MISSOULA, Mont. – A bighorn sheep killed in a highway collision in Alberta has the largest horns ever recorded for the species. Boone and Crockett Club measurers today certified the specimen as a new World's Record.
The horns' final score of 209-4/8 B&C points edged out the previous World's Record, a ram taken near Luscar Mountain, Alberta, in 2000 that scores 208-3/8.
The new No. 1 ram was hit by a vehicle on a highway west of Longview, Alberta.
A local rancher who knew of the ram and found the animal on his property obtained a possession permit from Alberta Fish & Wildlife. He said, "This ram and a younger ram had lived on the ranch where I worked since 2009. The older ram would go down to the highway a couple times a month, but the younger ram would rarely follow. We always wondered if one of these trips to the highway would be his last."
Boone and Crockett accepts and records legally obtained "pick up" (found) trophies as part of a complete record of native North American big game species. Other "pick up" World's Records include the reigning No. 1 non-typical whitetail deer, tule elk, black bear, grizzly bear and Pacific walrus.
"When your job is tracking conservation and wildlife management successes, a new World's Record is noteworthy - whether or not it was taken by a hunter," said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club's Big Game Records Committee. "Efforts to restore bighorn sheep populations are an amazing success story. The fact that these efforts are today producing some of the largest specimens ever recorded is worth reflecting on just how far these conservation efforts have come."
Five of the top-10 ranked bighorns in Boone and Crockett records are from Alberta. Hale offered congratulations to Alberta Fish and Game for programs that allow the province's bighorns to grow to their fullest potential.
Remarkably, the new record ram was aged at 14 years.
World's Record- and top 10-class specimens are panel-scored for verification. A panel convened Sat., March 7, 2015, in Red Deer, Alberta. Two teams of two panel-experienced official measurers each scored the ram and arrived at the ram's final score.