Bighorn hunting is one of the most exciting outdoor adventures for anybody who is into hunting. From their massive sizes, powerful stance and huge curling horns, taking a bighorn sheep down will leave you filled with sheer excitement and pleasure.
The sheep inhabit some of the stunning places in the wild that make hunting so appealing. However, taking the bighorn sheep down is never an easy task. You need to prepare accordingly and get all your gears and weapons ready. The sheep inhabit mountains where the terrain is steep and difficult to maneuver.
A bighorn hunt is not something you want to take lightly. It is a once in a lifetime experience that requires proper planning. In this post, we will look at how to hunt a bighorn sheep by taking adequate preparation and planning. For the detail tactics & gear, you could see an awesome post here.
Step 1: Get in Shape
You have to be in the best physical shape to hunt a bighorn sheep. The hunt for a bighorn sheep will drain you physically as you have to trek the steep terrains in the mountains. Practice climbing on steep terrains to adapt to the same conditions you will be handling when hunting.
Walking through steep terrains requires more from you physically. You will need to strengthen the muscles of your legs as these are the ones that give you breaks on steep terrains. The only way to get into the best physical shape of climbing mountains where the bighorn sheep live is practicing.
Step 2: Join a Team or Recruit One
Bighorn sheep live in areas that you don’t want to go hunting alone. Do you have friends that would love to accompany you to the hunt? It even gets better when you meet someone that has hunted bighorn sheep in the past.
Make sure every person that wants to join you is committed towards the hunt. Hunting a bighorn sheep is something every member joining the hunt must take seriously. Planning for a bighorn sheep hunt will undoubtedly require the members to sacrifice some of their vacation time.
Step 3: Get a License/Apply for a Controlled Hunt
You need to have a license to be able to hunt bighorn sheep in most states. The rules for the controlled hunt usually vary from one state to another, but tags are usually obtained from controlled hunt draw, lottery/raffle and by auction. There are states where you must accumulate points to be in a position for a tug. In other states, every person starts from the same footing.
Game departments and State fish offer controlled hunt draw tugs while auction and raffle are offered by local chapters and the state of the game Department. Overall, the most difficult hunts have better odds of getting a tag as compared to easiest hunts.
Step 4: Get Information on the Physical Location of the Hunt
You will need to understand the area where you’re going to hunt. Get the topographic maps, and satellite imagery if possible. Study your maps and understand the terrain, routes, and access points. Bighorn sheep hunt units are in some of the remotest and wildest parts of the country that are difficult to access. By understanding the physical area and topography of the area; you will know the best ways to access the area.
Step 5: Taste Your Gear and Equipment on a Shakedown Trip
Gears and equipment sitting in the closet after a long time might not function properly. You need to test everything by going for a climb up the mountain and coming down. This is what we call a shakedown trip and one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the conditions of the hunt.
Step 6: Scout the Hunt Area
The map might appear simple but the real hunt area might so different. If possible, get a charter plane and have an aerial view of the hunt area.
Step 7: Know Your Weapon and Enjoy the Hunt
You’re not sure if you will get another opportunity to hunt a bighorn sheep. It is important to know your weapon well and be sure to hit the target when you see a bighorn sheep. You need to hunt smart and not hard. Don’t rush to get a kill but instead, take your time and enjoy the hunt. Take pictures and quality videos of the hunting trip. Set your binoculars on a tripod stand instead of just hiking hard.
The first step towards finding more bighorn sheep is spending more time on your optics as opposed to hiking.
You can check out this awesome video for more detail tips: