Mathews Inc.
Fat Lady Sheep
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
squirrel 05-Mar-18
squirrel 05-Mar-18
squirrel 05-Mar-18
squirrel 05-Mar-18
SJJ 05-Mar-18
TXCO 05-Mar-18
t-roy 05-Mar-18
yooper89 05-Mar-18
Kurt 05-Mar-18
Southern draw 05-Mar-18
Jaquomo 05-Mar-18
caribou77 05-Mar-18
Whocares 05-Mar-18
Whocares 05-Mar-18
squirrel 05-Mar-18
Bowboy 05-Mar-18
Scoot 05-Mar-18
HUNT MAN 05-Mar-18
Paul@thefort 05-Mar-18
Nesser 06-Mar-18
grubby 06-Mar-18
squirrel 06-Mar-18
akbow 06-Mar-18
wannaelk 06-Mar-18
Inshart 06-Mar-18
SCmuddy 06-Mar-18
DonVathome 07-Mar-18
Deflatem 07-Mar-18
squirrel 07-Mar-18
Outdoordan 07-Mar-18
From: squirrel
05-Mar-18

squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
Man some of you guys really need a life, for the record M Rompola had nothing to do with anything that follows...

First and foremost you must get the tag, of course, and for sheep it isn’t easy even when it’s the easiest. Doing the research is difficult and always changing as do the whims of the applicants. It is best to follow trends not hard numbers, I have found. Remote units, with sparse sheep populations, and archery tags only, tend to thin out applicants to a considerable degree. Some of these units almost never have a sheep harvested, some of the remainder only tiny little rams. It used to be that you had to invest a day trip to the main DOW office to research all this from the raw data of hunt reports, not many people would put in this effort. I had suffered through my five years in the successful sheep hunter’s penalty box, and three more building up the minimum of three points to be back in the game. I very much wanted a tag but I wanted at least a sluggers chance to actually get a sheep. I focused on a unit that had just one tag for archery, an early season (August) good odds to draw (1/3) and where there had been a few sheep killed in recent years, though most were in the later rifle season, only one had ever been killed with a bow. In my second application for this tag I was the lucky guy who drew. I had never laid a foot in the unit so took some early summer trips to get acquainted. The unit reached from high alpine crags in the west to flat antelope country in its eastern portions. The kill reports put the sheep at the lower end, in the stony foothills. I never laid eyes on a sheep during my summer scouting but arranged to have a month off from work. With high hopes I headed to my chosen camping spot on August 1st. I started out where the harvests had been reported but sheep were few and far between, and all girls. The unit only had fifty sheep in it according to data from the DOW so I was not expecting to see herds of sheep but hoped to find a single band of mature rams. I figured this would be the best I could hope for, 3-5 decent sheep, if I was lucky. The hot weather of early august was really hampering my efforts as the few sheep I saw were only active for a few minutes of daylight early and late. In the morning with the dawn approaching them they would literally run down the mountain to the shade of the rocks rather than let the sun’s rays strike them. They would be snatching mouthfuls of grass as they ran, and once buried in the shade of huge rocks it was hard to see them as they moseyed around and chose where to lay up for their day. Most evenings they never came out of the rocks but could be spotted again the next morning running from the sun again. For my first sheep hunt I had about frozen to death now I was suffering from heat stroke daily… it aint easy being me!

