With plenty of places to stay plus the challenge of bighorn sheep, Bitterroot Valley is an excellent place to hunt.
Though “like leading lambs to the slaughter” is a widely-used expression, when hunting bighorn sheep, the opposite can be true. These elusive beauties tend to live in areas that, for one reason or another, put them just out of reach of the average hunter.
If bighorn rams and ewes are on your agenda, however, the Bitterroot Valley in Montana is an ideal place to go during hunting season. Nestled between the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges, it also is one of the most naturally beautiful hunting destinations in the United States. Bighorns congregate in the areas surrounding the Bitterroot Valley, which has some pretty rocky terrain in places.
Obtaining a bighorn license or tag can be the biggest obstacle in bringing one of these trophies home. For Bitterroot Valley, a limited number of tags are available through special drawings that for 2008 cost the winners approximately $755. Most licenses limit you to just one bighorn sheep in a specified hunting district in Bitterroot, but other areas of Montana offer unlimited bighorn hunting.
For anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one of these rare tags, the physical challenges involved in hunting the bighorns can be daunting, especially when hunting in the mountains. Long before bighorn sheep season begins (September 15 through November 30), online resources such as Biggamehunt.net recommend getting in shape even if you haven’t secured a license yet.
Even if you are a loner by nature, hunting the bighorn sheep should not be a solo undertaking because of the rough terrain. Before putting your name in the tag drawing, see if you can get one or two friends to join you on a hunting expedition.
Though the licenses are limited, there is no shortage of places to stay in and around the Bitterroot Valley area. You can choose a fairly basic hotel, a comfortable bed and breakfast or an upscale lodge, but it’s also possible to camp outdoors and really rough it. No matter where you stay, make sure to bring along a good set of hunting boots.
Considered by some as the “holy grail” of big game hunting, a bighorn trophy is the dream of many a hunter and a trip to Bitterroot can turn that dream into reality.