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Thread: 2011 Double Whammy Rammies!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default 2011 Double Whammy Rammies!

    I decided to hunt sheep in the Brooks Range this fall. So I called my friend Jason and asked him if he would like to go. We would drive from Fairbanks to happy Valley and then fly out to the field. As summer approached I found myself overwhelmed with family events. Both my wife and I were having health issues, my Son got sent to jail, our beloved dog had to be put down. I was seriously considering canceling the hunt. I felt unprepared and very distracted, however I knew Jason had made a lot of plans and had already purchased tickets. I honestly only decided to go about two weeks before the opener, I knew how therapeutic it is for me at least to get into Sheep country and just let all my troubles slip away for a week or so anyway. I tend to be too busy focusing on what it takes to have a successful hunt to worry about anything else. As it turned out Jason was also dealing with his own distractions, however we put on the blinders and focused on the task at hand and loaded up to head north. I’m sure we are no different than anybody else, that has to balance work, family etc…

    No matter how many times I drive North it never gets old.








    Not the Hilton, but still nice and cozy. Was a more enjoyable drive taking a break for the night.



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    Default Good start

    Always good stories

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    When we arrived at happy Valley Mike from 70° North met us and showed us where we would be staying until we got ready to leave.

    We set up the sawtooth and had a few beers and chatted with our neighbors while we were waiting for our turn to fly out. There were a couple other groups of hunters also waiting to be flown out. The weather cooperated and it was soon our turn to load our gear into the Helio carrier. We enjoyed the scenic flight to our selected drainage and enjoyed the beautiful flight even though we were both eager with anticipation.











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    Once we landed we unloaded our gear and got ready to move to our base camp. After we set up base camp we sorted our gear so we would be ready to head out 1st thing in the morning. At 1st light we ate breakfast shouldered our packs and started hiking looking for sheep and a place to spike camp. After a full day's hiking we still had not seen any sheep. We were running out of daylight so we set up camp and cooked some hot chow.





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    Early the following morning we continued to walk up the drainage searching for Rams. Late in the afternoon we finally spotted sheep. We made a hide and started glassing, we soon spotted a band of 4 Rams. I could tell that at least one of them was legal and possibly a 2nd one. We scouted different ways to approach them and watched them for a while. We then eased out and headed back to camp.



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    Back to camp we had a good dinner and were both excited about the opener the following day. The next day we slept in, once awake we spent the day eating and hydrating eager to get the hunt started.





    Used the new TI SOL jetboil with the regulator, that thing will boil water before you can open your Starbucks coffee.



    Was afraid we might have to DLP this giant ground squirrel, but in the end he left us alone!!

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    At about 6 PM on the 9th we started hiking towards the spot we have seen the Rams. Once we got to where we last seen them, they were nowhere in sight and the wind was blowing from a direction that would require us to climb and try to come down from above them. After about 4 hours of climbing we were where we had seen them bedded the day before. We were still unable to see them anywhere. We had to descend about 1000 feet and then climb back up to see into another bowl. They were not in the bowl, but we could see them on the next ridge.

    It was now 11:30 PM, we had 30 min. before we could shoot, so we decided to descend and try for them on the next ridge. As we descended they also started to descend and were moving towards us. As luck would have it we ended up meeting in the creek bottom. As the clock struck midnight it started to rain and the wind was blowing the rain into our face. The rain made our binoculars worthless, we could only watch helplessly as each Ram crossed in front of us at about 75 yards. In the low light and poor visibility I simply could not tell which Ram was legal. They started to move up and we followed taking cover behind a rocky outcropping. As they moved up the slope I was able to identify the largest Ram. With me on the spotting scope and Jason in the prone, I ranged the RAM at 300 yards and told Jason he could fire if he was comfortable. Jayson fired but the Ram did not move, Jason reloaded and fired again. Both shots were clean misses, with the 1st shot giving Jason a nasty scope bite. We pursued the Rams up the slope to both check for a hit and to get a follow-up shot.

    As we approach the spot the Rams were standing at the time the shot the ceilings came down and we found ourselves fogged in. I felt that it would be dangerous to attempt to move in these conditions, so I dug out my Kifaru para tarp tent and set up a siwash camp. We were both wet from rain and sweat and quickly became chilled in the cold night air. I put on all the extra clothes I had brought and crawled into my titanium goat bivy.

