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Thread: Double Whammy Rammy Kablammy!!

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    Member CtP's Avatar
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    Default Double Whammy Rammy Kablammy!!

    Day five, sneaking down the scree chute with 500’ vertical to cover and trying not to make too much noise, I peak through the binos to make sure the rams haven’t been spooked. Good to go, I give BH the thumbs up and we keep creeping. We’ve been watching this group of eight rams, with one heavy legal that I picked out from the ridge. After spotting them bedded on a high bench, they’ve started making their way down the mountain toward the sweet greens. The big boys were leading the way.

    Next thing you know, the rams start running downhill. They turn toward each other and whack, we can here the collision from 3/4 mile away. The rams are getting frisky and smashing their horns together. Here they go, running down the mountain, kicking up snow in the field, rearing up on their hind legs and “SMACK!!” They’re almost behind the terrain giving us a window to move fast. We’ve been creeping down this scree for about an hour and the tedious movements are exhausting. We’re in the shade, and the slow, precise steps are forcing me to strip layers. As the group moves down the snowfield behind terrain, we start to move. They're gone and BH and I are sliding, running, and jumping down the scree, as fast as possible, with half the mountain following us. We hit the bottom, drop the packs, and start to run.

    The idea for this tag started just about a year ago at the F & G office. We were sealing Chris’ ram from his DCUA hunt and reviewing the rams that were previously sealed. We noticed a couple big boys coming out of 13D and said to ourselves “ That looks like a good one to try for next year.” February comes along with the draw's results close behind. Luck would have it that both Lilly, Chris’ daughter, and I get the same tag for 13D East, DS165. So we start scheming. I search the forums but there isn’t much written about the unit, just a couple posts , from long ago, documenting hunts without much success.

    We have quite a bit of travel ahead of us, coming up from Sitka. Ferry to Juneau, pizza, beer, and camping overnight. A.m ferry to Haines and we are off. We cross the border with ease head toward S.C. We hit the Airstrip late, set up the SL-5 and hit the rack. We wake around 6 with a heavy fog layer. Make some coffee, breakfast, begin to organize some gear, as the day starts to break. Mike Meekins comes down from his house, we go through some paperwork, and by the time were finished it’s a beautiful sunny day.



    Nelchina Glacier/river

    Tazlina Glacier.

  2. #2

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    Nice tease-page2?

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    Had to go to work...to be continued.
    fyi -it's long and pic heavy.

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    I'm leaving for Wyoming on an elk hunt Saturday... Just saying that I would like more and it completed by then...Love these threads..thank you for posting

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    Quote Originally Posted by CtP View Post
    Had to go to work...to be continued.
    fyi -it's long and pic heavy.
    The first post had rep earning potential, but "to be continued" may have just negated that. We're hooked man!
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Day one.
    The Chugach is holding onto some spectacular weather as we hit the airstrip. I’m last to arrive and Big and Little Horse have already seen several legal rams. We pack for three days and hit the pass at the head of the valley.
    We find a cozy spot in the rocks, sipping on mountain tall boys and glass the new terrain.
    Immediately we have four rams at the base of some craggys. We move toward bowl below us, set up spike, and watch.


    Paying closer attention to this older fella.



    Day two.
    I move solo early the next morning, to try and catch the rams low in a feeding zone they hit the night before. I cross the valley and I’m about 1000’ yards from where I last saw them. I take a minute to admire my surroundings when I see the group of four rams have crossed the valley and are heading right toward Big and Little Horse. I start moving after the rams, to try and cut them off, before they hit the craggys behind spike.
    While I’m backtracking, B&L Horse have made a move on the rams and are waiting at approx 400 yards with a shot. The groups walks right past another camp that we didn’t know about, it was hidden just off the edge of the bowl we were on, and all they do is watch the big boy in front cruise on by. Chris was baffled as to why they didn’t take the shot, maybe they saw B & L horse, who knows. Lilly didn’t have a shot, from what Chris tells me, they made a hard push to get into range and she just wasn’t set up enough. Well, the rams felt the pressure and beat feet for the craggys behind camp.
    I watched the rams, bedded down, from spike camp, through an afternoon rain, while the Horse’s went exploring.


    I ended up chasing them over a ridge only to find out they kept on moving for no man’s land. I headed back to spike, to see if I could catch them in the morning. They were hanging out just below the snowfield feeding. I was surprised to see a food down there when I crossed over the next day.


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    Default Lilly's lucky day!!

    Day Three.
    4 a.m. wake up and I’m off. I find them feeding high, and they end up bedding just below the ridge. I sat and watched from across the valley, as the day’s weather improved, I had sunny skies with a nice breeze. I’m perched up between two rocks, chillin mountain style, when a young coyote trots up to about 20’ and sees me pull away from the binos. He skirts about trying to get wind then bails.

