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Thread: Any suggestions for a Sheep hunting newby?

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    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    Default Any suggestions for a Sheep hunting newby?

    Hello and thanks for reading this. First of all I have never been sheep hunting but has always wanted to(have been goat hunting). I'm not asking for where to go or secret spots. I already have an area in mind that I want to go and check out next year in the spring. I would like to know things that you have learned over the years that have helped you become a more successful sheep hunter. Things you don't need to take with, the must have items, how you prepare for the physical challenge, tent preference, etc. I have read older forum post and will be in contact with the biologist as well. I am just trying to get as much info on sheep hunting as possible. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated thank you.

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    Start reading all the hunt info/books you can get your hands on. Next and most importantly go hunt sheep. The guys that are successful have put in the time testing their gear year after year. That's part of the learning process and can not be a shortcut. My gear set up is different from a lot of my friends but it works best for me, yours should follow that idea also. Good luck and have fun.

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    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    Thanks FullFreezer. I hear you on the gear. Im a very avid outdoors person and have put my gear through allot. So I do understand that, that is no place to skimp out on. Do you have any books that you would recommend?

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I've found that I prefer to go the second or third week of the season. A lot of guys will go into the mountains a few days before season starts, set up on a sheep, and kill them at first light of opening morning. In those situations it can end up being a race to beat someone else to a legal ram, or worse yet it could tempt you to take a ram that's on the edge of legal/illegal for fear of someone else shooting him before you. Going in after the initial mad rush has let me have a more enjoyable time while hunting because I've run into significantly less hunters.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member AKmyles's Avatar
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    Tony Russ has some good Alaska sheep hunting books available
    Not all those who wander, are lost.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    What would potentially have made me a successful sheep hunter: if you have not placed your eyes on the terrain you plan to hunt prior to the hunt (common of some remote drawing tag areas when flying in) then hunt/scout from below first to get a basic understanding of the terrain. The map contours may not represent the actual physical conditions of the mountainside. In my case I hunted a basin from above and the geology presented several sections of overhanging cliffs blocking my view from above. I saw one banana horn ram and three ewes from above. Come dinner time
    several rams magically appeared in the bottom of the basin well out of range. The next day we came in from the bottom and noted that had we done that the day before we would have seen most of the rams bedded on the lower portion of the cliffs as we belly crawled up the creek bed. turned out there was not a legal ram in the bunch, or at least none that were obviously legal.

    Get the best glass you can afford. Used glass is just fine.

    Get into ridiculous fitness months before the season and then have fun maintaining it over the summer.

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    Tony Russ's book is a great place to start.. next apply for sheep hunts as ya might get lucky and draw something special, if you don't apply ya can win one.. next train and train hard on hill climbing. Sheep hunting is an endurance sport, and being in shape sure helps. Get the best gear you can afford, a good spotting scope is #1, it will help ya to not chase small rams..it will help find rams. One hint i always give, find sheep mounts and look at the horns, the more you look at the more comfortable you will become at picking out full curl rams. F& G always have mounts on the wall go have a look. last but not least, get ready to become addicted to one of the best sports in the world.. I am one of those sheep hunters who likes to start at least two to three days before season, and hike far and hard. Heck to tell the truth i start planning the week i get over saying i will never do this again..enjoy

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    Hunting in Alaska - a comprehensive guide. By Christopher batin. Is a great book to have.
    Sheep hunting in Alaska- Tony Russ.
    Sheep stalking in Alaska- Tony Russ.
    The Quest - Tony Russ.
    Google dall sheep hunting books.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lak View Post
    Heck to tell the truth i start planning the week i get over saying i will never do this again..enjoy
    You know what they say about sheep hunting....... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains......

    Another book..... "The Quest for Dall Sheep" by Jack Wilson
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Bring more food and snacks than you think you will need. You will burn crazy amount of calories hiking up the mountains
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    The above are all good- gear, books, work out, preparing. The most important is effort. It's easy to get discouraged when your cold, wet, sore, and hungry. But you just have to tuff it out and look over the next mountain. Good luck.

