Wyoming Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Wyoming has good Bighorn sheep populations throughout the state. It’s not a state that is known for for huge rams, although quality rams in the 160+ range can be found in all units. There are a few larger rams taken from time to time, just don’t expect 190 ram. It’s no big secret that Wyoming’s sheep are declining, between predation and disease the future of Wyoming’s sheep will likely continue declining.
Residents only have to front $117 to apply and non-residents are looking at $2266. If you are unsuccessful in drawing a license you will be refunded the entire license fee minus an application fee (residents $5 and nonresidents $14) and a preference point fee (residents $7 nonresidents $100). The application deadline is February, 28th, don’t miss it. If a deadline is missed, Wyoming has a points only period between July, 1st and September, 1st. You must apply at least every other year or all accumulated points will be lost.
Wyoming has 18 sheep units and 17 different hunts to choose from. Most of these units contain wilderness, with the exception of Units 12, 19, 20, 22 and 24. All units in the north west corner of the state have large populations of Grizzly bears.
The Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 19, and 23 provide the best chance at a quality ram. We have highlighted these units in green on the reference map below. All of these units can produce 170+ rams.
Unit 1 is a rough unit that is approximately 30% wilderness. It does produce a few good rams. This is a tough hunt, hiring a guide is strongly suggested.
Unit 2 is one of the best units in the state. It supports a good population of sheep and has potential for a great ram. Non-residents will need to hire a guide considering most of the sheep habitat is located within wilderness. This unit probably has the roughest country of any sheep unit in Wyoming.
Unit 3 is a good unit with plenty of sheep. Most of the unit is wilderness. Sheep are found both inside and outside of the wilderness, but hiring a guide may be beneficial if you’re a non-resident. 160+ rams are certainly not out of the question and possibly into the 170+ range.
Unit 4 has the potential to produce great rams. There is great sheep habitat in this unit. The downside the sheep are within wilderness, non-residents must plan on hiring a guide for this unit. The hunting can be very tough in this unit, it is remote country. Hunter success tends to be lower in this unit so it is often overlooked but expect 160+ rams with the potential for 175+ ram.
Unit 5 is quite possibly the best unit in the state. This unit has a large tag quota but is highly sought after. The access is good with a lot great country to hunt. Non-residents won’t need a guide for this unit. There is a small portion of wilderness in this unit. There are plenty of sheep in this unit, 170+ rams are possible.
Unit 6 is the worst unit Wyoming has to offer. It doesn’t have a good population of sheep and the quality is poor compared to the other units within the state. This unit does contain wilderness.
Unit 7 is slightly better than Unit 6 . It’s a tough hunt with a low success rate, hiring a guide may be smart should you draw this unit.
Unit 8 and 23 are great units for quality rams. It’s rough country with the best sheep habitat within wilderness area. You will definitely need an outfitter for this unit.
Unit 9 is not a great unit, with almost 90% wilderness, low success rates and lack of quality rams make this unit a last choice for most applicants. Although this unit has the best draw odds in the state, a 160″ ram is big for this unit.
Unit 10 supports a fair amount of sheep. This country
is extremely rough with the majority of the sheep habitat within
wilderness. Look towards the southern end of the unit for sheep. While
this unit doesn’t have the largest rams that Wyoming has to offer, it
does offer a quality experience. Hiring a guide is highly recommended
Unit 12 is a relatively new unit with the possibility of a great ram. The terrain is relatively easy to hunt with no wilderness. The majority of sheep are on public land but private land access may be needed. You can find 165+ rams within this unit with the possibility of a 175″ ram.
Unit 18 and 21 are good units with good rams and a very small portion of wilderness. The terrain is moderate to rough with 160+ rams available.
Unit 19 has the potential to produce a big ram. It’s a very large unit and the sheep are spread throughout the unit. The terrain is fairly easy with no wilderness but lacks access. You may have to pay an access fee in this unit. These sheep don’t have the predation issues like the rest of Wyoming’s sheep units. Hunters can find 170+ rams in this unit. This probably the best unit in the state.
Unit 20 is a good unit for 160+ rams and is fairly easy hunting compared to the traditional sheep hunting units. There is no wilderness within this unit.
Unit 22 has great sheep hunting. The hunting is fairly easy with very little wilderness and moderate terrain. Look toward the northern end of the unit, these sheep travel back and forth from Unit 5.
Unit 24 this is a relatively new unit . There is no wilderness and no grizzly bears within this unit. This unit has great potential for a huge ram and is good unit to apply for.
Wyoming isn’t the best state when it comes to Bighorn sheep, but for what it lacks in quality it makes up for in opportunity. If you haven’t been building points for sheep in Wyoming, start now and it is possible you could be hunting sheep within your lifetime.