Jake"
Hey Guys, does Jake sound like a politician or what? LOL, Mike
Did you get my PM....
We are not holding back....we are having computer problems....AND we cannot get a hold of Ty to determine if we should board the plane, wait for paperwork, or what. If you were OR are able to reach Ty, have him call, text, or email us so we know what we should do.......i.e. wait for Victor to return from LaPaz, board the plane or what. If nothing else, we need to speak with Antonio - Ty does not arrive until this afternoon and we need to know if we should check out and prepare to fly.....or if we need to stay a couple more days. No problem either way, but we need some input on how to proceed.
Send me a text if you have spoken with Ty, and let us know what he wants us to do.
Ahh Mexico, you got to love it : )
Last time I was in Mexico the police stole my wallet! Tom, I hope you don't have a similar experience!
The last time I was in Mexico was my last time!
What's the issue, got bandidoed? Don't want to get busted smuggling sheep over the border? LOL!
I'll tell Bigdan and Matt & Ike (sounds like the start up for an ice cream company?) to keep an eye out for you guys on the AZ border.... you might need a lift... =D
I've parked my butt on the floor in LAX next to the only 2 prong electric outlet that I can see in this zipcode. Tom is probably reading e-mails on his Blackberry, and we have about 2 hours to kill, so I'll start to post some of our adventure now...and Tom will add the specific details of his hunt at a later time. I am equally certain that the unsinkable Ned Greer will also be adding his color commentary in the not too distant future.....as well as some additional photos.
Upon arriving in Loreto, we stopped for an introductory beverage of choice at Del Burachos....a local watering hole. We got a room for the evening and the following morning Ty Miller picked us up and we started to shop for some supplies that would be needed for the hunt.
This first photo shows Tom in front of a store that sells nothing but tortillas. However, they are such a staple of the Mexican diet that they actually have a good business.
See what I mean? They don't sell much else but tortillas..... but they have shelf after shelf of them.
You know what they say about Mexico....don't drink the water. So you go to your local water purification store to pick up a few gallons (ah yes, the simple things in life that we take for granted.....)
The stop at the grocery store revealed that practically every cut of meat is cubed or very thin sliced.......and our USDA inspectors would have a coronary- A few hundred dollars of supplies (rice, salsa, various fruits, juices, meat and what not, and another stop is crossed off of the list. Now back to the hotel to get our gear and leave for camp......
Ok....one more meat photo first....don't ask me why!
The Santa Fe Hotel..... a very nice place to stay....and the stories that rooftop can tell!!!!
A quick stop at Ty's father's (Harry) house in Juncalito resulted in a picture or two of the view from his veranda....while it is zero degrees back home. What a difference a few thousand miles can make!!
Keep both hands on the steering wheel, and your eyes on the road, Jake!!
Hopefully, this photo of Tom Edgington (aka Tom in Pa) will show some of the topographical relief!!
I am trying to post a photo of Tom glassing for sheep on the first full day of his hunt and I keep getting this message......
500 Post Size exceeds the maximum limit. Post Size exceeds the maximum limit.
I'll take a break for a while and try again later.
For some reason, the forum doesn't like the photo of Tom looking through a scope for sheep on the first day of his hunt. Let's hope that it likes this photo better.....it is the general view of the mountain side from our spotting area where a 155" ram has been found and is bedded...on day #2.
This is a somewhat more reduced view, but you still aren't going to see the ram, as he is now bedded in the brush. However, at least you get a feel for the terrain that we'll get to watch Tom crawling all over......The ram is JUST above the "bump" in the lower middle part of the photo.....
Despite the best of intentions, the ram busted and Tom did not get a shot opportunity. However, the sheep did not bugger before Tom and Jorge were within 10 yards of some ewes. While a couple other rams were spotted wayyyy up high, the decision was made to leave the Agua Verde "basin" and spike out up on top.
I have promised to let Tom tell a great story that occurred as we left camp on the morning of the third day....but at least I can show a really cool photo of the moon as we headed away from the Sea of Cortez to spike out for a few days.
As we head up and out of the Agua Verde area, we began to notice that the air really began to cool, and we got some pretty thick, rapidly moving fog....which seems rather unusual for the desert....and five minutes later, it was gone....strange.
Five minutes later.....really
Anyone want to guess what this is showing? I'll give you a hint....focus on the small grayish circle just above the left end of the dead stick.....more or less in the middle of the photo.
OK, OK......one more little clue.....and NOW I know why the guides slept with their blankets pulled up tight over their heads....REALLY!
