One of the first people to take the idea of organized conservation and apply it to Desert Sheep was Eddie Pribyl of the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn. Eddie started this faternity with 8 others in 1964 and it is the world’s oldest wild sheep conservation group. This group specializes in creating sustainable habitat for Nevadas Desert Bighorn Sheep and 67 other species. Almost everyone who’s had the opportunity to hunt Desert Bighorn in Nevada owes some thanks to Eddie Pribyl and the FDB. All hunters are wildlife conservationists. It would be almost impossible to speak with an avid big game hunter who isn’t concerned about the wildlife populations, youngling health or habitat strength. The crew was very grateful to be able to sit down with a guy like Eddie and hear about his stories and experiences building up the hunting habitats we enjoy today. The FDB is a non-profit organization with no paid staff members. If you are looking to get involved visit or @fraternityofthedesertbighorn on Instagram!

Disclaimer: this text was produced through an automated transcription service and likely contains errors. Please listen to the original audio for exact content.

00:00:01:05 –> 00:01:17:15
Anything to do with Western big Games. Welcome to the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour. Hey everybody. Jason Carter and John Peterson. We do not have Adam. He’s on vacation, which I’m headed on vacation here shortly. John, you’ve been on vacation here, there. I’ve been on vacation. Feels good. That crazy guy needs to do that once in a while. Yeah. So it’s been a minute since we’ve podcasted. It feels like we’re doing two or three a week. Logan, why, why do you make us do two or three a week? It’s ridiculous because I have a lot of fun with these podcasts. Oh, okay. I do it all for me. It’s probably feels like two or three. It probably averages out at 1.3. I don’t know how many. Yeah, we, well, for the past two weeks we’ve done two a week and then yeah, we’ve been pretty good at one a week for this whole year. Yeah. Anyway, we always wonder what the heck we’re gonna talk about. This one will be an interesting one. This John, I mean, you know, Nevada’s right here close to us and, and the desert sheep. We spent a lot of time over there, you know, Adam as well. And just, just an awesome, awesome hunt over there. You know, it’s a great time of year and whatnot, and I’ve had some requests to have a specific guest on the podcast, Eddie Prill.

00:01:17:23 –> 00:02:43:03
And man, he’s, you know, everybody tells us that he’s, he’s forgotten more about desert sheep than all of us combined. The guy just has devoted his entire life to sheep and whatnot. And so super excited to have him on and, and sure. Appreciate him in advance for being able to come on with us and, and talk a little bit about it and kind of, I I, I love getting these, and I can call him an old timer. I, you know, he is an old timer and he’s seen a lot. And I just love having some of these guests on once in a while, record their history a little bit and share with, you know, the hunting public, some of what they’ve experienced. Yeah. He was starting conservation organizations before we were born, way before we were born. Way before we were born. Yeah. So, I mean, we weren’t even an egg No. Or, or the other side. Yeah. Yeah. We were, I mean, there was, we weren’t even a, we weren’t even a concept. Our, our parents were maybe in puberty, but maybe, but anyway, he’s just, yeah. So he was, he’s, he, he started, you know, the fraternity in Desert Bighorns there in Nevada, I think back in 64. Yeah. Which is like, which is like the oldest conservation organization I’ve ever heard of, maybe in the entire world from what I understand. So, anyway. Alright. Well, what do you think, John?

00:02:43:03 –> 00:04:18:13
Should we give him a holler real quick? Yeah, let’s give him a holler. It’s gonna be interesting because just reading some of the things on his bio, it, it seems like he doesn’t love to take credit for some of the things he does. He doesn’t even know we, he has a bio. He doesn’t even know what we’ve fed. Yeah. We’ve been secretly fed some information on him, so it, it will be interesting. But yeah, just know, I mean, this guy has done so much just breeding through the, the stuff that he’s done and, and, and had the foresight to, to start being proactive to help sheep so long ago. Yeah. It’s pretty cool. Pretty crazy. All right, well, let’s give him a holler and just bend his ear for a sec. And here’s some of this good stuff these old timers have. So, hello Eddie, it’s Jason Carter and John Peterson. How are you? Good. Good. Are you, I’m trying, are you sitting down with a, with a cold drink? It’s hot over there in Nevada right now. Well, it is, it’s really hot. How hot is it? Well, they say today it’s gonna be 1 0 8 and tomorrow one 11. And, and then the next day higher the hotter than that. That, that’s pretty hot. Yeah, it’s pretty hot. It’s pretty hot. Do, do you guys, do you guys have some central air conditioner or swamp coolers or something over there to keep you cool?

00:04:19:17 –> 00:05:47:22
I go to the mountain. Oh, do you? Every day. I I, I have a little hobby farm up in Lincoln County. Oh, do you really? Yeah, up above Eagle Valley Reservoir. Up above Spring Valley. Oh, I’ve been, I’ve probably been right there to it and didn’t even know it. You, you probably have. Yeah. Wow. It’s in burnt. It’s in Burnt Canyon. Oh, okay. Yeah, I think there’s a, yeah, there’s some water projects over there. Yeah. There’s Burnt Canyon one, two or three, or, you know, they’re they’re spread around. Yeah, yeah. Worked on most of them. Have you? Yeah. Well, so I, we just, I don’t even really know where to start from what I’m, from my understanding, you, you kind of, you’re the founding member of the fraternity of Desert Bighorn in Nevada, is that correct? I’m one of the eighth. I’m, I’m about the last one left that’s still active. The rest of ’em are gone, or they’re not active anymore. Yeah. And there, there was actually eight people that was in the room when the, we decided to, to start this organization. And that was back in 1964. 64 or 65. Yes. So what caused, what brought you to that point? What brought the eight of you to the table on this? On this? Okay. Well, what, what, there was a little sportsman’s club that was here in Las Vegas at the time called just Local Sportsman or something. Okay.

00:05:48:06 –> 00:07:18:05
And, and, and Endow was looking and they said, you know, we’re, we’re losing our big horn sheep if we have to do something, if we don’t do something. So they sent a biologist down here called Bob McQuivey. Okay. And Bob came to that organ, our little hunting meeting, you know, our little sports meeting, and he made the announcement of what he was here for and what he was gonna do, and that he needed help, you know? Yeah. And so I said, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna be at the horse corrals at Lake Mead there out of Boulder City Saturday morning, and if you guys, any of you would like to come, we’re gonna put some tags on some sheep and stuff. And eight of us showed up. Okay. And that was it. And that was it. Wow. Yeah. And then we helped him, and then just continued helping him up to a point. And then somebody, well, you know, we, we should form an organization, which they did, you know, and that’s how the Fraternity of Desert Bighorn started. And so what were, what were, why did they figure they were losing them? Was it disease back then? Was it water the number Yeah. A loss of habitat? Yeah. Yeah. It just, and the only place that the, the shape were doing well was along the Colorado River. Okay. Because, because there’s pretty hard for ’em to mess with ’em there.

00:07:18:05 –> 00:08:56:10
They’re kind of on their own. Yeah. Different other herds in different mountains, because lasso habitat from no springs drying up or white man’s getting on the springs and using the water. So there are other things. Yeah. Just grow growth there in Vega, Vegas and all that, all the surrounding communities as well? Or, or No, it’s, it’s just, it’s like everything else Habitat around the world. The worst enemy they have is loss of habitat. Yeah. And the bad is as bad as any place. Yeah. But that’s how it got started. And we just kept doing things and doing things. And then we were started to do some projects here and there, and then the BLM just said, Hey, you guys, you just cannot go out and build something wherever you want. You have to go through a process and our people have to look at it, and then we have to Okay. It. Yeah. And he said, the two pro things you’ve done, we, we want you to go disable ’em. Oh. And that was, that was, that was in the seventies, early seventies. And what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna do HMPS in all of the mountain ranges from ton Ofaw, south Habitat Management plants. And End Dow was involved in that. And, but, so at that time, for five years, basically the fraternity just kinda went into limbo. Yeah.

00:08:57:07 –> 00:10:25:06
And at that time too, they were starting, wilderness was starting to rear up, you know, and they were making different areas, habit, habitat, wilderness, you know, habitat for wilderness and wilderness and areas. And anyway, they got their habitat plant finished in 1979. And then they said here, this, this is what we got this mountain here, like the last chance range, it has habitat, it has feed that we figured will support 250 animals, but it doesn’t have any water. Yeah. So if you guys wanna get with the BLM and put water in there, go for it. Huh. And it, that, that started in 19, 19 79 or 1980. And from then on, we were building at least six guzzlers a year. Geez. Wow. And so who was, how were you getting the funding for ’em when they’re, is it was the BLM helping you on that? Or how were you doing that with such a, the BLM, the BLM Bureau of Land Management, they had funding to build three a year. Okay. So we, we had the, they furnish the material and we built them, and Dow had a little bit of money. And then of course, the fraternity was doing things to raise money. Yeah. And we were, we, we were getting money anywhere we can, that we could.

00:10:26:20 –> 00:12:00:28
And if we didn’t, and we had great, great support from the rest of the state, I know if we needed money to do something, call NBU and in a week there’d be a check. Geez. So Nevada, big Horn’s unlimited would, would help you as well. So you worked, kind of worked together. Oh, yeah. And no, in those days, we all worked together, you know, it was just one, one big organization. Wow. And so we just kept on, kept going, and then we started getting money from private people. People saw what was going on and say, Hey, I’d, I’d like to sponsor a guzzler, here’s 10 or $15,000 to build one and just put my name on it. And it just, things grew, you know? Yeah. And so there’s a lot of guzzlers, of course, the guzzler are named, but then, but some of them, like you said, are named after people that either built them or after people’s mustaches that built them, that that’s possible. I heard, I heard Cleo in the last Chance Range. Yeah. And my genie, Cleo just came up and said, they’re here. I got, I got 10, $15,000. If, if you can build a deserter with it, build it. Yeah. So we did. And then Jeanie at the time was the BLM biologist, and we had great, great relationships with the Bureau of Land Management, and she was so much help on everything.

00:12:01:00 –> 00:13:28:17
Like, we got a name of wire project for Jeanie. Yeah. And full, I guess there’s a full Curl one after. Yeah. There’s a, there’s a full curl one. Yeah. From the, from the, from a handlebar mustache. I heard that was it. Yeah. So good. Well, and so you were, were you a mechanic, from what I understand, kind of had the wherewithal to be able to build these guzzlers? Pardon me? Start again. So were you, you were a mechanic by trade. Yeah. And so you just, and so you just were naturally able, not everybody can just go build a guzzler and there probably wasn’t, you know, set plans and guzzler plans like, you know, maybe nowadays, but, you know, it seems, I’m sure it was, you know, hard, hard work and kind of from scratch to a degree back in the when with the first guzzler you were doing. Yeah. But it, yeah. Even though when you had, you had the site where you were gonna build it, you had to apply, you had to give all that to the VLM. Yeah. And even back then, it took about a year and a half. Yeah. If you, you submitted a site where you wanted propose to put a guer, it would take them a year and a half before they would give you the Okay to build it on that site. Yeah. Just takes forever. And now it’s a, yeah. It all, everybody worked together.

00:13:28:19 –> 00:15:03:09
Everybody followed the law, followed the rules, you know, the best thing was don’t try and cut corners if they want it, do it. Yeah. You know. So tell me about the first guzzler. It seems like, were you, I mean, did you build that one yourself? No, that one was built by, by the fraternity of the Desert Bighorn. I was with a, it’s in the Arrow Canyon range. Okay. And I was helping a hunter across the road over in the Las Vegas range on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. And we were, you know, get getting ready in places and different things to do. And I looked across and that saddle was there. And I just said right there in the arrows, it’s a perfect place for us to build our first guzzler. No kidding. And that, and we did it. Wow. And that was who you were, and then you were helping a hunter on that one when you found it? Yeah, I was, I was with a person that had a tag over there and, and I was out hunting with him, shook, you know, helping him out. Wow. But the one I basically built by myself was in the enclosure on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Oh, okay. Tell me about that one. It was just one where they, they had a bunch of sheep and an enclosure, and they were being studied by the University of Arizona, one university down there on noise. Okay.

