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Thread: New to sheep hunting

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    Default New to sheep hunting

    I am new to sheep hunting and am looking for a walk in hunt. I maybe able to do a fly in but not likely. The AK range is my first choice. Does any one have any thoughts? I have about ten days to hunt and am in good sheep shape. I run/ski/bike with my two year old for training three to four days a week. Thanks ahead of time for any and all advice.

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    My friend, there are about three situations in life where it's better to be a woman than a man. This is one of them.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What kind of thoughts are you looking for, sir? Your plan is certainly a doable one, though you're not likely to find any spots shared openly here. As you likely know, walk-in sheep hunting is a tough gig, and finding productive spots is generally the result of many miles logged and trials endured. Nothing beats time spent in the mountains scouting and learning prospective areas. Since the knowledge of specific areas that some have comes at such a high cost of time and sweat, few are willing to share that information with any but the most close of friends. Competition is a reality on the road system, and while solitude can be found on a walk-in sheep hunt, such areas are the exception rather than the rule.

    Still, if you're looking for general advice, many here are willing to help. Without knowing what you're looking for specifically, my first bit of advice is to spend as much time in your intended area as possible over the summer. Figure out access points, sheep numbers, general locations of legal rams, etc. Also, be sure to learn a lot about judging legal rams both through reading and by looking at rams in the field. There are some excellent threads here that cover the topic and provide a lot of pictures, and you can get up and look at rams in the mountains around Anchorage on the weekends (if you live in the area). Spend time in the mountains, spend time behind a spotting scope, spend time poring over maps, and spend time reading. Good luck!

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    ...solitude can be found on a walk-in sheep hunt,
    But what about sheep?
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Walk in + Alaska Range + sheep = win a Tok drawing permit

    That is the only advice I can give you for the Alaska Range.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    But what about sheep?
    Ha! Well...sheep, yes. Full curl rams? That's another matter entirely.

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    I was not intending for someone to up and give me their favorite walk in sheep hunting spot when I posted this thread. I was just looking for general information such as: where is a good spot to start looking at on maps for starting spots to walk from, what time of the season is the best time to go as far as weather, and is ten days long enough to even walk in and even see sheep much less legal rams. I am willing to walk further than the next guy, but that all depends on the "next" guy. Thanks again.

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    I would honestly start at adfg... look at all the data you can. Get all the harvest info you can,find every suvey ever possible piece of info out there then spend the summer scouting.... there is an amazing aount of info out there that would help you...

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Default Walk-in AK Range

    As Bear said... lots of info out there, but you're going to have to spend some time hunting it up and determining what's worthwhile (and what's not).

    When reviewing maps, focus your efforts south of the Tanana and north of the Susitna.

    Early season: longer days + more hunters (probably). Warmer (probably).
    Late season: shorter days + fewer (sheep) hunters (probably). Colder (probably).

    Ten days could be long enough. You'll probably see sheep (if there are sheep around and the weather cooperates). There are forum members here who have walked in, killed a ram, and walked out in one day. On the other hand, adding together the last two years I've managed to walk around for over 20 days without seeing a legal ram. And those were both fly in hunts (one early season, one late season, different areas).

    Get Tony Russ' books on sheep hunting.

    Best of luck!
    Rich
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cragger View Post
    I was not intending for someone to up and give me their favorite walk in sheep hunting spot when I posted this thread. I was just looking for general information such as: where is a good spot to start looking at on maps for starting spots to walk from,
    You have to understand that just that info right there is more than many that have found these precious spots will care to put out on a public forum. Believe it of not it IS that coveted.

    As far as having 10 days to hunt, like Rich said, that certainly is doable.....especially if you're in as good a shape as you say. When I was young, a friend and I would bushwack (no trail other than game trails) into the mountains at least 15 miles one way. In two years we were able to bring out 4 rams. We usually did this in about 4 days total. But I must say, even being as young as I was, it pretty much maxed my ass out....!!!......lol.

    Speaking of maxing out your ass....... my wife told me that I lost mine....yep, wore it completely off after one of those hunts up there......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    While not a sheep hunter, Andrew Skurka has some good routes for getting into sheep country on his site: http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/ Dall sheep love big grassy mountain cirques and slopes with escape terrain above. Look at the north side of the major ranges (Alaska, Wrangell, Brooks, Talkeetna). You'll probably be looking at stuff like 20+ miles and several thousand feet of elevation from the trailhead, land ownership issues, stream crossings, etc...do your homework.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    You have to understand that just that info right there is more than many that have found these precious spots will care to put out on a public forum. Believe it of not it IS that coveted.
    I second this. I've never even been sheep hunting before but I posted a question asking about experiences in an entire MOUNTAIN RANGE before and had people *****ing at me through PM's for giving away "their spot".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    My friend, there are about three situations in life where it's better to be a woman than a man. This is one of them.
    Only three?

    ****.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Get the Alaska Gazetter out, look at the ares you think you'd like to try, get some area name and call the bios for that area. Talk to Bio's, ask specific questions like "How about this drainage for access". Don't ask stuff like where can I find rams, ask specifics about areas you've researched. Then you'll probably change your plans completely and have a starting point. At least that's what's happened to me with everything else I hunted for the first time.

