Jack Jay exemplifies Preserve the Tradition by fulfilling your hunting passion under extreme ideals of fair chase. Jack got bitten by the sheep bug 12 years ago with encouragement from FWP wildlife biologist and fellow hunter John Vore. Montana offers unlimited tags in some sheep units on a quota because the terrain is so challenging. Much of the Beartooth-Absarokee Plateau is above 10,000’, extremely rugged and with low sheep densities.
Over the last 12 years, Jack spent 140 days scouting, packing supplies in an out and hunting. Over time Jack endured heat exhaustion to hypothermia, high winds, rain and blizzards and even had to pack water into some areas. FWP biologist Shawn Stewart gave Jack information and encouragement and Jack met and partnered with some like-minded hunters in his quest. Some years they saw no sheep, some years only ewes and juvenile rams. Two years ago Jack’s partner Ben found two legal rams but rather than just shoot one he came back for Jack, when they returned the rams were gone. This last fall, they again found rams including two trophy rams but in an unapproachable spot. They put the sheep to bed, were up before daylight hiking back in. The sheep eventually moved to a good spot, after a long stalk through car sized boulders Ben and Jack were able to down 2 magnificent rams.
The picture shows Ben with the rams at just under 11,000’ in some incredibly rugged terrain. They still had to pack the rams and camp back out 8 miles. Jack will have to wait 7 years before he can apply again, he says he will have to think about it since he will be 80 by then.