We had not been on the river more than 30 minutes when Curley yelled, "Sheep!" Then he shouted, "Rams!" and everything happened at once. Suddenly I saw them on the rocks above shore—10 sheep, standing regal and still, like a tableau in granite. They were the color of stone.
Somehow I found my rifle under the tarp, got it out of its case, bolted a shell into the chamber and pointed it toward the shore. My scope was on four-power, and all I could see was a blur. The raft careened out of one rapid into another, throwing me to the bottom. My knee was in somebody's lap, and somebody else had a boot on my back. Just as I located one of the rams in the scope the raft hit shore and jolted to a stop on the rocks. One of the oars snapped back and hit me in the head. The sheep leaped into the air and galloped en masse up a cliff.
Half in, half out of the boat, I swung the scope on a ram, swung another ram and a half ahead of him and fired. It was a perfect skeet shot. Curley yelled, "You got him, baby!" The sheep went down, rolled over once and lay still.
Lyle was still shooting at the other rams, and Gerry was screaming for more ammunition. I shoved my rifle with its two remaining shells at him. He fired again and hit one of the rams far back. It ran part way up the cliff, slowed, then stopped, swaying on the edge. I yelled, "Don't shoot, he's down!" just as Gerry fired again. The bullet smashed into the rocks. The sheep pitched forward, turned full circle in the air and plunged to the rocks below. Lyle was halfway up the mountain by this time, after the remaining ram. It is amazing that anything was still moving after all the shooting, but his sheep obviously was. I grabbed my rifle from Gerry and started up. There were three more shots from above, and he yelled, "Bingo!"
I climbed to where my ram lay. He was beautiful—not a record, but his horns seemed absolutely symmetrical and perfectly formed. Even the sight of Curley climbing toward me did not spoil the elation of the moment.