In this Episode we talk to Eric Hunt, Troy Scott, and Travis Scott, of Arizona Desert Outfitters. This episode includes in depth details and updates on Arizona Bighorn Sheep hunting. Unit breakdowns, up and coming areas, and Bighorn Sheep stories. If you are interested in hunting Bighorn Sheep in Arizona this episode will shed light on getting started and how to be more successful.

Disclaimer: this podcast has been transcribed from the original audio and likely contains errors. This transcription does not reflect the views and opinions of Epic Outdoors LLC. Please consult the original audio with any concerns.

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These units have always had big Rams

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Units that have two or more tags,

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You know, slightly smaller bases, unique flare,

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And then it had a die off and it closed down

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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 of Epic Outdoors doing another podcast. We’re gonna be talking heavy about Arizona Desert Sheep and Rocky Mountain Bighorns. This go around, we’ve got those applications due here shortly. We got three different guests on with us. We’re super excited to visit with them. Before we dive in, we do want to thank Under Armour for sponsoring this podcast. As well as, you know, some of the different projects we have going on here at Epic. We’re working on some new fun, innovative things that are gonna be coming out, super appreciative of them and their support of the hunting community and, and all that they do and have got going on. So anyway, dealt with Un Armour for a lot of years at the Ridge Reaper TV program. We’re continuing to work with that and on YouTube and, and a lot of different avenues there.

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So the name of the game is drawing tags out there. And so we do wanna know everything that you draw. It doesn’t matter how easy it is to draw or tough, we wanna know about it. We can help you one way or another. We’ve got a member draw database where we could send you a list of members who’ve hunted in the past. You know, we’ve got a lot of experience here in the office across the west. If it’s something that you’ve drawn, that we have experience in, we’ll definitely want to help you with that as well. Or find an outfitter for it.

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That’s right. These tags, in many cases, are worth tens, or in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars if you were to have to go out and buy them on the open market, so to speak. So we realized that applying for a lot of years is only part of it. When you draw the tag, that’s when it really starts to maximize what you have. So encourage you to make the most of it if you’re gonna do it on your own. Call in, get a a Epic member experience database list from us. Get prepared, have gear questions. We give you our take on it, whatnot. If you need an outfitter for the unit that you’ve drawn, we work with the best. We stay on top of that. We wanna only work with reputable people in the units that you draw. So we stay on top of that. A lot of research. We vet, we write the magazine so that, that allows us to stay in touch with outfitters that are killing the best stuff on the specific units in the West. So, yeah.

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So to get in touch with us, go to epic You can email us, of course, [email protected] or [email protected]. General questions [email protected], as well as 4 3 5 2 6 3 0 7 7 7. Anyway, as we get started here, we’ve got Eric Hunt, Troy Scott, and Travis Scott. They’re all partners in the Arizona Desert Outfitters and super, super excited to get this thing started with them. They’re a wealth of knowledge in many different units and have done it for years and, and are just energetic guys that get the job done in the hills. And so, how’s

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It going down there? You guys hit a hundred, 110 down there yet. We

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Had a little cool down and we had a nice little rainstorm, what was it two days ago, which is we had a lot of wind and then some rain came in and kind of got everything wet. So it’s gonna be real good for, you know, more feed going into June, the hottest part of the month. So all the animals are gonna have plenty of food to eat.

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Well, yeah, if you haven’t hit it yet, it’s coming fast, I’m sure. So anyway, maybe just to get started, and maybe we’ll just go through each of you real quick. Tell us, tell us a little bit about yourselves, your age, you know, where you’re from, if you’re Arizona residents, lifelong, what you do for work, if you just guide an outfit year long or what you, what got you into sheep hunting, guiding, things like that. Maybe Eric, why don’t you start off?

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Okay, sounds good. I’m 35 years old and I was born and raised in Wickenburg, Arizona, which is in southwestern Arizona, region four. I’m married to my beautiful wife, Caitlyn, who I wanna mention, has shot a 180 inch desert Ram giant.

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Yeah, it’s a giant, we’ll get to that in a bit, but yeah, I remember.

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Yeah, I am a captain paramedic with the fire department. I’ve been doing that for 14 years and with my schedule there, I work two days on, four days off, so it gives me plenty of time to get out and do scouting and hunting. I got my start in sheep hunting in 2007 when I won the Arizona super raffle. So I shot a, a beautiful desert ram up on in the Virgin River Canyon in 13 b.

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Wow, that’s awesome.

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So right away, you know, like you guys know, after your first sheep hunt, you definitely get the bug.

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So in 2009 I was fortunate enough to kill a, a rocky mountain again on a raffle tag. I went to Alberta, experienced a great hunt up there 21 days and killed my ram an 11 year old ram on the, the last morning of the hunt.

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Wow. I’ll bet you were freaking out coming down to the la to the wire on that thing.

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Yeah, it was getting, getting to be a nail biter and, you know, we, we rode in, it was warm weather and by the end of it it was down to negative 15 and three feet of snow. And you know, it was me and another hunter and we were, we were able to find two legal rims that last day and together

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You killed them both you guys? Yep,

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Same, same group, yep. Wow. And made for a great story. So that was 2009. I met Travis and Troy and right around that same time and, and we partnered up and we’ve been sheep hunting ever since.

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That’s awesome. Well,

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Your, your first Ram Eric that, tell him a little bit about the, the first ram that you guided.

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Yeah, so 2010 was the first hunt that I guided and that was in 44 a East. And that was typically known for a a one fifties type unit that was the average. And I guided Darryl Krantz and we had a couple big rams on camera that we were attempting to locate. Couldn’t find ’em, couldn’t find ’em. And two days before the season I located the ram, one of the target rams. He was with a smaller ram and a herd of use. And we, we harvested him opening morning, Darrell made about a 260 yard shot and he ended up being a giant Ram 180 4 and five a cross. Geez.

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Wow. I remember that ram just

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Unheard of. Yeah, for

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Tons of mass.

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I remember Western Arizona and even, you know, when we got to him, we had to do a little bit of tracking and Troy got to him first and he definitely, he grew on us and

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Started hooting and hollering a little bit over there in the sro.

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Yeah, I mean, Troy was hooting and I didn’t really know what I was really looking

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At. And

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You were looking at a spike that you were looking at a spike. Yeah,

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I was looking at a giant ram.

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Well, that’s awesome. Yeah, he

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Was so, he was so heavy that we, I mean we really underestimated a score because at that time our, I call it my ramo meter, it didn’t go up that high, you know, we were killing one 70 type rams and so we weren’t calibrated to Judge Rams that are, you know, much over 1 78. And you know, I’m sitting there looking at him and thinking, well, yeah, he is got 36 inch horns and so on and so forth. And I’m kind of running some numbers in my head as we’re we’re keeping him out. And I keep coming up with like 180 2, 180 3 and, and I’m looking around at everybody going, there’s no way this thing’s that big, you know? Yeah. And so we got him back to camp and of course we put the tape on him and the tape stretched out what, I think it was 38 inches. And I just, just, I, I couldn’t believe it. I just kind of Troy off down by Troy Desert. Yeah. I just walked off in the desert by myself. Total

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About disbelief, walk.

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Well, it’s always good to be surprised that way then, then the other way. So that’s Yeah, definitely. You know, a good way to, was that like the first ram then you guys actually with Arizona Desert Outfitters guided, you said that’s, that’s pretty awesome. And, but I’m sure Troy and Travis, you tell us a little bit about yourselves too and, and what, what you guys did prior to that point. And starting that first hunt is Arizona Desert Outfitters. Did you, I guess, Troy, I’ll go to you first. Do you, I know you’re a western Arizona guy, both of you brothers, aren’t you from, I dunno if you’re born and raised there or what? Oh yeah.

