A South Dakota bighorn ram was certified a new archery world record by the Pope and Young Club on Jan. 24.
Clayton Miller’s massive sheep is now the largest hunter-killed Rocky Mountain bighorn with both Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett.
The ram was shot in Pennington County, South Dakota, on Oct. 30, 2018. The final score of 209 1/8 inches surpasses the previous world record Rocky Mountain ram shot by Todd Kirk in 1998 by almost 10 inches.
"The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep is such an American icon," said Ed Fanchin, Records Chair for the Pope and Young Club, in a press release. "To have the privilege to be part of a Special Panel of Judges to authenticate its final score was a special treat."
The ram will be on display at the Pope and Young Club Convention in Omaha, Nebraska, in April.
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“I couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call that my name had been drawn for the first and only bighorn sheep unit in the Badlands of South Dakota," Miller said in the press release. "I have been dreaming of the opportunity to draw a tag like this since I started applying religiously at the age of 12.
“I went into this hunt knowing that there were some spectacular animals in the area, but it was beyond my wildest dream that I would be after the new Pope and Young Club World Record!"
The record-book ram wouldn't have been possible without restoration efforts that brought a robust population of bighorn sheep back to South Dakota.
"This is a true testament to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and a shining beacon of what can be accomplished with efforts and funds being dedicated to wildlife," said Justin Spring, Records Director for the Boone and Crockett Club.