DS103 Late Hunt Tok Sheep
Finally hit this TMA late season tag after years of trying. I have read through every post I could find in this forum. I have also looked at every sheep picture I could find on the internet. My question is, and please feel free to PM me, what is the best advice you can give in undertaking this hunt? I know it is likely a once in a lifetime. I want to do it right. I have about 10 days to do it in. I would appreciate any advice. Also I am an of Alaskan resident 24 years. I know the permits were down to a total of 60, only 30 in each hunt this year. Reading old posts guys have gone in and seen lots of legal sheep and looked for a trophy and guys have gone in and never seen a legal ram. Any recent ie. last couple years information on the numbers of older or legal rams you have seen would be appreciated. This is only my second sheep hunt but I am going all out on fitness, gear, shooting practice, optics, hunting partner, and any other detail which I can control. Thanks for any help you are willing to share. Also thanks to the guys who have posted their stories on the TMA. I am really looking forward to being back in there kill or no kill. What an awesome adventure.
I hunted this in 2010. Saw a few really nice rams, but couldn't get to them. We could have shot them easily, but just couldn't get to them.
Best advice is to book a flight in with 40 mile air. Then a few days or a week before that, get someone to fly over the area you would be hunting. Leif will put you in the spot where he thinks you'll have the best luck. As to that, I'd suggest getting maps for waaaaayyyy more area than you think you'll be in. We had planned on one particular area with Leif, but when we got there, he told us that the guys he just took out of there hadn't seen anything. I flew it with a friend about a week before that and didn't see much either. So he put us in a totally different area. So we didn't have hardly anything for maps. He gave us a paper map (that we managed to keep dry), but it only covered part of the area he dropped us in.
Be ready to work your tail off. Most people booked these flights the day after permits were announced, so now you're probably going to get the leftovers.
If you're up to the challenge, I'd book the very end of the season, something like Sept 10-20 or 11-21.
Hunted the north east corner in 2013. One mature ram, but he hid in a cave whenever planes were heard and we could not time him.
Lots of 6 and 7 year old or 3/4 curl rams. 10 or so of them might have been 8 and 7/8 curl.
I am guessing that spring 2013 killed many old rams and nearly all lambs. We saw 40-50 sheep in 10 days, but only 3 lambs and 8 or 9 ewes. Lots of 3-4 year old rams. In a few more years there may not be a TMA season or only a couple of permits due to 2013 spring snow conditions.
I have drawn that tag a couple of times, found a pretty special spot. You can PM for specifics.
Give Zack Knaebel of Tok Air service a call. He knows that country just as good if not better than anyone and has been flying there for decades, always out searching and building new strips. Ive know him for many years, a great guy and an amazing pilot.