Carbon Express Arrows
Shoot a tagged ram?
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
DonVathome 05-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 05-Oct-17
Ollie 05-Oct-17
Destroyer350 05-Oct-17
GF 05-Oct-17
standswittaknife 05-Oct-17
Tilzbow 05-Oct-17
TreeWalker 05-Oct-17
Dyjack 05-Oct-17
TD 05-Oct-17
Rut Nut 05-Oct-17
coelker 05-Oct-17
DonVathome 05-Oct-17
Bowboy 05-Oct-17
fubar racin 05-Oct-17
Bill Obeid 05-Oct-17
Vids 05-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 05-Oct-17
kscowboy 05-Oct-17
GF 05-Oct-17
Yellowjacket 05-Oct-17
Spookinelk 05-Oct-17
GF 05-Oct-17
HeadHunter® 06-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 06-Oct-17
jims 06-Oct-17
ELKMAN 06-Oct-17
GF 06-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 06-Oct-17
DonVathome 07-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 07-Oct-17
walking buffalo 07-Oct-17
Tilzbow 07-Oct-17
walking buffalo 07-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 07-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 07-Oct-17
jims 07-Oct-17
Zackman 07-Oct-17
Spookinelk 07-Oct-17
Jaquomo 08-Oct-17
jims 08-Oct-17
BULELK1 08-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 09-Oct-17
Jaquomo 09-Oct-17
BULELK1 10-Oct-17
TXHunter 10-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 10-Oct-17
Rock 10-Oct-17
JacobNisley 10-Oct-17
njbuck 10-Oct-17
Buskill 10-Oct-17
GF 10-Oct-17
glunker 11-Oct-17
Jaquomo 11-Oct-17
DonVathome 11-Oct-17
Jaquomo 11-Oct-17
kscowboy 11-Oct-17
smarba 11-Oct-17
kscowboy 13-Oct-17
TD 14-Oct-17
midwest 14-Oct-17
GF 14-Oct-17
Desert Sheep 18-Oct-17
elkstabber 18-Oct-17
DL 18-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 23-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 23-Oct-17
DonVathome 23-Oct-17
DL 23-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 23-Oct-17
GF 23-Oct-17
JacobNisley 23-Oct-17
DL 23-Oct-17
Tilzbow 23-Oct-17
kota-man 23-Oct-17
Tilzbow 23-Oct-17
DL 24-Oct-17
Kurt 25-Oct-17
From: DonVathome
05-Oct-17
Would you shoot a tagged ram? When I was bowhunt CO years ago I was willing to - never really gave it thought. This year while researching my NV sheep hunt I spoke with a guy who guided there and his client decided to pass on a nice tagged ram. He explained the effort the NDOW put in to tag it made his decision. I am rifle hunting and heading out a full week early to scout. I am trying to decide if the biggest ram I find is tagged what to do?

What would you do?

From: NvaGvUp
05-Oct-17
Absolutely. Take the shot, tagged and/or collared or not.

Several state DFG's even include this in their hunt booklets.

From: Ollie
05-Oct-17
Seems to me the best thing to do would be to talk with the wildlife biologist that oversees the unit you are hunting and get his/her input. As much as any hunter wants to shoot a nice ram, it would be very selfish if doing so would set a research program back.

From: Destroyer350
05-Oct-17
My buddy shot a collared ram last week here in Colorado.

From: GF
05-Oct-17
It wouldn't set the research "back", generally speaking, because hunting mortality is part of the overall picture that the Bios are trying to evaluate; if you report a tagged animal that you killed, then they know how long it lived and how far it traveled and how much it grew between being tagged and getting bagged. That's a whole lot more information than they get from tagging an animal and maybe never seeing it again.

Also, if enough hunters were preferentially letting the tagged ones walk, then they'd underestimate hunting mortality, which could lead to issuing too many tags. Which might not be altogether bad for an outfitter's business if if he had kind of a corner on the market for a particular area....

On the other hand... Nothing like a radio collar to make a poacher's life easier.

