Oregon FNAWS
Hunt Stories - Tom Houston
Tom Houston 1
California Bighorn Sheep Hunt 2010,
E. Deschutes River Unit
By George Houston
Ever since he was notified that he drew the "once in a lifetime" tag, the excitement has been building with all of us!
Tom made a number of pre-season scouting trips to the hunt areas. He contacted many of the adjacent ranchers/land owners to secure permission to trespass through their land to the hunt areas. The hunt started on Saturday, October 16, 2010. We arrived in camp on the 14th and 15th. From the 15th to the 20th we looked in a number of drainages that held promise. We conservatively saw over 300 bighorns and 40-50 rams. We probably found 5 "shooter rams" that were in the category that Tom was looking for! On the morning of Tuesday, the 21st, Tom and Brian secured trespass permission from a rancher they had not contacted previously, and we headed toward those protected drainages. At about 11:00 a.m. Tom and Brian found the ram that he wanted to put on his wall at home. Tom carefully made his approach from 900 feet downhill using the rocky benches and noise from passing trains to cover his movements. By 2:00 p.m. Tom had closed the distance to about 125 yards. After patiently waiting for the closest ewes to clear, he made the center chest shot. The ram instantly went down at the shot, as the 25-06 Remington spoke loudly and the 100 grain Nosler Accubond did its job!
Tom Houston 2
All of the team very quickly hiked our way down to Tom, and his ram, for photos, hydration, congratulations, caping, butchering, and boning out chores. We then loaded up and headed back up canyon to the rim. Jeremy and Mike at ODFW in The Dalles, green scored the ram at 161 3/8 and about 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 years old. Teeth really worn. Both ear canals absolutely packed with ticks.
Our many thanks to the ODFW Big Game managers and local/ adjacent ranchers/ land owners for the opportunities to hunt California Bighorn rams in the Lower Deschutes River canyon! The consensus with us is that this has been the very best hunt yet!

George Houston
Oregon Chapter
Foundation for North American Wild Sheep
Tom Houston 3 Tom Houston 4 Tom Houston 5
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