Fascination with Dall Sheep grows!!
I have been dreaming of hunting Dall Sheep since I was a kid and now that I live in Alaska that dream is inching closer to a reality! I went to the Alaska Moose Federation dinner in Wasilla on Saturday which was a great time!! They had 3 sets of massive sheep horns on display, 3 of the biggest in the state this last season! This is the first time I have ever really been able to "fondle" big sheep horns and to say they were impressive is an understatement! The set from the TMA ram the young man from Chugiak killed was awesome!! I was told the 2 pictured below were the biggest killed in the state this last season. The one on the left had bases over 14.5 inches and I was told they scored 176 and the one on the right scored at 170! It was an honor to hold these giant horns from such and awesome animal!
Wait till you get out chasing them! If you haven't been you will likely find yourself addicted!
It not just the horns that make a sheep hunt fascinating.
It's the year-round physical preparation.
It's the lifelong mental preparation.
It's the remote country that reduces everybody down to the same Neanderthal level.
It's the true solitude where a hunter will, sooner or later, peel away a few layers of life and examine the nature his-or-her true soul.
It's the wilderness decisions, the sweat, sometimes the blood, always some pain, and the emotional toughness that will be required to survive.
And it is also the exuberant feeling when a ram, any legal ram, tips over dead, and your still alive.
It is paradise on earth.
That is the fascination of sheep hunting.
Cresting the divide to look down into the next drainage. Peeking into the next draw over the next ridge as massive amounts of new country and terrain open up. Planning a stalk through new terrain. Revising your plan when you find it isn't how it looked from a mile away. Leaning into a heavy pack as you quietly stride out the final miles back to base camp after finding success. Spending 11 months remembering the hunt and dreaming up the next one.
It gets in your blood!
Oh yes, I agree. I don't think that I will be able to go sheep hunting until 2013, (I have a lot of gear to collect), but I have already been training for 4 months and reading everything I can get my hands on. I can't wait to experience the feeling of accomplishment when I am able to stand over my first sheep and look back on what it took to get to that point! Now I just have to find a partner to go with!
Note to Aaron.......I shot my first eight rams, and my six biggest rams on solo ventures. While not for everybody, solo expeditions can be great hunts for ram chops, it your hungry enough! (.....mental and physical preparation= hunger and wilderness confidence and competence...)
(see archives if you have the time)
After a couple of hunts with a partner I am going to try the solo thing. Being new to Alaska I promised my wife I wouldnt go alone on my first couple of sheep hunts. Killing a ram solo seems like the ultimate adventure!
We really don't know anything about you but rest assured we all love a great sheep hunting adventure story.
Get out in the mountains and climb around in some rock. Maybe you already are an agile billy goat, maybe not. The more familiar you become with mountain terrain the better off you'll be. Judging the structures you'll encounter from a distance and being able navigate them will pay dividends in the sheep mountains.
Solo vs. Team....well thats a whole different thing. Sometimes I really want to go solo. Sometimes I really want to go team.
Both are feasible and enjoyable in their own right. Just be prepared.
One really important thing about pairing up is secondary confirmation of ram legality. Those rams you held could be confirmed legal with a fixed 4 rifle scope. There are many more that just meet legal requirements the demand extreme scrutiny. Having an unbiased secondary judge to help you in the field is great. Expecially when he/she carries the heavy spotter around.
NICE SHOT BH!!
The team aspect is alot of fun. For me, the adventure is most rewarding when shared, not to mention sharing the pain, laughs, lack of sleep, whiskey or rum, and the hunt.
Good luck to you AaronP...it's a great adventure!
Originally Posted by Bighorse
The ram (horns) on the right looks like its older than the one on the left....
What were they aged at anyway?
Looks like 10 to 11yrs each...not sure if those last ones are full growth rings or the half year growth that you don't get credit for in August/Sep.
If the biggest one there scored 176, it is not the biggest taken this year:) Some rams don't ever go public.
OK, MODELAN, I sure would like a picture and or story of a bigger RaM
First I want to say these are magnificent animals pictured here. I don't want to sound like I'm snubbing them for not being the biggest out there. They're awesome.
I do not know the story of this years big ones, but will chat with them this winter. In addition it is not my story to tell. There are a lot of hardcore sheep hunters that you will never hear about and they prefer it that way. They aren't out there for glory and to spray their "knowledge" all over the internet. They do it for the hunt and the challenge. Many times coming home beat and empty handed. More than likely we would have not known about last years big-un if it weren't for a "friend" spewing it all over the web. Yes it's great to see these beasts and know that they still exist, but some folks just don't care for the attention.
What! You mean not everyone is running over here to post stories??? Mod_elan your crazy!
I counted 11 on both of them, but I am new to the sheep game so that may be way off.
Originally Posted by mod elan
The mystique around dall sheep is different than any other big game species. 13 sheep taken over 180pts that aren't recognized by Boone and Crocket. Four of those sheep are lost and no body knows where they are. Somebody has to keep track so the truly legendary sheep and their stories aren't lost.
Notice that I don't go further than necessary on many of the truly outstanding sheep.
I know a guide here in Sitka who often helps his clients score on 40" plus rams. His average this year was 39" on 4 or 5 hunts. He's shown me many more photos from previous years too. I don't suspect we'll see him here. I did invite him to join us though.
You almost have to squeeze him to get the goods and you still don't get much for the pressure.