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Thread: Sometimes lady luck comes my way....this time in the form of a nice double broomer

  1. #1

    Default Sometimes lady luck comes my way....this time in the form of a nice double broomer

    I'll attempt to keep this relatively short and sweet from the long version I typed up for family and friends, I'll also let my partner tell his own story since his ram required some real blood and sweat....you'll see what I mean.

    Arrived in Fairbanks with one day to play with to pack our gear and confirm my zero. Long story short my scope was jacked up, wouldn't hold a zero, after the hunt loose base screws was discovered to be the most likely culprit (I didn't loctite them when I got it because I was excited to go shoot my new Leupold ultralight....idiot). Luckily my buddy had his trusty 300 win mag, which is an absolute beast, heavy barrel, huge scope. I took 3 shots with it at the range, the last at 354 yds, 5 in low and 2 in left...dead sheep any day. I knew I was going to be leaving behind my lightweight Tikka 300WSM and adding another 3-4lbs to my load in, but the piece of mind was priceless.

    As others have mentioned Wright Air was great, and we showed up early on the 8th and were able to get a flight out 5 hours earlier than our scheduled time. Amazingly we got in before the weather destroyed us for our entire trip....of course we were in the AK range. The crappy weather helped us as I dont think many other hunters were able to get in the next 2 days with all the clouds/fog/rain/snow/sleet/etc.

    After our hike in the next day revealed about 40 sheep on the mountain we were planning on hunting....probably 4 or 5 shooters in the bunch, some too close for our liking but we had to get closer. We packed up at midnight and began our hike under the cover of darkness and snow since there was no way we could get close during daylight without being busted. At 3AM we were on top of the mountain in a **** blizzard. We sat wet and cold until noon, saw a bunch of sheep only one of them shooters, but our optics were trashed (foggy and wet) and the legal sheep just vanished on us into the snow. They already busted us as we were a little careless because we were so cold and were moving too fast...then again I don't know that our optics would have helped us spot them due to the conditions. I also got chilblains on my big toe and hands that is still irritating me from that day. Anyhow, we made it back to the tent at noon and took a 5 hour nap. We awoke at 5PM and to our amazement there were about 20 sheep from 250-500yds from our tent...which was very low. Weather might have pushed them down. I also had my whitesuit laid out on my trekking poles to dry out. By complete accident, it actually looked a little like a sheep so it might have kept them at ease being so low. After spotting them for an hour or so I finally decided I would shoot a heavy horned ram that I was 95% sure was double broomed. The one horn just looked weird, like it was broken, but I wasn't 100%. By the time I decided to shoot, he was 454 yds, and he red over the ridge. I spent the next 3 hours low crawling and on my hands and knees crawling up a small creek trying to stay out of sight. Bottom line, I got stuck in the creek and could not go any further without being in plain sight so I waited till dark and moved back to the tent.

  2. #2

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    Part 2- We awoke the next morning around 7, ate breakfast, sucked down my Starbucks via and discussed our gameplan for the day. That all changed when my buddy opened the rainfly and to our amazement the sheep were all back, this time closer. I asked if my heavy horned sheep was there. My buddy confirmed it, and ranged him. 299 yds. I was not letting him get away this time. We rolled over each other, still in our sleeping bags. Dialed in the distance, took up a good rest of which there were plenty since we were still in the tent. Waited an eternity, probably only 2 mins for him to give me a good broadside shot. We didn't see the first shot hit, but he was moving funny. Took about 5 steps, I tried to reload....weapon jammed, quickly fixed the jam and sent round #2. Nailed him in the shoulder and he was down. My buddy pulled out the camera to record me still in my sleeping bag, rifle in hand, only to find that the camera had been broken.....doh! Put my rain gear on because it was raining of course and walked the short 299 yds from the tent to claim my first ram. About 25 yds out I could tell his other horn was clearly broken....fish and game was not going to take this one away from me . Posted are the only pics I was able to take after we came out of the field. Sheep2011_1_2.jpgSheep2011_3.jpg


    He was officially 33in (didn't write down the exact lenght, it was 33 something), 13 1/8in bases (although I measured 13.5"), and 7 years old (again I counted 8 years). Couldn't be happier with my double broomer.