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Oh yeah, yeah. We were, well, go ahead Troy. Well actually we grew up hunting and fishing on the Colorado River there on the Arizona California border. And we grew up duck hunting and do hunting, deer hunting and learning how to deer hunt in the desert. And that’s the only thing we knew in 1978, my mom drew a sheet tag and she wound up taking a, a, you know, a nice ram for that unit. It, at the time, 43 A and 43 B was all one unit, so it was just unit 43. And my mom ra and Travis and I were on that hunt. Of course I was about, I don’t know, 8, 8, 9 years old. Travis was about five or six and, you know, we didn’t really understand. Yeah, okay. Yeah, we didn’t really understand, you know, the magnitude of a bighorn sheep. And then in 1986 we’re in, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and my mom called me, we’re at a hotel, we’re on vacation, and my mom called me and said, Hey, I’ve got outfitters calling me right now.

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They’re saying that you do a big orange sheep tag in 41 w and that was my second year applying. That was before the bonus point system. And of course, you know, I really didn’t understand the importance of a sheet tag because I was 16 years old. And so we went out there hunting with my dad and Travis was with us, and it was back then, it was a 15 day hunt, and we basically on the entire hunt, be seen on the, what, what was it, Travis, the first day or the second day when we seen that ram on that skyline. Second morning. Yeah. Second morning. And so here we are, we’re trying to field judge this Ram Travis spots it up on the skyline. My dad looks over, you know, where the total pandemonium. And my dad had gone and bought a, a bush mill spotty scope with the tripod that’s only about eight inches tall. You know, behind it you put on a bench.

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Dang. Lucky to have, dang, lucky to have a tripod back then. Dang. Lucky to have a tripod. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Travis is 13, Travis is 13, carrying your water in, you’re 16 it.

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And so here we’re, we’re trying to field judge this ram, we don’t know what the hell we’re even looking at. We’re gonna field judge a ram, you know, hell, what are we even field judging? So my dad lays down on the ground and he’s kind of laying on his side, looking through the scope, you know? Yeah. And trying to focus the scope and all that. And traffic, we’re going, Hey, lemme see, I wanna, I wanna look at him. I wanna look at him. And so here we all are, we’re all laying on the ground trying to look through the scope at a ram that’s about 600 yards away. And he went over the mountain and we thought, oh, well shit, we’ll just run over there and get up there. We’ll find him and, you know, we’ll, we’ll shoot him. But he disappeared. We never seen another ram for the entire hunt.

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Wow. Come on.

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For almost the entire hunt. And toward the end of the hunt, we never seen any more sheep. And, and it rained a lot that year. So anyhow, we, my dad wound up hiring an outfitter and, and then we had a bunch of volunteers come into camp. And on the last day of season at 1225, I pulled the trigger on the same ran that we seen the second day. Wow. Within a couple of hundred yards from where we had originally seen him.

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And I was so excited and, and, and I didn’t know about score back then, but I had one number that I wanted my ram to make, and that was 1 62 net and that would make the Arizona State book. And we pulled the tape on him, he scored 1 62, and I’ll tell you what, I was on top of cloud nine, and he had 36 inch horn with like, I think 13 and a half inch bases. But he, he looked a lot like a stone sheep or a doll sheep the way he was kept out. Wow. Geez. And, but I, it really a beautiful ram and to this day, you know, I’ve been on a lot bigger sheep and I’ve been on a lot of, you know, help guiding and assisting. But still to this day, that ram that I killed when I was 16 years old, I would not, I wouldn’t trade him for another ram because I, I, I almost got kicked out of school on that hunt. ’cause I missed so many days and I was so far behind on my homework and everything else. But nonetheless, at 1225, December 15th, the job was done. So we took it from the first day all the way to the last day.

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Well, that’s pretty awesome. You know, I don’t to hunt desert sheep at 16 or whatever you said you was, is there’s nobody that can appreciate that fully, obviously. And you know, even back then in an era, whatever you said it was, the late eighties especially, it’s not like it is now if you’re to draw the tag and fast forward, and I think it was just what, two years ago, Travis, maybe three you, you drew, maybe it was that same unit if I, my memory serves me correct. Didn’t you draw that same unit yourself?

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Yeah, yeah. Two years ago I drew that same unit and it was, you know, it was kind of funny to go down there after what, 1986 to nine or 19, 2015, you know, go down there, what is that 29 years later or what have you, after learning so much more, you know, the, the, the ballgame really changed. I mean, it did it, what was a tough hunt for all of us, you know, we got down there and all the wives tales that we heard from old timers back in the day and what have you. We, we didn’t sure followed all of ’em back in the early days. But through it all, we went back down on my hunt and just had a phenomenal hunt. We wound up, I wound up taking my ram with a bow on the second day. It was the 14th ram that we saw. And really, to be honest, I mean, I blinked my eyes and the hunt was over. And it’s the only regret that I have is I I, and that’s really my biggest piece of advice to anybody who does get a tag, absorb it, take it all in, you know, because you never get to do this again.

00:16:16:14 –> 00:16:57:29
No, you don’t. And I can, and I can feel too, like I was 16 when I drew a buffalo tag here in Utah, and of course I’m never get that tag again. And, and it is kind of a shame, like, like Troy, like what you were talking about, you know, at 16, can you fully appreciate it and, and make the most of it. And of course, you know, Travis, now you guys are sitting down with not just tripods, we’re talking big tripods and big binoculars and, and knowing exactly, you know, going in with a plan of attack and, and maybe even hunting named Rams from years, years past. You know, why don’t chime in a little bit here, Travis, we need to get it from you too, Troy for a minute. But just what do you do for regular everyday living there, Travis?

00:17:00:11 –> 00:17:15:12
I’m a, a concrete finisher, concrete contractor, dirt contractor. I work with Troy, me and Troy are partners. I cover the Concrete Inn and Troy covers the, the Dirt Inn and the underground Utilities.

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Oh, that’s awesome. I started

00:17:17:08 –> 00:18:21:18
Guiding, well, I started guiding full-time in 1995 and I guided full-time up until two years ago. Most of my time was in New Mexico and Arizona of course. But I mean, that used to be my life 10 months out of the year. But after doing that so long, you know, when you hunt that often, that much, it really starts to wear on you. You really start missing certain aspects of life and you feel like you’re having to go to work when you’re hunting. And it really does, it really takes something that, that means so much to you. And it kind of makes it where it’s just like, okay, it’s another day at work. So on your days off, you know, most plumbers have a leaking sink. Most carpenters have an add-on that is not quite finished or a house. Most mechanics have three or four broke cars in their yard, you know, so I mean, I, I was glad to get back into the concrete. I, I’d much rather do concrete than, than guide 10 months outta the year anymore.

00:18:22:09 –> 00:18:31:08
And, and so where do you guys, are you guys living out where you guys grew up? Where do you actually live? Erickson Wickenburg. Where do you guys call home right now?

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Well, right now we live in SLO Arizona, which is, oh, I don’t know about, almost in the center of the state. It’s about 45 miles west of Wickenburg. But Drive and I grew up, was right on the Arizona California border I see. In a little town called Berg, Arizona. And, and then we basically grew up in the construction industry. My dad was a contractor and so I just kind of, you know, I used to work with him, you know, when I was in high school and stuff like that. And so, as you know, as I got older and everything, you know, I the heavy equipment operator and then I got my contractor’s license and, and then on the side, you know, we would, you know, do the, well for a while Travis and I had Southwest Hunting Adventures and I used to work with him on that. And then of course we morphed into Arizona Desert Outfitters and, and pretty much all we do anymore is just desert bighorn sheep.

00:19:43:01 –> 00:20:44:07
That’s great introduction. And you know, obviously you guys are all living in fairly close proximity to a lot of the units that, that you guys like to guide in. And we’ll get to those specifics in here in just a minute. But maybe briefly, I’ll just explain a little bit about the Arizona draw system. And you know, it is, it is the application season there, application deadline’s, June 13th, Arizona looks at both your first and second choices in the draw. You’re allowed to put in for one or two, you can do two deserts, two Rockies, or one of each whatever you want. They’re just sheet points In Arizona, you don’t get rocky points and don’t get desert points. When you draw a tag for that species, your points are taken from you and you can start on the other species. The draw first is conducted statewide. Arizona reserves 20% of the tags statewide for applicants with the maximum bonus points.

