Contributors to this thread:
bow hunting desert bighorns
successful bow hunters for desert bighorns .. Looking for stalking tips. I drew a Utah tag and I have 2 months to get it done ... Any successful archers comments are welcome.
I don't qualify for comments based on your standards but want to wish you Good Luck on your hunt!
Expand it to unsuccessful for DBHS Rams and I'll give you some advice!
Ever stalk open country mule deer? Not too much difference with DBHS but I personally think sheep are much easier to find.
Like Tizbow said. I had scouted the area, knew the terrain and after glassing up the ram from a mile away, just snuck over out of sight, crawled around the hill and there they were! Actually got to 20 yards but couldn't rise up due to the available vegetation being about 1/4"! Ended up shooting at 57yds. IT CAN BE DONE! GOOD LUCK! look forward to your pictures
Drew the pine valley unit in Utah.
I Bowhunted them, unsuccessfully. They humbled me! Get ready for a challenge!
You drew my tag!! haha
Granted you had a few more points than me.
Hunt them like you do any other species Spot-n-Stalk....your previous experience will be of great value to you.
Good luck, Robb
Sheep have especially good eyesight for movement. As a result, I would like to suggest that you practice moving in ultra-slow motion. For example, if you are sitting down with your hands on your lap, and you want to itch your nose, it should take you at least 15-30 seconds to get your hand from your lap to your face. The secret is to move WITHOUT the appearance of movement.
Once you are comfortable moving like that, learn how to draw your bow the same way. It will NOT be easy, as your muscles will be engaged the entire time. However, I offer the following experience to support my suggestion......on my DBHS bowhunt, I was able to stalk within 19 yards of my ram. However, the brush was too thick for a shot. When the ram started to stand, I started to pick up my bow and draw....probably took somewhere between 1-3 minutes. The ram never saw any movement. In fact, he started to walk towards me. I shot him in the chest at 12 yards, and he never knew what hit him.
I should also state that I get teased a lot for many of my "extreme" methods and suggestions (like taking an enema the day before my polar bear bowhunt, so I wouldn't have to "go" for many days while out on the ice)....and I will be the first to admit that 99.9% of the rams that have been killed with a bow were killed by drawing a bow at normal speed. I prefer to try to leave nothing to chance....ESPECIALLY on a hunt of this magnitude.
I killed my ram on SuperBowl Sunday of 2008, the year that the Giants ruined the Patriots bid for a perfect season.....I remember it like it was yesterday. There are at least a couple DBHS threads on here, if you would like a couple good stories to "feed" your anticipation. I will attach links for Loesshillsarcher's and Mad Trapper's DBHS bowhunts.
Good luck....both in your preparation, and the hunt itself. Treasure the process....and whatever you do, don't waste a scrap of the meat.
I've found the wind to blow more stalks than any other factor, be aggressive when it's right and cautious when is dicey, back-out when it's wrong. Like Jake said, move SLOW! Shoot straight! Post pics!
Hopefully, this is a link to Tom Edgington's (Mad Trapper) DBHS bowhunt.....
This should be the link for Ned Greer's (Loesshillsarcher) DBHS bowhunt.....
Thanks to all who have posted so far. I am taking it all in please keep the tips coming.
I was once told, Ned has an unfair advantage when it comes to sheep hunting because he just naturally moves slow...Is that true? ;)
Good luck on the hunt. That one should provide a lifetime of memories.
Kota, I'm not sure about Ned being slow but I had to break ribs to slow me enough to to be successful !!
Tearing your arms to shreds must really SLOW you down as well.
Wow! It was great to relive those two Bowsite Classics!
Tom and Ned, Congrats once again on two great rams, hunts and pics!
Pvdesert, Good luck and keep us in the loop!
I completely forgot to attach the link for Bigpizzaman's DBHS. Here it is....
Sheep will see you at much longer distances than animals like deer so you have to be careful on your approach. I had sheep see me at over a mile away, they just stood up and walked over the mountain. Other than that I just stalked them like I would any other animal.
I didn't realize medicinemann was such a wussy, nothing like a #2 at -40 :)
For sure spend some time in the Beaverdam Wilderness.
Not sure if you are from down in St. George or where, but I have seen some very nice Rams with in there.
I think her PV Ram is still the state record so you are in a dang good unit!
Good luck, Robb
Thanks for bringing up the old threads, Jake.
