Western Hunter Magazine July/August 2019 #70 - Page 26

LOOKING FOR THE NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK AMID A DESERT FORTRESS A Ticket to Difficult but Rewarding Adventure he Arizona Game and Fish Department prints the following warning in the sheep section of their regulations: “The follow- ing hunts are extremely challenging areas with difficult access. Be prepared for backcountry camp- ing and extensive hiking. There is little or no ve- hicular access to much of the bighorn sheep habitat within these hunts.” In June of 2018, with 22 bo- nus points, I drew one of these hunts, and I had the only tag. I would soon come to realize that the warning was accurate. T 26 WESTERN HUNTER STEVE SUTHERLAND ARIZONA • 2018 The hunt would take place on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, a designated wilderness area. Like most desert sheep hunts in Arizona, my tag was good for all of December. The common theme from everyone familiar with the Cabeza was that nothing would come easy and that I should expect a difficult but reward- ing adventure. The department conducted an aerial survey in 2017 as they do every three years. The results showed no Class IV rams and only three Class III rams in the entire unit. No wonder they only issued one tag. www.westernhunter.net