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And that’ll come into play here, here maybe on a few minutes, in a few minutes. When we talk about a few units where those maximum point holders that are remaining are, are holding out for, it’s, it’s pretty obvious some of those units that are always going to those maximum point holders. But talk about those in just a minute. But from an overall all perspective in the state, I know you guys are are keyed in in some of those Western Arizona units, but you know, there’s desert sheep literally from the northern border with Utah in northwest Arizona all the way to the Mexican border. And, and you know, not as much obviously in the eastern side of Arizona, but the whole western side of the state, there’s some gaps. But you’ve got stuff like, you know, unit twelves and thirteens where, you know, Eric counted up there on his raffle tag down through the fifteens and sixteens and you know, all those units are are known as the Nelson Bighorn units known for, you know, slightly smaller bases, unique flare.

00:21:45:07 –> 00:22:53:01
And then we get into the units down south, you know, and some of the, some of the twenties and thirties and forties where we get the Mexicana subspecies. That really is where, where the giant rams at. Probably what most people think of when they think of Arizona. So, you know, maybe real briefly tell us about a little bit of experience. I know Jason and I have spent some time in 13 b and a and twelves up here and there’s some really nice rams to be had generally a little bit better drawing odds. But really as we study ’em, which we do, ’cause they’re close to us up here in Utah, they’re not, they’re not tremendously better than a lot of what we’d label as the better trophy units down south. So, you know, and then I know moving down to the fifteens, 15 D has always been a perennial popular unit until maybe just the last year or two? Two. So maybe, I don’t know, Eric or whoever, maybe since you spent some time up there in 13 B as well as 15 D, but you all probably have there, tell us a little bit about your perspective on current conditions and some of those units and you know, I know there’s been a die off in 15 D and things are kind of bottomed out. Tag numbers have been cut down, but Amy give your thoughts on, on that, Eric.

00:22:53:14 –> 00:24:13:05
Okay, 13 b i, I haven’t been up there since I did that hunt, but from the guys that I’ve talked to, sounds like the sheep herd’s doing good up there typically, you know, produces 1 50, 1 60 class rams with the occasional book Ram one 70 plus 15 D has taken a hit the last year and they’ve been pretty worried. I know they reduced quite a few tags last year they had a pneumonia outbreak going through the fifteens and 15 d and it had just come back from the last die off. And the last message I got from one of the game and fish employees up there was, I think the die off is almost over, but they have lost, they estimated over 50% of their sheep herd and they’re starting to finally hear about people finding the heads of, of dead rams from up there. So I don’t, I don’t know how that is. I know last year they still took a few good rams out of there and, but it’s still, it is still in trouble.

00:24:13:25 –> 00:24:45:04
Well, and I, when I know we’ve talked to some guys, you know, maybe a little bit on the, on the 13 B hunt that you were talking about, you know, as you, as you indicated there was some dang nice rams been taken on the top end the last three years and, and you know, of course it borders our virgin unit here in Utah, but on the south end of that 13 B North unit, I know, you know, there’s hasn’t been hardly any pressure at all. And so it’s interesting you just never know where some of these big rams could come from or maybe where some of ’em are dying of old age. You know,

00:24:46:05 –> 00:26:07:07
Real quick, maybe I’ll just start with a, a real broad overview of some of the Eastern Arizona stuff. That’s where primarily with the exception of unit six, some of the Rocky Mountain bighorns are located. Unit 27, 28 just seems like they’re doing incredible right now. They’re doing so good. They’re seeing a lot so good. A lot of great, you know, 180, 180 5 even a little bit better Rockies coming outta Arizona now, which I know Travis and Troy, you’re in the rocky hat now. So hey, hopefully one of those comes your way. But regarding the desert units on that end of the state unit 22, 24, you know, air Vipa and unit 31, 37, A 28, they’ve all got some big, big rams in them. But just one thing to very, to point out to people to keep in mind is some of those units, 22 most, most notably well almost always has been going to max point holders when they run that 20% draw. So when the 80% random draw comes around, a lot of times there’s nothing left. So it’s, it’s nice to dream big but be aware it doesn’t have to stay that way every year. It could have, could, could have a random tab slip through, but it hasn’t been. So just bear that in mind. If you’re gonna put in an Arizona and only put say the two very best trophy producing units in the state, you may put in for something. If you don’t have max points, you have zero chance to

00:26:07:07 –> 00:26:51:14
Get. That’s right. And then it is interesting to note that a lot of residents, you know, there’s a lot more residents that have max points than non-residents. And so anyway, those are, you know, generally drawn by residents and in the max point tier, like you said. And so in essence, even though they’ve got two tags and non-residents can apply for units that have two or more tags, it’s really possibly that is not available in theory to non-residents, you know, like you said, unless you have max points. And so those, it’s not even, it’s kind of a waste of a choice if you have less than max. That’s right. Again, it’s like 22 south or you know, there’s several units that we’ll get into, but, but that one especially, I mean of course you’ve been in there and, and there’s some obvious giants in there, so.

00:26:51:25 –> 00:27:20:23
Yep, that’s right. So, you know, as we maybe now shift gears to the western part of the state, just wanna briefly talk about that eastern side of the state. Why don’t you guys get into a little bit, maybe each of you taking a turn or two and go through some of the units that you guys really love and spend your time in and kill some of the giant rams that you’ve been been knocking down. And I’ll let you just open it up to you three to break down some of the Western Arizona desert sheep units for us.

00:27:21:21 –> 00:27:26:13
Go ahead, Trav. All my units are secret.

00:27:29:07 –> 00:27:29:13

00:27:31:04 –> 00:28:03:08
No, honestly, you know, I, I think that these big rams have always been in western Arizona. If you look back at the Kofa back in the, you know, 1965 when they first opened the kofa up Lewis DS and Bill Rudd both killed, what was it, a 180 4 and 180 6 on the same year. The 180 6 was, or it was 180 7, it was Jerry Nicholas the next year killed the 180 6. These units have always had big rams. We

00:28:03:08 –> 00:28:08:18
Were, and by, by these units, like line ’em out for us. Are we talking 44 B South? I mean

00:28:08:24 –> 00:29:06:03
44 B South, 44 B North. Yes, of course 44 B South is where the legendary granddad came from. Which, which was kind of the, the, the, the main core breeder for the Arab Vipa herd. You know, I mean those sheep in Arab Vipa 2224, those sheep originated from Western Arizona from, from basically the COFA complex, which would be 44 B North, 44 B South 45 A, B, and C 41 West, 41 East. Most of those sheep came from those areas. But the areas have been hit some, some years or good years. A lot of years are tough dry years. I mean, a lot of people say, well, it’s gonna be a dry year down there. Well the difference between a dry year and a wet year is about an inch and a half of rain, you know, I mean,

00:29:06:10 –> 00:29:07:13
So we get that in after two

00:29:07:23 –> 00:29:08:11
One rain storm.

00:29:08:28 –> 00:29:11:03
Exactly. Yeah.

00:29:11:19 –> 00:30:22:00
I mean wet year is four inches and a dry year is two inches. Yes. I mean it, it it’s, it’s, it’s really cut our, it, it, there’s a lot more gray out here in the, says there’s a lot more gray area there as far as what is drought, but what is not because pretty much it’s always a drought. But that being said, I’m really anxious to see what starts happening back in the COFA again. You know, I mean, without the cofa we, we wouldn’t have the sheep in Arizona that we have today. And I’m, I’m super excited to see that herd get back up. The Alliance have been under control for quite some time. Brian Jansen has done a fantastic job along with Arizona Game of Fish. You getting that back under control. I’m, I’m super excited about all, all those areas inside the cofa and then the outline from, you know, 44 B South especially. I’m super excited every time that I get to hunt that unit, I’m, I’m just, I’m as pumped as I can be to go in there just as I would be, you know, going to 45 A, B or C.

00:30:22:25 –> 00:30:37:14
Yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. And then I know that 44 B North seems like the cream’s come off of it a little bit and maybe it’s just stats on paper. I know I’ve talked, we’ve talked to you guys, I’ve talked to Troy about it and maybe you feel the same way. What’s, what’s your feelings on that?

