216-Plus-Inch Bighorn Sheep Confirmed New B&C World Record
The Boone and Crockett Club judges have determined that a ram from Montana holds the new world record for largest horns on a bighorn sheep
This 216-plus-inch bighorn sheep from Montana died of nature's causes at 9 years old. (Photo courtesy of Boone and Crockett Club)
MISSOULA, Mont. - A ram from Montana was declared the new World's Record
bighorn sheep by a special Boone and Crockett Club judges panel today. The Boone and Crockett panel’s official measures rescored the ram's horns and determined the final score to be 216-3/8 points B&C. This new score surpassed the current World's Record ram that scores 209-4/8.
The new record was declared by a special judges panel which confirmed the official entry score. This ram's entry score was 216-3/8 and was accepted on February 8, 2018.
The 216-plus-inch bighorn sheep from Montana while alive. (Brett Swain photo / Montana Wildlife Images)
"This ram is significant for many reasons," said Justin Spring, the Club's director of Big Game Records. "One of many things worth noting is that since the Club's current scoring system was adopted in 1950, this is only the fifth World's Record bighorn, and three of these have been declared since just 2001. If anything, we're now seeing what nature and sound wildlife management are capable of producing in the wild."
The judges panel convened at the world headquarters of the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), located in Bozeman, Montana. B&C officials, Montana State Governor Steve Bullock, and Wild Sheep Foundation President and CEO Gray Thornton were on hand for the scoring.
"Here in Montana, we have a rich history of bringing diverse groups together to preserve and protect wildlife habitat and public lands," said Governor Steve Bullock. "This is truly a Montana conservation success story."
"Wild Sheep Foundation is honored to host the panel certification of this World's Record bighorn and this momentous announcement from our governor that Montana, the 'Land of the Giants' is home to the largest bighorn sheep known," stated Gray N. Thornton, WSF's president and CEO. "The first bighorns were translocated to Wild Horse Island in 1939 from the Mission Mountains with two additional actions in 1947 and 1987. Incredibly starting in 1954, 488 bighorn sheep were translocated off the Island in 26 different operations to 16 locations in Montana for the benefit of all Montanans and an additional 73 bighorns were exported to Washington and Oregon. The island is not only an incredible watchable wildlife asset but is an exceptional source with obviously incredible genetics to repatriate bighorn sheep throughout Montana."
Skull of the 216-plus-inch bighorn sheep. (Photo courtesy of Boone and Crockett Club)
The nine-year-old ram lived his entire life on Wild Horse Island - a state park located in Northwest Montana's Flathead Lake. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials found the ram, and determined it had died of natural causes. Because the ram was not taken by a hunter, the department entered the
ram to B&C on behalf of all Montana’s citizens.
The official measurements that contributed to its final score are horn lengths of 48-3/8 and 49-6/8, circumferences at the bases of 16-3/8 and 16-4/8, and fourth quarter circumferences of 11-2/8 and 11-4/8 inches.
Spring said, "This ram doesn't have the longest horns on record, or the largest bases, but the mass of his horns carried over the entire length of nearly 50-inch horns is what makes this ram the largest we've seen by a significant margin. The last three World's Record rams have been 208-1/8, 208-3/8, 209-4/8 and now 216-3/8. That's a jump we just never expected to see."