If you scout it you will know if he is an upper tier ram. Pass him up and you might not find him againBest piece of advice I got when I drew my OIL SD sheep tag, "Don't shoot the first ram you see, he might be the biggest sheep on the mountain, but until you look at all of them, you will never know."
Good luck and have fun!!
Best advice given so far. Better have your Diamox prescription filled, even if you are an ultra athlete. Coming from Florida’s highest elevation of 345’ to an altitude of 12k’+ is no joke. At that elevation, 8 miles from the trailhead packing in for x days (10?) is a feat without a dead sheep on your back. If you are truly looking for advice like you said you were, I will be the lone voice here saying that you shouldn’t rule out consulting an outfitter to assist. The tag your wife has is something that she will never experience again in NM. We can all say “enjoy the experience” all we want but there is some pressure there. Do some extra charters this summer and ride in there on horses and enjoy it.You have to hunt @ the altitude where the sheep are. But camping @ that altitude may well prove challenging. Some lowlanders get to that altitude and are uncomfortable, some get sick, some can't hunt and are forced to descend to preserve their health. Include in your thorough research potential effects of altitude and mitigations for same including acclimatization, spending time @ higher altitudes before hunting. Talk to your physician about treatment plans (meds). Conditioning is vital as noted above, but physiological effects of altitude on individuals are difficult to predict. Many people find climbing @ 12K altitude twice as difficult as 11K altitude. Those same people get worse every day and night that passes up high, sleeping poorly and never recovering from previous days' exertions. Most young and healthy people won't die from altitude sickness @ 12.5K, but many feel like they will. Ferocious headache, nausea, dizziness, lethargy, sense of panic over inability to catch one's breath are some of the symptoms. Sleeping even 1000 feet lower could make a significant difference in comfort and ability to operate safely and actively that high up.
Good luck on your wife's OIL sheep hunt! Watching this thread w interest.
Not really him compromising as much as how his wife wants to hunt. Plenty of DIY for them to do even if they got someone to pack them in on horses. 12.5 is serious altitude. For us sea level folks, it’s hard to breathe at 12.5, even if we drive there in a truck.If you aren't old and decrepit, and even if you are, walk in and walk out with a sheep. Packing in is a personal choice, but it sounds like that's not how you hunt. Don't compromise on how you want to do it.