WILDLIFE WATCHING -- A massive bighorn sheep that died of natural causes and was later found by wildlife officials could be a new world record, according to the Missoula-based Boone and Crockett Club.
The ram was found in Alberta. The skull is in possession of provincial officials and will be entered into Boone and Crockett records on behalf of the citizens of Alberta.
"Many hunters are unaware that Boone and Crockett records include many found trophies," said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club's Big Game Records Committee. "The main reason we keep records is to document conservation success. Although they aren't taken by hunters, found trophies are nonetheless an important gauge of outstanding habitat, strong recruitment of game animals into older age classes, sustainable harvest objectives and other elements of sound wildlife management. Picked-up trophies are an integral part of the conservation success story. Without them, the story is incomplete."
Alberta biologists speculate the bighorn died in early summer 2013 at 10-1/2 years of age.
Boone and Crockett official measurers in Alberta taped the horns and alerted the Club they had totaled a preliminary green score that would exceed the current world record. That ram, also from Alberta, scored 208-3/8 B&C points and was taken in 2000.
Although Montana has been producing some tremendous rams in recent years, all Boone and Crockett world record bighorn sheep throughout history have come from Alberta.
The long-followed next procedural steps for certifying a new world record include an evaluation of an official score sheet (prepared after the required 60-day drying time) and photos, and officially entering the trophy into Boone and Crockett records. If all remains in order, the club will convene a special judge's panel to re-score the ram, confirm a final score and make a record determination.
An official announcement should follow within the next 90 days, said Hale.
- See a Calgary Herald story about the bighorn find.