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Contributors to this thread:
JL 17-Sep-18
BULELK1 17-Sep-18
Lee 17-Sep-18
njbuck 17-Sep-18
ELKMAN 17-Sep-18
CO_Bowhunter 17-Sep-18
Medicinemann 17-Sep-18
Medicinemann 17-Sep-18
Medicinemann 17-Sep-18
Mule Power 17-Sep-18
Treeline 17-Sep-18
walking buffalo 17-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 17-Sep-18
IdyllwildArcher 17-Sep-18
From: JL
17-Sep-18

JL's Link
Brother sent this article to me.

22-year-old Montana hunter's Missouri River Breaks bighorn ram ties world record

BRETT FRENCH french@billingsgazette.com 7 hrs ago 3 min to read

The Sheedy ram

Justin Sheedy holds the horns of the bighorn sheep he shot last October while hunting in the Missouri River Breaks. The ram has scored 208 3/8, good enough to tie the current world record hunter-shot ram based on the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system.

Since Justin Sheedy pulled the trigger on a huge bighorn ram last hunting season in the Missouri River Breaks it’s been a waiting game.

The sheep, shot in Hunting District 680 north of the Missouri River, was officially scored by a Boone and Crockett Club judge last December. Based on those measurements, the ram tied the current hunter-shot world record. With a score of 208 3/8, Sheedy’s ram is in a dead heat with Guinn Crousen’s bighorn ram shot in 2000 in the Luscar Mountain region of Alberta, Canada.

Those two rams differ from the top three bighorn sheep in the world, which were all found dead instead of hunter-killed. That includes a dead bighorn sheep picked up on Wild Horse Island in Flathead Lake, which was officially certified earlier this year at 216 3/8 — No. 1 in the world.

Although Sheedy, 22, a Montana State University civil engineering student, knew after chasing sheep for three weeks spread across five trips that the ram he shot was big, the reality of just how big the sheep was didn’t hit until it was officially scored.

One score isn’t enough, however. All new Boone and Crockett top 10 record book entries face an additional test, a scoring by two panels of judges. That’s what has left Sheedy waiting. The scoring will be done in August 2019 in Springfield, Missouri.

The Sheedy ram, top, is shown next to the Weatherly bighorn, the previous largest hunter-killed ram in Montana, for comparison. James Weatherly shot the ram in 1993 in Granite County. It measured 204 7/8.

“Typically they do (hold),” said Keith Balfourd, director of marketing at Boone and Crockett’s headquarters in Missoula. “Sheep aren’t as complex to score as a moose or a caribou or other animals that grow abnormally.”

Sheedy’s father, Ted, put his son in for the bighorn tag, even though college, a part-time job and Army National Guard service was tying up his schedule. When he was awarded the license in Montana’s annual drawing — a less than 1 percent chance — Sheedy decided to carve out as much time as possible from his busy schedule.

"We worked really hard backpacking in," Ted said. "The sheep live on public land, but you have to hike in five miles before hunting."

Excursions to the Eastern Montana area meant long drives from Bozeman, wet and muddy slogs through the Breaks’ notorious gumbo mud and finally success on Oct. 20, 2017, when it seemed like notching the tag may not happen.

“We saw it two weeks before I shot it, and I wasn’t able to make the shot,” Sheedy said.

With National Guard duty the next weekend, the long wait to get back out in the field was agonizing.

“A lot of things can happen in two weeks,” he noted. “Once we saw that one ram there was pressure to get back there.”

When the ram was finally spotted with a group of 16 others, Sheedy, his father and other hunters along for the ride worked to pick out the biggest of the bunch. With a crosswind howling, Sheedy settled the sights of his .300 Weatherby rifle on what all agreed was the biggest ram and pulled the trigger, even though it was a 279-yard shot.

“I was shaking more than normal with the adrenaline and cold wind,” he said.

No matter whether the bighorn ram’s horns score the same as the current hunter-shot world record, Balfourd noted that Montana is unquestionably “producing the largest bighorns in history, and that history goes back to the 1830s.

“So we’re doing something right,” he added. “When it comes to sheep it’s all about habitat quality, moreso than genetics.” +2 Score sheet

This score sheet shows the Sheedy ram's measurements down to an eighth of an inch and the final tally.

Those same genetics that produced the No. 1 sheep in the world, the one found dead on Wild Horse Island, have been planted across the state as part of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ efforts to boost or re-establish bighorn herds by relocating animals.

"It's a great conservation story," Ted said.

Balfourd noted the big ram is also a statement about good conservation management, since big sheep need time to grow large horns.

Montana has also entered the record books and received national attention recently for the No. 1 typical archery-killed and nontypical elk, both of which were killed in southeastern Montana on public land. It seems, in some ways, that this is the golden era for hunting some big game species in Montana.

For Sheedy, the bighorn ram is the defining moment of a hunting career that stretches back to when he was 10 years old. That’s when he passed his first hunter’s safety course in Washington and began hunting on his grandparents’ farm. For Sheedy, though, hunting is not all about the animals taken.

“I just feel an element of survival even though it’s not a life-or-death situation,” he said. “In the outdoors, being away from people and technology, I don’t have to worry about the stresses of life. And it’s great pursuing a challenge you’re passionate about.”

From: BULELK1
17-Sep-18
WOW!!!

Thanks for the link

Good luck, Robb

From: Lee
17-Sep-18
That is a great picture. Don’t know much about sheep but damn!

Lee

From: njbuck
17-Sep-18
What a Giant! congrats to the hunter. A dream tag right there.

From: ELKMAN
17-Sep-18
Great ram. Great story. Congrats to Justin.

From: CO_Bowhunter
17-Sep-18
Great story all around. I like the fact that this was on public land, required physical effort and carving out time in his schedule to make it all happen. And the fact that his dad was there to support him is probably the best part.

Given the challenges that Bighorn Sheep face, this really is a great conservation story.

From: Medicinemann
17-Sep-18
Considering how small 1/8th of an inch is, imagine the odds of the two largest bighorns ever taken, having the same score to that small of an increment......wow.

From: Medicinemann
17-Sep-18

From: Medicinemann
17-Sep-18

From: Mule Power
17-Sep-18
Surprisingly that a ram like that didn’t broom out more. Just a little more of that would easily subtract a few eights. Heck of a ram!

From: Treeline
17-Sep-18
Or just a shade less brooming on either one! I’m with Jake, totally mind boggling that the two top rams have the same score. Just hardly seems possible.

Hell of a ram for that young man for sure!

Montana is certainly doing it right with the bighorns! Wowzers!

17-Sep-18
Fantastic!

And this looks like a seven year old ram! Live fast, die fast, them's the Breaks.....

From: Dirk Diggler
17-Sep-18

Dirk Diggler's embedded Photo
Dirk Diggler's embedded Photo
They killed a pair over 200 last year, heres a pic of the other. 204 or 5 I believe.

17-Sep-18
In college, had a part time job, and Army National Guard and his dad put him in for the draw. I love it.

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