Dang It! You answered the question before I could. That looks like a pretty friendly tarantula. When the hairs on the rump are bright red, you've got an aggressive spider. The picture there shows a beautfiul specimen that I would gladly carry with me after the full curl. Tarantulas are wonderful spiders that I seem to get along with very well...as long as the rump hair isn't red.
BTW, using your stick to screw up his casa really made that arachnid vulnerable to Tarantula Hawks (a black bodied, red winged, hornet looking insect).
I was discussing the fact that we haven't seen as many sheep this year as I have seen on my two previous trips to the Agua Verde area, and the drought is clearly one reason for that, I am sure. However, I posted a photo of ANOTHER reason why the numbers may be down....and I got that "500 maximum file size exceeded" error again ....it's a picture of a puma track, but I guess that you'll just have to take my word for it. We actually believe that we saw the tracks of at least three different cats.
We didn't actually disturb the spiders home at all....that photo is from a different spider in a different place. The lid wasn't compromised. I just showed a photo from a previous arachnid to illustrate what lives in such a structure......
Our plane is preparing to board....I'll type more when our flight from LAX to Chicago touches down at O'Hare.....
Arrived in Chicago and was able to connect to Boingo, but that is all. I cannot get connected to Bowsite. Will have to post the rest upon my return home later today.
Who were your guides?
Tom, El muy loco Victor. Jorge. Trino. Charro. Good guides pero muy loco en las cabezas.
Until I have a lot of extra money laying around I will just have to keep living this through you guys. Thanks for sharing!
Here is Ned, Tino, and Charo heading into the upper part of Agua Verde (Tom, Jorge, and Victor are slightly ahead of these guys). To the best of my knowledge, few (if any) hunters have been in this area before....
This is cool. Thank you !!
Dates on your camera are off a bit Jake. LOL
When I put new batteries in my camera before the hunt, I forgot to reset the date....sorry for the erroneous date stamps.
I continue to have difficulty posting photos....I was going to post a photo of Tom shooting his bow to prepare for his next stalking opportunity and for the third time, I have gotten the following message:
500 Post Size exceeds the maximum limit. (JRUN Servlet error) Post Size exceeds the maximum limit.
Is this a new challenge since the home page was upgraded? I have used this camera previously and posted photos from it to Bowsite without ever encountering this problem before. I am wondering if I should type the remainder of the story to a word processor, and then just refer everyone to the link? I am open to any and all suggestions.....It almost looks like the maximum photo file size is 5 MBytes.....is that possible?
Regardless, at least for the next couple photos, we'll keep plugging away. The attached photo shows that Tom's accuracy at 35-40 yards is just fine. The foam block is about 7 inches wide and 10 inches high.
Must not have posted the photo with the previous text. This photo shows that Tom is shooting fine.....he just needs an animal to shoot at.....
Another neat thing that we saw in the desert....a hummingbird nest.
I flipped up a rock to sit on when I was preparing to glass and a snake was under it. I just meant to nudge it out from under the rock with my boot, so I could get a better picture of it....this was NOT the desired outcome.
looks like a harmless milk snake
NOTE TO SELF......if you are going to scout for friends that are bowhunting for Desert Bighorn Sheep, make sure that you haven't worn through the seat of your pants on previous hunts!! Normal thread only lasts so long...LMAO!!
City Hunter (Lou),
That poor snake was only 4"-5" long....we used to have lots of milk snakes where I live in western NY, but ours had more white on them. Regardless, I should have just grabbed the thing with my hand, instead of trying to expose it with my boot. Careless on my part....
TOM'S NOTE TO SELF - Dr. Scholl's dinky little oblong foot pads don't cover a hot spot as well or last as long as moleskin....OR duct tape.
While the events of this photo actually occurred earlier in the hunt, I wanted to show that Tom really did get to experience many aspects of being in the mountains.
The desert really isn't a very forgiving place.....and the drought this year really is taking it's toll. We checked this carcass for possible puma sign, but the animal appears to have died a natural death.
Everyone getting ready to sleep out under the stars....the guides all sleep with their blankets pulled up tightly up and over their head. One night, Ned had something walk across his face....he quickly brushed it away. He didn't know if it might have been a taratula, scorpion, or something else.....
I was surprised at the number of satellites that are visible at night down there. I saw about 7 different satellites one evening while I was stargazing and waiting to doze off.
Tom and Ned posing for a photo. The friendship, banter, and camp humor were just outstanding.
Up to this point in time, I have been including photos of just about everything OTHER than the one thing that many of you want to see the most......sheep.
