In this episode of Epic Outdoors Jason Carter and Adam Bronson of Epic Outdoors talk with Victor Trujillo of Borrego Outfitters about Nevada Sheep hunting. Victor is one of Nevada’s top sheep outfitters. His knowledge of sheep in the state combined with that of Jason and Adam makes for a very informative episode. If you are interested in Desert Sheep, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, or California Bighorn Sheep in Nevada this podcast is for you.

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You know, Nevada’s just a sheep factory.

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Southern units seem to be

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Thriving. Sometimes the mass actually get hidden on a ram Like that. Better

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Get the camera out because I’m putting a bullet in.

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It’s genetic. Anything to do with Western Big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter here. And Adam Bronson as well here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. Got an awesome guest from Nevada. We got Victor Trujillo. Super excited to talk, talk to him. But before we do that, we want to thank Under Armour for sponsoring these podcasts and as well as sponsoring some of the different projects we’re doing here at Epic Outdoors. Super innovative company, produce a lot of great gear and, and just appreciate them and their support of the hunting industry. So anyway, as we get started here, just wanna talk to Vic, visit with him a little bit. How you doing, Vic?

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Good, good. How you guys doing?

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We’re doing good. Great.

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Spring time’s here, and Yes, I don’t know about you. It’s probably time to start looking for Rams.

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Absolutely. That’s where I’m going here In about a couple hours, I’m gonna go go do a little scouting, you know,

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I know you’re, you’re crazy man. You’re doing it all the time and anyway, which is what makes you good. But before we get right into that, like, just give us a little history, Vic. Like I know we’ve known you, Adam and I have known you for years and years, had a super immense amount of respect for you, actually guided under you a little bit. And just maybe just give us a little history like what, you know, how you got started and some of your childhood and then, and then how you got going into some of the guidance stuff.

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Okay. I was raised in a small town here in Nevada, home to the largest Army depot in the world. And that’s where I work at right now. Been out here for quite a few years, so it’s been good. Just, you know, used to do a lot of bird hunting when I was younger. Duck hunting, you know, a lot of chucker hunting. And then I kind of got into some deer hunting. Then I always remember a buddy of mine told me, Hey, you gotta start putting in for sheep. And I’m like, you know, I just, that, that just doesn’t do anything for me. You know, I was kind of young and thinking, you know, I wanna go after these butts, you know?

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Well, I put in Drew a tag and after that it was kind of history. I just kind of got the bug.

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Was that a desert or a California big

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One? A desert sheep is, you know, the only tag I’ve drawn into that I’m maxed out on Cali points and just can’t seem to draw one of them tags. So, you know, I, I, I thought I wanna start doing this more, but you know, the only way I’m gonna be able to do it is start helping people out. So I started helping some friends out, started really getting into it a lot more, and then I kind of thought, you know what? I think I kind of wanna get into the guiding business a little bit, you know? Yeah,

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Yeah. Totally understandable. You can kind of, you know, supplement your habit a little bit. Plus it allows you to put your hands on Rams every single year, you know, know.

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Yes, yes. And that’s the exciting part, you know?

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Yeah. So give us a rough timeframe. Like how long ago was that?

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When did you draw your tag first tag? When did that start?

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Yeah, 1992. Wow. And back then, you know, to shoot a ram, you know, you had to go to a class, you had to have a spot in scope, and, you know, you, you had to make sure that that ram was 1 44 or eight years old.

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I remember Utah used to have that for a while until, until they confiscated too many sheep, because that was a big ram in Utah, 1 44. So a lot of people would shoot 10 year olds that were 1 38 or one 40, and, and they dropped that. But I, we probably got it from Nevada, I don’t know. But we used to have that over here a long time ago as well. Yeah.

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So, you know, they, they dropped that eventually. And, you know, because of exactly what you’re saying, you know, you might have a ram that’s seven years old and he is, you know, 1 43, you know, and in that unit, that’s all you’re gonna get.

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Yeah, that’s right. Yep. We’ve seen that in some of the checkout summaries. We’ve, you know, as Adam and I are crunching some of the data, and I know you do it, you know, too, just, you know, of course you’re pouring over all that stuff, but you see it, you see it’s genetic. I mean, you’ll see units that are, that have got old rams, or maybe they’re chunked out and they don’t quite score like what you think they might or should’ve or could’ve had they not been chunked out and, you know, old rams, you know?

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Yeah, absolutely. You know, and then we’ve got these, you know, I mean, some of these units, you have these mini rams in there and they’re like, just a dwarf ram. That’s when I ended up shooting, because back then I really didn’t, you know, have my buddy to go with me. His mom had drawn a, a, a desert sheep tag also. So I kind of had to go solo, was doing as much research as I could, found a ram that I thought was good. Yeah. You know, he, he, he was eight years old and scored 1 48, so I barely made that one.

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I was gonna ask that. I’m like, all right, let’s see, are we gonna go into this? Is it a did you shoot an illegal ram or where’s this headed right now? Yeah, yeah. Well, good, good.

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Well, that’s great. And so around 1992, and so then you get guiding, you know, after that he’s probably really got, you know, and I don’t, I know your, your outfitter name is, is Borrego Outfitters, but I mean, was that something you named right off the bat, 1995, you’re cranking or, or how did that timeline work?

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No, you know, it took me a little time. I ended up sub guiding under Hide and Seek Luegos. Okay. And, you know, there for about three or four years, you know, we were just, I mean, Nevada was hot, these units, we were just taking some tremendous rams. Yeah. Then I kind of ventured out and ended up with Grand Slam Safari Roy Lurg. Yeah. And he was kind of a big mentor to me. You know, I guided with him for a couple years and then he just said, Hey, you know, you need to do this on your own. Yeah. Go out and do it on your own. And I was kind of a little nervous thinking, you know, I don’t wanna deal with all this paperwork and insurance and all that. Yeah. But I did. And so, you know, it’s where I’m at now.

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Wow. That’s crazy. Well, that’s awesome. And so I know, you know, maybe we dive into it a little bit, but I know, you know, you’ve, you’ve been an instrumental, instrumental, you know, part into, you know, some of these hunters coming on and killing some of these giants with, with governor tags and different things. I mean, tell us a little bit about that. Maybe the pressure you, you take on when, when taking a tag like that and, and you know, and trying to harvest, you know, the best ram that you can possibly find in the state. Yeah.

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And you know, just like you guys know them, you know, them governor tag rams can be, you know, very tough, very challenging, you know, you’ve gotta spend a lot of time out there. You’ve gotta get some people involved because you’ve gotta cover, you know, large areas in Nevada, different units, of course, you, you, you know, you’re kind of focusing on the top units, you know, but they just take, you know, they, they take a long time. You know, hunt starts in August this year. It’s, it’s, it’s back to September, so I think, no, no, it’s back to August. It was July, it’s back to August. Yeah. August to end of December. Yep. And so, you know, you could be out there for, for long periods of time, but when you do finally, finally harvest a ram, and, and he’s a good ram, you know, you end up meeting some great people and gosh, man, I mean, the friendships that you end up with are just great, you know?

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Absolutely. Some of the best people are hunters, aren’t they? Yes,

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Yes. And you know, these guys that buy the governor tags, you know, the, the money that they spend and that money that goes back into, you know, guzzler projects and, and and, and putting more sheep on the mountain, that is very important.

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Absolutely. I know, you know, we have a similar pro program over here in Utah, and with sheep more than any other big game species, they’re a very intensive species to manage for. They don’t just take care of themselves. They’re, I know Nevada sheep don’t seem fragile, especially at the moment. They, they’re just going gangbusters. But in general, you know, that’s not always the case. They go through ups and downs, disease events and things like that, and, you know, efforts to separate wild sheep from domestic sheep and goats and, you know, water developments and all the other things that sheep just need to always, you have to be on top of to keep ’em going. That money, you know, they, you know, they’re not like elk that just, you know, turn ’em out and they manage themselves. They, they take a lot of effort and with that takes a lot of money. So we hear you in terms of what, what those couple of tags, I know in Nevada for deserts, and I guess one Cali tag out of, you know, 400 or some odd total sheep tags that they give is not, not taken away very much for the sportsman, but Sure. Puts a lot back on the, on the ground, you know, roughly 300,000 a year with those three tags. So

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Yeah, absolutely. And you know, you can see what happened to our Rocky Mountain population when, you know, we had a, gosh, they were just coming on strong, you know, killing some high eighties and some one nineties, and then, you know, they got a disease, wiped them out, and now we’re starting back over.

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That’s right. And we’re still, you know, it’s pretty meager with what, I mean, two or three units I think is all that you guys have for, for Rocky options over there right now. Non-residents can’t even apply for ’em, haven’t been for five or six years. But yeah, fortunately, you know, the cali’s, even though there’s been some ups and downs on some of those, the deserts feels like right now, you, you’ve got a little bit longer historical perspective than Jason and I as far as guiding and really spending a lot of time in Nevada. But it just feels like things have never been better, both for, for the number of big rams that are, that Nevada’s producing right now, and the overall numbers of tags. I mean, there was over 30, 31, I believe, non-resident desert sheep tags drawn in Nevada last year, which is more than every other state combined, which means there’s, you know, 275 to 300 ish, I, you know, 2 50, 2 75 resident tag. That’s a lot of desert sheep tags. So tell us about that, where you see the current status of desert sheep as a whole and maybe individual units and trophy quality right now in Nevada.

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Yeah. You know, I mean, you got groups like Nevada, bighorns Unlimited Fraternity of desert, Bighorn sheep, the Wild Sheep Organization. You get groups like that and, you know, moving sheep into these new units and, you know, putting guzzlers in. I mean, we’ve got so darn many sheep. I remember back in the day when, you know, like a 1 64 would be the top sheep for Nevada and in the whole

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State. In the whole state. Yeah.

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Yeah. That’s what would win. Like our first place belt buckle, you know, well, nowadays, I mean, you know, you’re looking at mid to high seventies and I cannot believe every year there’s one or 2 180 inch rams, you know, harvested. Yeah. And that, I mean, that’s, that just kind of shows, you know, that the sheep population is doing really good.

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Oh, it’s just unbelievable. It’s a, you know, and Adam and I haven’t spent near the time you have Vic down there, but the little bit of time we have, and of course we’re hunting some of those deer units that are just, you know, flirting with that sheep habitat. But it’s just an amazing, you know, Nevada’s just a sheep factory. I mean, we call Colorado the, the Deer Factory of the West and, and Nevada’s the sheep, desert sheep factory of the west, you know?

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Yes. And I think it’s awesome that we’re able to give out so many resident tags, but I also think it’s awesome that we’re able to give out, you know, so many non-resident tags.

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Oh, it’s unbelievable. I mean, it’s just one of those opportunities, you know, we’re all dying for, I mean, we’re showing, I mean, it’s like there’s 311 tags or something like that. I mean, over 300 total tags. Like Adam says, you know, 31 of them being non-residents, roughly a 10% deal. And I mean, how special it, you know, it is when, when you guys do well, non-residents get to do well, and we all get to kind of partake in that resource and, and enjoy it. And then, you know, as you’re saying, I mean, 164 inch ram and you guys, the best sheep in the state wasn’t even, you know, net and book. And here, here we are, you know, some of these units, I mean, gross in nearly every Ram book, you know, in some of the, some of them, you know, it’s just unbelievable what’s going on.

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Oh, yeah, yeah. And, you know, you can get some of these units like, you know, like the Bears, you know, I mean, guys, they just keep producing great lambs in the unit, you know, Buna, Crockett Rams.

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Tell us about Vic, you know, throughout the years, what are some of the most, I mean, not just the biggest, because big ones are obviously, obviously memorable, but tell us about what you’d consider some of your most memorable ram hunts that you’ve, you’ve guided over the last say 10 years,

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15. You know, I really, I really enjoy going out with like the kids when you can take a kid out, kid and, you know, they get the opportunity to harvest a ram and, you know, you get to see that big smile on their face. I mean, to me, that is just the best. I got to do that last year with Amanda, Jess on her California bighorn sheep tag. And, you know, she was just a trooper, a hiker, and she could shoot like, you know, nothing else. And when we got that ram, you know, it wasn’t the biggest, it was a good looking ram. That’s the one she wanted. And I mean, she was smiles for days and days and days. It was just like the best.

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Wow. That’s awesome. I mean, for you to say that, and, and, you know, knowing that you’ve taken part in, you know, some, some years, I mean, you’re guiding maybe the top rem taken in the state and, and to have that be, you know, kind of top of the list, pretty awesome. Yeah.

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I mean, I think it’s awesome. You know, getting the kids involved is just great.

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So tell me, ref, tell us how, how many sheep hunters do you typically take? What’s a normal year for Borrego Outfitters right now? I know it’s to some extent a mercy of the draw and connections and networking and whatnot, but in an ideal year, who do you, how many do you take and what units do you tend to focus in, maybe starting with the desert sheep?

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You know, usually we take, you know, six to 10 hundreds a year. The desert sheep, you know, like our top units in the desert sheep are, you know, a lot of the units down south, you know, you got the muddies, I mean, the muddies, they give out so darn many tags in there, but they’re always shooting some great rams in there.

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Well, and I’m talking strictly right now for like non-residents. You know, you got the McCulloughs, it’s starting to come back on, and they had a die off in there for a couple years. And that unit, it’s starting to come back on, like, it was, you know, five or six years ago, you know, the, the, the spring range, 2 62, the Mormons, you know, those southern units just seem to be, you know, thriving. They’re, they’re good units, you know,

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It’s unbelievable to change, you know, we’ve seen some of that personally as well. You, like you said, and Adam and I were crunching numbers, you know, the other day. And, and you know, of course we’re looking for places for ourselves and where we’re gonna apply and, and we’re crunching numbers on like, like you’re saying, the muddies, which, you know, for those that aren’t, you know, don’t have it memorized or, or haven’t spent time there, unit 2 68, given, given so many tags, how can they still have giant rims? And, and they do, they have giant rims. And we’re just kind of coming to the conclusion that, you know, a lot of people, you hunt desert sheep once or twice in your life. And if you’re going self-guided, you know, I mean, it’s one of those things, just any, every sheep is a trophy. And a lot of people aren’t just honing in on the giant rams. Like everybody knows what a big milder is. We all know, you know, we’re almost getting it figured out on, you know, what a 200 inch is. Everybody knows the term and knows 30 inch and wanna maximize a deer tag, but like sheep, every sheep is special. Every sheep’s a trophy. And they’re not just holding out for that 176 inch plus rim or something like that. And so, you know, it’s gotta be, you know, part of it, don’t you think?

