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Thread: Sheep judging question and a couple "is he legal" pics

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    Default Sheep judging question and a couple "is he legal" pics

    After looking back at pictures and zooming in on them, I am pretty sure I let a few legal rams walk this year. Using my Nikon spotting scope at high power, I could easily see the rams facial features such as their eyes and nostrils, and I looked them over hard for 4 hours, but could not bring them to be full curl. I watched 11 rams while they laid in the afternoon sun, and as tempted as I was to make the 1000 foot decent down my side of the mountain and ascend 2000 feet up the other side to get above the rams, knowing that the rams were just "close" to full curl kept me from doing so and we headed off in search for other sheep. After 8 days in the mountains, and seeing these guys on day 4, my regret not to get a closer look is now getting to me.

    My question is, looking through the spotter at a touch over a mile away and seeing that they are near full curl, but my gut telling me they aren't quite there, should I have gotten closer for a better look? My buddy brought a high quality camera and I was able to zoom way in on the rams with his pictures, and it does appear that two of the seven pictured would meet the full curl requirement. Especially after seeing some success photo's on here, the rams I passed were much larger than some that literally now have a cork in them. For my first sheep hunt though, I didn't want to come home with a sublegal ram and end up with a blotch on my clean record.

    Questions aside, here are a few pictures from my hunt. Saw 6 grizzly, a couple hundred sheep, a couple hundred caribou (only 4 bulls) and 15 bull moose. A couple were mid 50's to low 60's, but most were like the guys pictured below. Any guesses as to the width on them? Put about 60 miles on the boots all said and done, and had a great time. My buddy did take the last small bull caribou that we saw, so we came home with a little meat at least.







  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time! I'd say you have no reason for regret.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    My question is, looking through the spotter at a touch over a mile away and seeing that they are near full curl, but my gut telling me they aren't quite there, should I have gotten closer for a better look?

    Saw ...a couple hundred sheep...
    Sounds to me like you made the right call, particularly in light of how many sheep you saw. On a hunt where I only see a handful of rams, I would have been covering that distance just to be sure at a very close range. With lots of sheep in the area, though, I would figure my time and effort would be better spent looking at other rams for something that is absolutely, certainly legal.

    Very cool pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4

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    "but my gut telling me they aren't quite there"

    I had the opposite experience this season. Saw a ram that in my gut I knew was legal but I snuck in to archery range to get the definitive look I needed. As in most things in life, go with your gut. You got any of your buddies pics where you say you can see the curl?

    Also since there has been so much discussion on sheep horns I thought I'd help out with this pic:

    DSC04314.jpg

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    My question is, looking through the spotter at a touch over a mile away and seeing that they are near full curl, but my gut telling me they aren't quite there, should I have gotten closer for a better look?
    Personally, I'm trying to figure out if you're serious or trying to make us laugh....??? If the sheep you are asking about are in the first pic then how can we help you when we can really only tell that they are sheep? But if the sheep in the other pics are the ones in the first pic, then you really had me going there for a minute......lol.

    Btw.....Great shots of the bulls...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post

    Also since there has been so much discussion on sheep horns I thought I'd help out with this pic:

    DSC04314.jpg
    I think I would like a poster of this to hang on the wall....priceless!

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    Good one

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Default NOT full curl

    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    SOoooo, what you're say'n is....(?)
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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  9. #9

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    4mer, it was all in seriousness. The picture is just one to view, I don't have anything close enough for people to judge the rams. My main question was should I have gone ahead and closed the distance to get a closer look at the rams, or is judging them from a mile away with a good spotter sufficient. This is in regards to a "too close to call" ram.

    fullcurl, thanks for the tip, very helpful. I knew those weren't full curl, but I spent the better part of the day counting rings just to make sure.

    The "is he legal" reference is to the bull moose.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    "but my gut telling me they aren't quite there"

    I had the opposite experience this season. Saw a ram that in my gut I knew was legal but I snuck in to archery range to get the definitive look I needed. As in most things in life, go with your gut. You got any of your buddies pics where you say you can see the curl?

    Also since there has been so much discussion on sheep horns I thought I'd help out with this pic:

    DSC04314.jpg


    You know, this is a HUGE help! I can see another really informative video coming through the pipeline.

    Amazing stuff! Thanks!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    4mer, it was all in seriousness. The picture is just one to view, I don't have anything close enough for people to judge the rams. My main question was should I have gone ahead and closed the distance to get a closer look at the rams, or is judging them from a mile away with a good spotter sufficient. This is in regards to a "too close to call" ram.
    Ok then.....I can only speak for myself, but I always get closer. Weather it's for the shot, or to confirm legality, instinct seems to take over and I usually do whatever I need to do to close the gap if possible without spooking the animal. Personally I love sneaking up on them weather I intend to kill them or not. I get just as much of a rush getting as close to them as I can regardless.

    It seems like to me that even though you say you were seeing them good enough, you still had your doubts.....you looked at them for 4 hours. In which case I certainly would have gotten closer or maybe tried to get a different angle. At least then maybe you wouldn't be doubting yourself now? But try and think of it as a good learning experience, and what you will do next time should it happen again..........and it probably will.....hopefully!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member yogibear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the awesome pictures Jerod. I'll second a couple things already pointed out. The experience alone is worth it. I love to see how close I can get to any animal, with the intent to shoot or not. I consider it training. If nothing else, you scouted an area for next years sheep hunt. Seems like you had an incredible time, even w/o a sheep harvest. I'd certainly trade it for my experience this year.

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    Default Ramnation

    Looks like ram nation to me, what do you say you and me team up next year and pull a double out of there jerod. I'll even sweeten the offer, we could do it 60/40. Once we both get a nice full curl ram down, butchered, put in tag bags and caped we could split up the meat, I'll pack out 60% of everything and you pack out 40%. That should put me at around 105 to 110 lbs if I play my cards right and I should be good for 10 to 12 miles a day on the way out. Just a thought...

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