That is about to change.....
On the third day of Tom's hunt, after one unsuccessful stalk, and a fairly lengthy walk into terra incognita, we started seeing quite a few ewes, a couple "chicos" (immature rams), and even a couple lambs.
About an hour before dark, Victor spotted two nice rams....and one of the two was exceptional. We glassed those rams for the remainder of the evening. The following day (day four), we glassed for a few hours and just could not find them. Assuming that they had gone up and over the top of the mountain, we went up and over as well....and only found a ewe. The guides thought that they might have heard something of interest, so they took Tom on a exploratory stalk....but only kicked up a forkhorned mule deer.
This is a picture of Tom finishing off some tuna fish near the top of our climb on that fourth day.
Upon returning to our previous spikecamp, we found the rams just before dark....about 400 yards from where we had seen them the previous evening. They were there the entire time!! They probably got quite a laugh as we scoured the mountains, while they rested in the shade.
Victor and Jorge watched those rams until dark....and it paid off, as they were located within minutes on the morning of the fifth day.
I am now going to post several photos....the rams are not always going to "jump out" at you. Keep looking, and I am sure that you will find them....eventually. Picture clarity should be decent for the most part, but the rams will be small in the photos. I do zoom in for one photo, and while that photo will be fuzzier, I hope that you'll understand why I still decided to post it.....
#100....I know, I know....it is fuzzier than the others. Believe me, I WISH that I could have kept the clarity of the previous photos, while zooming in to a greater degree. Hopefully, you can get a feel for what kind of animal we felt that we were looking at. What you can't tell from this photo is that length of the rams horns.....they are flare out, so the near side tip is flaring out right at the camera. I'll bet those horns are probably 35"-36" long.
The weemsi subspecies of Desert Bighorn Sheep is not known for getting as large as the mexicali subspecies. This is an exception to that rule....at least, we felt that it was.
#102 If you look closely in this photo, I am hoping that you can see Tom and Jorge in the top third of the photo (on the top of the "knoll"). The larger ram of the two is beneath them and to the left.....within 15-20 yards. (This paragraph has been edited at a later time......if you scroll down to the photos posted by BB, you'll see this picture, and another one, in greater size and detail).
I realize that it may be tough to see it well enough to know what you are looking at. If there is a way to post the photo that I can see on my computer (when I use the "full screen"), I will gladly do so.....if someone can tell me how to do it....or I will even e-mail the photo to someone, if that will help.
What a sight for Tom.......
A happy camper........from left to right..."Trino", Victor, Tom, and Jorge.
If you have ever seen the photos of Tom's gameroom and "mountain", you know that a full mount was never even a question......
Awesome! Thanks for sharing Jake!
What successful sheep bowhunter doesn't have ( or doesn't want) this type of photo?
Jake are they in the red circle area on this picture?
Congrats Tom and gang that's a great ram! Great arrow placement. Thanks for posting!
Tom and Jorge are in the right half of your red circle. The ram is below and to the left.
I used the Stealth MF 44 that you and Mike let me use. I'll be sending you guys a PM in the next day or two.
#165 The attached photo shows me holding the lens of the sheep's left eye. Can you see how it magnifies the text on the paper? It helps to explain their eyesight.
Ned's Greer's alter ego....LOL!!
Whoops...wrong photo.....but it sums up our trip!!
The bottom arrow is the newest addition at Del Burachos....where it is a tradition to shoot an arrow into the centerbeam when you have taken a desert bighorn ram!!
We would dry the cape on the roof of the Santa Fe Hotel by day, and hide it in our closet at night....only took a day or two....
Tom, Ned, and I ate the tenderloins at camp before Ned had to leave. The day after he left, I cleaned the backstrap and we negotiated with the Hotel's chef to cook them for us.....probably my finest meal in Mexico....ever (Sorry Ned, but the tenderloins were second!!).
What an outstanding meal to end an outstanding hunt with two fellow bowhunters....I just wish that Ned could have had some backstrap, too.
Life really is too short, and that is a damn shame.
Hey guys,I know that I have left the heavy lifting to Jake. I have much to say. Will try to get some thoughts hammered out tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Life is good! Reach higher and stuff happens! Congrats!
Congrats to Tom. An awesome experience.
Jake, as always, a superb job recording of the adventure. Thanks for sharing.
Wow, congrats to all three of you! What a great hunt, I can't wait to hear more details from Tom.
congras nice arrow placement how old is the ram
Incredible job guys!!! Awesome hunt recap and great shooting. Well deserved Tom and some incredible country. Is Ned going to wear that back in Iowa when he returns to work;)
Great Job Tom! Thanks for the great report Jake.
