This is a guest post by Tim Burnett, Host and Producer of SOLO Hunters. Watch this world-record Bighorn Sheep hunt this week: Thursday 8:30 am, Friday 10 am and Sunday, August 7th at 11 pm ET.
OK, so what’s the story behind this NEW world record Bighorn Sheep out of Washington state? The full story has already been told from the hunter’s perspective, Aaron Roth, in Hunting Illustrated magazine but the story behind the production of this hunt has yet to be told.
When I first learned of this supposed World Record California sheep and saw photos circulating the internet, I was a big skeptic. Then the phone call came in from my good friend Jason Erdmann telling me that his brother, Derek, had filmed that hunt in its entirety. I knew that Derek Erdmann was going on a sheep hunt with his friend and was going to film it for the SOLO Hunters show, but I never put two-and-two together. You can imagine my surprise when the realization that we were going to have something special on our hands came full swing!
I first received a hard drive with photos and footage that was taken by Aaron and his wife, Angie, during the hunt. This was about a month after the official score was taken and I quickly started to comb through the footage. It was incredible. When Derek finally sent the rest of the footage to me, I had already started storyboarding the hunt. Wouldn’t you know it, when Derek filmed it he was using a Canon XHA1 and had the HD settings a bit messed up and my old school HDV deck could not recognize the tape. I was terrified. This was the first time I ever had anything like that happen to me. After some quick research a remedy was found and a borrowed camera to load the footage was tracked down.
The neat thing about this hunt and how it all came together is that the people involved on the hunt were true Do-It-Yourself-Hunters. It would have been easy with a once in a lifetime tag for Aaron to hire a guide to get him on a good ram but he wanted to go it Solo. A guide or outfitter would not have put Aaron on that ram. Aaron’s pockets aren’t deep enough. But as a DIY Solo hunter and 20-plus days scouting for the rumored giant, the ram was found and put as the number one priority in Aarons mind.
As a producer, it was a treat to not have to sort through hours of boring talks and needless B-roll footage. Aaron and Derek filmed this ram just how they hunted for him. They filmed everything as it happened with no thoughts as to going back and recreating anything. That fit perfectly into the format and production standards we have set for the Solo Hunters show. I don’t want to have to recreate anything. Real hunters don’t have a chance for a do-over. Why should I?
I think the episode really shows the hunt well. You see the highs and lows. You see and feel the emotions. You see the amazing scenery. You witness the harvesting of one of the largest Bighorn Rams of any species to ever be taken by a hunter. You see the once in a lifetime journey of a man and his companion as they go through the rigors of a Solo hunt. It is a truly incredible feat and I am so honored to have this special footage and hunt on the Solo Hunters Show.
Thank You to Derek and Jason Erdmann, Aaron and Angie Roth.