00:15:03:14 –> 00:16:32:03
About military noise. And what happened to ’em, they had, they put sensors in them, they had all kinds of stuff, and they needed another water site in there. So Bruce Seller, who was the biologist at the time, he said, ed, you think you could get a couple guys together and we’ll go ahead and build a project in the enclosure? And I said, yeah, we’ll make that work. Yeah. So Bruce and I, we got the materials all lined up and he got a lot of the materials off of the bombing range surplus for out there. Okay. And we hauled it into the site, and then we got it there. And then he went back and I said, hell, I’m not doing nothing. I’m just gonna stay here and build it. Which I did. And geez, hopefully it was in the winter time. Yes. It was. It wasn’t real hot. So I just kept trucking away at it. And then I had everything in set, and I had the apron and everything screwed now with a couple of screws. And then Saturday morning, my son and Alan Campbell showed up and with, screwed it down. Wow. And the wild water truck came in and put water in it. No kidding. Is it, is it operable? Is it operable today? Oh, yeah. It’s, it’s, it, they don’t have the enclosure anymore. Yeah. Because they finished the study and then they took the fence down.

00:16:32:03 –> 00:18:05:12
That was, they call the enclosure, but the sheep were tuned in to coming there. So yeah. They, they, they still use it. Wow. How many years, how many years ago was that? Do you remember? Ooh, let’s see. I, I retired in oh two, so it was right around then. Okay. Because I wasn’t that, I was stayed there ’cause I was done, I wasn’t working. Okay. So it’d be, it’d be right, right around oh two or oh three, somewhere in there. What’s the typical lifespan on, on a guzzler that you’ve seen with the materials? Quality materials? They should last 30 years. Okay. How, how has that process evolved? Or, you know, did, did things change over the years as, as I’m sure, I dunno, developments came or what, what were some of those things that compared to the early ones? You know, what did, what did you do now or whatnot? Yeah. The early ones were like tanks that hold 2300 gallons of water. They were eight feet tall and eight feet around. And then from the tanks it went to a drinker, and the drinker had a float valve in it. And then when the sheep would drink it, monitor the water. And the thing that we had, the most problem was they get something stuck in the float valve, a piece of sand or something under the float valve would stick. And then we, of course, we’d lose all the water. Yeah.

00:18:06:09 –> 00:19:37:01
So with all new design now is to use tanks that are about three and a half foot tall, and they’re eight by 16, and they still hold about 22 or 2300 gallons of water. But then the drinker is hard piped right. To the tank. So the water that’s in the drinker is the same height as water’s in the tank. So there’s nothing to fail. Yeah. It just maintains its level Right as it goes, it maintains, it maintains itself. Yeah. So you can tell what, how much water you’ve got in the tanks by just looking at what’s in the drink, what’s visible, and measure water in the drinker, and you know, what she got. Yeah. And most of those, when we were three, three tanks when we built them, and then they were all upgraded to four or five tanks. Yeah. So we got more capacity. Wow. And that’s, that’s where we are now. You know, we, we basically aren’t building anything new. Very seldom. I think we built one, two new ones this year. Yeah. Up, up in the, out by Ley Yeah. Up there. Yeah. Area 25. But every, every, yeah. Everything else is remodeled. Yeah. Well, there’s a lot. You’ve got a, there’s a lot of ’em. And of course there’s bird guzzlers too, and they’re scattered everywhere. But, but these, the big game guzzlers that you, I mean, they, they, they’re extensive. How, how many, do you know how many there are?

00:19:38:26 –> 00:21:11:23
Oh, about 120. And I mean, just to maintain them. And then in these tough drought years, you know, obviously they’re helicoptering in water and dropping ’em on the ap, dropping it on the apron and, and, you know, at times it’s just, it’s just extensive to, to keep these things going. And it requires a lot of volunteer hours. Of course funds and, and just, you know, it is, nothing’s, nothing’s free out there, but it’s all been, it’s all been worth it. And I’m sure you’ve seen positive results from it. Oh, it unbelievable. And, and what, you know, even what happened in the States, but look what we’ve been able to do with neighboring states. Yeah. We’ve given sheep to the neighboring state so that they could start their herds up again. Oh. Utah’s had a, had a Colorado of Utah, Texas of all Compton, Nevada to get sheep that we had excess sheep in areas that we could give them. Your, the populations have, have ranged anywhere from, seems like a low of about 2000 to a high of what? 14,000 or so. That’s what they’re estimating right now. Yes. Isn’t that crazy? Just crazy. Yeah, it is. And, and, and the goal of the fraternity members was to get free roaming herds of desert, big horn sheep, and all their historic habitat. So all of the historic habitat right now that’s available to have sheep on, has sheep on it.

00:21:11:28 –> 00:22:48:20
That we, that game that has been accomplished, that goal. Wow. Wow. Yeah. They’re, there’s some areas that have, they have been domestic sheep or goats on them. Of course. They’re, they’re not available. Yeah. Yeah. So all the way you got desert sheep from Fallon all the way, you know, taw clear down to Vegas, Henderson up to Mesquite. I mean, it’s, it’s, Nevada was made for desert sheep. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. And then, and then, like I mentioned earlier, just, just to see the states that are restarting their herds, come and get sheep, and then see the Indian reservations now that are also getting sheep and putting sheep on their reservations. It it, it’s very satisfying. Gratifying. Yeah. ’cause you were one of the founding members, maybe, let’s you know. Yeah, yeah. And, and then, you know, and, and basically was, you know, formed the, the fraternity was formed out of necessity need. And, and, and then from, for you to still be able to watch and, and be able to watch everything grow and be able to really see the fruits of your labors and efforts and meetings and, you know, and just, I can’t imagine how gratifying it is. Yeah. It, this last summer or summer before on this site, I made the meetings and everything, but I was a hindrance at the build sites. I don’t think anybody’s gonna tell you to go home.

