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Trophy hunt on the Swell

Ashley Hardy with her Desert Bighorn ram.

Ashley Hardy, 17, of Wellington, successfully drew a Desert Bighorn ram sheep tag this year without a single preference point.

That's where her luck really began but it certainly didn't end. Although she had hunted for deer and elk previously, she had not even taken a shot or been fortunate to harvest a big game animal.

Her sheep hunt began the last week of September this year and ran through the entire month of October using her own horse, her brother Jake's and sister Jessica's horses and the mules, ATVs, and 4x4s of her family and friends.

Ashley covered a tremendous amount of turf on foot covering all ends of the Northern Swell, including but not limited to: Mexican Mountain, Cane Wash, the Wedge and little Wedge, Buckhorn Wash, North and South Coal Wash, etc.

She appreciates all those who provided hands-on help, inspired directions, practical suggestions, sound advice and continuous encouragement. But, especially her brother Jake, sister Jessica, mother Roberta, Henry and Sandy Nelson (Cleveland), Corey and Ray Brown (American Fork), Wayne Shelton (American Fork), Max Morgan (Price), Carl Hurst (Orem), Don Lum (Price, BLM), the Emery County Sheriff's Office (Lamar Guymon and Deputies who continuously kept their eyes' on her and her roving camp), Bill Bates (Price, DWR), Angelo and Ange Pappas (Wellington) and Nick and Dino Kaitpes (Price), and everyone else who helped in skinning and processing the animal and gave her the faith to keep trying.

You were all tremendous examples of what excellence in big game hunting is all about.

After passing up over nine mature rams earlier last month, she knew her time was quickly running out for this once in a lifetime hunt.

After missing two shots at approximately 200 and 250 yards, Ashley stalked to within 50 yards and successfully shot this excellent 6 year old ram on the third to last day of the hunt with a bolt action 220 swift rifle in the Northern San Rafael Swell, her Father at her side.

Bill Fox Taxidermy (Helper) will be mounting Ashley's trophy.

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