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December 2018
Story by Ned Greer
State: Arizona
Species: Sheep - Rocky Mtn

In 2016, my good friend, Gary Martin, informed me that he had drawn a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag in Arizona. I was thrilled for him and offered my help for a short time during his hunt. I realized this may be the only time I’d have an opportunity to participate in a Rocky hunt in Arizona as these tags are few and far between. I was only able to help for three days on Gary’s hunt, but I saw a lot of sheep and admired the unit for its potential. Gary eventually arrowed a beautiful ram a couple days after I left.

After setting foot in this unit, I decided it would be a good idea to draw this tag, so I applied, thinking that I had very little chance of being successful. Austin at Huntin’ Fool called and informed me that I had drawn the tag. I was in disbelief as it was the first year that I had put in for a Rocky tag in Arizona. I immediately called Matt Liljenquist and informed him that I had drawn the tag and asked if he would be willing to guide me. Matt was excited and also in disbelief at my good fortune. He readily agreed to lead me to a ram. Gary had used Matt to help him during his hunt. Matt is a very accomplished archer in his own right, and I had met him years before, so I knew I would be in good hands.

The next phone call I made was to my good friend, Steve Neuberger, who lives in Arizona. I asked him for help, and he was on board immediately with helping me in any way he could. Steve offered his trailer and ATVs for the hunt. He had recently completed his Super Slam and has many years of hunting experience. In my mind, this was going to be an epic hunt with the way things were coming together.

Throughout the next few weeks, many others offered to help and participate in the hunt. Unfortunately, many had to cancel due to everyday life, but one person who did not cancel was Tom Hoffman. Having, perhaps, one of the most accomplished archery hunters in camp was going to be extraordinary.

We began the hunt, and by midday, we had spotted a shooter ram. In fact, it was the ram I would harvest. We had to wait until the third day to make a play on him as he was with several other sheep, 36 or so if my memory is correct. It was going to be hard to get amongst them without spooking them.

Unbelievably, Matt directed me to a shot opportunity. Steve and Tom helped tremendously by guiding us in via flagging from a distant mountaintop from three-quarter miles away. I was excited to harvest my largest Rocky. It was late in the day, and we finished breaking him down well after dark. Matt and I hunkered down on the mountain that night. It was a night I will never forget with so many good emotions running through me.

The next day began with the walk out with Tom and Matt’s dad and relative meeting us halfway to help relieve us of the weight in our packs. It truly was an epic hunt, one I will never forget. It wouldn’t have happened without my great friends. Thanks, guys!