00:22:48:20 –> 00:24:17:06
Eddie, I mentioned the other day to the guys, I’m sorry, but you know, I, I haven’t made the build sites this year. And they said, you just go sit down. You’ve done enough. You don’t have to come to the bill sites. They appreciated it. Yeah. Well, it’s probably, it’s probably impossible to quantify, but the number of people from that group of eight people that started this, the, the results of how many hunters have had the opportunity to hunt desert sheep because of those eight people. It’s unbelievable. Yeah. Would be unbelievable. Yeah. Unbelievable. Yeah. Wow. And of course, with the, with the desert Nelsons and everything, the abbot hunters like myself and other people, that their goal was to get a grand slam of big horn sheep in the United States were able to accomplish that. I know. I, I at least hunted with 43 or 44 guys. That was their grand slam hunt. Wow. And it’s just amazing. I know, I know how I felt when I got mine. And, and once in a while you get somebody, ah, let’s just get outta here. You know, like their buddy has a grand slam, so they bought one. But most of the guys, like, you know, like you, me or myself, it’s a huge accomplishment. It was my one accomplishments I wanted to do in my hunting career was to get a grand slam. And we made that possible for a lot of people.

00:24:18:06 –> 00:25:51:18
So, did you, have you been able to draw desert there in, in, in Nevada? Yeah. I’ve got two desert tags. I can’t get the California bighorn. It’s tough. Those odds are terrible. I just, I cannot draw the California big horn tags. So I gave up. I couldn’t do the hunt. I, I couldn’t, this is the first year I had max points. Yeah. And I hunted with four people, friends of mine that drew the tag. Yeah. In fact, my son drew one and Yeah. Course I, I got, I got to go California bighorn hunting as a helper or a packer, but just then harvested one yourself. Yeah. But it, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s great. So you said you were a part of 43 hunts where they were, they were going for their grand grand slam. Do you have any, like, even ballpark of how many hunts you were a you were a part of that, you know, regardless of if it was their first sheep or their last About 110. Wow. That’s, that’s pretty awesome. Yeah. I, I, I’ve been with at least a, I was a, I was an a guy, an outfitter. You, you know that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just so what, what units did you harvest your rams in? Both in the muddies No, no. I got my first ram in the blacks, and then I got my next ram in the muddies. They’re the same sheep. They’re the same sheep. Yep.

00:25:51:21 –> 00:27:20:11
2 67, 7 2 60 across the north throw road, like it was there. Yeah. Did you hunt probably the best in the, in the blacks? Did you, did you hunt on the lakeside or just, or kind of in the guts of it? Or, or, or, you know, next to 2 68 boundary. Yeah. When I got my first round, there wasn’t any sheep in the muddies. Yeah. Because there was no water. There was no water in the muddies. Yeah. As soon as we put the water projects in there, it was amazing. Within two or three years, how, how the sheep had just moved over there once in a while. If you had a real wet fall, there’d be some sheep from the black school over there and stay a month or two and then come back in the summer. Yeah. Now we have a population over there. It was around 800, but I know they’re cutting it way back thing that really makes me unhappy. My own personal thing is when they started shooting you, I couldn’t believe it. Well, but they do. Yeah. It, they do. It’s hard to see ’em shooting the mamas. But what about, so there is the flipper guzzler and the, and the cliff site guzzler. I’ve been in, I’ve been to those and it, they’re pretty awesome. But tell us the story about those guzzlers. How did Flipper get its name? The Cliff site? Just from the location Okay. Where it’s built up.

00:27:20:13 –> 00:29:04:04
Up in the cliffs. Yeah. On the cliff side. Yeah. And, and, and Flipper, flipper got its name when we were going in there to look at the site and to show the biologist where we were gonna build it. We had a wild man on his four wheeler, thought he was Barney Olford or something. So he said, oh, he can ride with me. Well, halfway in there, he ended bike. Did he hurt himself or was it okay? No, neither one I think got scratched up a little bit. And neither one of ’em really got hurt, but Right, right. Then there was no doubt That’s slipper. So forevermore, he got to remember that he was that slipper. Yeah, he was, he was the reason. Yeah. He was the reason. Exactly. Wow. And five Ram, we were out there looking around, and when we come up there, we, well, in fact, I think we were, was, I was with a hunter at the time, and right on this one ridge we’d stop and every day there’d be five rams laying there watching us. Yeah. So I said, we’re gonna build a desert down here. And we built, we built it, and naturally it was five rams and that, that’s how it does me. Geez. That’s pretty awesome. Such a great piece of history that’ll live on forever, you know? Yeah. A lot of stories. Lot of stories like that. Wow. Yeah.

00:29:04:20 –> 00:30:38:27
Do you And the people, you know, it, it wasn’t it, it wasn’t me. I mean, for God’s sake I was there. Yeah. The, the 50 or 40 or 50 people that were there all the time. I mean, they were just there all the time. If there was gonna be a builder and say of help, they showed up. Yeah. And then we had, we had people like Lindo to Birdie. Oh, I know him. And I won’t, I know Lindo wouldn’t mention his name, but then other people that I’m not gonna give their names, that just started coming up with money. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Just, just every spring is these, these checks would show up and it, it was, it was unbelievable because for the, during, during the eighties and the nineties, I mean, we, we were picking pennies up off the street to get enough money Yeah. To build a gun there, you know. Yeah, yeah. Using materials off the bombing range, you know. Yes. Right. And we, anything we could do, of course. And then later on in the end of the nineties, and we, we, we didn’t need to beg for money and we, we had a source of money then that we could, we could call and, and they would, they would give us the money we needed. And that was, that was the Wild Sheep Foundation too. You know, at that time it was phau. Yeah. Oh yeah. The national club. Yeah.

