- Apr 6, 2006
The biggest ram in our local herd. His buddy, just about as big, was hit and killed by a car on the highway a few months ago.
This guy is often within 7 miles of my home. I've spent a lot of hours on the mountain with him, sometimes sitting quietly within 50 yards of him. He knew I was there. I think he knows my Jeep, and I think he knows me.
I've been applying for the once in a lifetime tag for a couple of decades. The odds are thousands to one against drawing it and only one or two tags a year are allocated for this herd. A few years back the world record "California" bighorn came from this herd, this area. That tag went to a really good guy, a friend of mine. Couldn't have gone to a more deserving hunter.
But this ram and I? I dunno. Now when I go out to photograph him, I find myself scanning the rocky cliffs, the sagebrush, to see if a cougar is trying to sneak in on him. I'd defend this ram in a heartbeat, not just because I'd like to nail a big cat.
The ram seems to know me anymore, and to trust me. I've been taking photos of him for three years now. He tolerates me, sometimes within 50 yards... I'm not sure I could bring myself to shoot him with anything except my camera. This photo was taken yesterday, and he was a little uneasy because my idiot bird dog wouldn't stop whining.