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Thread: Helping the handicapped: advice for an old f a r t going on a sheep hunt

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    Member gutpile's Avatar
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    Default Helping the handicapped: advice for an old f a r t going on a sheep hunt

    First off thank you all who have posted on the subject of sheep hunting. I've been lurking for years, but spending hours lately reading since I applied for 2 TMA & 1 DCUA tags in December. I'm feeling lucky so sorry in advance it I steal your permit. A short bio: 52 years old, grew-up in Anchorage, Worked for a FBO @ Lake Hood in high school, hunted primarily moose during the 30 years I lived there. Moved to "America" latitude 35 after one too many winters there. I return each Sept to hunt moose with my father. This past year I came to the sad realization that my father was done hunting...time for me to go out without him. I decided that if I was ever going to check sheep hunting off of the bucket list, it's better that I get started now. I applied for the permits, created a 8 month training program, bought Tony Russ's book, and started buying gear. If one of you get my tag that's ok too...I'll figure out something in GMU 11, 12, or the Brooks. I'll be hunting with a 2nd degree family member. I'd appreciate any wisdom you folks would share on my plan and/or gear...If I'm off in the broccoli please tell me.

    Training: Jan 1st I started walking 4 miles a day, a fast walk. After a week I started packing 10# of weight, I'm currently up to 20#on my back for 5 miles every day...I additionally have another 5# on my feet if I add the Cabela's Alaskan Hunters I purchased (love the boots BTW). I am doing 50 sit-ups, and playing with my various weight machines for the first time in years. My plan is to add 5# to the pack every 2 weeks...by August I'll be packing over 70# on my daily 5 mile death march. Will be in Anchorage for 10 days in June as my bride is running the Mayor's Marathon...I'll be climbing the Anchorage hillside for practice then. I'm 6ft...was 220# Jan 1st, down to 213# in 3 weeks. My goal is 190# before the hunt.

    Gear: You guys & gals thoughts have been a lot of help with gear...I've accumulated the following over the last 3 weeks:

    Gun-After weighing my various rifles, I bought a new-old-stock Ruger 77 MKII Ultralight in 30-06 off of Gunbroker. This 6 pound gun will be topped with the 4x12 VX2 I just got back from Leupold. Ordered (cuz all they have here is Core-Lok's) Federal Premium 165 grain NP's. Came very close to buying a 300WSM rifle, but the recoil tables looked ugly for the 300wsm Ultralights...worse than my 300WBY. The -06 will be fine...heck I can't see over 300 yards anyway. My rebuilt shoulder will appriciate my choice.

    Pack-Went through the internal vs. external frame thing. Decided on the internal and 2 pack trips out...I don't think I could pick-up a 120# load on a external anyway. I picked-up a slightly used 8000ci Dana Design Arcflex Astralplane for 200 bucks.

    Boots-Cabela's Alaskan Hunters with the Lathrop & Son's footbed...haven't got a blister or hotspot yet!

    Fleece-Cabela's Dimension/Wind Shear

    Spotting scope-Picked up a Nikon Spotter XL II, brand stinkin' new, on eBay for $213...I felt lucky.

    Tent-Big Agnes Copper Spur 2. I saw someones pictures here using Tyvek to protect the tent floor...what a good cheap idea.

    Bag-Mountain Hardware UltraLamina 15 synthetic

    That's what I've picked-up so far...here's what I could use help with:

    Raingear...?

    Boxers...poly, thermax, a simple jock, or commando? I hate the dreaded monkey b u t t...it has been an issue on past mule deer hunts in the mountains.

    Binoc's...do I really need these? I have the 60mm spotter, and a 4x12 Leupold on the rifle.
    Stove-Jetboil SOL Titanium

    Pizza...What's the best pizza joint in TOK?

    Anyway...I'm getting pretty darn excited for this adventure...thanks again for the wonderful posts & advice...Mike

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It looks like you're off to a great start! Congratulations on the hard work you've already done to make this dream a reality. I sincerely hope that it works out for you, at least to the point that you get to spend a memorable trip in the mountains chasing white ghosts through rocks and spires.

    Raingear - Consider Marmot Precip. There is tougher stuff out there, but if you're looking for reasonably priced gear that will work for a few trips, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option. I can often find Precip on steepandcheap.com for half price, though even at full price it's a good deal. It's light, breathable, and quite waterproof for the first couple of years.

    Boxers - Go with merino wool boxers, no doubt. The Minus 33 brand boxers can be found without breaking the bank. They're more comfortable than synthetics, don't stink after a week's wear, and don't chafe in my experience.

    Binocs - I carry mine when sheep hunting since it makes glassing far more convenient and comfortable, but if you're looking to shave a pound or two this is a reasonable place to do so. If you might be interested in taking an incidental wolf, bear, etc, then having binocs to glass with is awfully nice. It is also nice to taking that first glance at those distant white dots. You'll need the spotting scope to determine legality, but the binocs are enough at quite a distance to tell whether those are rams or ewes in the distance. If two people are going, I'd personally take one pair of binocs.