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Yeah, absolutely. You know, and you know, when you just was talking about that, it, it just brought up, you know, I had taken a, a good friend of mine and he had the governor tag, and, and you know, he’s, he’s had it, you know, numerous times. But we get into an area and we’ve been hunting, I don’t know, 10 days or so, and he finds a ram that he likes, and I’m like, Dennis, we got a, a better ram down the, down the way a whole lot better. He goes, you know what? I like the looks of this ram. He says, I’ve killed 180 inch deserts and I’m shooting that ram right there. And I’m like, are you sure about that? He says, you better get the camera out, because I’m putting a bullet in shoots The Ram Ram’s like 1 63. And he was happy as could be. And that was the ram he wanted. So you’re right, it’s all in the eye of the beholder

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As someone that spends, you know, hopefully a fair amount of time looking at sheep. I, I, I’ve gone that same rounds with some hunters occasionally on, you know, the look of a ram trips, certain people’s trigger a different way, whether they’re a high arcing ram that goes high off the head and drops low and doesn’t have much of a curl or a tight ram that looks visually a lot bigger than they really are or will score. Everybody’s a little bit different. And when you get a unit like the muddies, like we talked about with 28 to 30 tags, they’re literally our rams of all shapes and sizes. They’re not all 1 75 plus rams. They’ll take a, a few of those a year. I, I believe right now that unit is about 200% of where the state wants it in terms of overall numbers. And you know, we over here in Utah have been the recipient of some transplants recently from muddy sheep, and hopefully to get some more this year. And I know they’ve got U hunts going on there. I mean, who would’ve ever thought in our lifetime would have units like, you’re not supposed to shoot the moms desert, desert sheep. Yeah, desert sheep.

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I know

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U hunts. And, and, and it’s simply a product of what we talked about earlier, so many sheep and the risk of disease and, and in some cases nowhere to put ’em within Nevada. You guys have, with the organizations you rattled off earlier, done a great job of spreading out and occupying a lot of the suitable, and I’ll emphasize that word, suitable sheep habitat. Those that are, you know, free and clear of any risks of domestic sheep or goat transmission and things like that. And, and, and there’s not a lot of places to put ’em. So the, you know, rather than just stockpile and have a ticking time bomb ready to happen, if sheep exploding and pioneering out to places they shouldn’t be, and coming in contact with somebody’s backyard, sheep and goat or something and bringing it back and, and starting the train wreck. Yeah, we’ve, we’ve had some u hunts in, in a certain, a few certain units over there, which is un unheard of.

00:20:07:28 –> 00:20:59:19
But anyway, not to belabor that too much, but, but transplants, you know, have spilled over to Utah and I wanted to put that plug in. We’re very grateful for Nevada Department of Wildlife here in Utah. ’cause some of our units, we’ve, we’ve gotten some of those muddy genetics and we’re anticipating some great things with some of those sheep as they, you know, mature. They’ve only been here for three or four years, but we’re expecting good things. So speaking now, maybe of a couple other rams, it seems like, tell me of one, one instance, Vic, tell me the story of how you killed just the look on your face. I can tell we’re going somewhere. Oh yeah. This is a story that I, I’ll always remember and it’s kind of changed the regulations, if you will. There was a, a a time you took a governor, desert sheep punter in Nevada, but, but you didn’t kill a desert sheep. Tell me, tell us about what happened on that hunt.

00:20:59:25 –> 00:21:27:00
Well, you know, good friend of ours, Blake, had bought the governor tag, and we had known that a unit that, you know, where these Rockies had pioneered into, and, you know, some of the general hunters were actually shooting Rockies in this unit. And so we’re like, oh, geez. You know, and there was a, there was a really good one in there. So,

00:21:27:08 –> 00:21:34:25
So these were, these were Rockies that had pioneered into a, a unit designated as a desert sheep unit, right?

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So got the tag, you know, it says I any ram. And so I checked with the Department of Wildlife to make sure, hey, are we legal? You know, and they’re like, absolutely. So, you know, we get in there and find the ram, shoot it, and it ends up being 191 inch hum, rocky bloody killed on a desert sheep as

00:22:03:03 –> 00:22:04:03
Governor. Oh geez.

00:22:05:02 –> 00:22:40:12
And it, it was, it was just pretty crazy. But, you know, those sheep had pioneered from the northern part of the state, the humboldts or the rubies, and ended up, you know, in this unit, in, in, in kind of the central part of the state here and now the fishing ga, or not fishing game, but Boone Crockett, you know, ’cause these sheep have been mixing with the desert sheep Sure. Rocky deserts. And so now if you shoot a ram in that unit, you know, they’re not allowing you to consider it for like Boone Crockett Yeah.

00:22:40:18 –> 00:22:53:10
As a desert sheep. Yeah. ’cause they, yes. Yeah. Which makes sense. But it’s, and that’s in the regulations. I can’t remember if it’s, it’s in the unit 13 somewhere, one 30. Yeah. Three or two or four or one of those. But pretty crazy story. That’s

00:22:53:10 –> 00:23:24:27
Kind of crazy. And then, you know, of course you can elaborate on this, but I know there’s been a lot of, you know, radio collaring and done and whatnot, and you’re finding, you know, or, or guys are following specific rams just by trail camera and whatnot. But you guys are finding sheep to wander 50, 60, 70 plus miles. And I mean, I guess it’s feasible to think, you know, those rooms, those, those sheep in that particular area, even though they’re not recognized by Boone and Crockett, they don’t know that there’s unit boundaries that they’re not supposed to cross, they might take a walk about. You know what I mean?

