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Thread: Sheep hunting solo in DS203, good or bad idea?

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    Default Sheep hunting solo in DS203, good or bad idea?

    Wondering what you guys think about hunting solo for Delta sheep. I've never hunted Delta before, but I have alot of outdoor experience and even a few 5-7 day backpack hunts for mulies in the sawtooths in Idaho when I lived there. I plan on many scouting trips and a lot of time pouring over topo maps. So in your opinion am i in over my head or is it doable solo?

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Go and don't look back. Approach strait from the road. Try and glass one up first. I'd enjoy poking around the Black Rapids area.

    If your tricked out on gear and communications, do it. One last BIG consideration. Can you carry and process a whole ram by yourself?

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    I did it successfully last year. My hunting partner was unable to go last minute, was the best decision to go at it alone. Good luck!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    If you can find somebody to go with you then it's more safe and fun. But if you can't, and you feel that you can pack out a whole sheep and all your gear on your back, then by all means go for it.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Hunting rams solo, by yourself, in the Delta Controlled Use Area is extremely DOABLE. The DCUA has a skeleton of old roads and established trains. Just the perfect amount for area access for all your many summer scouting trips prior to your Aug walk-in hunt.
    Of my 14 personal kills, the largest 8 were killed on SOLO hunts. So if you are comfortable with yourself and your skill-set, you are gonna have the greatest sheep hunt of your life.

    This upcoming summer should be your worst summer ever for fishing. Because you shouldn't be fishing. If you completely scout-prehunt the area all summer long you will enter the hunting season with a great amount of confidence and knowledge concerning the approaches up into the sheep country. And you will also start naming the legal rams that you routinely see. Remember you can still use a four-wheeler during the summer to access the steep angle areas where you will have to approach on foot.

    Great area for sheep and for ram hunting. DCUA rams are often long horned but not especially heavy or thick. And those rams typically start to tip out with a semi-arguali shape by the time they become legal full curls.
    I have also observed Grizzly bears, many black bears, moose, caribou, wolf and a wolverine in the DCUA.

    The ram pictured in my forum avatar is a DCUA ram

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    Rob partners are always easier and safer but the only real issue in dealing with a solo sheep hunt would be as mentioned,hauling out gear and a sheep if successful.Sheep is more then doable solo.If you feel you are capable of butchering and transporting sheep or making multible trips then go for it and have a blast...its a lot of work solo but also rewarding

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    Default DCUA Rams

    ATA had some solid advice, as well as many others to post here. It's a long hike in ( just as Alaska_lanche ) I think he did it twice, from the road but very manageable following ATV trails. Definitely doable solo, just be prepared for some work.
    I was back in there last August for Bighorse's Tag. Alaska_lanche scored with his wife before we motored in for the late season tag. The approach was mild and the Alaska Range offers some awesome views. We encountered some great weather up until the afternoon Bighorse shot his ram. The following day the rain and fog came and visibility was sparse. Be prepared for weather. If I remember correctly alot of the early season tag holders last year encountered some pretty miserable weather.
    Best of luck!
    Bighorse's wide flaring broomer, "Tex".IMG_5574.jpg

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    While I don't know what all the summer has in store for me, I may be able to offer you some company on a scouting trip or two. Depending on what day you are thinking about heading in for the hunt itself, I may even be able to help you in a ways. I am up in Fairbanks so DS203 is about as close as sheep country gets and I do enjoy being in sheep country even if I don't have a DCUA tag in my pocket. Just an option.

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    Thanks guys, I just found out I drew two days ago because of family emergency in lower 48 so I'm kind of playing catch up with everyone else. It's nice to see how others approach their hunts. In all honesty if I'm successful I will pack out in two trips if I don't have a partner. I'm researching black rapids area and I'm going to get a call back from Leif @ 40-mile air tomorrow, so I'm leaving my options open. Two pieces of equipment I know I'll need immediately is quality raingear and boots. Seems most posts for ds-203 have had rain for some or most of the hunt and in very rugged terraign. Again I appreciate the info. and Mtn Wx you might see a pm later this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robAK View Post
    Thanks guys, I just found out I drew two days ago because of family emergency in lower 48 so I'm kind of playing catch up with everyone else. It's nice to see how others approach their hunts. In all honesty if I'm successful I will pack out in two trips if I don't have a partner. I'm researching black rapids area and I'm going to get a call back from Leif @ 40-mile air tomorrow, so I'm leaving my options open. Two pieces of equipment I know I'll need immediately is quality raingear and boots. Seems most posts for ds-203 have had rain for some or most of the hunt and in very rugged terraign. Again I appreciate the info. and Mtn Wx you might see a pm later this summer.