00:30:38:00 –> 00:30:56:22
Well, I was gonna say 44 b old, plain and simple. They’ve had a lot of attacks for quite some time now and you know, you, you get people going in there shooting a six, seven year old ram that looks big. He, he’s not gonna have the chance to grow old. Yeah. You know, I mean I

00:30:57:02 –> 00:31:02:24
So do you think they’re still there? I was there for, there’s a 180 ram there. Do you think there’s that potential? No. Alright.

00:31:03:16 –> 00:31:03:23

00:31:04:15 –> 00:31:54:26
No. We had two hunters in there last year. We had two non-residents drawn there and we spent a lot of time in there during the summer. We ran cameras, we did a lot of preseason scouting, Brook stilts and I did, and Game And Fish actually flew their survey last year and they flew a capture survey and they didn’t find a Class four Ram. And like during our scouting time, I mean we looked over a lot of country, looked over a lot of rams, we just weren’t seeing that size. I mean, we were happy to try and find a book Ram and we ended up finding ’em, but it wasn’t until the day before the season we found a, a group of 10 rams and we ended up taking two rams Right. In that one 70 class. Hmm. Wow. But other than that, I I, I highly doubt there’s a 180 ram in there.

00:31:55:11 –> 00:31:55:24

00:31:56:03 –> 00:32:13:10
I mean, all through history, there’s only been two killed out of that unit since 1953. And that was Ken Miller’s and, and Vince Smith and, and 2014, you know, I mean one Eighty’s a big, bigger ham.

00:32:13:19 –> 00:32:19:14
It’s a big, I didn’t mean to throw that around, like they grow on squirrels down there even though ’cause since you don’t got trees,

00:32:20:29 –> 00:32:21:05

00:32:21:07 –> 00:32:25:17
Yeah, 180 just kind of rolls off the tongue when you talk about giant air or Well,

00:32:25:17 –> 00:32:36:28
We’re always just interested in those giants as we all are and just, you know, at some point we’re gonna ask you where we’re some point, we’re gonna ask you where one lives, but, but for now we’ll we’ll just keep,

00:32:37:10 –> 00:32:44:04
That’s like all those 400 inch bolts that everybody sees in the Gila and everybody sees it in every unit in Arizona. Yeah,

00:32:44:06 –> 00:33:16:28
Exactly. So do you, do you guys, between the three of you, do you do each of you have like, Hey there’s my little pet unit, I like these two and maybe Troy likes these two better. Do you all like the same one or two units but you do four or five or six of the others around it? Or tell me a little bit about what, you know, you’ve talked about the, the 40 fours and 45 8, the 40 threes and 45 Kofa units and the 40 ones. But what do you, what do you like best, Eric? Where do you spend a lot of your time and and same down the line with you Troy, Travis?

00:33:17:15 –> 00:34:15:15
Well, we kind of, we all kind of hunt the same units together, but like coming before the season, we try to stay ahead of the curve. A lot of people go year to year and they look at what was killed last year and that’s usually where you get a lot of applicants. So we try to stay ahead of the curve and look at units that have the genetics and haven’t had a big ramp killed there for a while. And we’ll kind of break it up before the season, you know, when we start our, our summer scouting. So I’ll talk to Troy and Travis and Tom and Brooks and all our guys and say, okay, you know, I usually cover unit 42 44, I’ll cover the poms this year, 44 B South and then Troy and Travis like to break it up. And that’s kind of usually what we do each year. And then once we get the hunters, then we kind of just kind of disperse everybody and, but we all can hunt any unit

00:34:15:23 –> 00:34:47:01
Anywhere. Yeah. And then do you guys, I mean how far south do you guys tend to push? I mean I know down, I know 43 B you guys have spent time there. That unit seems to be, you know, doing fairly well. Lots of sheep. It’s a huge unit. I know some of that’s easy to access. Other of it is just rugged mountain stuff that can’t be getting hunted that hard. And then even south of there down into some of those 40 units to the south. Do you guys go clear to Mexico and make it back now and then, or what?

00:34:48:08 –> 00:35:36:26
We been right, we got on the fence. Yeah. Yeah. We did a hunt down in 40 beach in Aha altars last year. And we were, you know, that mountain range is definitely different than anything that we’re, we’ve hunted here and you know, further up north it’s just basically a big pile of boulders. Wow. And, but it’s a tough hunt and you know, it’s just those rams, they, it seemed like they were either way up on the top or they were a quarter mile, a half a mile out in the flat, you know, and you know, not much in between. So it was, and the weather’s quite a bit warmer down there too.

00:35:37:17 –> 00:35:43:16
There’s some good, there’s some good rams been coming out of there. What do you, what did you leave? Did you leave anything good down there?

00:35:46:08 –> 00:35:49:17
Yeah, we crickets. We definitely left. Crickets

00:35:49:17 –> 00:35:50:26
Gets, it’s kind of crickets I’m hearing

00:35:52:14 –> 00:35:52:23

00:35:55:01 –> 00:36:35:16
Well we had one last year, we had a big ram in the tenaha and we ended up booking a hunter and we were, we were very excited about it. And Ken couldn’t start his hunting until December 10th. Oh. And the other hunter, a kid from Yuma ended up taking the ram and he was I think 1 78. He was a giant ram 16 inch bases. Yeah. But there is some good rams in there. And the Gila and that Taha range, they joined together and that sheep population is booming right now. Yeah, I know. We went and set cameras in there last summer and I think in a month and a half we went back and checked them and our, our cards were full, weren’t they, Troy?

00:36:36:08 –> 00:36:56:04
Yeah. Yeah. There was a couple of the water holes where the ground is. The ground was just completely powered, littered with sheep droppings. There was there no matter where you stepped, you were stepping on a droppings. Wow. Yeah. It looked like somebody had fertilized for a garden.

00:36:56:29 –> 00:37:00:16
So do they, do they move in and out of that 46 b a little bit or

00:37:01:21 –> 00:37:02:13
Segregated from that?

00:37:05:18 –> 00:37:05:22

00:37:06:11 –> 00:37:43:18
No, I, we haven’t, I haven’t hunted any of that. We’ve, over the years we’ve just, you know, mainly stayed up north, you know, basically in the, the 40 fours and the 40 ones and the 40 threes, that’s primarily where we, I only 46 a though back in 2005 and we killed 173 inch ram in there. But I I, I tell you those cabeza hunts and those southern Arizona hunts, they’re not just for anybody. And when you see those special notes, they’re, they’re on that unit about it being an extreme hunt. Yeah. And that’s not to be taken lightly. Yeah. I mean those are tough hunts. Oh.

00:37:43:18 –> 00:38:08:05
And it’s not just, not just that, Hey, you got a backpack in. ’cause a lot of people think, oh, I, I’m a strong, it’s December, it’s not hot. I I can backpack anywhere I’m in shape. It’s, there’s not any free water for you. Yeah. So you’ve gotta have stuff a lot of times Yep. You know, supplemented with mules or something like that to, to be able to just get enough supplies or water in there and so you can actually hunt, am I wrong or right there.

00:38:08:25 –> 00:38:47:00
And, and then you better hide it really well because if you go in there ahead of time and you stash like water for your mules or what have you, you may come back a week later and all of it’s gone there, there’s so much illegal activity through there that, I mean, they, they tell you like they’re, they’re at the Cabeza headquarters when you leave your vehicle, leave water and food outside your, your vehicle and what that’s gonna do, it’s gonna keep your vehicle from getting the windows bus out and somebody getting in there to get your water and your rough food. You know, I mean, it, it’s that that has a whole new challenge.

