My long awaited sheep hunt finally started Aug 11 with me and Jake, aka BRWMBR, flying into the Talkeetna mountains. We each had a backpack and the essentials for a 10 day hunt. Landed on a lake and started glassing sheep right away. Of course we have to wait until tomorrow to hunt but it was nice to see sheep so soon. None are big enough so we hike for a while and set up camp for the night. Tomorrow we can hunt!!! Fast forward to Thursday the 16th. Jake wakes me up and he is on his spotter looking at another sheep, about 2 miles from camp. He says it is a broomed sheep he saw last year on another hunt. So off we go after a quick breakfast. We get close to where the sheep were feeding and see 3 sheep bedded below us. I hope he is in that group but of course they are all small ones. We can't see the other 4 that Jake saw from camp. We continue on a bit and drop our packs. We must be close. A couple more ravines and we come to snow in a ravine with fresh tracks. Jake checks it and we figure it is the 4 we are looking for. More sidehilling and trying to maintain our elevation. We are pretty close to the top but now the top is fogged in. We are scanning in front of us, or I am trying to but I am mostly looking down where I am walking. The rocks and loose stones are getting slippery and am trying to be as quiet as possible. Jake says "SHEEP" and I look at him and he is laying down. I get down and look uphill. Through the fog I see some sheep directly above us, quite a ways away. I try to get a range on them with my rangefinder but through the fog or my shaking I can't. I do get a reading closer on some rocks at 370 yds. The fog closes in more and we can't see them again. I want to get closer but Jake says stay put and get ready to shoot. We figure they are 80 to 100 yards farther. The fog seems to be getting worse and we are waiting for another sighting if they are even still there. I move a few stones around and actually get a pretty solid front rest for my rifle. It is raining now and spitting snow and a slight breeze from left to right. I am soaked from sweating and my rain gear is back in my backpack. The fog looks worse and I am wondering if we are going to get a chance. It seems like an hour but probably 15 minutes I see a break in the fog. Jake gets on the spotter and I can't believe it but the sheep are still standing there. Maybe they don't like to move in the fog either. I am ready and Jake tells me it is the lead sheep on the left. They are all facing to our left. We already had discussed the angle and drop and the wind at 400 yards. So I take aim and tell Jake I am ready. BOOM.... I quickly rack another shell in and Jake whoops and hollers "HE IS DOWN". I can't believe my ears, thinking he is going to tell me where I missed and keep shooting... I look up and see a white spot on the rocks. Jake is slapping me on the back and high fiving me. I am still in shock. I put my gun down. I am so excited I have to be careful I don't slide downhill. I keep looking up and the fog fills back in so we can't see him. It is unreal. I want to get my hands on this beauty. We head to him. Part way up we can see him and I try to get a range on him. I can't and give Jake the rangefinder. I am still too nervous and shaking. Jake gets 120 to the sheep and 350 back to our spot. I can't believe that either but Jake double checks and it is the same. We get to the sheep. I put my hands on his broomed horns and he is beautiful. Very different set of horns and I am literally on cloud nine, in the fog and all.
Of course the work starts now but Jake is an old hand at this. Long story short we(Jake) cuts, carves, skins and we pack him off the mountain and back to camp. I carry my share but am sure he has more than me and still has to wait for me to catch up, as he does patiently. I believe all my pre training has helped but probably should have done more. 145.jpg141.jpg