LB - Great West Tire - group photo

Home | Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Obituaries | Subscriber Services | Kingman Digital | Contact Us
Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : features : nature November 24, 2015

12/26/2012 6:00:00 AM
Sheep hunt produces good trophy
DON MARTIN/For the Miner
Frank Suriano, 75, shows his ram, the third largest taken in this unit in the last seven years.
DON MARTIN/For the Miner
Frank Suriano, 75, shows his ram, the third largest taken in this unit in the last seven years.

Don Martin
The Great Outdoors

First of all, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! We sure did at the Martin household, finishing up the year with two great sheep hunting adventures.

Our first hunt was in Game Management Unit 15B West. It is a big unit, and in the past has produced some of the largest rams in Mohave County.

But in the past 10 years, the unit's sheep population has taken a big dip, and the quality of the rams has really dropped. Drought and predators are suspected as being the reason for the decline.

But for two Arizona sportsmen who beat some tremendous odds in drawing the tags this year in the unit, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

I was going with Frank Suriano, a 75-year-old sportsman from Scottsdale who was in the best shape for a man his age that I've ever hunted with.

Assisting on the hunt would be long time friends Gene Chambers (who is 77) and my friend Jay Chan.

We started the hunt about a week after the month-long season had opened.

I thought that maybe the other hunter in the unit, Bret Moran, would be done, but I learned that Bret was a very committed bowhunter and that he hadn't had much luck.

The first few days of our hunt didn't produce many sightings. The largest ram we did see was wearing a radio collar. Suriano and I agreed that no matter how big or old he was, we were not going to take him and here is why.

It costs the department a lot of money to capture and put a radio collar on a sheep, and the data these sheep provide is important to the management of the herd. Though collared sheep are legal to take, we decided not to.

The third day we got a break. A small ram band of four rams actually crossed a wash in front of Chambers and Saki Kogianes, who had came up to help glass.

There were three mature rams in the group. The best had an ear tag with the number 9 on it. This wide flaring ram looked to be over six years old but he seemed to have small bases.

Another had ear tag 64.This ram seemed as old as Number 9, but he didn't carry the mass in his horns. Remember, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so you need to be certain before the trigger is pulled or an arrow is released!

The third ram in the group was probably a year or two older, but he had broomed off his horns so short, as to make it easy for us to decide to pass on him.

After about 30 minutes I told Suriano that we were going to pass on Number 9, that we had a lot more of the unit to look in and I hoped to find an older and hopefully larger ram.

But then Mother Nature stepped in. It started to rain, sleet and even snow on the highest peaks in the unit, and the wind - a curse to sheep hunters who depend on being able to glass long distances for sheep, started blowing from 20-30 mph.

For three long days we didn't see even one sheep!

It is often said that sheep hunting is a young man's game, but here on a cold windswept ridge sat three dedicated sportsmen who ages totaled 214 years!

Finally the weather cleared and the sheep started to show up. Chan was now on board with us and so was another friend of mine from Las Vegas, Kensen Lee, who came up for a day to help glass.

I decided to split up our team and to try and find the ram band that Number 9 was leading. Our searching through the unit had not produced another ram as good as he was, and we decided that Number 9 would be a good ram to take, if we could relocate him.

About noon, Lee and I found the ram band. Now there were seven rams in it, with 9 still leading.

We spooked them when we walked over a ridge, but they ran less than 400 yards and bedded down in a canyon.

Now Lee and I had a 3½-hour wait until Chan and Suriano made it over to the rams. They were several miles away and the hike was going to be a tough one. We waited on a cold, windswept ridge before Chan and Suriano finally got into position.

However, things didn't go quite as planned. They were only 75 yards away from the ram band and getting ready to shoot when old Number 9 spotted a little movement, and off they ran!

They ran for over a mile, but Lady Luck and some great binoculars resulted in me being able to relocate them again.

It was late afternoon and now Chan and Suriano had another stalk that was over a mile.

Despite being exhausted, things came together right before dark when Chan spotted the rams feeding on the side of a deep draw.

Chan got Suriano to within 100 yards of the rams, but Suriano's shot was too far back and the ram turned and ran down the hill. He stopped at 112 yards and the low light and nerves got the best of Frank as he missed on his second shot.

The ram ran a short distance over a ridge and bedded down but fortunately Chan quickly found him.

Suriano's last shot was on the money and his hunt of a lifetime was over.

Turns out Number 9 was a great choice for Suriano to take.

At the Region III office of the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Number 9 was aged at 7 years old and scored an impressive 153-1/8 points.

G&F records indicate that this is the third-largest ram taken in this unit in the last seven years, so he truly was a great trophy!

Re/Max - cdavidcooley (rentals/sales)

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Permit exemptions for construction in rural areas to be studied (1006 views)

•   Good deed doers in demand Thursday in Kingman (685 views)

•   Column: A toxic brew of politically correct outrage (655 views)

•   Mohave 911: November 23, 2015 (650 views)

•   Social conservatism touted at GOP meeting (599 views)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Kingman Chamber News
Find more about Weather in Kingman, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Find it Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Find Kingman Jobs | Kingman Chamber | e-News | Contact Us | RSS | Site Map
LB - Kingman Regional Medical Center Holiday

© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Kingman Daily Miner is the information source for Kingman and surrounding area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Kingman Daily Miner Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Kingman Daily Miner Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved