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The Ovis Awards

The Ovis»

The Ovis

A new award, the Ovis, was introduced to the hunting world in January 2002. This award is sponsored by the international hunting organization Grand Slam Club/Ovis.

Why Ovis? The Dall sheep is known by the scientific name Ovis dalli dalli. The Rocky Mtn. bighorn is known as Ovis canadensis canadensis. The largest sheep in the world, the Altay argali, is Ovis ammon ammon, and the magnificent Marco Polo is Ovis ammon polii. This should make it obvious that the Ovis would have much to do with the world’s wild mountain sheep.

The idea for the Ovis was conceived by GSCO Executive Director Dennis Campbell. The hunting world has the Weatherby Award and SCI’s International Hunting Award, BUT there has never been an award directed specifically for wild sheep hunters. That is until the Ovis.

The criteria for being awarded the Ovis are very simple.

  1. The recipient must be an accomplished wild sheep hunter.
  2. He or she must have shown a commitment to wild sheep conservation.
  3. He or she must exemplify highest ethical standards in hunting.

2017: Ed Yates


Ed Yates has certainly set himself apart in recent years as one of the world’s premier mountain hunters. From GSCO’s records, we find that Ed began his mountain hunting career only some twenty-one years ago. However, once Ed got the mountain hunting bug, he has gone full tilt, as some might say. Amazingly, he has mixed in hunting on every huntable continent for every other type of big game, but there is no doubt he has concentrated on the wild sheep and goats of the world. Ed has the Ovis World Slam Super 30 as well as the Capra Super 30,... read more

2016: Gary Rigotti


Over the years, we have had two or three recipients of the OVIS who simply dedicated themselves to the mountains for practically 90 percent of their hunting time. Gary Rigotti joins that rank, as his passion has run extremely deep. Africa and some of the other continents have called, but Gary refused to listen to that call because his hunting world, for all practical purposes, revolved around a sheep or Capra hunt regardless of the continent. He completed his first Grand Slam, #742, in 1997 but has gone on to a second one and has four additional... read more

2015: Kenneth Barr


2015 Ovis recipient Kenneth Barr was both shocked and humbled to hear his name announced from the stage of the 11th annual Slam Quest Convention. Ken is pictured here with fellow OVIS recipients Hossein (Soudy) Golabchi (L) and Alan Means (R).    Ken Barr has certainly set himself apart in recent years as one of the world’s premiere mountain hunters.  From GSCO’s records, we find that Ken began his mountain hunting career only some twenty-three years ago. However, once Ken got the mountain hunting bug, he has gone full... read more

2014: Hector Cuellar


2014 Ovis recipient Hector Cuellar is all smiles as he poses with the Ovis bronze.  As is customary, Hector was joined on stage by all the previous Ovis recipients.  Pictured here (L-R) are Alan Means, Rex Baker, Hector and Renee Snider.   To say that 2014 Ovis recipient Hector Cuellar is an accomplished mountain hunter almost seems like an unfair understatement.  In fact, with over 350 species and subspecies from around the world, no other Ovis recipient has mountain trophies approaching Hector’s numbers.  He was... read more

2013: Renee Snider


Looking at the beaming faces of her colleagues, it's hard to judge who is enjoying the moment more, 2013 Ovis Recipient Renee Snider or the past reciepients that joined her on stage for the presentation. Pictured with Renee are Butch White (L) and Tom Hoffman (L)   Renee Snider offers a humble acceptance speech after becoming the first-ever female recipient of the Ovis. Upon receiveing the 2013 Ovis, Renee becomes the first lady to ever win one of the major hunting awards in the big game hunting industry... read more

2012: Maylon T White


Malon T "Butch" White was awarded the 2012 Ovis AND the 2012 Legend award, becoming the first-ever recipient of both. Butch White certainly began his hunting career at an early age. He was just a youngster in 1950 when he bagged a Colorado muley. He began sheep hunting in the early 1950s as well, as evidenced by a 1954 Dall sheep. By 1969, he had completed his Grand Slam and has a very low documentation number of 71. Butch was a banker, and not a politically correct one. He had many of his trophies displayed at the First National Bank of Durango. We... read more

2011: Alan Means


A humbled Alan Means receives the OVIS trophy from GSCO board member Hugh Jacks. Alan was recognized as the 2011 OVIS recipient at the 7th Annual Hunter and Outfitter Convention in Las Vegas.   If we had to give an Ovis nickname to Alan Means, it would have to be “Mister Stone Sheep.” This man has taken eighteen different Stone sheep hunts in his lifetime. Taking his first Stone ram in 1984, he has seven total Stone sheep. When you think about only seven rams and eighteen different hunts, one might question what is going on.... read more

