Record Bighorn (Story+Pic)

MarvB

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Nobody I know but interesting none the less...



The world record Rocky Mountain bighorn ram Justin Armstrong set his sights on was about to get away. Justin's rangefinder registered the ram at 203 yards, a maximum range for his muzzleloader. Decision time!

With one well-placed shot, the 16-year-old Century High School junior from Pocatello will enter the world record books. Based on initial scoring, it is the largest Rocky Mountain bighorn ever taken with a muzzleloading rifle.

Armstrong's ram was green-scored at 187-189. The world record for muzzleloader bighorn had been 182 7/8 points.

"The ram was going over the ridge. I was confident I could make the shot," said Armstrong. "We practiced shooting at 200 yards and I knew the bullet dropped 14 inches."

The hunt took place in the rugged Snake River Canyon country near Craig Mountain. Justin, his father Jim Armstrong and Jason Rinebold hiked three miles to the area where they had previously spotted the band of sheep with the monster ram. In the dark, they carried their packs and eight gallons of water across boulder-strewn canyons.

At 5 a.m. they were set up and waiting for the sun to rise, hoping the sheep would come to them. They had spotted the big ram using this grassy canyon area on a previous scouting trip. Rinebold went to scout a nearby ridge while Justin and Jim waited.

This year's odds of drawing the one bighorn sheep permit in the Hells Canyon Unit 11 were 1 out of 248. It is one of the most sought-after sheep tags in the nation. Of the 248 applications, nonresidents submitted 213. Sheep hunters from around the world put in for this drawing.

One auction tag can also be used in this unit. It brought $90,000 at the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep convention auction this year. The auction raises money for sheep conservation and returned $85,000 to Idaho Fish and Game for sheep projects.

According to Lane Clezie, Vice President of Safari Club International, this sheep tag is the Holy Grail of sheep hunting.

It was the first time Justin had put in for the tag.

Jim Armstrong is an experienced sheep hunter and wondered if his son could set a new world record. Justin and Jim searched the record books for rifle, muzzle loading and archery records. They found that the muzzle loading record was one Justin could achieve. A big ram in unit 11 could exceed the 182 Boone and Crockett score needed to set a new world record.

Justin and his father selected the Knight Disc Elite .50 caliber, considered by enthusiasts to be one of the most accurate muzzleloaders. They placed a Leopold 4x14 scope on it and selected a 220-grain bullet. Then they went to the range to test loads and sight the rifle. Telescopic sights are legal in any-weapon hunts such as this, but not in muzzleloader-only hunts.

"I shot tight groups at 200 yards at the range. We started at 50 yards and then worked out to 200 yards. The bullet dropped 14 inches at 200 yards," said Justin. "I have practiced with my .223 varmint rifle beyond 500 yards. I have shot at long distances."

When decision time came, Justin was separated from his father. Neither dared move for fear of spooking the sheep. Justin was on his own in deciding which was the world record ram.

"I had to remember what to do and do it on my own." Justin had studied videotapes of how to judge and score world record class sheep.

"I studied the rams with my rangefinder. Two were big and one carried its mass all the way to the end of its horns. When the rams started to walk away, I moved my bipod, focused in on the biggest ram, held over its shoulder and shot." said Justin.

Hunts that end with world records have many memories. What was most memorable?

"Being able to do it with my dad and friend with us. That was the most memorable thing to me," says Justin.

By Harry Morse
Regional Conservation Educator
Pocatello, Idaho
 

JoseCuervo

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Not to take anything away from what the kid did, but I really question the sanity of this family.


Once they pulled the tag, they decided they wanted to Justin and Jim searched the record books for rifle, muzzle loading and archery records. They found that the muzzle loading record was one Justin could achieve. A big ram in unit 11 could exceed the 182 Boone and Crockett score needed to set a new world record.

Then they went after a Muzzleloader Record with:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Knight Disc Elite .50
<LI>a Leopold 4x14 scope
<LI>shot tight groups at 200 yards
<LI>studied the rams with my rangefinder
<LI>moved my bipod[/list]

I think they might be "missing the True meaning of Christmas" in this family.
It appears the goal of their hunt was to get their names in the Record Books, and I would put a dozen "asteriks" next to their "Muzzleloader" claim. The set-up they were using was way more deadly than .30-30 and many other Center Fire weapons.

Call me a "wet blanket"....
 

trophy_killer

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They used a scope?? I could have swore that in Idaho you had to use open sights. Someone wanna shed some light on that for me because I know in the past you couldn't use a scope.
 

JoseCuervo

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TK,

In Idaho (and somebody can correct me if I am wrong...), in the "Muzzleloader" hunts, you have to use a "primative" set-up, which means NO scopes and the ignition must be exposed to the weather (none of the Inlines).

