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 North American rams besides. Gary has taken all of the huntable snow sheep, including the newly recognized Chukotka snow sheep.
As for the argalis, he has all of those that are huntable. He was wise enough to hunt in China before it closed, and he may be the only person to have all four different blue sheep from that country … including the dwarf and Helan Shan that was recognized just a year before China was closed to hunting and even the Himalayan blue sheep from there.
As for the mouflons, Gary has several European varieties from various locations, and not only has the Armenian mouflon from West Texas but one from Iran as well. Gary also took an Esfahan mouflon in Iran. As you would expect, he has the Konya mouflon from Turkey and was one of the first people to take one free range.
Now, moving along to the urials, we find that Gary has all of those, with three from Pakistan and a Transcaspian urial from Turkmenistan from back in 2003, before that country closed to hunting.
The transition species between sheep and goats are the turs. Yes, Gary has all three of them and has even been to Azerbaijan twice to get two Dagestan (Eastern) turs there.
Now for his Capra hunts, he has an American mountain goat and all the chamois except the Low Tatra, but he does have the newly added Chartreuse chamois.
Moving to the ibex, we find that Gary has all of those except the Nubian ibex of Sudan.
There are of course some others Gary has, such as the Mallorcan wild goat and the bezoar and Kri-Kri hybrids, as well as some feral goats from around the world. Without counting actual numbers, we have mentioned enough to let you know that Gary is a mountain hunter. It appears that he will even be listed as one of the just over a handful of recipients of the Ovis Super 40 after some more research is done. Yes, of course he has the Capra World Slam Super 30, and several above that number too.
Gary Rigotti is a committed long-term conservationist and a man of highest integrity in all aspects of life, including hunting. It is our sincere pleasure to honor Gary Rigotti as the 2016 recipient of the OVIS.