Friday, August 1, 2014

Desert Bighorn Sheep Scoring and Field Judging-What does this Ram Score?

What does this Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Score?  How old is he?  How long are his horns on each side?  What are his bases? What is his mass per side?  What is his total mass?  How does his body look compared to other sheep?  Does he have a big head?  Is he a shooter?  How do I know if he is a shooter?  Is he old enough to shoot?  Is he a mature ram?  What makes a mature ram?

These are all questions that I ask myself when I glass up a new ram.  Sheep hunting and in this case Desert Bighorn Sheep hunting is something that gets in your blood and most people that do it one time are hooked on it for life.  This happened to me in 2009 when my good friend Glenn Hall drew a coveted Unit 44B North Arizona Desert Sheep tag.  I dove in head first and have been hooked ever since.  I cannot get enough of these little buggers.  I will attempt to make this post series as educational as possible.  I am still learning lots of things about how to age, field judge, score and hunt these awesome animals.  I wouldn't feel right about it if I didn't thank a particular guy who has helped me learn along the way.  There have been many along the way but this one person gets calls at really odd hours and circumstances.  Greg Koons, of High Desert Outfitters, who is a friend but has been an incredible mentor to me in this sheep hunting quest for knowledge.  Greg has selflessly helped me at every turn.  He has always answered my dumbest questions and has welcomed me into the "sheep fraternity" with opens arms.  This fraternity is sometimes hard to crack into because of number of years on the job and experience.  This is definitely an activity that you have to earn your wings.  I have always appreciated Greg's willingness to share knowledge about an animal he so dearly loves.  Greg to you I say "Thank You". 

The next post I will dive into all of the questions from the first paragraph.  If you know the exact answer to the questions above don't spoil it for those that don't.  Special thanks to my friend Kent Inglett for sharing the above photos.

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