    The look on Jason's face when I pulled out my bivy was priceless, he looked like a child left standing at the ice cream truck with no ice cream. He kept repeating over and over “I did not know we were going to spend the night” I said “we aren’t spending the night, just waiting for daylight” it was now only 12:30 and Jason told me he was done sheep hunting. I fired up my jet boil in the tent to break the chill and told him we would move as soon as it got daylight. I could hear him retching as I drifted off to sleep. At 02:30 in the morning I awoke to sounds of him retching again. I looked out and it was still dark and foggy. I went back to sleep and woke up at 03:30, he was now vomiting and getting worse. I looked out and it was getting light and the fog has lifted some. Using the GPS I was able to get us back to camp. Once back to camp I mixed Jason some sports drinks and tried to get him to hydrate. I moved my stuff from the tent to the tarp, so he could sleep undisturbed. It took a miserable night freezing my but off on a mountain many years ago to learn not to leave camp without what I needed to siwash and after this experience I bet J learned that same hard lesson.
    Last edited by stid2677; 12-03-2011 at 15:13.
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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    I feel for Jason. I got that dehydrated July 4th this year. Its no fun! Great story... keep it coming!

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Enteretaining, educational and great pics. On track so far. A pic of Jason retching might have also added to the story!!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Enteretaining, educational and great pics. On track so far. A pic of Jason retching might have also added to the story!!
    He didn't take any of me vomiting my guts out, so I spared him that.

    Now the scope bite is fair game. Lesson to be learned here, when shooting uphill from the prone position, be careful not to creep up on your scope.

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    Loving the story and pictures as always. Cant wait for the rest.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Great story so far. I keep checking back for the next update!

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    We climbed up higher to gain a better view. We had to peak from behind a rocky rampart that had opening that would only allow one of us at time to look through. As we reached the first opening I could not see the Rams and moved higher to gain both elevation and an angle in which to spot them. As we moved from opening to opening Jason gained a better view than I and spotted the Rams.

    J quickly shot the largest of the two Rams at 462 yards. As they were about to head over the rim. With their leader down the others, unsure of what to do hesitated long enough for me to Id the remaining legal Ram. The two mature Rams had been bedding in the oil shale and the black on their coats made them easy to ID even at the now near 500 yards that my Ram was now standing.


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    I lined up on my ram with my Winchester Model 70 30-06 and after a few warning shots, I watched through the scope as my Ram tumbled down the mountain towards his comrade.

    We had just scored a double on 2 great Rams and had a long night ahead of us. We snapped a few hero pictures and got to work getting them ready to pack back to camp. It was awesome scoring a double, but it was twice the work and by the time we had it all back at camp it was dark and we were completely exhausted.








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    We awoke the following day to an absolutely beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky. Jason was still not a 100 percent, but funny how much better a great Ram will me you feel. We caped out our Rams and removed the horns form the skull and boned out the meat to lighten our load for the long pack back to the airstrip. Of course I had to make some meat on a stick, nothing will recharge your batteries like some fresh protein. While the warm weather sure was pleasant, it brought out every skeeter and blow fly within 50 miles and both did their best to make our life miserable. Thank the Lord that I never leave my head net behind anymore.









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    My days of packing an entire Ram and camp are behind me, so we loaded up our first load and packed it towards base camp and made a cache for the night and returned to camp. Back at spike camp we enjoyed some much needed rest and chow. During the night a large brown Wolf we had been catching glimpses of killed a Caribou calf just 50 yards or so from our tent.





    The Wiggy's waders worked very well at keeping our feet dry for the deeper crossings, the new version is much tougher than the older ones.

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    Awesome outing fellas. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    Default Good hunt

    The only reason not to post it is to reduce pressure in the Brooks. Good effort with a nice payoff.

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    We packed up early and leapfrogged our next load up. We choose to break the loads down into wet and dry loads. We would pack all the meat and cape and then return to get all our camp gear and the horns, making sure to never move the horns ahead of the meat. As we approached our meat cache we spotted the Big Bad Wolf nosing around our meat. I told Jason he could shoot it if he wanted as I had all I cared to carry.

    I have to say it was great entertainment watching him trying to free his rifle from his pack. He gave it his best and after several shots the sneaky old wolf got the hint and high tailed it outa there. Don’t think I could have done any better. trying to hit a running Wolf free hand is no easy task.




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    As darkness settled on us we were both bone tired and still had a full day of packing to do to get everything back to the airstrip. With our poor feet aching we crawled into our sleeping bags to catch a few hours of sleep before getting back up and continuing our efforts to reach the airstrip.

    It seemed like Déjà vu all over again as we would pack up and drudge back empty only to repeat the process over and over. As the 3rd day wore on we no longer even attempted to keep our feet dry and just crossed where ever we came to yet another river crossing, ignoring our backs and feet, which by now were beyond sore, we both resemble the walking dead as we wished only to be done and back at camp. As the light was fading from the clear northern sky we at last arrived with the last load at base camp. I called my wife and ask her to email Mike and let him know that we would be at the strip and ready for pickup the next morning. We were really too tired to even eat, but both forced ourselves to eat a quick meal and passed out from sheer exhaustion. I awoke during the night cold and crawled into my sleeping bag, I had been so tired I had fell asleep on top of it.










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