And just a thought, but if it was the unnatural color of the tag that had tipped me off to the whereabouts of an animal I would otherwise never have noticed.... To a degree, that would feel like cheating. A little, anyway.

05-Oct-17
yes... other than if they rub... that would suck for the cape.

From: Tilzbow
05-Oct-17
Without even thinking about it! You'd be able to report it when you took the head in to have the horns plugged. A friend of mine shot a 180"+ Desert Ram last year and I didn't notice the big tags in each ear until the 4th or 5th time I looked at the pictures.

From: TreeWalker
05-Oct-17
Shoot unless you care a lot about he cape as the neckwear might degrade the quality of the cape. The story as the hunt unfolds is what I cherish years later. A tagged ram would catch my eye just as would a duck with a band on the leg or a goose with one on a neck. I am also drawn to unusual horns and antler shapes and would not pass a drop tine on a bull elk or buck deer even if knew larger critters were in the unit.

Is your hunt, go for it and enjoy!

From: Dyjack
05-Oct-17
I've thought about this a lot after seeing collared elk. I believe they actually like people to shoot collared/tagged animals because it helps them count hunter kill statistics better. I imagine it's more of a hassle to tag sheep than collar elk. But I believe it's the same concept.

I think they even print numbers to call afterwards to report it and return it.

From: TD
05-Oct-17
I would guess a large percentage of the tagged animals the researchers never get any "closure" to and the animal is never found. Collared I think those are meant to fall away after a certain time and I understand with the telemetry they can find and collect them.

Not sure about hunting mortality stats being effected if you did or didn't kill that particular animal? These sheep hunts the kill is required to be reported anyway. Most big game hunts they want to at least report successful or not.

From: Rut Nut
05-Oct-17
In PA they ENCOURAGE Hunter's to shoot collared animals.

From: coelker
05-Oct-17
You should treat it no different than any other animal. If it is what you as a hunter want to shoot then shoot. Simply put the researchers need to account for all types of data. Shooting a tagged animal gives them data on hunters and hunter caused mortality rates which is as important and any other data.

I would be willing to bet a steak dinner that the outfitter was likely trying to save this ram for other reasons. Maybe a higher paying client? Maybe he really wants this ram for next year?

Sorry but I do not buy the story of not shooting a legal animal simply because a government person decided to follow that animal.

From: DonVathome
05-Oct-17
I agree - and my hat is off to the other guy who passed. Not sheep hunting often (what a surprise right???) it was a new thought to me. Frankly it would be cool to get the info about your sheep if a collared ram was shot.

Thanks!

From: Bowboy
05-Oct-17
I'd be shooting and never give it a second thought. I shot a black bear once in WY never knew he was tagged until he was dead. If a hunter once to pass an animal because there tagged that's thier personal choice, but I suspect most people would let an arrow fly there way.

From: fubar racin
05-Oct-17
Just outside my old elk unit they collared a bunch of cows to show what cows had been treated with birth control, said it wouldnt taint the meat but asked that we didnt shoot them if we came across them. A bighorn ram is a way diffrent story but i feel like if the dnr specificity didnt want that ram havested they would be upfront and ask that you dont.

From: Bill Obeid
05-Oct-17
I Wouldn't hesitate to Let the string fly. It's just a collar..... not a " do not shoot " sign.

From: Vids
05-Oct-17
Talk to the biologist, he'll give you the best answer. When I ewe hunted last year the biologist asked me to shoot the collared ones because the collars were supposed to fall off a few years ago for data collection and some of them malfunctioned. You never know what they'll say, I was surprised to hear that from him.

From: NvaGvUp
05-Oct-17
As others here have noted, and as I noted on my first post here, the fact an animal is wearing a collar makes NO difference as to shoot or not shoot.

More often than not, the DFG folks would prefer you shoot so they can recover the data.

From: kscowboy
05-Oct-17
The guy who shot Cecil never knew...

Don't believe me? Watch the video and tell me when you see the collar through that thick, MGM Grand lion mane.

