Mexico: Sonoran Desert Bighorn Sheep

8+ Hunting Days
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The finest free-range trophy Desert Bighorn hunts – overlooking the Sea of Cortez & Tiburon Island with a reputable, proven outfitter featuring a 100% success rate track record on heavy, dark horned rams

TRIP DURATION 8+ professionally guided 1×1 hunting days
PHYSICAL LEVEL Medium
PRIME TIME Early December till mid-March
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Indigenous

Package Highlights

Experience one of the few truly free-range Mexican Desert Bighorn sheep hunts with a reputable and proven outfitter for some of Sonora’s most consistent success rates and largest rams. Our clients can proudly report harvesting legitimate B&C eligible free-range Bighorns, with multiple rams scoring over 170 inches taken each season. Hunt a series of picturesque coastal mountains on private land and the expansive Siri Reservation, with total access to approximately 200,000 acres, and exclusive hunting privileges on just over 20,000 very strategic private acres. Here the sheep sport beautiful dark chocolate horns, as a testament to having in fact been wild-born and growing up in a true free-range environment, rubbing on a variety of vegetation over the course of their lives.

At your side during this adventure will be with at least 2 if not 3 experienced sheep guides, often a mix of local and Canadian guides, or the outfitter himself. Cover ground on this vehicle assisted spot and stalk type hunt with light hiking and extensive glassing and judging. All guides carry top quality scopes and rangefinders, so while you are encouraged to bring any of your own optics, it is not necessary. These are 8+ full-day all-inclusive hunts from Hermosillo Mexico, and no one leaves empty-handed. While it’s an 8-day hunt, hunters are welcome to stay as many days as needed at no additional cost to ensure a meaningful shooting opportunity at an old, trophy-class ram. Should hunters need to leave, they can also return the same season and continue hunting on their tag at no charge. We insist on our hunters being successful with old rams. In addition to the sheep, enjoy opportunities at trophy Coues and Desert Mule deer that can be booked as combination hunts, or taken on a trophy fee bases, if any tags are still available.

Typical Day & Tactics

Arrive in Hermosillo and be greeted by one of your guides or the outfitter himself. It’s a scenic couple hours’ drive southward towards the coast reaching the remote and authentic lodge nestled in a valley floor right in the hunting area. The following morning comes early with a light breakfast, packed lunch and you’re off.  At times it’s possible to glass sheep from camp, the day often starts with a short drive where you disembark and begin some light hiking to some favorite vantage points where glassing often produces some sheep sightings. The terrain is sloped and the footing extremely loose so trekking poles are handy. Expect to do lots of glassing.

The day consists of several hours glassing from a series of strategic overlooks, all connected by a short drive and/or hike to cover as much terrain as possible each day. Once a shooter ram is located, there is a change of pace and a diligent stalk is devised to get hunters into shooting position. Ranges are usually 150-300 yards, but at times it can become necessary to stretch it out a bit, so more long-range shooting experience and confidence only boosts odds. Continue hunting and glassing with your guides till your sheep is on the ground. If combo hunting, full attention can now be turned to Coues deer and Desert Mule deer, unless they crossed your path by default while glassing and hunting for sheep. Once the hunt is concluded, the outfitter helps with basic preparations of the trophy and delivery to the taxidermist and shuttles hunters back to Hermosillo for their flights home.

Landscape & Climate

Experience the classic Sonoran Desert landscape, flora, and fauna. Arid, low elevation mountains hugging the coast with the sea of Cortez in the backdrop. The flat low country is dominated with creosote and mesquite, while iconic plants such as Saguaro, Barrel and Cholla Cactus, as well as Ocotillo dotting the slopes, and Palo Verde and Desert Ironwood trees in the wash systems. Inhabiting this desert environment are a cast of classic desert dwellers. In addition to the sheep and deer, share the week with other the local fauna around. This ranges from Gila monsters, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Bark Scorpions, Red Knee Tarantulas, Road Runners, Gambles Quail, hosts of migrant songbirds and raptors, Vultures, Burros and Javelina and Coyotes.

Enjoy pleasant weather with a refreshing coastal breeze. Average temperatures tend to range from 70-80 degrees, with overnight lows of 40-50. Frost is rare and the sky is usually blue during the day and star covered at night. For detailed weather data, Wikipedia is an excellent resource for historic weather trends found in the “Climate” section available for any city worldwide.

Meals & Accommodations

While one of two remote ranch haciendas are primarily used in which to base hunters, the accommodations will ultimately depend on what hunting area will provide the hunter the best opportunities, and so a range of accommodations may be used, ranging from tent camps to hacienda ranch houses. The ranch houses are somewhat rustic but traditional, built of stone, stucco, and brick nestled in a beautiful desert valley within view of the Sea of Cortez. Aside from a couple of busy weeks per season, there is usually lots of space and hunters often have a room to themselves. Electricity, running water and flushing toilets. Depending on location phone service or wifi may not be available due to the remote setting. Sun up and sunset throws beautiful colors along the horizons, and after dark enjoy relaxing by an open fire under the stars. The Sonoran Desert is truly a beautiful place and welcomed treat during the otherwise cold winter months.

