Article by Stephen West
Above: Big framed summer ram from last week in the Chinatis.
These summer hunts can be an absolute bitch up here, but Mother Nature gave us a break in the form of 70 degree highs, 50 degree lows, and lots of cloud cover.
We started off the hunt looking at about 100 sheep the day we made camp, but there were hardly any rams…and nothing even close to mature. It’s dry up here, but I know there’s always, or at least usually, water up on the very top. After nothing but ewes and lambs with a couple micro rams on day 1, we decided to hunt the very top the next day hoping to find a bachelor group around the water.
We woke up and started glassing from the tents and found a group of middle aged rams feeding up near the top which gave us hope that our plan might work. We made it to the top a couple hours later and found sheep almost immediately, but nothing more than ewes and lambs. We kept moving down the rim towards a spring that usually holds a small pool of water even in a drought. We started getting close when we found a group of old rams on the hill above the spring.
Love it when a plan comes together.
There were 4 shooters in the bunch. The rams all bedded down so we took our time finding a good spot in the shade to wait them out. After about 2 hours, they started feeding again.
The rest is history.
Congrats on a real Chinati ram, Austin Cotton, you earned every bit of this old high country bruiser.