So, after years of dreaming and wishing, I got my act together to go sheep hunting for the first time this year. Typical winter of scheming, planning, spending money (not as much as these other guys honey, my gear was all on sale....) Anyway the time finally came and off I went on the long drive to fairbanks where my buddy was going to meet me. The original plan was to drive up together, but then I got sick and the trip got cancelled, uncancelled etc. The drive was a blast having never done it, and I was excited for the new spotting scope I ordered at the last minute and had drop shipped to another friends house in fairbanks. I was pleased with the scope (PF65ED11) until I tried to zoom - the BRAND NEW eye piece didn't work! A little irritated we took off up the haul road with an old loaner NIkon, ready or not we're going hunting!
After another cool drive and a nap in the truck we started hiking into our chosen drainage. Hiked pretty much all day, wasted a few hours trying a route into the next drainage that didn't pan out, and camped for the night.
Day 2 we took off up and over into our home valley. Up to this point I had still never seen a sheep, as we crested the ridge they were everywhere! All lambs and ewes but several miles away we spotted a group of rams. Down we went, pitched camp, and off after the sheep. We managed to make a good approach and watched the group of rams for an hour or so from 350 yards - nothing legal but fun.
Days 3-6 were pretty much the same deal. Lots of hiking, lots of picture taking, and lots more hiking to see that the rams were little because our crappy optics wouldn't tell us that from 2 miles away.
The last couple days it poured and blew (just like hunting at home) and we took it fairly easy. On day 8 we bagged it early and walked out.
So we didn't shoot anything, or see anything legal for that matter, but I had an absolute blast. I also got completely hooked on watching the social interactions, and the overall chess game of sheep hunting.
I Know I made a bunch of rookie mistakes, but that only makes me want to do it more and get better.
Next year my optics will be better, (the wife told me to buy the Swaro, be done with it, and shut up about it). Hopefully I'll be smarter, or the rams dumber either way.
I can't wait!
Now if I can find a billy to drag home, before I go chase deer for the freezer I'll really be happy....