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Thread: Pick-up sheep horns

  1. #1
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    Red face Pick-up sheep horns

    I have a buddy who collects bighorn sheep horns in the spring. This friend recently read Alaska's Wolf Man and has fallen in love with the idea of finding a set of Dall sheep horns. He and his family live a spartan lifestyle and have little extra money. I intend to pay for him and I to come to Alaska next spring to try and find him a set of horns. I won't be able to afford a backcountry flight for us. I am looking for a place where we might be able to camp/hike for 5 or 7 days. I would like to see beautiful country in an area where the sheep are likely to winter. I prefer messages sent to me(especially since the information is sensative).
    My friend is NOT interested in anything other than finding and possessing a set-in fact he does not yet know what I am planning! I have been on 4 fly-in bush hunts. He has hunted central Idaho 30+ years and regularly camps in Yellowstone National Park (to illustrate he is capable and bear aware). Always no-trace.
    My friend is kind and totally without guile. He is absolutly the highest quality person.
    I thank you each in advance for any help we may get. We are looking for only 1 set.

  2. #2
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Let us know if you get any good responses. I've been fortunate enough to find half a dozen or so sets, they're nice to come upon.

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    Honestly, I don't expect much help. Most people would rather part with oxygen than tell a stranger a well guarded secret! My buddy has about 60 sets of bighorn headgear that he has found over the years. He is a different sort of duck however. He photos every area in which he finds a skull. He writes it all down in a journal. He then takes the horns to the authorites to have his documents checked out and his horns pinned. He has asked me to get him some caribou antlers in the past to hang around his house. He has antlers from deer, elk and moose hanging from trees and laying in gardens and all over his farm. He and I worked in the Boy Scout program together for 4 years. In those 4 years we took our troop camping EVERY single month for all 4 years. Maybe if some of you can add ideas on places to hike without the prospect of sheep? I placed a post about a year ago on that subject and got some good results. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Go up the haul road and a walk about in the Brooks Range. Areas that produce avalanches often kill sheep in the winter. Walk around the Brooks long enough and you will find some. Even if you don't, what a great place to look. Best of luck to you both.








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    The trick is NOT the where. But the when, when the snow is receding in the avalanche chutes. Don't look up top, look down in the head or upper brush. The kills will get dragged down by predators. Right about this time of year is about right to look. However it will change every year based on snow & melt rate. Not sure if you can take them for the state parks, but the Eklutna Lake area will be accessible and productive. Also above beluga point, just south of Anchorage.
    It is not so much about where they live in the summer, but where they die in the winter, which is lower & out on wind blown exposed points.

  6. #6
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Not a sheep, but a cool pic nonetheless. My son took it last fall in Endicott Arm here in SE. He was doing a high-school intern gig with the USFS Park Rangers.


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    I am really thankful for the help so far. The pics also lend an air of excitement for me. I did not expect many replies as I was asking for locations but you folks are helping to narrow possibilities. For those of you who think 60 is a large number(exaggeration), I enclosed a pic of some of them as well as a pic of one of his larger ones. Enjoy! P.S. Sorry to those who looked earlier and missed the pics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by the nikster; 07-01-2011 at 18:18. Reason: one last comment

  8. #8
    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Cool Collection, When I went to the Brooks last year, I looked and looked for a horn. My guide told me to look around all the brush and trees at the bottom of the drainages that would be carried down by the rushing water from spring. We did find a nice side off a decent broomed one and about 50 yards farther down he found a full set laying about 2 feet apart, but no skull. Good Luck to you and your friend.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    He has a passion! Why did I get bit by the rockhound bug and not the horn bug?

    Eklutna Lake is a great place to look. You can drive a lot of the elevation and there is a good population mixed with lots of avalanches.

    PM heading your way. If he ever wants to trade a set of horns for some shiny rocks....lol!
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    A good resource would be the Hunting regulations and Draw permit supplements, available here; http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.main there are several road accessable Draw permit areas that offer what you seek and all have spectacular scenery in their own right. Some are more challenging than others when it comes to the hike/pack in.

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    Thank you all for the help so far. I am also receiving related PMs and they too are helpful. We are not opposed to staying near a road. I do suspect he will want to hike in for a couple of days, camp a couple and then hike out. Just a guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the nikster View Post
    Thank you all for the help so far. I am also receiving related PMs and they too are helpful. We are not opposed to staying near a road. I do suspect he will want to hike in for a couple of days, camp a couple and then hike out. Just a guess.
    Road accessable in my post/example means only that you will not need to hire a transporter etc., hiking for a day or two would still be required and ceratinly makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

  13. #13
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Wish I was some help but I have never found a set either. Good luck to the two of you!

    Those are some magnificent horns your buddy is holding there and one sweet collection!!!

  14. #14
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    You want to look in places where sheep winter, and thus, the old mature rams might succumb to the elements and their age. I assume your friend would prefer male horns.
    Talk to the area bio for each unit that holds sheep. Or each unit that you would consider economically accessible. Bio/s spend a fair amount of time flying so should be able to help you locate potential spots.
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    My friend has told me similar ideas. Look for where they winter. Bottom of steep draws where they might fall. Avalanche corridors. Spring run-off areas. We will be hiking so it makes sense to be hiking towards something, why not a sheep wintering location with a steep ravine that is prone to snowslides in the winter and runoff in the spring? While he would take anything, new or old, male or female, I am sure the top of his list would be a full curl set with skull nearby. The truth is, I am taking him on what I hope to be a major highpoint in his life-I don't think that coming home empty handed would alter that-but I do think that finding one WOULD!

  16. #16
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun. I've found several good sheds over the years, one set well over full curl.

    Be aware that the Alaska National Park and Preserve lands, (Gates of the Arctic, Wrangell St. Elias and others) make it UNLAWFUL to pick up sheds. Yes, it is true. Just as picking up or disturbing rocks and stones is not allowed.

    That said, do what you will....just don't bash the messenger.
    I think the National Park Service should be perceived as a branch of the former USSR. :/
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