Full Curl or Not

SLDMTN

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As a guy who made the wrong call after a tough hunt on his very first ram, don’t shoot from below unless you’re real confident he’s got more than one means of legality. He looked great from below and I didn’t bother aging him.

That was a hard thing to do admitting I fouled up and handing my ram to F&G. It goes on your record permanently as well. Never tried to argue, he wasn’t legal by any test. Might’ve gotten sealed if I’d cried about it being my first, who knows.

My opinion but a large majority of sheep hunters are missing the forest for the trees. If you don’t kill that squeaker, you get to keep sheep hunting. The gotta kill a ram mindset is hard to break, for myself included.
 

tuffcity

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He's a pass. A pic or two look close but they also appear to be taken from a position below the ram.

Judging from below = set up for disaster.
 

ColeyG

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Oct 25, 2017
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As a guy who made the wrong call after a tough hunt on his very first ram, don’t shoot from below unless you’re real confident he’s got more than one means of legality. He looked great from below and I didn’t bother aging him.

That was a hard thing to do admitting I fouled up and handing my ram to F&G. It goes on your record permanently as well. Never tried to argue, he wasn’t legal by any test. Might’ve gotten sealed if I’d cried about it being my first, who knows.

My opinion but a large majority of sheep hunters are missing the forest for the trees. If you don’t kill that squeaker, you get to keep sheep hunting. The gotta kill a ram mindset is hard to break, for myself included.

Thanks for sharing that lesson learned and tough experience.

Ram fever is real. I don't want to think about how many barely legal rams I have let walk at this point, but I feel like that is a much better outcome than handing over a sub-legal at the end of an otherwise awesome experience.
 
OP
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smg

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As a guy who made the wrong call after a tough hunt on his very first ram, don’t shoot from below unless you’re real confident he’s got more than one means of legality. He looked great from below and I didn’t bother aging him.

That was a hard thing to do admitting I fouled up and handing my ram to F&G. It goes on your record permanently as well. Never tried to argue, he wasn’t legal by any test. Might’ve gotten sealed if I’d cried about it being my first, who knows.

My opinion but a large majority of sheep hunters are missing the forest for the trees. If you don’t kill that squeaker, you get to keep sheep hunting. The gotta kill a ram mindset is hard to break, for myself included.
That is exactly the mindset I'm battling. The gotta kill mindset combined with a hard-earned opportunity of an animal that you would be pleased is really dangerous for an inexperienced sheep hunter as myself. These types of discussions help me get in the correct headspace before the hunt.
 

Mykolaivka887

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Jan 15, 2022
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That is exactly the mindset I'm battling. The gotta kill mindset .......



Nonresident first-time Dall sheep hunters are the worst about that sort of thing. I think every first-time sheep hunter I've guided since the Full Curl law went into effect thirty-some years ago, has debated, even argued the legality or lack thereof, of rams that I would not kill. Pain in the ass, but goes with the territory.
 

Rackmastr

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Jun 4, 2012
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As a guy who made the wrong call after a tough hunt on his very first ram, don’t shoot from below unless you’re real confident he’s got more than one means of legality. He looked great from below and I didn’t bother aging him.

That was a hard thing to do admitting I fouled up and handing my ram to F&G. It goes on your record permanently as well. Never tried to argue, he wasn’t legal by any test. Might’ve gotten sealed if I’d cried about it being my first, who knows.

My opinion but a large majority of sheep hunters are missing the forest for the trees. If you don’t kill that squeaker, you get to keep sheep hunting. The gotta kill a ram mindset is hard to break, for myself included.

Great post and mentality, and incredibly powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

A lot of guys feel the 'pressure' to succeed. Hard to change that. That being said, its super honorable to leave a ram in the mountains and keep hunting. #leftoneonthemountain is a hashtag that should be more popular
 

Tanner

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Oct 13, 2013
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Colorado
Nonresident first-time Dall sheep hunters are the worst about that sort of thing. I think every first-time sheep hunter I've guided since the Full Curl law went into effect thirty-some years ago, has debated, even argued the legality or lack thereof, of rams that I would not kill. Pain in the ass, but goes with the territory.
I’ve had a hunter tell me that he’d gladly pay the fine for killing a sub-legal ram. We found a great big low dropping 7 (possibly 8 year old) ram and it was the first hunt I had guided as a 21 year old kid. I told him absolutely no effing way but it sure shocked me to hear somebody say that. I bet the ram was close to a book ram in another 2 years.
 

Mykolaivka887

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Jan 15, 2022
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I’ve had a hunter tell me that he’d gladly pay the fine for killing a sub-legal ram. We found a great big low dropping 7 (possibly 8 year old) ram and it was the first hunt I had guided as a 21 year old kid. I told him absolutely no effing way but it sure shocked me to hear somebody say that. I bet the ram was close to a book ram in another 2 years.



