Judging Bighorn Sheep

Discussion in 'Judging Trophies' started by bashaw, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. bashaw

    bashaw AH Senior Member

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    I drew a Bighorn Sheep tag for Oregon, does anybody have good advice on judging the horns, I know a few things to look for but this is a once in a lifetime tag so I don't want to screw it up.
     
  2. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    Here are a few tips for judging California Bighorns, I may be wrong but I believe the species are the same in Orgeon.

    This link takes you to a YouTube Oregon Sheep hunt video:

    YouTube -Bighorn Sheep in Oregon

    Mass over length: Because a ram has four circumference measurements versus one length measurement per horn, good mass is critical.

    Blocky bodies, thick necks: As with most other big game animals, trophy rams are most often mature creatures that are potbellied, swaybacked and thick-necked.

    Promising curls: Look for full curls that come down below the bottom of the jaw and sweep back up beyond the sheep's nose or even higher.

    Horn length: Most record book thinhorns will typically sport horns measuring 35 to 40 inches in length. World-class rams sometimes measure in the mid-40s or better; in fact, the world record Stone sheep (the Chadwick ram) sports horns measuring more than 50 inches on both sides! Bighorn trophies will often tape out at 35 to 40 inches, with a few mega rams approaching 45 inches in horn length.

    Base circumferences: If thinhorns are king when it comes to horn length, bighorns are tops for mass. Look for base measurements of 14 to 17 inches on bighorn sheep. For thinhorns, top end rams will have base measurements from 13 to just under 15 inches.

    Unbroomed and unbroken tips: For better symmetry, and thus, less deductions, look for rams that sport clean tips that haven't been broken or worn down.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    bashaw ~ First of all, congratulations on your bighorn tag! I lucked out on a tag in New Mexico a few years ago and it was a super wilderness hunt. As Macs mentioned above, mass is very important on the bighorns. Hope you have a super hunt and don't forget to post a photo of your trophy.
     
  4. bashaw

    bashaw AH Senior Member

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    Thanks macsB I looked at some of the youtube videos this morning I just got back from my first scouting trip late last night after looking at the video some of the Rams I seen over the previous 4 days that I was most interested in were about 160 - 175. the biggest problem I seen was if I find a shooter, is not getting mixed up in all the excitement and shooting the wrong one.

    Bashaw

    "Weidmansheil"
     
  5. bashaw

    bashaw AH Senior Member

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    10 more days until my Bighorn hunt . I've been waiting for 30 some years. I'm heading over to the Owyhee country next Thursday scout for 4 days hopefully shoot one opening day if not I have 13 days after that
     
  6. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Bashaw,

    May you bag a record class Bighorn , I can well imagine the excitement waiting for the hunt of a life time ...

    Best of luck , shall be awaiting for the hunt report & the a colossal Big Horn trophy photo. What rifle you intend taking ??

    Monish
     
  7. bashaw

    bashaw AH Senior Member

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    Ruger #17mm REM Mag, my backup gun will be my Remington 700 BDL 338 Win Mag that is probably overkill for a sheep hunt but that gun treats me nice
     
  8. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Good luck and a great hunt!!
     
  9. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Great Caliber choice for the big horn...

    Best of luck

    Monish
     
  10. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    There is no 'overkill'. If you're comfortable with a rifle and it treats you well you should use it. I used that same phrase long ago and my buddy said; "you can't make something more dead than it already is." That always stuck with me.

    Time is near and I'll bet you're chomping at the bit. Best of luck for a truly great hunt!
     
  11. bashaw

    bashaw AH Senior Member

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    I killed my Bighorn Sept 7 at 11:10 am 1 shot from my 7mm mag right thru the middle of the back laying in his bed at 335 yds he had 15 5/8 and 15 4/8 bases 30 inch horns his net score was 161.I enjoyed the hunt with 3 friends it was a awesome trip. I'm hoping one of them or one of my relatives is fortunate to draw a tag so I can go experience it with them.
     
  12. milford

    milford AH Veteran

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    good for you post some pics I would love to see them
     
  13. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Well done!! I am sure it was a great hunt!
     
  14. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Bashaw, congratulations on your very successful hunt!
     
  15. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    How to Measure Sheep Horns For SCI's Record Book

     
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