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Thread: Chugach Success

  1. #1

    Default Chugach Success

    I thought I would post the story of my successful Chugach Park sheep hunt mainly because so many people here helped me out with information, and I wanted to share what worked and what I learned on my first successful sheep hunt. My 59 year old father-in-law was my partner. He hiked in to camp with me and stayed at camp while I hunted during the day. It was a challenge for him to get back to base camp, which was a 8 mile hike over mountain ridges gaining about 4000' vertical feet. My pack weighed more than I planned as I let him pack a lighter load, but it didn't bother me in the least. We went in with 2 weeks worth of food and supplies, and my pack weighed in at around 70 lbs, about 20 more than needed if the load was shared equally. I did take my crampons but didn't need them (should have taken that advice), but for the most part went with the recommendations from my post about sheep pack weight. I didn't feel I lacked anything, but didn't bring too much of anything other than food and fuel as we only ended up staying a week.

    I covered a lot of ground during the next two days, going up over 6500' elevation and spotting a large group of rams across a valley from where I was. I decided to go back to camp and come around the other side of the peak then next day above them. The plan worked, and I came over at 6500' and the rams were down at about 4000' feeding. The smaller rams fed as the larger rams were bedded above them. After about an hour, the larger rams ran down the slope like they were in a race, and started feeding with the others. I was overly cautious about coming down to them, but didn't want to blow it. It took me about 2 hours sliding slowly on my a$^ and elbows down the rock slide to get into range (my a%s looks like I've taken a lashing). I got the ram at about 4 in the afternoon, and after boning it out on the edge of a dropoff (very exciting!), I decided to get ready to spend the night on the mountain. I had my sleeping bag, pad, Brooks Range jacket, and long underwear along. I had a footprint from one of my tents for shelter. It rained all night and the wind gusted at an estimated 70+ mph, but I was in a creek bottom where the wind wasn't quite as bad. I actually got 2-3 hours of sleep. The sleeping bag got wet but kept me warm. The pack out was very interesting indeed, having to pack the meat and horns and my gear back over the mountain, and then back to our pick up point (about 11.5-12 miles total). I learned a lot just watching sheep and their behavior. I was amazed that with 10+ pair of eyes, not one of them looked up to see me coming down on them. Here is my gear list and comments on how it worked.

    Hilleberg Kaitum Tent - Outstanding. Lots of room for two and lighter than my other two man tents. We didn't stake it down that well, resulting in bent poles (Crazy winds!!). Hilleberg sent me new poles at no charge and they arrived in 2 days!!!

    Scarpa Liskam Boots - Excellent stiff boots that held up well to the rocks and shale. Bring extra laces!!!

    Sporthill 3SP Mountain Pants - I won't leave home with out them. I can't believe how quickly they dry.

    Mountain Hardware Alchemy Jacket - Great windproof jacket that proved to be water resistant enough for even a downpour, and dried quickly.

    Leupold RX-II Rangefinder - Leave them at home. Wouldn't range a group of sheep at 300 yards.

    Zeiss 10x32 FL Binocs - Invaluable

    Bausch & Lomb Elite 15-45 Spotting Scope - I found myself wanting more magnification. The extra weight of a Swarovski 20-60 would be worth it.

    Barneys Frame and Pinnacle Pack - Wow. I won't use anything else. My father-in-law had a Cabelas Outfitter Pack and had nothing but problems keeping it adjusted and the buckle would not stay buckled under tension.

    Leupold 2.5-8 w/B&C Reticle - Awesome for sheep. I don't know why you would need more magnification, and the lightweight and low profile were a plus

    Thermarest Prolite 4 - Worth the weight and comfortable, even under a tarp!

    North Face Big Fella 20 Degree Bag (similar to Cat's Meow) - Excellent. Plenty warm for a September sheep hunt, and kept me warm when it got wet. A little on the heavy side.

    Barney's Brooks Range Jacket - I debated on taking this, but it's so light and compresses with my sleeping bag in a compression dry bag. I'm glad I brought it, but it wasn't necessary. A must on later hunts.