2009: Butch Kuflak

2009 kuflak ovis

2009 Ovis recipient Butch Kuflak can't hide the elation as he receives the beautiful Rick Taylor Bronze from fellow GSCO board members Hugh Jacks (L) and Dale Martin (R).   Butch Kuflak grew up on the sandy shores of southern California. As a young man, his only hunts were for bathing beauties and beach volleyball. Butch still can’t resist a good doubles match, and in 2003, he walked away as champion of the Hoffy Gold division at the 33rd Gillis Invitational. But one day, on a whim, some friends invited the 20-year old to go... read more

2008: Archie Nesbitt

2008 nesbitt ovis

Archie Nesbitt completed his Archery Grand Slam in March 2000 with a desert sheep to become the fourteenth person to do so. All totaled, Archie has ten archery-taken North American rams to his credit. The first one dates to 1982, and he has three Dalls, three Stones and three bighorns, with his one Grand Slam desert ram from 2000. Archie completed his Archery Ovis World Slam in 2004 as only the second bow hunter to do so. He stayed after the Ovis list of mountain game, and is now up to sixteen on that list. Some very notable sheep among those sixteen... read more

2008: Tom Hoffman


2008 Ovis Recipients Archie Nesbitt (left center) and Tom Hoffman (right center) are flanked by GSCO board members Dale Martin and Dennis Campbell on the left and Francis Bouchard and Hugh Jacks on the right.   Tom Hoffman completed his first Grand Slam on November 28, 1985. He was only the second person to do this by bow and arrow, and was less than a month behind Archery Grand Slammer #1, Jack Frost, who had completed his Slam on October 30, 1985. Tom went on to complete a second Archery Grand Slam in 1989. Tom was the first person to... read more

2007: Rex Baker

2007 baker ovis

The 2007 Ovis recipient is just as worthy as our previous five honorees. This man is not only one of the world's greatest mountain sheep and goat hunters, but he is a long-proven wildlife conservationist.  Rex Baker of Marietta, Georgia has been a world sheep and goat hunter practically since he began hunting the mountains in the late 1970s. His first sheep was a Stone in 1976, and by 1978 he had completed a Grand Slam. That same year, Rex ventured to Iran where he took five different sheep on one trip. So, it did not take long for Rex to... read more

2006: Dr Robert (Bob) Speegle

2006 speegle ovis

When considering the next recipient of the Ovis, the challenge for the selection committee seemed to be great. However, about mid-year, when ballots began to be tallied, it became obvious that the 2006 Ovis recipient would once again be a most deserving one. The Ovis has always been presented as a complete surprise.  When the name Bob Speegle was called, Bob’s hands immediately slapped his forehead in total surprise. As he slowly rose to his feet, so did the rest of the audience. Practically everyone there knew of this tremendous... read more

2005: Jesús Yurén

2005 yuren ovis

The 2005 Ovis is being presented to Senor Jesus Yuren of Mexico City, Mexico. Jesus Yuren completed his Grand Slam in 1978 with a Stone sheep from British Columbia. He completed a second Grand Slam in 1989, again with a BC Stone. His Ovis World Slam was completed in 1989 with a Dagestan (Eastern) tur. In 1988, Jesus took his twelfth Capra species, a Himalayan tahr from Nepal, to complete a Capra World Slam.  He went on to get the Capra World Slam Super 20 in 1992, when he scored on a Bukharan markhor in Turkmenistan. The Ovis World Slam Super 20... read more

2004: Ron Carey

2004 carey ovis

The third annual Ovis went to a most deserving person: Ronald D. Carey of Alberta, Canada. Ron has dedicated his hunting life to the mountain animals of the highest places and is tremendously accomplished as a mountain hunter.  Ron has a total of 32 different species/subspecies of wild sheep. He has multiples of several, for a total of 47 rams. His North American rams total nine, and he has an amazing 16 argalis, as he has sort of specialized in the giant sheep of the world. As for the Capra animals (goats), he has taken his share there too. He... read more

2003: Hossein (Soudy) Golabchi

2003 soudy ovis

The second annual Ovis was presented on January 25, 2003. The recipient was Hossein Golabchi of Augusta, Georgia, better known by his nickname of Soudy. Soudy Golabchi was born in Iran, but emigrated to the U.S. as a young man. He is the owner of the highly successful Golmar Construction and Development Co. of Augusta. His achievements in business and his community are numerous. Soudy began hunting in Iran when he was 16 years old. He says that he has taken more sheep in his home country than he even cares to count, as he was initially not actually a... read more

2002: Donald Cox (first-ever)

Donald Cox

The selection committee had an easy time of it for the inaugural Ovis presentation. There was one person who stood out so dramatically that it made the selection an obvious one. The recipient was MR. DONALD G COX of Detroit, Michigan. Don was born November 4, 1921, and married Barbara in 1941. Don was a First Lieutenant in the Army during WWII and was an accomplished multi-engine airplane pilot. He is a chemical engineer and began Specialty Steel Treating in 1956. It is an ongoing highly successful company that has grown to three plants. His sheep... read more