Here's one bighorn sheep record that's going to stand for a while.
Terry Bogle is the lucky hunter that took down this impressive bighorn, which could be the next state record.
Measuring out to 189-inches unofficially, it eclipsed the previous record of 185 7/8ths from 1998, easily. Even if there is a little bit of shrinkage after the 60-day drying period, this potential new record should still stand.
Twenty sheep have been taken in Nebraska since hunting for them began back in 1998. Since that time, permits have been few and far between.
With a population estimated around 360 sheep for the region, very regulated hunting practices have been in place. Surprisingly, with only two permits drawn for 2015, one of those tags resulted in a likely Nebraska bighorn sheep record.
"Not all the sheep that have been harvested since our reintroduction efforts began were scored, but we're fairly certain this score is the largest," said Todd Nordeen, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife manager, in an interview. "We've had sheep with longer horns, but this one has incredible mass."
Nordeen, who actually led the hunt, estimated that the bighorn sheep was approximately nine years old. It was also an offspring of sheep reintroduced to the area in 2005.
"This whole experience has been outstanding and has exceeded my expectations," said Bogle. "It's given me a greater appreciation for what the Game and Parks Commission does."
Bighorn sheep used to be very prevalent in the Nebraska region up until the early 1900s, but due to disease and over hunting, populations dwindled. Thanks to hunters like Bogle paying for tags and licenses, sheep populations have rebounded to the point of allowing controlled hunts once again.
Not only is this likely a new Nebraska bighorn sheep record, it's also an amazing hunter conservation success story.