The Utah Wildlife Resources Division thought it might never sell this year's permit to hunt a rare desert bighorn sheep. But then along came Pennsylvanian James Nyce.

Each winter, the division auctions once-in-a-lifetime permits to hunt a desert bighorn, a buffalo and a moose. But no hunters bid the minimum $20,000 for the sheep."Once the bidding deadline passed last March, we put the permit out on a first-come, first-served basis. The first hunter to offer at least $20,000 would get it," Grant Jense, the division's big-game coordinator, said Monday.

That's when Nyce, of Lansdale, Pa., entered the picture with the $20,000.

"He's after a grand slam," Jense said. "He already has the other three," a Rocky Mountain bighorn, a stone bighorn and their all-white Alaskan cousin.

"He has until the end of the year, but he's coming in about next Monday," Jense said.

In addition to the permit, Nyce will also receive transportation to southeastern Utah's Canyonlands area and free guide service to help him locate a trophy ram.

The $20,000 goes into the division's management program for desert bighorn sheep.