Pvdesert, congrats and best of luck with your tag.
I can't help on advice but congrats and good luck on the tag!!
One item of note is that sheep are generally pretty comfortable if they're above you. I don't recommend stalking from below but this can work in your favor if your busted by sheep uphill from your position and if you're patient they'll sometimes settle down and you might even be able to get within a long bow shot. I've been on 10+ DBHS hunts and found this to be true many times. If you're above them, stalking down and get busted the sheep generally high tail it out of there.
I am fat, therefor slow. Use it to my advantage quite a bit.
My advice would be post your request for information on a relevant thread
I successfully bow hunted NV desert bighorns (Mormon Mountains) way back in 1991. I'll list some of the things that made my hunt:
1). Draw the tag....and you already did.....hardest part is now complete. 2). Have good information on the area. I happened to draw the Mormon Mts the year after my buddy, and he and another friend went with me....(thanks Ray and Lyle!) Not going in blind and wasting time figuring out access and glassing points really increases your odds. 3). Desert sheep move at night and were very different from CO bighorns which almost always within a few hundred yards the next morning versus where I'd last see them at dark the evening before. The NV DB rams we'd spot in the evening always disappeared overnight, not to be located the next day. If you have an opportunity in the evening, do not wait as they may be gone in the AM. 4). I never saw the rams go to water in November. Maybe in warmer months, but it appeared they got plenty from the vegetation they ate. 5). On the 8th day we spotted a mixed group of sheep with two shooter rams. I got around and above them but couldn't close the distance to less than 65 yards. My hunting buddies showed themselves on the far ridge about a 1/4 mile away. The sheep got nervous, got up and filed past me giving me the opportunity on a 10-year old ram!
It all felt like a dream come true, first to draw the tag, then go hunt hunt them, and finally arrow the desert ram of my dreams. I wish you the best of luck on your once in a lifetime hunt!
Since you're hunting in the desert, everything will stick you, cut you, sting you, or bite you. And the terrain is super rocky. On my hunt in Texas, I think I spent more time on my hands and knees than I did on my feet. That's just the nature of trying to get within bow range of a sheep. So my simple advice is to wear leather gloves and have kneepads. Nothing fancy needed. Just trying to stay "comfortable" throughout multiple stalks. (I've been there when the skin on my knees has literally worn away from crawling, and it definitely affects your next stalk...or willingness to even try.) I wore Sitka Timberline pants with the thin foam inserts, so they were always there when I needed them. I practice shooting with the gloves as well. Good luck!
I really like these kneepads.
I am on my second pair in the last 7-8 years.
Good luck, Robb
Thermarest Z seat because where ever you sit is going to be rocky. And everyone is right about the wind, if they catch a wif they'll be gone. Don't psyche yourself out because it's a sheep hunt. They are smart, but they aren't as hard as you'd think. Good luck. Shoot straight.
Huge fire down there now---evacuation of many people.
Those summer fires sure suck!
Good luck, Robb
Mature ram in Nevada Mormon mountain area very weak and sick looking .
You are going to use all 2 months if needed. That's job one!! Good for you. Congrats on the tag! C
Thanks again for all the good advice. I will be starting the hunt first of November and hope I can get some photos on the site as we scout and start putting the stalk on some rams.
Thanks PVdesert for starting this thread, and those that have contributed. I too have a desert sheep tag this year, although in Arizona. My hunt starts in December. I'm counting on PVd to get his in November and help fuel my excitement as I get closer to my hunt with stick and string!
I didn't see the thread until today, lots of good advice. I also drew a Desert tag in Nevada this year. Very excited about it. I had a Desert tag in 95 and hunted with traditional gear for ten days and then ended up taking a ram with a rifle, since I had ran out of time. The difference now is I am somewhat older but have way more time to put into it. I felt that hunting the Desert was similar to hunting mule deer in some ways, but definitely a different critter in how they act and react. Although when hunting a Rocky Bighorn about 10 years ago it resembled hunting mule deer, and I think that had more to do with the different more lush type of terrain. Good luck to you on your hunt Pvdesert. Mine starts a little later on Nov 20.
This makes getting in shape a little easier. This was from my unit today
What day does your desert bighorn bowhunt begin?
Very nice rams keep it coming
There are some Dandy Rams on the PV unit.
One of these years I will draw it too!
