DS 141 Eklutna lake. I missed two back in '10. So figures this year was a redemption hunt. Trained on flat top and riding my bike w a sand bag in trailer most of the summer and fall till hunt start date. Buddy and drew as a party. He accompanied me on my last ditch effort in '10 and filmed the misses.
Short of the long story; since he's still hunting for his and I'll help him again if needed when we are free to hunt while tag is still open. Pretty small unit in schemes of things so not giving lots of info or pics showing terrain.
Seen my ram after we got to where camp would be. We set up the tent and I spot a ram where across from where planned to hunt. Called him Plan B, and I touted I would kill that ram. After scouting and locating Rams till dark and putting them to bed. We arrive back to camp under headlamps and cook dinner and turn in. Rained off and on thru late morn. Arose at 9ish am. Cooked oatmeal and loaded snacks and spotted Plan B on the move. Watched him feed low and was curious about his routine since we didn't see him till late the prior day. We hike to where we put the Rams to bed to ofcourse see that they were not there. Not long after and picked up most of the Rams and few extra scattered all over in mostly inaccessible terrain especially from our perch.
I was curious to know where plan b was since we lost track of him. After glassing some time I pick him up. Confirm in the spotter. Odd location for a bed we thought. He got eventually got spooked and worked his way towards us from a long ways out. Buddy said to watch him as he could come up a few steep chutes were a few tracks were prominent. Buddy was more interested in larger Rams. Plan B bedded below a very steep drop off. Buddy couldn't stand it anymore w a ram he liked bedded w another 500 yards or so away up into the nasty stuff. He took off, watching him i peak back over at Plan B and he's gone! I run the ridge looking. Picked him up feeding up a steep chute but stopped on a an outcropping. Pursuit was on. I drop down a rocky rounded face of the ridge. He spots me or atleast acts like he picked me up. I wait. Range him at 81. Draw back, peak over and had my peep on my 80yard pin, granted we were cold since we dropped a layer that was noisy n retaining sweat, so I was chilled and hands were cold. As I bring the sight towards the ram I hit the release trigger w too much pressure as I was settling everything in. It went whizzing past his rear end and he looked back and trotted off. I ran the ridge again and found him instantly bedded.
Now, if I wouldn't have bumped the trigger and got on his lungs he woulda been a dead ram. Flight was good, just way left! Buddy comes down from his blown stalk. I motion him to stay low out of sight. We exchange stories. He actually got two shots off and both missed. We agreed long range shots in the mountains even w angle finder range finders wind, cold and other factors are just too risky. Especially at steep down/up hill shots.
We watch plan b for a bit more. Decided I should try n drop down on him for a closer shot. He was bedded at over 100yards. Just as I take the first few steps over the nasty edge once I got to where I wanted to start, buddy says he's up n moving! Buddy moves ahead of my location as I work up. I had range finder w me and had him at 52-60 yards. Buddy shot under, I drew back and had put the range finder down prior to, I put 80yard pin on him since he had moved and shot under also seeing as he was probably over 100 yards. Plan B dove over the edge happily trotting away. Buddy dropped a spine down to the left. Plan B must have seen as he turned and went directly away. Plus wind was blowing from buddy to plan b. I ran the crags n edges staying out of sight and trying to figure if he will pop up or just stay low and trot. Trying to pick the right spine to drop was tricky. But even from caribou hunting, always seems you end up one behind. So I went a few more. Decide to descend. Navigating the crags and loose stuff quietly is not easy when fired up, plus I wasn't feeling cold anymore Hahahaha.
I lost sight of buddy due to distance and terrain. I range plan b at over 300 yards and still dropping as he feeds. I keep goin down. He spots me it looks like. I stop. Lay back onto steep mountain side and have my bow infront of my face. He's acting jittery. He went back to my left side of the spine. I contemplate giving up as the more I drop the more I gotta climb back up Hahahaha. I drop a steep chute and made no noise. Peek down and he was feeding happily without a care it appeared. So I figured gotta go for it! I drop down quickly and every now n then pop up high enough to see from my side of spine to his and range him. Closing the yardage quickly I pick a spot and almost got to it Hahahaha. I range him and it read 30 yards. Trust your equipment. From buddies view it looked like I was way farther. I drop back, kneel down, draw back, anchor the FOB into the corner of my mouth. Nestle in the release tight to my ear.......... Stand up and boom! Plan B has me pegged instantly. But wind in my face.......I notice he's calm........ I don't have a 30 yard pin, split my 20 and 40 and eyeball it---- how I always do it at the range and 70 yard is the same for me. So....... I settle the invisible pin behind his shoulder and tad higher than mid body. Pressed the trigger on my release and everything felt great. Even better when I seen the arrow hit and sink deep. Plan B ran down into the steep swell off the side of the spine. Started to tumble and was down.
I thanked the lord, took a selfie video, and just sat in awe at what just happened. Not knowing my buddy had took short vids of me or that he could even see anything. I couldn't hear what he was saying and had no idea he seen anything. I yelled, "killed it!!!" And my voice surprisingly carried well up to him as he was recording again Hahahaha. Drop down n took pics. Buddy was finally dropping over and I headed up to get my pack from him. Still over 1000' feet away I hear him yell, get your ram! It started tumbling as the soils were very loose. I had anchored a horn in but shoulda dug bed for him. It was steep couldn't manage him alone so that's why I thought the horn trick would hold. We watched in horror as he dropped another 1500' or more!!! But landed where it was easier to skin and such. He still slid a bit even then while working him. Safest way out was the way we dropped down! So up we go! Shot I guess around 8pm or later opening day. Did the work under headlamps and arrived back at camp around 3am!!! Dehydrated and hungry and we were about our of camp water. So we split it and ate a snack and crashed out. I was gonna drop down for water, but I heard wolves barking and my pack was soaked w fresh blood and I actually got spooked!! So I climbed back to camp w my tail tucked.
Got water in the morning and we packed my ram out and I biked it as my buddy went back up looking for his prize. Wind and weather kept them in a nice perch tho. We shall return as a team and hunt for his. My buddy will chime in hahahahaha no worries
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