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Thread: In Search of the Ghost Ram within the Fog

  1. #1
    Member BIG 27's Avatar
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    Default In Search of the Ghost Ram within the Fog

    I had planned this hunt a year out and this would be my third year hunting sheep. My first sheep hunt in 09 I took a solid ram mesuring 39 inches on one side and the other side broomed. In 2010 it was flash floods and my partner Steve took a nice ram and I took a very nice grizzly , and a mega bou. In 2011 I dreamed about a wide flared ram that would be full curl and not be broomed.The planning of this hunt was all done by myself in hopes of finding a hunting partner and I was down to a few months when the second hunting partner decided he could not afford this hunt as he was in the process of buying a house. So what to do now so I posted an add on the forum and got a few responses finally got a partner that seemed to be excited about the last minute opportunity he was a local Fairbanks resident. He showed up at the house a laid out gear and made last minute arrangements prior to the hunt. He is better known as Bill Foster and he had never taken a ram before himself but had accompanied another hunter in a Tok Management Area hunt. So I got off work the morning of the 8th and we met up with the pilot on the afternoon of the 8th to be flown into the Brooks Range. I made it out that afternoon but my partner didn't make it into the field until the afternoon of the 9th. On the eveining of the 9th we spiked into the mountains glassing in search of a ram on the late evening of the 9th I spotted a ram laying down all by himself perched high upon a rocky outcropping right away I knew he was a shooter. So we put him to bed glassed him for several hours keeping track of his movements at 9pm we had came up with a plan and that was to climb to the top of the mountain and get above him to try to get a shot. As we climbed up to around 5000 ft eleveation it began to get foggy and the visibilty was less than 50 ft at times. So we decdied to wait it out only having a kifaru paratarp we laid down and took a nap my partner got up several times that night I think he even did exercises to get warm but he toughed it out. The next morning I awoke to see the fog lifting so we got up and slowly started walking down the ridge to glass for the ram but the fog was going in and out and visibilty still wasn't very good. After a few hours of patiently glassing within the fog I was wondering if he had given us the slip then,I spotted the "king of the hil"l but it was briefly and well over 1/2 mile and then he dissappeared within the fog. After being on top of the mountain for 12 plus hours little to no water, and not much food I decided to descend not knowing if it would be my last chance. We made it back to camp and got a bite to eat, and hydrated I was completely exhausted not getting much rest under that paratarp the night before. I decided to walk down the valley floor and see if I could locate the ram on the mountain I just couldnt rest knowing he had given me the slip after a few minutes of galssing I found him and decided to to make a move and get as close as I could and take a shot he was hiding out in a draw within the mountain that had water and was shaded from the sun the perfect spot for the "king".I closed the distance and got within 409 yards before he became alert. As my 270 weatherby barked instantly the ram fell and it was all up hill to get him it was so steep we had to slide our packs down the mountain. He measured 37 1/2 inches and Fish and Game aged him at 13 years old. After getting him of the mountain we went in search of Bills ram that was green scored at 178 and measuring 46 in on the strong side and also was aged at 13 years old. Im not going to take Bills thunder away but will say he is a great partner and well deserving of the "king of the hill" he harvested.After taken the rams I spent 6 days on the airstrip ran out of food and ate sheep meat.Until next year all we have is memories and dreams of the next "king of the hill " that we may chase on open mountain sides. Somehow I always find the solitude on the mountain that I can't find anywhere else hope the lord gives me plenty more years chasing them wild sheep in the mountains of Alaska.
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    ďA man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him,and leaving something of himself upon it -- Sir Martin Conway

  2. #2
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Nice Sheep. Thanks for sharing the story.

  3. #3
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Great ram Tim. Hey, can I be your sheep hunting partner next year?

  4. #4

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    Very nice ram. Man I sure wish I could have gone on that hunt with you. Just needed things to be a little better at work to make it happen. Thanks again for the invite and congrats on a great hunt.

  5. #5
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Very nice ram and a good story.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Thats the stuff my dreams have been made of the past year and now with my unsuccessful sheep trip behind me, will be for the next year as well! Great story and pics!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Nice one Tim! Way to get it done!

  8. #8

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    Here's the pictures everyone's been waiting for. Sorry it took so long to get them up.

    This hunt all started out on this website. Tim started a thread because his hunting partner had dropped out. I responded to him with a personal message and we agreed to set up a time to meet. I was just happy to be able to go in the mountains and chase some sheep and see some new country. Tim had first dibs because it was through his efforts this was even possible. We arrived in the mountains the day before opening day. I watched through the spotting scope as Tim harvested his sheep - a very nice 37 1/2 inches on an amazing 410 yd shot - by noon of opening day. By 6 pm that night, Tim's sheep was processed and chilling in the river. Early the next day we hiked in a few miles to start glassin for mine. The weather was wonderful, we glassed some sheep along the way but nothing full curl. We set up camp around 8 pm at the top of the drainage, I still had some energy left and just had to know what was over the saddle. So I took the rifle and spotting scope and headed about a half mile from camp to see what was on the other side. As soon as I got to the top of the saddle I spotted this guy about two miles out feeding on a mountain side. I figured he was full curl after studying him a while so I headed back down to camp to tell Tim about the ram I spotted. After puttin down some food and mulling over the maps we decided to go after him. We left camp at around 9pm and headed up the saddle. I wanted to get Tim's opinion on the ram so we set up the scope and he took a look. He couldnt get a good look at him right away but once he saw the horns he simply looked up from the scope and said "You better go". I took off like a shot and covered that two miles in what seemed like no time! So much was going through my head on that stalk, I was trying not to get too worked up, which was not easy. I never stopped once in those two or so miles until I got to the base on the mountain. I did see him bed down as I was crossing the open area so I knew he would most likely be up there since I lost site of him when I got the base of his mountain. The climb was about 1500 ft on that ever present gray shale, it was not easy especially when you're trying to be as quiet as possible. One slip of a rock and I would have been busted...and I had a long climb. I left everything at the base of the mountain except the gun, range finder and extra bullets. I even took the sling off the rifle because I heard it squeek at one point. I was inching my way up the shale on my stomach waiting to see the top of his horns as I moved. Once I saw his horns I backed down a few feet, collected my thoughts and then slowly eased the range finder out of my pocket. I ranged a rock just past him at 270 yds, that way I knew he was in range of the gun zeroed at 300 yds. I then eased the gun up to a rest and put the scope on him. As soon as I got him in the scope I knew he was legal. I watched him for a minute as he was totally unaware I was there. I layed there with the scope on him and watched him for what seemed like an hour! He looked so amazing laying there staring out at the mountains I just had to admire him for a minute. As I put the crosshairs on him and got my breathing right I took a second and looked around my barrel, this is when I notice that the barrel was aimed straight into a clod of dirt! So I backed down the shale and moved over about five feet and regrouped. I zeroed in on him and took the shot at about 260 yards. What an amazing feeling! I was so overcome with emotion at that point I just can't desribe it!

    Tim and I both knew he was a nice ram, but we didn't realize in the field just how big we was. Needless to say, it has been an amazing experience - one I never would have thought possible. I've met a lot of great people associated with this hunt. I can't begin to thank them enough. Especially Tim who has been a great friend and hunting partner.
    Sheep2 (640x480).jpgSheep3 (640x480).jpg

  9. #9

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    Oh I forgot to mention.... I've had him measured a few times and he's gone anywhere from 45 6/8 (fish & game) to 46 2/8 (local Boone & Crocket scorer) on the longest side. The total green score has been anywhere from 177 to 180.
    Here's a few more pictures
    Sheep1 (640x480).jpgSheep4 (640x480).jpg

  10. #10
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Awesome Mr Tim congrats to you both. You Gentleman harvested two very impressive Rams.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  11. #11
    Member tiger15's Avatar
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    Congrat's on absolutely job well done! To be paid with two nice rams after a sleepless chilly night underneath the tar was a blessing!

  12. #12
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    What else can be said..........wow!
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

  13. #13
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    Holy smokes, dude! Sheep of a lifetime. I like the part where you admired him overlooking his kingdom in the sun......I can picture it. Great job for sure. He'll eat well, and get a lot of eyeball time on the wall, no doubt.

  14. #14
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    Awesome hunt the two of you had and two terrific rams to show for it ! There is no hunt more awe inspiring than mountain hunting in my mind.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    That is a sheep of SEVERAL lifetimes! What an amazing animal!! One of the best things about sheep hunting is you never know what is over that next ridge. In this case I expect that you found far more than you imagined!!

  16. #16
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Sick!!!! I'm ready for aug 2012.

  17. #17
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Great looking animals - well done!
    Sometimes a stranger is simply a friend you have not met yet - looks like you two worked well together! Thx
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  18. #18
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Great hunt! Great rams!

    Taylor

  19. #19
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    CONGRATULATIONS to both of you.
    Tim is the "lucky" hunter here - he can plan next years hunt with the possibility in mind that he might get a chance to better this year's trophy.
    Bill - your sheep is the image that all sheep hunters "see" in the scope, just before they fall asleep.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodat78 View Post
    Oh I forgot to mention.... I've had him measured a few times and he's gone anywhere from 45 6/8 (fish & game) to 46 2/8 (local Boone & Crocket scorer) on the longest side. The total green score has been anywhere from 177 to 180.
    Here's a few more pictures
    Sheep1 (640x480).jpgSheep4 (640x480).jpg
    All's I can say is "WOW!" and why ain't you smiling??!?

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