The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is the largest wild sheep inhabitating North America. A large ram (a male sheep) may weigh over 300 pounds and stand over 42 inches tall at the shoulder. They are generally a dark brown to gray/brown color with a white rump patch, muzzle and back of legs. Their coats may appear considerably lighter in spring before the winter coat is shed revealing the darker summer coat beneath. Rams have horns that are massive and tightly curled close to the face. A ewe (a female sheep) will have smaller shorter horns that curve only slightly. Ewes typically weigh 125-150 pounds. Rocky Mountain Bighorns are found in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada and in the western United States south to New Mexico. – From The Bighorn Sheep Center, Dubois, Wyoming
They are hunted by permit on a limited basis in some areas of North America.
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Obtaining a Desert Bighorn Sheep permit from almost anywhere in North America generally requires a towering casino jackpot of luck, and that may be the easy part of any sheep hunt. However, it takes much more than wishful thinking and a lucky roll of the dice to harvest a really large trophy ram.
Don Waechtler took this stunning specimen in the Sheep Range near Las Vegas, Nevada in November of 2015, while hunting with Jim Puryear of Nevada Guide Service & World Safaris.
This is not just your average Desert Bighorn ram either. With a green score of 169 inches, it just may meet the Boone & Crockett minimum score of 168 inches when officially measured early next year. No doubt there may be some finger crossing here and there while Don waits for the end of the required 60 day drying period. But hey, what’s an extra month or two to matter when you have already waited thirty years for a tag?
Either way, it is a big game trophy of a lifetime, and proof positive that not all things that happen around Las Vegas stay in Vegas. Sometimes, you get to bring your winnings home.