00:23:25:05 –> 00:24:18:18
Oh, absolutely. And you know, we, we had been watching this Longhorned Ram and it was north of Topo and we had been watching this ram for a couple years, young Ram, but just really long, we’re waiting for him to, you know, get a little more age on him. And the year we went looking for him, you know, he disappeared. So that year we’re looking for him. Somebody sends me a picture, they’re hunting a, a unit to the South, 2 52 to Stonewalls. Yeah. And they send me a picture of this ram and I’m going, holy crap, that’s, it’s a Longhorn ram. Yeah. And so he had took a walk about, you know, I don’t know, as the crow flies 60 miles, you know? Yeah. And ended up in a complete different unit. It just, it just was unreal.

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00:24:20:20 –> 00:24:20:29

00:24:20:29 –> 00:25:27:20
What those rams are doing. Well as we get going here too, I wanted to maybe, you know, Adam and I, as we were preparing for this, we want to, you know, maybe visit with you, I know you brought up the Bears a little bit. Of course, that’s residence only as far as the draw program, which is an unbelievable unit. And of course we were guiding for you a little bit and got to know that a little bit, but some, some amazing Rams in there. But as from a non-resident perspective, you know, you, you brought up the McCullough’s, which is 2 63. I know you guys have harvested some amazing Rams in there. Adam and I spent a little time in there. I think we saw and videoed one of the Rams that you guys ended up killing with the guy that you were with. And just a, just an, you know, a tribute to that unit. Just, I mean, we’re talking 180 plus inch ramm. And so maybe, you know, maybe if you could just elaborate a little bit on the quality and in the McCulloughs as well as maybe the blacks 2 67 or, or some of that sheep range country and just kind of just kind of give it a little bit of a breakdown from, from your perspective, a resident who lives for this stuff.

00:25:28:04 –> 00:26:11:20
Well, like you said, you know, the, the McCulloughs, the muddies, I mean, gosh, those, those rams got good genetics. You know, a lot of times you’re finding these rams with real long length and, and the mass, like the ram that we harvested a couple years ago, you know, he was 15 and a half by, he was over 41 inches on his long horn. Geez. You know, it was just an incredible ram. But by, by me saying that he was over 180 inches, but that is the first ram in Nevada, as much as I’ve been hunting that I’ve ever harvested with somebody over one 180 inches, that’s just how hard 180 inch Ram is to harvest in Nevada. Yeah.

00:26:11:20 –> 00:27:10:13
These are, these are Nelson Bighorn. I mean, we’re talking Utah and Nevada with Nelson I, desert sheep and Southern Arizona with the Mexicana. Those ones, you know, that’s not unheard of. They, they get bigger, bigger bases it feels like. And they’re, they’re more known for that. But a one anything 1 75 plus really, and a, and a Nelson Bighorn is a, just a giant, and I don’t wanna minimize a 1 70, 1 75, but you know what I’m saying, anything 1 75 plus is just, just Magnum. And it feels like these last five to seven years it’s just on fire. And the units that you’ve talked about, I mean, I know you killed an awesome ram with your brother. He drew a tag in Bears 2 53, 3 or four years ago. Yes. I can’t remember if that touched 180, but I know it was very, very close. 1 7, 8 or something. You tell me Vic, but I mean, it’s, it’s the time if somebody’s can draw a tag, it’s feels like it’s never been better right now in Nevada.

00:27:11:02 –> 00:27:33:00
Absolutely. And you know, saying that in my backyard, 2 0 5, yeah. One of my guys, you know, I had a, we, we, we had a ram on, on trail camera and he was deceiving to me. I thought he was shoot mid one sixties and my guide goes out there with his hunter and finds it and they shoot it and it’s 1 78. It’s

00:27:33:02 –> 00:27:55:17
Unbelievable. That was last year, right? Yes. Yeah. Un unbelievable. And I know those units you mentioned 2 0 5 and I’ll maybe let you rattle ’em off, but those 2 0 5 to two 13 units, they’re all right around where you’re living, right? Those are your backyard, you’ll go anywhere to take somebody. But those, you’re, you’re within an hour, hour and a half of all those units, aren’t you? Yeah.

00:27:55:17 –> 00:28:34:06
You know, 2 0 5 is, you know, just right in my backyard, I could be out there in 10 minutes. 2 0 7 is close. You know, those two units right there, you know, two oh five’s got the better Rams 2 0 7, you know, you’re looking at, you know, kinda like a low one fifties ram, but two oh five’s really coming on strong. Then you get down to, you know, two 13 where they give out more tags. But you know, you’re looking at Rams that might have age on them, you might kill 148 inch 10 year old down there. Yeah. Yep. And, and some people are okay with that because they just wanna draw a sheep tag. Yeah.

