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Thread: 2016 Daughter and Dad Sheep Hunt

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    Default 2016 Daughter and Dad Sheep Hunt

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    This is a follow up to a post by Bighorse and Littlehorse from 2012. I was hunting with my the 72 year old father on a very nasty snowy late season sheep hunt in the chugach. A wolverine had hauled off lilly's horns a couple weeks earlier and I was able to find them for her. My then 9 year old daughter was interested in hunting but the story and pictures showing a 13 year old young lady with an awesome dalls ram further drove her interest in hunting. So here is my story of the results of this years hunts. My daughter is now 13 years old and drew out along with my father again. He is now 76 years young. All the planning done and friends and mentor lined up as Sherpa's and we were set. A few hunts with a lot of hard knocks and no sheep led to countless upgrades of our gear. Everything finally came together and like one responder said at the time maybe the good karma rubbed off.

    Hunt #1

    My daughter Mckenzy, friend Jared and myself flew into base camp on the 9th. It was pouring down rain so we took a much needed nap and waited for the weather to clear. Around noon we got our weather break and got the big eye out. We spotted our first rams miles away through a saddle and decided to split up. Mckenzy and I headed to the saddle and Jared up into some hidden basins above base camp. We made the 5 miles in time to glass for 45 minutes before we had to head back. The 3 rams spotted turned into 13 with 2 that looked really good. One broomer and one flaring ram. Both the big rams came down to the river while we sat there and started feeding in the alders. We both agreed it would be sweet if we could catch them in the bottom on opening day. It would be an easy stalk compared to where they currently were hanging out up in the cliffs. We made the trek back to main camp and arrived right at dark. We compared notes and decided to make a spike camp in the saddle. It was a great location that allowed us access to 3 major drainages and was close enough to the big rams to keep an eye on them. The next day, after unsuccessfully looking for a couple rams Jared had seen, we made our way to the saddle and got set up. The 2 big rams were in the same spot and they put on a show for us. The broom ram had no problem showing his domination by constantly butting rams with the flare ram. The sounds echoing across the canyon were something I won't soon forget. When he ran out of rams to butt heads with he took on the nearest rock as well. The rams did not come down low on opening day but for the 2nd time we saw another big ram up high in the back of another basin beyond the broomer. If the broomer ram wasn't approachable the next morning we would try and find him instead. Day 3 found us up early and as we expected the broomer was not where we could get at him. Up the drainage we went in search of the other big ram. Mckenzy stayed with and often times ahead of us on the long hike with a couple thousand vertical thrown in as well. We were able to get into 5 yards on some rams that just weren't big enough. We thought there were only 2 but a cave hid the 3rd one. We found the big ram but he was a couple more miles out and it was getting late. We opted to try and catch the broomer ram down low for the evening and come back with spike camp the next day if that didn't work out. On our way back we pushed 2 young rams right into the broomers area. We watched them go right into the rams area, a 180 from where they should have went. We made our way to the bottom where we could see into the cliffs and there were 2 rams. One new ram down low in the alders heading back up and the broomer staring at him 1500 ft above. We watched as the broomer started making his way down to the lower ram. We figured his dominance would get the best of him so we made our move to get into range. As we approached the chute where the smaller ram had been, the back of the broomed ram gave him away. We were able to get mckenzy set up at 250 yards as both rams fed into view. She took 2 shots that both went high. I had not made enough elevation adjustment for the 30 degree angle. After making the adjustment the rams appeared across the chute at 300 yards. They could not figure out where we were so they settled back down to feeding. Mckenzy was able to get her composure back and connect. The tears of joy, accomplishment and sorrow started flowing. She had become the first member of the family to take a sheep and a very nice one at that. The bonus came climbing up to her ram. We found another full set of 5 year horns 50 feet below her ram. We made it back to spike camp at 3 am and after eating we were in bed as the sun started to light up the sky at 4 am. All her training had paid off. She did not complain once and often was out ahead of us. Unbelievable experience to be able to share with my daughter and good friend.

    After recouping it was time for hunt #2.

