Sheep judging tips and tactics

nv-hunter

Veteran member
Feb 28, 2011
1,373
855
Reno
I have this years sheep issue and been looking at the article on judging sheep, however what else does one look for?
Specifically interested in judging desert sheep.
 

Muley bound

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
166
214
Wisconsin
I read that as well. That guy knows his sheep for sure. He was a friend of my dad. He had gotten his Dall and Desert with him.
I’m no expert by any means at judging sheep. Have my desert and tagged along on a other hunts. For me, it’s one of those things when it’s big, you know it’s big! I know that sounds kinda dumb, but it’s when you see it, there’s is no second guessing. It’s just the wow factor! I’m not going to be in the market for targeting the biggest ram in the unit. So that’s how I’d judge it, on D.YI.hunt especially
 

Muley bound

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
166
214
Wisconsin
That’s a stud ram! His bases might not look as strong cause he carries his mass out quite a bit. Any other pics? You draw your tag for this year?
 

jimss

Active Member
Jun 10, 2012
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80
Obviously if you’re interested in score, mass is a huge chunk in the score. Deserts are a bit different and tougher to determine length due to their flair. You may be aware that horn drop below the jaw is important. This generally means longer length with a bigger “0” from a side view. It looks like you’re on the right track with the photos.

Generally each unit may produce different horn confirmations. if you can get your hands and tape on past rams shot in your unit it will likely answer a lot of questions. Maybe local taxidermists may have them in their shops?
 

BuzzH

Very Active Member
Apr 15, 2015
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375
First step is to understand the rams in the unit/herd you're looking at.

Many herds won't have many, if any, real high scoring B&C rams. Some have a ram every now and then that will score above the minimums. Others, like in a few MT herds, will have 5-6 year old rams that score well over minimums.

Age of the rams is important to me...more so than score and most herds will have older rams available.

As to age, if you can see fairly large spaces between the growth rings at the bases...young ram. If they're stacked and hard to see much space between them, probably looking at 8+ and that's not hard to see in a spotting scope even at a pretty good distance.
 

gonhunting247

Veteran member
Jan 21, 2014
1,006
326
I'd say he'll score pretty dang good. He carries his mass way out and has a big drop and flare shape which probably means he has a lot more length than it first appears.
I'd be happy with that ram for sure :).
 

jimss

Active Member
Jun 10, 2012
210
80
You may already be aware, but Nevada and elsewhere has a list of rams, age, etc that been harvested in past years. Some states actually have coordinates of where these rams are harvested. Sometimes you can get names of those that have drawn tags in past years. Most are more than willing to give advice since they are often once in a lifetime tags. If you can get your hands on actually horns from rams in the unit you will be hunting it will likely be easier to see the difference in mass, length, etc. You would be suprised at how different horn confirmations are from one unit to the next. That's the case here in Colo where we imported sheep from different areas.