Montana Unlimited Sheep
By Robert Hanneman
We all have that one favorite animal to hunt, and, for better or worse, my preference has always been Bighorn sheep. As with most hunters who are addicted to the species, I apply religiously every year, hopeful that the last 2 decades of my life will someday be rewarded with a precious tag. The good news is that I am only 34 years old, and with a pile of points scattered across the West, I know that my day is coming.
I have lived in Montana since 1999, and I have been lucky enough to hunt the state’s Unlimited Bighorn sheep units since 2001. I first got excited about these areas after reading one of Duncan Gilchrist’s sheep hunting books. As I turned the final page I realized that Duncan only lived 30 minutes from my house. After getting up the courage to call him I asked if I could take him to lunch and talk about sheep hunting. For some reason Duncan really took a liking to me, and the very next year I was hunting in an Unlimited sheep unit with his personal maps and advice.
From the very first step I took into those rugged and desolate mountains, I have been hooked. While I don’t know if it is the beautiful scenery, the freedom of solitude, or the deep sense of pride in accomplishing such an undertaking task, I continue to return. During my tenure in the “Unlimiteds,” I have witnessed rams being harvested and I have even passed on a couple of barely legal rams myself. Of course, on the years I was in the Unlimiteds with a goat hunter I would always find legal rams but had no sheep tag in my pocket. This year I have committed 2 weeks of my fall schedule to hunting one of the Unlimited units, and while I can’t tell you what unit I will be hunting, you have 1 in 5 odds of guessing the right unit.
To help others who might be entertaining the thought of hunting Montana’s Unlimited sheep units, I have updated all of the Unlimited Bighorn sheep information for this article. Also, if you have any questions on these areas or any other Montana sheep units, give me a call here at the office or post your question on the Huntin’ Fool® Forum. Good luck this year to all who are attempting the Unlimited units. If you find me, you’re always welcome at my fire.