Each camp has a full-time cook who prepares authentic Mexican cuisine that impresses and satiates our hunters each year. Breakfasts are your standard bacon, eggs, pancakes, fruit, toast, and beans, while lunches are usually tacos, sandwiches and an array of snacks. The big guns come out at dinner with a traditional Mexican cuisine menu lineup with some favorites being carne asada, freshly grilled fish and other local seafood with dessert items like flans and cheesecakes.

Key Equipment Suggestions

This is a mountain hunt and requires the appropriate equipment to allow you to maximize your experience in the field. Recommended items include; a lightweight clothing layering system and a good internal frame daypack, comfortable leather non-insulated above the ankle type hiking boots, water bottle or hydration bladder, .270 or larger caliber rifle (that you are proficient with) and premium bullets, X10+ binoculars and/or quality spotting scope with a good tripod, rangefinders, telescopic trekking poles, sunglasses, sunscreen and a digital camera. Sleeping gear is provided.

Pricing 

Regular Hunt: 8+ full days – fully guided – x1 Desert Bighorn – December into March = $59,950

Desert Coues Deer Combo: 8+ full days – fully guided – x1 Desert Bighorn x1 Coues Deer – December into March = $64,500

Desert Mule Deer Combo: 8+ full days – fully guided – x1 Desert Bighorn x1 Desert Mule Deer – December into March = $67,500

Included 

  • Round trip airport/hotel pick-up and drop-off services
  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • All Mexico non-resident licensing, sheep tag and hunting permits
  • Professional guiding with experienced sheep guides
  • All ground transportation while hunting
  • Assistance with firearm import and trophy export
  • Basic meat, trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist

Not Included

  • 5% Government Sales Tax (GST)
  • Travel to the destination city of Hermosillo, Mexico
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals and accommodations
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • CITES permit, crating, trophy export and taxidermy costs
  • Personal side ventures or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs, etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: No cost – can stay longer or return during the same season if needed
  • Non-hunting observer days: $200/day if possible (Under 18 or military/Law enforcement are free)
  • Custom long-range Rifle rental ($250)
  • Desert Mule Deer = $5500 trophy fee (payable upon success if a tag is still available)
  • Desert Coues Deer = $4000 trophy fee (payable upon success if a tag is still available)

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive to Hermosillo, Mexico where they will be greeted by the outfitter or staff. The hunting areas are located roughly 2.5-hour drive west of Hermosillo.

Travel Suggestions

Hermosillo is best reached by several airlines. While there are options to connect in Mexico City, it is recommended to arrive via Phoenix Arizona, where an overnight in a hotel will likely be needed.

Airport Shuttles 

Round trip shuttles between the airport or hotel and the hunting area are available and already included with every package (unless hunters choose to drive to the lodge themselves)

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel. Visa’s or Immunizations may be required for certain destinations. All firearm permits are handled by the outfitter prior to your arrival.

Jeff Eno – Mexico Desert Bighorn Sheep  

Last December I achieved a life-long dream and hunted desert bighorn sheep in beautiful Sonora, Mexico. Having hunted Whitetails with the same Canadian outfitter at his lodge in Alberta I was very familiar with the outfit’s excellent operation and first-rate guides. It was while hunting whitetails that we actually planned this hunt in Mexico, and I felt confident these same qualities would be extended to his Sonora operation. I made the trip from my home in the Yukon to Hermosillo where I was greeted by the outfitter and my guide at the airport.

The scenic drive to sheep camp took us through the Sonoran Desert and along the coast of the Sea of Cortez. Once in camp we settled in and met the staff and other guides. The rest of the crew were local from the nearby Seri Indian Reservation and it was an absolute pleasure to share camp with them and learn about their culture and heritage. They were very passionate hunters and their assistance was instrumental to our success.

Our first day of hunting saw us rising early and hiking to the nearby mountains in the dark. It wasn’t long after first light when we began spotting sheep. After an hour or so of glassing, we spotted a ram that was simply incredible. The ram sported thick, massive horns that made a full curl on each side. Although it was only the first day of the hunt, this ram was simply too good to pass up and we began the climb to close the distance. After losing him for some time during our climb the guides located him, now bedded down and in a favorable location. We got set up, and after a long wait the ram finally stood up and I was blessed with a successful shot, felling the animal amongst the rocks and cacti. Recovering the ram, it was instantly clear to me I had shot the trophy of a lifetime.

I can’t say enough about the outfitter, his staff and the hunting area. Professional, experienced and an absolute blast. Highly recommended.