In the hunting world, the term “Grand Slam” refers to harvesting all subspecies within a species.
A highly sought after and prized is the North American Grand Slam of Sheep Hunting. The Grand Slam is comprised of four distinct subspecies. The sheep hunting Grand Slam includes: Dall Sheep; Desert Bighorn Sheep; Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep; and Stone Sheep.
Dall sheep are the least difficult and least expensive North American sheep to hunt. Their population is steady and increasing and they are easy to glass. Dall sheep hunts are available in Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
The desert bighorn sheep is usually the last ram of a“grand slam” to be taken, and is often never taken at all. The Desert bighorn can be tough to hunt, but the greatest obstacle is the difficulty of getting a permit… there aren’t many available.
Limited permits are available through drawing in Arizona, Nevada and a few other states, but few permits are allotted to non-residents. The easiest place to hunt a desert bighorn ram is Mexico, where good hunts are operated by the government. Unfortunately though, these hunts are VERY expensive.
The Rocky Mountain bighorn is the largest sheep in North America and one of the largest in the world.
Located in parts of British Columbia, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah, the California bighorn sheep is considerably smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The horns are shorter and less massive, and tend to have more flare.
*California bighorns count towards your Rocky Mountain bighorn for the Grand Slam.
Stone sheep hunts are available in northern British Columbia, and northward into the southern Yukon Territory. They can vary in coloration dramatically, based on their range. Usually the sheep found in the traditional areas of British Columbia and the southern Yukon have unmistakable characteristics that distinguish them as Stone sheep.
*A Fannin sheep is usually significantly lighter, but is technically still considered a Stone sheep.Their habitat is generally a little steeper and more rugged than traditional Dall sheep habitat areas. Other than that, they live in quite similar areas.
Jack O’Connor is arguably the most recognized of all sheep hunters.
Sheep Hunters are Romantics, who love high places and solitude. To them the wild ram embodies the mystery and magic of the mountains, the rocky canyons, the snowy peaks, the fragrant alpine meadows, the gray slide rock, the icy dancing rills fed by snowbank and glacier, the sweet clean air of the high places, and the sense of being alone on the top of the world with the eagles, the marmots, and the wild sheep themselves.
The sheep hunter is willing to climb until his lungs are bursting, to walk until his legs are dead and weary, to grow hungry and thirsty for great rewards. There is no halfway.” ~Jack O’Connor