00:28:34:06 –> 00:29:17:18
And the drawing odds are generally a lot better in these, you know, 2 0 7, 11, 12 thirteens if I’m not mistaken. Yes. They’re a lot better. And absolutely, I believe this year there’s 2020 units available for non-residents to choose from that are available for us to apply for, you know, you get all five choices or valid in, in Nevada. And so, you know, I know Jason and I, we always are strategizing with some people that are calling us, but in general terms, I guess you can go one of two ways. List if you’ve just need a desert sheep, I guess, tell me what you tell people. Do you tell ’em to do all five choices better odds, or do you do one or two of the better ones and a couple better odds after that? Or what do you generally tell people? Kind

00:29:17:18 –> 00:29:46:07
Of everything that you just said? Because everybody’s different. You know, some people will say, I just wanna draw a sheet tag, so you put me in for, you know, tell me what units to put in for with the best odds, you know. And other guys will say, you know, I, I don’t want nothing but a good ram. Gimme your top three units. Yeah. And then some guys will mix it up, gimme a, a couple good units, and then, you know, I’ll take some mediocre units. So everybody just, everybody’s different.

00:29:46:25 –> 00:30:31:24
Yeah. Well, it totally makes sense. And that’s what we deal with every day. And, and sometimes from year to year, my own choices and theories change, you know, I mean, some years, some years it’s the best or nothing. And other years Adam and I are like, well, we think we can, you know, work and get one out of 2 83 or 2 71. Of course you did bring up the Mormons, you know, the Mormons is one of those in 2 71 that my own extended family, my, my wife’s family has been in quite a bit. Of course they live right there close to it. And so I’ve ended up spending a little bit of time and, and Adam has, has been in there quite a bit. I know you have as well, but that’s one of those, like on paper never did, you know, 10 years ago was just maybe even considered to be one of the worst in the state.

00:30:31:26 –> 00:31:26:15
And it, it, it’s not an easy unit to hunt, but then as the years roll on, you know, we’re finding better and better sheep there. And, and that’s one of those that have actually come on fairly strong, killed some good rams and, and you know, and, and two, as we’ve talked to a lot of the old timers as well as yourself and other, you know, very seasoned sheep hunters and guys that live in Nevada, what’s on paper doesn’t necessarily mean what’s there. It kind of, it is Indic indicative of, of how the units are doing. And of course you gotta look at that, but a lot of it is the crop of sheep hunters that draw that year and, and you’re, you know, if there’s a particular unit that has a couple of guys that are willing to grind it out and, and work for the, for the entire season and, and try to really find the better sheep in there, you know, they’re finding that, you know, units that are generally known for mid one fifties actually could produce a mid to upper one sixties. You know what I’m saying?

00:31:27:03 –> 00:31:29:08
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

00:31:29:14 –> 00:31:58:29
And, and so that opens up, that is just opens up, you know, as well as we’re talking about some of these sheep traveling a lot. I mean, there’s rams in maybe the Mormons that come outta the arrows or come outta all kinds of different surrounding areas and, and even some of these, these sheep that have been, you know, ear tagged and they’re finding out some of how much they really travel. It’s just, it kind of gives you, gives you some hope that even, even somewhat quote average units are still have gray ramp potential. So

00:31:59:17 –> 00:32:03:25
Absolutely. And like you just said, you never know what is gonna pop up in these units.

00:32:04:04 –> 00:32:30:15
Yeah. They’re just simply so many sheep in Nevada and, you know, the, the state and, and, and, and that’s about all you can do is draw boundary lines around them with highways or whatever that are very identifiable. But, you know, come summertime and rut time, it’s just simply not something that sheep adhered to as far as boundaries. And so, I mean they killed that, that giant Ram 180 4 or something out of the Meadow Valleys

00:32:31:06 –> 00:32:31:09

00:32:31:09 –> 00:33:19:26
Three or four years ago. Giant one of, yeah. I mean I know a friend of ours and yours, Chris Lacey, I mean he’s hunted that unit and, and we’ve guided on it too. And it’s not a, an easy unit and definitely not known as a trophy unit, but one of the top three rams ever I think come out of the state, you know, just popped up, you know, the guy had the, you know, made the most of his tag, knew what he had and yes. Found the ram and stuck it out. But So tell us about, I guess a little bit about, I don’t know, obviously scouting in time, a field when it comes to sheep and being familiar with, with what a unit’s capable of and producing is, is important when comes to sheep. But what do you feel that that either sets you apart that, that you count on in terms of adding to your success as a sheep guide to Nevada?

00:33:20:01 –> 00:34:10:13
You know, I think, you know, you have to be out there scouting, you know, you have to be out there on, on some hunts where you can get some rams on the ground to where you can, you know, see how big these bases are and, and, and, and, and try to keep track of what units, you know, are producing the, the, the bigger rams. And then, you know, just trying to get out there and take as many pictures, video your trail cams and trying to just see, you know, what you’ve got out there. But then you’ve gotta be out there, you know, you find a dead head, you know, seeing what you know, it, it ends up scoring, but just, you know, I can’t, I can’t say enough about you, you know, you just have to be out in the field. It’s just all there is to it. And so,

00:34:10:13 –> 00:34:55:18
Like Vic, as we’re talking about this, you know, I think you’re a hundred percent right, there’s no substitute for time in the field and no matter what you’re hunting to, you know, to really maximize some of these tags that are basically once in a lifetime. But, you know, as far as your hunting methods, I mean, I know there’s a lot of guys that would just go in and, and cover, you know, 15 miles a day and just grind it out that way. Are you, are you doing that, are you just glassing with big optics from long distances and, and doing that? Like, you know, and as we talk about this maybe, you know, this kind of, you know, how can guys increase their success, even self-guided guys? Like what, what you would offer up as, as one of the, you know, sheep gurus in Nevada. Like what, what do you find that increases your success in in some of your hunting methods? You