Congratulations Tom! From the looks of the pic, you could not have made a more perfect shot!
Thanks for the story Jake!
congrats to all on fine hunt and great story of camraderie and support truly inspirational
Well done Tom. Congratulations. Jake, awesome job as expedition photo-journalist. One of the better threads this season.
Looking forward to Tom's summation.
Congrats on a great ram. Thanks for the recap, Jake.
That is great!
Good luck, Robb
Great ram! Great story! Looking forward to more details. Congrats!
Well Guys I will try to see if I can give you a little more to chew on looking through the eyes of the guy who was privileged to tote the bow.
When Jake and I loaded my truck to head for the Pittsburgh airport, it was 10 degrees F. Because my typical work day finds me leaving home in the dark and getting home long after dark, the ability to practice long yardage shots was greatly constricted. The cold, windy weather did not help much either. To say that I was a bit apprehensive about my preparation would have been putting it mildly.
When we arrived in Mexico, we discovered that the prior hunter was still in the field and that we would have to cool our heels for a couple of days in town. So as one would expect, we gravitated to the famous Del Burachos bar. I got to see first hand the line of arrows sticking out of the infamous beam. Bowhunting legends by the names of FOSS, ENSIGN, GREER, FULCHER, COLLINS, FROMME, etc. had arrows proudly sticking in the beam. The pressure just got ratcheted up a notch. The people in the bar were very friendly and wished us the best of luck.
The trip to the main camp was relatively uneventful, except for the last few miles. The final portion of road, the portion that we would have to travel on everyday, gave new meaning to the word serpentine. We frequently drove past little memorial shrines constructed along the side of the road for those poor soles who failed to make the turn and went over the side. These roads did not help my motion sickness problem. It was a good thing that I had my Dramamine with me.
We arrived at camp and met the guides. My tent literally faced a small bay in the Sea of Cortez. I felt a little guilty thinking about my family back in Pennsylvania facing 10 degree temps... But only for a moment. I was hard to believe that this was a sheep hunting camp.
Well done guys,Tom congrats on a great trophy!
We headed out the first day to the portion of the mountains where Jake and several others had taken their rams. We got out of the truck and set up an area to glass. Jake and Ned both brought their scopes along. They were invaluable. The guides' ability to spot sheep in those mountains was amazing. Jake and Ned were also amazing at spotting sheep. I, on the other hand, could only find them after somebody pointed them out to me. I needed more practice.
After an hour or so, a good ram was spotted and Jorge hollered "Vamos" and we grabbed our packs and headed towards the ram.
The terrain was sandy and rocky. Rocks the size of softballs sometimes made it difficult to walk. I was glad that I had my Meindels on. The guides on the other hand, had very worn shoes. Jorge's looked like old work boots. Victor's looked like hiking tennis shoes and one shoe had a huge tear in it. Sarro was wearing tennis shoes.
We did not find that ram and spent the remaining portion of the day about a third of the way up the mountain glassing. At Jake's recommendation, I had packed a thick seat pad which protected my butt from the cactus thorns. I was surprized to see the amount of vegetation that abounded. A variety of cactus bushes - small and large existed. I had to be careful navigating the bow through the brush. I had a sling on the string to protect it from the sharp rocks.
As that first day came to end, we watched two very good rams go over the top of the mountain.
So Jake? you gonna pay for my chiropractor to fix my neck after looking at all your SIDEWAYS PICTURES??? You may be huntin fool but we got to work on your computer skills. LOL, Mike
The next day it was decided that we would spike out for a couple of nights and hunt the back side of the mountain range where the two good rams were last seen. I had not packed a very large backpack, but was able to strap my sleeping bag to it. Jake is part pack horse. He carried extra water for us as well as strapped on a piece of target foam for me to practice my shooting. We both wished we had brought different packs.
That morning in camp was a bit of a circus as we were deciding on what gear to pack and making sure that we had enough food and water.
About four or five miles down the road in the truck, I noticed how comfortable my Meindels felt that morning. Then, I looked down in shear horror to discover that, in the rush to get everything packed, I forgot to put my Meindels on and was still wearing my camp shoes. I can't tell you how hard it was to tell Victor to turn the truck around so I could go back and put my hiking boots on. Those guys just roared with laughter. Jake and Ned will never let me live that one down.
