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by Roger McCosker, Life Member
California Wild Sheep - Spring 2016

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I was very surprised to receive in the mail in early August, 2015, an Arizona desert sheep tag, as an out­of-state resident.* The odds are very difficult, but, as the saying goes, you can't draw, if you don't apply! (The same happened to me 20 years ago, when I drew a desert tag in California.)

Because of the distance (10 hours) to the unit from my home, and that I wanted to have the best opportunity for a good ram, I engaged Dry Creek Outfitters, an experienced outfitter from California, who specializes in trophy sheep hunting, primarily in CA and AZ.

by Russ Renner
Fall 2015 California Wild Sheep

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It all began on a cold winter morning at a buddy's office here on the far Northwest coast of California. I have hunted deer all my life on a small family owned ranch, but never had I thought to put in for a draw tag for a hunt in California. Abe, a contractor friend was on his computer that morning and gave me his advice on what to put in for and how the point system works. I, myself, had no clue so I took his advice and entered in the drawings for everything he did. He told me "go ahead and enter for the desert big horn ram, you won't draw the tag, but you will still get the points." So I entered in for the hunt.

Low and behold, when the 2014 draw arrived I drew a desert big horn sheep tag for the Clark Kingston Mountain Range. Since I had little knowledge in big horn sheep hunting, I called Abe for advice. Without hesitation his first call was to Cliff and Tim at Dry Creek Outfitters. They were more than excited to get the call and we were in contact with each other right away. I scheduled my hunt for the first part of January with the intention of bringing Abe.

by Robert Charkowitz
California Wild Sheep - Summer 2014

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It was late one night in June when I got a call from my father. He said, "I just got home and there's a letter from the DFW for you. Looks like you're going to be in a bit of trouble." I hadn't hunted in the last year, so I had no idea what I could have possibly done to incur their wrath. He then said, "You're going to have to get in shape and start practicing your shooting, because you've just been drawn for desert bighorn in the Orocopias ... the hunt of a lifetime!" I recalled my dad explaining to me his strategy for entering me in sheep zones when I was at home on break from school, so I was familiar with the name of the zone, but at that time, little did I know what a big deal this actually was.

When I returned home for the summer, we began preparing for the hunt. We started by calling hunters who had hunted the zone in years past and anyone else who might have information to try to learn as much as we could short of visiting the zone for ourselves. Two things we learned were that the zone had very rugged terrain and that hiring a guide would
be extremely beneficial. Since I was graduating from UC Davis after the fall quarter, we initially planned on doing the hunt on our own, due to my ability to hunt for the whole season. But after talking to Tim Mercer and Cliff St. Martin of Dry Creek Outfitters, we knew that they would be an invaluable asset to have guiding me on the hunt. They were friendly, helpful, and supportive of us doing the hunt on our own. They seemed more interested in my success on the hunt than having me as a client, and it was that which made us choose to hire their services.

by Gary Rotta
California Wild Sheep - Summer 2014

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I applied for a bighorn sheep tag in 1987, the first year that California hunters were given the oppor­tunity to apply in our home state. Many of us dreamers never thought that this day would occur, but here it was. Filling out that application and getting it in the mail was truly exciting, as visions of chasing full curl rams in inaccessible desert mountains filled my head. Like many of us, I did not get drawn that year, nor the year after or sever­al years after that (we all know the story). But with each yearly entry into the drawing, I was full of renewed enthusiasm. Then came the preference point system, and I thought that this may improve my chances. Each year I diligently applied for the Old Dad Kelso Zone and continued to daydream of the opportunity.

But eventually applying for the tag just became routine and the visions of chasing sheep had dissipated; building up preference points seemed to be the only reason I applied; indifference on get­ting a tag had set in. In 2011 DFG opened up a couple new zones, so I thought I would shake it up a bit and apply for the new Cady Mountains zone for a couple years. In 2012, after considering the welfare of my knees and nagging back I said to myself that this would be the last year for me to apply for this tag. Result: another preference point.

by Jeff Chin
California Wild Sheep - Fall 2014

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November 19, 2013, 1615 hours

"Clifford!," Joel whispered trying to get Cliff's attention. "Cliff!," he said again a little louder. And there, not more than 100 yards away, was a ram that had wandered over the ridge we were sitting on. Cliff quickly wheeled around and assessed the ram through his binoculars, then pointed his calloused finger at me and wiggled it toward him whispering, "You ... the gun ... come here!"

There was a slot between two large boulders that Cliff was looking through. As Joel and I tried to scramble as quietly as we could over the 30 feet of volcanic rock and shale, the ram wandered a little further away. When I finally arrived at Cliff's loca­tion, the ram looked up and stared at us for what seemed like an eternity. "Don't move," was all Cliff said. And I froze right where I was, behind him, hunched over, with most of my weight on one knee against a very uncomfortable rock. Finally, the ram relaxed a bit and I was instructed to get into position as fast and as quietly as I could because the ram was about to bolt.

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Who We Are

Dry Creek Outfitters is a professional hunting guide and outfitting service. We specialize in Trophy Desert Bighorn Sheep hunts in Arizona, California, and Utah. We also offer hunts for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, Elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Javelina. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and permitted.

We have a full time team of professional, knowledgeable guides. Please take a few minutes to look over the information we have provided for you. We think it will substantiate the professional and dependable guide service we have to offer. We sincerely hope that you will consider using Dry Creek Outfitters to assist you in making your hunt truly a HUNT OF A LIFETIME.

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