On a serious note, shoot the biggest ram and be done with it. My father's cousin (who is now deceased) shot a ram with a collar and ear tag. The taxidermy looked great (less the ear tag and collar) and he was very proud of the ram. When I shot my ram, they asked me how many collared rams were in the band. When I replied that all 9 did not have a visible ear tag nor collar, they were shocked. They are common and as far as the office was concerned, there are at least one or two in every group. If it's the biggest ram, drop the hammer or string.

From: GF
05-Oct-17
“Not sure about hunting mortality stats being effected if you did or didn't kill that particular animal? These sheep hunts the kill is required to be reported anyway. Most big game hunts they want to at least report successful or not.”

Sampling technique. Let’s say they tag/collar 10 legal rams out of an estimated population of 50. 1 in 5. If 10 hunters fill a tag and 2 of the rams are tagged, they can figure that their population estimate is pretty much on the money. But it only works right if hunters pay no attention to the tags and they get a more or less random sample.

If only one Hunter out of the ten reports killing a tagged ram, then the model says that they must’ve tagged fewer than 1 in 5 animals - data say 1 in 10 - which means there must be more than 50 of ‘em out there. Probably more like 100 if you work only off of the numbers...

And if the model says they can take 20% of the legal rams every year, then they “should” be issuing 20 tags instead of 10.

And heck, if there are really twice as many sheep out there as they thought, it’s probably time to start issuing tags for some ewes.

So you can see where this might lead to some problems... Which is why Sciencing is Hard.

From: Yellowjacket
05-Oct-17

Yellowjacket's embedded Photo
Yellowjacket's embedded Photo
I shot an ear tagged ram. Didn't hesitate a bit. When I checked it in they were able to tell me the date it was tagged and at what age. Had the ram mounted without the ear tag of course. Keep the ear tag on my target quiver belt now. It's an nice additional souvenir to remind me of the hunt.

From: Spookinelk
05-Oct-17
DonV, shooting a tagged ram is fine, just report it to the agency that put it on and they will get some good info, collared is a little different story but if you have a shot at the ram of a lifetime I'd certainly do it.

I'm not sure where the guys posting above are getting their information but as far as I know it would be the exception to the rule for a State or Federal Game Management Agency to want you to shoot their GPS collared animals! Most collars are GPS Collars now , in most cases the collars are pretty much single use, most are remotely downloaded via iridium GPS technology and supply real time location data for years, they are expensive to purchase and expensive to put on. There is nothing illegal about shooting collared animals in most places but you are probably not doing your wildlife managers any favors by eliminating the animals that are supplying long term data. Things were a little different with drop off GPS collars a few years ago, they needed to be recovered in order to be downloaded. Most collars are now remotely downloaded and programmed to drop off on a pre-determined date or can be remotely triggered to drop off when no longer needed and are more reliable than they were in the past.

From: GF
05-Oct-17
Yeah, those GPS collars are expensive, but they sure make it cheaper to keep track of the animals!

I recall a guest lecturer telling us about these new collars that were “in the pipeline” somewhere, which let you keep track of an animal down to within about 10 feet, and you’d never again have to charter an airplane and freeze your tail off flying around trying to work out where they were via radio telemetry, accurate to oh, I dunno... somewhere in this XX acre patch...

He sounded a little crazy, at the time.... too many episodes of Buck Rogers. Damned if THAT doesn’t make me feel like a dinosaur!

From: HeadHunter®
06-Oct-17
I myself would never want a 'wild animal' that was 'touched' by a human ... (that's just me)

06-Oct-17
I would not knowingly shoot a study specimen.

From: jims
06-Oct-17
If you are concerned about it you might talk to the local biologist in your hunting unit. It may not matter if there are a bunch of collared or ear-tagged rams. If it's the only collared/ear tagged ram and/or they are doing detailed research they may be somewhat concerned. The collared elk near me have collars that are designed to fall off after a few years. That may or may not be the case in your sheep unit? If it's year 5 and that is how long collars are designed to last...it may not matter as much as year 1? Ear tags would obviously likely remain attached for the life of the ram. If it was a ram of a lifetime I know what I would do! I don't think I'd want to mount a ram with a collar around his neck. There may be major rub marks on the cape after the collar is removed..so may look a little funky?

