CRAWFORD, Neb. — Christmas came early for a father-and-son pair of hunters, filling one of two bighorn sheep permits available this year in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said the father, Dave Hunter of Auburn, shot his bighorn sheep on Monday with a .270 caliber rifle over a ravine that drains into Spring Creek, located on the Pine Ridge terrain of Fort Robinson State Park.
Wildlife officials said they were happy that this particular sheep emerged on the hunt, because it was 8 1/2 years old and was reaching the end of its life.
NGPC said Dave was entered for the permit lottery by his son, Greg Hunter of Johnson, and wildlife staff guided the hunt.
Todd Nordeen, the big game manager who leads the sheep-hunting program for the Commission, said it was a tough bighorn sheep hunt due to the slick conditions from melting snow over the frozen ground.
With one permit filled, the other permit in the state was awarded by auction. Lottery permit winners in Nebraska are assisted by Commission staff and treated to meals and lodging at Fort Robinson State Park.
NGPC said it was the 25th bighorn sheep harvested in Nebraska since the Commission’s hunting program began in 1998.