Bob Friel - Board Member
I’m not sure whether we come into this world with a passion for outdoors and hunting or whether it is developed along the way. Probably, a little of both. I do know that hunting has been a big part of my life. I used to think of myself as a pretty good deer and elk hunter. In 1996, I drew a Deseret Bighorn tag on the South San Rafael unit in Utah. I had never even seen a wild sheep, but with the help and encouragement of a few good friends, including Marc Bingham I began my sheep hunting career.
A summary of the 16-year journey to my Full Curl included following: Two self-guided do-it-yourself draw tags (Deseret and Rocky). One short notice cancellation backpack hunt in the northern Yukon (Dall). One promotional hunt due to low hunter success with all native Americans, also in the Yukon. (Stone)
A part of those adventures would include; two nights on the mountain with no food, water or shelter; three days in a two-man backpack tent due to snow and severe weather; one borrowed right-handed bolt action rifle because airport officials in Vancouver, BC had temporarily misplaced my left-handed rifle; a couple of major horse events; an unwanted grizzly bear that had to be dispatched in a backpack camp, fortunately, I had a tag; one really long shot of 1286 yards, which was verified and videoed; a lot of new friends and great memories.
It’s hard to follow up the accomplishment of all four North American wild sheep. After a few years I did have to make the trip to Kyrgyzstan for a great Marco Polo sheep and a couple of Ibex. I have also been fortunate enough to make three trips to Africa which included Leopard and Buffalo. I’ve hunted New Zealand for Red Stag, Tahr and Chamoi. I have made multiple trips to Alaska and Canada which included Brown Bear, Moose, Caribou, Whitetail and Mule Deer, but sheep will always remain at the top of my list.
I consider it a high honor to serve as a member of the Board of the Utah Wild Sheep Foundation.