So, we're going to be Sheep hunters....

KayakMacGyver

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Jun 8, 2018
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162
I have a simple perspective when it comes to applying for tags. You can’t win if you don’t play. I don’t gamble for money, smoke or drink, but am a geek when it comes to odds and know that there are no worse odds than 0 in anything. I'm also a sucker for raffles.

Like Randy preaches, we have developed strategic short term, midterm, long term and BIG DREAM plans. This strategy has served us quite well and my wife and I have been very fortunate to pull some sweet tags over the last few years. However, this year has been full of unfathomable gifts from the man upstairs.

Lightning struck back in February when Alicia pulled a Muskox tag for Nunivak Island, AK January 2022. That hunt and those tags aren’t inexpensive by any means, but we budget well and have a mutual understanding that we can make any “big dream” tags work by cutting other life expenses. We hunt DIY, so that takes a lot of financial burden out of the equation, though there is never a convenient time to drop several thousands of dollars.

At the top of the list of dream hunts since Alicia and I both began hunting together in college has always been a Sheep hunt. It checks all the boxes of a true adventure and such an exclusive club to be a part of. We’ll never win the preference point race and I just can’t ever imagine a circumstance where we’d spend the amount necessary to guarantee an opportunity or hunt one (guided) in some states.

Introduce, New Mexico. Our true “Big Dream” state where we swing for the fences every year because everyone has an equal chance (well, kind of). Everything we apply for in New Mexico is a home run or strike out scenario. Having drawn a premium Elk tag there in the past, I am willing to sacrifice years of disappointment for the opportunity at high quality on a budget.

This morning, lightning struck the same spot a second time this year as I opened our results to find a bar of green below a giant stack of red, try again next years. My first reaction was downright panic. I figured I must have made a mistake, much like I had just done in Arizona by applying for (and drawing) a cow elk tag instead of bull. This would be a COSTLY mistake and it took me twenty minutes to confirm what my eyes were telling me.

After all of my frantic search for confirmation, I was finally able to come to peace with the fact that Alicia had draw a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep tag in New Mexico! In fact, as best that I can tell, she drew the only non-resident/unguided Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep tag in the state. She’ll also be the only hunter in her unit for the hunt.

So, here we are. We’re going to be Sheep hunters. We have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re going to figure it out. This will be a DIY adventure and I hope to keep this thread alive through it all. We don’t have many people in our lives that really care or understand this opportunity, so this the greatest place to share the journey and we greatly appreciate any input, opinions or wisdom!

Here is my bride, in all her glory. Please wish us luck!

Alicia Pig.jpg
 
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NoWiser

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Feb 12, 2013
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1,775
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Minnesota
I have no advice for you, except to soak it all in!

Good luck, and I can't wait to follow along. Thanks to your wife, NM will be sending me a bunch of money in the next few days! Tell her I appreciate it!
 

rmyoung1

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Jul 12, 2010
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Congrats. That’s really cool. And to answer your question: I’d feel free to talk about it. Not like you’ll be messing it up for yourself or someone else. It’s just such a rare opportunity. Sheep news typically gets spread around pretty freely. Pay it forward, I say, and share what you learn with the lucky ones who follow your wife. Incredible opportunity for you guys!
 

brownbear932008

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Jul 15, 2011
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2,198
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SWVA
Again congrats and I look forward to seeing how her hunt plays out. I suppose anyone will give you anything they have on a once in a lifetime tag. The problem may be finding someone who has hunted it before. Look to others maybe also like elk,deer hunters or locals from the area. I am sure the biologist and maybe other game officials will be key people to speak with as well. She sure has a lucky streak going this year no doubt!
 

IdahoNick

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Apr 6, 2018
Messages
529
Congrats to your wife. So awesome. Sharing unit is up to you. With one as rare as this, I wouldn't hesitate. It isn't like your favorite general deer unit and spot you'll be back to every year...but it is your choice and I don't think there is a wrong choice of whether to share.
 

Valley1320

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May 5, 2019
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354
Location
East central NM
Will love following along this thread!! Congrats to youall!!! Your going to love this adventure. And as far as sharing sheep info and where it is and all like was said above pple are more then willing to help and talk about certain areas chances of you getting to hunt that area again are slim. And everyone always wants everyone to be successful on a sheep hunt.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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6,206
Location
Chugiak, AK
Congrats on the tag!

The first thing I would do is research as much as you can about your area. Look up management plans, harvest reports, anything relating to the population and location to find them. Have a map (use google earth, put placemarks on spots with the link to the report or a way to trace the relevance for that mark). You can put a lot of information together with a plan without having to ask anyone anything. It will also give you some credence when you do ask questions. Be specific and don't ask the "not your honeyhole" question.

I find that a lot of information that is doled out freely, unless its from someone you know and trust is half the time hearsay or easily obtained due to popularity. That said, most sheep hunters are usually pretty open to helping others with a OIL tag.

If you can put boots on the ground all the better, but once you figure out where about the core area is, its just a matter of knowing how to hunt it and getting lucky.

Just looked up the success rates... 100+/-% for the last 3 years with average hunt time of 2.5 days? Doesn't sound too challenging. Don't shoot the first one you see unless its stupid big or old. haha


Good luck!
 

YoungGun

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Feb 7, 2014
Messages
236
Location
Bozeman
Congrats! Soak it up and share the adventure for the rest of us!

To your question, I'd say it's personal preference. On tags that I feel are OIL that I have been blessed to draw, I've shared my entire experience. For tags/hunts that I or my family and friends are likely to draw again in our lifetime, I remain fairly tight-lipped.
 

Khunter

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Jun 8, 2008
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2,166
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western Colorado
Congrats and following!!! As for talking about specific area, IMO if there are NO tags/hunters in there ahead of you this year, you might be OK, but that is up to you. WE of course want to drool of pics of the scouting etc. Sure do not want to pony up amazing big ram scouting pictures with location given if it feeds another hunter right ahead of you.

When I had a great ram tag for an area with 5 tags per year over 2 seasons, I did not post the biggest rams in my thread here on HT throughout the scouting process and the hunt...IN that case it would not have been advisable.

Will PM you, maybe you can get connected with folks who know her unit well to ramp up the planning?
 

BradA

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
71
First off congratulations to your wife! That’s so awesome, secondly with a once in a lifetime tag most people don’t mind or care about sharing the unit, details, pictures, etc since they can’t draw it every again and it’s highly unlikely you will even know someone that will. I’m excited to follow This and see how it goes.
When is your hunt start ?
 

JMG

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Jul 1, 2011
Messages
780
Location
Billings, MT
Congratulation to your wife and you. Enjoy the moment and the making of memories. Please share when all is said and done. "Good Luck".
 
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