Kevin McNair with guide and friend James Bradshaw on a record-breaking NV Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunt!
Nevada has a lottery system for big game hunting tags. So, after 17 years of applying, in 2017, I was finally successful in applying for and obtaining my Desert Bighorn Sheep tag!
Additionally, I drew a prime area about an hour from my home in Las Vegas, NV. Right next to Lake Mead Recreation Area.
As an active member of the wildlife conservation arena (President of WHIN / Wildlife and Habitat Improvement of Nevada), I immediately reached out to a colleague, James Bradshaw who is an absolute Pro in guiding sheep hunts and hired him immediately, then, about mid-2017, James and I began scouting my hunting area for my Nov 2017 hunt. Many times he went out on his own to maintain an educated vision of my hunting area.
Finally, it was right before thanksgiving and time to embark on my hunt. Equipped with a Winchester model 70 in 270WSM, a Sightmark riflescope (I’m Pro Staff for Sightmark), and my range finding binos. The nice thing was that I was able to drive to the hunting area within an hour. So, the first morning, I met James about 90 minutes before sun-up at a designated location just prior to the entrance of my hunting area.
I joined him in his truck that was also pulling a trailer with a utv on it.
We arrived, unloaded then at daybreak, headed into the mountains glassing for any Bighorn Sheep opportunities. We immediately saw a few decent bucks but chose to pass and wait for a big one. After walking for about 2 hours, we returned to the truck for a rest. While Standing around, James chose to glass a mountain range that we hadn’t walk through earlier. After about 10 minutes, he said “wholly monster ram” – look at this. I grabbed my optics and glassed the area he was looking. There he was, a monster ram about 2,000 yards away.
We looked at each other and said, let’s go, moving quickly but carefully so we didn’t spook the monster. After we got about 1,000 yards out, we literally crawled 700 yards to ensure we didn’t spook him.
At 300 yards, I took my backpack off, laid my rifle across it and scoped in the monster ram. He was laying down next to another decent ram. So, I waited and waited and the other ram got up, when he turned sideways, he was missing the right side horn. Wow! Then, James said, since he got up, our target ram will get up as well. Sure enough, after about 3-5 minutes, he sure did.
Lots of pressure to make the uphill, 300 yard shot just below the ridge-line as if I missed, he’d be gone.
Boom. Got him, perfect shot and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. James was so excited, almost like it was his. Wow, what a trophy!
The ram measured 174”, which easily made the NV record books.
—By Kevin McNair, Tactical West, Las Vegas, NV.