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Thread: 2011 DCUA sheep hunt

  1. #1

    Default 2011 DCUA sheep hunt

    This hunt started on the 25th of August and ended on the 13th of September. The plan was to try and get a ram then change over to moose tactics, but the sheep wouldn't come as easy as I had hoped.

    The 1st day started out clear and sunny but I didn't have much luck in finding any rams. I did manage to bump into this guy though who was camped about 300 yards from where I was camped. He wasn't legal and the season had yet to open so I settled for a few pics and moved on. Not seeing much more I called it a day.

    P1000047(1).jpgP1000051(1).jpg

  2. #2

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    I awoke the next morning to more sun but today the winds were blowing something fierce, harder than I had seen in the area in quite some time. I got up, made a Via, ate a buleberry, milkl and granola Mtn House and proceeded to do some spotting. I immediately spotted this guy feeding on the side of a hill.
    P1000057(1).jpg



    After looking him over for a short bit I decided it was time to get a bit closer so O packed up my day gear and hiked towards his location. It required that I climb down into a creek and back up the other side which meant that I would lose sight of him for a little while. When I was able to get up the other side I couldn't spot him so I continued to climb a bit higher and still no ram. I bumped into a small group of caribou trying to get closer but they went the opposite direction from me. I finally get to where I had seen him last and peek over the top, where I see him bedded and sound asleep. I range him at 280 yards which is getting near my max of 300 so I grab my spotter and rifle and wait him out. He wakes up and starts to feed again, coming right at me and I finally get a good look at him.

  3. #3

    Default

    I awoke the next morning to more sun but today the winds were blowing something fierce, harder than I had seen in the area in quite some time. I got up, made a Via, ate a buleberry, milkl and granola Mtn House and proceeded to do some spotting. I immediately spotted this guy feeding on the side of a hill.
    P1000057(1).jpg

    After looking him over for a short bit I decided it was time to get a bit closer so O packed up my day gear and hiked towards his location. It required that I climb down into a creek and back up the other side which meant that I would lose sight of him for a little while. When I was able to get up the other side I couldn't spot him so I continued to climb a bit higher and still no ram. I bumped into a small group of caribou trying to get closer but they went the opposite direction from me. I finally get to where I had seen him last and peek over the top, where I see him bedded and sound asleep. I range him at 280 yards which is getting near my max of 300 so I grab my spotter and rifle and wait him out. He wakes up and starts to feed again, coming right at me and I finally get a good look at him.
    P1000058(1).jpg

  4. #4

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    I'm beginning to think that my luck is changing but I need to see a side view of his horns before I make a decision. So I wait paitently for him to turn. He gives me a good shot of his right side, dang, just a bit short of full curl.
    P1000059(1).jpg


    OK, I need to see the other side and I cannot help but feel that he could be old enough to be legal as his horns look pretty heavy and wide. Counting rings for me is out of the question so I need to see his left side to make a better determination of his legality. I finally get it and now I am torn, he is so close to full curl but I know my angle isn't good enough for me to base my decision on so I let him pass. Man, so close yet still so far away. So I back off and call it a day and head back to camp.
    P1000061(1).jpg

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    invalid attachment.... Time to open a photobucket account!

  6. #6
    Member CtP's Avatar
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    Default Tough decision

    That's a good call on your part. Better to walk than Have F&G take him from you.

    After getting Bighorse's sheep, Alaska_Lanche's sheep and mine sealed we had an extensive Q&A session with the
    Biologist/sheep hunter on determining legality of rams. I think all 3 of us learned quite a bit to take into the field next
    Time.
    Better safe than sorry!

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Well, I can tell from the photo gallery that this story is about to get good. As someone told Luke yesterday, type faster!

  8. #8

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    I spent the next 5 days or so checking different drainages and valleys unable to find a legal ram but get to view many sublegal rams and watch how they interact with each other. It was pretty exciting to see so many rams but I was beginning to wonder if there were any in the areas I was hunting.

    In this pic, if you can get a larger view of it, you will see a marmot (?) to the right of the ram. I didn't even see it when I the picture but when I viewed the pic in my camera is when I spotted it. Anyways, I thought it was a pretty cool shot.
    P1000062(1).jpg



    This is a pic of 3 rams from a group of 4 that I spotted in a different drainage but still nothing legal.
    P1000069(1).jpg

  9. #9

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    Here's a picture of 5 rams I found in another valley that was being hunted by 2 friends of mine, they were less than 500 yards from the bottom and about a 1/4 mile from their camp. No legal rams in the bunch.
    P1000095(1).jpg


    So I headed back to the Taj for some much needed rest and real food and spend a day with my friends before I headed home to regroup for the following week.
    P1000081(1).jpg

  10. #10

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    The first week of my hunt I was going it alone but on this trip, I would have a partner whom is a member here and goes by the name Spanman. We left early on the morning of the 8th and drove over 5 hours to get to where we would park and ride the wheelers in from there. We were joined about an hour later by a couple of other hunters I know that were coming in to hunt for moose. That evening I spot a group of 4 rams so we formulate a game plan to go check them out first thing in the morning. Friday morning we ride up the main drainage and do some glassing where we spot the 4 rams up and feeding, once looks to be good so we decide to go up and get a better look. Here's a shot about half way up the mountain of where we parked our rigs.
    P1000106(1).jpg

    A picture of Spanman taking a much needed and deserved break before heading up towards the rams.
    P1000109(1).jpg

    We arrive to the top and find 3 of the 4 rams, 2 were less than half curls and the 3 rds was a just about half so we knew the ne that we weren't seeing was the one we spotted from the bottom. We spooked the half curl ram off and as he was climbing away from us another ram joined him and it was the missing ram, I never got a good look at him and he managed to elude us. We later learned that 2 other hunters had come up the backside of where we were hunting and had shot the ram right at dark in a place not fit for man nor beast. Hopefully they recovered the ram and made it out of there in 1 piece.

  11. #11

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    We spent the next few days looking for more rams and we found plenty, just none that were legal. While staying in base camp we were joined by a couple more buddies that had been hunting the week before that also didn't have much luck finding a legal ram. We would all hunt hard during the day and hang out at night talking about the days events and past successful hunts. It was good times in the Taj once again! Sunday rolls around and all my buddies are getting ready to head home but we've got some cooking to do first. If you've never been to the Taj, you'd never believe that we can actually cook pizza in our burn barrel. Here's a few pics for proof. Enjoy!!
    P1000119(1).jpgP1000116(1).jpg

  12. #12

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    OK, back to the hunt!

    Monday morning rolls around and I decide to head into the drainage that held the 5 rams that I had seen the weeke before. As we are hiking back into glacier country we spot several rams and many ewes and lambs but still nothing we can go after. Spanman is spent from the all the hiking and decides he's going to wait while I hike further back into rougher country. As i'm hiking along the creek I have to climb around a section that doesn't allow me to use the creek bed, as I step up I look to my right and high in the rocks I see a lone sheep bedded. I quickly drop down on all 4 and crawl behind a huge rock to get a good look at this sheep. I throw the binos up and I cannot believe my eyes, I see horns and lots of it. I quickly gather the spotter to get a better look and I about fall over with excitement, I've finally found a ram that is a no brainer, full curl, legal ram. So I snap some blurry photos from about 600 yards away.
    P1000129(1).jpg

    A closer view confirms it, we have ourselves a legal ram and it's game on! I climbed to different vantage points to see if there is a way I can get closer to this ram but he didn't get this size by being stupid. There was no way I was going to be able to stalk closer so I decide to wait and see if he is going to get up and feed. After waiting for over 5 hours it is starting to get late so I decide to come back in the morning to try and take him. Needless to say I had a heck of time getting to sleep that night!
    P1000137(1).jpg

  13. #13

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    Tuesday morning rolls around and we have a cup of Via, some eggs and sausage for breakfast then hit the trail running. We arrive to where we had last seen the ram and I decide to go up to a plateau where we believe him to be bedded. Spanman waits near the bottom so he can see if he comes out while i'm climbing. It's a very steep climb and very rocky so I take my time going up, stopping about every 40-50 yards to catch my breath.

    It seems that I am never going to get to the top so I decide to start cutting over to my right, as I start to gain more altitude and the terrain starts to level out, I see the ram bedded not 60 yards away. I drop down and quickly chamber a round into my 270 and try and find a good shooting rest. As I'm doing this I watch the ram get up and run but he stops less than a hundred yards from me. As he stands there I can see just good of a ram he is but I maintain my calm, get a good sight picture and slowly squeeze the trigger. At the shot the ram drops like a hammer and falls behind a huge rock.

    P1000159(1).jpg


    Man, what a beautiful ram! He's no 40"er but he's past full curl and all mine!!
    P1000162(1).jpg

  14. #14

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    Spanman hears the shot and quickly climbs to my position and hollers "Didja get'em?" I told him I did and was still so excited abut what had just happened. We snap a bunch of pictures and get him butchered for the pack out. What a great ending to what was a long a grueling hunt. And thanks to Spanman for hanging in there with me, he admitted beforehand that he was not in shape but did a great job of staying with me and he saved me a return trip for a second pack out. Spanman.....you da man!!
    Attachment 52998

    Not bad for a 52 year old sheep hunter.





    We taped the ram out at just a tad over 37"s with 13" bases and aged him at 8 years, same as F&G in GlennAllen.

  15. #15
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    That is a beauty! Very cool story and sounds like a really fun hunt. Not everyone can sheep hunt out of a camp like that!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  16. #16
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Really... you sure that thing is legal? <grin> what a TOAD!

  17. #17
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Awesome...absolutely awesome. I am always so impressed at reading stories where the hunter has the patience to let an animal sit for another day rather than being busted on a stalk. I don't honestly know if I would have made the right move on that one. Congratulations, sir. That is one fine ram.

  18. #18

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    A couple more pics and i'll be done.

    Spanman and the ram.
    P1000164(1).jpg



    Gratuitous camp shot.
    P1000184(2).jpg

  19. #19
    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    Your Welcome Bro, I had a great time and tried to keep up but AkHunter is in hella shape for 52...he belongs in those mountains. I have decided to hang up my sheep hunting chops and that is a great first and last sheep hunt!! Maybe if givin enough time advance I can get in shape to climb again. No question on that sucker tho'...beauty!!!
    Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
    So I backed up and hit her again, ya know sometimes I really do miss her!!

  20. #20
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Dude!!! Stoked for you guys.

    Beard is getting gray, though... LOL

    Taylor

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