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Thread: Archery Sheep Hunting Tips

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Default Archery Sheep Hunting Tips

    Anyone have some experience hunting sheep (or other alpine critters) with a stick and string and have some tips on gear/tactics/etc that helped you seal the deal? What worked (or didn't work) for you?

    I'm one of the lucky ones to draw the late season Chugach archery tag (DS140) this year. Extra lucky because its the second time I've had the tag, so fortunately I'm already familiar with the hunt area. The first time around, I didn't punch my tag and so I'm really hoping to hone my skills and get it done this year. I do have a fair bit of archery experience, but most of it is East Coast treestand hunting, so spot and stalk mountain hunting is a different ball game.

    Has anyone read Tony Russ' "Sheep Stalking in Alaska"? The book description says it overs a lot of stalking strategies. Hoping to pick a copy up at the library soon and give it a read.

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    Great thread idea!


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    Hunt from the top down, with sheep. They don't expect danger from above them.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Use the terrain. Not always possible to stalk from above w the chugach rams. A lot larger area than the 141 I've had 3 times. I sealed the deal once and this past year a guy shot one basically next to me, other side of a knoll.


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    Although not always needed, I'm a firm believer in wearing whites....especially if you are trying to get close to stick em' with an arrow. You can get a painter's suit for a couple bucks that you can burn on the mountain after getting them all bloody. I like getting close even with a rifle, and a couple of the rams I've killed I could have killed with stick and string.....both times I was wearing whites. I'm sure the one time he didn't spook when he caught me passing by a boulder at about 50 yards, but I had my whites on, and it was so quick I think all he saw was white movement so it really didn't bother him all the much....

    Oh and yes...I have read Tony Russ's book. If I recall he tells about wearing whites to sneak up on all fours to kill a big ram in the snow one time. I think he also put a small set of sheep horns on his head one time doing it too....believe it or not.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Have a friend with you with a rangefinder. Very difficult to range a sheep in open country. Missed a ram on the same 140 hunt a few years ago by not taking proper time to range him correctly.


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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Use the terrain. Not always possible to stalk from above w the chugach rams.
    This. I havenít taken one with a bow, but four of my rams have been taken inside of 40 yards. Some of that was sheer luck, but terrain was what hid me from the rams - and the rams from me in the cases that I didnít even know they were there. Patient movements coupled with use of every little roll in the terrain goes a long ways.

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    Quite a few years ago my son had that draw. We went out on the hunt and it was VERY cold with considerable high wind. Although I had been using a release, he was still a finger shooter, and after a tough day in that weather he decided that there was no way he could draw his bow using his fingers and a tab. He has since switched to a release; however I would caution you that it can get pretty cold on that hunt, so figure out what you will use on your hands and then practice with that gear. It is relatively easy to keep your body warm but hands could require some advance planning.

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    Tagged along witha buddy in 2016 on this same hunt and it was cold and windy, pushed 8 to 10 all over the face of POW and work a couple rams back at twin peaks and it was hard to keep your hands warm. Ill second the good gloves and practice in them and maybe do some flyover research a couple weeks earlier. Good luck

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    Take a portable pocket press with you and extra PRE SHOT AND STRETCHED buss cables and string (providing that you're using a compound bow).
    In 2011 I had that tag and while up there I took a 150' slide down a scree/rock slope. I stopped suddenly, but no worse for wear. As I went to stand back up, I slipped again, my bow came down with me but at an odd angle and SNAP. My buss cable severed in 1/2 on a rock.
    I had only brought an extra string. I wouldn't have been surprised if the people in Palmer heard that mountain yell some really bad words that day...
    Anyways, food for thought...

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    Excellent advice so far, thanks!

    4mer...do you take your whites straight from the package into the field to wear, or do you dirty them up a bit first? I tried using them once straight from the package, but felt they were quite bright and a bit noisy. Thinking about taking them out before hand this time to roll in the dirt and maybe send them through the washer once to take the crispness out.

    Cold fingers shouldn't be an issue. My grandma knits wool mittens that I'll use. That way the release can stay attached and inside the with my warm fingers right until the last moment.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_JR View Post
    Excellent advice so far, thanks!

    4mer...do you take your whites straight from the package into the field to wear, or do you dirty them up a bit first? I tried using them once straight from the package, but felt they were quite bright and a bit noisy. Thinking about taking them out before hand this time to roll in the dirt and maybe send them through the washer once to take the crispness out.

