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South Dakota bighorn ram shatters previous world record

February 2, 2019

SPEARFISH — A bighorn sheep ram shot in Pennington County Oct. 30 crushed the previous record held for 20 years.

The Pope and Young Club convened a special panel of judges Thursday in Sioux Falls to certify the score.

Clayton Miller’s massive ram is now the largest hunter-killed bighorn sheep for both Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett clubs. Pope and Young only records archery kills while the Boone and Crockett Club records the largest animals killed with all weapons, and even has a category for shed antlers found or skulls found.

“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! I have been dreaming of the opportunity to draw a tag like this since I started applying religiously at the age of 12,” Clayton Miller said in a prepared statement on the Pope and Young website. “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! Thank you to everyone that helped along the way, mostly to my wife Becca for taking care of the family while I made dozens of scouting trips. What an honor and a privilege it was for me to be able to watch these incredible animals all year long a short road trip from my backyard!”

With a final score of 209 1/8”, Miller’s ram surpasses the previous world record Rocky Mountain ram shot by Todd Kirk in 1998.

“The Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep is such an American icon. To have the privilege to be part of a special panel of judges to authenticate its final score was a special treat,” said Ed Fanchin, records chair for the Pope and Young Club.

Miller’s ram will be on display at the Pope and Young Club Convention in Omaha, Neb., in April.

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