00:38:47:07 –> 00:39:27:05
Yeah. Baiting the illegals away from your truck. Yeah. You knows, I mean, for all intents and purposes, and I know guys are, you know, hunting those units pretty aggressive. Of course we’ve even had friends of ours like Brian Martin, extreme backpack in some of that country in the 46 B and, and you know, coming out with a nice sheet but, but working dang hard for it. And you know, of course some guys are, you know, taking spike camps in with horses and whatnot. But that’s pretty aggressive. But it does have good genetics and of course Adam and I are always thinking maybe we’re tougher than we are and we want to go do it and kill some giant, you know, and there’s, there, there are rams down there that people don’t know about. There

00:39:27:05 –> 00:40:00:28
Are big rams there, there are great genetics down there, you know, 46 a, which is now split in half. We hunted the west side, we hunt the growlers and we spent some time in all the billages, but the, I believe the unit record for 46 A is 180 6. But they, they have, there’s a half a dozen rams that have come out of there that are right around in that 180 mark. I mean, yeah, there’s, well, well in the coon ram was found dead not far from there, you know, I

00:40:00:28 –> 00:40:01:19
Mean, yeah. Oh, and that’s

00:40:01:19 –> 00:40:02:29
It definitely has the genetics

00:40:03:00 –> 00:41:03:19
That Ram haunts Adam. And I mean we, you know, of course what a giant, and then, you know, the 180 6 was killed by Marvin James, if I’m not mistaken. And yes, of course he’s, yes, he’s, he’s since died. But what a super guy and I, we always went and admired his ram. I mean, he had a full body mount there and we’d just, just in awe, you know, and of course Marvin makes it sound or made it sound super easy and you’d be dumb if you didn’t kill anything 180 plus. And so we were just, you know, thinking, thinking it was just easy pickings and then you find out no, it, it took a lot more effort than maybe he let out led on. I did want to talk about the 41 East on the eagle tails a little bit. I know on paper it shows not being so great. I hunted it with my dad years ago and mid two thousands, I wanna say. Anyway, ended up taking 176 and, and it was good back then. It was really good. And I know on paper it’s not showing so good. Are you guys seeing any signs of promise in the eagle tails there?

00:41:04:13 –> 00:42:15:20
Well, we’re gonna be scouting it this year, you know, putting cameras up and everything. And that’s kind of what we like to do is, as Eric said before, stay ahead of the curve, you know, is we like to like 41 East, we like to go into those units that, you know, on paper they’re terrible, but they have the genetics and you know, in the past it’s been really good. And the, the thing with a lot of these units is, is they start to, they, they set a trend and once that trend gets started, it it, people have a tendency to do the same thing year in and year out, year in and year out. And you’re out, out and like, so if, if for four or five years in a row and everyone says, you know what, there’s no one 70 rams or 180 rams in that unit, the people that get the tags, they go in there and you know, they have a mindset of I’m just gonna go in there and shoot the first one 60 Ram I c and they’re not hunting the unit, you know, all the way through.

00:42:15:20 –> 00:43:06:26
They’re not giving the unit a chance. And that’s kind of what happened in 44 B North was for years, that was pretty much considered a, a low ranked unit and if you drew the tag Yeah. You know, one 50 average and then once, like we started hunting in there and started pulling some big rams out of there, all of a sudden everyone eyes wake up. Yeah. And now everybody that’s supplying there, they’re all strictly trophy hunting. People are holding out for the trophies and there was only a certain amount of trophies in every unit before, you know, eventually the crane’s taken off the top. Wow. And you know, and you’re down to, you know, killing six, seven year old rams and you know, even rams that are eight or nine years old that aren’t breaking over much over one 60.

00:43:07:07 –> 00:43:38:09
Well and that’s what, and that’s what Adam and I have talked a lot about is, you know, when you, when you start issuing these four and five tag plus type areas, you do, you do have the potential of knocking off the top, especially hiring good outfitters like yourselves and, and guys Yeah. Know what they’re doing. But you do, if you do get into these low tag number units, like for example, the Eagle Tails or the 41 West. Yeah. You know, you end up with one and two tags depending on the year total. A lot of what’s on paper is a product of who draws the tags and you know, are they se

00:43:38:09 –> 00:43:39:23
That’s exactly right. Yeah.

00:43:39:23 –> 00:43:40:29
Are they serious guys?

00:43:40:29 –> 00:44:30:02
Or 41 w Like 41 W last year. Yeah. If, if you, if you didn’t know that Chapo was in there or it, it was, you know, why did you even apply for 41 W Well, I, yeah, well I got told that as soon as I called down to the game of fish office and I was trying to get a little bit more information on access and what have you, and their exact words is we’re all sitting here trying to figure out why you applied for 41 w Well I knew about a ram down there from three years previous and I kept it under my hat, you know, ’cause there was only one tag. I mean it’s, it’s, it, it’s not like I cheated anybody out of that by any means. But there was one big ram Yeah, yeah. That, that, that was it, you know?

00:44:30:02 –> 00:45:24:21
Yeah. I mean, but it, it, it, it, it, it takes that ahead of time looking to, to go in there before you make that opinion. And you brought up, brought up a good point about the eagle pill. Oh 5 0 6 were great years. They’re on the lamb recruitment. And so if you’re looking at that for those years of oh 5, 0 6, those Rams are 11, 12 year old Rams now, now in western Arizona, it takes a ram 11 or 12 years to get up into that mid one seventies or better range a lot of times, well there was a lot of Rams born at that time, but they’re not where everybody else looks. If you wanna find a 12 year old ram, you gonna look where, where, where other people didn’t because obviously he wasn’t standing where the other rams were that that already got shot when they were seven.

00:45:25:09 –> 00:46:11:24
Yeah, that’s a good point. And I, you know, these units, you know, we’re looking at ’em on a map and you know, they’re separated by power line or road or whatever. But like you guys alluded to earlier, this, this part of Arizona is just all desert and there’s really no barriers for sheep. And they can wander, as we well know, Rams will go long, long distances. And so all of a sudden a ram shows up somewhere and you’re like, where’d that thing come from? Well, it literally was one ram that did a walkabout a few years ago or that year or whatever and, you know, got killed somewhere. And like, where did he come from? And you know, some of the units, you know, that you guys are hunting that’s probably going on. You, you mentioned the, the Chapo Ram last year you guys helped Clay Goldman kill.

00:46:12:09 –> 00:46:46:08
And I appreciate you guys submitting that to us for our story, for our June july issue. He just an awesome ram and clay’s an awesome guy and can’t wait to see what he works up on his taxidermy with that one. ’cause I’m sure he’ll do that ram justice and you know, like you said, oh yeah, it takes, takes one ram like that to get you applying there. I mean, he is nearly, you know, 180 caliber Ram and hey, yeah, that’s, that’s what you’re there for. You know, and, and you know, and I know Eric, you mentioned it earlier, your wife, I remember maybe it’s been three years ago or two or three years ago that

00:46:46:17 –> 00:46:47:15

00:46:47:23 –> 00:47:14:13
Yeah. We, you know, we text when charges start getting hit and you’d hit a charge and you’re fired up. ’cause you had a bunch of points and I think she had three or four or something like that. So the odds of her drawing probably wasn’t as good as you, but lo and behold, yeah, she got it and you made the most of it. Maybe tell us just briefly about her Ram if, if I remember right, it was in a, it’s either a one, one tag year or a two tag year. I can’t remember that year. It

00:47:14:13 –> 00:48:04:22
Was a two tag year. Yeah. And that was unit 40 a and that’s another unit that historically has produced a lot of giant rams. And then it had to die off and it closed down. And I believe in 2014 it reopened had one tag unit started to get better. And so that was kind of on our radar. I I believe Travis applied there too. First choice. Yeah. And so when I had that hit on my card automatically, you know, I’m in the 20 something point range, I’m thinking it’s me, you know, I’m excited. And when, when results come out, I, I checked myself first and it said not drawn, and I, geez, my jaw dropped. And we happened to be in Wisconsin at time and I’m thinking, oh my gosh, Caitlin Drew, you know, and so three points she drew three

00:48:04:22 –> 00:48:05:17
Points and

00:48:06:00 –> 00:49:05:18
Wow. Three points. Yep. And so she was tag number one and you know, it was one of those units I hadn’t hunted Travis and Troy hadn’t hunt, hunted, you know, there, there wasn’t a lot of information on it because it was closed for 10 years. So, you know, we just kind of went to the drawing board and started scouting and 40 a’s an immense unit, you know, a lot of mountain ranges and the sheep are scattered, you know, a lot of rolling hill, rolling country. And so we, you know, we kind of narrowed down where we wanted to hunt. And it turns out we had a picture sent to us from one of the, the Barry wa Barry Goldwater range guys. And it was her Ram and I believe it was in 2013 of when he had that picture taken. And during her hunt, it just happened to be one of those years where, where those rams were reding pretty hard.