  3. #3

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    Sheep2011_6.jpg

    This is the final picture

  4. #4
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Nice heavy horns!Man didn't even have to get out of the bed,what a hunt!!

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Dang man, we hiked nearly 50 miles to get my ram. I like your way better. Congrats!

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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Congrat's, But you better hurry and Auction that tent off to the highest bidder

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    Congrats on the ram from the tent. Were you fully clothed? I think the F&G regs states that all hunters must be wearing their hunting clothes before they fill a tag. Thanks for the story. A double broomer is a true trophy.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Very cool - you earned the tent shot the previuos day packing in the dark and freezing in a blizzard!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Now that's a story you don't see on here ever, shot from a tent. Wish I could have done the same thing. Congrats, awesome trophy.
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  10. #10

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    Haha, I think I might have thrown on my mid-layer top cause I was cold eating breakfast. I was definately wearing my boxer briefs though.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like you had a Sheep Blind, not a tent

    Great story and congrats on beatin your way through the weather to get to the sheep.

    Question, was it a down or a synthetic bag.... I'm sure Marc from Wiggy's will want to know !

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Will go down as a truely memorable story that will be told for years, congrats to you both.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Sounds like you had a Sheep Blind, not a tent

    Great story and congrats on beatin your way through the weather to get to the sheep.

    Question, was it a down or a synthetic bag.... I'm sure Marc from Wiggy's will want to know !
    Synthetic- Kelty

    Haha, I was thinking the same thing. We moved our tent later that day to get away from the gut pile a bit and I left my poles with the white suit and came back for them on the 2nd load. On my way walking back down the hill I saw the whitesuit and for a minute thought there was a sheep down there...haha, then I realized both A) you're an idiot, and B) maybe that thing really did serve as a sheep "decoy". I'll see how many whitesuits I see flapping from trekking poles next season.... I bet at least one person tries it.

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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swat8888 View Post
    Synthetic- Kelty

    Haha, I was thinking the same thing. We moved our tent later that day to get away from the gut pile a bit and I left my poles with the white suit and came back for them on the 2nd load. On my way walking back down the hill I saw the whitesuit and for a minute thought there was a sheep down there...haha, then I realized both A) you're an idiot, and B) maybe that thing really did serve as a sheep "decoy". I'll see how many whitesuits I see flapping from trekking poles next season.... I bet at least one person tries it.
    Better contact Montana Decoy for the New Dall Decoy and get your commission

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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Sweet! Congrats to both of you! Sounds like the hunt I was dreaming of!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

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    Congrats to you guys. A gimme ram got to be the hardest gimme of them all .Thanks for sharing that great story.

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    I will gladly sell the tent/sheep blind to the highest bidder! Lets start out at $500? Any takers.

