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Thread: Talkeetna sheep hunting

  1. #1

    Default Talkeetna sheep hunting

    Talkeetna sheep hunting.

    I have a hunt booked with a very good guide (Braun Kopsack). Originally we were going to hunt the Chugach but since it has gone to a draw with so few NR permits my guide is not going to keep his license in this area (not that I blame him), so he will only be sheep hunting the Talkeetna's. I have heard some bad stories about sheep hunting in the Talkeetna's. Crowds, races to sheep etc. I figure it is going to get worse with the Chugach on a draw now.

    My hunt is for 2011 with Braun Kopsack, his reputation is excellent, so I am hoping to here some good news about the Talkeetna's. This is my once in a lifetime hunt and I want to be sure it is a good hunt. I do want a monster 40" heavy ram (as everyone does) BUT a good hunting experiance with a smaller ram is better then a bad experiance with a big ram.

    Lets hear your input about sheep hunting the Talkeetna's, and what is going to happen in the next 4 years now that the entire Chugach is a draw. Will there still be some good sheep? Are there some remote areas where you can escape most hunters? Do you think a quality experiance can be found, this means not seeing lots of hunters and not feeling "pressure" to take the first legal ram seen asap before someone beats me to it?

    I think with Braun as my guide I cannot go wrong but want to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks DonV Ohio

  2. #2
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    Default Can't go wrong with Braun

    Don V..
    I have a 41.5" Talkeetna Ram on my wall. There are a few in there. They are the exception, rather than the rule, in most areas of the Talkeetnas. Braun will know where the best places to find the big ones are. Braun is one of the most superbly conditioned hunting guides out there. I rub elbows with him in mountain running races during the summer. He is almost 20 years older than me, but we were neck and neck at the top of Mt. Marathon this year. He beat me down the mountain by over 2 minutes, and I run down the mountain pretty fast! All I can say is take the next 3.5 years and get in the best physical shape you can. Spend less time in the gym and more time on the bicycle and in your running shoes.

    Good luck and have fun!

    -Chris

  3. #3
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    sheepshape is right on,your going with one of the best in the buisness,get in top shape and you'll have a great hunt....

  4. #4

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    I know Brauns reputation is great, possibly the greatest sheep hunter around. This year I trained like a man possesed for my elk hunt, I am 6' and lift free weights hard too, dropped to 150 before the trip, I was in great shape. I plan to prepare twice as hard for this trip!

    I have a sheep picture on my fridge to remind me to eat right for the next 3.5 years.

    Lets here some more stories about the Talkeetna's hopefully some more good news to keep me pumped.

  5. #5

    Default

    DonV - I took a 36" ram in the Talkeetnas in 2005. Although there was a resident that got dropped off where we had set up base camp, we went different directions and I never saw another hunter during the entire trip.

    Like you, I has aspirations for a 40"+. I trained for 9 months...backpacking starting at 40 lbs. and working my way up to 110 lbs. 4-5 miles/day - 3-4 days a week, running 3-4 miles/day the other days. Included in that were an hour of stadiums at the end of the backpacking and running. (keep in mind I'm in Louisiana and am a flatlander - the highest elevation in New Iberia is 19 ft. above sea-level). One suggestion, I would not train with a very heavy pack again as it takes the toll on the knees and hips.

    Anyhow, I digressed. We went in 3 days early to locate and pattern the sheep. On opening morning, I wasn't able to take the shot on a ram that we know was better than 38"+ (we won't go into that). After about another 4 days of doing the Talkeetna Death March, I realized that any legal ram would be a trophy. On day 7, I took a 36" X 13" ram and even though it's not the 40" I stayed up dreaming about for a year, I'm proud as hell to be able to look at him on the wall each morning I go to my office.
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  6. #6
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i too guide the talkeetnas but farther north than were braun is, hes in.....ahh thought i was gonna slip one out there didn't ya...you'll see alot of guides doing excatly what he is..moving over the road to get into general harvest. that being said i'd expect some planes to be flying and guides to be out hunting or setting up camps over a week before season starts. there are big rams in the talkeetnas and with guys like braun they'll be able to get in to them. he takes good care of his hunters and will be ready to hike to find the sheep, so as suggested you be ready as well. don't lift weights or run or any of that. put a backpack on about 70lbs and start climbing thats the only thing that will be close to what you'll be doing.
    wish i could tell you its full of 40's and no one else knows about it but braun, but thats not the case. wouldn't suprise me if by 2011 the rest of the talk's have gone to draw as well because of the pressure increase in the areas. we'll see. sheep ain't a pretty picture in south central alaska anymore...
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  7. #7
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    Lifting and running will help,i can't beleave anyone would tell you not to lift and run?????WOW, packing and hiking would be great but it's not practical for most,so stick with a good lifting and cardio workout...it will work. You might even invest in a weighted vest for walking around the office or even while your working out....

