By James Dansie
I’ve said it before and it still rings true, if you haven’t made an attempt to make your way down to old Mexico to hunt, then you are missing out. It offers some of the best hunting for mulies, coues, and desert rams anywhere in the world, while providing some of the best scenery out there. If the reason why you’re not considering Mexico for your next hunt is because you’ve heard that its unsafe and not worth your time, then you haven’t heard about WRO Mexico. Justin Jarret or JJ, has been guiding for a long time in Wyoming and three years ago he had the opportunity to expand his operation down south. Because of our close connection with the WRO team, we were invited on his first trip and we have been going back every year since. They go the extra mile to make sure that you feel safe and taken care of. The area that they hunt is close to the Sea of Cortez making for spectacular sunsets every day.
Dennis Dunn is the author of the BAREBOW! Sagas and is an avid bow hunter. He especially enjoys hunting with a traditional bow, shooting purely on instinct. When Michael Deming called Dennis to tell him he had won, Dennis was quick to tell Mike that he would only hunt with a bow and there was no way that he would pick up a rifle. It’s a little crazy to think that someone would want to limit themselves to a weapon with a maximum range of thirty yards on a trip of this caliber, but the reason for Dennis’s determination was because he had been on a Sonoran Desert ram hunt over twenty years ago and was planning on using a bow for that hunt, but when the guides found a ram over 180, they begged him to pick up a rifle. Because of their persistent pleading, Dennis finally gave in and picked up a rifle and that decision has haunted him ever since. He was able to easily take the ram, but has always wondered if he would have been able to do it with his bow. So, because of this past experience, there was no way that he was picking up a rifle, even if it was a new world record.
Because of the degree of difficulty of the hunt, we wasted no time in getting out into the field. We knew that there was going to be a lot of blown stalks before we would get a shot opportunity. We spotted two shooter rams right off the bat on day one and after we put them to bed, it was game on.
For those unfamiliar with the Sonoran Desert landscape, it is made up of big rocks, stacked on smaller rocks that are on gravel. As you can imagine, walking on this type of environment makes an unreal amount of noise and try as hard as we could, it was impossible to keep three people silent. We were only able to get within 800 yards on our first stalk and it was an eye opener for how difficult this hunt would really be.
Probably the most amazing part about this hunt was that every day we were on at least one shooter ram, with a number of days that multiple rams presented themselves. Because Dennis was shooting a bow, we set our standard at 150, so to be able to see that many 150 or better rams was amazing for a sheep hunt. After blowing a couple more stalks, we were starting to get down to the wire. I decided that on the next stalk, I would stay back and try and get an across canyon camera shot in an attempt to limit our noise.
It was our last day of hunting and after about an hour of glassing, we found two younger rams that were good enough to try and get on. We started our stalk and when we closed the gap to about two hundred yards without blowing out the rams, I started to think that we might have a real chance to get this done! I found a rock outcropping that would give me a great vantage point to film across the canyon while Dennis and our guide started their pursuit. They took their time trying to be as silent as possible. They closed the gap to about 100 yards before the rams spotted them and decided to flee the country.
Disappointed, I sat and watched as Dennis continued to make his way to where the rams were bedded. I was confused because they had to have been able to see the rams blow out. I watched them sneak around for another hour until they disappeared behind the hill that the rams were on. All I could do was wonder what they were doing because we had no way to communicate with each other. After another two hours, they finally made their way back to where I could see them. They were walking in a way that I could tell that something had seriously disappointed them. It took them another hour to get back to me. I was eager to find out what had happened and when Dennis greeted me with an outstretched broken arrow, I knew there was going to be a good story.
After they realized they had run off the target rams, they decided to peak around the hill to see if there was anything else in the area. To their disbelief, forty yards away was a giant 180+ ram, bedded! They saw him at the same time that he saw them and Dennis had just enough time to knock an arrow and let it fly. Having no time to range the ram, he shot just low. Although Dennis was disappointed that he missed, he was grateful that he was able to get a shot off at a ram of that caliber.
Like all of trips with the WRO Mexico team, we had a lot of fun, even though we weren’t able to put a ram on the ground. The food is always amazing and is as traditional Mexican as it gets. JJ puts a lot of thought and effort into making sure that each and every one of his hunters has a trip of a lifetime. We enjoy hunting with Justin and his staff so much that we give away two different trips for the Pro-Membership, one for desert bighorn and one for trophy mule deer. We will be giving away the next bighorn hunt on July 30th, so if you’re not already a member, you need to make sure to join! And if you’ve been putting off hunting in Mexico because you didn’t know who to book with, make sure you give WRO Mexico a call! We promise you will be glad that you did. Give them a call at 307-899-1245 or visit them on our website or at www.wapitiridgeoutfitters.com.