    You don't want to pack out in two trips, if you can't pack the whole ram out you should try and shuttle your load ( known as Leap frogging) .....Me personally, I would never leave any part of my ram in the mountains, especially at a lengthy distance where I can't see it.

    Moose on the other hand would be different.... Then again, I wouldn't shoot a moose 20 miles from my truck either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    .Me personally, I would never leave any part of my ram in the mountains, especially at a lengthy distance where I can't see it.
    I'd basically agree, though I'd add that I'd gladly do two trips - I'd just leave my camp and gear behind. I've done it before where I've left my camp stashed in the trees and came back for it a week later. If that's what it takes to do a solo trip, it's absolutely worth it.

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    Go. Solo.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Go. Go Solo.
    But practice being alone during some of your summer scouting trips. Not everybody enjoys their own company.

    When solo....
    You can sleep late if you want to.
    You can pass up on small, but legal rams if you want to.
    You can very slowly work on a shooter, taking several days if you need to.
    First shot will be yours. No coin flip to determine who shoots first.
    You can travel as fast as or as late in the evening as you want. Nobody will slow you down.
    No arguing over the last Mountain House Spaghetti meal.
    If something goes wrong, you can not blame it on your hunting buddy.
    It becomes a very primitive experience. And you will be surprised at how often you ask yourself questions. And you will be surprised at some of your answers.

    So yes, go solo for a week or ten days (or whatever it takes), if you like yourself. Solo hunts can change how you view yourself.

    More than any other area in Alaska, the Delta Controlled Use Area has been "figured out". There really isn't any secrets in there anymore, if you ask enough (private) questions.

    And one more note, a sad item....
    It is surprising how much trash has accumulated in some DCUA and TMA areas. At several remote locations I have found old fuel canisters, white buckets from air drops, rusty grills, and many other trash items.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Dennis, your solo description has me longing for my first week of august goat hunt. I fully intend on doing it solo and pack rafting out my goat. I've done it before and your right, the flow of the hunt, just moves really nice when solo. Like you said, your doing it your way all the time.

    The only thing I don't look forward to is the long 6 mile valley aproach right through the heart of bear country. I think this year I'm gonna wear a bell as last time I really tired of singing all the way.

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    My first ram was taken on a solo hunt before DS 203 was established; it was, however, the DCU area at that time. I did leap frog my sheep and gear on the way out and learned a lot about sheep hunting on that adventure; my 1st sheep hunt (actually first hunt of any kind in the mountains), first ram. I have hunted sheep a lot since that trip and am still at it. I do prefer to hunt with my son, daughter, etc, but have gone solo a number of times. The bulk of my rams were taken when I wasn't alone.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Let me see... First solo trip found me sick with a miserable fever sweating through my bag and very dehydrated on the side of the mountain. Ended up tucking tail and hiking out some 15 miles till I got cell service to call the wife who came and scooped me out of the roadside ditch I was ready to die in. Couple days later I went back with a buddy and though I went sheepless he got his first black bear.

    I would go solo again but after experiencing what happens when it goes to heck I prefer to have someone trustworthy along. Maybe I have been lucky but I have never had a problem with any hunting partner in the mountains. I like to see what's over the next hill or up the next drainage and have been blessed to have buddies with the same inquisitive nature so we always seem to be able to convince each other to go just a bit farther. Best part for my buddies is they always seem to have the luck, I pack far more animals out for friends than I do for myself! Were I a woman all my wedding photos would be in a bridesmaid dress!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Were I a woman all my wedding photos would be in a bridesmaid dress!!!!
    I think you just answered your own question as to what kinda Whites to get for the next sheep hunt.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    I think you just answered your own question as to what kinda Whites to get for the next sheep hunt.....
    After being consistently skunked I would wear the dress, veil and a dang tiara if it added up to connecting on my first sheep!! May have to start another thread to get info on the best high heeled sheep hunting shoes...

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    After being consistently skunked I would wear the dress, veil and a dang tiara if it added up to connecting on my first sheep!! May have to start another thread to get info on the best high heeled sheep hunting shoes...
    Oh, you're going formal. I was thinkin' a Homer style wedding ensemble....Ya know, white dress, hemp tiara, herring web veil, and extra-tuffs.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Talked to Jake today from 40-mile air, great guy, said had to have 2 guys to be flown into Charlie Boyd strip (safety factor). What a bummer. He tried to match me with another guy but it fell through. If any knows of anyone who has a permit and would like to fly-in please pm or post asap. I'm still keeping all my options open. I appreciate all the advice from everyone, thanks.

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