From: squirrel
05-Mar-18

squirrel's embedded Photo
The "chinese wall"
squirrel's embedded Photo
The "chinese wall"
squirrel's embedded Photo
as soon as the sun started working it's way down the hill the sheep would vanish daily
squirrel's embedded Photo
as soon as the sun started working it's way down the hill the sheep would vanish daily
When the season opened I had yet to see a ram. I could see for miles from vantage points and was covering a lot of ground in my truck, hiking short distances to good glassing points. I could only hope to hit about two spots every morning and evening at best with the limited sheep movement. I kept an eye on the ewes and lambs but had no real hopes that a ram would be with them, and while glassing them one evening I spotted a ram butt a few miles down towards the flat country. It was too late to approach that night but I went there in the dark the next morning. I did not see the ram that morning but while driving to a better vantage point looked over and there, just a hundred yards out of my truck window, were two rams in some rock ledges. I continued on around the bend and bailed out as soon as I was out of their sight. One was a nice heavy ¾ curl with acorn colored horns (I named him Acorn) and his companion was of no interest with a very skinny 5/8 curl. I had the sun at my back the wind in my face and the stalk went perfectly. I edged up over a stone ledge at 35 yards and came to full draw on Acorn but his body angle made me hold for a moment. Just then the wind swirled and they tore off at top speed. I let down my draw and stood there shaking like a leaf as I watched them run for over a mile to the shelter of a huge rock wall, where they disappeared. My first big chance blown, and on a really nice ram too…

They sought shelter under what I came to call the “Chinese wall” a sheer wall of granite with only a couple breaks in it that ran for about ¾ mile. At the foot of the “wall” were huge chunks of jumbled stones the size of truck. I watched closely and saw some movement in the rocks as they bedded down, that evening they did not come out but the following morning they were grazing on the flat and retreated again to the stones. I carefully marked their location and was in position as the sun went down. They got up and fed amongst the rocks, I fine-tuned my position horizontally and edged out on the sloping rock. I chickened out and retreated to take off my shoes and went back out barefoot on the sheer cliff edge on about a 20 degree angle of smooth stone over an 80-90’ drop. It was hard to concentrate on my anchor point as my brain wanted to think about not sliding off into thin air. I jerked the release and missed acorns brisket by a couple of inches low at about 20 yards away but almost straight down. The two rams bailed out of their hiding spot and I did not see them for quite some time, Acorn was spooked… The next day I went into the jumbled stones to get my arrow and there were sheep beds everywhere, it stunk like a barnyard and even the caves had beds way back under the shadow of the rocks. Once they were in those rocks there would be no way to get them with archery, I would have to hunt the perimeter and hope for luck. Unfortunately Acorn had retreated into a private ranch whose owner enjoyed watching the sheep and would not allow me to trespass. He stayed put. After thoroughly spooking the only rams spotted so far I went to town and called my Princess to check in. She was distraught about our bitch coming into heat and our male was tearing the house apart to get to her. I was told to come home and take him with me. I wasted a day of hunting to go home and grab my horny boy for the remainder of my hunt. I now had a hunting partner . I got back just in time for the evening hunt and used it to explore new country as I was starting with a clean slate. While glassing that evening I hit the jackpot! Seven mature rams were feeding on the north facing slope of “Acorn’s mountain”. I got to the edge of the timber that evening a hundred yards from the rams and sat until dead dark admiring them. One beautiful full curl, (full curl) a very heavy 7/8 curl (Big Jake) and a heavy ¾ (heavy ¾) and four other wannabe’s of ½-5/8 curl rounded out the group. I was unbelievably excited at this good turn of events, these were more rams, and bigger, than I had ever dared hope to find here. Full curl and Big Jake were absolute studs, full curl had his lamb tips and Big Jake had tips the size of a baseball bat. The heavy ¾ was a bit inferior to Acorn, but not by much, any of these four would be my goal with full curl being top of the list. I had three weeks left to close the deal. Not even a rifle hunter had ever taken a sheep like the biggest two out of this unit.

To celebrate I spooked them the next morning when at fifty yards one I had not seen saw me move and they exploded off to the south. I had slipped into a saddle beside the peacefully grazing rams at daylight. I closed the distance to fifty yards using pinions for cover as I focused on full curl. I needed a few more yards or some good luck in that they would feed my direction. I thought I could gain five more yards and stay hidden but those sheep eyes were too much for my clumsy approach. I never saw the group together again in its entirety. I found a single ram the next day but he disappeared during my stalk. On the way down off the hill to my truck I found a beautiful white quartz arrowhead from a long ago archery hunter. I carried it in my pocket for inspiration for the duration of my hunt. Two sheep less days sent me venturing further into new territory. I was chowing down on ripe currants in the afternoon and looked up and there were five of the seven lined up shoulder to shoulder staring at me from 200 yards away in a cut in the cliffs. The three biggest were still running together. I continued on my way as if I hadn’t seen them and couldn’t care less if I had, and circled to the back side but ran out of light. The next morning I found two of them on the back side of some private land. I had to circle a long ways to avoid the private and they had hidden themselves by the time I got there.