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    Member tekla's Avatar
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    Here are a few tips that I have been writing down in my phone as I come across them. A lot of good advice out there I just like to keep lists for myself that I can keep going over to embed it into my brain. Good luck
    Glass every sheep like it is legal.
    Take camp with you everywhere you go
    Never walk down the middle of the valley
    Never walk down the ridge line.
    Don't camp in the same place twice
    Be up before dark
    Let your glass do the walking.
    Get water every chance you have
    Drink even when you are not thirsty
    Glass early, nap ,glass late
    Try to make two way legal.
    Count annuli starting at the tip
    First annuli is counted as two
    Do the horns hold mass all the way around?
    Be patient
    Don't be afraid to Sleep on the side of a mountain behind a rock
    Try to count rings from back of horn.
    Fourth annuli is usually most pronounced
    Third year is always longest segment of annuli
    Watch how rams act in groups to see who is in charge
    Try to pack objects that are dual purpose

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    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone I really appreciate the response here. Are there any key work outs that any of you prefer during the winter months? As far as my gear goes I believe I have everything I need expect for a reliable lightweight tent. I am looking at the hilleberg anjan 3 or 2. If I do this hunt solo than I will probably lean more towards the 2 person over the 3 to help conserve weight. Are any of you using this tent? If so how do you like it? If not what would you recommend?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebut1985 View Post
    Are there any key work outs that any of you prefer during the winter months?
    Box jumps kill me, but they help with the up hill and the down hills that cause the micro tears in the quads. Lunges by the hundreds both weighted and body weight. Lots of hiking with your pack at a middle weight like 30 pounds of basic gear. The trails on the hillside get walked on a lot and make for easy times even if the snow gets deep. Micro spikes will keep you upright.

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    Get the videos by Proving Trail Adventures. You'll learn a ton from them as a rookie sheep Hunter and well worth the money. They are great guys and amazingly humble for the great success they have year after year.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebut1985 View Post
    Are there any key work outs that any of you prefer during the winter months?
    Climb mountains. Seriously, while gym-based workouts can be helpful, nothing will prepare you for sheep hunting like climbing mountains. I spend nearly as much time hiking and climbing in the winter as I do in the summer. The trails up the popular mountains get plenty of traffic and are easy enough to hike all winter long, especially with crampons or microspikes.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Another suggestion - don't overlook the easily accessible areas, particularly later in the year. Of course it is usually preferable to go deeper into the mountains, to cross rivers and ridges that others won't and to make your young legs and back work for you by simply walking farther, but sometimes you'll find a pocket of terrain right near the road that isn't attracting the attention it deserves. I've lucked into a couple great places in view of the highway that didn't seem to be drawing any pressure at all. If you only have a day or two to hunt, your odds may not be great, but you never know until you hit the hills.

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    Member tekla's Avatar
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    One more thing that I forgot to mention is don't shoot black Bears on a sheep hunt. Two years in a row I couldn't pass one up. Had to pack it out and ended the hunt. Both were personal bests but after all was said and done wish I wouldn't have shot. That being said if a bigger one walks in front of me this year I would probably shoot it also. Opportunistic hunter here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK flyster View Post
    Get the videos by Proving Trail Adventures. You'll learn a ton from them as a rookie sheep Hunter and well worth the money. They are great guys and amazingly humble for the great success they have year after year.


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    +1! And after watching each one you'll be hungry for more! Great mid-winter motivation for any type of hunting, not just sheep!

    Ptarmigan hunting in the winter with snowshoes or ski's is great - I remember Brian M posting some pictures from up high on beautiful winter days. A workout you can eat!
    If I stay in the gym I've found lots of low weight (5-15 pound dumbells) lunges help me the most, not a lot of impact/stress but really strengthen my hip flexors which I find are usually the first muscle group to go for me.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebut1985 View Post
    I would like to know things that you have learned over the years that have helped you become a more successful sheep hunter. Things you don't need to take with, the must have items, how you prepare for the physical challenge, tent preference, etc..
    Ya know that top button up at the neck of your shirt? You might as well cut that off cause you sure don't need that extra weight....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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