"For 25 years I've been trying to draw a Nevada desert bighorn sheep permit. It seemed such a long shot that I really did very little research into the best areas for big rams and good access, figuring a permit in any unit was like winning the lottery.
"Nevada has 13 units (or pairs of units) where they allow nonresidents to apply for a tag. Only one unit (268) offers two nonresident permits. This number may very well increase over the coming years, as the management program in Nevada is superb, and desert bighorns are up from a low of less than 3,000 to nearly 9,000. In fact, there are more wild sheep (including some Rocky Mountain and California bighorns, as well) in Nevada than in any other state except Alaska. Biologists believe the state can hold as many as 30,000 sheep in available habitat simply by continuing the highly effective management program now in place. With the pro-hunting mindset of the NDOW, this automatically translates into increased hunting opportunities for both residents and nonresidents.
"This year I turned 65, and knowing my sheep hunting days might be numbered, I decided to begin buying a Nevada bonus point again. As always, I randomly selected units and put in the required hunt choice numbers. In ignorance, I put down as my first choice Unit 243/271, which has been called the worst unit in Nevada, something I did not know until I drew there. Confirmation arrived from NDOW after outfitters began calling me.
"I never thought I'd draw such a coveted tag. When I found out, my hopes were high that I'd finally take my eighth North American sheep and complete my second Grand Slam. I........(continued)