Largest Bighorn Sheep by a Woman in OR

Jenni Thornton Sheep

Jenni Thornton with her record 191 1/8 B&C Sheep from Oregon

Dear King’s,

I bought a pair of your Oakley King’s Camo Sunglasses especially for this hunt and I knew that I would need some protective eye-wear, as the hunt was in the middle of September. The sunglasses were a great asset to the hunt . The wind was blowing sideways on top of the mountains and the sun was unforgiving. Thanks for offering such a great product through your catalog.

About the ram, he was aged at 7 ½ years old and ODFW green scored him at 190.5” Depending on how much shrink he has, he should rate the largest Rocky Mountain Bighorn ram taken by a lady in Oregon, and he will be in the top 8-10 for Oregon Record Book.

Jenni Thornton
Yamhill, Oregon

UPDATE: Jenni’s sheep is now officially the biggest ram taken by a woman in Oregon with a score of 191 1/8 B&C. Congratulations. Here is her story

Hells Canyon Monarch

by Dale Thornton

Hells Canyon in Oregon is the deepest canyon in North America, even deeper than the Grand Canyon. It is primarily steep baron hillsides, rockslides and no trees to hold onto if you were to lose your footing. This can be very intimidating to a hunter new to the area. The up side, is that it is home to some of Oregon’s finest Bighorn sheep hunting, due in part to the efforts of ODFW, OR-FNAWS and also the great range stewardship practices by the local area ranchers.

So when Jenni Thornton was notified that she had drawn a coveted sheep tag for this area she was determined to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Jenni and her husband, Dale started by reviewing dozens of sheep articles and spent hours watching DVD’s on field judging sheep. Jenni practiced weekly at long range shooting and questioned biologists and locals who knew sheep well, she particularly wanted to know sheep habits and what to expect on this hunt. The couple couldn’t get away for any pre-scouting so the day before opening morning, they tried to cover as much ground as possible. Opening morning found the 2 climbing the open hillsides up from the Snake River below. After gaining 1500 ft. elevation the two stopped to glass an area Jenni thought looked promising. Soon she spotted a pair of rams bedded 500 yards above them. One ram looked good but not this early in the hunt.

They moved to the next bench, several hundred feet above. Here Dale found a pair of rams bedded in the sage below them. The largest ram wore nearly full curl horns but Jenni wasn’t going to risk a 300 yrd. shot with a 40 mile an hour crosswind and the ram bedded only feet from a nasty canyon. The rest of the day was spent checking new areas and glassing more sheep. The next morning the two were joined by Dan, a local they had talked with over the phone several times. Together the three checked side canyons locating 2 different bands of rams but each time Jenni declined. She now referred to the ram that Dale had found yesterday as “Her Ram” and wanted to see if they could find him again. By mid afternoon he was relocated and a stalk was planned. After loosing him for awhile in a side draw he emerged on a bench below. With her Browning 270 in hand and her toes dug into the rocks to keep from sliding down the canyon she prepared for the shot. Finally the ram turned broadside and a solid thunk confirmed the 386 yard shot. As the three approached the downed ram they were in awe of his size, both body and horns. With meat and a full body cape on their backs the adventure was far from over. The treacherous pack out reveled the true meaning of “Hells Canyon”.

In Dec. 2010 this 8 ½ yr. old ram received an official B&C score of 191 1/8 making it the largest ram ever harvested in Oregon by a lady. Jenni’s determination made this truly a hunt of a lifetime and a very humbling experience.

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12 Comments on "Largest Bighorn Sheep by a Woman in OR"

  1. Dale Thornton says:

    Congratulations sweetheart. I knew you could do it!!!!
    Your determination in adverse conditions are a great inspiration to me.

  2. Keith and Debi Mecklem says:

    Wow!! That is one awesome ram. Congratulations Jenni.

  3. MarDee McDougal says:

    Dale & Jenni are good friends of mine. It’s rare you see a woman these days with the know-how & determination that she exhibits. Not only in hunting, but just life in general. They were just barely out of the sage-brush when Dale called me with the news!! I was and AM so thrilled & proud of her & her achievements. Way ‘t’ go, Jenni.

  4. Dannica Thornton says:

    Jenni you are the bomb! I’m very proud of you and this magnificent accomplishment. You deserve every bit of recognition and fame for this HUGE ram. What a celebrity 🙂

  5. Kahleb Dixon says:

    Wow jeez that is awesome! Congratulations for getting that heck of a ram Jenni 😀

  6. Jason Gill says:

    Congratulations. Great determination paid of with a ram of a life time.

  7. Casey says:

    What an incredible animal! Congrats on your prize Jenni

  8. Realtree says:

    Wow! This is amazing. Congratulations. Your effort and determination is very worth it. The Ram is such a beauty.

  9. Tina Dunbar says:

    Jenny we have not known each other for very long. but im very proud of your accomplishment. Us women dont get the recognition for our big kills, so you go girl. As far as the gear goes, whatever it takes to GETTER DONE.

  10. Shannon Quade says:

    Jenny, Just wanted to let you know that Grandma Dunbar showed me those magazines with the articles in them that Dale wrote about your Ram! Amazing!! Congradulations on not only winning a drawing to go HUNT them, but for taking down such a large one!!! 🙂 I’m happy for you and Dale both. I don’t know you to well yet, but my Mom thinks your cool and I hope that I get to meet you and the rest of your family sometime soon!
    Take care and be well,

  11. Pat Dunbar says:

    Jenny Lynn, your Auntie Pattie is very very proud of you for the wonderful hunt and the big Ram you shot. I knew you could do it!! I also like the sunglasses you had. 🙂


    Love Aunt Pat

  12. Jon Boy says:

    Hey, hey,hey! You can do better! lol im expecting a bigger one in the future!

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