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Biggest bighorns in MT?
I don't know squat about sheep, so please bare with me and my lack of info about them...
I have a buddy whose in-laws live near Plains, MT. According to him, there's only one place in the state to try kill a new state record- out by Plains. From what I've heard, the most coveted tags in the state are in the Breaks. My impression is that the best place to kill a new state record is from the Breaks too (I know a little about the whole botched sting deal and that was from the Breaks). I think the current state record was taken by a gal from the Breaks area too- is that correct?
My big question is- is there a general consensus about the best area of the state for the absolute biggest of the bighorn sheep? If yes, where is it? Thanks!
The two Breaks units...north one is a little better.
Hands down the best Bighorn hunt in the world.
They will get $300,000 for these tags at auction.
Breaks units have been killing 200 class rams for the last few years.
I live near those units @ Plains and have hunted several of them with my wife and friends. I'd have to say out of about 25 days of hunting and scouting those units I've only seen one sheep that I thought would go 190 or better. A 180-185" ram is very realistic in those areas if you put some serious time in. I don't think there's been a 200" ram killed in Sanders Co for quite a few years.
BTW any sheep hunt is an awesome experience and I'm not trying to steer you away. I've been applying for these units for the past 8 years and I'll continue till I draw a tag.
The Breaks is where it's at. Ridiculous draw odds, but monster rams!
Thanks guys- my impression is that the Plains area is really good, but the Breaks area is the best of the best. Sounds like that's consistent with what you guys are saying.
Like I said above- I know about the goofy 204+ ram with all the mess surrounding it from the Breaks. What about the current state record- I believe that was a gal who shot it-- where'd that one come from?
Unit 124 produced a 196" this past year. I know of more than one 190" ram taken out of that area, including surrounding units.
Scoot; I think the gal you are refering to ended up with a ram that was either No. 2 or 3 for the state. However, last year Matt Rippentrop killed a ram that is the new no.2 at 204 and change I think... might have been 205 and change. Came from the Breaks as did 2 other rams that official scored over 200" currently it is pretty consistent to kill a ram over 190 with Breaks tag.
This is the one I was referring to- apparently 204 2/8 shot in 208. Where does that rank it all time? I can only assume it makes it the biggest ram shot by a woman?
BTW, thanks for the info and sorry for the uninformed questions- I know next to nothing about sheep! I do appreciate your help though...
Mavis Lorenz , shot a 200 1/8.
Hunting by herself.I think she was 65 years old.
Back when Rock Creek was producing Montanas best sheep.I always enjoyed reading any story about that lady. She was something. If I remember right , she was a hair over 5 foot tall.
I don't think the ram above official scored at 204, I think 202 and change (i think). it was the biggest ram to have been shot by a woman unit the next year. I think it is in the top 5
if you go to the Montana fish wildlife and parks site, you can access the bighorn sheep records for Boone and Crocket registered sheep and see all the stats. for montana rams killed. pretty crazy that rams that are 190 are down in the 100's on the list
I called a buddy who knows everything about sheep in MT. Here is what he said.
"The ram in the picture was killed in 2008 by Toni Sannon in 482. 204 2/8 net. It is the largest ever taken by a woman.
The last ram killed in Wesern Montana over 200 is Jack Greenwoods 200 7/8 from 122 in 2001.
No sheep from 124-Plains or 121- Thomson falls has ever scored over 200."
according to Montanas web site, that ram has never been officially entered into BC records so probably never officially scored. it would rank No2. there is a ram listed from this year at 203 and change, and it is no2 right now. So Toni shannons ram may or may not be that big. it's a big ram, but that might not be the score. does not appear to be an "official" score, montana gets the BC scores and posts them on their own.
Vic, Had to call my buddy again. He is a sheep encyclopedia. You are not correct on the Sannon ram. It is in the book, has been officially scored and paneled. Call B& C if you doubt it.
The 203 5/8 ram was killed in 2010 not 2011.
