Shrinkage causes massive Alberta ram horns to fall short of world record
EDMONTON – A massive set of ram horns, which were found near Hinton, Alberta earlier this spring, have missed hitting world record status by mere inches.
Fish and Wildlife officers found the bighorn sheep skull in April 2014. At the time, the horns measured just over 209 inches, which is more than an inch bigger than the previous world record holder.
However, after a mandatory 60-day drying period, the horns shrank.
According to Richard Hale with the Boone and Crockett Club, a Montana-based conservation club, the ram’s horns lost four inches in net score.
“Four inches of shrinkage during the 60-day drying period is very rare.”
The horns measure in at just over 205 inches, which makes them the fifth largest of all time, according to the Boone and Crockett Club.
“Though it’s not a world’s record, it is another tremendous specimen symbolic of continuing, successful conservation programs. For that, we congratulate Alberta wildlife officials,” said Hale, chairman of the club’s Big Game Records Committee.
Biologists believe the ram died of old age in early summer 2013. They say the horns swelled from being buried in the snow over the winter before they were found.
“The horns were exposed to the elements through the remainder of summer, all fall and all of a wet, snowy winter. Apparently the horns absorbed an incredible amount of moisture,” Hale added.
The ram horns that currently hold the world record measure in at just over 208 inches. They were found by a hunter in Alberta in 2000.
© Shaw Media, 2014