There are likely a lot of potential scenarios and you won't know unless you talk to the local biologist.

From: ELKMAN
06-Oct-17
Your money tagged him, and it will pay to tag another. You damn well shoot any legal Ram you want.

From: GF
06-Oct-17
"I would not knowingly shoot a study specimen."

I'm going to guess that you didn't see my earlier post about this, but just FYI.... if that's your attitude, you are NOT HELPING.

Hunting mortality should ALWAYS be designed in to any study of a huntable population; not just as an assumption, but as a TOOL (you have to make assumptions about poaching, predation and winterkill; sometimes you can find the winter-kills, but you don't expect poachers or lions to turn in any tags..).

And just so you know that I'm not making this stuff up, I'm just offering what I learned when I took a statistics course.. in bio-sampling... taught by a guy who was considered to be about the best bio-sampling statistician in the country.... while I was at the U of Wyoming... taking classes alongside folks who were getting PhDs in Population Ecology or were in at the UW-FG Co-op unit studying to be the people who are probably running these sheep studies right now.

So in case anybody is interested....

One of the lab demos that we wrote up was estimating the size of a population of jellybeans in a 5-pound jar. No kidding.

Principle is this: if you know there are exactly 50 blue jellybeans in the jar - mixed in thoroughly - then you can use a random sampling technique to take out whatever number of beans at a time and you write down the percentage of blue ones. If it comes out at 3% pretty consistently, then there must be about 3300 beans in that jar.

But as I said before, if the people doing the sampling don't get on board with the idea of keeping the sampling at RANDOM - for instance, by choosing to shoot or NOT shoot a particular animal BECAUSE it was tagged - then the whole study is (potentially) compromised. And again, if there is a consistent factor skewing the data - such as, oh, maybe an outfitter in the area who discourages his clients from shooting tagged rams - then unless the people running the study have made allowances for that, the total population will be overestimated... which would lead to more tags being issued... which would be good for that outfitter's business... until it all hits the fan.

Now... For all I know,the outfitter mentioned at the top of this thread is working absolutely hand-in-hand with the Study... But if you are fortunate enough to get your hands on one of these tags and you want to know the real scoop, I would bet that somebody at FNAWS knows exactly who is running the study on your unit, and it would be an easy thing to get your facts straight from the horse's mouth.

So that's what I'd recommend.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Oct-17
"I would not knowingly shoot a study specimen. "

Collared and tagged animals are NOT 'study specimens.' To treat them any differently on a hunt than you would treat a non-collared/tagged animal will skew the data the agency is wanting to obtain.

From: DonVathome
07-Oct-17
Headhunter many states round up all sheep and give them shots!

From: NvaGvUp
07-Oct-17
DonV,

Not that I'm aware of!

07-Oct-17
I did not see this concern of shooting tagged/collared wildlife addressed.

Can you tell or do you know if the animal was recently tranquilized?

There is an absolute period of time after drugging that the meat is considered UNFIT for human consumption, dependant on the type of drug used. This time could be a long as a year.

I have been involved in the killing of two tagged animals that became a concern of whether or not we could eat them. Both had small button ear-tags that were not visible before they were shot. One was a moose that was drugged ten months earlier, The biologists suggested that the meat was considered safe for consumption after 12 months. It was a personal call as to eat the meat or not....

The other was a Bighorn. Upon getting ready to gut it, we saw that it had a fresh shaved patch of skin on a lower leg, and an needle wound that was fresh. Turns out it was drugged just days earlier. There was no question in this case, the sheep was without question UNFIT for consumption. What a piss-off that was. Felt like we had wasted the sheep after a hard hunt.

To my knowledge, research into human safety and the consumption of previously drugged wildlife is still several lacking. The governing agencies are having to take a best guess as to human safety while acknowledging they really just don't know the facts on eating this meat.

If you are content to risk killing a Ram and tossing the meat, fire away. If throwing the meat out gives you second thoughts, then perhaps one needs to research how and when animals in the hunting area were captured.

From: Tilzbow
07-Oct-17
A full year? Sounds pretty scetchy to me given the fact that the drugged animal is up and moving within a hour or so and fairly normal after a day or two. Not dissimilar from a human that goes under general anesthesia and recovers within 24 to 48 hours. I could see a one week or maybe two but definitely not a year.

07-Oct-17

walking buffalo's Link
Sketchy is the point Tizbow.

There is very little research done on the safety of consuming meat from animals that have been drugged. Even the pros are just taking a guess at what is a safe timeline.

Some info linked. A CCWHC Technical Bulletin: Drug Residues in Wild Meat – Addressing A Public Health Concern

07-Oct-17
A study animal can also be a specimen wearing a transmitter. I was not limiting my comment to simply a tagged animal.

From: NvaGvUp
07-Oct-17

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
"Can you tell or do you know if the animal was recently tranquilized?"

I've been on several sheep captures and never have I seen a tranquilizer used.

You net-gun them from a helicopter, land, jump out and 'mug' them by blindfolding them and hobbling them as fast as you can. Then the 'bagging crew' will come in to finish the job, securing the hobbles and the blindfold, and getting them out of the net.

At that point they call the helicopter to come pick the animal up, which is done by hooking the bagged sheep onto a cable hanging from the chopper.

The chopper then flies the sheep to a nearby 'staging area' where the vets take over, They weigh and measure the sheep, get blood samples and do other tests,, put a collar on them and, for ewes, may do an ultra sound to check for pregnancy.

Then the sheep goes back in the bag, is flown back to from where he was captured, at which point the bagging crew gets it out of the net, removes the hobbles and the blindfold and the sheep runs off.

Sheep generally get very docile once blindfolded, so are relatively calm until the blindfold is removed.

From: jims
07-Oct-17
A simple call to the local biologist where you are hunting would likely answer all your questions and concerns!

From: Zackman
07-Oct-17
I would only shoot a tagged ram if it was in bow range. Good luck on your hunt!

From: Spookinelk
07-Oct-17
State and Federal agency vets mandate that animals that have been tranquilized should have either an ear tag that asks you to call a number before consuming or a do not consume before date marked on the collar. The do not consume timeframe for the drugs that agencies use in my area are between 30 and 90 days and no one that I know of anesthetizes animals when the do not consume date will overlap with a legal hunting season except in cases when a medical emergency is involved or an animal needs to be relocated. Anesthetizing Sheep is pretty risky compared to other game animals they are prone to crash more often than Deer or Elk so they are often net gunned by helicopter to avoid the risk of the drugs and the falling risk.

From: Jaquomo
08-Oct-17
Two years ago I guided a moose hunter who killed one with a GPS tracking collar. We took it in and met with the lead biologist, who was happy for the hunter and excited to get the collar to retrieve the data. Saves them a spendy and sometimes futile search to find it after the collar disengages when the battery gets low, but before it dies completely.

He later sent a map to the hunter showing where the moose had been collared, it's seasonal travels, etc.. It has been tracked for several years so no worries about the drugs used. In the end, it worked out pretty well for everyone except the moose...

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a tagged, collared, or otherwise marked animal after that conversation with the biologist. In huntable populations, they expect some to be killed. They learn from that.

From: jims
08-Oct-17
I forgot about some collared rams they were recently keeping tabs on in a Chugach unit where sheep numbers have been plummeting in recent years. They found out from the study that a chunk of sheep died from avalanches, another chunk died from eagles (young lambs), and another chunk from an outbreak of pneumonia (which they had no idea existed). Without radio collars they wouldn't have nwhat was going on. It's impossible to say what is going on in any particular unit without contacting the local biologists!