00:30:40:12 –> 00:32:19:05
I cannot remember asking for Nas for a check for five or $10,000 that we didn’t have it in a week. Wow. Always. They always came through. Wow. So, you know, it’s good. It’s been a great ride. Is there any, any specific ram that haunts you or that you remember just a, a majestic giant old ram or any stories like that? We had a, there must have been 10 or 12 one horn rams in the muddies. And, and the McCulloughs, there were, they were the, at least 180. I mean, they were just monstrous one horn rams. Wow. And you’d, you’d, you’d see ’em and you’d get on ’em and you’d take your hunter in on them, and they stand up and turn, and they only got one horn. Oh. And I tell, I tell the hunters, man, I mean that, that’s a ramble lifetime. You know that. Nah, I want one that’s got two horns. Oh, yeah. Oh. So watching them walk away. So, you know, when they instituted the one horn ram last year? Yeah. I wasn’t, I was only putting in for California Big run. I don’t need another desert sheet I put in and I said if I, if I draw that day, I’m going to get the pleasure of getting in on one of them one horn rounds and have him stand up and turn his butt towards me and wiggle. And I’m going to shoot it.

00:32:21:17 –> 00:34:03:16
I’ve had to watch so many of ’em walk away. Oh, crazy. That’s just my own fun little thing. Oh yeah. Yeah. That’s crazy. Well, how about, so you’ve got a a, a grand slam. You’ve got a doll and a stone. Yeah, I got two stalls. I have two dolls and a stone, and two deserts and one rocky. Were, tell us a little bit about ’em. Where did you, where did you kill your doll sheep? Well, they were, they were, of course, my deserts actually here in my stone sheep. I got up in British Columbia and it was just a standard, you know, standard high country sheep hunt. Yeah. Do you know what year that was? So it had to be 30, 35 years ago. I bought my, yeah. Long, long time ago. Yeah. So just for some, do you remember what that cost? Just for a little context? Yeah, for little context. 10,000. 10,000. Yeah. I remember back in the day and that, but back then, 10,000 was a lot. Be a hundred. Yeah. It was just a lot of money back then. And, but it was a, it was a self-guided hunt. I just had, it cost me that much to get there and get the tag. And then it was a, it was a backpacked in with four other guys. No kidding. So you, you took a group of you from, from down in Nevada or? No, just friends.

00:34:03:16 –> 00:35:32:16
Friends of mine that wanted to go along. Okay. Yeah. That’s good. We, we had a great hunt. We had a really good time. See plenty of sheep. We had to do a lot of fishing. I got a nice ram. It’s right at 40 inches. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Self-guided. That’s crazy. Yeah. Good for you. What about, and then did you, did you go to Alaska for the doll went and my doll sheep, I hunted in the territories. Okay. I got one in Alaska and one in the territories. Okay. And the one in the territories was kind of a different deal. We, we were hunting, you know, up in the horseback. So to get to camp where you wanted to camp for the meadow woods, we had to swim across this river. The mountain river, Jesus. Going in. Of course. And you’d take your gun out of the gabbard and pour the water out of it. Next morning when you leave camp, you go across, so you’re soaking wet. So we were there a couple days and I went down, we had some fish lines out and we were getting some dolly bars off the bank to eat. Yeah. So guys said, why don’t you go down and see if we caught us a fish? So I go down, I look and I, there’s a grizzly coming up the river, and so we don’t have those in Nevada. Yeah. So he just keeps, keeps coming.

00:35:32:20 –> 00:37:07:22
So that’s, I go back and I said, Hey, there’s a bear, there’s a bear coming up the river. And Oh. So he gets right across from camp there, and he, I watched him and he, he stands up and he kind of smears and he gets down and he starts walking because he’s cooking. He starts walking right towards camp. Geez. Hollering, banging, you know, everything. And finally he stopped probably 50 yards out and he stood up and he started popping his teeth. And the guy said, if he go drops down and starts coming at us, you’re gonna have to kill him. Yeah. He did his thing and he dropped down and it was just like somebody turned the switch off and he, and he just walked away. Oh. Darn it. Next, next day we’re up on the hill up there and we get on this ram nice 40 inch doll sheet, and he thought, we’re gonna take that ram. So I get up there and pull the trigger and the gun won’t go off. Yeah. So I thought, well, maybe I didn’t, because I always carry an empty chamber. Maybe I didn’t hit it hard enough when I chambered the shell. I did, I did that about five times and it wouldn’t go off. And the guy says, what’s wrong? And I said, the gun won’t go off. And then of course, it’s a, a Remington, so the back of the bolt is exposed. Yeah.

00:37:07:24 –> 00:38:35:11
So we were able to tap on the bolt, and finally we got the bolt to drop. Wow. So just a little bit of surface rust in there. Probably took it. Right. Yeah. I’ve had it happen. Pull it, you could see the bolt just barely go down. Then two or three times it finally hit hard enough. So I put a shell in and, and I was lucky enough to get the ram and, and the guy looked at me and he says, is that the gun you backed that grizzly charge with last night? Yes, sir. And I said, it’s the only one I got. Oh yeah. Probably outta oil that, that bolt a little bit. That, that was just a, that was just something that happened. It was a lot of fun. Well, it wasn’t fun kind of. Anyway, we survived. Yeah. And I got my ram. These are just different stories that happened on these hunts. Yeah. How about make ’em interesting? How about the rocky? Tell us about that one. The rocky, we got on up outta Cranbrook, British Columbia. Okay. And he was up in this basin, and he was pretty much by himself. He’s not a, he is not a real big ram. Eight years old scores, I think Right. At one 70. And he was up there and he was just staying there. And we, you weren’t, you really couldn’t get there because they, they’d see you coming. Yeah.

00:38:35:20 –> 00:40:08:11
So devised the plan, I’m going to crawl in there after dark. I’m gonna stay there, sleep in, or try to sleep on the side of the mountain so when it gets light, if he’s still there, I can maybe get a shot at him. And that’s exactly what happened when, when it got light enough to see he was standing there 50 yards away. Wow. But it was a rather uncomfortable night sleeping. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Wow. And that was, that’s my, that’s my sheep hunting. I was very fortunate to, to have some of my sons with me on my desert hunts, you know? Yeah. And they’ve all got their deserts too. Yeah. And yeah, it’s great. It’s been, it’s been been a good ride. Yeah. Have you, are you, are you, do you hunt mule there too? Mule deer and elk and other species as well? Or you just really dedicate your, everything you got into putting sheep on the mountain? Yeah, that was it for, I, I was very fortunate that I had a very, a very beautiful and a happy wife. Yeah. She liked to go on, on the mountains just as much as I did. As long as there was clothes for the kids and there was food in the pantry, I could go hunting. Wow. There you go. Wow. She, she used to do some bird hunting with me.