There are several 200 plus rams that are officially scored and not on the MT list.
Toni Sannon- 204 2/8
Bob Brogan- 202 7/8
Debbie Perry -202 2/8
Greg White-200 2/8
Jason Kummerfeldt- 200 1/8
Quite a few big rams in the last couple of years.
So is Weatherly's ram still number 1?
So is Weatherly's ram still number 1?
Be humble and toss Scott a bone will ya---
That is a PIG you got in Montana-Ram!!!
Good luck, Robb
sory, guys, just got back to the computer. My appologies. I was only looking at the montana site and that ram wasn't listed. I wonder why since they hve picked up a couple others after those rams. Anyway, I wasn't trying to say Toni didn't kill an absolute monster, it is obviously huge and will rank number two. So, scott I wasn't trying to challenge you, i was just going off Montanas web site, sorry. Robb; Thanks brother. didn't think I was being a jerk, was just stating what they showed for official scores. The bottom line is.... the breaks is the area to hunt
I'll post some pics of rams we passed up back in 2006 cause they were too small!
I would have been done and gone Day#1 with that 1st photo!
Nerves of Steel to pass on them.
Good luck, Robb
the two butting heads are the same two in the picture above. I wanted to shoot the one with his butt facing you. He had huge bases, at least 17 but he tapered fast. we figured he was 43 long and that he would go right around 188, but he could have been 191 based on his bases. these pics are from the first few hours of the hunt so we passed. never did see him again. that's ok
Here is one from this year.
Great rams here guys, Congrats! Who wouldn't love to draw this tag!
yes, this unit is all about having the tag. there are great rams thru out the units.
WOW......just WOW! Great pics vic and an awesome ram! Congrats! How many years did it take to get the tag?
It only took me 36 years.
My family and my wife's family both live in plains and Thompson. I have seen lots and lots of sheep there. They are along the highway year round. You learn a lot about sheep living there. I now currently live in havre, 40 miles straight north of the breaks. both area have top notch sheep. I see a lot more sheep in western mt. But I see way bigger ones down in the breaks!
Offhntn, I had 7 bonus points back in 2006 I think I had put in for 8 or so years prior to bonus points. Not bad really. at the time there was only one non res tag in that unit I think there are 2 now. It was just one of those years. I also drew a colorado archery ram tag that year.
vic - SWEET! You should've bought a lottery ticket that year too. Thanks for giving me hope, I have 6 BP going into this years draw, you make me feel like I have a chance. :)
that is one of the nice things about Montana right now, even a guy just putting in has a chance. the BP's just give you better statistical odds. I thought the same thing regarding lottery tickets but figured the luck was used up. Hang in there, you'll draw.
Awesome guys! Congrats vic and Bigdan! I'm jealous...
This is one game I'm not bothering to get in. OFFHNTN, when you pull a tag, are you in need of a camera guy/meat hauler?
Here is a Plains area sheep I took last fall....183+ for those who score. A mid 190s was killed across the river last fall too.
Munther absolutely awesome!! Some day in Colorado where I live!
Beauty of a bow and a dream ram.
26 years & no tag for me. I'm a resident too. That goes for Sheep, Moose & Goat. Maybe someday when I'm too old to hunt I'll get a tag.
NEVER TOO OLD! I was 68 when I finally connected after a 50 year quest beginning when I was 18 in Idaho and this was the 4th bighorn ram attempt. I am very close to getting a WY permit (16 points) and looking forward to the next chase when i am 69-70. Keep hikin!
Munther what did the bases measure on that beauty?
You did good Greg ! It was good visiting with you at the BHA get together.
Here's mine from the Plains unit back in 1992.
Eric....terrific ram. I have a hunch both of our rams went down not far from each other....perhaps the same rock slide. Backcounty Hunters and Anglers event was terrific, and good to see you there. Robertson's AK trad sheep hunt was inspiring. I was with him in Russia when he shot his griz, a hunt which was quite an adventure.