00:49:06:00 –> 00:50:02:29
And those rams were on the move. And so we didn’t, you know, we saw a lot of Rams, saw, you know, some Rams we considered taking and we had a tough time. We backed out, took a break, she went back to school, she’s a teacher. We came back, we were able to locate her ram and he was a very cagey ram. We had stocks on him twice before and for whatever reason, he knew something was up and, and he would, he would get up and get out of there. And so it’d take us a couple days to relocate him. Finally that last day he met up with a, another big group of sheep with some other rams and they were head cracking and everything. And we, we went in, planned our stock and, and were able to get 250 yards and Caitlyn made the most of it and killed a giant ram. He’s 180 and seven Ace grows

00:50:03:17 –> 00:50:07:20
And we, Adam and Adam and I are just wondering what’s left. That’s all

00:50:09:08 –> 00:50:15:06
You guys are whacking and stacking. I’m like, cordwood down there, these 180 rams, you know, but I know we’re, we’re

00:50:15:06 –> 00:50:33:12
Minimizing. It’s in the right area. It’s, it borders all that good country. There’s a lot of country that’s not hunted and, and can’t be hunted and that, so there’s just a, there’s a lot of interest there, you know, over the years at least anyway. And I’m sure there’s another, I’m sure there’s other good rams or good potential depending on the year. So,

00:50:33:16 –> 00:50:50:14
You know, I, I know there’s some good rams in there. Last year I think they killed a one forties ram and a one sixties ram, but the genetics are just are great. I, I believe that year the other Ram taken was a six year old ram and it was 1 78 gross and six years

00:50:50:14 –> 00:51:14:19
Old. That’s awesome. Well, you know, as we move forward, I just wanted to, to talk about 43 B a little bit. I did talk about it with Troy a little bit, but whoever can chime in, I know, you know, of course you guys are kind of excited about that one as well with some a hundred and sixty, one seventy plus rams, even maybe a hundred and approaching that 80 potential. But jump on that one with me for a minute. Just visit about 43 b a little bit.

00:51:15:24 –> 00:52:11:01
The biggest thing about 43 B is you gotta keep your finger off the trigger because I mean, literally it, it’s, there’s so many rams in there and there’s a lot in that mid one fifties, the low one sixties range that you kind of, after 5, 6, 7 days of seeing the same size over and over and now you’ve seen 52 rams in four days, you kind of start getting the feeling every ram in this unit is this way. And a lot of times people I feel get, I guess burned out because every ram looks to be that size. It’s a very difficult unit to go in and do summertime scouting. I mean, it’s it’ss excruciatingly hot. I mean, many days it’ll be 128 degrees down there in the summer. Who, who wants to hike five miles into the wilderness and put a camera on a water hole? Let’s

00:52:11:01 –> 00:52:13:29
Change that. Let’s just change that. Like who can, who can,

00:52:14:29 –> 00:52:16:08
Yes, yes, yes,

00:52:16:08 –> 00:53:30:00
Exactly. But really they’re, I feel, and, and Troy and I have talked about it a lot and Eric and I, all of us have talked about it. There’s a lot of country and 43 B that never gets looked at. And there are some big rams and 43 b, they, it used to be 43 B, most of those rams were a smooth horn rams. You didn’t get a lot of overlay. But it seemed that about the late nineties when the cofa herd started going down, well the 43 B Trigo herd and a chocolate herd started going up. So if you put that together, that tells you a lot of those rams moved out of the kofa and, and went over into 43 B. Now you’re starting to see some big rams, good overlay, 15 and a half inch bases occasionally. And I, I think when you combine those kind of genetics with that kind of inaccessible terrain and, and in a decent amount of rain, rain, you have all the recipe to, to make a mega ram.

00:53:30:17 –> 00:53:42:10
You mentioned the, you mentioned the kofa, which, you know, maybe real quickly summarize the 45 ABCs, which one you think’s, I mean they’ve all got the potential, they’re just boundaries.

00:53:42:11 –> 00:53:43:08
Big beer there by the way.

00:53:43:26 –> 00:53:46:16
No, no big deer there either. Okay. Speak. Well, I’m

00:53:46:18 –> 00:53:48:07
Well and I know we talked No, we

00:53:48:07 –> 00:53:48:23
Can go deer hunting

00:53:48:23 –> 00:54:01:18
There. I know, and I know we brought that up and of course, you know, last time you and I talked, we did talk about some of those giants and, and I’m gonna have to go down there and hunt ’em at some point, but it sounds like they’re fairly un huntable, you know, so Yep,

00:54:01:26 –> 00:54:03:08
Yep, yep. They’re all dead.

00:54:04:14 –> 00:54:10:17
But as far as, as far as sheep, give us a quick rundown on, on the kofa is on that 45 A, b, and C.

00:54:13:01 –> 00:55:14:13
Troy, when of you guys wanna answer that? Or you want me to or Yeah, go ahead. Back in 2008, there was only one tag in the cofa. It there in 45 A, it got a lot of line pressure. A lot of the older rams were dying of old age. A lot of the lambs were getting up by the cat. You know, we really saw a big decline in there. But the thing about the cofa, especially 45 A, there is so much country in there, there are so many pockets that, that these rams really can grow without people ever finding them. Most of it is totally wilderness. There’s a system of about four or five roads, basically the Wilbanks road, the MST and t Tower Road, COFA Queen.

00:55:17:03 –> 00:56:13:23
So there’s really not a lot of access in there, but it’s extremely rugged for the sheep to come back. The way they did really tells you what was, what still potentially was left and also how great that that whole area is. I, it, it wouldn’t surprise me if in five years from now people are talking about 45 a the way they were back in the mid eighties when 45 a was just the, I mean, basically the king of, of a desert, bighorn sheep. I mean, that’s, that’s including everywhere. People wanted a kofa tag over pretty much anywhere else except for, you know, maybe going down to Baja and killing one of the big old reme baits. But that was the place to hunt. And I think that, that, that place was gonna come back.

00:56:14:03 –> 00:56:18:25
Well, you heard it here folks, right? There is a prediction by Travis Scott, Arizona Desert outfit.

00:56:20:14 –> 00:56:20:23

00:56:21:19 –> 00:56:21:25

00:56:22:11 –> 00:56:22:18

00:56:22:18 –> 00:56:23:07
That’s good, good info.

00:56:23:18 –> 00:57:50:26
I wanted to make a point real quick on 43 B, how that unit can be it, because there’s a lot of tags in there, but it was, I, I believe it was in 2012, I think it was in 2012, we were guiding a, a guy down there and, you know, we were, we went into that unit, you know, hoping that we could find a one 70 type ram and, and harvesting, but we wound up finding a really big magnum ranch, and our hunter missed five shots at him, and, and we knew he was big. And then, I don’t know, about a week later or so, another outfitter had a client in there and they went in and wound up finding that ram and they shot him and he was right at 180. Yeah. So, but up until that point, you know, there was a lot of people, you know, killing a lot of one 60, you know, one fifties and stuff like that. And so the point is, is, is like Travis was saying, and, and when you hunt that unit, if you’re wanting, if you wanna go in there and just kill a nice, a nice ram, that’s a great unit for it. If you wanna go in there to kill a trophy, you’ve gotta be disciplined and stay off the trigger. You don’t know what you’re looking at then keep your finger off the trigger.