    Cold fingers shouldn't be an issue. My grandma knits wool mittens that I'll use. That way the release can stay attached and inside the with my warm fingers right until the last moment.

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    Thick gloves can throw off ur knocking point. Test all gear before hunt. Fleece gator on my neck w my old bow threw my arrow 8" off at 40 yards. Killed the moose still but needed a second shot. Don't want to b chasing sheep...........


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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Thick gloves can throw off ur knocking point. Test all gear before hunt.

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    Good reminder. My plan is lightweight gloves for shooting with the mittens overtop to stay warm while glassing/stalking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_JR View Post
    Excellent advice so far, thanks!

    4mer...do you take your whites straight from the package into the field to wear, or do you dirty them up a bit first?
    We used them straight from the bag, but didn't take the bag....don't need that extra weight!....lol. Even Tony Russ said he used to take the old Mt. House meals out of the exterior bag before he packed them. When I say I went light, I mean I WENT LIGHT! I was gonna yank that top button off my shirt too because I usually don't need that either, but I figured the wind would blow so wanted to be able to button it up....lol. A 30 mile bushwhacking round trip, with half of it with a whole ram and all your gear on your back will do that to a guy! But, like you said, I have heard of guys dirtying them up or washing them. I have to wonder if different shades of white matter to sheep? Don't remember them being too noisy though.....maybe they were a different kind back then?

    I do have to say though that I never tried to sneak up on a ram in the wide open wearing whites like Tony did. I only used them as a precaution, and tried to use all my stalking skills the best I could. I just think that if you screw up "a little" on the stalk, the whites might just keep a ram from bolting where if he was to see a flash of something dark he probably would. I would still hone your skills and not take chances.

    Oh and make sure you pay attention to those thermals on a quiet morning....that air can play tricks on you, and they have great noses too! Good luck...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Iíve had the 140 tag twice once I didnít hunt much due to time constraints. What I did learn was those Sheep were very tuned up after being hunted for two months already. Some of those rams have had people chasing them around for a long time. Even the ewes would spook at 7-800 yards. The deeper into the mountains you get I would guess the better chance at Sheep that act more like wild animals rather than harassed animals. Iíve called Sheep in on several occasions but those were uneducated Sheep. Whites in there may help, Iíd try them. Using the terrain and wind is the best advice anyone can follow. If they canít see you and canít smell you.....
    I have walked past Sheep at 50 yards in the wide open, just looking the other direction and not letting them see my eyes, worked great. Again, Sheep that arenít people smart. (Even though Sheep hunting areas have to much pressure and guides and residents clashing for the Same Sheep with dummy camps and runways blocked off with yeti coolers).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    I have walked past Sheep at 50 yards in the wide open, just looking the other direction and not letting them see my eyes, worked great.
    I remember one time guiding a sheep hunter here on the Kenai. We were heading back up the mountain and were in the wide open when I noticed a sublegal ram laying down on a snow patch at the top. We just kept walking toward him in the wide open stopping to look at this and that and acting like we weren't paying any attention to him. He didn't budge as we kept closing the gap as I know he figured we hadn't seen him. When we got to around 100yds or so of him, there was a large boulder about as tall as we were that I purposely headed towards to walk behind. I told my hunter... "now keep an eye on that ram and watch what happens." As we started to walk behind that rock, the ram then used that exact time to make his move and bolt.

    Oh, and how did you "call" sheep in?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Ahhhh trade secret I cannot tell...but....thereís a reason a client carved up my gun like this for me...


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    So cool...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Ken R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I remember one time guiding a sheep hunter here on the Kenai. We were heading back up the mountain and were in the wide open when I noticed a sublegal ram laying down on a snow patch at the top. We just kept walking toward him in the wide open stopping to look at this and that and acting like we weren't paying any attention to him. He didn't budge as we kept closing the gap as I know he figured we hadn't seen him. When we got to around 100yds or so of him, there was a large boulder about as tall as we were that I purposely headed towards to walk behind. I told my hunter... "now keep an eye on that ram and watch what happens." As we started to walk behind that rock, the ram then used that exact time to make his move and bolt.

    Oh, and how did you "call" sheep in?
    I've heard trying to imitate horns clashing will call them in, but never tried it--seemed too risky--plus who wants to lug around sheep horns?

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken R View Post
    I've heard trying to imitate horns clashing will call them in, but never tried it--seemed too risky--plus who wants to lug around sheep horns?
    Hahaha, that was my thought as well. I'd be willing to give it a try if I found two heads laying on the mountainside!

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