    Then the action starts. I check the adjacent bowl where the four rams were initially, and now there is a group of eight moving toward me, and a group of three in the back of the bowl. The large group was cruising the low land headed in my direction as they start up the hillside for a feeding/bedding zone. I watch the group for a while, and being limited to my binos, as Chris had the spotter, I could only tell that there were a couple legals, with no detail. In comes the super cub stirring the pot. He low passes the large group four times , getting them all stirred up, then he heads for the three I was pursuing, and passes them twice, and pushes them out of country.
    The large group headed high and bedded on the corner and had a perfect view of the area. So I hung tight, took a nap, and hoped for better results when I woke.



    I must have slept longer than anticipated cuz by the time I woke the situation had changed a bit. The large group started moving on the corner and it was time for me to move on. I pushed off the bench to the glacial scree field and headed toward the base of the corner. The sheep moved out of sight and I started making good time, when Big Horse whistles at me from the cliffs just by the corner where I saw the sheep. He and L.H. had seen the sheep from the ridge behind me while I was napping and decided to drop off and make a move.
    They came off the cliffs after deciding not to mess around with the sheep in the steeps and we met down low in the boulder field at the base of the hill.
    We busted out the spotter, so I could get a closer look at the group, when B.H. sees a trio pop out up high behind us. Since they were hunkering down after a long day I dropped everything, but rifle, and headed up the scree hill. Pushing to the top, legs burning and out of breath, I see the group. They’re up high feeding and a lot farther than I thought. Being that it was about 9 p.m., I opted not to pursue and join the horses.
    As I drop off the hill, bombing down the scree and snowfield I notice that the horses are sneaking around the rocks. Just what are they up to. I slow down, and observe a bit and realize they’re making a stalk on a ram. Sweet!! I get to watch. I ninja my way through the boulders, now that I’m following their footsteps, I find a boulder and let the show begin. They close the distance across a side hill where the sheep are grazing, and set up on a rest. I’m watching through my binos as the shot rings out. Boom!! Ram jumps and move a body length or two. Boom!! He rears up and falls out. Awesome, Lilly’s got her first ram.
    I load up two packs as Lilly comes back for hers and we make way toward the ram.





    We push off the hill, cross the valley and climb up to spike and get to bed after two am, but it’s all worth it.

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    Default Craig's lucky day!!

    Day Four.
    We take the next day for some R and R since the weather is great and B.H has a little work to do on L.H.’s ram. Sippin on some mountain refreshments, letting our gear dry out and taking it easy was a nice change.

    Spike camp before we packed up and headed back to base.



    B.H and I head out after dinner for a evening scout to see if we can spot the group from the fly in and check out an adjacent bowl. We climb up into what appears to be the moon. It’s as quiet as it can get and there are no sheep to be seen. B.H. sets up the big eye and in no time we’ve got our ram.




    We head back to camp, come up with a game plan for tomorrow and hit the hay.
    Sunday, Day Five.
    We pack up early with a spike camp and head downrange. Set up spike at the base of the hill and B.H. and I head up light with an sl-3, if we need it.
    We head straight up the side of the mountain which gets us into the craggys in no time.

    Chris getting vertical.





    taking a little break.



    About an hour later, we are in the cliffs and creeping around the sheep trails. We are peeking around corners, passing right through fresh bedding zones, and anticipating walking right up on our group.
    We round a corner and there it is, a window into the backside of this monster. We stay low, set up the big eye and soon they’re in our sights.





    I keep an eye on the group as B.H. scouts a way into the bowl. The only reasonable way to get to them is down. We throw on some camo tops with HH green bottoms and start sneaking down the chute.


    We’re moving fast and B.H is right on my tail. We’ve got a spotter, binos, range finder and my rifle; M70 300WM with Barnes TTSX 180grns. I surprised how far away they are. We running down boulder fields, dropping into snowfield chutes that hide from the sun, and crossing onto a green hillside scattered with boulders making it look like Easter Island.
    We end up high on the hill as we creep over and I decide to push down to our left and find a rest. B.H. ranges the group at 300 yards and it’s now or never. I contemplate trying to move close, but the rams have a watchful I and I’m not gonna blow this stalk. B.H. sets up the big eye and our ram is right in front, broadside feeding to the right. They’re in a field of sweet greens and they seem at ease. I take my time, solidify my rest, slow my breathing, and get a good sight picture on the big boy.
    Safety off, Boom!! Hit’em and he’s moving. Boom! He’s moving again. B.H. yells, “close the distance!!” I’m off, again. Running, rifle in my right hand. Hopping off and around boulders like I lived there. I slow down and look, big boy stopped, facing uphill broadside, and I’m close. I find him, Boom!! He scampers around a rock and he’s gone, but not coming out the other side.
    I think it’s time to walk…

    The sun is out and it’s **** hot. I strip off a layer and make my way toward his location. He’s uphill a bit, but I find him. He’s found a nice little spot to say his Goodbye’s. BigHorse ran back to get the packs and we both took a well earned rest, taking some time for food, pics and to revel in what just happened.
    Chris double packing it with his Barney’s!