  8. #8

    Default What guides hunting before the season starts!

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    that being said i'd expect some planes to be flying and guides to be out hunting or setting up camps over a week before season starts.
    I guess they will do anything to get a sheep.
    Last edited by pa18tony; 11-19-2007 at 16:39. Reason: sp

  9. #9

    Default Chugach Sheep Guides?

    Who is going to be left to guide the new draw area in the Chugach Mts.? With 14A going to a total draw and a non-resident limit of 4, what guide in their right mind would stay in that Unit? Doesn't bode well for other units and the new pressure they will experience.

  10. #10
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    by hunting before season i meant, out and about, not actually shooting stuff. most hunters who are seriously into hunting get out and get set up well before season starts if they are thinking there will be compition in the area. didn't mean poaching.
    sheep man, if hiking with a pack ain't practical then do what you have there if thats lifting and cardio then do it. i'm saying that there is no substitute for the actual act. weight vest is a great idea. but if anyone asks me, hiking with a pack/wearing weight is more advantagous than lifting weights or running. sorry if that was black and white, didn't mean it to be. lots of gray when it comes to prepin' for a hunt.
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  11. #11
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    brwnbr i agree but don't say do not run or lift weights,i think alot of folks will agree that hiking with a pack is the best way to get into shape for the mountain hunts,but it's just not practical even for alaskans that live next to sheep mountains etc.......if your serious about sheep hunting you'll start working out now and continue until you head for the hills,and to do that your going to have to do a little running in the local gym and a little lifting,the weather is a key factor in alaska where it's 30 below or snowing side ways,it just make practical since to work out in your local gym.....

  12. #12
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    what my post MEANT to read like was, instead of lifting and running, wear a pack around. not DON"T EVER lift or run. wording didn't come out right. open mouth insert foot....i'm sure you get the gist by now.
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  13. #13
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    Default Talkeetnas sheep hunting

    personally I would be a bit leary of taking a booking that far out (2011); esp. with the direction ADF&G is headed with "drawing fever". The Talkeetnas are almost certain to be limited to non-resident sheep hunting in the near future, due to greater pressure on the resource by displaced hunters. The reduction of hunter oppourtunity in the Chugach is more drastic than we were led to believe at the BOG hearings; I can only assume the trend will continue to surrounding areas- especially since the board entertained including portions of the Talkeetnas in the new draw to prevent overharvest. With that being said, portions of the western Talkeetna Mtns have some of the best genetic potential for horn mass in Alaska during ADF&G studies in the 60's and '70's.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am considering taking the entire month of august off and hiking from the glen hwy to the parks in hopes of finding the perfect ram. Not realy though cause when I did find it I am sure someone would "inspect" it from the air three or four times sending it rocketing over the mountain range and probably near a strip where they would land set up camp then get up the next morning and harvest it. I would get over the mountain just in time to see a gut pile and a supercub disapearing in the distance.

  15. #15

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    I acutally booked my hunt LAST year, Braun is booked that far out. He is good and at a very reasonable price, plus I had to wait another year to get him personaly as my guide. I am very aware it may go to draw by then - it will it is just a matter of when. Going to get hammered even more now.

  16. #16
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default If I were you...

    I would talk to Braun and see if he would guide you in 14a, or c if you were able to draw before 2011. I wouldn't just wait for 2011 to come around. Like a lot have said the areas there are likely to be on draw by then anyway.

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    Default by 2011

    this entire state will probably be draw

  18. #18

    Default Draw Fever

    It seems the F&G might be in a quandry as to what to do. Rather than incrementally expand it, F&G might do well to put the entire State in a draw. Course to do that you need a pretty good handle on what a sustainable sheep harvest is. But that is why F&G gets the "big bucks".
    It'll be interesting!

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    Unhappy not looking good

    First of all, I think that Braun and Chris are examples of guides who are physically fit and this will really enhance your experience. I had one guided experience years ago with an out of shape guide and his clients were going home unhappy about not only not getting a sheep, but not even putting in a reasonable effort or experience for their money so your booking with a fit guide is a good decision.

    Training with a pack is best cause you will get used to the pack on your back. But since you have so long to train a long term exercise and diet plan would be important.

    Finally, I know you guys are probably right, especially considering the railroad job with the Chugach last year, but dangit why does everyone need to assume that all permit is the only option for the state? We need to advocate for an every four year harvest and no planes or something. Cause the meager permits they gave out for the Chugach this year may make it once in a lifetime now. What a shame. But yeah, their move on the Chugach will make action on the Talkeetnas necessary in short order as it will be very crowded I would be surprised if you get to hunt there in 2011.
    Last edited by Sollybug; 11-20-2007 at 18:50. Reason: sp
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  20. #20
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    How bout making all non res sheep hunts draw while leaving res hunts havest/ reg ?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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