00:57:51:06 –> 00:57:58:28
Yeah. But like you said, and what’s exciting about that is, is there’s a lot of country that’s not been hunted for 20 plus years, you know? Oh, yeah,

00:57:58:29 –> 00:58:00:10
Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

00:58:00:10 –> 00:58:04:08
Just even though you’ve got high tag numbers, there’s, there’s a lot of it that’s uncovered, but

00:58:05:00 –> 00:58:44:18
Yeah. And a lot of the hunters have a tendency to, they, they all kind of go, there’s certain areas where everyone goes because that’s where they hunted last year. Yeah. And you know, once again, you start getting these trends going on so Well, and 25 years ago or so much of that was not wilderness. So you had people all over, throughout the unit, whether they’re deer hunting, quail hunting, whatever, but they would also go back to those same areas and hunt sheep. Well, now that there’s so much wilderness in there, it’s almost not accept or almost not accessible. Yeah. So it’s not that the sheep left, the sheep are still there, just harder to

00:58:44:18 –> 00:58:44:26
Get into.

00:58:44:29 –> 00:58:46:16
Nobody’s going in there to hunt ’em. Yeah, yeah.

00:58:46:16 –> 00:59:20:23
You just gotta, you just gotta draw when you’re 40 years and younger. Yeah. You know? Right. We did. Yeah. So we did, we did want to, you know, we’re kind of coming toward the end of the, of the podcast here. We did want to give you guys a little bit of time to talk about one of the most famous rams to ever hit social media curly. And so Adam and I, I know Adam’s talked to Eric, you, Eric, and, and of course we’ve all visited about it a little bit, but what a great story. And I just kind of wanted to kind of get a quick lowdown on it. Yeah. Maybe start off

00:59:20:23 –> 00:59:34:01
First by telling us how he, when it was you guys first laid eyes on him, found him. I know part of it was through trail cams and things like that, but tell us a brief history of that and when it started. Yeah. How long ago it started, when that quest started for you?

00:59:36:00 –> 01:00:19:18
Well, really it started and it, it clearly started out by a rumor, and there was a, a gentleman in Courtside, Arizona that had been saying that there’s a big ram over there. And where Curley was living at that was just humongous. And he had a curl and a quarter. And, and, and I, and I remember hearing a few of those stories now, and then going back to, you know, that’s what everybody says. You know, the, you know, everybody sees a big giant monster ram and historically that unit doesn’t produce in the past, hasn’t really produced that big of a Jeep.

01:00:21:22 –> 01:01:34:27
I was at the banquet, the recognition banquet a year later, and I happened to be sitting across from the guy that had the tag in the other year before, and he had shot a 180 2 gram. And him and I, I got to talking to him and he had some pictures, some aerial survey pictures from Game of Fish. And he says, actually, I wasn’t hunting this ram. There was another ram in there that I was hunting that that was supposed to be bigger. And just by looking at a phone, I, you know, I was looking at the pictures and I thought, you know what, you know the, I’m starting to connect all the dots. I said, I told Travis and Eric, I said, Hey, I’m gonna get in there and go see if this, this, this mythical ram even exists. And I went in, I set some cameras up and come back a couple of weeks later, and I, the first year I really didn’t get a lot of pictures of him, but I, we got enough pictures of him that we knew he existed, and we didn’t really know what his, his, his movements were.

01:01:35:20 –> 01:02:47:01
We didn’t know how far he traveled or anything. And so what I did is I started spreading out through the unit, putting cameras in other water holes, and there he is on these other water holes. He was actually crossing underneath Interstate 10 through the vert going from the north to the south. And, and so of course I didn’t know how far south he was going. And you know, we kind of kept him a secret, you know, didn’t really wanna let a whole lot of people know about him. We were hoping that maybe one day we would, we would get a, a, a governor hunter on him, or possibly draw somebody in there. And what was it, in 2015, I decided it was found in 2013, right? It was 2013, I believe. Yeah. 2013 and then 2014. And then in 2015 is when I went even further to the south.

01:02:48:05 –> 01:03:48:15
And, and I really didn’t even think I was gonna get him on camera down there. And, and this is a, a really remote water hole. And I would say it was probably as, as the crow flies maybe 15, 16, 17 miles from where he, they had him on the north end. Yeah, yeah. Up on the north end. And Travis and I rolled up, we were checking the card, and the only ran that hit that water and it wound up being curdy. And we thought, wow, you know, this sucker is really traveling. And so what was funny is as I started going through all of my drill camp picks, and what was ironic about from year to year is he was hitting the same water holes on the same exact day within maybe 30 minutes, you know? So like on July 4th he would hit water hole number two at nine in the morning, you know, in 2014.

01:03:48:15 –> 01:04:46:17
And then in 2015 he’d hit the same water on the same day with an hour. Yeah, yeah. Pretty much. Wow. And he followed the same pattern and we could almost, you know, I mean, you could almost predict where he was gonna be. And then, and then by the time we got into 2016 and we had made the, the deal with the oxygen hunter and everything, we thought, alright, this is not gonna be all that slimed up, you know? Yeah. We know where he is gonna be on this date, you know, might take a, a, you know, a few days and we’ll find him and it’ll be done with, well, eh, that didn’t happen. He wound up completely changing his pattern altogether, and to the point to where he got on one water hole that in two years, the, the, the two years previous, he either never hit or he only hit once.

01:04:47:19 –> 01:05:30:00
Okay. He lived on the same water hole. And you can go to my Instagram and I have, you know, all the days, you know, of when he was hitting that water hole day after day after day. And there were several days he would hit that same water hole three times in one day. And we were starting to get a little concerned, maybe he was, you know, he was getting ready to die. Yeah. And, and he, he was, he had beded down underneath the big ironwood tree, maybe 10 feet from the water hole. And I say for almost a month he probably didn’t move much more than a few hundred yards.

01:05:30:14 –> 01:05:31:21
Yeah. So he was, and

01:05:31:21 –> 01:05:32:14
Then, yeah,

01:05:32:14 –> 01:06:11:18
He was an old ram and he was getting worn out, and his traveling days were coming to an end for the most part and shut about to shut down. And fortunately you guys, it was the right year. You guys had the connections and, and got lined up with the auction hunter. And maybe tell us just, you know, kind of briefly how that, you know, you got him killed, you got him on the ground. How old was he and his, how long were his horns? I mean, he’s, he’s one in a million. Look, we all know that, and the pitchers tell that story, but, you know Yeah. Very interesting habits that you’ve described there, because it is very atypical, you know, for it to do that. And it had to have something to do with his age and condition, I’d imagine.

01:06:12:26 –> 01:06:48:23
Yeah. The, the, the funniest thing was is, you know, for so long he stuck to one pattern and then completely broke his pattern off. And then every time we, the one thing that we learned about Curly is, is how little we really knew every day we were learning something new. And you know, once you think you got something figured out, you know, he, he’d pull the carpet out from underneath you and, but going into the hunt, I’ll let Eric or or Travis talk about that if they want to.

01:06:50:08 –> 01:07:15:13
That sounds good. One thing to note with Curly was he was such an odd ram, you had to throw everything you knew about sheep hunting out and start over because Curly lived in the washes like a mule deer. So a lot of times when we were out scouting for him, we’d go to a water or we’d go to a place that he likes to go to and we’d start checking for ram tracks. And that’s actually how Travis and I found him a couple times. Yep. We just start falling a ram track out and there he’d be,

01:07:15:29 –> 01:07:17:02
Wow, that’s crazy.

01:07:17:27 –> 01:07:25:01
Laying in the bottom of a wash, buried in an ironwood tree, you know? Yeah. Complete opposite of what sheep were supposed to do. Yeah.

01:07:25:21 –> 01:07:29:27
So then fast forward, I guess at some point late in the fall last year,

01:07:30:10 –> 01:08:09:13
You guys Yeah, so mid, mid-December Curley was located and we were able to get the hunter out there and we basically, he was in such bad shape. He was an old ram. I mean, he couldn’t, he couldn’t really move, he couldn’t really go uphill. So he, he pretty much stayed put. So Ray Alt and Scott Hill and I, we found him the day before we killed him, and we watched him all day and he all day, he only moved probably 200 yards. And so we got the hunter out there the next day, the next morning we couldn’t find him for probably what tra an hour and a half.

01:08:09:29 –> 01:08:12:05
Yeah. And everybody took off.

