Help a country boy out....Many questions

Josh Wright

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
607
Location
Colorado
It's always been dream of mine to go on a Rocky Mountain Big Horn hunt. I am just now getting to where I can start putting in for PP's for sheep in Colorado. The only reason I picked Colorado is that is the only state I have ever hunted big game in. I'm 31, so I have time to be patient.

I have a few questions and would appreciate any and all input from the members here:

#1 - Is Colorado the better place to put PP's in, or should I look at another state like Wyoming?

#2 - I can't make sense of the odds to get a non-res tag. Is there even a chance? Could someone explain them to me?

#3 - What's the cost of a reputable guide if I do get drawn?

Any other beginner level info would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Josh
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
90
Location
CO
I'd checkout Idaho out. There's no preference points and decent odds as far as sheep hunting goes.

CO.... you apply for three years and gain three preference points. After three years of prefernce points you are elgible. Each year you are unsuccessful in the draws you gain a bonus point, not a preference point. In theory you can draw a tag after three years. The more bonus points you have the better your odds are of drawing a tag.
 

Ridgerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
389
If you have your heart set on a rocky mountain bighorn hunt then you need to be applying in Idaho where the draw odds are the best of any western state for sheep. If you just want to hunt sheep save your money and go to Alaska after dalls.
 

ckleeves

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,253
Location
Montrose,Colorado
Have you checked out the draw odds on monstermuleys.com or hunterstrailhead? Just search all nonres rocky tags and you can get a handle on the draw odds. As a nonres you have slim odds but so does everybody else and somebody has to draw! Idaho has better odds just research the unit before you apply.
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,110
Location
Western MT
In MT you can hunt sheep on a guaranteed tag. The seasons are short and trophy quality is lacking, but ... you are hunting sheep.
 

Bryan Martin

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
30
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Josh,

If you are serious about getting a bighorn, you are young and will probably get drawn if you apply in enough states. I've drawn a Desert (AZ) and Rocky (MT). In some states, most of the available licenses go to the hunters with the highest number of Pref or bonus points. There is still a chance to get drawn in these states, even with few bonus points, as these states set a side a few tags for the general pool of applicants. Each state is a bit different. I will give a very brief summary below.

1) Colorado: You must apply for 3 years before you have a chance at getting drawn. After 3 years, you will can get draw, but better odds, the more points you have.
2) Wyoming: Apply here also, but it might take 15-20 yrs until you have max points. There is still a chance to get drawn with even 1 point, but very small percentage. WY gives out the highest number of sheep tags of any state.
3) Idaho has no preference points system and everyone has the same odds, so you could get drawn next year, just as easily as someone who as applied for 10 year. Idaho has some tough area so apply wisely.
4) Montana is home to the highest number of big sheep. Not all areas produce huge ones, but most do. Apply here for sure.
5) New Mexico: There is no bonus points system here, so it is like Idaho. Great Sheep, but limited tags. I'd apply for Desert Sheep here as 1st choice.
6) Nevada: Apply for both California Bighorn and Desert Sheep. There is no drawing for Rocky Mountain Bighorn at this time.
7) Utah: has both Rocky and Desert Sheep. Apply in this state also
8) Oregon: There is no preference points system for Bighorn, so everyone has same chance, but draw odds are very low. There are both CA bighorn and Rocky Mtn Bighorn here.
9) California has incredible Desert Bighorns. Apply here if you want a Desert
10) Arizona: Has both Rocky Mtn and Desert. Apply for Desert in this state.
11) Washington: They have CA bighorns and Rocky mtn Bighorns. Poor draw odds, but a few big sheep.
Nebraska and N. Dakota also have sheep, but very few.

I'd recommend contacting www.Huntinfool.com, Western Hunter Magazine and Altimus Application Service to get information on Western State Drawing and application help. Cabelas also has their TAGS program that will help with applications.

Guides will run $6,000-10,000 for most of these states. It is in your best interest to hire a guide since you've probably never hunted sheep.

While applying for sheep in these states, I'd also apply for goats, antelope, moose, elk and deer if you are interested in hunting these animals. At least, start getting bonus points for the best areas.

I hope this information helps. Good success in drawing a tag. Keep at it and it will happen. If you don't get drawn, you can always book a hunt in Brit. Columbia or Alberta.
 

Bryan Martin

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
30
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Montana's Unlimited hunt is for experienced mountain hunters, but it is possible to kill a ram. Most people will have a good walk about, if nothing else. I forgot to mention this until I read Bitteroot Bulls post and it reminded me of this hunt. It is the only place in the lower 48 that a hunter can hunt bighorn sheep without getting drawn, but I do not recommend most people do this hunt unless they are mountain savvy hunters though. Success rates are very poor.

The application service I mentioned is Hunter Application Service, Larry and Stephanie Altimus. Google those names and you'll find them online. Western Hunter is a publication of the Outdoorsmans in AZ.

Good luck.
 
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