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Thread: Alaska Range Sheep

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska Range Sheep

    Hey guys,

    Long time follower of this site. After making my first trip to Ak last fall I am truly jealous of you Alaska residents!

    Needless to say I will be hunting sheep on the Ak range this year. This hunt will be guided, but I am just curious on the different terrain types of the Ak Range? Also do different areas of the Ak range hold bigger sheep or are genetics similar across the range? I am by no means looking for the biggest sheep on the mountain, but mostly I am looking for a great experience.

    I shouldn't be counting down already, but I am so excited I can hardly help it.

  2. #2
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    Alaska range is one of the most rugged areas to hunt but also rewarding. Lots of big sheep every year come out of the AK range. Have a great hunt, get in the best shape you can and work with your guide and trust in him.

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    Very cool! I have been hiking a lot of my local trails with the pack loaded down- I can't wait. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    plus 10 to what bear said; you cannot be in too good of shape to hunt sheep! Depending where you are hunting in the Alaska Range, there are some areas that have relatively easy terrain. If you have a turret setup on your scope, and are comfortable shooting to 500 yards, it will also help you out a lot. Have a great trip!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagehunter View Post
    Also do different areas of the Ak range hold bigger sheep or are genetics similar across the range?.
    If you ask me, wherever sheep are, there's always that possibility to kill a big ram. You just never know. I've read stories of big rams that are so smart that they don't even come down off their lofty perches to mate. They won't even hang with any other sheep because they've figured out that it makes them more vulnerable. Makes a ram like that very hard to find....

    Make sure your hikes have some good climbing in them as well as some sidehilling. Your ankles will love you for it.......lol.

    Good Luck and have fun...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    If you have a turret setup on your scope, and are comfortable shooting to 500 yards, it will also help you out a lot. Have a great trip!
    I cannot argue that it would be helpful to be able to shoot long distances, but I would argue that patience and good rock scurrying skills will get you much closer than that more often than not. I've taken five rams. One was taken at ~400 yards, the other four have been taken at less than 40 yards. It's not because of any skill, but mostly due to patience and partially due to luck. I'd still suggest any sheep hunter be comfortable out to 300 yards, but for my style of hunting, that's about where I would limit myself. To each their own, of course. If you can scramble around rocky ridges while remaining fairly quiet, though, sheep are totally stalkable.

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    What part of the cowboy state are you coming from?

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    Thanks for all of the advice/input. Having hunted sheep a few times out here I know all to well about how important preparation can be. I will be hitting it hard over the next few months to get back into shape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jharr View Post
    What part of the cowboy state are you coming from?
    I haven't updated my profile, but I lived in Pinedale.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Who are you going with? That might dictate what the area you hunt will be like. Mountains often change over the course of a few miles....bottom line though is be in awesome Shape regardless.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  11. #11

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    The terrain then will be a lot like up Jim Creek or the upper Green without the level, or flat areas at the top. The tops will be a lot of knife ridge type stuff. The good news is that the elevation is a lot lower than up there so that should help with your stamina.

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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    I thought I with was in good shape going into my sheep hunt! On my return, my jeans that I wore out with my belt at the tightest notch could be pulled right down. Hardest hunt of my life, climbed stuff I never thought of, but man is it addicting. Best of luck!!

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    Country sounds mean! Well... I guess it depends on what area. I'm betting I'll end up on the flat, grassy-covered rolling hills. LOL

    As far as being addicted goes... I am far past the point of cure.

  14. #14

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    I used to guide for sheep in the western AK range. Very tough country to hunt indeed. My first hunt that I went on as a packer I lost 20 lbs. and we hiked 60 miles in 10 days! But most of the time it is not that extreme. I would say there is definitely a difference in size in the different areas of the AK range. In the area I used to guide I believe the average size sheep was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 35 inches. Now if you go up north and hunt in the Tok Management area the average size ram goes up to 37-38 inches. Of course you have to have a draw permit for that area. Who will be your guide?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I used to guide for sheep in the western AK range. Very tough country to hunt indeed. My first hunt that I went on as a packer I lost 20 lbs. and we hiked 60 miles in 10 days! But most of the time it is not that extreme. I would say there is definitely a difference in size in the different areas of the AK range. In the area I used to guide I believe the average size sheep was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 35 inches. Now if you go up north and hunt in the Tok Management area the average size ram goes up to 37-38 inches. Of course you have to have a draw permit for that area. Who will be your guide?
    Dang! That is rough. I am not sure what area I will be hunting just yet. I will have to talk it over. I will PM you with my guide's name.

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    Are grizzlies a common sight? I may pick up a tag-- but I am actually not even sure if it is open in August?

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    By the way... Thank you all for all of the input and advice. I am not sure if you guys ever have to leave your state with all your hunting opportunities but I do a fair amount of hunting in Utah, Wyoming and Nevada-- if you guys have any questions regarding those states I'd be more than happy to help you with what I know.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagehunter View Post
    Are grizzlies a common sight? I may pick up a tag-- but I am actually not even sure if it is open in August?
    Unit 19B and 19C griz opens Sep 1. There are plenty of them up there. The area I hunted last year involved a lot of hiking in creek bottoms and looking uphill. Often the sheep were hanging out within 500 yards of the bottom, but very little chance of closing the gap once spotted. Longer shooting skills definitely narrowed the odds. This is really the only hunt I've done that I've seen this type of scenario.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I used to guide for sheep in the western AK range. Very tough country to hunt indeed. My first hunt that I went on as a packer I lost 20 lbs. and we hiked 60 miles in 10 days! But most of the time it is not that extreme. I would say there is definitely a difference in size in the different areas of the AK range. In the area I used to guide I believe the average size sheep was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 35 inches. Now if you go up north and hunt in the Tok Management area the average size ram goes up to 37-38 inches. Of course you have to have a draw permit for that area. Who will be your guide?
    Alaska range is big sort of like saying I'm elk hunting the Rockies. There are big and small genetics in all ranges in Alaska.
    Bushwack the average in TMA has gone way down sorry to inform. Not sure of stats last season but the were not good. 2013 the average size harvested was only 35.1" with one 40"+ and I don't believe any 40+ in 2014. Good luck on your hunt sir and just be n the best shape of your life and your guide will be happy and may open options that others clients can,t do.......

  20. #20
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    You said you were hiking your local trails with lots of weight. There are no trails in the AK mountains. Get off the trails, so you can get your eye trained for route finding and your balance tuned while off trail. Off trail training can be more important than strength training on smooth trails. A lot of the ass kicking new AK hunters get comes from not having the small balance muscles built up for endurance and efficiency for off-trail hiking. The more you hike off trail, the more your body and mind will learn how to do it efficiently.

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