Best State for a Sheep Tag?

Discussion in 'Sheep Hunting' started by DWK, May 15, 2008.

  1. DWK

    DWK Well-Known Member

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    In what state would it be least difficult to draw a sheep tag? Do you simply have to apply in a bunch of states and wait for the numbers to fall into place? Is it better to just commit the bucks to an expensive Dall Sheep hunt in Alaska (or the Canadian Yukon)?

    Just curious what members' experiences have been. Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. Scott S

    Scott S Well-Known Member

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    You might get lucky but I think it is about a 10 yr minimum for a sheep tag in the lower 48. I may be wrong on the number of years it will take to draw but I would consider the dall sheep hunt totally different than a Rocky Mtn Bighorn hunt. If you have the money, just go on the dall sheep hunt and buy preference pts for the RMS ever year.
     

  3. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Put the numbers in your favor as much as possible. As far as a Dall or Stone hunt, you're going to shell out a lot more coin on one of those than you will applying in multiple states, and those are a different type of hunt altogether. I've had to live vicariously through my old man, whose gone on a few of those, but it's definitely on my "to do before i die list". The Desert and Rocky I'm just building points.

    Start applying, and good luck to you.
     
  4. JCFORD

    JCFORD Well-Known Member

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    Apply every where you can afford. I will say the odds are very long in Wyoming and California with you being so far behind in the current point system. In the case of those two states you are better off in my opinion buying raffle tickets for hunts as the odds are probably actually better. Take a close look at the odds and see where you money is better spent.

    There are some pretty good deals in Alaska, especially if you can draw one of the special draw areas, like the TOK or the Chugach (sp?) Theses are typically in the $10 to $12 K price range wihcih is cheap for sheep hunt. Also if you can get your money together and be ready to go look at cancellation hunts, an excellent way to save soem money of you can leave quickly.

    I did my Dall hunt last year in the NWT and the price went up $4k this year from last year. Mostly due to fuel. It took me years of saving and I am still paying for it, but I am also saving for a stone hunt and applying in every state in the west but California & Idaho.

    Good Luck and have faith. It is a awesome experiance. You will dog tired and hurting so bad you cannot go to sleep from packing out your sheep and the whole time trying to figure out how you come up with the money to go again. That is what I was doing when we got back to camp at 1 a.m. from killing my Dall ram. Planning is half the fun !!!
     
  5. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

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    DWK,

    If you have the sheep bug and have the $; the least expensive hunt at the present is a Dall hunt in AK. Most areas offer tags over the counter with the exception of the TOK, Delta and Chugach Management Areas. Most are in the 10-12K range for a guided hunt. AK law requires non-residents to use a registered guide to hunt sheep.

    Stone sheep prices have gone through the roof the last few years. It's not uncommon to see Stone hunts in British Columbia going for 25-30K. Of course the Fannin Sheep which reside in the areas of the Yukon will count as a Stone if you dream of collecting all four sheep towards a Grand Slam. The going rate for the Fannin is around 17K at the present.

    The Rocky and Desert Bighorns found in most Western states are only a draw option, unless you decide to purchase an auction tag for several thousand $$$ at a banquet such as FNAWS annual auction. There are also many raffles through the various state chapters of FNAWS.

    If you just must hunt a Rocky or Desert in the next year or so you can hunt Rocky's in Alberta for around 25k. Or if you just have to get a Desert you can hunt in Mexico for 50-60K.

    Sheep hunting is expensive no matter how you look at it, and it's only going to keep going up. Try to put in for as many Western states as your pocket will allow and begin building preference points. Someone has to draw the tag!!! If you don't put in, you will never get a sheep tag.
     
  6. DWK

    DWK Well-Known Member

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    Great advice! Thanks a lot!

    I'm leaning toward the AK Dall option.
     
  7. norsepeak

    norsepeak Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple of units in Montana that are over the counter for sheep, but the units are on a quota and are very rugged. Also the sheep are few and far between in those units, but they do get some good rams out of them. That's the cheapest way to hunt sheep, just buy the license and put in for the drawing but put in the units that have over the counter tags, and then after the drawing you just have to purchase the tag, and you are on your way.
     
  8. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    the units that norsepeak talks of in Montana are not really over the counter but are called "unlimited" because anyone can purchase a licence through the draw for these units. If 200 people buy these tags and there is a quota of 2 sheep for the unit all 200 people must call in every night to Montana FWP to see if the quota has been filled. the tags cost $785 that is very reasonable, but the "unlimited" tags are for the most part in the worst areas with the fewest sheep. there is one "unlimited" area that a Ram has not been harvested in 2 years. put in on the normal draw and wait it out.
    UB
     
  9. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    Very few people put in for those tags for a number of reasons. The terrain is really rugged and access is poor. People hike like 20 miles over nasty stuff to get to where those sheep are. The genetics are not that great either and I wouldn't think you would end up shooting a really big one. I think less than 20 people bought those tags in recent years and the quota was 4 if I remember correctly. The district I put in for this year has 1% odds but I have several preference points. It has great genetics and big rams. For an out of stater it's not too terribly expensive to put in for Montana, certainly better than most of the western states. If you do draw it'll cost you.
     
  10. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    As troutslayer mentioned, Montana is a great state to apply for sheep tags. Just make sure you don't apply for the second choice or you could end up getting a ewe tag!

    For a non-res, the fee is just shy of $800 but you will get all but about $40 back if you don't draw. The only downside is Montana requires a cashier's check or money order. No credit cards. Also, once you put in, you can only miss two or three years before they will erase your points so you are kind of "locked in" to coming up with around $800 every year until you draw.
     
  11. DWK

    DWK Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the additional guidance!

    I've drawn several elk/deer combo tags in MT over the years and they usually let people apply by 'puter and credit card (for a small "convenience fee"). I wonder if they've changed the money order rule on sheep?

    In any event, I'll have to give MT some thought.

    I appreciate everyone's help.
     
  12. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    It aint Colorado. Hell we draw for DOE TAGS here in this state.
     
  13. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    Colorado is hands down the worst state for a non- resident sheep tag.
    UB
     
  14. jad29

    jad29 Member

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    ya montana sucks with the money order, this thread reminds me i never got a refund and i think i sent in over 2 grand.........kind of scary