First Sheep Hunt (Desert Bighorn)...I'm hooked...

Kotaman

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I took the uncoventional route to starting out my Sheep Hunting experience by booking a last minute (month) Desert Sheep hunt to Sonora Mexico with Bart Lancaster. After already booking a Dall hunt for August and a Stone hunt for 2015, this last minute hunt with Bart came up and I decided to jump at it. My first sheep hunt would be a Desert Bighorn.

Time flew by and before I knew it I was bording a plane headed for Sonora, Mexico. I was in fairly decent shape after completing a Mountain Goat hunt this past fall, so I didn't think conditioning would be a problem. I soon found out hiking all day in the Desert can take a toll on a guy. Though the mountains aren't high, the climbs are steep and rocky. Desert Sheep hunts, though less physical than most sheep hunts, still deserve some respect. I did fine, but the hunt was more physical than I thought it was going to be.

Day One found me staring though the spotting scope at a few Ewes and Rams. The sight of my first "live" Wild Sheep was awe-aspiring.
 

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Kotaman

Kotaman

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Bart didn't want me to shoot anything the first day as he wanted a chance to really look over the territory, however we spotted 4 rams in a saddle that were worth taking a good hard look at. Two of the rams appeared to be shooters, but after viewing the rams through the spotter, Bart pulled me off the shot. I WAS SO READY. 257 yards broadside, cross hairs on his shoulder, safety off when Bart called me off the shot. We didn't get photos of the two big rams as this happend fast.

Day 2 and 3 were fairly uneventful. We hiked the sandy beaches of the Sea of Cortez looking up into the mountains. The afternoon of the third day we decided to go back and look for the rams we saw on day 1. However, they were no where to be found. I was starting to maybe regret our decision to pass on the opening day ram.

Day 4 started out slow. We were back to the ocean looking for rams. By 3:00 pm we had only seen one sheep. A lone Ewe bedded on a cliff. We hiked some crazy terrain.
 

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Kotaman

Kotaman

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The afternoon of Day 4 we headed to another mountain a couple miles from the coast. I liked this mountain (we hunted it on Day 2) and I was happy we were going back. We headed up the mountain at about 3:00. We were nearing a basin we wanted to look at around 5:00 and spotted some ewes and soon after 2 rams. I told Bart I wanted to make a play on these rams. They weren't as big as the rams we saw on Day 1, but shooters none the less. After an hour of stalking we were ledged up some 430 yards from the Rams. The wind was blowing 40 mph and it was getting late. Bart decided we should let them be and come back in the morning and try to find them. We really had not choice as darkness would fall before we could make another move.

We decided to head back to camp. On our descent just as we were about to hit the base of the mountain Barts good friend Julien spotted a ram...A good ram. I ranged him at 437 yards above us. We made our way towards the ram, but soon ran out of cover and we were running out of daylight fast. I ranged the ram at 421 yards. Bart asked is I was comfortable with the shot, I said "yes". I dropped my pack on a large rock, adjusted my cross hairs for the wind and squeezed the trigger. The ram dropped stone dead at the shot.
 

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Kotaman

Kotaman

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The ram was an 7.5 year old ram with 14.5 inch bases. The largest ram I saw on the trip. AS the Sonora sun went down we skinned the ram, boned him out and headed off the mountain. The Sonora Sunsets/Moons are beautiful.
 

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Kotaman

Kotaman

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One more "hero" shot...I could not have asked for a better "first" sheep experience. Bart Lancaster assembled an awesome crew for this hunt.
 

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Kotaman

Kotaman

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THanks guys...This truely was an awesome adventure that I wish one could experience every year....or even just twice in a lifetime!
 

brettpsu

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Way to go Cory!

Just curious....What did you do for the rest of the hunt?
 
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Kotaman

Kotaman

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Brett...I opted to come home as I had been gone the previous two weeks to AZ Coues Deer hunting. They offered to take me fishing out on the Sea of Cortez or just hang out on the beach. The temps. were really not condusive to do either, so I rebooked my flights and came home.
 

brettpsu

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That hide looks so cool. Is your camera colors off a little or is he really the color in the pics? Love the dark legs.
 

Benny

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That is WAY COOL! Congrats!

I'd love to hunt up north or south w/ either of the Lancaster's...they crack me up. I love all their little poems.
 
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Kotaman

Kotaman

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The hide is really neat. Dark Brown legs with white and the body is almost a taupe color. First thing I noticed about the ram was his unique colors.
 

Rick Seymour

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Congrats X 10! Is that color representative to that species? I have seen a couple "TV Shows" and it looks blueish gray like a Stone.......but I don't know squat. More pic's are okay too:D
 
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