Yes sir, some of those 9, 10 and 11 year old droopy-horned rams that never, ever achieve full curl, are pretty impressive. I've killed a shitload of those the past 58 years, some of which actually did qualify for the B&C Record Book.
 

wantj43

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Aug 15, 2015
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I’m hoping to hear from those who have experience in judging dall sheep with respect to full curl or not. I’ve found myself getting somewhat frustrated on trying to decipher “full curl”. I’ve read and re-read ADFG’s 2018 full-curl guide, listened to Clay Lancaster, sheep seminar part 2, etc.

I get doubled broomed, the stick test, and the tip going beyond the angle of the bases – these criteria seem relatively straight forward to me. I can appreciate the advice that “if it takes more than a couple minutes to determine if its full curl, then you need to find another one.” That advice works if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Below is an excerpt from the field guide which has caused me the most pain. Initially looking at Sheep 1, I see a picture of a sub-legal ram on the side view and the from above view. And it’s not until the picture from below that its evident that the ram is legal. The guide suggest that the angle of view should be from the side slightly below. It seems like to me that I may have been going about the full circle test all wrong – start with getting a side profile of the ram and get an angle (most likely below) that the tip of the horn reaches the front portion of the base and if you can get a perfect full circle when the tip reaches the base or exceeds it, then you have a legal ram? Or in other words the side view below is slightly “egg-shaped” vertically and not until you are slightly below the ram can you achieve a perfect circle with the tip exceeding 360.

I would welcome and appreciate any visual illustrations that others may have on why a ram is legal or not.

View attachment 430715
I’m hoping to hear from those who have experience in judging dall sheep with respect to full curl or not. I’ve found myself getting somewhat frustrated on trying to decipher “full curl”. I’ve read and re-read ADFG’s 2018 full-curl guide, listened to Clay Lancaster, sheep seminar part 2, etc.

I get doubled broomed, the stick test, and the tip going beyond the angle of the bases – these criteria seem relatively straight forward to me. I can appreciate the advice that “if it takes more than a couple minutes to determine if its full curl, then you need to find another one.” That advice works if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Below is an excerpt from the field guide which has caused me the most pain. Initially looking at Sheep 1, I see a picture of a sub-legal ram on the side view and the from above view. And it’s not until the picture from below that its evident that the ram is legal. The guide suggest that the angle of view should be from the side slightly below. It seems like to me that I may have been going about the full circle test all wrong – start with getting a side profile of the ram and get an angle (most likely below) that the tip of the horn reaches the front portion of the base and if you can get a perfect full circle when the tip reaches the base or exceeds it, then you have a legal ram? Or in other words the side view below is slightly “egg-shaped” vertically and not until you are slightly below the ram can you achieve a perfect circle with the tip exceeding 360.

I would welcome and appreciate any visual illustrations that others may have on why a ram is legal or not.

View attachment 430715
I’m hoping to hear from those who have experience in judging dall sheep with respect to full curl or not. I’ve found myself getting somewhat frustrated on trying to decipher “full curl”. I’ve read and re-read ADFG’s 2018 full-curl guide, listened to Clay Lancaster, sheep seminar part 2, etc.

I get doubled broomed, the stick test, and the tip going beyond the angle of the bases – these criteria seem relatively straight forward to me. I can appreciate the advice that “if it takes more than a couple minutes to determine if its full curl, then you need to find another one.” That advice works if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Below is an excerpt from the field guide which has caused me the most pain. Initially looking at Sheep 1, I see a picture of a sub-legal ram on the side view and the from above view. And it’s not until the picture from below that its evident that the ram is legal. The guide suggest that the angle of view should be from the side slightly below. It seems like to me that I may have been going about the full circle test all wrong – start with getting a side profile of the ram and get an angle (most likely below) that the tip of the horn reaches the front portion of the base and if you can get a perfect full circle when the tip reaches the base or exceeds it, then you have a legal ram? Or in other words the side view below is slightly “egg-shaped” vertically and not until you are slightly below the ram can you achieve a perfect circle with the tip exceeding 360.

I would welcome and appreciate any visual illustrations that others may have on why a ram is legal or not.

View attachment 430715
8E4123D8-904E-45EA-AA3D-ACF6C98C6622.png
 
Last edited:
OP
S

smg

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Thanks for sharing that illustration! I've been overly focused on the tip of the horn exceeding the base of the horn in a perfect circle - yadda yadda. But your post and this thread has helped me to look more closely at the angle of the tip in comparison to the angle of the bases. Both A and B look to be a little short or maybe iffy with respect to full curl on the circle test but clearly B gets us legal with the angel test.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wantj43

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I did not author the "wantj43 said" text portion of above post; I did post attachment 435278.
 
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fngTony

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I did not author the "wantj43 said" text portion of above post; I did post attachment 435278.
It could be that he posted his reply in the quote box of your attachment? If so that would appear as if it was part of your original message. @smg
 
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