As the title says, this year I set out on my second solo sheep hunt even after I told myself that I would never hunt sheep solo again... I have been in Alaska for 10 years now and got the sheep hunting bug 5 years ago. In that time I have gone on 6 sheep hunts. Four of them were with hunting partners and during each of those hunts I had never seen a legal ram. Two seasons ago I retired from the military, had a few hundred hours flying a Citabria under my belt and a little bit of time off before I would be starting a job up on the slope. After a hunt with a good friend of mine failed to yield a ram for either of us I came home and regrouped. I told my wife, this time I was going to fly myself in somewhere and hunt until I took a ram. 14 days later that actually happened and I had my first ram under my belt.
It was the most difficult and trying hunt I had ever been on in my life, and it was a pretty darn nice animal! But I had told myself that I would never do that again. I think my wife appreciated that decision...
Now fast forward to this year and after a new sheep hunting partner had some last minute conflicts I made the decision to once again set out in my new plane on my own and try a repeat of my success where I would have no one but me to blame if that didn't happen... Here is how it unfolded.
I Got the plane dug in as soon as I landed and started driving in the tie-downs. The weather report looked good for the first 4-5 days so I was really hoping I wouldn't be much longer than that!
I parked next to these bushes so I could use them as tiedowns along with the duckbills and a deadman that I dug in. It wasnt going anywhere! I hoped! ;-)
I Got the pack all loaded and prepared to head for higher ground!
But before I took off blindly, first I had to take a quick look around!
And seeing a few pretty decent looking rams from the strip put an instant smile on my face! That never happens! I wasn't sure if they were even close to full curl, but they were definitely rams.
I set out on my hike to try and find a good spot to base from, and I Still had that smile on my face two miles into the trip... I suppose that was because it was still early in the adventure!
I got up towards the head of the valley and set up camp before I headed up the mountains to do some scouting.