Good luck, Robb
Pvdesert - Congrats on the tag, best of luck with your hunt.... Curious, how many points did you have?
Great pics, thanks for sharing.
Congrats on drawing that tag! Best of luck to you!
Ohhh---so you got the Max ressy pool tag as there aren't any non-ressy tags offered.
Cool for you man!
I am point or 2 behind you haha
Good luck, Robb
I'm a month out and thought I would throw out a picture of a ram I was looking at this morning for all to enjoy and thanks again everybody who has shared some sheep wisdom with me.
He has some MASS!!
Good luck, Robb
Awesome ram! Hope you get him!
What a nice ram, he has everything. Good luck
Another nice ram and even nicer scenery. This unit is beautiful sheep country. Can't wait counting the days down to the opener. Oct 28th
Anyone have a favorite sheep shape exercise. I am doing the same exercises I did for my Stone sheep hunt but always looking for a new one?
This may be one of the most important questions I ask on the forum? What about mental preparation---any advice is welcome.
If you did your Stone hunt then you should be well prepared for the physical and the mental prep for this Desert Ram hunt.
With in the PV unit there is plenty of road/2-track access that you won't necessarily be doing the grueling miles and miles of a Stone hunt.
You are going to be fine---enjoy man!
Good luck, Robb
Not my best picture but 3 rams none the less. Getting closer to my opener and can't wait for my first stalk.
My buddy with a tag for DBS this season sent me this pic. I believe it was filmed two weeks ago in AZ. Yikes, this could be a new world record. I understand a TX resident has the Governor's tag and is going after this one.
Good luck Pvdesert, have a great hunt.
(AZ-Rich, know anything else about that sheep? Jeez. I'm surprised that sheep survived even last season)
Amazing ram. My understanding is that knowledge of the existence of that ram was the reason the statewide sheep tag sold this year for the highest price ever paid @ 380k ! Kind of surprising that the ram is still alive, since season for the 2 statewide tag holders has been open since Aug 15th.
Stick, yes that's what my understanding was too. Their summer coats are still prominent up until now so it could be that the tag holder is waiting for a better winter coat which should be November? Just a guess about the wait but that ram is going to be taken very soon.
Didn't know Deseet Sheep had such stocky bodies. I've never seen one (other than to measure their horns) so I'm certainly not an expert! Also thought their horns were usually broomed?
If God would grant me one wish, that would be it, to hunt Desert sheep,,,, it is out of my league now in my later life, not body wise but money wise,,,,,, however it is the money that has saved these sheep, and I respect anyone who can afford it......
In my late 20's I was grateful I could hunt sheep I could swing it, and was able body,,,, I think Sheep is what bowhunting is all about,,,,, man I love them,,,,, To all of you who have hunted and scored and not scored, that is not an easy hunt and you are blessed s
You about ready to head out for your hunt Opener Pv?
Have fun, be safe, enjoy and Pick-A-Spot!
Good luck, Robb
Starts Saturday morning 29th and I will be out there... hoping to get some good photos as I hunt each day to share with the bowsite members. I feel very blessed to have the tag and look forward to enjoying the hunt each and everyday!
Day 1 hunt went something like this -- 27 sheep spotted one nice ram but he was 700 yards into arizona and moving deeper into Arizona. This unit is right on the border of Utah and Arizona so I have to know where the line is at all times.
Thanks for taking us along...good luck!
This will be a great thread to follow. Thanks for taking us along!!
Sorry but having a hard time editing my pictures... here is the ram from yesterday
For some reason I had you more in the Beaver Dam Wilderness area than along Az. 13b unit.
Exciting for sure.
Good luck, Robb
Is this a once in a lifetime tag?
it is a OIL tag medicinemann
Day 2 on the mountain...glass, glass, glass and glass some more...starting to understand just how important glassing is each and everyday. Found 2 rams today (one young and one mature) and 6 ewes but made a decision to pass on a stalk on mature ram. Right horn about 4 inches shorter than left (hope I am not too picky) he was a nice ram. Really appreciate the good help and local knowledge of friends willing to help..they will be The game changers for me! Yes this tag is Once in a Lifetime.
Good luck bud,ill bet it's damn exciting in that beautiful land !!!get em!
I have nothing to help besides good luck! I hope you get a crack at one and make your on the opportunity.
