Record Bighorn – Public Land Success Story

Dave Landstrom, regional parks manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, admires the pending world record bighorn sheep, officially measured by the Boone & Crockett Club this week. The ram died of natural causes on Montana’s Wild Horse Island State Park. Montana’s “Island of the Giant Rams” is once again re-writing the Boone & Crockett record book, with a Rocky Mountain bighorn that shatters the previous world record by more than six inches. A team from FWP retrieved the head and put it in an agency evidence freezer, along with several other big rams that had been collected over the years. By counting annual rings in the horns, biologists estimate the ram was 9 years old when it died of natural causes. “Three of the top 10 bighorn rams in the Boone & Crockett record book are from Wild Horse Island State Park,” Landstrom noted. The island still has a few wild horses, but it is also habitat for bighorn sheep and mule deer. In the 1970s, Montana FWP had an opportunity to purchase the island as a state park. “Wild Horse Island State Park is a LWCF success story,” Landstrom said. The island will continue to produce big rams, but it may take awhile before a larger one shows up.
world record ram

Dave Landstrom, regional parks manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, admires the pending world record bighorn sheep, officially measured by the Boone & Crockett Club this week. At 216 3/8, the ram shatters the previous world record by 6 inches. The ram died of natural causes on Montana’s Wild Horse Island State Park.

Montana’s “Island of the Giant Rams” is once again re-writing the Boone & Crockett record book, with a Rocky Mountain bighorn that shatters the previous world record by more than six inches.

This week, the Boone & Crockett Club posted an image on Twitter of the pending world-record bighorn. Official scorers at the B&C headquarters in Missoula gave it a stunning score of 216 3/8. That’s a full six inches bigger than the current world record. Before being officially recognized, the measurements must be reviewed by a panel of experts, but don’t expect the score to change much.

The news of a new world-record bighorn spread quickly through the tightly knit community of sheep fanatics. For context, a truly large ram is 40 inches around the curl. This one is nearly 50, even though it is heavily broomed. The skull and horns weigh 50 pounds even.

But the backstory is rich beyond the B&C score alone:

The ram was a natural mortality, what’s commonly called a “pickup” or dead…

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