Outdoors

Tennessee hunter wins Idaho bighorn raffle tag

A bighorn sheep ram sits on a ridge above Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
A bighorn sheep ram sits on a ridge above Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)

HUNTING — After 30 years of dreaming for a chance to hunt bighorn sheep, Rob Durrett, 56, of Clarksville, Tenn., has won the 2012 raffle for a prized Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn tag. 

“It’s a life-changing adventure,” he told IFG officials

Every year Idaho Fish and Game provides one tag for a bighorn sheep in Idaho, marketed by the Idaho Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. The winner will be able to hunt in any unit open to hunting for Rocky Mountain or California bighorn in 2012, pursuant to Fish and Game rules.

This year’s lottery tag includes the coveted Unit 11, in Hells Canyon of the Snake River. Unit 11 is available to the lottery winner only in alternating years.

Durrett has been putting in for an Idaho bighorn sheep tag for the past seven years.

“I always heard Idaho was good place to hunt sheep, and a beautiful, beautiful place,” he said, beaming with excitement. His father was a fan of Jack O’Connor, and the young Durrett grew up on O’Connor’s hunting stories.

Read on for more details.

Since his early 20s he has dreamt of hunting sheep. He has hunted in Montana and Alaska. This will be his first time hunting in Idaho.

He plans to hunt at least 20 days between August 30 and October 13. He brought his nine-year-old grandson, Cameron, along for short visit here to gather information and scout the area he plans to hunt in Hells Canyon.

Proceeds from the bighorn sheep raffle are used by Fish and Game for the benefit and enhancement of bighorn sheep in Idaho. This year the Wild Sheep Foundation sold $84,118.50 worth of tickets. That will bring an estimated $69,000 to Fish and Game for bighorn sheep research and habitat improvement.

The Wild Sheep Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to protect and restore bighorn sheep to historic habitats throughout Idaho.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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