2017 Desert Sheep Sportsman Tag - Page 2 - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 03-06-2017, 05:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Congrats and very cool, looks forward to your reports and memories.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Looking forward to your adventure. You won't regret saving all the memories.
I'm glad I did it with my 2010 sheep hunt.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Scouting trip day 1: March 3, 2017

Through our research and with some help from a few sheep experts, we identified several areas throughout the state we wanted to explore and look for bighorns. Including the Zion, Kaiparowits West and Pine Valley units.

Having consistently heard lots of great things about the Zion unit from multiple sources (sheep numbers and superior genetics as they were transplanted from Arizona and Nevada bighorns in the last decade or two), we picked an area to try first and went down last weekend to scout. Having never been to that area, we picked a spot on the map that looked like it would be a good glassing area for most of the surrounding valley and headed out.

We hiked up to the glassing area and spent most of the afternoon glassing. We donít have much experience glassing, let alone glassing for sheep, so it took some time to settle in and werenít exactly sure where we should be looking (tops or bottoms of the cliffs, the low areas by the river, etc). In all that time we found one doe deer bedded down. Saw lots of tracks while hiking, I was thinking (or merely hoping) they were sheep tracks. Here is one, and as I look at it closer, I think it is a deer track, but maybe itís a sheep. What do you think?


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After glassing for several hours, the boys we dragged up the hill with us were getting antsy, and we hadnít seen any sheep yet, so we decided to check out another nearby canyon. They were really patient, though, and seemed to enjoy being in this foreign desert environment. We almost always take a child or two with us on hunting trips so they can have the experience too, just realizing the need to be flexible and sometimes have to change plans. It can be challenging at times, but I wouldnít have it any other way. No better way to teach them to be men, than by letting them explore and do manly things, right?

We then drove to the other canyon and set up the tripods right outside the vehicle. As we were glassing the new area, a couple guys drove up in a truck who were also looking for bighorns. They were locals from the nearby town who have spent a significant amount of time locating and helping hunters get their sheep. They were really helpful and gave us some tips on where the sheep typically live and identified a few specific spots where they had seen sheep in that canyon in the past. They also let us test out their Swarovski binoculars and spotting scopes, and this helped me realize I really need an optics upgrade for this hunt. The clarity was unbelievable compared to the binoculars I was using. Now to just talk Mrs. brisket into it. Wish me luck.

Unfortunately, we were unable to spot any sheep that day but came away with some better knowledge of the area, glassing points, road access, etc. All in all, a very fun day filled with some amazing views of the red rock cliffs.


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Old 03-07-2017, 01:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinethomas View Post
There is a Jay Scott outdoors podcast talking about the sheep units in the state. Might shine a light toward some areas. Good luck.
Thanks for the heads up on this, looking it up right now.

Here is the link to the podcast for those interested.

Last edited by brisket; 03-07-2017 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Scouting trip day 2: March 4, 2017

Scouted a bit in the morning, but didn't see any sheep. Went to the coral pink sand dunes to let the kids run around for a bit, then stopped off in the desert and let the boys shoot some clays.

In the afternoon, we wanted to find access to another canyon we hadn't explored yet. While looking for the access road, the two local guys that helped us the prior day passed us, recognized our vehicle and flagged us down. They showed us where the access road was, we followed and started to glass with them. They instantly found a herd of about 25-30 lambs and ewes about 2 miles away. Really makes a huge difference to have some good optics, and sheep glassing experience, I don't think we would have found those sheep without their help.

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Unfortunately, the road had some deep sand and we didn't want to get stuck so next time we'll have to bring the UTV to explore the rest of that canyon.

We decided to go back to a couple places we glassed the day before. Didn't find anything in the first spot we tried, but then the second spot we found some bighorns! They were on the cliffs about a mile away.

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Again, just ewes and lambs. Counted 8. Probably not too exciting to the seasoned sheep hunter, but to us, it was really fun to actually find some sheep, and this time on our own. At least knowing the types of areas we've seen sheep should help our future scouting trips. Not sure where the rams are bachelored up, hopefully, we'll find some on the next trip. At the end of the weekend, it was a successful trip, had a great time, and actually found some sheep.

Some amazing views in southern Utah.

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Last edited by brisket; 03-10-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Crazy where they hang out!
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla View Post
Crazy where they hang out!
I know, it's so cool. I think we spent too much time glassing in the lower areas, we should have concentrated more on the cliffs.

We'll have to be careful to make sure the ram is in an accessible place before shooting one.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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An $80,000 birthday gift that ended up costing you $523 is a pretty good deal in my book. Your brother owes you for a LONG time. At minimum, he should pack all the animal out if you shoot it in some hell hole surrounded by cliffs. Good luck on your hunt! Looking forward to hearing about it on the forum.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Nice report on your scouting trips.

They're all accessible with the right gear. Better start practicing your mountain climbing!
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have been putting in for Desert Bighorn for 10yrs. Needless to say 'I am jealous'. I will be tuned in to hear how your hunt goes.
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