As I sit here at Denver International Airport – flight delayed, of course – waiting to fly to Las Vegas for the 50th Annual Safari Club International Convention, my mind wanders through a list of things I want to discuss and, as is usually the case, my thoughts zero in on wild sheep.
I’m a ¾ Slammer. To date, the desert bighorn is the only sheep of the Slam to elude me, so drawing this incredible tag is always top of mind.
During years of pursuing the magnificent desert bighorn tag, I have built up double-digit points in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. It is possible to draw the first time you apply in each of these states, but points certainly improve odds. I also apply religiously in New Mexico which has no bonus-point system in place but a heavy tag float fee at the time of application. (Remember WTA TAGS will float your tag fee in New Mexico.) In Colorado, I apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn because you cannot apply for both species of sheep (Rocky Mountain and desert) and your odds are far better in the Rocky category. And, in California, I gave up years ago as the number of non-resident tags allocated annually is dismal.
I do believe I’ll draw a desert sheep tag in one of these states someday, but my gut tells me if my ship comes in, it will be in Nevada. With a squared bonus point and more than 30 tags available to non-residents, this is my best chance at drawing. Arizona is probably the next best chance at drawing a desert so I’m always hopeful when they post their draw.
Yes, the desert bighorn tag is my A No. 1 dream, but don’t get me wrong, I will flip my lid if another Rocky tag comes my way. In 2007, with only four bonus points, I drew in Montana. And, believe me, once my waiting period was up my name was right back in the hat in this non-resident-friendly Rocky Mountain bighorn state. I have multiple points in Colorado, which also allocates an ample amount of non-resident tags, and, here’s a tip for you, the best odds are in Idaho. In Idaho, you can only apply for one: moose, sheep, or goat. With no point system in place, and with having to choose just one species, the sheep draw doesn’t become overwhelmed with applications. Couple this with Idaho being a float state, and their outrageous application fees, and Idaho’s drawing odds for sheep improve yet again. (Again, remember WTA TAGS will float your tag fee, a tremendous benefit.)
So there you have it in a nutshell. To summarize, for desert sheep you should be applying in Arizona and Nevada. And for Rockys, apply in Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. For both species, apply in New Mexico. I do have clients who apply anywhere a non-resident tag is available which is another strategy, but your best bang for the buck is in the aforementioned states. Believe me, I have thought through every aspect of sheep-tag applications over and over. It’s pretty straightforward, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the pros and cons of each state.
And, the point is, the 2022 limited-entry application season is upon us. If you are interested in applying for sheep tags, or tags for any species for that matter, our consulting team can help. Simply call today, the sooner the better to meet deadlines, and ask for an initial consultation. We can be reached at 1-800-755-TAGS (8247), Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (MT).
Now where is that dang plane?