In April, OutdoorHub reported on a massive set of found ram horns that challenged the current Boone and Crockett bighorn world record. At an intial score of 209-1/8, the horns were expected to have a very good chance of ousting a record set 14 years ago. On Thursday, however, the Boone and Crockett Club announced that the horns came up short.
“Following the Boone and Crockett Club’s mandatory 60-day drying period, the ram’s horns lost an astounding four inches in net score,” the club stated in a press release. “The original scorers reconvened to find that every measurement was smaller on both horns.”
It seemed that a long winter caused the horns to swell beyond their normal size. Boone and Crockett measuerers gave it a final score of 205-7/8. Although it was far from the world record, the horns did take their place as the fifth largest documented bighorn of all time.
“Though it’s not a World’s Record, it is another tremendous specimen symbolic of continuing, successful conservation programs. For that, we congratulate Alberta wildlife officials,” said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club’s Big Game Records Committee.
The ram horns were found by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer Christ Watson during patrol near Hinton. Wildlife officials said that the horns belonged to a large, 10-year-old male who was well known in the area but disappeared last year.
“Biologists speculate this latest ram died of old age in early summer 2013, so the horns were exposed to the elements through the remainder of summer, all fall and all of a wet, snowy winter,” Hale said. “Apparently, the horns absorbed an incredible amount of moisture, because four inches of shrinkage during the 60-day drying period is very rare.”
Rare, but not unheard of. This Alberta bighorn is not the first contender to shrink in the drying process and it will not be the last. Despite no longer being eligible for the top spot, Hale said that it is an impressive set of horns and is important to the club’s mission of documenting noteworthy big game.
For now, the record still belongs to a bighorn measuring 208-3/8. That ram was taken by hunter Guinn D. Crousen in 2000, also from Alberta.
Image courtesy Boone and Crockett Club