The 20th bighorn sheep taken in Nebraska is likely a record.
It is the second taken this year during an authorized hunt.
The Game and Parks Commission reports Terry Bogle of Lincoln shot and killed a big ram Wednesday morning on private property in site of Crow Butte and Little Crow Butte in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge region.
The unofficial score of the sheep is 189 on the Boone and Crockett Club scale. If the score is confirmed after the 60-day drying period, the ram will surpass the previous record of 185 7/8 recorded in 1998, according to Game and Parks. The previous record bighorn was taken the first year Game and Parks commissioned a hunt.
“Not all the sheep that have been harvested since our reintroduction efforts began were scored, but we’re fairly certain this score is the largest,” Todd Nordeen, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife manager who manages the state’s bighorn sheep program, said in a written statement released by Game and Parks. “We’ve had sheep with longer horns, but this one has incredible mass.”
Game and Parks expects the ram to break the record. It also likely meets criteria to be listed in Boone and Crockett’s prestigious “Records of North American Big Game” publication.
Bogle won the sheep permit in a drawing with about 2,300 entries.
His friend Bob Dykeman of Lincoln went on the hunt with him. They were guided by Nordeen and Commission conservation technicians Rick Arnold, Laura McHale and Brandon Tritsch.
The ram is estimated to be 9-years-old. It is the offspring of sheep from the Missouri River Breaks region of Montana released at the Bighorn Wildlife Management Area southeast of Crawford in 2005. Bogle killed the sheep near Crawford.
Though native to the Panhandle, bighorn sheep disappeared from the butte country early in the 20th Century due to disease, unregulated hunting, and loss of habitat.
Game and Parks says a herd was reintroduced to Ft. Robinson in 1981, where it was released after several years of captivity. Releases were also made in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2012. It is estimated there are around 360 bighorn sheep in the Pine Ridge region between Harrison and Chadron, and the Wildcat Hills south of Gering and east to McGrew.
Earlier, Barbara Sackman of Long Island, New York took a ram in the Wildcat Hills region, the first taken in that region in modern times.