01:08:12:21 –> 01:08:40:15
Yeah. And he, he ended up being right there, there, you know, I stayed, put, Trav and I were on the same hill, and boom, we found curly and we let Dan know and Dan came up and said, Hey, I want to do it with a bow. And we kind of looked at him and said, all right, well this is the way he is headed. And we put Dan kind of in the direction Curly was headed and he came out at 25 yards and he made a great shot and that was it. Man. Wow.

01:08:40:23 –> 01:08:42:24
How, how old did that ram end up being?

01:08:45:03 –> 01:08:55:00
We had him, I remember we had him Eric at 15 and I think Game of Fish at 13 plus, right? Or was it 14 plus? Wow.

01:08:55:22 –> 01:09:02:11
That’s almost unheard of. You know, whether it’s 13, whether it’s 14 or 15 and, you know. Yeah. What’s one thing about

01:09:02:18 –> 01:09:16:20
Jason? The hair was falling out of him. I mean, this ran literally a week after we had taken Curley. There was a big winter storm moved in and when I say winter storm, it’s not like a snow storm or anything. Drop,

01:09:16:20 –> 01:09:20:01
Drop, drop a half inch of snow down there. Yeah. Full half

01:09:20:24 –> 01:09:22:06
A full half. No,

01:09:23:02 –> 01:09:25:06
We got just almost two inches of rain.

01:09:25:09 –> 01:09:26:13
Oh, just rain from one

01:09:26:13 –> 01:09:31:25
Storm. Oh yeah. I’m teasing you guys. And cold, cold, cold for us 30

01:09:31:25 –> 01:09:33:23
Is with 35, 40 degrees. Right,

01:09:34:23 –> 01:09:35:27
Exactly. Don’t,

01:09:35:27 –> 01:09:38:04
Don’t listen. Don’t listen to, don’t listen. That is cold for us.

01:09:39:01 –> 01:09:40:20
I know that. I

01:09:40:20 –> 01:10:05:02
Know. So that is really cold for these animals. Yeah, these animals, their d n a allows them to live, which, which we laugh at what most people think is hot. We go, huh? We’re still wearing sweaters. Okay. Oh yeah. That’s how these sheep are though. So, so when it’s, you know, 34 degrees and raining and stays that way for two days, an old ram like, like a curly, he had nothing left. Yeah, nothing

01:10:05:02 –> 01:10:26:06
Left that winter. He’s probably gonna be one. Died his last. Well you guys took him out in the right, the right time, obviously in the nick of time, maybe in some regards, but what a special ram, an old ram. He’s walked to hundreds and hundreds of miles. And so that’s awesome. You guys were able to take part of that. And like, like I said earlier, he is a very famous round,

01:10:27:16 –> 01:11:23:04
He, he occu, I mean, for three years there, there wasn’t a day that went by where we were thinking about him or whatever and you know, and then getting out there in the heat, you know, we were trying to find him and find, I remember one occasion there was an area a spring and I had talked to Eric and we couldn’t find him. And you know, curly would, he would go missing for a month at a time. And so we were always, you know, trying to stay on top of him. And Eric and me and Eric can travel, were talking, I said, well, I’m gonna head up into the spring and maybe go and see if there’s water up there and see if, you know, he might be up there. And because this spring was in, in between a couple of water holes and it was about 105, maybe getting into 108.

01:11:23:25 –> 01:12:24:02
And I wasn’t thinking, and I thought, yeah, it’s just right up, you know, right up the trail here. But it’s about a mile, mile and a half. And I didn’t take any water and it was already 10 30, 11 o’clock in the morning and I was moving along and I wound up overshooting the spring because there was no water in it. And I walked past the spring by half a mile and finally came back and by now the temperature’s like 112, 113. And I was like, God, I can’t believe I walked so far and I didn’t bring any water with me. And so I wound up having to walk out of that, that canyon with no water, completely dry. And by the time I got to my side by side, I could feel my legs starting to cramp up a little bit. But I had gone probably four and a half, five hours without a single drop of water. And the ironic thing is, the second time me, Travis and Eric went in there, I wound up having a, a massive kidney stone attack. Oh geez.

01:12:24:14 –> 01:12:24:21

01:12:26:23 –> 01:12:29:14
You guys, yeah, that’s, you guys probably got

01:12:31:04 –> 01:13:06:02
Yeah, I, so, so we, so I get all the way in there and I’m telling the guys, you know, I said, guys, I’m, I feel like I’m dying right now. I’m in excruciating pain. So I just laid down underneath the, underneath the paru tree and Trav and Eric went looking and finally they walked by and they kicked my foot and told me to get up. And, but there was, at one point when I was going out, I was, I was in so much pain and everything I was telling Trav and Eric that they may have to call life flight and get me outta here, but

01:13:07:01 –> 01:13:17:21
Well there’s, there’s been, there’s been life flight called for a lot less than that. Yeah. So that’s crazy. You guys, that would’ve, that would’ve flat put up the rest of us in a fetal position, you know, so

01:13:17:21 –> 01:13:31:28
Well, and that’s also a testament too, of what you guys are going to do to hike and find the next spring and where’s he water and all that. It’s just a, a testament to what a big, big giant ram like, like curly will push you to do because you wanna, you wanna put your hands on him

01:13:31:28 –> 01:13:49:09
Somehow. So. Well, and it’s like, it’s like you guys said, you know, there probably isn’t a day that went by that you didn’t think about him. And that’s what happens with anything, you know, when you get obsessed with one specific animal, you name him, ’em, you follow ’em. And, and pretty soon you do become somewhat obsessed and maybe even, you know, I don’t addicted to ’em or whatever. And so,

01:13:49:26 –> 01:14:25:10
You know, guys, when, when he hit the ground, and I just wanna say this ’cause not a lot of people understand how hunters really are. When that ram hit the ground, I ran, I mean like a mile and a quarter down a hill through the wash back up, I got there, I was dry heaving, I was so excited and I couldn’t talk and tears just started to flow. And once I dried my tears and I could talk, I looked up and I had asked the hunter, I, the only thing I could think to say is I said, what are me and my kids gonna go look for now?

01:14:26:06 –> 01:14:27:04
Yeah, that’s true.

01:14:28:00 –> 01:14:38:06
I really felt like I was a part of my best friend dying. Yeah. You know, I mean, that, that’s what he meant. Yeah. Well, you know, I mean

01:14:38:09 –> 01:15:24:25
That’s what big Rams can do. And that, that one was not just a big ram. He was a, he was a legend and congrats to you guys for, for helping him put on the ground and a lot of money put in the ground for desert sheep all over Arizona. So we appreciate you guys’ time today. I know we could probably go on for another hour and a half or two and, and maybe we’ll have to do that another time. But Eric, Troy and Travis, we, we really appreciate your time you spent with us today, your knowledge and experience and obviously in Arizona shine through and just, just listen to you guys talk about your unit. So we really appreciate it and, and let’s cross our fingers that, that some, somebody gets lucky this year and, and you guys obviously get some hunters to, I’m sure you will get out there and chase

01:15:24:26 –> 01:15:29:16
One of these. We didn’t having you guys down here too. Well, we would enjoy having you guys down anytime. Well

01:15:29:16 –> 01:15:36:22
Maybe when we get off the air we’ll talk about some Rams. How’s that sound? Alright? Sounds good. Alright, well we, we

01:15:36:22 –> 01:15:37:17
Do, that’s been a pleasure.

01:15:37:23 –> 01:16:29:12
We do appreciate you guys. And as we wrap up here, I just wanna let everybody know that we do publish a lot of information here in the Epic Outdoors Hunting magazine, the June issue, June, July. We did cover Arizona as well as California, Arizona, deer and sheep. And we’ve got all the units in there available to non-residents. We do publish a lot of the different sizes and information and whatnot. And you can find that appreciate Under Armour and all they do for us sponsoring this podcast and, and some of the different activities we’re involved with them. And so anyway, again guys, it was, it was our pleasure. We sure appreciate you guys taking time outta your busy schedule and, and what a blast it is. We guys have a lot of passion for what you do and that, like Adam says, it does shine through and, and we could all learn a lot from you guys. You’ve got a lot of years and, and time invested and, and a lot of knowledge on all the different units. So thank you.