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Thread: Serious Sheep Hunters

  1. #1
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Question Serious Sheep Hunters

    How far would you walk into an area? You're by yourself, and have plenty of time to complete the hunt, what is the maximum distance you would travel to harvest a sheep and walk back to civilization?

  2. #2

    Default Max distance

    farthest so far is 30 miles. This is one of those questions that has lots of variables though. Is there a trail? Side hilling, etc?

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    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    farthest so far is 30 miles. This is one of those questions that has lots of variables though. Is there a trail? Side hilling, etc?
    No trail. Is the thirty miles one-way or round trip? I'm talking one-way distance? As for terrain, anything goes.

  4. #4

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    My "secret spot" when I don't get drawn is 9 miles as the crow flies from my entry point. There are several rivers to ford and plenty of brush to push through...but in the end there have repeatedly been legal rams with few if no other hunters.

    Personally, I don't understand why goat hunting hasn't attracted the same sort of queer following as sheep hunting. I find it to be more difficult, more memorable, more rewarding, and more available than sheeping hunting. Regardless of what people who don't know better say, Mountain Goat meat is some of the finest eating in the world.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default How far...

    I just finished up a personal hunt in the Delta Controlled Use Area. I hiked in 22 miles in two days. I shot my thirteeth ram, a 36 inch ram, 4 or 5 miles from camp. I hiked the 22 miles back to the truck in one painful day. Frankly, I had only planned on hiking out 12 miles and finishing the remaining 10 the following day. But after I got into that "death march rythm" it just seemed earier to keep going.

    Generally, my personal hunts, including some sheep hunts with hunting partners, are 8 to 12 miles from where truck or aircraft (or other) transportation ends. Hunts with client hunters are usually 4 to 8 miles one way.

    I always attempt to put mountain crossings and water crossings between where I started and where I'm going. Clearly, year-round fitness training is a priority. It has always been tough to find committed hunting partners and/or client hunters. If I actually ever know where a truely big ram is...I'll walk to the end of the earth.

    Just my style...it works for me...Dennis Byrne

  6. #6
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Default Goat Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by gbt View Post
    My "secret spot" when I don't get drawn is 9 miles as the crow flies from my entry point. There are several rivers to ford and plenty of brush to push through...but in the end there have repeatedly been legal rams with few if no other hunters.

    Personally, I don't understand why goat hunting hasn't attracted the same sort of queer following as sheep hunting. I find it to be more difficult, more memorable, more rewarding, and more available than sheeping hunting. Regardless of what people who don't know better say, Mountain Goat meat is some of the finest eating in the world.
    Never been goat hunting, but I would like to try in the near furure. I read Hunt High by Duncan Gilchrist. It was a good book. I also have a goat hunting vhs video. The country is beautiful. Man, those critters sure can take some punishment. Any good walk in spots near Valdez or Seward?
    Last edited by Mr. Grayling; 08-26-2007 at 20:46. Reason: to add more information

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    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Default End of the Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    I just finished up a personal hunt in the Delta Controlled Use Area. I hiked in 22 miles in two days. I shot my thirteeth ram, a 36 inch ram, 4 or 5 miles from camp. I hiked the 22 miles back to the truck in one painful day. Frankly, I had only planned on hiking out 12 miles and finishing the remaining 10 the following day. But after I got into that "death march rythm" it just seemed earier to keep going.

    Generally, my personal hunts, including some sheep hunts with hunting partners, are 8 to 12 miles from where truck or aircraft (or other) transportation ends. Hunts with client hunters are usually 4 to 8 miles one way.

    I always attempt to put mountain crossings and water crossings between where I started and where I'm going. Clearly, year-round fitness training is a priority. It has always been tough to find committed hunting partners and/or client hunters. If I actually ever know where a truely big ram is...I'll walk to the end of the earth.

    Just my style...it works for me...Dennis Byrne
    I hear you on walking the ends of the earth for the big ones. 22 miles in one day is grewsome. What is your workout routine? I need to get my butt in shape.

  8. #8

    Default how far

    10 miles from the strip this year. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
    Goat hunting doesn't require this much walking. I've been in great goat country less than two miles from the put in.
    Mr. Grayling, walk in for goats near Seward can be excellent, but I think the area around Valdez may be shot over a bit. I also enjoy goat hunting a great deal. Goat habitat really is a great place to hunt and they are an amazing animal.

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    Default Imho

    Just to throw in my 2 cents...this year we hiked in about 11 miles as the crow (or any bird) flies. Elevation gain was fairly significant as we began just about 1000 ft. and ended up close to 6000, and of course there were many gains and losses on the way. My partner and I only harvested the ram I killed so the hike out was a relative ease.

    Last year we (same partner) each shot sheep and had about 8 miles to pack out- with MUCH more side-hilling than this years. We were pretty whooped at the end, but both of us would have done the whole trip again the next day...

    I admittedly have limited Goat hunting experience. I killed my one and only Goat 3 seasons ago on Kodiak, it was exponentially easier than any sheep hunt I have done. I killed a 10 inch billy about 2 miles from camp- he was the toughest game animal I have ever tried to gnaw through- I swear he almost broke the meat grinder...tenderloins included...I have heard that Goat can be fantastic meat, but have also heard similar stories to mine. I have also heard that sheep can be tough...but no sheep I have ever eaten has been anything less than the best game meat in the state...again JMO.