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    Now for the REST of the story. With one ram down and swat8888 busy cleaning the sheep, it was my turn to do some hard hunting. In his previous story, the "Ram that vanished in the snow" was a ram I have been after for two years and affectionately named nemesis. He is a BEAST. SUPER DEEP and WAY WIDE. If you took your arms and stuck them out of your head a person would resemble the giant. So... back after him the next day while swat888 cleaned up the bruiser he smashed with two great shots. (By the way.... his shot at the range at 350yards with my .300 win Mag Cannon was an inch and a half low and half and inch left. I still have the target. It just looked like a long way due to the magnification on the telescope I have on it, never the less he way shooting where he wanted) Well i plan to go right back where we came from the day before to get a jump on Nemesis. It was rainy, every 5 min i was standing inside a cloud, super windy.. to sum up miserable. On top of it NO SHEEP. None. Not a one. What the heck I thought... there were loads of sheep everywhere yesterday. As I sat on the ridge top, through the clouds, I saw something bookin butt down a VERY steep slope.. right where Nemesis escaped to yesterday. My heart started racing until I made out a grizzly coming down from the heavens. He was running full speed and was no doubt chasing away my rams before I had gotten there. So back down the valley I went. That night it got cold but clear. In the morning I was rested and had made up my mind that it was the day to cover some ground. My mind was set on a route that I had taken the previous year. After rounding the East face of the mountain we were hunting, peaked a ridge which began the north face. The north face was a series of 3 progressively elevated alpine valleys. As I peaked over the into the first one I saw no less than 40 lambs and ewes. How was I going to make it past all those sheep without sending a chain reaction up into the next two higher valleys? THE WHITE SUIT! I had read about these white suits but dismissed them as being a last ditch effort to close distance. So I donned the wet full length suit and walked right smack dab down and up the other side of the valley. Everyone moved to a range of about 200yards and stood there staring. Dang, I thought, this suit works pretty well. Up into the next valley I went. There on the far face were 6 rams. 2 of which were close to legal and with closer inspection probably were. It was too early to settle for anyone but Nemesis. Again I had to cross this valley to get to the next and highs valley. So Again I walked right through it with all 6 rams not even batting an eye! As I crested the into the 3rd valley I was searching high and low.. where I wasn't searching was right in front of me. BAM! 20 yards in front of me a 7/8 curl staring a whole in me. I froze solid. Without a worry in the world he turns away from me and starts eatting again. Wow I thought! This white suit is amazing. I thought.. well i think I will just follow in this sheep's footsteps and he will take me to the honey hole! As I followed him at about 20 yards i glanced to my right and there hunkered down behind a boulder was a young ram, but infront of him just off a drop off was TWO MASSIVE sets of horns. I could only see the top half but they were heavy. Immediately I dropped on my but and slipped off my pack. For the next 3 hours I sat motionless looking at two THICK sets of horns through the binos at a range of 70 yards. In that 3 hours I was in pure heaven. What I didn't realize or could see was about 8 other mid size rams all within 50 yards. They would work their way close and then bed down again. All would look at me and dismiss me as one of the boys in the band. At one time a lamb and ewe made their way up the same path I had taken. The lamb was no more than 2 yards to my right. I could see the individual hairs and the little poofball on his head. So close I could hear the munching as he grazed past me. I felt like I had my own virtual 3D Nationial Geographic movie. Well... in that three hours I got great views of the two bruisers that were 70yards below me. The first... who finally stood up broomed on his left. "Yes! Just turn and show me that broomed right side" I thought. He finally did and he was NOT broomed but very very close to full curl. I got one great view... then another... and another. He was sooooooooooooo close, but I was not 100% sure so I made up my mind to let him live another day. The second bruiser was way deep and wide.. he will never reach full curl due to the path of his growth. I clearly counted 10 growth rings... but due to a hunting partner getting pinched for counting rings last year, I was not leaving the aging process to someone at fish and game. *remember this part later in the story* After the three hours I am surrounded by sheep everywhere but I realize it is time to get one down or I gotta head back. I am about 5 miles from camp and I have to go down 600feet, up 200, down 600, up 200, down 300 and then one more mile of gradual incline. With that realization made, I turn to my right... ALL THE WAY to my right. I turned so far I was cutting the blood to my brain. Directly behind me at the top of the ridge, standing on a rock pedistal, looking out from his throne was a nice sheep scanning off into the valley. He looked like my english setter pointing a grouse. The bright sun was reflection off the snow background so all I could see was a silhouette. What a sight let me tell you. It was an amazing sight! The problem was..... all I could see was the silhouette. I couldn't see the overlap of his horn and head which would allow me to determine if he was full curl. Right then he turned an locked on to me. From the straight on angle I could see him reach full curl and then flare out to the side. "THIS IS IT" I told myself. I slowly turned my head back to the front and eased my range finder out of my pocket. I turned again and zapped him with the lazer... 