    The new Sherpa was my high school wrestling coach Scott. Pretty awesome to be able share a hunt with the 2 most influential men in my life. I owe them a lot more than I could type. At 76 years young my dad is doing very well but it is sheep hunting. I had my fingers crossed but the reality of the situation was we most likely would not get a sheep. Glad I was wrong. We started out day 1 trekking up glacier. I had hunted this area before and knew of a nice moraine bench with fresh water. We arrived at the bench but it was missing the bubbling stream from the year before. 2 miles later we found another bench and a trickle of fresh water. We set up main camp and were able to sneak in a short scout trip behind camp before dark. We only found a ewe and a lamb so up glacier we would go the next morning with a spike camp. Up early we set off in search of dad's ram. I was doing a ridgeline search and 2 miles out spotted some rams. I got out the scope while dad rested and couldn't believe the luck. At that distance one was an obvious shooter. We made our way off the glacier and up the moraine cliff through some sketchy stuff but it was the only way to not be seen. At the top of the moraine was a beautiful lush meadow that we dropped spike camp in. We got camp set up and went to pinpoint the rams location since they moved around the shady side of the ridge. This also gave dad some time to rest. We found Several rams including the big ram. We watched a younger ram bluff charge what turned out to be 3 wolverines that were harassing him. We watched the big ram momentarily but he was chased back the way we came. Figured it had to be the wolverines again since he never showed himself. We made our way back to dad and headed up the 2k vertical feet to get above the rams. Dad did great picking his way through shale and boulders to get up there. We slowly worked our way down seeing 4 smaller rams below us but not the 2 bigger ones. We made it to within a hundred yards of them when I caught movement less than a hundred yards to the right and a little up hill. It was the smaller of the 2 rams but it wasn't long until the big ram showed himself. My dad was fixated on the smaller rams below and did not see the big ram so a circus evolved and he was not able to get on the ram before he headed over the ridge. He has an old horse breaking neck injury that prevented him from getting the ram fully in the scope. The rams headed back up into the basin we had just come from. Scott said they never knew what we were and the basin being rugged and cliffed off dad might have another shot at him. Back up the 1k feet we went. Dad was starting to tire but he was working toward 4k vertical for the day now. We crested the last ridge in the bowl and there they were. The smaller ram was eating and the larger was pushing him to get out of the way. I had been carrying the rifle to help get dad up the hill but set him up in a spot that wouldn't work for his neck. He found a spot that would work off of a big boulder and got the range on him at 500 yards. The first shot was a miss but the 2nd was solid. Dad had his first dalls ram after 3 tries. After 2k vertical straight down in the dark we had the ram back in camp at midnight. I feel I need to pinch myself after the 7 days of sheep hunting we had. Incredible to share a successful hunt with my daughter and turn around and pay some back to my father who took me countless times into the mountains. Thanks to bighorse and littlehorse for helping inspire my daughter to become a huntress. Mckenzy's ram was 9.5 years old double broomed and 15/16 curl. He was 35" at broom, 13 Inch bases with about 6" of horn broomed off. Dad's ram is 10.5 years old 37", legit curl and a quarter with 12" bases.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Wow! What an absolutely incredible pair of experiences! Both rams are beautiful, but man...the memories are beyond compare! Way to get after it, and HUGE congratulations to your daughter and father!

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    Thanks for the great write up! At 60 years old I've been wondering if I had at least one more sheep hunt in me. Thanks to your Dad I now believe I do...!!! Congrats to all of you on an excellent hunt...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    What a great experience to have with your dad and daughter. Wow 72 years and sheep hunting....that's a tough guy, and what a great ram. Congrats to you all.

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    Great story and way to go! Helping your father and daughter get a ram must have been a very satisfying experience for everyone. Both sheep are dandys and thanks for sharing with us.

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    Wow - great stories, great animals, and great memories! Thanks for sharing and congrats to all!

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    QUOTE=djohn;1558371]Dad's Ram.jpg[/QUOTE]

    Well they say that 60 is the new 40, so maybe that means 76 is the new 56...??? Can I ask if your Dad maintains an exercise program, or has he just always been active?
    Again....kudos to him for sure...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    4merguide my dad stays active. He does not let his aches and pains keep him from hunting or fishing. He did have to amp it up for sheep hunting. He did 2 to 3 days a week and worked up to a 30lb pack and lost 10-15 lbs in the process. He has several mountains around him and was doing 3k vertical on his training hikes. If he over exerted he took the extra time to let his body recover. When he is not in planning mode for the hunt he finds things to do for a little physical activity like cutting alders. That alone will keep any Alaskan busy full time...

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    WOW - What nice rams!

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    Simply phenomenal! Congrats to your daughter, your father, and you for getting out there and coming back with Rams and more importantly memories to last a lifetime. Well done, all of you!

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Daughter and Dad Sheep Hunt

    76 years old and hunting the places where the sheep call home, if that isn't an inspiration to us all, I don't know what is. A very big congratulations to all of you! Not too many 13 year young ladies have a Dall sheep under their belts. You guys should be very proud, not only of your daughter but, yourselves as well.


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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    You made my day!!! I'll pass on the story to Lily. Very well done. We'll forever be grateful to you and your dad returning those horns. Looks like you found a herd of Wolverine. LoL

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djohn View Post
    4merguide my dad stays active. He does not let his aches and pains keep him from hunting or fishing. He did have to amp it up for sheep hunting. He did 2 to 3 days a week and worked up to a 30lb pack and lost 10-15 lbs in the process. He has several mountains around him and was doing 3k vertical on his training hikes. If he over exerted he took the extra time to let his body recover. When he is not in planning mode for the hunt he finds things to do for a little physical activity like cutting alders. That alone will keep any Alaskan busy full time...
    So VERY cool, and such an inspiration...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Yeah. The reason why we hauled Dad's ram off that nasty hillside in the dark. We didn't want a repeat of lily's experience. Figured they would be on him before we hit camp....

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