Friday, October 28, 2005
It's tough to draw a Montana license to hunt bighorn sheep. For the fall 2005 season, about two percent of all applicants, with or without bonus points, were successful in drawing one of the 407 bighorn sheep licenses, including either sex and ewe only licenses.
Hunters pursuing sheep this fall applied last spring. Bighorn hunting season is generally open Sept. 15 to Nov. 27, with some exceptions.
Hunters awarded a bighorn sheep license will remember the hunt for a lifetime. The research and preparation required for this type of hunt is significant, and every step is important—even the after-harvest steps.
To help, here are some regulations and mandatory reporting requirements big horn sheep hunters need to keep in mind.
* A hunter harvesting a bighorn sheep must, if required by FWP officials, physically return to the kill site for inspection and show the complete head and cape intact.
* A hunter harvesting a bighorn sheep with a license valid for a "legal ram" must not alter the head and horns in any way that affects the ability to determine it is a legal ram.
* A hunter harvesting a bighorn ram must personally present the complete head and cape intact within 48 hours to any FWP office, game warden or designated employee in the administrative region where the ram was taken. A transportation permit is required and will be issued at that time.
* Bighorn ram horns greater than one-half curl must be plugged or pinned at a FWP office within 10 days after the harvest. A list of designated personnel and phone numbers has been sent to all bighorn sheep license holders.