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    You really ready? Check out "Lace 'Em Up" Sheep Hunting DVD set, http://www.provingtrailadventures.com/. Great start. My first thought was, "are all sheep hunters this skinny?" You better be if you want to walk in and sheep hunt and be successful. I can also recommend several books and DVDs from the store here, inlcuding "Black Shale, White Sheep" DVD (really good judging advice, "Sheep Hunting in Alaska" by Tony Russ, and "Sheep Hunting the Alaska Range" DVD.

    I'm not a sheep hunter yet, but I'd like to be. I may even start trying to draw this next fall, but I'll have to hire a guide, etc. since I'm a non-resident. Therefore, I'll probably end up flying in than not.

    I have tried the black bear hunting thing down on the Kenai, and I call it "sheep hunting for black bears" . It has also bested me three different times. Nothing like looking above all the alder and 5-foot tall, wet grass on +40% degree slopes, seeing a bear frolicking around, and saying to oneself,"***?!!?" And then the reality of face-planting yourself in the wet grass several times, to get above all that cr@p to discover you took the wrong little ditch up and around. But it is really pretty up there....

    I have lost 10 lbs since the holidays and I'm working on 5-10 more. It's the only way. Otherwise, "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All" (Vince Lombardi).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlander View Post
    You really ready? Check out "Lace 'Em Up" Sheep Hunting DVD set, http://www.provingtrailadventures.com/. Great start. My first thought was, "are all sheep hunters this skinny?" You better be if you want to walk in and sheep hunt and be successful.
    Not quite..... So much of it really is the mental determination that you need to keep on going. Basically, skinny or not, if you don't have the will power you probably aren't going to be successful. I've known guys that weren't in the best shape, but had the drive and got it done. Mainly I'd just have to say sure, you really don't want to be lugging around a bunch of extra weight, but if you have strong legs and good wind, it can take you a long ways. Having a strong back doesn't hurt either.

    Personally I've known guys that were built like bulls that didn't have any problems going after a ram. And I've known skinny young kids that were pretty much useless when it came to packing any weight. Sheep hunting isn't just about getting into the back country,and climbing around the mountains....that's pretty much the easy part. Strap on a ram and all your gear and head back down......that'll show you how much of a sheep hunter you'll want to be.......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Thank for the book and DVD recommendations I am already going to by the lace em up DVD and black shale is on my list of reads. I have read the two Tony Russ Books about sheep hunting. The mental determination I think is there too, but have not been out into sheep country to prove that yet. I will hopefully be in August Lord willing and hell does not freeze over. Any good ideas of when is the best time in the season to go?

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    Have to agree with 4mer a bit.. I have NEVER with maybe one year exception got in shape for a sheep hunt and no I am far from what most would consider sheep shape.. I am in no way advocating not being in shape as it can make or break a hunt.. I was a smoker and used to smoke while I climbed,I would show up in camp out of shape...ect.. I worried about it a couple times in the early years when hunters would show up all lean and mean but I have never had one hunt where I was playing catch up to a hunter....WHY....simple Quitting is not an option for me and I know what it takes to be mentally strong enough to be successful.. I watched the most inshape hunters eyes slump when we would get to the base of where we were going to climb after a 10 mile hike in, I have watched thier minds mentally break down after being stuck in the tent for several days counting squares, I have watched them cry cause they never knew it would be that hard, I have watched them quit cause of complete break down.. I do what I can to help them but in the end the mental game of mountain hunting in the roughest of country wears on you ... Wayyyy to many focus on the physical and forget the mental.... I have gotten sheep for guys who have have no buisness being in the mountains simply cause they did not give up..

    this hunter on the left had one lung but whacked this pig.... the second hunter actually quit a few times due to mental fatigue but with the help of a friend(another guide) we were able to finally get him up the mountain and get him on this sheep...

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cragger View Post
    Any good ideas of when is the best time in the season to go?
    It's best to be ready to pull the trigger early in the morning of the 10th of August. Doesn't work out that way for many hunters. Depending on the conditions it may take you a few days to walk to that point.

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Have to agree with 4mer a bit.. I have NEVER with maybe one year exception got in shape for a sheep hunt and no I am far from what most would consider sheep shape.. I am in no way advocating not being in shape as it can make or break a hunt.. I was a smoker and used to smoke while I climbed,I would show up in camp out of shape...ect.. I worried about it a couple times in the early years when hunters would show up all lean and mean but I have never had one hunt where I was playing catch up to a hunter....WHY....simple Quitting is not an option for me and I know what it takes to be mentally strong enough to be successful.. I watched the most inshape hunters eyes slump when we would get to the base of where we were going to climb after a 10 mile hike in, I have watched thier minds mentally break down after being stuck in the tent for several days counting squares, I have watched them cry cause they never knew it would be that hard, I have watched them quit cause of complete break down.. I do what I can to help them but in the end the mental game of mountain hunting in the roughest of country wears on you ... Wayyyy to many focus on the physical and forget the mental.... I have gotten sheep for guys who have have no buisness being in the mountains simply cause they did not give up..

    this hunter on the left had one lung but whacked this pig.... the second hunter actually quit a few times due to mental fatigue but with the help of a friend(another guide) we were able to finally get him up the mountain and get him on this sheep...
    Now that's some good face camo!

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