Oregon FNAWS
Hunt Stories - Jamie Roscoe
Jamie Roscoe 1
Bighorn Sheep Hunt 2011
By Jamie Roscoe
I would like to begin by thanking everyone at ODFW, especially DeAnna Erickson for ensuring that I would get to hunt Big Horn Sheep this year. I would also like to thank George Houston from the OR-FNAWS for all of his great information on sheep habitat, activities, and hunting. Finally, I would like to thank John Williams of Andrews, Oregon, for coming on the hunt with me and sharing his eyes, optics, and knowledge of sheep with me and Roaring Springs Ranch of French-Glen, Oregon, and for allowing me access to the sheep.
To answer the burning question; yes I took a Ram, he was 4 1/2 years old and scored 156 1/2 inches (measured by ODFW at Burns, Oregon) on Friday, September 16th, at approx 3:00 PM. I had 7 great friends with me, 1 from California, 2 from Bend, Oregon, 1 from La Grande, Oregon, and 2 from Diamond, Oregon, as well as a new friend (John Williams). We hunted hard for 3 days seeing very few sheep but covering a lot of country and took mine on the end of the 3rd day. We began our morning at 3:00 A.M. and headed to Echart Grade (a 2 hour drive). Prior to reaching our destination (approx 7:00 AM), we decided to glass the rim and immediately found 6 Rams feeding about 1,000 feet above us and approximately 1 mile away. We field scored each of them and found 2 mid 160 class Rams in the bunch and the other 4, looked to be 140-150 class Rams. We soon discovered 4 more Rams that were of lesser quality feeding to the North of the big bunch.
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I believed that the bunch of 6 was the best of the unit so we decided to put a stalk on them. From 7:30 to 3:00 we covered about 4 miles of distance and 1500' of elevation and crossed 2 big canyons while my spotting team kept the hunting party apprised of the Rams activities. They bedded down at 9:00 on a point where they could see for miles in every direction and they spotted my hunting party at approx 2 miles away. I had some of my spotters move their positions in order to attract the Rams attention while we moved through a canyon that we were now exposed in. The wind was not always in our favor so we had to stay below them on a low rim about 400 yards away until they decided to get up and begin feeding again. Our observer team informed us that all of a sudden the Rams got up and headed in, towards us, from the Rim and that they couldn't see them anymore. This is not what we had expected, rather, that they would jump back off the Rim and begin feeding on the hillside and then we would move in from above them. We moved from our position to see if they had left the Juniper trees and headed for the grasslands.
We broke over the Rim and couldn't see them on the grasslands, so we knew they were still in the trees. We were walking up a slow rise and the tallest member of the team suddenly spotted them bedded under a large Juniper at 140 yards. They hadn't seen us so he climbed a tree to get a better visual on them, where he noticed they were gone. Just then we saw them grazing to the South of us out in the open at 150 yards. We immediately tried to field score each Ram as they moved and fed and found a mature Ram that we believed to be 1 of the 2, 160 class Rams spotted earlier. Just then that larger Ram and the Ram furthest to the East spotted us! It was now or never so I pulled down with my Winchester M70 .270 WSM (a present from my wife) and attempted an off-hand shot under a low hanging Juniper tree.
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I don't know if it was the angle, the challenging terrain, or because my heart was about to jump out of my chest but I shot low and missed. The bunch ran about 50 yards and John blew on his Deer distress call and they all stopped and turned back to look at us. Somehow, my Ram had stayed at the back of the group and presented a 200 yard broadside target. The second shot was true and I double lung’ed him with another off-hand shot. The bunch ran another 100 yards or so and he went down. We then had to quarter him and take down a 1500' canyon which was no easy task. He is a fine animal and I'm very proud of him and the hunt. The 3 attached pictures show the country, Scott Mc Aulay and myself with my Ram (I'm on the left), and finally, us packing him down the canyon. Thank you all for your interest and support!
 
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