Well finally we arrived at the place where we had started glassing from on the first day - and I was ready with my boots and even remembered to bring my bow. The plan was to glass that area again and if we didn't see anything, we would get in the truck and drive around to the back side of the mountain range.
It didn't take long for a good ram to be spotted. Soon Jorge,Victor and I were headed towards the mountain where the ram was last spotted.
It probably took us an hour to hike across the somewhat sandy basin that separated our glassing area from the base of the mountain. When we got to the base of the mountain, we started to climb a dry creek. I doubt that it rains much there, but when it does, I imagine that it is a sight to see. You could see where the water had cut large ravines into the mountain. This dry ravine, lined with huged rocks, made a convenient path of attack that would allow us to get above the ram.
As we hiked along this ravine, we started to gain altitude. Jumping from rock to rock made it relatively quiet going. As we continued to climb, I started to get a bit uneasy. For those of you who don't know me, I have a problem with snakes. I maintain that I have a relay in my brain that automatically trips at the sight of a snake. If that snake has rattles, it can get ugly fast and if there is a firearm involved... well we won't go there.
Anyway, as we continued to climb, I could not help but wonder how many rattle snakes called this place home. I later found out that Jake hiked that very drainage during his hunt and they saw one. Thank God we did not.
As we continued to gain altitude, we encountered a sheer rock wall that brough a halt to our progress. Not to worry, Jorge climbed it like a spider. I was amazed, yet puzzled as to how he expected to get me and my bow up that wall. Then a rope dropped at my feet. The next thing that I know, I was doing my best batman impression climbing the wall. Soon the three of us were on top of the wall to continue our climb.
The remainder of the climb involved some hand-over-hand climbing and a few cactus encounters, but soon we were at the top overlooking the cactus and brush ladened mountainside where the ram was last spotted. I was sucking wind, but sat down in relief and somewhat in unbelief that I had made it intact.
If I live to be one hundred years old, I'll never forget our return to camp, watching Tom run to his tent and remove his CROCS and put on more more suitable "zapatos". It's been a long time since I have laughed like that.....but Tom bore the brunt of the abuse like a champion.....
As I gained my composure, Jorge pointed at my bow telling me to take off the sling and sight cover and follow him. We started down the moutainside into the brush. Unknown to us, the ram had apparently moved and immediately spotted us as we started to slowly move down the hillside. Victor had stayed back and saw the ram make a quick exit. He was not happy. I am not sure why we didn't wait until we were sure where the ram was before moving but we didn't. At the time, however, Victor was not completely sure whether the sheep he saw making a quick exit was the ram that we were after, so we continued.
Jorge started wending his way down the relatively steep hillside through the cactus brush. He was walking on all fours like a crab. He never slipped. He motioned me to follow him. I was carrying a bow. I am not graceful. The hillside consisted of loose rocks and gravel and he wanted me to follow him and to be QUIET. Fat chance man. I am too old and stiff to be graceful and that loose hillside terrain was like standing on ice. Still I tried. Damn the cactus brush and thorns. I assumed the crab-like position and started to creep towards Jorge who was about 4 yards below me. I was proceeding well and darn proud of myself when Jorge through his hand up signaling me to stop. About 20 yards below Jorge lay a "senorita" or ewe. I could barely make out its horns through the brush. I stopped. We waited. My legs started to cramp. I had to move. I slowly came to my feet to relieve the cramp. The ewe did not see me. I was feeling good but had both feet pointing down the mountain. Not a good position for maintaining good footing. All at once, both feet gave way and I did my best "two-footed punt" immitation. Now there was this cactus the size and shape of a bowling ball behind me. The cactus had large protruding thorns that each terminated in a hook. My butt could not have been more perfectly aligned with it. My butt hit it with a thud. There was pain. There was blood. Jorge looked around at me. What could I do? I gave him a thumbs up signal and never made a peep. The ewe never moved.
Jorge slowly proceeded. He was now 6 yards above the unsuspecting ewe. He was looking to see if the ram was bedded nearby. I was four yards above Jorge. My further advancement was not as graceful as Jorge's and a second ewe that we had not seen before jumped up and started staring at me. This lasted for what seemed to be a year, but it was only a few minutes. Both ewes decided that they had enough and then made a quick exit. The ram was nowhere to be found.
After some more rope work and some climbing where the "pucker meter" was pegged, we made it back to the crew just about at dusk.
Tom: Great ram. Congrats. At least you did not forget your bow! I did that the other day in a rush to get out for deer. Jake: Great job dragging the story out.
The next day we hiked into the backside of the mountain range to spike out. In an effort to not prolong this thread too much further, I will try to be a bit more brief.