    Stove - Good choice. You will be pleased with the Jetboil.

    I don't know about the pizza in Tok, but the best Thai food in the state can be found at a little food wagon in Glennallen if you're passing through on the way to the hunting grounds. Tok Thai Food is the name of the wagon, and it's found in the parking lot of the Chevron in Glennallen at the junction of the Glenn and Richardson Highways.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Being about your age and having a few issues of my own, I wold just say that training with weight like you describe would kill me. I do better training with the weight I expect to carry while day hunting and just try to get in as many miles as possible.

    Can't stress how much a set of trekking poles has helped me, will not hunt without them, A combo iceaxe/trekking pole for some areas.

    You mentioned that 300 yards was your limit, I would change out the 4x12 scope for a 2x7 lightweight. Lots of light during sheep season and I took my sheep last year with a 2x7 Leupold and a 30-06 last fall @500 yards.

    For underwear I use Under Armor boxer briefs and keep a small tube of anti monkey but to keep all the parts lubed up during the hunt.

    I would at least get a small pair of Binos, I always use mine and glassing with your rifle scope is a bad idea.

    Check out Kuiu Chugach for rain gear.

    Fast Eddies in Tok for Pizza!

    Good Luck

    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/

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    I hope you get that sheep tag right after I get mine.

    Yes you need binos. They not only spot sheep and other animals they also help you plan your stalk by helping you reading the terrain. You don't want to get almost to the sheep and then realize there is a drainage you didn't see and can't cross.

    The marmot precip mentioned by Brian can also double as "whites" if you turn them inside out.

    Buy a couple of Havalon knives and never sharpen a knife again.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutpile View Post
    Binoc's...do I really need these? I have the 60mm spotter, and a 4x12 Leupold on the rifle.
    I hope you are not insinuating that you will be using your rifle scope to glass with. That is a big no, no in my opinion. Bring both the spotter and your binos. Good luck.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I carry an Alaska guide creations chest pack with my binos, Havel knife + spare blades and range finder all in their spot. It is on me at all time when I am out of the tent. A sheep can be visible for mere seconds in that terrain and being able to get some idea of what is there quickly can make or break a hunt. Take binos and use them frequently!

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    You're well outfitted and advised. Go for it!
    I thought I was done with the high hunting but last year I drew a DCUA late hunt and brought home a ram....this at 69 with a re-wired heart and Mayo clinic salvaged lungs......Go for it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    You're well outfitted and advised. Go for it!
    I thought I was done with the high hunting but last year I drew a DCUA late hunt and brought home a ram....this at 69 with a re-wired heart and Mayo clinic salvaged lungs......Go for it!
    Your an inspiration Vern!

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    I NEVER took binoculars sheep hunting prior to this past season. I did enjoy having the binocs with me as they were always handy to grab versus taking pack off, pulling spotter out, etc. Just hunted a bit different, so it worked. I could easily live without binocs though on a sheep hunt.

  10. #10
    Member gutpile's Avatar
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    Right on Vern! I'll have extra Warfarin & Celebrex with me. Good to see you still at it.

    Stid...Nice rain duds. I'm gonna keep peace in the family and buy the cheap stuff (for now). Love the 2x7...same deal though...gotta keep the bride happy. Re "Lubed-up"...hey whatever works. Gotta stay ahead of the gravity. What brand?

    Brian...Marmot PreCip is on sale as long as you go with blue or gray...are sheep color blind?

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    50 is the new 20!!!

    I'll be 52 this August myself. Sounds like your doing good on your training. If there is any way you can hike hills where you are do it. Not just up, going down a steep hill with 100lb+ pack is totally different than going up. Lunges are a good workout to help with this but humping a heavy pack up and down something steep is the way to go. Good on ya.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    You're well outfitted and advised. Go for it!
    I thought I was done with the high hunting but last year I drew a DCUA late hunt and brought home a ram....this at 69 with a re-wired heart and Mayo clinic salvaged lungs......Go for it!

    Good for you Vern, good for you.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutpile View Post

    Brian...Marmot PreCip is on sale as long as you go with blue or gray...are sheep color blind?
    Gray is ideal. You're hunting sheep up in the rocks, and even the stuff that grows up there looks grayish at a distance. Go with gray and then get it a little dirty - it'll be perfect.

    Where are you finding the sale on the gray stuff, by the way?

  14. #14
    Member gutpile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Gray is ideal. You're hunting sheep up in the rocks, and even the stuff that grows up there looks grayish at a distance. Go with gray and then get it a little dirty - it'll be perfect.

    Where are you finding the sale on the gray stuff, by the way?
    "Gargoyle" looks gray to me but I only had the 8 box of Crayolas when I was a kid.

    I just ordered the PreCip...Large/Gargoyle...from backcountrygear.com Jacket $64.35 Pants $58.45 Free Shipping!

    Thanks again for the advice & encouragement.

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