A world-renown hunter bagged Nebraska’s first bighorn sheep this year.
Barbara Sackman of Long Island, New York killed the big ram at Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area southwest of Gering on the second of December. It was the first time a bighorn sheep tag has been punched in the Wildcat Hills region rather than the Pine Ridge region. Wild sheep were reintroduced to Cedar Canyon in 2001.
It was the 19th sheep taken in Nebraska since reintroduction efforts began in the 1980s. The ram was 9 years old. It had an unofficial score of 173 5/8.
It was the 29th wild sheep for Sackman who was accompanied on the hunt by her husband, Alan, and staff from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. It was the first time Sackman killed a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
“It’s a great sheep,” Alan Sackman told Game and Parks Commission employees. “A person could hunt his whole life and not get many better than that one.”
Both Sackmans are well known hunters. Barbara won the 2015 Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award. She has won many other honors.
The Sackmans bought their hunting permit by auction, the first of two hunters traveling to western Nebraska to hunt bighorn sheep. The state lottery permit winner will take the more traditional route and hunt sheep in the Pine Ridge region of northwestern Nebraska next week.