The first evening that we spiked out, Victor and Jorge spotted the two sheep that are shown in the scope photos above. The photos don't do the big ram justice. We figured that the big ram would score between 160 and 170. The guides called him "muy grande". To say I was excited was an understatement. I didn't get much sleep that night. The stars were bright. I saw two falling stars, but that big ram was emblazoned on my mind.
Congratulations!!!! Looking forward to the rest of the story!
The next day was a bit if a bust. We did not find the rams until late in the day. Anticipation was high that night.
When we woke the next morning, the rams were feeding above us. Jorge and I started up another drainage to get above them. We finally made it to the part of the mountain that ended with a vertical rock wall and we believed that we were well above the rams. After hiking along the base of the vertical wall, Jorge spotted the smaller ram slightly above us about 150 yards away. We waited and waited until he finally dropped off the ledge and headed below us to where we believed the muy grande to be.
We slowly crept onto this rocky point that jutted out from the mountain. The footing was good and I was in Jorge's hip pocket when we spotted the smaller of the two rams. My angle adjusted range finder said that it was 35 yards away. He was broadside and presented a relatively easy shot. I nocked an arrow. Jorge said "no no - we want the muy grande". It was a beautiful ram and I could have made that shot. I silently hoped that I would not regret passing that ram.
We continued to stalk to the edge of the rocky point while the smaller ram carefully watched us. Then my eyes saw the muy grande. What an awesome ram. I have never been close to a Boone and Crocket quality animal before. This guy had mass out to the end of his horns. The horn tips flared outward. He was bedded and facing directly at me. The drop off to him was very steep and the range finder indicated that he was at an angle adjusted 15 yards. It was a sight that I will never forget.
When Jorge saw the muy grande, he started screaming "SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT....". As I put the rangefinder away and started to draw my bow, the smaller ram bolted. The big ram followed and quickly jumped under a rocky ledge where we could not see him. We quickly moved to the end of the rocky point that we were on to see if we could get a glimpse of the big ram.
Please bear with me on the next part of the story as I am presently getting a bit nauseous reliving it.
As we reached the end of the rocky point, I spotted the muy grande below. He was moving away from us. I guessed the yardage at 30 yards and released the arrow. It was perfectly aligned with the boiler room, but flew an inch over its back.
Now I had never missed a Boone and Crocket class animal before, because I had never seen one before. In honor of Jake, I am going to try to tell you what thoughts went through my mind when I saw that arrow fly over its back.
Well the first thought was that I had blown my only chance at a ram-let alone a ram of that quality. Then a vision of my wife popped into my head saying "You spent what on this hunt???". Then a vision of Jake appeared asking "How the heck did you miss that ram?" There were more thoughts and visions. I was and am getting sick.
When Jorge saw the arrow miss the ram, he uttered something is Spanish in disgust and grabbed my left arm sleeve pulling me back toward the mountain face where the muy grande was headed. As I turned, I saw the smaller ram standing well below us. He looked like he was fixing to leave the country.
As we moved toward the mountain face, Jorge spotted the muy grande again and started yelling "SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT...". For the life of me, I could not see that ram. Then I spotted a ram body. It was slowly quartering away up toward the mountain face. The range finder read 47 yards. As the ram was moving away, I drew my bow and put the 50 yard pin on the top of his back and released. I can still see that arrow arcing through the air. It smacked the ram in the boiler room and as it turned to run downhill, I could see blood pouring from its far side. I was elated until Jorge exploded in disgust.
Here in the ensuing circus, the smaller ram had come up the hill when we were looking for the muy grande. When I spotted the ram's body, I assumed that it was the muy grande and I knew that I needed to shoot before it got further down range. The last time that I had seen the smaller ram, it was well below us and the thought never entered my mind that it could be him. But I was wrong. I had just shot the smaller ram. Jorge was devastated. Now let me be prefectly clear, I was absolutely elated to have made a good shot on that ram and am damn proud of it. But, I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows when I saw Jorge's reaction to not getting the muy grande.
Congratulations Tom!!! Thanks to you and Jake for sharing this with us here!!!
Well I am going to end the thread here with a few parting thoughts.
First I realize that I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to take this hunt. I am even more lucky to have been able to experience the hunt with my great friends Jake and Ned. These guys really made the hunt. Ned knows enough Spanish to be dangerous. He kept the guides constantly wound up. It was hilarious at times. Jake's positive and never-quit attitude is absolutely infectious. I never once believed that we would not get an opportunity at a ram. Many thanks to both of you guys. This is a hunt that I will take to the grave with me.
