Congradualtions on your draw. I was fortunate enough to draw a tag the first year I applied in Montana in 88 and I shot a B&C ram which scored 185 1/8. I did a lot of research and made a lot of phone calls, talked to some locals and basically got a lot of good intel. The season opened the first week of Sept and I set aside two weeks of leave to scout and hunt in the Missouri Breaks area of Montana. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Lot's of big open country with a few sheep. I found some ewes, lambs and a couple of young rams, but no big guys. I talked with several locals and who told me to come back in Nov because that's when the Rams herd up with the ewes. So that's what I did. I returned home a week early and took up the hunt again in early Nov. I was wondering if I would have to eat my tag. The first day back I found a herd with a couple of OK Rams, but held out for something better. I drove around to the North side of the breaks and hunted the next morning in the steep badland country. I saw another OK ram running with a couple of ewes. On my way back to my truck from the morning hunt I looked up a steep erosion bank and saw a nice ram, then I saw another little bigger ram, then I saw a third even bigger ram. I was at my truck now and they were about 150 -200 yds away watching me. I got a towel out of the truck and laid my rifle on it, a 7mm Rem Mag with 160 gr partitions, over the hood of my truck (all legal, I was well off the road). I put the cross hairs in the middle of the ribs and squeezed the trigger. The ram shuddered and stumbled forward a few steps and stood there. The other two rams and a ewe trotted off out of sight. I chambered another round, aimed and sqeezed off another shot. Nothing, he didn't even flinch. I chambered a third and fired again. Still no movement, he just stood there. I wondered if I even hit it, but I knew I couldn't have missed. I chambered the fourth and put the crosss hairs on the back, fired and he rocked a little then fell over. I climbed up the very steep bank and saw him close up and he looked really big. I thanked God for the reward and started dressing him. Getting him down the steep bank was interesting. He almost took me for a long steep tumble. I figure he was close to 300 lb undressed full weight. I spent the night there and drove him home the next morning. When I skinned him out I found the first three bullets in a tight group that could have been covered by a half dollar, which explains why he didn't flinch on the 2nd and 3rd shots. The 4th passed through the top of the spine.
I would recommend talking to local folks, F&G officials and wildlife biologists who know the sheep populations and habits. Also, contacting sheep hunters who have hunted your area would be very valuable. That will contribute much more to your success than anything else.
Some tips, dont judge a ram from a rear view, they all look big from that perspective. Look for heavy bases and mass through out the horn. The narrower the the fur patch between the horns at the base, the better. The more time you can spend backpacking this summer to get into mountain shape, the better. And if you can backpack and scout the area you are hunting, all the better, but usually their summer, fall and winter ranges are very different. They will be a lot easier to find during the rut which is Nov here. A good cal rifle would probably be a 7mm mag to a 300 mag. I just got a Sako Finnlight 300 WSM
, which I think would make an ideal sheep rifle. Good bino's and spotting scope are very helpful and can save you a lot of walking and time. Having a partner to help spot would be great too. The closer you can get the better you will be able to judge him.
Hope you have a successful hunt and take a nice ram. Congradulations on your upcoming marraige which is a bigger priority than a sheep. It would be great if your son could share the experience with you, but maybe he's too young for the mountian travel?
Keep us posted,