Well just got some time to sit down and write up my story of a patient/amazing/tough/lucky/painfull sheep hunt in the chugach range! Trip started off to be a flight off to the mountain to only be pushed back a day due to weather followed by the next day fogged in to not get out till late opening day evening wondering if there was still a spot to land with no one at. Lucky enough to get the second option strip due to a plane already at the first location I wanted to get dropped at we got in and got camp set up to start some glassing. Spotted 4 rams a long ways down the drainage and quite a few lambs and ewes around camp was a pretty good start for day one in camp.
Day 2 we decided to head across the river which turned out to be a wonderful way to start off the morning flash freezing our legs and waking out butts right up!! We headed up to a nice large bowl and glacier with little sign of any sheep while glassing the 8 mile trip around the bowl to end up finding ourselves chasing tarmigan around the boulders trying to get some tasty supper. Now if someone had been recording is this would of been a good show. With no luck we ended up across from camp on the top for a very nice spotting area in the blue bird sky's. We ended up spotting some of the same Rams from the night before and a few others which have now made their way closer to us but still a long ways out to determine any quality. We decided to head back down to camp and finished the night off watching the rams continuing their way towards us. Finished the night off with a couple sips of Jack And hit the hay.
Next morning we decided to head down the river a mile or so and crossed the river and get up higher to a good vantage point to do some more glassing and try get a better look at the Rams we been seeing. We decided to climb what appeared to be a rock slide which later found out it was a glacier covered in rocks that were not very fun climbing due to the unstable rocks covering it. Made it to the top and got some eyes on 4-5 rams with the wind blowing 25-30 making it hard to stabilize the spotting scope on them. Ended up singling out 2 nice Rams and watched them for a hour or so trying to figure out how big they were. My buddy was getting chilled as was I and he decided to build a nice wind block out of rocks which helped out stabilizing the spotting scope to make a good decision to go after these two Rams. They appeared to be in a spot were we could get to them. One I could tell was full curl and carried his mass out and the other flared out and looked to be 7/8 which I would be happy with either of them so we headed back down the steep rock glacier. Back down that stupid rock slide safely while both Rams were bedded down we crossed the lovely warm glacier river again. This time it wasn't so bad as are feet were nice and warm from the climb down. Once we got across to were we were hidden from their sight we started the once to be fairly nice climb to be a really steep climb but still manageable Got up to an area were we decided to dropped the packs and continue to work our way up. Now I know this isn't the best way to go after a ram but the stiff side wind appeared to allow us to do it without the thermals carrying out scent up to them and just had to stay out of view. We got to the point where the Rams could see us and sat it out for a bit. Both Rams got up and appeared to graze behind some rocks and we made our push up to them. The climb was extremely tough but made it to within 100 yards of were they were bedded with no signs of either and I got pretty discouraged that they had winded us or they dropped over into a nasty cliff side. Luckily my buddy had the strength to move up maybe 20 more yards as I was gonna just side hill over the the ledge to see if I could get eyes on them as I was pretty whipped and thirsty. He made it up another 20 yards as I was working along the side hill to hear a faint whistle in the wind and to look over at my buddy telling me to jack one in the chamber as he has eyes on one. As I was in disbelief I side Hilled back over to him to peak up and see a ram starring right back at me!! Now in belief I loaded one up and he now had eyes on us. He jumped up and gave me a brief standing shot which I didn't get off in time before he took of for the cliffs. Not knowing if he was gonna stop I let one go with no sign of a hit followed by another with a clear miss. I had one more opportunity before he went up and over and squeezed it off to just get to see a poof of hair in the wind. I felt it was a good hit but not knowing we started to regroup and go look. My buddy noticed a dust cloud followed some some rocks rolling down the chute he went into. Next thing we know he come the ram rolling down the chute!! Boom ram down my buddy said!! As we high fived and were as happy as could be it actually paid off the ram just continued to roll and roll about a half mile down the mountain. Not what every hunter wants to see but really paid off in the pack out. So with that being said the picture to come, sorry for the not so clean picks😖. We made the climb back to the packs and over to the ram that made it pretty close to the packs which was nice. I was completely amazed and the beauty and size of what I was coming apon. Let's just say I wasn't sure I what I had just harvested as yes this was my third hunt but first ram! All we both could say was wow and now the work began. As now it was getting late we started work of finishing the harvest. Once packed up I had the cape head and front shoulders and my buddy had the hind/backstraps and remaining meat. I started the slow process headibg down hill to the river to make it only about 200-300 yards to have both knees lock up and cramp due to dehydration my guess. I was thinking I was gonna have to be left on the mountain as my buddy said try strap the cape and horns into him to see if that helped. I looked at him as if he were crazy but he was serious. So I did and lo and behold that "animal" as I called him got up and got us down to the bottom to where we could drop the cape and horns and not have to climb back up!! We made it down to the river, now dark and still 2 miles to go to camp decided to drop the packs and come back in the morning. Got back to camp late and got some much needed water and food and good rest just estatic at what we just did.
Next morning we hiked back and recovered the packs and cape and made it back to camp to wait and see if we could get out due to the major winds that the valley and we were having. With no let up in the wind we collected some Wood and had us a nice fire and gazed at all the stars from yet another clear night Next day was the same with winds blowing so we decided to pick blackberries and look for some gold with only being successful in the berry picking follows by another good fire and more star gazing. Next day brought some calmer winds but still strong in the valley we waited all day for it to calm and finally were greated by a cub landing to pick us up. Loaded up the first load and they took off. I stayed and packed up the last of the gear and gave thanks to Gods country and a safe successful trip.
I I can't give enough thanks to my hunting partner that did more than just help out on the hunt and make it a successful and memory of a lifetime!! Thanks to Tommy P "AKA" spyguy for everything you did!! And of coarse the wife that puts up with my addiction!!
Also a thanks to Bush Wings Air for a safe flight