From: BULELK1
08-Oct-17
Share some pix of that moose Lou

Thanks

Good luck, Robb

From: NvaGvUp
09-Oct-17
Coincidently, tomorrow I'm taking the natural resources staffer for NV Senator Cortez Matso's Reno office out to see a couple of big game drinkers and hopefully some desert bighorns.

He's from rural Ohio and when I met with him in her Reno office last month, he expressed an interest in seeing some wild sheep. So I made contact with a friend at NDOW and away we went!

In our group will be one on NBU's key guys as well as three guys from NDOW.

I'll raise this issue to them and post their thoughts.

From: Jaquomo
09-Oct-17
Robb, I can't post them because I sold the story and photos to Traditional Bowhunter magazine. But it was just a big Shiras cow with a collar. Nothing remarkable.

From: BULELK1
10-Oct-17
Thanks for the follow-up Lou, good for you guys.

Have fun Kyle, tour guide isn't a bad gig!

Good luck, Robb

From: TXHunter
10-Oct-17
Wouldn't hesitate for a second. Can't imagine why anyone would. It's perfectly legal, perfectly acceptable, and is expected by all involved in the process.

10-Oct-17
I would not want a mounted animal on my wall wearing a tag or collar. That is just me though.

From: Rock
10-Oct-17
My Bighorn had a ear tag and we had pictures of him with it when alive and again after I shot him. Took the tag out and kept it and mounted him without it and you cannot tell it was ever there. DOW gave me all the info on him as to when and where they tagged him and age. Pretty neat to get that info.

From: JacobNisley
10-Oct-17
It would take a little of the "wildness" away from me to kill a wild animal that I know was handled by humans. I know its just a subjective, personal thing.

From: njbuck
10-Oct-17
If I had the opportunity I would prefer to shoot an animal without a tag or collar but with such a valuable tag in my pocket I wouldn't be too picky.

From: Buskill
10-Oct-17
Wouldn't bother me at all . If the ram was nice and the hunt was legal I'd be firing away .

From: GF
10-Oct-17
"It would take a little of the "wildness" away from me to kill a wild animal that I know was handled by humans. I know its just a subjective, personal thing."

I felt that way when I shot a young buck whitetail that had rubbed all the hair off of a patch on his neck because he was eating out of a trough on a regular basis. Of course, I also figured that since feeding deer is illegal here, I was just doing a little completely authorized citizen law enforcement... ;)

Besides - you don't get a lot of corn-fed deer around here.

But a tagged animal is just one that has had one more (stressful) run-in with humans than most; if anything, I'd think they'd be MORE educated and an even greater challenge to get close to. It's not as if the researchers are making pets out of them.

I think some of you guys are taking this whole thing way too seriously....

From: glunker
11-Oct-17
A hunter years ago arrowed a collared bighorn, he had trouble finding it so logical he went to CO fish and game to see if they would locate it for him. Answer was the battery pack had died over a year ago.

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-17
Glunker, that must have been awhile back. The modern collars have a sensor that triggers a .22 blank charge to release it when the battery gets low, but still has enough juice so they can recover it. If it stops no ing for a couple days they know it's either dead or the collar fell off.

Probably a bit of a surprise to the animal when it goes off....

To the guys worried about shooting an animal that has presumably been unwilded by human handling? Really? Remember, the animal didn't willingly submit to the process. How many of you shoot animals that are semi-habituated to people anyway due to human proximity?

From: DonVathome
11-Oct-17
I want to emphasize again the story I heard about the guy passing up the ram is very impressive. My hat is off to him for his ethics, discipline and self-control.

He is a better man than me.

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-17
Don, I'm not sure what "ethics" it showed. Misguided ethics, maybe. Delivering the tag to G&F may have provided some valuable information they otherwise won't get when he dies somewhere and isn't recovered. If he was collared instead of tagged, the collar batteries likely expired, with the same result.

From: kscowboy
11-Oct-17
"It would take a little of the "wildness" away from me to kill a wild animal that I know was handled by humans. I know its just a subjective, personal thing."