Day 2 on the mountain...glass, glass glass and glass some more...starting to understand just how important glassing is each and everyday. Found 2 rams today and 6 ewes but made a decision to pass on a stalk. Right horn about 4 inches shorter that left (hope I am not too picky) he was a nice ram. Really appreciate the good help and local knowledge of friends willing to help..they will be The game changers for me!
Day 3 Best day of the hunt so far...8 rams spotted. Still no stalks but had 2 rams in stalkable spots. Had a big decision to make and decided I had better listen to those that have gone before me. Passed up both chances ... rams just not big enough? I sure hope I did the right thing? I know I will be thinking about it In the coming days. All in all, I know that listening to my support team will payoff in the end ... so patience it is!
Are you the only Hunter in your unit or are there others?
Day 4 High wind warning were in effect today for our area so we took it a little bit easy today. Spotted sheep first thing in the morning for about an hour. Turned up 5 rams before they tucked in out of the wind. Weather is looking good for tomorrow and we should have some spotters to help find rams. Early rut is just starting and hunting should just get better all the way till thanksgiving. Didn't see a wow ram today but I know we will...patience and more glassing.
FYI ... there is only one other tag in the unit and I have yet to see him
Day 5--First stalk of the hunt happened today on the ram on the right side of the picture. Got to 40 yards but couldn't get the shot before he caught our movement. (I think I have a lot more to learn about stalking in on sheep---humbling). But, this tag has taken me 21 years to draw and I have chose to pursue with my bow and realize that I will go through some learning curves as I pursue these amazing creatures of the desert. Also, my respect for the Desert sheep has only increased after yesterdays stalking opportunity. A shout out to good friends that love to hunt these sheep and who are constantly keeping my spirits up while spending countless hours in the glass turning up these deserts bighorns. Support has and will be huge in my quest for the bow kill. We walked 8 miles in some of the most beautiful desert county I will ever spend time in and my sore feet are testifying to it as I write---but I loved every step yesterday. Had to go in to work today for a bit(make sure I am still employed) but can't wait to get out on the mountain again.
RAM DOWN---Day 6 started like most days. glass, glass and more glassing. We found a really big ram but watched as he crossed over into Arizona(This unit runs along the Az border and it is a must to know where you are at all times) Hoping he would possibly come back into Utah we decided to take a walk along the line and set up on a ridge. On the way there we spotted 4 sheep, 2 rams --- one looked pretty good and they were in Utah for sure. We decided to move a little closer and see if we could get tight on them. After the second attempt to locate them we found them and moved in. We reapplied scent spray and took all packs and extras off. At about 100 yards we slipped our boots off and continued our stalk. At 50 yards we caught our first glimpse of horns and hunkered down. Big decision to make here--What to do? This is a once in a lifetime tag and I had planned on hunting the whole month of November for the sheep. After contemplating this with my friend Tony he said it was up to me but this looked like a good ram. The sheep didn't smell us but either heard us or caught something that made them a little nervous. They started a button hook around to get our wind. We repositioned and watched as they worked around us. I first caught a glimpse of horns coming our way through the rocks and bushes. Once I got a good look at the horns I knew I wanted to take the shot. Ranged the Ram at 70 yards. As I started to pull my bow back the ram stopped and looked at me broadside. I kept telling myself to remain calm(not easy to do when a ram has you pegged) but as I brought my pin to rest on his chest the shot was off. Hit the front shoulder square and watched as the sheep headed for the rim of the canyon. Sheep went 50 yards and was done. The Grim reaper broad head put him down fast and the ole trusty mathews z7 extrem once again found pay dirt.
What a feeling walking up on the ram. So much had gone into making this happen for me. The great help of the friends (sheep freaks) that spent countless hours behind the glasses on my behalf and always telling me I could do this. The affermation that I must of read a 100 times preparing me for the shot and keeping me mentally tough. I feel truly blessed that I had this opportunity to harvest this great animal with my bow. Now last but not least, thanks to all you sheep nuts who gave me great advice on the tread.
Pictures will be posted tomorrow stay tuned!
Congrats! Patiently waiting for the pictures.
Way to go! Can't wait to see some pics...
Congrats! Nothing like getting a ram!
A big congrats PV!!!
Great job with the story and pics....keep 'em rolling!!!
Great ram! Thanks for sharing!
Congratulations! Awesome accomplishment! Thank you for taking us along.
