This year I was excited, and intimidated, to draw two of Colorado’s most coveted big-game hunting tags — a second season rifle mountain goat and a rifle bighorn sheep ram for the same unit, S66.
After three weeks in the field (and two weeks into the hunting season), I hadn’t seen one legal ram. I spotted a nice nanny to fill my goat tag the next day; she was accessible without the assistance of rock climbing gear – about 285 yards up hill. With a single trigger squeeze at 4:07 p.m., I stumbled back to camp with the first load of meat out just after 9 p.m. I was past my limit of exhaustion without one day of rest, questioning my sanity after being in this country for 38 days.
The next day, my first quick glass results came up with multiple fresh tracks in the snow across the valley. I determined they could only be fresh sheep tracks – and those tracks lead to three rams!
I started glassing each rock to make sure it was really a rock. Within a few minutes two rocks turned out to be two more bedded rams hidden in the shadows, and one had massively heavy horns. I decided to wait for a standing shot. Within a few seconds, the ram stood. I squeezed the trigger.
A flood of emotions raced through me as complete shock set in that I had got a ram. I knew this moment would never come again. With an official B&C score of 177 7/8, it was possibly the largest ram ever killed in that unit.
My 40 days in the field hunting changed me. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I had survived and succeeded.