Successful Hunter
Once In A Lifetime Ram Image Credit: Successful Hunter
Once In A Lifetime Ram Image Credit: Successful Hunter

Once In A Lifetime Ram

Randy Stetzer had always dreamed of a once-in-a-lifetime bighorn tag and felt like he won the lottery when he drew the East Deschutes, Biggs Unit license in Oregon.

Brad Fenson

The summer was spent scouting the area and getting into “sheep shape.” November rolled around, and it was time for the hunt. A solid team was assembled: Randy’s son Ben, friends Rick Harris, Ian Fergusson and Pete Donahower.

The crew spent the weekend scanning the hillsides to identify a mature ram, as the hunt started Monday. The last afternoon of scouting paid off when they glassed the hillside and spotted a couple of rams. The bigger, darker ram had horns that came fully around and below the jawline then flared out at the tips. It was the “one,” no question.

It didn’t take long to find the sheep when morning broke. The hunters reworked some logistics, finalized the plan and headed out. Ben, Pete, Rick and Randy would climb the ridgeline while Ian stayed low and worked as extra eyes.

The team started its ascent up the ridgeline and hiked until they could cross over to investigate the rocks where the ram was feeding. They couldn’t find the ram, but when they were almost to the top, some hand signals from below allowed the team to finally spot the ram just below the far ridge, and it was moving closer. It was time to climb across the steep, jagged rocks to close the distance.

As Randy and Ben got close to where they’d seen the ram, they started to peer over rocks. Then Ben noticed that Rick and Pete were frantically trying to get their attention. Both were pointing below Randy and Ben.

Randy and

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