I went and talked to the landowner and he allowed me to cross his land, but not hunt it. The next morning Big Jake and a 5/8 were right there and I was able to get within 50 yards as they fed. I was out of cover and pinned down for almost an hour as they hit the shade and worked their way up into the rocks to bed. I ran across the open as they were both behind a huge stone and just made it, as they found their day bed on a ledge of stone. I was able to crawl and keep rock between us and got within 20 yards, knocked an arrow, tried to gather my composure and stood up while at full draw. I needed to clear the stone ledge by about two inches to hit him perfectly as he lay, if he stood without running it would be perfect. His eyes got wide as I popped up but he did not stand, I proceeded to drill the edge of the stone by 1” with my broad head sending Big Jake scrambling for higher ground and leaving me a basket case with a severe confidence crisis. A ram like that at 20 yards, and I BLEW IT! I only saw Jake one more time and he was wound up like a ten day clock, seeing ghosts behind every rock, one of those ghosts was me at about a hundred yards, and he executed a spectacular escape up a chimney in a cliff face over the top and into the timber never to be seen by me again. My comedy of errors was making for some spooky sheep, and time was dwindling.

From: squirrel
05-Mar-18

squirrel's embedded Photo
The wall was hard to breech vertically
squirrel's embedded Photo
The wall was hard to breech vertically
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
After spooking Jake I found my old buddy Acorn and spent a few days shadowing him as he flirted with the edge of the ranch. He still had his young buddy with him and I used the base of the China Wall to get close. Once as close as 35 yards at a perfect angle. I came to full draw and stepped sideways out from behind my rock. Right in front of the kill zone was a battered stake with an illegible sign at the top marking the ranch boundary. He was maybe three yards on the wrong side of it; he most likely had a different perspective of right/wrong! On a mile long property line there were maybe 5 posts marking it and he had to stand behind one of them… He had not seen me and I let down my draw and hoped he would step a few yards in my direction as he fed, I was certain he would want to bed next to the China Wall. He did not, he went deeper into the ranch and bedded in some stones. Full curl- disappeared… Big Jake-gone… Acorn- smarter than your average bear… This left one shooter un-spooked, the heavy ¾, if I could find him, or heaven forbid, settling for one of the younger rams. My month long season was slowly being whittled away, and my sheep were getting very educated by my many errors. I had down a lot of damage by hunting them hard every day for three weeks straight. They were spooked badly and living a mostly nocturnal lifestyle. Acorn was still my best bet as he was findable, just not hunt able, I just needed him to make a mistake. I beat a trail around that ranch hoping to catch him a few feet on the wrong side of its fence.

With just two days left of my season, the fat lady might not be singing yet but she was, no doubt warming up her vocal cords. I was in search of Acorn when I saw the heavy ¾ and a companion of maybe 5/8 curl feeding a few yards outside of the sanctuary ranch. I had to drive far down the road and circle in around the ranch off of its eastern tip and come in from the same elevation as they were on. I spotted them right at the crack of dawn so I had a little time, very little. Getting to 100 yards was easy but then I had to wait till both of their heads were buried into the bushes to creep forward a few yards at a time, then waiting for another opportunity. The sun was just ready to hit them and send them to cover when I got to my 35 yard limit. Right on cue they raised their heads and left the brush and were headed for shade. When the ¾ cleared the brush he spotted me at full draw and froze to stare, but he was too late, my arrow was on its way and buried itself to the fletching behind his shoulder. He bolted towards the safety of the ranch and stopped a few yards short, wobbled a bit and crashed snoot first to the ground. I was elated at this last minute turn of good fortune. He was a good twenty yards away from the boundary so I dressed him and retreated as quickly as I could to grab my pack and my dog. Time was of the essence in the 90 degree heat as I hurried to butcher him and make the two trips to the truck with my prize. I hurriedly broke camp and headed for home, putting him on ice when I hit town. I got home in the wee hours of the morning and put him in the freezer and slept like the dead until dawn.