Incredible, alot goes into putting that on the ground.
Congrats! Great Ram! Well done
Can't thank my support staff near enough. It does take a team to get this done!!!
Heck of a shot.....congrats and thanks for the play by play and pics!
Really nice! Congratulations!
Excellent ram and hunt. Congrats, You did very well indeed!
You did GREAT!!
I have been hunting elk up by Flaming Gorge and was hoping when I got back you had some good results and by hell you certainly did!
Good luck, Robb
You can't very well pass on a ram like that! Congrats, what a trophy.
Congrats on sticking to your guns...er, sticking to your BOW!
Congrats on an amazing ram.
Congratulations, and thanks for helping to psych me even more for my own upcoming desert sheep hunt in a few weeks. It's hard enough to work right now! I'm trying to practice judging them whenever I can, so do you have an idea of the green score on your ram so I can see how close I am? Great job! Marvin
Great looking ram. Congratulations!
Congratulations on a great ram.
Official Green score 159 2/8 gross 158 3/8 net 6 1/2 year old ram Current Utah State Record 156 1/8
Great job and I hope you got the new state record. Thanks for taking us along.
huge congrats that's awsome
One more reason to hate shrinkage!
good luck and keep us posted in 50 days!!!
Congratulations on the potential State Record! Are all the Desert Bighorns in Utah the Nelsoni subspecies?
'Are all the Desert Bighorns in Utah the Nelsoni subspecies'
Yes Greg, they are and the smaller sized Desert. Being on the Az. Border like that I am uncertain as I am not sure if it is.
No doubt Pvd will let us know---------->
Good luck, Robb
PS--my experience with sheep is 3.5% shrinkage over the 60 day 'waiting period'.
Thanks again for everyones support on the forum. I really did use the input to help mold me mentally for this hunt. I read the advice over and over many times. If my experience can help anyone accomplish their goal of harvesting a Desert please don't hesitate to ask questions.
The Desert Subspecies Ovis Canadensis Nelsoni are associated with the Colorado River covering those areas of AZ, and Southern NV, and Southern Utah and SW corner of Colorado. They tend to have smaller bodies, and thinner more flaring horns than the Mexicani subspecies which are the largest Desert BHs. O.c. Mexicani are found further East from the CO River in (Central AZ) east into NM and south into Sonora and Chihuahua Mexico. There is also a California Desert BH found in Southern CA desert mountains which seems to be a little different than the Nelsoni with larger horns. Not to be confused with the true California BH which is actually a subspecies of Rocky Mountain BH; O.c. Californiana found in Central/Northern CA, up to BC, WA, OR, Western ID and Northern NV. In the Baja peninsula of Mexico and on Tiburon/Carmen Islands there are two subspecies: the Peninsular BH or O.c. cremnobates and O.c. Weemsi, which tend to be smaller and have less horn mass than the Mexicani but not as flaring as a Nelsoni.
Good luck, Robb
After the 60 day drying period. It is official---159 1/8 ---will place him #1 in the state of Utah with a bow. Old record was 156 1/8. Thanks to all who gave me input and encouragement!
Congrats! Glad to hear it!!!
Beauty! Looks like he went up.
If you get some time, throw the quarters and lengths up.
Once again, congrats, alot goes into a sheep hunt, especially with a bow.
Congrats on a great hunt and trophy!
Not many people can lay claim to being #1
Big-time Congrats man!
Good luck, Robb
PS if I draw this year I'll reach out to ya.....
Here are his totals
R 31 4/8 14 3/8 13 6/8 11 6/8 7 5/8
L 32 7/8 14 3/8 13 5/8 11 7/8 8 1/8
Wow! Congrats on one heck of an accomplishment!
Amazing accomplishment! Thanks for taking the time to share it!
PV, Congratulations! Nice one and cool he is the largest bow ram from Utah! Good job.
So....how many times a day do you relive the final stalk? How long did it take you to get back in the groove at work? Ha!!
Bull elk 1 --- I would love to help when you draw
Medicinemann--I think about it a lot and I have re-lived it many many times... also I have to be honest about experiencing a little depression after such a high...I guess I need to work on my next great adventure? Work was a little tough getting back into the grove.
Good luck, Robb
Great, Awesome! Congrats, I missed this thread until now, glad I found it.
Way cool! Congratulations!