00:34:55:18 –> 00:35:50:17
Know, I think that, you know, you have to, you have to let your glass do the walking for you and you know, you’ve gotta, you’ve got to just keep glassing and glassing, you know, because you can glass a spot for, I don’t know, an hour think there’s nothing there and then all of a sudden, you know, a group of rams will get up, you know, so glassing and then, you know, what I like to try to do is once I find something, and I think it’s got potential is try to get in closer to it and, you know, I really like taking pictures and video and then I like to come home and put it on my laptop and study it because, you know, you might have missed something by looking at it, but once you take a little bit of video and some pictures and go home and study it a little bit, you might find out that, hey, that ram, you know, was a little bit better than I thought, or nah, he wasn’t really that good. Yeah,

00:35:50:23 –> 00:36:39:08
Well like the, like the ram, you know, and even, you know, like you said, you can do as much as what you, what you’ve described and once in a while you get pleasantly surprised with the 170 sevener that you think’s 168 inch or nice surprise. That’s, that’s all good. And you know, you get an outlier. I mean that ran from the pitchers we saw was very heavy base, but, but it went far back off the head and dropped really low. So it had a big open curl, which from my experience, almost never will a ram score less than you think it it will when you have a look like that. And almost always they’ll be bigger because they’re longer and deeper and sometimes the mass actually get hidden on a ram like that versus a, a tight one that comes round and does a curl in a quarter and you think, man, it’s a giant in these 1 65.

00:36:39:26 –> 00:36:50:03
Absolutely those big looping rams like that will fool a lot of people, just like you said, because they don’t really look that long when they actually are long. Yeah.

00:36:50:29 –> 00:37:45:10
Well we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the deserts and obviously rightfully so with so many tags and opportunities. But we, and, and a little bit about the Rockies, which we’ve talked about a little bit struggling right now, but you know, Nevada’s one of the rare states, Utah, I believe, being the only other that has all three species of big horns, you know, California, big Horn, Rocky Mountain, big Horn and desert, big Horn. And why don’t you, non-residents can, can only apply for four units, 32, 34, 35 and oh one two. Yes. But you have a lot more units than that. Why don’t you, I guess just generally those are found north of I 80, that’s kind of the dividing line in the state, which is the northern, I guess third of Nevada. But why don’t you just, I guess summarize what you, how you think the Cali’s are doing in general and maybe a unit or two that you think’s really producing right now? You

00:37:45:10 –> 00:39:04:17
Know, I think our Cs are doing good. We’ve had a die off in a couple of the units. Oh three one in the Montana range, you know, we had a die off there, but those sheep are starting to come back in the lower part of unit the doubles and you know, we had another die off in the snowstorms north of Midas, but it seems like the sheep are starting to kind of come back a little bit. My favorite unit to hunt up in here is oh three two, the pine forest. It’s a fun hunt. There’s a lot of sheep in there and you know, when you out there with your hunter, you’re just seeing lots of heat, you know, every day. And so that right there is, you know, my favorite unit to put in for and that’s my number one choice for non-resident. And you know, then you got the, the BlackRock oh three four, that unit there borders oh three one and I mean oh three two, excuse me. And so, you know, you get a lot of those sheep that cross back and forth in there and you know, if you can kill, I mean 160 inch Cali, that’s a great, great ram. That’s a, that’s a big ram.

00:39:04:25 –> 00:39:12:27
It is, yeah. We were looking at the checkout summaries and there’s no question that’s an exceptional exceptional California big horn, no question.

00:39:13:07 –> 00:39:27:08
Yes. You know, past couple years, you know, they’ve taken some one seventies, but it just seems that, you know, that number is a hard number to reach anymore. You know, it’s just tough on the Cali units. Yeah,

00:39:27:19 –> 00:39:35:05
1 55 to 1 65 ought to be an expectation then, and that’s what you’d, you’d pretty much tell people on those sounds like.

00:39:35:21 –> 00:39:37:13
Absolutely, yes, absolutely.

00:39:37:29 –> 00:39:52:02
And for, you know, for non-residents, the additional 1650 or whatever it is to apply if you’re already doing deer, elk antelope and desert sheep is, you know, there’s only four units and might as well throw your name in the hat, I suppose is is your take.

00:39:52:04 –> 00:39:55:17
Yeah, absolutely. ’cause then you know, you still get to go hunt, you

00:39:55:17 –> 00:40:12:25
Know, where the, where they took, where oh three one was having that die off a little bit in, in parts of that unit. Of course you and I talked about that a little bit, but you know, not all of them are are dying, but they did pull it from being available to non-residents. Tell us a little bit about the oh three five if you would, now that it’s available to apply for

00:40:13:00 –> 00:40:33:27
Jackson’s. You know, the Jackson’s is, you know, it can be steep in some places, but you know, there’s good, there’s good rams in there and that is a really good, you know, unit to apply for also lots of sheep. So yeah, that would, that right there would be, you know, my number two choice right there.

