The Sheep Of TiburonJuly 21, 2014 - By Lee Lakosky, Contributed to Petersen’s Hunting
Tagging a desert bighorn sheep with a Mathews turns into a nearly 20-day Mexican quest.
I knew that tagging a desert bighorn with a bow was going to be a tall order. Heck, it would be a dream to do it with a rifle, muzzleloader, or crossbow, but a bow would make it even more satisfying. Sometimes while bowhunting a situation presents itself, and if you are ready, and have prepared both mentally and physically, you can capitalize on those rare opportunities in the field. After 18 days of hard hunting, I was more than ready for the combination of luck, skill, and opportunity to collide.
The quest for a desert bighorn actually started a couple of years earlier. Tiffany and I were approached by Raul Cordova of Sonora Dark Horn Adventures (sonoradarkhorn.com). Raul offers desert sheep hunting on Tiburon Island in Sonora, Mexico. While we weren’t planning on a sheep hunt at the time, for the right opportunity, we wouldn’t pass on it either.
Well, it wasn’t long before Raul called to let Tiffany know he had a tag available for the last five days of the season. It being a last-minute hunt, we quickly packed bags and headed south. I looked at this as an exploratory trip. I wanted to see the island, the number of sheep, as well as get a good idea of how Raul runs his operation.
As it turned out, everything was first rate—the accommodations, food, staff…even the sheep. We only had a few days to hunt, but Tiffany’s luck being what it is, she got a great ram on the first day!
After we got back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about those beautiful curling horns. So I made plans to go back. To give you an idea of how much desert sheep had occupied my brain, I agreed to start hunting as soon as the sheep season opened on November 15. Now as you all know, this is the height of the whitetail rut back home, but I had sheep on my mind.
All told, I spent 13 days on Tiburon Island, and while I had many encounters, I did not release an arrow. Knowing I had to get back home before deer season ended, I returned to Iowa. Deer season rolled into trade show season, and it wasn’t until late winter before I could head back to Mexico.
When I got back, we were seeing great sheep from the start—but nothing was in a position for a stalk. Finally, on the sixth day, we spotted a stalkable band tucked into a valley. When I started working my way around to get in position, I caught two rams working toward me—luck and opportunity colliding.
I’ll be the first to admit the lead ram was a long ways, but I had been practicing at extreme long range (past 100 yards on a Block target) every day for a year for just this moment, so I drew my Mathews Creed XS, settled the pin, and released the arrow. The arrow flew true and a lifetime dream was fulfilled.
*Contributed to Petersen’s Hunting