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Thread: A wet foggy Sheep Hunt in the AK Range

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    Default A wet foggy Sheep Hunt in the AK Range

    We hiked up a drainage on the 8th to a side drainage to try and get a look at 6 or 7 white dots we had spotted earlier in the day on hte ridge. Pitched the tent there late afternoon and spotted 6 that night. 2 were close but no cigar. Weather was not too bad. Good visibility, wet brush, some rain off and on. I also spotted 1 lone ram and later on 3 others at the head of our main drainage about 2 miles up. 10 rams spotted on the first day! This is looking good! Hopefully the weather holds




    The 9th, supposed to be a day of scouting/glassing and hopefully getting a closer look at the rams up the bowl and maybe find the 7th if he existed but the ceiling dropped and so did the rain that night and all day. Spent the day in the tent socked in. Rain poured down and the clouds stayed low. Bummer.


    The morning of the 10th it had lifted some. I looked up the valley at the head of the bowl which had a fresh frosting of snow. As did the ridge we saw the rams on the night before. By 9 am the ceiling dropped and the rain returned, socked in again. We decided to head up the drainage in the rain through the wet brush. Base layer and rain gear, time to get wet. Ceiling was up and down in the afternoon/evening, that evening we spotted the 6 rams which had moved up the ridge/drainage and over the mountain at the head of our drainage.








    The 11th found us with low ceiling again, no sheep to be seen below the clouds. We headed up around the edge of our bowl to the fog line and waited for it to lift. Ate lunch in a cave out of the wind and driving rain watching a low saddle. Afternoon it lifted, we could see adjacent ridges and bowls for the first time! Yeah! The afternoon was spent glassing, exploring, etc., That evening we spotted the 6 rams on the back side of the mountain from an adjacent ridge. No other rams, where were the other 4?? Are there any shooters around we haven't seen yet? Looks like we may have found the ram zone. Plan was to check it out the next day.

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    The 12th we woke to clear skies and sun!! Finally a break! We headed to the back side of the mountain where we saw the 6 and found them in the crags with another 7. We watched 13 rams come out and feed. No shooters argh…. But, we found the rams. Up to this point we had seen about 35+ ewes and lambs earlier in the day on the other side on our way over. We snuck out of there late evening without getting busted and were excited to hunt the area the 2 days we had left, 13th and 14th. We still hadn't seen all the terrain and were hoping to find at least one legal in there.








    After watching a dozen rams for quite a while this guy stepped out from behind the rock, he'd been there out of site for about an hour. We named him Tex cuz his horns looked like a texas longhorn steer.





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    13th, 5am, socked in worse that it has been. Weather moved in again and it's been raining hard all night long. Big bummer. We decided to head to the ram zone through the weather to a point we felt okay with in the fog and wait out the weather to see if it would lift. At least maybe we'd be within striking distance if it did. We got around the mountain and found the weather blowing in heavy from that side. 50-200yds visibility max. We backed out and decided to not stumble around in the fog, and cold driving rain in the rocks. The weather did not let up all day or night. We escaped the wind/fog/wet zone and had coffee and lunch on the veranda. (BTW, The MSR Reactor is the hot setup for two guys. Not affected by the wind at all and boils 1 L + in 3 mins)








    14th, last day, gotta go for it. Weather is the same, maybe a little higher ceiling, we can only see half way up the bowl. we were minutes away from heading up and bingo! 4 rams come across the bowl at the edge of our visibility. Spotter says one is close, 7/8ths maybe. We decide to wait it out to see if any other move into the area. The weather deteriorates, they disappear in the clouds. The bowl socks in and the rain comes down. It's been raining for days and we've got a river to cross….. hopefully. We decide to pull the plug, it was our last day to hunt.


    All in all it was a great trip when we could see. We had 2.5 days of what I would call hunt-able conditions. Otherwise we were in the tent. But we did manage to find some rams and see things you can only see when your in the sheep mountains. I watched a banana ram play with a Caribou shed antler, that was cool. He'd pounce on one end and make rock like a rocking horse, it was pretty funny.

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    Great story! Sorry you guys didn't haul the big one out, but its just one of many great memories you already have of hunting in Alaska. Nothing beats sheep hunting.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Great read Synd, one will give himself up to you one of these years. You sure do hunt hard, still time left for another round!!!!

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Nice post - not all end with an animal taken for sure - that did not mean they were unsuccessful trips though!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    I was thinking of all the poor sheep hunters when the rains were coming down. It made me feel a little better though, because I couldn't get out this year. If I had to miss an opener, this was the one.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Great read Snyd !!! and great pictures too !!!..... I thought you guys were headin' to the Brooks, where the weather is more promising with the AK range as a back up? However, it looks like you guys found a great spot for future sheephunting in the years to come. Thanks for sharing......

    Chuck

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    kxj66ni
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    Great write-up - every sheep hunter should be made to read before going to hunt sheep
    Kxj66

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    You have been to and seen things few have,congrats
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I'm still finding myself super jealous. Given the choice between spending 6 days in sheep mountains without a ram or being in the city, dry and warm, I'd choose the sheep mountains every time. Well done.

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    great spirit in your post, the story is just as good maybe better than a harvest story because you tell the story so well. seeing so many sheep and the photos. what a nicely written post, thank you for posting. had me on the edge. next time it just maybe your time, likely they'll still be there imo
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    Thanks for writing up your sheep adventure. It is good to read this as it puts into perspective all those who were successful. There is probably no other hunting endeavor that is so controlled by the weather than sheep hunting. You certainly have found a great spot to return to.
    Oh and great pics throughout the piece, especially through the spotter.

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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about all the Bad weather, Like Chuck said atleast you'll have the spot in another year or so. Neat pic's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I'm still finding myself super jealous. Given the choice between spending 6 days in sheep mountains without a ram or being in the city, dry and warm, I'd choose the sheep mountains every time. Well done.
    any day

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    Snyd: I have had a few sheep hunts like you described over the last 40 years. They were never considered "unsuccessful" when coming back with nothing to show. Your success was the experience of just being out there, giving it your best, and laying the foundation for a future hunt. In your case it would seem to me that this was an all time great scouting trip. Now, if you should need a partner for next year give me a call! I can still get up there, just takes me a little longer.

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