00:40:10:14 –> 00:41:32:23
She, she, she enjoyed, she came on a lot of the projects, helped, you know, helped build on the projects. So she, I gotta give her credit. She, she was, she was right there all the time. Supported me all the time. Wow. No, that’s pretty lucky. Yeah. Really. Yep. And so, wow. Well, good, good stuff. It’s just, just awesome. All of these, all of these stories I’m sure. I mean, you, you take hours and hours to, to go over ’em all just seems just, just incredible what you’ve, what you’ve accomplished and, and what the group has accomplished. And like you said, that, you know, it takes, takes money and it takes a group of guys and, and volunteer and, and then somebody that knows how to do all the paperwork. ’cause heaven knows working at the BLM now is not easy. I mean, not that they’re against it, that’s just a lot of paperwork. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s getting more on tour. But what you said, what, what, what I’ve accomplished and what the group, it’s what the group has accomplished. Yeah. Yeah. I I could never, I never, I would never take credit for sure. Just personally on myself before the fraternity is, but you were, you were able be a part of something awesome. That’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and yeah, I was there led the, led the way to a degree. Eddie.

00:41:32:23 –> 00:43:11:06
Eddie, you know, one of the founding members and there at, at, at the build side of, of nearly of most of the guzzlers during your lifetime that were built. Yeah. Right. I were there to give Yeah. Give me kick in the butt. Once a while they had somebody to cuss out. When, when they were mad about something, they’d come cuss me up. It was my fault. Yeah. I just wanted to ask you on, on all of the clients that you took on, on sheep hunts. Is there any, any story that kind of stands out as special? Not really. They were all, you know, you have different, different things that, that, that happened at different times. And, and, but I guess one hunt of people asked me this, I, I I, I kind of say we had a hunter and we were hunting in the, in the desert, in the sheep range. And he had missed like 12 or 13 rams. He just, I don’t know, he sheep just got sheep fever, you know? He just, he just couldn’t hit him. Yeah. So, and he had some cannon, I think he was afraid of the gun to start with. Yeah. And we had one week left to go and I said, we’re gonna knock off, we’re gonna go to town and never, we’re gonna come back with two days left in the hunt. And if you have another gun for god’s sake, bring it.

00:43:12:16 –> 00:44:41:18
So he said, oh, I got an old odd six that my dad gave me. That’s under my mattress, in my bed. Perfect. I said, just make sure it goes off. So leave that other gun at home and, and come on out. Yeah. So the second day it was, it was nasty day. It was cloudy and raining and half snowing. And we didn’t get to hunt hardly at all. So he got back to camp and he said, dad, this is it. He says, I’m done. I’m, I’m gonna go. Hey, I, let’s, let’s hunt a half a day tomorrow. Let’s, let’s just, that was the last day. Hunt closed that. Well let’s, let’s, let’s just go out, you know, and that by noon we don’t see something. We’ll, we’ll give it up. So we get out and I see this ram and two u’s. They’re up on the ledges and it’s still nasty weather. And they’re going back and under this underhand like a little cave. Yeah. And I says, if we can’t get across this opening without ’em seeing us, we just gotta go up this little set of ledges and we’ll be right on him. Yeah. And so we get across and the wind’s blowing, swirling around, and you can get up this one little foot there over to the right and you can get up another one to the left. And I said, here’s what we’re gonna do. I got a quarter in my pocket.

00:44:42:11 –> 00:46:15:05
Yeah. I’m going to take it out and flip it. And if it’s heads, we’re going up to the right. If it’s tails we’re going up to the left. That sounds like a good plan. That’s well thought out. Plan of attack. Yeah. So we go up through there, we crawl up in there and we get on the ledge and one of the U’S is standing under there and she’s looking right at me. Yeah. And I got, I get your, put his shell on your gun and get ready. ’cause he’s gonna walk out of there and he’ll probably stop for five seconds. He just, he doesn’t, he hasn’t seen us yet. But when that you goes, he’s knowing something’s wrong. Yeah. And that’s exactly what happened. And we, he turned to me and he says, is he legal? I you think I’d crawl up if it shoot a damn ram? It’s a ram. That was that. And then of course that was, that was a great, that was a great, we hunted hard and he got his ram. Neat story. Yeah. So great. In fact, I saw him about two months ago and he, he’s, he’s, we still can’t help talking and laughing about Yeah. That, that’s about it guys. I, i, all, all my hunters have been, you have one or two, but most all over a hundred of ’em have been just wonderful guys. Yeah.

00:46:15:09 –> 00:47:34:13
Well, and it’s just, I, I love, I love this conversation and just, it just proves how hunters are conservationists. And even though, you know, we all obviously wanna harvest the sheep, but think about how many rims and, you know, sheep in general that you, you know, that, that your group has helped put on the mountain. And it’s just allowed so many people to be able to experience that hunt a, a desert sheep hunt in their lifetime. It’s, it’s nothing like it. Sheep fever is, is it doesn’t get any worse than that. Yeah. Yeah. Once you’ve got sheep fever, you’re gonna go hunting and there’s a lot of pressure. But then, you know, kind of a once in lifetime experience. So you get the other people on the other side, the Sierra Club Riverside, and he says, well, they come on, what, what do you think about hunting? How come they, how come they’re still hunting desert sheep? They shouldn’t be hunting ’em. I looked at ’em, I said, if it wasn’t for the hunters, there wouldn’t be any desert sheep. The only reason they’re there is because of the hunter’s support that they got. That’s a hundred percent. Right. That’s, that’s my, that’s my answer to them. Wow. What can, what, in your opinion, what can people do that want to help? What can, what do you, what do you suggest people that are listening to the podcast?

