Written by Conor Harrison, LSON. Photo by Alan McGraw
When Round Rock hunter Alan McGraw shot the first-ever Texas desert bighorn on public land with a bow and arrow on March 3, he soon found the Pope and Young Club didn’t recognize the species from Texas.
Even though the sheep was the fourth taken with a bow in Texas (the other three were harvested on private land), none had been submitted for the bowhunting record books.
“Let’s see, it was a desert sheep, it wasn’t under high fence, it’s a game animal, it was in Texas — Something about that doesn’t compute,” McGraw said several months ago after he realized the club didn’t recognize the sheep as a legal species in Texas.
Fast-forward several months and Pope and Young has accepted McGraw’s sheep as the official state record archery desert bighorn.
“This is the first recognized desert bighorn from Texas,” said Glenn Hisey, director of records at Pope and Young. “It is now listed in the records program. And it is an official state record with archery.”
The Elephant Mountain ram officially scored 172 3/8 inches, making it one of the biggest desert bighorns in the country over the past several years.
“It was a dandy,” Hisey said. “It is really a big one. This sheep will probably be one of the largest ones we showcase at the next convention.”
McGraw, who is off this month hunting Dall’s sheep, said he was pleased the club recognized his sheep.
“Pope and Young did exactly what they said they would do,” he said. “That’s refreshing in this day and age.”
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