I bet the "personal thing" would change really quick once you actually sheep hunted...

First of all, you have to draw the tag. Being from Pennsylvania, that is going to be tough. Then you have to scout, as one doesn't want to take on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt without a little knowledge of the unit. So your story begins... As you scout during the short 5 day trip you begged to get off work, you struggle to find anything but ewes and lambs, you realize you are out of shape and probably need to exercise and practice shooting--a lot. Back home you go and already mentally questioning yourself and the hunt. You assure yourself, 1.5 months to go--you can do this.

Then the big day arrives and season opens. Due to your lack of success in scouting and the fact you are out of state and you'll never draw a tag in the Lower 48 again, you plop down $7,000 for a guide. You pack-into your basin to start your hunt but get socked-in for the first 3 days. You get to know your guide too well. You spend the next 2 days trying to turn-up sheep. It's like they vanished suddenly. On day 6 of a 7 day hunt, you finally locate a band of rams. You feel blessed to have this opportunity to finally see rams. You begin your stalk and your guide stays off 800+ yards to flag you in.

At 100 yards, a rock below you falls. You freeze. Did you just let all this time, effort, and money invested just evaporate for not watching your step? Your guide gives no indication that the rams have left. Whew. That was close. You begin creeping closer with the stealth of a cat. You get to the rock where the rams were bedded not 40-50 yards below you. You knock your arrow and begin to shake. It all boils down to this one moment.

You ease around the rock and realize 4 of the 5 rams are up and have fed off to the side of you and out of range and out of a stalkable position. However, one ram is still there, he may go 7/8, he may be full curl but who cares, you've practiced and put everything into this opportunity, as has your guide and outfitter. Then you notice something --red ear tag #42 in his left ear. Crap. Someone has handled this ram before and you can't justify it. Sheep hunting is supposed to be tough. This seems too easy.

You walk back to your guide after he feeds off with the rest of the band and out of your life forever. As you hike off the mountain for good the next day with empty packs after a grueling 7 days on the mountain, I'm sure your guide will completely understand.

From: smarba
11-Oct-17
Too funny kscowboy! I sort of thought the same thing. Never mind gore-tex rain gear, LED headlamp, satellite text messengar, solar cell phone charger, GPS with land status chip, and on and on...

It's legal, the odds are few sheep hunters will ever face such a dilemma. Make up your mind if and when the time comes. As for me, I'm shooting.

Then again, there are guys who pass up animals because they have broken tines and won't score as well as they would have a month prior...

From: kscowboy
13-Oct-17

kscowboy's embedded Photo
kscowboy's embedded Photo
Hey JacobNisley, craziest thing happened today. I saw some lambs and ewes and one had a collar. I can't resist looking at sheep, so I flipped around. Right after I snapped this, the uncollared sheep scattered like chickens and skirted up the rock face like I was a mountain lion. The collared one just walked up to me and I scratched her like my favorite horse. If I hadn't eaten all my Corn Nuts, I bet she would have had some with me. Amazing how much that little dose of human interaction "took the wildness" out of her.

By far the coolest experience I've ever had. Of course, my battery died and I don't have pictures...

From: TD
14-Oct-17
Must have been good drugs........

"but first.... are you experienced??? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN EXPERIENCED..... well, I haaave......"

From: midwest
14-Oct-17
LOL@ TD!

From: GF
14-Oct-17
Does make you wonder if these guys have gone through life with a strict Chastity requirement for every woman they ever thought about dating... And THAT actually DOES reflect on character.

From: Desert Sheep
18-Oct-17
I shot a ram with both an ear tag and radio collar. The collar had been dead for awhile, so I wasn't hurting anything by shooting him. His cape was okay too.

From: elkstabber
18-Oct-17
I'd shoot the tagged sheep and then tag him again.

From: DL
18-Oct-17

DL's embedded Photo
DL's embedded Photo
So if this ram was tagged who wouldn't shoot him?

Didn't think so.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Oct-17
I promised you guys a follow up on this question after I met with the NDOW people a couple of weeks ago. One of those guys runs the bear program here in Nevada and one of the other two is his supervisor.