00:47:36:01 –> 00:49:15:12
We have a banquet every year, you know, come and come and support the banquet Of course. And then there’s, there’s a website that they’re just redoing now for the fraternity of the desert Big Horn. And that’s what it is. Yeah. Right. And they list that on when the projects are gonna be, and if you’d like to come out and help on the build, just call, you know, and, and, and tell ’em you’re coming and just sup just support, support it. You know? Yeah. You got an extra $10 and send it to the fraternity, it would still takes money. Yeah. Well, and it’s good. A lot of these heritage tags and whatnot of contributed and there’s just, you know, there’s just better organization of, of manpower and funds and things like that nowadays. Yeah. Yeah. We’re, we’re, we’re in good shape right now. We got our endowment fund. It’s almost totally funded. Yeah. And if it’s in the market, so when the market does good, we have Yeah. That’s so good. The principle is, is is protected. You, you can’t draw anything off of the principle of the endowment. Yeah. But whatever the endowment makes that year Yeah. Then that money can go into the general fund to be used for whatever the fraternity needs it for. Yeah. So that’s nice to have that in your back pocket. Yeah. Well, we sure appreciate you taking time today.

00:49:15:24 –> 00:51:00:25
What a, I mean, just what a, what, what a great time. It’s just been awesome to hear some of these old stories and how things get started. And, and it’s been, it’s been decades since you started this quest back in basically 1964 with a group of eight guys and to still be, you know, here in 2023 to still be fairly active and Yep. Fair. Fairly is, well, fairly is a fairly the right word. Very active. And, and still having some of those guzz, those original guzzler continue to be maintained. It’s just awesome. I enjoy it. I’m proud. I’m proud of ’em all. Yeah. We got some new people now and we’re, the old guard is about to bail out and we got, we got, well they’re, they’re just, you know, yeah. Like our president now, he’s, he’s retiring at the end of his term. Yeah. And we just, we got, we got, we got some nice, nice eager going young people on the board. Yeah. And we get them to step into these positions. We’re gonna be in great shape. That’s awesome. Alright. Well that sounds good. Well, we sure appreciate you Addie. Thanks for all you’ve done for Desert Sheep and for conservation over, I don’t know, six decades. Yeah. How awesome is that? Wow. What an example. You are, you and your, your crew. It’s just awesome. Yeah. Alright. Great talking to you. Alright Eddie. Thanks for everything. Alright. Have a good day. Okay.

00:51:00:25 –> 00:52:24:11
You too. Bye. Yep, bye. Yeah. Pretty cool. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Just yeah. Shows like, I mean, he didn’t want to take any credit for it, but, you know. No, it’s kind of a testament to, to probably a lot of people that it is, were on those projects and helping out little things. I like those humble dudes. Yeah. I mean, he builds a guzzler on his own. Yeah. Who’s gonna go do that right now? You know what I mean? Right. We’re weak. Gen Z Logan. I, I knew it was coming. Go build you a guzzler boss. We could do it. We, gen Zs are strong. You guys would, your AI would tell you every direction. Yep. Artificial intelligence would be running strong. That’s right. What else do you need? Tell you what size of screws, where to buy ’em, the cheapest, what route steps one to 10 you’d have in 30 seconds. You could have a whole build sheet, plans, maybe even, maybe even ordered and delivered your ai. Take care of it all for you. Let’s call Matt real quick. I just wanna visit with him and kind of wrap this idea up. Yeah. With the de with the fraternity of Desert Bighorn. It’s just so cool to kind of learn about a grassroots organization built in the sixties, maybe even the longest surviving, you know. Yeah. esp Well, yeah. Specifically for Wild Sheep, I’m sure. I think it is the oldest. Yeah. Yeah. Crazy.

00:52:36:04 –> 00:53:54:09
Hello? You got a minute? Yes, I do. I got you on the podcast. Oh dear. I don’t know why you did that, just because we can once in a while. Gotcha. No, John Peterson here too. Visited with Eddie. What a, what a great guy. He really is. He’s awesome. Yeah, he is. He’s awesome. So tell us a little bit, just kind of a few of the details about the fraternity of Desert Bighorn and, you know, how people can, can become affiliated with y’all and give you a little bit of support and whatnot. Sure. And anything else that you would like to add? Just really appreciate the opportunity on this. Oh yeah, no, thanks for taking the time and talking to him because it’s, he’s really an outstanding dude and he is responsible for the fraternity fraternity as I’m sure you guys spoke about. Yeah. But the fraternity, like the, the best way to support, it’s just to help out on projects. Obviously we need money too. So there’s always a fundraising event, which is our ban whip. Yeah. I think that’s been moved to April 13th, 2024. Okay. The website’s kind of touch and go. We need some help with that. Okay. Yeah. It’s a lot of older guys like Eddie that have, have been a, a big part of this group for a long time.

00:53:54:17 –> 00:55:17:21
I was the past president for three years and we kind of got into social media and stuff, but it’s not something that, that all of the members run with constantly. Right. So we don’t really have an online presence. So the best way to get involved is to do projects. We’ll be posting that, kind of sending that out. You can get a membership from the fraternity. It’s like $25 for the year. Okay. And that includes your whole family. Wow. Yeah. It’s, it’s really, we make no money on that type of stuff, but that’s okay. ’cause we’re just trying to keep these projects going and, and stuff like that. So it takes a lot of money to him. I’m sure he spoke about that too. It’s, it’s not cheap to put water on the mountain. Keep it there, so. Right. Yeah. I don’t know. I volunteering said kind of the best thing you, you’re aware of the the three to one match Yeah. That the state gets for the, the volunteer hours and in kind tool matching that we do and stuff. Yep. So that’s kind of the best way to get involved. It’s just go on some projects. We have some coming up in September. Generally we try to do them after the hunting seasons in Nevada. So from January until it gets too hot to do them kind of May and June. Yeah. We have at least one project a month during that time period, so.

