Ovis Mexico Increase Desert Bighorn Opportunities


Published: July - 2007

If you're a desert bighorn hunter you are probably familiar with the successful conservation and hunting program on Carmen Island in Baja Sur, Mexico. What you may not know is that the organizer of that program, a nonprofit conservation group called Ovis Mexico, has exported its success to other areas in Baja Sur, effectively increasing hunting opportunities while also funding community development and encouraging sheep conservation.

Carmen Island's sheep program, you may recall, started with 22 ewes and four rams in 1995. The island is now home to more than 350 bighorns. Over the last two years, a total of 30 sheep have been transplanted from Carmen Island to other areas, and there are plans to transplant another 30 bighorns this year. Hunting dollars have paid for all of this activity, thanks to hunts Ovis Mexico has donated to Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and Grand Slam Club Ovis.

These auctioned hunts, by the way, two each year since 2005, have produced rams that exceed the B & C Record Book Minimum of 168 points. The first two rams taken on Carmen Island in 2005 scored 182 and 178 B & C. The ram that scored 178 had an exceptional horn length at 43 5/8 on the left and 39 ½ on the right. Last year, a 173-point ram was taken, and just this past season a hunter took a ram that scored 178 B & C. No wonder permits for this hunt have sold for upwards of $90,000 and $100,000 at auction!

Two auction hunts a year are currently the only trophy hunts available on Carmen Island, but last year Ovis Mexico began offering additional hunts on Carmen Island, specifically for management rams. They define a management ram as an older ram scoring only 150 to 160 SCI. The SCI minimum is 150, so these are in fact record book sheep. Two hunters last year took rams scoring 157 and 158 SCI. Plans are to offer up to four management hunts a year now, priced at $35,000.........(continued)

 
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