Next, I want to say that Ty Miller runs an absolutely great hunt. If I had to pick one word to decribe the experience, it would probably be "magical". Their concern for your comfort, safety and success is second to none. If you want a true spot and stalk desert sheep bow or rifle hunt, you must consider going with TY.
To you died-in-the wool sheep hunters (FOSS), I am in awe and a bit envious. Many thanks my friend for your advice and support.
To those of you who dream about taking a sheep hunt and believe it to be out of reach, don't let your dreams die. Keep entering the draws and save your money. I truely hope that each and everyone of you who wants to get to hunt one of these regal animals gets to do so.
In the words of a legend, "Straight Arrows".
Congrats - really enjoyed reading the story and the pics.
Awesome write-up Tom. Congrats again!
Great story! Thanks for sharing, I felt like I was on the mountain watching.
Way to go Tom, Jake and Ned. Truly a great story.
Absolutely incredible. Well done.
Way to go Tom, an absolutely amazing trip. This is a hunt 99.9% of all hunters will never get to experience. Congrats.
Just out of curiousity, what does your sheep score? Not that it matters, but not being familiar with sheep sizes, I am trying to visualize how much bigger the "muy grande" would be.
Once again congrats on a hunt of a lifetime.
Ok Tom, fess up! Who pulled the cactus thorns outa your a$$, was it Jake? Please tell me it was Jake?
Wow great story and congrats on a fine ram....Jake thanks for the pics and updates as well Great Job by all of you.
Congrats Tom!!!! Thanks for the trip down memory lane While I recover from knee surgery. It didn't hurt the whole time I read your story. Thanks
im lost if hes 47 yards why hold high with a 50 yard pin if anything i would thing hold with the 40 yard pin
Great story and pics. Congrats on the ram.
Lou Actually you are correct. I held the 40 yard pin high. Brain fart on my part.
Congratulations,Jake and your write up does not leave much out.Hunting down in Mexico is much more than just another hunt. It is always an adventure and you can never count on things going smooth but that adds to the experiance. Being down there with a couple of friends really adds to the trip. How did you make out getting the ram home? Any issues? Congratulations again
Jim in PA
Great hunt, great ram and a better story. I think I would like to have the movie rights. One of our better threads.
CONGRATULATIONS TOM!!! Thank you and Jake for taking us along and posting this!
Wonderful story and you made an excellent shot. there really is nothing like sheep hunting.
I had to leave the ram in Mexico. Ty is working at getting the paperwork. I won't sleep well until it gets to the states. We just couldn't burn more time waiting on the Mexican government to issue the necessary paper work.
Awesome story and great ram Tom. Congratulations!
Congrats Tom! Great story. Thanks for sharing.
Congratulations Tom on your trophy. Thanks to you and Jake for sharing the adventure. I really enjoyed.
Great story Tom & Jake! Thanks for posting!
Congrats Tom!! Was talking to outfitter today on my sheep hunt to see if we can move it up!!
I didn’t get to bring my ram back either, it took about 6 months before I got it.
In your photo of Tom showing the topographical relief is that Carmen Island in the background?
That is NOT Carmen Island, but you didn't miss by much. If I had rotated about 15 degrees further to my left (North), Carmen Island would have been visible if I had been at the top of the cliff.
Very nice ram Tom.Congrats on a great trophy and a fine shot.
You guys must be just south of Loreto and that is the little island just south of Carmen. That part of Mexico is such a beautiful and rugged place.
You nailed it. We were near Agua Verde, which is a two hour drive south of Lareto by road.
Congrats on a nice ram. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Thanks for the pictures and story.
Tom, Thanks for letting me tag along on your adventure. I thought I would post some of my pics for ya. As the story unfolds... we stayed in town for a couple more days as Tom allowed another hunter to have an extra couple days of hunting in order to try to fill his tag. That was gracious considering the time and expense of such a once in a life time type hunt.
Walkin to Baracho bar. Tom watched his beloved Steelers win at the pub after he killed his ram. He was pumped that they won but even more pumped that he had gotten a desert bighorn ram with a bow. He also sank an arrow into the post there as well. A pretty neat tradition.
Finally heading to camp. Tom has some car sickness and I was concerned about how he would do on the treacherous and tiny gravel roads on the way to camp. Never heard him complain once. He turned a few different shades of green and white however. I gripped the seat a few times myself but we made it with great anticipation.
