I need the start applying for sheep and mtn goat - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 06-26-2020, 08:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I need the start applying for sheep and mtn goat

I recently decided that I need to start applying to hunt bighorn sheep and mountain goat. It would be a dream hunt to get to hunt mountain goat in the Uintas. But, I currently have 0 points and I'll likely be moving out of state in 6 or 7 years, so I feel like my chances of drawing any sheep or goat tag in Utah are worse than a winning $ lottery ticket.

I don't want to get into the habit of applying for tags in 5 states every year. So if I want to have a couple opportunities to hunt these two species, what states would you recommend? Also, I don't know what happens to points when you move into or out of a state, but I think we'll likely be moving to Idaho in 6 or 7 years
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Alaska I'd think would be the place to hunt goats, and Montana for BH Sheep.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Those species are the hardest to draw in the lower 48 in any state especially as a non resident and with 0 points utah is not looking likely but typically speaking your best odds is your home state.
Montana has OTC sheep permits but they are known for being one of the most difficult hunts in the country.
Honestly in my opinion if you want opportunities for sheep and goat save the money and buy the hunts i have found saving money is easier than drawing because it can be done year round and at whatever pace you want.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Save your money and go hunt them where the tags are over the counter, you will have to hire a outfitter but you'll be able to hunt them.

Granted you have a chance to draw them in Utah, a very slim chance but a chance.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If hunting sheep and goats is important to you then you will have to sacrifice somewhere. Sacrifice time- you are so far behind the points games that (unless you are extremely lucky) you most likely will never draw, draw when you are much older or never draw.

Money- pay to play now. A mountain goat hunt is in the $10,000 range. A cancellation Dahl Sheep hunt is in the $14-16,000 range. Add another $3,000 for travel, licenses, tips, etc.

Or spend around $1,500 per year on applications that most likely won't produce for decades- if ever. And over that time the costs to apply and the licenses will increase. Some states are increasing application/tag fees yearly, I imagine others will follow sooner than later.

Personally- my suggestion would be a free range auodad hunt in West Texas or New Mexico. They call it the poor man's sheep hunt (although they have increased in price lately) because it can be a true sheep hunting experience. I did my first one earlier this year on a DIY New Mexico draw hunt. It was a great adventure, one of the toughest hunts I've experienced. I'd do it again in a heart beat if I ever have the funds to spend on a TX ranch or get lucky enough to draw. You can get Auodad hunts for $3-5,000.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Holy moly!!! I guess I'll just put in to the lottery where I live and hope I get lucky before I'm too old to hike high.

That OTC Montana tag is interesting. I assume that's only for residents?
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you really want to try your luck in the lower 48, then in addition to your home state, I'd apply in ID or NM where there is no point system. Of course you pay a premium having to purchase a ~$150-200 hunting license to apply, but those are where your better odds will be. Everyone wants to hunt MT, and the odds show it. You probably have better odds winning a lottery trip to the moon on a SpaceX rocket than pulling a MT sheep tag.

If you save $1,000 a year, you have the funds to hunt goats in AK in 10 years. Sheep in 15. Those are far better odds, and only slightly pricer, than anything you would pull in the lower 48 in that time period.

I am with Packout on Auodad. They are on my list, but just like antelope, the masses are figuring it out and prices are going up and odds down. Pretty soon, they'll average over 5K, so do your homework now and get in on the game before the cost become more prohibitive.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtockstein View Post
Holy moly!!! I guess I'll just put in to the lottery where I live and hope I get lucky before I'm too old to hike high.

That OTC Montana tag is interesting. I assume that's only for residents?
Nope, it's a free for all. NR just pay NR tag fees. The hunts are on a quota and once the quota is met, the hunt shuts down. The rams are not big and the competition is fierce, but if you want to sheep hunt, you could do it every year on these MT hunts. As has been said, they are not for the faint of heart as the terrain is brutal.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWScott72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtockstein View Post
Holy moly!!! I guess I'll just put in to the lottery where I live and hope I get lucky before I'm too old to hike high.

That OTC Montana tag is interesting. I assume that's only for residents?
Nope, it's a free for all. NR just pay NR tag fees. The hunts are on a quota and once the quota is met, the hunt shuts down. The rams are not big and the competition is fierce, but if you want to sheep hunt, you could do it every year on these MT hunts. As has been said, they are not for the faint of heart as the terrain is brutal.
Sounds like my kind of fun!
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWScott72 View Post
Nope, it's a free for all. NR just pay NR tag fees. The hunts are on a quota and once the quota is met, the hunt shuts down. The rams are not big and the competition is fierce, but if you want to sheep hunt, you could do it every year on these MT hunts. As has been said, they are not for the faint of heart as the terrain is brutal.
Generally, odds of drawing bighorn tags are about as worse as they come. Interestingly enough, the absolute worst draw odds species in Utah is bull moose for quite some time now. With odds for Shiras tags being downright reasonable in some Idaho units, I'm not sure I understand that one, but people gonna people.

As for sheep, unless you can guarantee that you'll live and be physically able to sheep until a couple decades longer than all of the young teenagers that already have a point or two under their belts forget ever being guaranteed to draw a sheep tag anywhere in the L48. Pretty sure your odds of winning enough $ in a lottery to buy a sheep tag at auction might actually be better than getting the sheep tag in a draw starting at 0 points.

The MT unlimited hunts require the ram to be at least 3/4 curl, and while some sheep are taken most years it is not unusual for guys to spend the first 2-3 years hunting the unlimited areas before they even see a sheep--let alone a ram, or a legal ram.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn hunts (guided with tag) can be had in parts of Canada for $40-60k. You can occasionally find some of the less desirable bighorn tags on the auction block for a similar price, and then hire an outfitter for $5-10k on top of that.

Free range Desert Bighorn in Mexico can sometimes be found on a cancellation under $50k, but $60-70k is typical.

Stone Sheep hunt prices have about doubled over the past decade. Currently, reputable outfitters for Stone Sheep run $40-50k.

Dall Sheep can usually be found with a reputable outfit (Alaska, Yukon, or NWT) right around $20k. Sometimes $15k on a cancellation. If it looks like a crazy good deal...well, think about the word "crazy" some more.

As for goats...well, that is a very different story. Routinely I come across offers from very reputable guides in good areas (BC and Alaska) where the hunt cost will be ~$6-8k. In the past 3 years I have seen three offers at or just below $5k for cancellation hunts or where a great guide is exploring a new area of his concession in BC (that hunter ended up killing one of the largest billies killed anywhere in 10 years). Of course, add licensing travel etc. beyond that and the ~$10k quote is probably pretty close. I actually think with COVID-19, there might be some really attractively priced offers for last minute short notice goat hunts (maybe dall sheep too) if you are willing to roll the dice. For example, I know of a baited interior grizzly hunt in AK with an excellent guide that just got offered and snatched up for under $6k (normally a $12k hunt)!

Or you move to Alaska, establish residency after 12 months, and can then hunt dall sheep and up to 2 goats each year OTC with almost all of the species' licenses included with your $60 hunting/fishing combo license.



Or there's another option: make friends with a sheep/goat outfitter and be a packer/grunt and get to do everything about a sheep/goat hunt except pull the trigger multiple times. You might get lucky and break even on your personal costs depending on tips.
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