  10. #10

    Default the trouble with sheep hunting

    the trouble with sheep hunting is that it's not so much a sport as it is an obsessive compulsive disorder. Once you get into it, you can't stop. I don't think there is a reasonable limit for the seriously afflicted.

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    Ya you said it AK Steve. It is my new found obsession. I figure I'm a beginner with a good start. Been on 3 sheep hunts and gutted 4 rams. My first sheep hunt was a DCUA walking with a buddy who drew a tag. 20 miles in and then up from there. He got his ram and I got bit by the sheep bug. 2 years later myself and another buddy drew DCUA walkin. About 15 miles in and then up and back in from there a few miles. 2 rams and multiple trips getting out. Probably put on about 50 miles at least over 12 days. So, too me that's how you do it! Imagine my great surprise when this year we only hiked up a drainage 2-3 miles and then up a ways and got a ram. I figure it was a gimme compared to what I had done before.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    as a non resident i can't hunt without a guide. i have taken a ram 21 miles from the nearest road and walked out in 1.5 days with one other guy.

    i think it depends on the amount of time you have , level of fitness and desire.

  13. #13

    Default miles...

    Probably near 20 miles in for sure on most years. I would hate to tally the total amount of miles walked on a sheep hunt some years! AlaskaTrueAdventure can attest to that!!!!! I am finding that walking that far for a 34" sheep is becoming harder and harder for me to do personally. But you put a 40"+ ram in the mix and I will walk as FAR as it takes to be successful. I will probably concentrate on getting one big ram and then get sheep for my girls. By the time that happens, I will be too old to continue and then I will become a "caribou" hunter!

  14. #14
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default nope

    Sorry Mike, but there is no cure for sheep fever. Sheep hunters do not stop hunting sheep until they are physically unable to continue to hunt...for some that is into their 70's!

  15. #15

    Default your right

    Jim, you are right. I know exactly what you are saying. I can sit on a mountain top and wonder if I will be doing it 20 years from now! There is some type of "calling" that is inside you that is for sure. The killing part is not even that important anymore, it is part of it, but just being up in the mountains is something special for sure. I understand how you feel about this year. I realize that we all only have a "certain" amount of years we can do the things we love to do. Sorry this year was a let down and I certainly hope you can "salvage" a good few days looking for a ram. I think I will have to settle for a moose this year. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I had to change the title of this thread because the word "hardc***" was triggering a member's filter at work. Apparently that word has too much of a sexual connotation. Anyhow...just wanted to explain the meddling by the admin.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Steve View Post
    the trouble with sheep hunting is that it's not so much a sport as it is an obsessive compulsive disorder. Once you get into it, you can't stop. I don't think there is a reasonable limit for the seriously afflicted.
    I agree, and I'm not a sheep hunter.

    I figure it's a much better obsession than sex, drugs, alcohol, and even physical fitness.

    Even though Christ wasn't a sheep hunter, his 40 days and 40 nights in the desert is close enough to illustrate the spiritual benefit of such an activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbt View Post
    .....Personally, I don't understand why goat hunting hasn't attracted the same sort of queer following as sheep hunting. I find it to be more difficult, more memorable, more rewarding, and more available than sheeping hunting. Regardless of what people who don't know better say, Mountain Goat meat is some of the finest eating in the world.
    That isn't what I've heard in the past. Don't get me wrong, I haven't heard anybody put the bad mouth on goat meat, but I haven't heard anybody else sing it's praises either, and I have heard (repeatedly, and it's even in historical reference) that Dall sheep meat is considered the best wild meat out there. Indeed, while not a sheep hunter, I raise a lamb or two here at the house, and it's my favorite red meat.

    I also remember reading about this in an ADFG warning bulletin posted at Cordova once. It's rather disturbing..........:

    ....Contagious Ecthyma or "Orf"is a virus which has been found in Southeast Alaska goats. This virus is contained in dark brown or black scabby lesions around the eyes, nose, muzzle, ears, or sex organs of goats and sheep. The virus is contained in the scabs which dry and slough off, and is known to remain active in scabs laying on the ground for at least 30 years. Goats grazing in the area can then pick up the virus through cuts or abrasions. Manifestation of the virus has periodically occurred in goat populations throughout Southeast Alaska and, while not common, is not considered unusual.

    Orf does not affect the edibility or quality of goat or sheep meat. However, through contact with the lesions, the disease can be transmitted to humans. The disease manifests itself in humans in the form of small blisters. Although antibiotics have no effect on the virus, symptoms can be treated. The lesions usually clear spontaneously in 2 to 6 weeks with little scarring. Goat hunters are encouraged to wear surgical or rubber gloves when processing harvested goats. Doing so will minimize the likelihood of contacting the virus.....

  18. #18
    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Just got back from Kodiak last week. I got my first billy at about 3000 ft. elevation. I was just going to say that distance isnt always the only factor that makes for a serious hunt. Terrain can be a killer. 15 miles of hiking on brush free hills can be a breeze. 2 miles through brush thats 12 ft. over your head can seem like forever.
    The meat on the other hand is pretty dang good. Ive never tried sheep, but this goat isnt nearly as tough as some of the beef I have eaten. I would get another in the future for sure.

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