I got lucky and drew Big Horn Sheep in Montana unit 124 I am headed over from Washington this week to learn the area. If anyone want to share information or help I am all ears.
Here is the number 1 archery kill from Montana and is still #2 in the world at 199 its a breaks ram
And the same guy drawing the same tag in the same area one year after his 7 year wait
Rob is lucky he's still alive after that little trick... ;-) (Just messin of course)
He didn't hold out for another monster he just filled his tag. This was my first year I could apply for an ES tag but I had 4 points going into the draw with points I got applying for ewe tags and now I have 5
I was lucky enough to get to hold Robs first ram. It's a amazing ram and true trophy of a lifetime. I just want one just one please. Hunt
I was with Rob when he shot it there were 3 rams all big but he was by far the biggest. My son Cody packed it out with Rob. Rob had a small rope and he put it around his own neck then holding it in place around the base of the ram He said 17 inches same is my neck line and it ended up being over 17. The other two rams we saw later alone about 50 yds away. both were B&C rams we thought one was and easy 190 the other a high 180.
That # 2 archery ram sure looks incredible. What a specimen.
The bases on Rob's 2004, 199 ram are nothing short of incredible!
Bigdan or HUNT,
Do you have any other pics/other angles of that beast?!
Isn't it true that the monster breaks rams are also relatively young, like 6 years old? That is even more incredible when you think that most other areas the sheep have to get 8-10 years old to gain significant size.
Mark i took a ton of photos at the kill sight but they were on Flim I only loaded one and put in on my puter
Post up all the ram pics we can......never get tired of looking at these regal critters!
I hunted the Breaks in 2014 for Mule deer (rifle) with Chase Hill Outfitters. We saw numerous record class rams on that trip. Drove to with bow range(60 yards) of 1 figured to be in the 180s+. We counted a group close to 40 one day. With a rifle it would have been the easiest sheep hunt in the entire world. Really neat to see all those Bighorns.
njbuck, that is correct. Dustin Roe, Jim Hens' guide on his hunt for the #1 archery bighorn, said it was a young ram. I can't remember exactly but it was 8 or less.
Robs was only 6 years old still had his lamb tips mine was 8 and both tips were broomed off. here is mine Robs is still #1 Jims didn't beat it
Big Fin's Link
Here is another Ram that was killed in the Area near were Rob killed his is a 190 Having the lamb tips is a big plus
Great rams, guys.
Above is a video link to a hunt we filmed in the Breaks where we found two dead rams that both scored over 199. Click the link above.
This was the south side of the river. The ram that my friend killed was not the biggest of those we filmed, but by far the most "pedestal pretty."
The Breaks is the promised land of sheep hunting. 25 years of resident applications and still hoping for me.
Big Fin - do you know what happens with the dead heads that people find out there?
Montana law makes it illegal to pick up and keep a sheep dead head. The two we found, we called FWP and they came and got them.
I'm not sure what happens with them, once FWP gets them. They do have an auction once per year, so maybe some get sold there.
Yes they sell them in Kalispell they had a sale and the sold a bunch of road kill sheep plus a few that were killed by poachers. The thing that pissed me off was one of the poachers bought the sheep from the F&G sale so he ended up with it in the end. So it cheeper to poach one then buy it at auction than to book a guided hunt. Don't seam right Most of the road kill sheep went for $500 or less
Well that deserves a wtf!!!!!!!
I'm over 20 years in a bunch of states, roughly the equivalent of having applied for 80 years or so, and still nothing for me... (I just want to hunt one. A nice fat 170" would be just fine)
Yea a 170 is 50 inches over P&Y min. Great sheep any were but in the breaks 180 is common
When I did my sheep hunt in 2008 in 680 ! saw 87 rams in three days all on public land but I waited till november to start my hunt. Hunting with Rob we only saw a hand full of rams in late sept & oct The rut makes them big boys come out of the woods and find the ladys.