Their Sheep tag was an "any weapon" tag, so they could use this 200 yard, scoped, inline gun shooting disks of powder, and call it a Muzzleloader. But they also could have used a 7STW or a .257 Weatherby, and been just as legal.

I am not sure if Idaho F&G would recognize it as the State record, but I sure wouldn't.
 

trophy_killer

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Okay, I missed the part about being an any weapon hunt. My mistake.

I totally agree with you though. Personally I think when using a muzzle loader it should have the regular hammer on the outside and you should have to use a peep or open sights. But then again that just my opinion.
 

MarvB

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Thats one of the reasons that I posted this...kinda like some of the light-tackle fishing records a friend of mine "used" to have...12' noodle rod, reel backed with 15# spyder-wire and oh, yeah, about a 2' section of 2# leader


Still a nice ram and they did have a plan from the start that they pulled together...even if its not my cup of tea. Legal is legal though and I guess the traditionalist can pooh-pooh my P&Y elk 'casue I used a compound and not a stick and string
 

JoseCuervo

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Marv,

You holdin' out on us with pictures of a P&Y Elk?


I give the kid and dad credit. He drew the Craig Mt. tag. They found a bruiser of a ram, and they killed it. Kudos to all.

It is just the whole "World Record" as if a world record for Bighorns means much, due to the limited distribution. Hunt for the joy of the hunt, for yourself. If you whack a big one, good, but make sure you hunt for your own satisfaction, and not for others...
 

TheTone

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I kind of know someone that was involved in this hunt and to say he has done some shady hunting in the past is an understatement. Maybe he's cleaned up his act some, maybe not? Scoped muzzleloaders shooting 200 yrds is pretty primitive eh? Shoot I think my open sight 30-30 is more primitive, can I have my own special record buck too?
 

MarvB

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Thanks for the link CO Oak- guess I missed Cali's post the first time around
my bad!

Tone- can you expand upon

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I kind of know someone that was involved in this hunt and to say he has done some shady hunting in the past is an understatement<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

if not, I understand, ya just perked my curiosity
 

TheTone

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Not sure I really should expand. Involved shooting multiple deer, from a paved road, on private ground, without permission and such...
 

JoseCuervo

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Marv,

It is kind of like the "Tree Falls in the Forest" thing. The fact you and I did not comment on the first post of this Ram (as pointed out by Oak) means that the Post did not actually "make a sound when it falls".

Now that we have commented, it is a Topic.


Nice Elk you got there....
 

Nut

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Great Elk Marv!


I have nothing against in-lines(and hope to own one someday) but I really think they are and should be in a different catagory in regards to muzzleloading "records".

If I was really into records I wonder what the record book in Kentucky says about 13 year old non-residents using modern firearms for whitetail buck rack scores? Betcha it would be the state record mmmmmmm


But back to the scoped in-line. Same argumnets arise in regards to crossbows during archery seasons. I havent seen any record books on crossbow kills lately.
 

MarvB

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Thanks Tone...nuff said.

Mini-
Amazing isn't it what people will do....and claim. A slightly less (as he actually shot the buck) shitty story is that of a friend of mine. I'd bird hunted with this guy for years and he always wanted to give deer hunting a try.

The guy puts in for the first time and draws a 7b tag- which there is like only 50 of in the entire state of CA. Then his dad, who is a retired fish cop, calls in some favors from fellow fish cops who work in this area (and this zone is MANY HOURS away from where my buddy lives) and basically has them find a "good buck" and keep any eye on it prior to the season. Then my buddy drives down the night before the hunt, is met the next Am by the fish cop and taken out to basically pull the trigger. Results?

First deer is a 29+ inch 4x3 that now stares down at ya front his front room- pretty much a monster for California. Did he shoot it? yeah (3 times) Did he earn it? You be the judge. Some would say its not much different than going out of state on a guided hunt...but when he told me how "easy" deer hunting is
I definately formed my opinion
 

Mini Moose

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Well, not to take anythign away form the kid, well actually take everything away from the kid, i know him personally and he is a prick

i went to the same junior high as this kid and even wrestled on the same team as him, turns out he shot a nice 4 pt. deer both year i talked to him, and for some odd reason he let it be known to everyone that he just tagged his deer, that his dad shot them for him and then his mom drove him to the area so his dad could take him to the deer and let him tag it

now i am not saying his dad shot his ram, but if they were like that back then how ethical can they be now, 3 years down the road, but hey good for him he shot a nice ram, witha rifle, i wont say muzzie because it really isn't a muzzie to me

Happy Hunting
 

TheTone

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Amazing stuff there mini moose. Crazy how people with shady ethics flock together.
 
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