A possible new archery world record desert bighorn sheep was taken recently in—of all places—southern California. On December 20, 2011, Brett Scott arrowed a ram that green scores 180 7/8 inches on the Pope and Young measurement system. The horns measure 35 1/2 and 37 inches in length with 16 1/2-inch bases. If, after the 60-day mandatory drying period, the horn shrinkage is less than an inch, Scott’s ram will be a new world record for archery desert bighorn.
The 51-year-old hunter from Riverside, CA, beat the nearly impossible odds of drawing the single tag issued for the San Gorgonio Mountain in the San Bernardino National Forest. This hunt is considered the most difficult hunt for sheep in California, indeed, almost anywhere sheep are hunted. I can attest to the difficulty, as many years ago I hiked through much of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The steep, rugged country will kick even the most physically fit person’s rear end.
Scott was determined to take his ram with archery equipment, even if it meant that he would have to eat the tag. Beginning in August, he spent some 20 days before the season scouting the area to determine where the sheep lived. During the opening weekend Scott and his hunting partners made several stalks on rams but were unable to get any closer than 200 yards. On Tuesday morning they spotted three large rams within a herd of 25 ewes and lambs. As he stalked the sheep, he came upon a ewe at about 30 yards. The ewe wasn’t sure what it was seeing and closed the distance to 10 yards. Suddenly she spooked and began running downhill taking the herd with her. Just as suddenly, the herd stopped down the ridge with the rams closest to Scott. He ranged them at 57 yards and loosed an arrow at the largest ram. The rest of the herd took off again, but the ram stumbled a few steps and went down.
Kudos and congratulations to Brett Scott and his magnificent ram! For the whole story and photos go to Jim Matthews’ Outdoor News Service website.