One misconception among many sheep hunters is that the Nelsoni subspecies of desert sheep found in northwestern Arizona's 15-series sheep units are not trophy quality. Hub Grounds, owner of Black Mountain Outfitters, has disproved this poor-trophy-quality theory over the last several years. He specializes in hunting these units and has produced a number of outstanding rams. Take, for example, the ram scoring 180 6/8 B & C points that he led Larry Snead to in 1993, and Ron Norman's ram in 1994 that scored 178 1/8 points and was recognized by winning the FNAWS' Gold Award. Last year, Grounds' only client tagged a ram that scored 171 B & C points, but looked far bigger with its 30-inch tip-to-tip spread and 15-inch bases. This ram continued Grounds' string of never having a sheep client go home empty handed. Over the 16 years that he has hunted sheep in northern Arizona, Grounds' clients have tagged nine rams that scored 170 B & C points or higher. Even Grounds' smallest ram, a 12-year-old scoring 155 points, would be a welcome addition to most trophy rooms. Make no mistake - the 15-series sheep units Grounds hunts have a lot of sheep in them, including many mature rams.
Moreover, the drawing odds in these units are better than in many units in the southern end of the state. That's not to say the odds aren't still against you, however. Partially because of the difficulty of being drawn and partially because Grounds is committed to the success of his hunts, he never takes more than four clients a year, and he normally accepts only two. Each client often has two, and sometimes three, guides helping him locate the ram of his dreams. The hunt lasts until the client is successful or for the duration of the season, which usually runs during the entire month of December. The cost of the hunt is $6,000, which includes lodging out of Grounds' home in Kingman or in a fully appointed tent camp, as well as airport pickup from Las Vegas.
Grounds also outfits sheep hunts in........(continued)