When my Mom drew out for Bighorn Sheep my first thought was “how many people get to hunt big horn sheep in their lifetime?” I have spent the last several years looking out my back window and keeping an eye on them during the winter months resulting in a greater appreciation and respect at just how awesome they are. I knew this would be an amazing experience and opportunity. My Mom had knee surgery in the summer. It was supposed to be just a scope but when the doctor was in surgery he found out she needed her ACL ligament replacement as well. My Dad asked the doctor if she would be ready to go in November for her sheep hunt and he responded with “yes” much to my Dad’s relief. As November drew closer my Mom’s knee was still a concern. We knew we would need to locate the sheep and get her on it as best we could. She wouldn’t be able to make multiple hikes scouting and looking for a good Ram. We would need some divine intervention. I started looking above my house where I located a decent Ram way up high which would require some weather to drive them down in order for him to become an option. We also scouted up several drainages from American fork Canyon to Provo but hadn’t yet located a good Ram. On November 2nd We spent the morning combing the Wasatch Front and ended up locating some Sheep at the top of Nebo which would take a hiker in good shape all day to get close enough for a shot. On the ride home I began to wonder how we were going to get my Mom close enough to a great Ram. I knew November’s weather can be unpredictable and without some snow we could be in trouble. That evening when I got home I was talking with my wife as she made dinner and suggested going for a ride to see if we could catch the sheep above the house coming down to water. She said yes and that we should call our cousins in the same neighborhood to go with us. We all pilled in the truck and I dropped off the hill not really expecting anything to happen. Instead of going the direction I had intended on I had a feeling (maybe from Grandpa) to ride up the canyon for a minute to see what we could see. This was the divine intervention we needed because no sooner had we started up the canyon when my wife noticed one up on the hillside. As soon as I laid eyes on him I knew he was “the Ram.” I hurried and called my Dad and told them I had one spotted. We were able to get my Mom up the mountain side and in position for a good shot which she made with one squeeze of the trigger from my deceased Grandpa Ashton’s trusty ol’ 270. With daylight slipping away my cousin Kirk and I hustled up the steep incline and located the expired Ram. When I got my first close-up of him I was in awe of his mass and awesomeness, he was magnificent! I was so happy for my Mom that it worked out the way it did. Her 21-year dream in the making had come true. We were able to take it back to the house where we had friends and family laughing and enjoying the moment.
Hunting is a funny thing; I always look forward to a big hunt when I have drawn or purchased a tag and it’s always rewarding when you’re looking at the hunt in the review mirror regardless of if you’ve been successful or not. Sometimes when I’m in the hunt day after day I scratch my head and wonder why I do it? Maybe you’ve asked yourself the same question? Well here is my why…..because it pushes you to your physical and emotional limits, because when you think you can’t go any further you take that next step, because opportunity is just around the next bend or over the next ridge and my favorite…. because it builds lasting memories with the ones you love and care about. So good luck on your next hunting adventures and building memories that last a lifetime. Happy trails!