From: squirrel
05-Mar-18

squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
He is the bottom right. "FULL CURL" THE ONE i REALLY WANTED IS ON THE UPPER RIGHT, BUT IS ANOTHER STORY
squirrel's embedded Photo
He is the bottom right. "FULL CURL" THE ONE i REALLY WANTED IS ON THE UPPER RIGHT, BUT IS ANOTHER STORY
The next day I took the head /cape to the DOW for my mandatory check in. What should have been routine turned into an interrogation. They insisted on seeing the entry wound, they wanted to see evidence of sex, and they wanted to weigh the meat to see how much I salvaged, and what cuts. My cape had the “x” of a broad head, but this was not enough, they wanted the rest of the hide, which was 8 hours drive away. And I had no meat with me, just the cape/horns/skull. There is a box on the check in form and it asks if the meat was checked in. Obviously (to me) if not, you just don’t check the box, they saw it differently, and told me I had to bring them all the meat and evidence of sex. I refused and showed them (and read them) the regulations dealing with the check in requirements. This pissed them off royally; they hate it when you are able to read… They threatened to withhold the check in verification if that damn box was not checked. (By doing this they dis-allow any future sheep/goat applications) I was getting pissed by now and wanted a copy of what they were not going to allow as a valid check in form. At this they backed off and gave it to me and this should have ended it, it did not. A couple hours later, alerted by a dog bark, I see a DOW truck in my driveway, empty. I walk out and there is Mike Crosby, officer of the “green gestapo” shoulder deep in my freezer tossing meat around looking for my sheep meat. I pointed it out to him as the buried, plastic wrapped, meat. He pointed out that only somebody hiding something would bury it. I pointed out- or somebody that wanted it to cool/freeze quickly… it was too frozen already to tear it apart and look for evidence of sex so he stomped around a bit and left yelling that I should thaw all that out and bring it over to be properly looked at. He was not at all pleased by my response, I heard it once on a construction site and it seemed appropriate at the time, but I doubt my mother would have been pleased… What a lousy way to end an amazing adventure. My ram was 13 years old and ended up at 146.25”

From: SJJ
05-Mar-18
awesome ........

From: TXCO
05-Mar-18
Awesome, cant wait for the full curl story.

From: t-roy
05-Mar-18
Great job squirrel! Impressive group of rams on your wall as well. At what age does a ram usually reach full curl on average? At 13, I would have thought he would be old enough, but I also know very little about sheep, especially about how to draw a tag! Also, do you have the legal right to recover a wounded animal in Colorado if it is shot on public and then expires on private?

From: yooper89
05-Mar-18
Squirrel, you're on a roll with the goat/sheep stories. I love it. Someday I'll draw. It's a dream hunt!

From: Kurt
05-Mar-18
Kevin, Great sheep story!!!! Congrats!!!! And nice lineup of rams too! Lots of work and fun collecting them I'll bet!! Kurt

05-Mar-18
Congrats! great story!!

From: Jaquomo
05-Mar-18
Great story! So did Crosby end his investigation there or did they force you to thaw the meat and bring it in?

T-roy, in CO you don't have the right to recover an animal without the landowner's permission. CPW can't even force the landowner to allow it, although they will try to reason with them.

From: caribou77
05-Mar-18
Great story! Thank you

From: Whocares
05-Mar-18
Great story , Squirrel. Your buddy Crosby is retired now! He was a bulldog, but a riot in the bar over beer! That deal sounded out of bounds! Old school.

