Sheep hunting opener vs late?
If you were limited to a week of sheep hunting the Chugach whats your choice...hunting the opener or waiting until later in the season?
The advantage to hunting early seems to be rams haven't been shot and it may be possible to have a few rams scouted out for opening morning. If there aren't as many rams available as past years (due to winterkill or what ever else) there may be more legal rams available before some get harvested. Also, the weather may be warmer with possibly less snow to traverse steep slopes. As we all know the days are super long in August so that gives lots of time to glass, hike, and hunt!
A few disadvantages to early would be higher hunting pressure, rams may be steeper and deeper before snow and cold drive them to lower elevation. There may be a lot more planes flying around spooking rams.
With that said....when would you hunt Chugach rams?
I would sit on the ram that I had scouted out for from the end of July until it was legal. That probably would be too late. You should think about taking two weeks off and get in position from July 27 or July 28. Spend about $3000 dollars in flight time. Talk with Becky and Frank Robbins. Talk with all of the Flight services. Make sure that you have talked with Dan Montgomery and knows that you are serious and are going in early. Make sure as you have that you are going after a big sheep. Then you start researching past award winners and find out. Don't just talk to successful permit winners but talk to people who landed at Stephens glacier and struck out. You learn just as much from the people who were unsuccessful as those who were successful. You have to listen to everybody and ask them about preparation elements, timing and how serious they were.
Then you have a shot. This is one of the roughest and toughest unit for degree of exposure in the state. Train in the mountains with a heavy pack.
After you have gone beyond the start of this and have a better idea, come back with some more advanced questions.
Kaboku68, Thanks for the suggestions. That gets my wheels spinning figuring out a strategy! I sent you a PM.