... with sheep and with a slip...
Went to a new area with an old friend who introduced me to sheep hunting 11 years ago.
After a few days of getting in and trekking high rocky ridges, steep terrain and big valleys we saw about 15 subs, couple of “maybes” (gotcha rams I call them) then spotted a full curl one evening along with 2 subs. From a mile away through the scope it was obvious in a matter of seconds, no 2 hrs of head scratching and hoping. We took off down the main drainage to make the stalk with a strong wind at our backs… not good but nothing we could do about it. Scrambled up a steep side ridge, peeked over to see 4 ewes and a lamb looking nervous and moving out. Right where the rams had been, about 200yds across. Not looking my way like they saw me but definitely thought something was up..”dang, they winded us” I thought as I peeked up over the rocks to see the 3 rams looking back at the ewes as they moved up the ridge… argg! Range finder says 443 yds, strong wind, moving rams, no shot. Backed off, scrambled back a little to my partner and we tried to head further up our little ridge for a shot. Not enough cover, rams are higher, if we pursue they could bust us. I stop, rams are easy 500 yds out and moving but not shagged, they haven’t seen us. I decide to not take a chance on getting busted so we back off. It’s about 9 pm. We’ll try again tomorrow. We had a “siwash camp” with us so we went back down and got some sleep.
Next morning, up early and glassing, 2 rams about a mile out same area, quick check with the spotter and bam… there he is! Off we go, same hard tail wind, we hustle down the drainage past them and head up so we are down wind. Steep, loose, very steep. We get up a ways, drop our packs. We decide our next route, I’d go, partner would keep watch, I’d stop, he’d come, etc. Well, we need to get across some slippery stuff to a strip of green, It’s so steep I’m standing sidehill and can easily touch the slope with my left hand, which I’m doing for balance. Trekking poles are with the packs. I take a small step with my left foot, rocks go and the next thing you know I’m sliding, my hip hits the slope with arm extended up and POP!… dislocated shoulder!! Emmediatly I know what it is, I’ve done the same to my right one over 20 years ago. I edge in hard, thank God for the new Lowa Civeta Plastics with good edges, I only slide 5 or 6 feet. … “OH S*** I dislocated my shoulder!!” I say… “you gotta put it back in” My partner scrambles over to me… “WHA..” I get positioned with my back/shoulder blade against a rock and instruct him on what to do. I have him support my arm high on the tricep, grab elbow and my arm up allowing the muscles to pull it back in. He does it, gives it a little nudge and SCHLUCK! back in it goes… ahhhh, feels much better. Put my elbow to my side and check for numbness, tingling, strength, circulation in my hand and all feels good. I sit for a moment. No apparent nerve impingement. Pain is bearable. From the time it popped to the time we reduced it was about 1 or 2 minutes. Okay, lets keep going! We’re not far from our packs, partner goes and gets me a trekking pole. We continue the stalk. It worked out as planned, came in down wind and above the rams but they were gone. Bummer, well that’s sheep hunting!
We had left our main tent/food with 3 days of food and now it was day 4. We humped it up and over steep pass into the valley across from our main camp. Siwashed again and made the last climb the next morning to much needed food.
Motrin over the next few days, pain killer or muscle relaxer at night as we continued on with our hunt. We ended up bagging it for sheep after seeing a few other hunters on a distant ridge and noticing the sheep we’d been seeing were scarce. Plus logistically it wasn't gonna work hunting further back. We tried to find some bears but that didn’t pan out. Came home a day early sheepless but with another great adventure under the belt!
Be careful out there boys. Things can happen quick. Good to hear that Kahahawai made it through his deal. Kind of wierd that we both suffered shoulder dislocations. At least he got a ram!