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How to Identify Legal Rams with Steven Rinella - MeatEater



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And you can see on this guy it comes up, and you look. Now,

you can't have it be like this

At least one of the horns has a described three hundred and sixty degree

circle,

when viewed from the side.

And you can see on this guy that it comes up, and you look. Now,

you can't have it be like this. You gotta find where it's a perfect circle.

Does this

come back up

and meet the base of that horn?

So in that way,

this guy's got it.

The other thing that makes a ram legal is

if they've got two broomed or

broken

horns, they become legal. Not one, but two.

So, broomed is a term often for like, they get, that horn comes around and gets in his peripheral

vision.

And they'll start abrading it. Or,

I mean, this guy, I don't know if he snapped, I mean,

who knows. That's - it's not got a polish.

This side is like a polished off - he's grinding that. Rubbed and rounded.

This side it's hard to say what happened to him.

That's it, you know, and that's sort of a classic, what

people would call a broomed horn, there. Especially if you were talking about Rocky Mountain Bighorns.

That's just exactly how they're gonna look.

Broken off, kind of ragged looking. You'd probably have a tough case to make

if you went in and said that's broomed.

I don't know. You wouldn't want to rely on that.

The other final way

and the trickiest way

is you count growth rings.

Paul, give a version on growth rings here.

Well, you have, you can see them,

they're these very distinctive dark rings around here that are

annual growth. The catch is that they can be really

deceptive on spotting those.

You're going to have a small section up here, which is the lamb tip,

which they started with,

and then you'll have, you know, somewhere down around in here we can see this is, this is

probably a second-year ring.

This is two to three here, and then

three to four here,

and it kind of gets progressively

a little bit shorter,

as you come around because these horns become more massive. But see, look on this side here, Steve,

this is the kind of thing that someone might

if you were looking with a spotting scope, you might think that's an annual ring.

It's kind of a distinctive group.

But now, come round the inside and look where that is, right here,

and there's nothing there. So you can see that's, you know, that's kind of a good example

of what someone might see as a false ring.

And if you were trying to score this ram with a spotting scope,

that would throw you, right there. If you counted that as a ring,

you'd be in trouble because that's actually not a growth ring. That actual ring is up here.

Sometimes people say that

you'll see a real bad year, bad weather year,

you'll get rings,

but there's barely any space,

cause he just

was hammered and had an unhealthy year.

Other thing, it's an imperfect science.

Because, the last time I was shooting, Danny killed

very clearly full-curl rams.

So he was fine, because on the curl.

One guy just said that sheep's seven,

one guy came in for a second opinion and said that's eight,

and these guys just left it at a draw.

They're like, it's an imperfect science. That's really the

least reliable way of doing it, is trying to count those rings. Yep.

It's stressful, man.