Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are the largest wild sheep in North America, with rams weighing over 300 lbs. They have extremely keen hearing and vision as well as a highly developed sense of smell. Split, rough-bottomed hooves made for traversing rocky terrain make it easy for them to navigate the mountains in which they live. A ram’s large, curling, somewhat flared horns can weigh up to 30 lbs and are used in battle with other males to show dominance or fight for a mate. Ewes have much smaller, slightly curved horns. Both sexes can be hunted. Rocky Mountain bighorn can live up to 15 years and are found in British Columbia and Alberta, as well as many states in the western U.S.
The challenge of hunting this bighorn begins with acquiring a tag, which is extraordinarily difficult to obtain in the U.S., as only a limited number are released and are often only made available to in-state residents. Each state issues permits by lottery draw, and the demand is very high for these hunts. However, sheep tags can be acquired in Canada without a draw. We work with outfitters in B.C. and Alberta to avoid the challenges associated with U.S., but costs for these hunts do run higher and usually need to be booked well in advance.
Hunts generally run 10 to 15 days and may be conducted on foot, on horseback, and/or by four-wheel-drive vehicle, utilizing both base and spike camps. Hunting this species can be extremely grueling. Critical to your success will be your physical conditioning and stamina, the quality of your optics, and your patience. Lots of time will be spent moving quietly and glassing the slopes in search of a trophy-class animal. We recommend a .275 to .30 caliber rifle for bighorn.
Contact us to start planning your Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunt!