The Boone and Crockett Club announced last week that a bighorn sheep killed in an automobile accident near Longview, Alberta has snatched up the world record. The horns were retrieved by a local rancher and scored 209 4/8 inches, beating out the previous hunter-harvested record holder, which measured 208 3/8. That ram was taken by Guinn D. Crousen in Luscar Mountain, Alberta in 2000.
Boone and Crockett has long held their coveted world records for any animal worthy of the title, whether hunted or found, and many of its current records still belong to “pick up” trophies. Current reigning found world records include tule elk, black bear, grizzly bear, Pacific walrus, and the much-prized non-typical whitetail deer.
“When your job is tracking conservation and wildlife management successes, a new World’s Record is noteworthy—whether or not it was taken by a hunter,” said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club’s Big Game Records Committee. “Efforts to restore bighorn sheep populations are an amazing success story. The fact that these efforts are today producing some of the largest specimens ever recorded is worth reflecting on just how far these conservation efforts have come.”
Hale further praised Alberta Fish & Wildlife and its proper management of the province’s sheep population, which is more than adequately represented in Boone and Crockett record books. In fact, exactly half of the top 10 ranked bighorns in the club’s records were retrieved from Alberta, including another found ram that just fell short of the number-one spot in 2014. That ram, which was found by Alberta Fish & Wildlife officers in 2013, was initially a contender for the world record but shrunk to a final score of 205 7/8 inches after the mandatory 60-day drying period. Crousen’s 15-year-old record held onto a few more months as the club’s top listing.
Two teams of official measurers gathered in Red Deer, Alberta last Saturday to certify the new world record ram. The man who found it, and who wishes to remain anonymous, said the ram was killed on a highway just west of Longview.
“This ram and a younger ram had lived on the ranch where I worked since 2009,” said the rancher. “The older ram would go down to the highway a couple times a month, but the younger ram would rarely follow. We always wondered if one of these trips to the highway would be his last.”
The man obtained a possession permit from Alberta Fish & Wildlife, and the rest is history. Experts believe that the ram was about 14 years old when it died.
Images courtesy Boone and Crockett Club