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Bowhunting Stone Sheep in Canada

Stone sheep are generally found in northern British Columbia and the southern portions of the Yukon. The Stone and Dalls are very closely related and their ranges certainly overlap. If any of the thin horned sheep show black hair on the body, they are considered a stone sheep. If a sheep has only black hair on the tail, it is considered a Stone sheep. Since Stone sheep have a smaller geographical area, the bowhunt costs are generally higher than the highest price Dall sheep, and again, booking the hunts 2 and 3 years in advance is the norm, not the exception. Many outfitters get a limited number of Stone permits each year, and it is much easier for them (and their guides) to take a rifle hunter than bowhunters. Bowhunters generally require more time and effort from a guide and outfitter, and most good outfitters do not have a hard time filling the minimal openings. This being said, BSC has identified two different outfitters that we recommend for bowhunting Stone sheep at this time. P&Y minimum for this species is 120”.

General description of sheep

Sheep are classified into four categories for the purposes of Pope and Young. Only a few bowhunters have ever completed the grand slam of sheep, let alone the super slam of all 29 North American big game species. Sheep provide the bowhunter with a truly significant challenge in several ways. The P & Y club recognizes Dall, Stone, Big Horn, and Desert Big Horn classifications. Other record keeping organizations also recognize Fannin and California Big Horn sheep as well. Some things to keep in mind when considering sheep hunting:

  1. Sheep hunting can be tough physically, and in many cases, in the high country where sheep are often found, the topography is wide open, taking stalking to an all new level, not to mention excellent vision the sheep possess.
  2. Sheep hunting requires outfitters to get into hard to reach places. Bush planes, helicopters, horses, jet boats - all are expensive to charter, own, fix or feed! Hard to reach places, coupled with tough physical conditions, and longer duration's all add up to more money. Sheep hunting isn't out of reach to everyone, but you've got to be committed to bowhunting a tough to harvest trophy.
  3. Getting permits can be a life long challenge for drawing a desert sheep permit, and some at actions have went for nearly $500,000 recently - just for the permit! Drawing a big horn tag in the lower 48 can also takes years, if not decades to accomplish. There are always the auctioned permits that also are available for those who can afford it. It is worthy of noting that literally millions of dollars have been raised to put wild game on more mountains through the generous donations at sportsman at auctions around North America. Three items to remember - Physical condition & skill, Cost, and Time.

Mark Buehrer
North American Consultant
mark@bowhuntingsafari.com

Jay Osting
North American Consultant
jay@bowhuntingsafari.com