I remember Tom giving Jake a hard time about his hat and attire on my hunt. This pic shows Tom looking similar to Jake last year. Those bandanas under the hat sure can help block the sun but makes you look kinda squirrely.
Jorge and Victor spotting Tom's first ram. We were all humbled by the guides' abilities to spot sheep.
Tom stalked his first sheep to the right of this pic. It involved some technical climbing with ropes. That is something I never had to experience. It showed that Tom was willing to "get nasty" in order to accomplish his goal of getting a desert ram with the bow.
It never rained for Tom's hunt like it did on mine but we had a bit of fog one morning hiking in on the beggining of the spike camp expedition.
Tom didn't like spiders, snakes, and such so Jake and I looked for some while he was stalking. We found them all and tried to document them on video and film rather than first hand. Tom was keen to that idea.
Area Tom's sheep was spotted
Taking a break after trying to relocate Tom's sheep one day.
Something crawled across my face one night. Don't even want to know what it was.
Camp back on the beach. They found this lion kill in the area we hunted.
Tom shooting the arrow into the pole. I didn't get trophy photos as my camera was in my pack quite aways away from the kill. Darn it.
Tom tending to his cape on the roof top. It is a good place to dry it up. Thats all I have. Thanks again Tom and hope we can hunt together again some day.
Ned the pleasure was all mine. Glad you could make it. We WILL hunt together again.
Great story guys! Thank you for sharing it with us.
Bowboy was kind enough to give me some pointers on how to improve a couple photos. I have also contacted the guru himself.....(aka BB), and if Bill can help me with a couple points, I hope to repost a couple of the sheep photos......it's well past time that I learned how to post my photos in the best form possible.....especially before Florida Mike whines anymore!!
Bill Allard worked his magic on these, and hopefully, I haven't compromised his efforts. This photo will hopefully show Tom and Jorge up on a bluff overlooking "muy grande" as he was walking towards them....what a couple minutes of pure adrenaline rush! If this works, then a second photo will follow.....
Damn. The photo DOES show the ram and the bowhunter .....but the picture is still too small. Back to the drawing board.....
Congrats Tom and the support crew! What an adventure, thanks for taking us along with you guys. Pretty special, a rare treat.
BB, that is a GREAT pic! Wow. I just glanced at it and my heart started hammering! Tom, you kept it together pretty good. Good job.
One thing to hunt. Another to do it in front of a live audience! Cacti spines and all....
Thanks for posting the photos in a more manageable size...I was still experimenting!!
Regarding the photos, the ram in the first picture (below the hunters) is the muy grande as he walked uphill closer to Tom and Jorge. He eventually turned to his right and bedded...... facing Tom and Jorge. The second photo shows the the muy grande ram (left) as well as the ram which Tom takes a few minutes later (right).
I never should have sent the last two pictures to Tom....his workday is shot!! LOL!!
Wow, way to go Tom! Awesome hunt and superb ram!
I am happy to report that as of last week, my desert ram now adorns a special spot in my game room. FINALLY! Marc Jordan and his staff did an excellent job on the mount. The salting job that Jake and Ned and I did on the roof of the hotel worked perfectly! Ned's mexican hat dance must have helped as well. A word to all of you aspiring desert sheep hunters. If you hunt them in Mexico, don't leave the country without your ram.
You think you're gonna get away without posting a picture of the Sheep? C
Right on Tom! Lets see that bad boy.
Will do. Also got the Caribou back. He looks pretty good on the wall!
Ok, you best post a picture of the Stag as well :)
Tom, can you elaborate on what happened with all the trouble getting your ram back?
Great to re-read this adventure! Looking forward to seeing your ram mount! Congrats on your well documented hunt and ram!
Nice to re-read this....congratulations and great story telling.
I think it's about time that some pictures of the mount get posted. Marc Jordan did a great job on the mount and my dad (Mad Trapper) did some nice work on painting the rock and adding some additional vegetation. Pictures just really don't do it justice.
I think it's about time that some pictures of the mount get posted. Marc Jordan did a great job on the mount and my dad (Mad Trapper) did some nice work on painting the rock and adding some additional vegetation. Pictures just really don't do it justice.
Sorry for the double post guys. Enjoy.
Tom, Good looking mount and mountain!
Dreams to reality! One day at a time! Congrats!
Congratulations! That's one perty ram.
If you look just to the right of the rams front left foot, you can see a flint arrowhead that Tom put on the mountain with the ram....
Tell me where you posted the "Woody" mount? I am having trouble finding it!
Atta-boy! Complete with a B&C Certificate.