What they said was this:

1. It's completely legal to shoot a tagged animal.

2. For sheep, shoot one you want, but if you have a choice between two rams you'd be happy with, they'd prefer you shoot the non-tagged ram.

3. For bears and cougars, same thing, only they would even more-so prefer you not shoot a tagged one.

The reasoning they gave was not so much because of the science issue, but was more because of the time and expense it takes to collar one in the first place. For bears and cougars, the danger issue as well as those critters being more difficult to find and capture was the main reason they gave.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Oct-17
DL,

Whoa, Baby!

Can you say, "MASS?"

From: DonVathome
23-Oct-17
Is that ram really a desert?????

Thanks Kyle!

From: DL
23-Oct-17
That's a ram that I'd shoot if it was tagged collared and blinking lights on it.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Oct-17
Yeah, for sure it's a Desert BHS.

Note the cactus in the photo.

From: GF
23-Oct-17
NGU - thank you for following up. Makes sense, though I’ll point out that it all really depends on the purpose of the study.

It would be really cool if there were a national database you could go to so that you could find out what animals might be tagged in the area you plan to hunt and whether the biologists on that study would prefer for hunters to pass up the marked animals or not.

From: JacobNisley
23-Oct-17
I didn't say I wouldn't shoot it. I also didn't say the sheep has been tamed. I didn't say what I meant clearly. What I meant by "taking the wildness" away, was the idea of something pristine and untouched. Most hunters seem to see sheep as more than just an animal but as a symbol for wild, rugged, extreme, wilderness, and to know that the sheep was handled runs contrary to that. It's just an idea that is defiled, but if we are honest with ourselves we do hunt for ideas, not reality. If you could stalk within 40 yds of a ram and had the choice of killing it with a bow or a rifle I have no doubt you would choose the bow. The sheep doesn't care and if it could process it might actually prefer you use the rifle. It will be dead either way but the idea that you killed it with your bow is more important than the reality that the sheep will be dead either way. Would I shoot a tagged sheep? Yes, probably if given the opportunity. If there were two rams side by side, identical except for the fact that one was tagged, I would definitely shoot the untagged one. And yes GF, my wife's lack of random promiscuity was one of the many reasons I was attracted to her. I like to be places not a lot of other men have been.

From: DL
23-Oct-17

DL's embedded Photo
DL's embedded Photo
Could be that because it was stressed by humans that they have little contact with it would now be more wary. I've seen some pictures that guys had to be extremely close. Saw one hunting show where they were 20 yds from Rocky Mountain Big horns. They backed up before they shot it with a rifle. Here's a 50 yard picture of a desert Bighorn. I'm personally looking forward to some grilled sheep ribs this December. Fred Bear said that sheep ribs were some of the best eating game. Of course they were Dall rams. Don't know what desert BH tastes like. We love lamb and even mutton so we will see. A very rare meal for sure.

From: Tilzbow
23-Oct-17
I’ve eaten ribs from Desert, Dall’s and Stone’s. They’re all similar and all excellent! I honestly can’t tell much difference in the meat between the 3.

From: kota-man
23-Oct-17
Scott..I had both my Desert and Dall ribs in the field and thought the Dall was tastier. Dall sheep is my favorite table fare of any game meat by far.

From: Tilzbow
23-Oct-17
Stones were the best but I’d been in the field 17days for that & 12 days for the Dall eating freeze dried so they were tasty too. The Desert was an RV camp with lots of good food and drink so those weren’t quite as good. All that said I brought meat from all three home and once here they tasted similar and if you like lamb I think wild sheep is similar if not more mild and better.

From: DL
24-Oct-17
Just wish the desert was bigger bodied. More good meat.

From: Kurt
25-Oct-17
My NV desert was the poorest tasting of my 5 rams. My Stone and Dall were equally tops and CO Bighorns were darn good. Sheep is “rich” tasting per my wife who prefers elk and moose. I think it is wonderful!

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