Field Judging Bighorn Sheep at Mountain Ranches for Sale in Oregon
Every wild sheep hunter’s dream is to bag a nice pair of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep’s massive, curling horns. Those big boys are the symbols of a ram’s status, and are used to defend themselves in battles against other males for dominance or mating rights. A Rocky Mountain bighorn ram’s magnificent horns can grow as long as 30 inches, with a circumference of up to 15 inches and weight of up to 30 lbs. Montana might a big player in sheep hunting but public lands and mountain ranches for sale in Oregon have some of the healthiest herds of bighorns due to their constantly increasing numbers.
If you’re looking for something to add to your hunting spoils at home, older bighorn males have the best quality horns. Hunters should only go for mature rams not only for their awe-inspiring trophies, but to help preserve the population for future hunting trips as well. To find suitable game, field judging rams is essential to the sport.
All About the Base
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are often hunted as trophy animals. When it comes to scoring, the experts size up the circumference of the horns’ bases more than their lengths. Thus, the wider the bases, the more prized the trophy. The ideal ram is one with horns that rise high from the skull, with little light between the skull and the inside of the curl.
Aged to Perfection
Age is the first determining factor of whether you should pull the trigger or not. Sneaking up on a ram could be the hardest part of the hunt, but telling the age of the animal is fairly easy. Once you spot a suitable male, you need to count the age rings or the annuli on its horns. It’s kind of like carbon dating for trees. This needs to be done in the right light and with the proper optics to get a right read. Rams with 6 to 8 annuli or 6 to 8 years old are considered old enough to be hunted.
Massive, heavy horns do make nice trophies. What you need to look for are rams with horns that carry weight around the curls, especially if you are looking to preserve the entire head on a mount.
Mountain ranches for sale like the Edjumar Ranch have some of the best specimens of bighorn sheep in the entire Oregon. Companies like Mirr Ranch Group can help you find a property that will suit your hunting needs.
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