259 it said.. at a steep angle. PERFECT. A chip shot for my 6.5-284. As I ranged him though he was looking a little spooky and starring me down. I slowly rotated my head back to my front, put down the range finder and spun the turret on my scope to 245 yards. My plan was to lie all the way backwards so my back was flat on the slope, high leg over to a prone position and taste the taste of blood. There I encountered a problem. A ROCK! A sharp rock that was situated right on my spine! The only way I could get to a prone position would be to get up with significant amounts of movement and lye back down. On to plan B. The only other way I could get pointing directly backwards and up hill was to lean as far back and right as I could, with a knife sharp rock stabbing into my back and look upside down, uphill. A quick mathematical adjustment in ballistics for an upside down shot when through my head. I adjusted the scope back to zero and leaned back into a terribly uncomfortable position. The best way to describe my position is if you put your butt on the very edge of your seat, lean back so your shoulders are against the backrest, place your left fist on the top of the back rest, aim a rifle over your left shoulder with your fist resting on the elevation turrete of the scope(so the riffle is upside down), lean your head all the way back and shoot directly behind you and up at about 20degrees. Dispite the Annie Oakley position, I was pretty darn stable. I waisted no time and about 5 seconds after getting the cross hairs on his front shoulder I released the hand loaded 130gr accubond at 2900 ft/sec. With in an instant the horns that where facing skywards were replaced by feet. Dropped! I stood up sore from not moving for close to 3 hours with the tastes of sheep blood in my mouth(figuratively) .... wait a min... that isn't sheep blood really taste blood(literally). As I look down I see blood rushing to the ground, pouring off my chin. What the hell I thought as the adrenalin started to ware off and the pain in the middle of my forehead appeared. Now my sheep rifle is 4 and one half pounds with a 10oz scope, the laws of physics results in a pretty darn good kick, a kick where if you don't have the butt square in the shoulder(like if you were shooting upside down over your left shoulder) would leave a nice scope bite... That is exactly what happened. Ouch. Did I care? NO WAY! So if you see a guy walking around fairbanks with scope bite in the middle of his forehead instead of over his eyebrow.... That is me! So after this sheep got hammered and I stood up gushing blood the other sheep did NOTHING. The didn't move or care. I still had on my magic white suit which was quickly turning red. I made my way up to inspect my trophy. There he was wedged in the little eddy of shale below his look out. Head downward on loose shale! Ah my luck! After a quick inspection to verify the legality of his horns, I started the butchering process. Where I started and finished were not the same place as we slide about 40 yards down the steep shale slope during the duration of the process. With the moving target and unstable footing I put some nasty gashes in my hands with the havalon surgical blades. Eventually I had everything packed up and headed back. I felt good, making good time but moving carefully. After the long 4 miles off the 3 valleys I turned the corner to the east side of the mountain for the home stretch when.... whoa..... the world started spinning. "Okay Greg" I told myself "You have one more cliff bar with you, you are getting hypoglycemic, time to eat" it was about 1030pm at this time. So I did and I drank and rested. 1 mile of easy walking to go! I got up and everything went sideways again as I almost lost my balance. At this point I knew I was in rough shape and was closing in on a medical emergency. I FELT HORRIBLE! Dizzy, nauseous and sweating I unloaded the meat into a stream to keep cool and spread the cape over a rock. With the lightened load I stumbled about 1/4 mile before I saw my partner on the skyline. I flashed him with my head lamp and he made his way to my position. He shouldered my gear back to camp where I mixed a whole pack of gatorade into about 5oz of water and slammed it, and crashed like I never have in my bag. The morning we hiked back and recovered my sweet succulent meat and hard earned trophy. The way out was uneventful and smooth. Days later I reported to get the horns sealed... butterflies flew in my stomach due to being at the mercy of some stranger who holds all the power in her hand! Without much scrutiny the sealing official determined full curl and went about business of recording the measurements and dismissed us. I asked if I could write down the stats off the paper she carried the official said "of course". I copied down the measurements and was surprised to see that the ram was 6 years old. She told me that the ram was 6 years old which was very young to be harvested. I then nicely asked if I could receive a lesson in aging the sheep. The sealing official was glad to show me the intricacies of the growth rings and how the horns grow. While doing so she naturally counted the rings again while simultaneously pointing them out to me... 7 and a half years old she counted... Wait a min... It was just 6 years old, 5 min later it aged a year.. hmmmmmmmm.... let that be a lesson to everyone! We got back to fairbanks and I was greeted by my parents from WI and my 3 year old who gave me endless amounts of bear hugs. We then set up an assembly line of meat processing and got everything cleaned and sealed in no time flat. Great Hunt, and great memories forever. Only to be eclipsed by next years hunt!


  19. #19
    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    Great story man. I don't think I would ever take a shot like that though. I'm really glad to hear about how well the whites worked, always bring them, but never had to use them. You be I will have a set set up just outside the tent though. ;o)

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