00:40:34:05 –> 00:40:54:27
Well definitely doesn’t sound like any reason to steer clear of any of those four, but tell me what, you know, I guess maybe before we wrap up, do you got anything, any personal hunts yet on the books for 2017? Or what do you, what’s, what’s on the docket you got anything looking forward to or planning around or what are you most excited looking forward to for this year hunting wise?

00:40:55:05 –> 00:41:10:27
Well, you know, Nevada application is out right now and if you haven’t applied, you got till middle of April, get in and apply, go through epic outdoors application service, get in

00:41:11:00 –> 00:41:11:16
That’s right.

00:41:11:24 –> 00:41:29:18
Put in for Nevada because like you guys have said, you know, we offer, you know, some great hunts here. It’s a lot of non-resident desert sheep tags, some, you know, not a lot on the Cali, but you know, you can’t expect to draw if you don’t put in Yeah,

00:41:30:05 –> 00:42:17:05
I think you’re right Vic. And it’s one of those things, you know, like Adam and I say you gotta apply everywhere to even have a chance. Adam and I have been lucky and both of us drawn, you know, sheep tags went against the, the odds of course and, and drew sheep tags in Oregon and, and I’ve drawn my, you know, Utah desert and whatnot. So we’ve been lucky and, and you know, that’s what it takes in Nevada. I’ve talked to a lot of guys with, you know, 20 plus points, 15 plus points and kinda wondering when they can expect it. And it’s one of those things, you know, is as Nevada has bonus points and they square ’em and you just get a little more few more names in the hat. That’s all it is. It’s more names in the hat. It’s never guaranteed. And it’s one of those things you could, you know, theoretically die without drawing even if you’ve applied for 35 plus years or, or what have you.

00:42:17:29 –> 00:42:25:26
Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve got friends that, you know, my good buddy Victor Clark, it took him 30 years to draw his desert sheep tag.

00:42:27:03 –> 00:42:27:29
So it’s unbelievable.

00:42:28:07 –> 00:42:37:18
And he’s a resident, you know, it’s just luck of the draw. But he finally did draw and like you just said, you have to put in, you know, you gotta put in to draw.

00:42:37:26 –> 00:43:31:00
I applied a guy today, non resident, 25 points 25 times, 25 squared and he, he’s in the upper seventies as you might expect someone with that many points to be. And he’s got the hope to kill a desert sheep. So, you know, Nevada’s one of those states. It’s the, it’s the number one must apply for desert sheep state surely because of the random draw and the number of tags. And anyway, we appreciate you ta taking some time with us today. I know you hunt deer and elk and everything else, you know, in Nevada too, but it seems like most of our discussion today is centered around sheep and anyway, tell us, I guess end of May if somebody is interested in, in getting with you, they can either call Jason and I or you know, give you a call. I guess you’d be glad to help ’em out. I know you get your sheep fixed much like Jason and I do through taking other people, so,

00:43:31:10 –> 00:43:46:01
Oh, I was just gonna say, I really appreciate you guys, you know, taking the time to, you know, invite me on to the podcast. I think it’s, you know, great honor and you know, you guys are like top-notch guys. I’m just, I feel privileged to be on here.

00:43:46:05 –> 00:44:30:14
Oh, thanks man. We sure appreciate it on Adam and I, we’re really looking forward to it. We have a lot of respect for you. We love your enthusiasm hardly ever. I’ve never seen you in a bad mood. You’ve just, you’re really upbeat and, and would be, you know, just an awesome guy to hunt with. And of course it’s nice, you know, when guys draw a tag like that, you’re as excited as they are and Oh yeah. And anyway, just can’t give you enough props for what you’ve done over the years and some of the rams you’ve taken and one, maybe one of these days we’ll have you on again, go over some of these different sheep stories. I know we could, you know, we could all learn a lot from you and what you’ve learned from these rams. They’ve all got personalities, they’ve all got history and, and a lot of times, you know, it’s just fun to, to learn from a guy like you that’s just got so many years in the field doing it. Well, I

00:44:30:14 –> 00:44:31:07
Appreciate it, man.

00:44:31:09 –> 00:45:09:04
Okay, sounds good. Well, hey everybody just wanna wrap up this podcast. Really appreciate Vic, and, and of course Adam and I, we just love talking to some of these guys that have got so much experience in the field and we learn a lot from them, you know, every day. So anyway, appreciate you and, and, and all you’ve done for, for the Hunting community. Also appreciate Under Armour and the sponsorship they give Epic outdoors and being able to bring this podcast to you. Appreciate them, their support for the hunting community and, and all the products that they produce. And so anyway, with that said, maybe we’ll go back to work, talk about when we’re gonna bring Vic on again and go from there. I

00:45:09:04 –> 00:45:14:19
Appreciate it. You bet. Go find a big ram tonight and we’ll, we’ll look for a picture tonight about nine 30.

00:45:16:00 –> 00:45:17:12
Alright, sounds good guys.

00:45:18:01 –> 00:45:19:08
All right, talk to you later. See.