Outdoor Life goes bighorn sheep hunting in Montana’s Missouri River Breaks.
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Scoring a bighorn sheep tag is literally winning hunting’s biggest lottery. Draw odds hover around half of one percent, and are even stingier in the best trophy units.
Unless you squander your kids’ college fund and buy an outfitted sheep hunt in Alberta or bid six figures for one of the auction tags around the West, you have to keep playing the odds if you want a shot at a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram.
I’m lucky enough to be good friends with a guy who this year drew a ram tag in Montana’s Missouri River Breaks, a unit that has produced five of the 10 biggest rams on record. He is Mark Copenhaver of Helena, Montana, and I was flattered that he asked me to come along on his hunt of a lifetime. He was hunting a record-book ram, he said, but more important to him was to have a fair-chase hunt on public land.
We’d be hunting in one of America’s newest national monuments, the 375,000-acre Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, a wonderland of rough canyons, timbered ridges and badlands that drop into the remote White Cliffs section of the Missouri River.