The Arizona Big Game Super Raffle provides an awesome opportunity for anyone to win a big game hunt that is structured like the Governors’ (aka Auction) tags. Last year the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep raffle funds raised $167,575 after 6,703 tickets were sold!
The lucky winner of the 2019 Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Raffle tag was Joe Schoendorf III. Joe called us up & booked his hunt with us after hearing the exciting news. We put in tons of scouting & hunting time while searching over MULTIPLE units for Joe’s Raffle ram before finally finding the one!
After 4 days of hunting with Exclusive Pursuit Outfitters in Arizona’s Unit 15D John Barczak was able to lay his hands on an absolute giant of a desert bighorn ram. John’s willingness to push through some challenging obstacles in order to get into a position to shoot his ram was critical. This ram was located on a mountain with steep edges, unreal rock structures, cliffs & chutes.
Amazingly after the 60 day drying period John’s desert bighorn officially grossed scored 174 0/8″ & net scored 173 1/8″. This was the largest ram taken in unit 15d in over 2 years & it was the largest nelsoni desert bighorn sheep taken in the state of Arizona in 2017!
As we evaluated the 2016 Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunting Units, we broke it down into the 2 desert sub-species & Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, so we would be comparing apples-to-apples.
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep are classified into Mexicana and Nelsoni sub-species, which they are typically defined by geography. Mexicana usuallyrams don’t flare out wide, but tend to hold their mass throughout their horns and on average, score better. Nelsoni rams tend to be all over the map with regards to horn structure, but they are most known for being wide, long and flared out look.
The biggest talked about issue in the Nelsoni or Region 3 Desert Bighorn Sheep Units this year is the pneumonia outbreak which has taken place over the past year. This outbreak was discovered in December & is being closely monitored by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. In a link below you can listen to the latest information regarding this outbreak, so you can at least be informed.
As we broke down the Southern & Central Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Units, we discussed it with our good friends Jay Scott & Darr Colburn. These guys know many of these units extremely well and after talking with them and analyzing the Arizona Game & Fish Department’s desert bighorn sheep reports, here is our Top 3 Arizona (Mexicana) Desert Bighorn Sheep Units for 2016:
honorable mention: 43B
Listen to Episode #145 of the Jay Scott Outdoors Podcast as we discuss the Best Units for Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunting in 2016.