    Now the work begins…















    It’s about 6:30 when we decide not to stay on the mountain and push back toward spike camp. We hit the spot device for a next day pick up and head of our little piece of heaven. The bowl of soft green grasses was the best part of our pack out. When we dropped off into the valley it was class V alders, running right into a fresh bear bed, and a nice little climb up to spike.
    Me packed up and ready to roll.


    Tenzing 6K



    Man that felt good, dropping the pack and sinking into the ground on my back, just beat. L.H. popped out of her bag and started helping us make dinner. I dropped the meat bags in the creek and we hit the rack.


    Day 6.
    We pack up early and head back to base camp anticipating the buzz of the super cub at any minute. We cruise into camp and the first thing I hear is “ the horns are gone.” B.H. arrived first and cruised right past our stash to find L.H’s skull was drug off by a wolverine. We searched the area extensively with no joy, as we all know by now.
    Meekins flew in with two cubs, picked up L.H and B.H., flew some turns over the area and headed home.
    After about a dozen turns on his way back, seaching the area once again, Mike landed. We loaded up the cub and I said thanks and good bye to 13D, East.
    With a big thanks to ADF&G for another great tag!


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    Love the story and the pics! Both of the rams are sweet! Got to love it!

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    As I said that day.... I'm glad to call you a friend. Your welcome in my camp anytime Craig. You did a great job on the story and the hunt. You'll enjoy that fine massive Chugach brute for a long time. Although I have a feeling the steaks won't last long.

    When that freezer starts showing some wear look me up again.

    That was a wonderful hunt. It's gonna age well!

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    What a great write up. Congrats to all of you. My first sheep hunt way back when was in 13D (harvest tag) maybe one day I can get drawn and return to some of that beautiful country.

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    Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! That report was well worth the wait. It's not often that a report on here makes me momentarily feel like I'm along for the ride, but that one captured it. Great ram, and great pictures as well! I didn't notice previously that Little Horse had a flower in her hair for her ram pictures - love that touch! Great job to all three of you, and sincerely, thank you for sharing it with us.

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    Nice pics and story, congrats on a great sheep! What did F&G tape him out at? Age? Looks like 10?

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    Congrats on the sheep and enjoyable hunt. You guys worked hard and enjoyed it! Sounds like the Chugach are recovering well. I feel for you about the horns. The requirement to leave the horns until the last load causes me to worry about my horns. I read about guys that lost their horns to theft while packing out meat and several others that lost horns to animals. This year I tried to keep my horns in sight and still some guys told me they walked by my horns and thought about picking them up to "help me pack them out." I tried to keep them in a visible location and tied to the meat so I would wake up if something tried to take them. Wouldnt be a bad idea to take a electric fence to protect you meat and horns at base camp, they only weight 4 pounds. Anyway, great hunt!
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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    Well Done, very nice right-up. Congratulations.

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    Thanks fellas!! It was fun to write it up and live it again. For about the 100th time
    F & G aged him at 10. 36 x 34 x 13 1/8.

    I was really impressed with the Glennallen F & G office, we stopped in on our way South to say "Hello" and share the experience. I didn't get him sealed there, but if and when there's a next time I'll head to Glennallen. Becky ( biologist ) was very cool and showed a true interest in the sheep coming off the hills. So much that she's gonna head to the taxi to remeasure the horns, for her Chugach Ram horn growth measurement database, since the initial measurements taken " at the other office " were way off.
    Becky and Frank were also very helpful long before the hunt took place giving us good statistics and history of rams in the unit.

    We sure did luck out with the weather...That was crucial.

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    Great job Craig, looks like you had an absolutely awesome hunt and took a great trophy to top it off. That ram will look real good on the wall and will bring back some great memories every time you look at it. Congrats buddy!

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    Well done!!! I'm sure that hunt will live on in the memory of that young lady for the rest of her life. Great way to pass on the hunting heritage!!

    Steve
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  19. #19

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    is it just me or does your ram look like it has a smirk on his face? Congrats on your ram. Sounds like it might have been a bit crowded in there.

  20. #20

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    Page 2 was well worth the wait-thanks

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