    Outdoor Research Windstopper Gripper Gloves - Great lightweight windproof gloves, dried quickly.

    Petzl Snowscopic Walking Ice Axe - Worked great, very nice when packing a load downhill. I found myself holding it incorrectly and cut my thumb up a little. (Oh well)

    Thanks to everybody who provided informatin and advice!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  2. #2

    Default Pics

    More pictures.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  3. #3
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    Default congrats

    great story, great pics, congrats

  4. #4
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    Default Awesome!!

    Way to go!! Nice job and what a feeling it must have been standing on that ridge with a heavy pack full of sheep!! That's a great pic. You got me all excited for next year! There's nothing else that feels quite as good as a pack full of sheep on the top of a mountain! Well, maybe a pack full of sheep at the bottom of the mountain

    Was that your first trip with the Hilleberg? Did you find it TOO big? As in the footprint being to big, too long?
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  5. #5
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    Tops! Excellent report... and WAY TO GO!

  6. #6
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    Default Great feeling

    What a nice ram- congratulations on the success- its worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears (and sore a^^es)

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Was that your first trip with the Hilleberg? Did you find it TOO big? As in the footprint being to big, too long?

    That was my first trip with the Hilleberg. It was very roomy for two, but I wouldn't say too big. If you needed to set camp in a very tight space it may be too big, as it is pretty long with the two vestibules. I was way impressed!
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  8. #8
    Member FALCON's Avatar
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    Default Awesome!

    Blackfoot:

    Nice job on the hunt. Good pics, and a well told story. That is a beautiful ram.
    I love those heavy dark horns on those Chugach rams!

  9. #9

    Default Rifle Question

    Blackfoot,
    Congrats on a great ram and the pics. I also enjoyed the gear review. But what was you rifle/caliber/bullet setup?
    Thanks.

  10. #10

    Default Rifle

    It's a custom .300 WSM built on a Stiller Predator Action, Lilja barrel, and McMillan Hunter's EDGE stock. Weighs 6lb 15oz with scope, sling, etc. Leupold VXIII 2.5-8 w/B&C reticle. Shoots 1 hole at 100 yards, better than I can shoot it!!! I didn't post that part cause I would not recommend the Stiller action, although it is a beautiful an accurately built action, he doesn't know his a^s from a hole in the ground when it comes to feeding and hunting actions. The gun was smithed by Don Feltman of Nikiski, and there probably isn't a better gunsmith for accurate hunting rifles that I know of. Bullet was 165 grain Swift Scirocco. Great accurate bullets. I've only recovered one from a caribou shot at 300 yards. Punched two right through a moose last year, and also complete pass through on a blackie.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    just out of curiosity what part of the park were you in, that looks like some awesome terrain
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  12. #12

    Default ???

    I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you:-) Sent you a PM.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  13. #13
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    Default

    Let me guess, {thunder bird}/ peters creek.....it's a permit area,it can't get over run...

  14. #14
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    Default

    By the way great pictures and post,thanks for sharring....very nice

  15. #15
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Great hunt and...

    report, Blackfoot.
    Great job!


    Frank

  16. #16

    Default I know

    Quote Originally Posted by sheep man View Post
    Let me guess, {thunder bird}/ peters creek.....it's a permit area,it can't get over run...
    Just trying to act like a sheep hunter. I'm new at this:-) Yeah, it was the Thunderbird/Peter's Creek area. I hope to someday draw another tag back there. I really enjoyed the area.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  17. #17
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    heres what I do in the area:



    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  18. #18

    Default

    blackfoot, good for you! You lost a ton of weight, worked your arse off and shot a beauty. Are you going for the goat too?

  19. #19
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    Default awesome

    Congrats blackfoot, good story, great pics & thanks for sharing the equipment you used.
    Nice job !!!!

  20. #20

    Default Goat

    Kusko,

    I'm not going to be able to do the goat hunt. My partner had some medical problems come up and so we won't be able to go. The harvest reports shows 7 nannies taken out of there already, so the population probably could use one less hunter there this year anyway.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

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