From: Whocares
05-Mar-18
A little story about your buddy, several years ago a then wildlife officer friend of mine said she called Mike about something and asked him what he was doing. Out checking the condition of the deer, he replied. She said, Mike! I called you on your home phone! Oh, says he, well, I can see them from the house! old school....

From: squirrel
05-Mar-18
Crosby is/was a pile of dung with a badge pinned to it.

From: Bowboy
05-Mar-18
Great story and nice ram. Congrats!

From: Scoot
05-Mar-18
Congrats squirrel! That old codger definitely sounds like a pile of dung to me! It's too bad when idiots get a badge and a position of power. The vast, vast majority of them are great and do an important and good job, but there are a small few who suck. Sounds like you got stuck dealing with one of them.

From: HUNT MAN
05-Mar-18
Thanks for posting. We need more hunting stories less bitching. Hunt

From: Paul@thefort
05-Mar-18
Kevin, a 13 year old ram is really old and to only score 143. He must have been near the end of this life. Did he have any teeth left? In comparison, my Colorado 4 year old ram scored 142 3/8. Nice story. fun Hunt. my best Paul

From: Nesser
06-Mar-18
Great story and awesome wall of rams!

From: grubby
06-Mar-18
Thanks for sharing that story! We needed it right about now!

From: squirrel
06-Mar-18
troy. I got a "Mike Crosby" type ram, naturally small and defective genes, "full curl was only 8 yrs old. Jaq is correct on the recovery thing on private.

Jaq, no he was lucky he got to leave my house, it got a bit heated, and went on until he quit 2 years ago. As he lives local I would bet it aint over yet, but he has no badge now.

Paul, his chompers were pretty flat, he was old based on them and his growth rings.

Whocares, being a criminal working for the government isn't "old school", it just means you do your work in the light of day with impunity from consequences, hence it's allure.

From: akbow
06-Mar-18
Awesome Story! And great ram(s). That's quite an accomplishment to have 4 of them on your wall. I should point out for anyone looking at those pics that storing capes in a plastic bag is not recommended. Definitely increases the risk of ruining a cape. Dry, cool, and circulation at a minimum--salt/drain/repeat is even better

From: wannaelk
06-Mar-18
awesome!!

From: Inshart
06-Mar-18
Squirrel - good on you, I just love it when someone puts a POS Gestapo warden in his place. We have a couple of them where I live as well.

Outstanding hunt as well, and congrats on your ram.

From: SCmuddy
06-Mar-18
That was a fantastic story Squirrel!

Thank you for sharing and that is also a strongggg string of rams on your wall!

From: DonVathome
07-Mar-18
Great story and congratulations! Remember when you were sheep hunting in Wyoming.

You also bring up a good point that I feel most people miss. If you get the wrong person in a disagreement and point out how the wrong things do not get better for you they get worse.

I have this exact problem with the person checking my guns in on my first trip to Alaska.

She got really upset when I pointed out her mistakes and it doesn’t matter that I was doing everything right and I barely made my flight.

You are not subject to the requirements your subject to whoever is checking use version of the requirements or in many cases whatever the heck they want to do!

Congratulations!

From: Deflatem
07-Mar-18
Is a head with a large curl not enough evidence of sex???

From: squirrel
07-Mar-18

squirrel's embedded Photo
squirrel's embedded Photo
deflate... short answer is no DonV - see pic. Once Crosby threatened to write me for not having my federal duck stamp stuck to my small game license. His keen logic was it is a stamp, it has sticky stuff on the back, therefore it MUST be attached. I asked when I went to hunt ducks in KS if I had to have a second federal stamp stuck on to my KS license or if I could just staple them together... he got confused about then. I'm prety sure he retired to sit on the SCOTUS.

From: Outdoordan
07-Mar-18
Great story, sorry about the run around. I can't wait to hunt sheep again, but I am going to have to! Thanks again for the story!

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