Friday, 30 December 2011 22:23

Possible world record bighorn sheep taken by Riverside archer

By JIM MATTHEWS

www.OutdoorNewsService.com

     For the second time in less than a month, a record bighorn sheep was taken by one of the handful of hunters drawn for 2011-12 season tags in Southern California.
     Bret Scott, an avid 51-year-old archery hunter from Riverside, arrowed a giant ram in the wilderness on the backside of San Gorgonio Mountain in the Whitewater-Mission creek drainage on Tuesday, Dec. 20, just four days after the season opened.
     The ram scored 180 7/8-inches on the Pope and Young measuring system, and if it doesn’t shrink more than one-inch after the 60-day drying period, it will become the new world record for desert bighorn sheep taken by an archer. With just five rams taken in California by archers, it is about 18-inches bigger than the nearest ram taken in California and certain to be the California record.
     The rams horns are 35 1/2 inches and 37 inches long and the bases of both horns 16 1/2 inches.
     “I just wanted a legal, mature sheep,” said Scott. “Talk about way over the top.”
     Scott said he’s been applying for bighorn sheep since California first authorized the hunting of wild rams in the state, and he had the maximum number of preference points (10) when he applied for the tag in May. He found out in July a hunting buddy from San Diego had been drawn for a sheep tag in the Cady Mountains, unaware the drawing had been held. So when he got to work, he logged onto the DFG’s automated licensing system and saw he was drawn for a San Gorgonio Mountains tag.
     Considered California’s most difficult sheep hunting zone, the terrain in this part of the San Bernardino Mountains is steep and rugged. Scott said he and hunting buddies starting scouting every weekend starting in August. By the time the hunting season opened Dec. 17, Scott had logged over 20 days of field time finding where the sheep were living in the hunting zone. While Scott had spoken to a guide who specializes in hunting this area, he was determined to hunt on his own and bag the sheep with a bow.
     “I told everyone I was going to use my bow to the end of the season, even if I had to eat the tag,” said Scott. Many bowhunters have switched over to a rifle after being unable to get within bow range, but Scott said he was determined not to do that.
     All the pre-season scouting and hard work paid off for Scott, and he and his four hunting buddies had rams in their spotting scopes and binoculars opening morning. Scott made a long, difficult stalks on opening Saturday and Sunday on rams, but he was unable to get closer than 200 yards either day.
     On Monday, he and one hunting partner put in a long day without seeing a single sheep, and Scott said he was worried that by stalking sheep the previous two days he may have spooked the animals away from where he’d been seeing them since August. But on Tuesday morning he said sheep at first light at a great distance and then climbed to find it was a ewe band. But at 8:50 a.m., he spotted a group of three huge rams that one of his hunting partners had seen late Sunday evening, and planned his approach. The big rams were in a group of 25 sheep. Scott snuck around a knob, knowing the sheep were close by, and suddenly a bighorn ewe was watching him from just 30 yards away. The female wasn’t sure what she was seeing, so she walked to within 10 yards of Scott. Her eyes widened and she crashed off down the hill.
     The whole group of animals followed her, but they stopped down the ridge, the three big rams closest to Scott, still unsure of the danger. He quickly ranged the distance on the closest of the big rams at 57 yards, took aim, and sent an arrow into the chest of the big sheep.
     The rams ran down the ridge but stopped when the big ram got wobbly, lay down, and died.
     While Scott didn’t know it at the time, a possible new world record bighorn sheep for archers was on the ground. It was just an hour after they’d first spotted the big rams.
     Cell phones spread the news rapidly, and even before Scott had the sheep completely skinned and the meat boned out and on pack frames, two hunting buddies were already just below them on the ridge, hiking up to help. By the time he was back at the truck, the ram still on his backpack, his cell phone was ringing constantly as friends called to congratulate him. More people showed up at the truck.
     A Department of Fish and Game biologist met Scott later the same day to validate his tag and do a preliminary measurement of the sheep, and that was when he realized he’d taken the biggest archery-killed desert bighorn ever bagged in California and potentially the world record for archery.
     This is the second bighorn taken this season in California that will set records. John Berens, also a draw-tag hunter from near Sacramento, shot a sheep scoring 186 inches in the Orocopia Mountains on Dec. 3, the opening day of the season in that hunting zone. Berens sheep is expected to become the new overall California state record bighorn.
     END

OUTDOOR CALENDAR -- 28dec11

     JANUARY 7 RAAHAUGE’S HUNTER SAFETY CLASS: A one-day, 10-hour certified hunter safety class will be held at Mike Raahauge’s Shooting Enterprises, Norco. Classes are required for all first-time California hunters before a hunting license can be purchased. Cost is $35 per person. The 2012 class dates are Feb. 11, March 10, April 14, May 5, June 16, July 7, Aug. 11, Aug. 18, Aug. 25, Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, and Dec. 1. Sign-ups are taken at all Turner's Outdoorsman stores. Contact Raahauge’s at 951-735-7981.
     JAN 7-8 BASS PRO SHOPS HUNTER SAFETY CLASSES: Bass Pro Shops is offering hunter safety classes four days per month on the first and third full weekends, with classes on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend. The classes are all one-day, 10-hour certified hunter safety classes. Classes are required for all first-time California hunters before a hunting license can be purchased. Cost is $20 per person, but each student who passes the course receives a $20 Bass Pro Gift Card. Sign-ups are taken at Bass Pro and class size is limited. For information, call 909-922-5500. A pre-class study course is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/.
     JANUARY 21 HIGH DESERT HUNTER SAFETY CLASS: The Apple Valley Gun Club has hunter safety classes the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All students must have taken the on-line portion of the hunter safety class (http://homestudy.ihea.com/) before attending the classroom portion. The final test is administered at the end of the classroom session and hunter education cards issued. Classes are required for all first-time California hunters before a hunting license can be purchased. For information and to register, contract Allen Seymour at 760-245-3695, Neil Ringlee at 760-245-6034, or Lyle Crenth at 760-247-4705. More information available at the Apple Valley Gun Club web site at www.applevalleygunclub.com.
     JANUARY 21-22 BASS PRO SHOPS HUNTER SAFETY CLASSES: Bass Pro Shops is offering hunter safety classes four days per month on the first and third full weekends, with classes on Saturday and Sunday of each weekend. The classes are all one-day, 10-hour certified hunter safety classes. Classes are required for all first-time California hunters before a hunting license can be purchased. Cost is $20 per person, but each student who passes the course receives a $20 Bass Pro Gift Card. Sign-ups are taken at Bass Pro and class size is limited. For information, call 909-922-5500. A pre-class study course is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/.
     MARCH 17 WEST VALLEY FRIENDS OF NRA FUND-RAISER: The West Valley Friends of the National Rifle Association will have its annual fund-raising dinner banquet beginning 6 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at the Central Park Center, 11200 Baseline Rd., Rancho Cucamonga. Dinner tickets start at $50. For more information contact Steve Gomez at 909-560-6000 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CALENDAR RESOURCES
     For a complete list of HUNTER SAFETY CLASSES held throughout the state, including times, dates, and locations, go to the Department of Fish and Game’s web site at this address: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/classes.aspx.
     For the rules and regulations on GRUNION RUNS, along with a complete schedule and the expected times of the runs, go to this web site address: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/gruschd.asp

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
     The following is a list of hunting, shooting, and fishing clubs and organizations in Southern California with contact information and regular meeting dates:
     976-TUNA ROD AND REEL CLUB: The 976-Tuna Rod and Reel Club meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Bass Pro Shops, Rancho Cucamonga. Contact Phil Friedman at 310-328-8426.
     CALIFORNIA DEER ASSOCIATION (SOUTHERN CALIF0RNIA CHAPTER): The Southern California Chapter of the California Deer Association meets 10 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Bass Pro Shops, Rancho Cucamonga. Contact Glenn Tessers at 310-429-5222.
     CALIFORNIA STATE VARMINT CALLERS ASSOCIATION: The California State Varmint Callers Association meets 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Denny's just north of the 210 freeway at Irwindale Ave., Irwindale. Contact Steven Childs at 626-407-8826 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web site: www.csvca.com.
     CANYON OAKS SPORTSMAN’S CLUB: The Canyon Oaks Sportsman’s Club meets the first Tuesday of every month at it’s clubhouse in Lakeview Terrace-Sylmar. The club has regular trap, skeet, smallbore, big bore, handgun, and Cowboy Action shooting events. Contact Gary White at 818-998-7240, Mike Totta at 818-362-2181 or Mike Nickoloff via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     CERRITOS ROD & GUN CLUB: The Cerritos Rod & Gun Club meets the second Wednesday of each month at Heritage Park in Cerritos. Contact Charles Sharp at 714-317-8290 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     CLUB FISH: Club Fish, a 20-year-old fishing club, meets 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Izaak Walton League Clubhouse, Santa Ana. The clubhouse is located at the entrance to Riverview Gold Course. Contact Mike Cross at 949-854-5258 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     CONEJO VALLEY BASS CLUB: The Conejo Valley Bass Club meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Elks Club, Thousand Oaks. Events are the third Saturday. Contact Kevin Gelsinger at 818-951-1630.
     DEEP CREEK FLY-FISHERS: Deep Creek Fly-Fishers meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Izaak Walton League clubhouse in Fairmont Park, in Riverside. Go to www.deepcreekflyfishers.org to download a map to the club house. Contact Brett Browning at 909-793-8912.
     GOLDEN STATE FLYCASTERS: The Golden State Flycasters and Trout Unlimited Chapter 920 meets 6 to 9 p.m. Monday before the third Thursday of each month at Tio Leo’s Restaurant, Del Mar. Information at www.goldenstateflycasters.org.
     HIGH DESERT FLY-FISHERS: The High Desert Fly-Fishers holds its monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at The Apple Valley Fire Conference Center, 19235 Yucca Loma, Apple Valley. Information at hidesertflyfishers.com/wordpressblog/.
     HIGHLAND PARK SPORTSMEN'S CLUB: The Highland Park Sportsmen's Club meets at 8 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at 2035 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles. Contact Mauro Garcia at 323-254-0763 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     NATIONAL VARMINT HUNTERS: The National Varmint Hunters meets 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Veterans of Foreign Wars club located on Grand Avenue, just west of 17th Street, Santa Ana. Contact Mark Harris at 714-655-6954 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Terry Mathers at 714-299-9938 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION (High Desert Chapter): The High Desert Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Apple Valley Gun Club, 16699 Stoddard Wells Road, Victorville. Contact Karen Shackleford at 760-887-1092.
     NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION (INLAND EMPIRE CHAPTER): The Inland Empire Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Bass Pro Shops, 7777 Victoria Gardens Lane, Rancho Cucamonga. Contact David Halbrook at 760-694-1191 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION (ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER): The Orange County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at The Firing Line, 17921 Jamestown Lane, Huntington Beach. Contact Pat Ryan at 714-373-3688 or Casey Rasmussen at 714-377-5859.
     ORANCO BOWMEN: The ORANCO Bowmen meet the second Tuesday of each month at the club range, 17504 Pomona Rincon Rd., Chino (Euclid Avenue one block north of the 71 freeway). The range is open to the public on Sundays 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 909-597-7582. Web site: www.oranco.org.
     ORANGE COUNTY BASS CLUB: The Orange County Bass Club meets 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Garden Grove Elk's Lodge. Contact Steve Pendergast at 949-651-8172 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     PLUNGE CREEK COWBOYS: The Plunge Creek Cowboys, a new Cowboy Action Shooting club in the Inland Empire, has shoots the third Saturday of each month at the Inland Fish and Game range on Orange Street in East Highlands. Authentic or replica firearms and garb required. Information: www.plungecreekcowboys.com.
     PREDATOR CALLERS OF ORANGE COUNTY: The Predator Callers of Orange County usually meet 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at the Old World German Restaurant, 7561 Central Ave., Huntington Beach. 2011 schedule of meetings: Jan., Feb., Mar., first Wednesday of month, other months first Tuesday. Contact Rickey Macy via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     QUAIL AND UPLAND WILDLIFE FEDERATION: The Santa Clarita Valley Chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation meeting the third Thursday of every month beginning 7:30 p.m. at the Oaktree Gun Club. Contact Derek Fong at 661-297-0876 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web site: www.scvquwf.com.
     QUAIL FOREVER (HIGH DESERT CHAPTER): The High Desert Chapter of Quail Forever meets 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Apple Valley Gun Club. Trap tune-up shoots are the first Sunday of each month beginning 9 a.m., also at Apple Valley Gun Club. Contact Phil Garo at 760-241-9011 or go to the web site at www.highdesertquailforever.org.
     QUAIL UNLIMITED (RIVERSIDE CHAPTER): The Riverside Chapter of Quail Unlimited meets 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at Hunny’s Restaurant, Main Street and 4th Street, Corona. Contact Ron Gibbons at 909-902-9814 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web site: www.quriverside.com.
     QUAIL UNLIMITED (SAN DIEGO CHAPTER): The San Diego Chapter of Quail Unlimited meets 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at DFG Headquarters at 4949 Viewridge Rd., San Diego. Contact David Preddy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.sdqu.org.
     QUAIL UNLIMITED (SAN GABRIEL VALLEY CHAPTER): The San Gabriel Valley Chapter of Quail Unlimited meets 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Triple B Clays in El Monte. Contact Tim Bovard at 866-206-9070, ext. 6715 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     QUAIL UNLIMITED (VENTURA COUNTY CHAPTER): The Ventura County Chapter of Quail Unlimited meets 7p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Smogie’s Smog Shop, 3940 Market St., Ventura. Contact Till Tocci at 805-659-2226 or 805-981-3426 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     REDONDO ROD & GUN CLUB: The Redondo Rod & Gun Club meets 8 p.m. every Thursday of every month at its own clubhouse. The club has promoted hunting, fishing, sport shooting and the outdoors since 1948. The clubhouse is located at 2023 Vanderbilt Lane, Redondo Beach. Contact 310-379-7772.
     RIVERSIDE VARMINT CALLERS: The Riverside Varmint Callers meet 7 p.m. the last Saturday of each month at Flo's Country Kitchen, Riverside. Contact Jeff Simonides at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Steve Prough at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Web site:www.californiavarmintcallers.com/chapters.html/.
     ROCKPILE COWBOYS: The Rockpile Cowboys shoots beginning 8:30 a.m. the third Saturday of month at the RockPile gun club located approximately eight miles west of Perris. The shoot will include revolver, shotgun, and rifle with four to six stages each shoot day. Contact Cap Fox at 909-795-4480 or go to www.socaltargetmasters.com and follow link to “Cowboy shooting.”
     SAN DIEGO SPORTING DOG CLUB: The San Diego Sporting Dog Club meets 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Animal Medical Center, 600 Broadway, El Cajon. Contact Steve Sarmiento at 619-659-9393 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VARMINT CALLERS ASSOCIATION: The Southern California Varmint Callers Association meets 8 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the Denny's Restaurant at Pioneer Blvd and Imperial Highway in Norwalk. Contact Granville Crow at 310-548-6221 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Skip Gildner at 562-900-9020 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
     TEMPLE CITY SPORTSMEN: The Temple City Sportsmen meet the first Thursday of each month at the Temple City Civic Center in Temple City. Contact Jim White at 626-201-7782 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The club’s web site is www.tcsportsmen.org.
     TURNER'S OUTDOORSMAN ROD AND REEL CLUB: The Turner's Outdoorsman Rod and Reel Club meets 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Marie Calendar’s Restaurant, 2300 Foothill, Pasadena. Contact Richard Crowe at 626-960-9610.

     [Want your event or club listed here? Send the information to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427-0007 or e-mail it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Following the style used above for events and clubs makes our life easier and increases the likelihood of it being included here.]
     END

 

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