00:55:18:13 –> 00:56:40:22
Okay. Wow. That’s awesome. Well, it’s just been crazy. Is this, to your understanding, is this the la the longest standing organization that you know of? Yes. So if, if you Google it, it’s the oldest wild sheep conservation group in the world. Wow. Isn’t that crazy? So 1964, it took, it took a little while for it to get off the ground and for them to do anything, but I think a lot of the, the chapters and affiliates of Wild Sheep Foundation would agree that they’ve kind of molded everything after what the fraternity has started. So it’s because of Eddie and that small group of people that started it, that, that a lot of these other organizations exist and, you know, the, the efforts of, in Nevada, of course, you know, there’s more wild sheep to hunt here than any other state. Right. And that’s as result of like Eddie and, and those, you know, those old timers, those original eight that turned into a few more as the years go by, you know? Yeah. Hundreds now. Yeah. So it’s, it’s really an amazing story. Eddie’s central to that story, so Yeah. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to him. Oh, it’s awesome. I appreciate you kind of urging us to do it and, and to record it. What a, I mean, just it it was, it was special. He’s Yeah. Been there, done that. I mean, we’re talking was it 60, 60 years?

00:56:41:06 –> 00:58:01:11
60 years, yeah. You know, yeah. This is gonna be our 60th anniversary, this fundraising banquet that we have coming up next year. So kind of a big deal. Yeah, it’s a big deal. He talked about 120 guzzlers now, and it just feels like even if, even if you maintained what you’ve currently got, it’s, it’s incredible. It’s an incredible workload. It’s, oh yeah. It’s, it’s, you know, it’s set the state up for success and I mean, there’s, there’s a reason that, that the populations were upwards of 14,000 at the high. Of course you have, you know, ebbs and flows here as, as, as time goes on course with different things, but, and challenges and, and droughts and, and there’s disease and hundreds of things Right. That Yeah. Factors and whatnot. But, but way more than the low of 2000. Yeah. And direct, direct, direct result of which, you know, in large part it’s water’s, the, the, the resource that everything hinges on out there in that, in Nevada, it’s crazy. Right. I think Adam said it a couple podcasts ago talking about how Nevada’s the driest state in the union, but more importantly Clark County, where most of these projects are. It’s the driest county in the United States too. So, yeah. You know, we’re that that water is essential and it’s, it’s not cheap to keep ’em filled up. I mean, when we have to do emergency water hauls Yeah.

00:58:01:18 –> 00:59:13:21
It, it drains our funds, you know, fast tremendously. ’cause helicopter time is not cheap. No, it’s not. So, and you’re, you’re familiar too, a lot of these projects that it’d be great if we could drive up to ’em with the water truck and fill ’em up, but No, it’s just not the case. It’s not the case. That’s right. That’s right. You might flip a four-wheeler getting to ’em, who knows. Yeah. Yeah. Crazy. Anyway, so they can go to That, that used to be the website. I think that the best way is go on social media and you can contact us that way. Okay. Through Instagram. I think the website, well, it’s actually an issue was hosting. It may be, but it, it does pull up, you know. Okay. But, but yeah. And then go on social media, whether Facebook and Instagram. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, Facebook, there’s quite a few admins, if you send a message there, send, we’ll definitely get in touch with you. And then Jackie is our secretary. She works at Redstar Fence Company. Okay. Okay. So you can always call Redstar. It’s here in Las Vegas. Okay. Talk to Jackie. She can get you signed up as a member or direct you whatever questions you have volunteering and stuff. We can definitely get you in touch, so, okay. All right. Alright. Perfect. That sounds good. Sure. Appreciate you guys down there. It’s awesome.

00:59:13:24 –> 01:00:31:01
Yeah, there’s a lot of non, we appreciate you guys put a lot of Yeah. A lot of non-resident tags compared to many of the states and just, man, just a lot of opportunity for, for hunters in general for where hunter hunters are truly, truly are conservationists, so, oh, a hundred percent. Yep. Just great. Alright. Okay. Alright, Matt, well we sure appreciate you and all your efforts. Oh yeah, no problem. Thank you Jason. You bet. Talk to you later. All right, bye. Bye. Okay, well that’s about it boss. Yeah, that’s, that’s pretty cool. Just piece of history. How cool is how cool these old timers like Eddie can’t be Oh, duplicated. No. You know? Yeah. How cool is that? Just, just awesome. What a great podcasts. Awesome. The fraternity of Desert Bighorn. If you, if you’re out there and you’re listening to that, at least join up. Can’t hurt. Sounds like it. You know, you’re gonna have to stalk ’em a little bit, but you know, it’s worth it. A few challenges on, on sounds like on the back end of, of things with volunteer organizations like this. Yeah. But worth, worth joining. Alright. I guess that’s about it. John, you got anything else? Yeah, that’s it. Just good luck on upcoming Huns. Good luck on scouting. Just kind of exciting. It’s a fun time of year. It’s awesome.

01:00:31:13 –> 01:01:50:04
I was went out last night and I saw a group of six bucks and a lot of, lot of Mules Matters type bucks there. Yeah. But spikes one, one real wide three point. Really? Yeah. I was like, he’s just a three, but he’s, he had a great frame and anyway, good. Looking at soccer, fun, fun stuff. Boxy. Yeah. Boxy. Boxy. Where at? Just out, out west. Oh yeah. Out west. All right. Well that’s, that’s, that narrows it down. We’re, we’re coming up on a q and a podcast and Logan gave me the questions that people have submitted. I’m like, come on, I’m not gonna give you GPS coordinates of where everybody has the tag. What’s your favorite glassing spot? You know? So that’s coming up. Look forward to that. I think probably be our next podcast. All right, everybody. Sure. Appreciate you. Good luck out there. If you need help, give us holler. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors here at Epic Outdoors. For top of the line hunting, clothing, and apparel in every environment, visit under We’d like to thank Under Armour for being our title sponsor and making this podcast happen. Visit our website epic for discount codes to Under Armour Hunting apparel, handcrafted quality precision rifles from start to finish. Red Rock Precision is one of our sponsors and many of our staff uses Red Rock rifles. Visit Red Rock to find out more.

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