Forums Forums (
-   Big Game Hunting (
-   -   Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units (

Buckshot 06-08-2006 09:12 PM

Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
Anyone ever hunt these units for sheep? I read a magazine article and it made it sound like this was a brutal hunt, straight up and down, high elevation and loaded with grizzlys. Is that the case? Bighorn sheep is my dream hunt and Id like to try it before I get to old to do the hunt.

AK Jeff 06-09-2006 02:23 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
There's a reason those tags are unlimited. That country is seriously brutal and not for the faint of heart.

MThunter 06-09-2006 05:14 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
You'd have to be a nut to do one of those unlimited sheep hunts.....which is probably why I'm attempting one this year

hillbillyhunter1 06-09-2006 08:34 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
I you were "nutty" enough, and ready in all aspects enough, barring accidents,it would be a rewarding experience. Imaginehow you'd be feelingas you pull into the first gas station on the way home. WOW!

One other problem is that, although these units are "unlimited", there is a very small harvest quota (like 1 or 2 for the whole district) before the season is closed. First come, first served.

I would think that it would definately be a thorn in the side to have to worry about updates on the status of the season (open/closed) while trying to hunt.

Does anyone knowexactly what the FWP expect of sheep hunters in that regard, in those type areas? I would guess that if you mess-up and kill one "after-season", you'd be in BIG trouble:D[:@].

Buckshot 06-09-2006 11:38 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
I wonder just how your supposed to know that the quota has been filled? Your in the middle of BFE and Id bet your cell phone isnt going to work worth a darn.

Hey MThunter, keep in touch, Im going to be really interested as to what it was like.

Nemont 06-11-2006 02:00 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
There is a time element involved in the closing of the season. I think they give 48 hours notice prior to closing. The reason they do not really worry about it is because your chances of success are almost nil and those that are successful almost always use the outfitter who camps on the sheep all summer.

Having said that I know of a guy who was successful. He spent 5 days in the back country and when he left he hiked half way out and camped there. Got up in the morning and saw a legalram drinking out of a stream about 20 yds from his tent end of hunt. One lucky dude.


kshunter 06-16-2006 02:52 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
Not too mention, water is tough to find, in some of the units. These rams tend to like the tree in the low country, making it even tougher to spot them. A satellite phone would probably be needed to check for closings, depending on the unit and area.

MTElksniper 06-21-2006 09:39 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
to many griz and no sheep, so i wouldnt recommend anyone ever put in for that tag. mthunter is nuts. but it will be nice for him to help pack out my sheep, and there are area in that country to use horses, i have been in there with them. the guys that so it say it will take 8 years too get a chance at a sheep, my old man got to of them in 10. so we will see

turkeyward 06-21-2006 11:25 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
Hi buckshot, I did acctually hunt the unlimited season successfully. It is truly the tuffest hunt you will ever do. They are right in here, it takes an act of God to get you into sheep. I did see plenty of sheep but only the one legal ram. The biologists in the game and fish will be happy to help you out as best as they can. You can acctually request all the harvest reports from previous successful hunters. If you go through them you can usually get rid of any of the reports from outfitted hunters because they will never tell the truth about where they harvest the sheep. They have to be reported within 48 hours of harvest I believe. There is a quota system and you are absolutely responsible for knowing if the season is closing. It is not nearly as bad as you might think to know though. They report the closings on the radio every day at a certain time. I think it was noon when I hunted there. That acctually works out pretty well because you can get one of those travel alarm clocks to keep you company and also to wake you up and also to know of season closures.
They close the seasons on a 48 hours notice so you most likely will have at leaset 4 days minimum to hunt after the opener. If you figure somone gets one on opening day it takes at least a day to get it reported and then a day or so for burocracy, then the 48 hours notice.
As for the quotas, last time I checked they were from 2 to five rams. Some years the quotas will get met on the first day and some years they will not get met. The year I got my ram there was a 5 ram quota and there were only 2 rams killed the whole season. There were 149 tag holders and at least 18 of them were with outfitters. so the harvest success was less than 1 and 1/2 % for that area for that year. I checked it a couple of years later and the quota was 4 and they killed 18 legal rams the first three days. of course they were all legal because they were killed during an open season with the proper tag.
As for using horses, strange thing if you can get there on horses the rest of the guys can too. So that just chases the sheep out before season opens. Two and three days before the season opens there are tons of folks in there flooding the mountains with bad noises and smells. The sheep left in a hurry. Of course the ewes and lambs stayed but the rams run together and there is usually a ram at least as old as 5 in each bachelor group and he had played that game before.
I had 20 days of scouting through the summer to find sheep. I hit every area the bilogists told me about except the very worst area. I never saw a legal ram until opening morning. He took a tumble 17 minutes into legal shooting time. I was in the worst area the day before season opened. I saw 6 juvinile rams the eve of the opener and nothing legal but all the rams were looking in the timber and I could hear movement in the timber. They appeared to be looking for permission to move up the mountain so I figured the monarch was the one in the timber. Daybreak the next morning it turned out I had guessed right.
The seasons are very early and there is no rut involved so if you see ewes and lambs -- move to another mountain. The rams and ewes are seperate that time of year. It is possible but very difficult to take a decent ram in there. There is a reason the tags are over the counter so to speak.
I will try to post a picture of the ram in here if it works.
The picture will not work so if you are interested you can send me an email I will send you the photo [email protected] is my email address
Good luck buckshot

Buckshot 07-11-2006 01:54 PM

RE: Montana's unlimited bighorn sheep units
Thank you for the info Turkey, I have a buddy that lives out in Idaho that I maybe able to con... I mean talk into going with me. He has horses and is just crazy enough to do this sort of hunt.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:46 PM.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1