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Thread: Need some assistance on a Metal Creek (DS 170/270) Sheep Hunt

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    Question Need some assistance on a Metal Creek (DS 170/270) Sheep Hunt

    My brother was lucky enough to draw the new Metal Creek Sheep draw area in 14A for the early timeframe (10-25AUG). It is now up to me to make sure we are prepared for this hunt and do enough research to help make the hunt safe, enjoyable, and successful. I have done quite a bit of research already on this site to see if others have written of their experience in this area. After much research I still have some questions that I would appreciate some help with.
    First of all—what is the best way to access this area? Plane vs. ATV—are ATVs even an option during that time of year.

    Also—based on my map recons of the area I see that the Knik River Road goes in on the south side of the Knik River to almost directly across from this hunt area—is there anyway possible to get across the river at this point or is this totally unrealistic/stupid even to ask?

    I read that there are some landing strips in the Friday Creek drainage—anyone with more information on where exactly these landing strips are—do they provide relatively easy access into the Metal Creek Hunt Area?

    Are there places to land that are actually in the Metal Creek hunt area? This area extends to the east to include the Marcus Baker Glacier and Grasshopper Valley—any plane access sites in that area—and which part/drainages of this hunting area would offer a better chance at full curl sheep.

    Recommendations on pilots that service the area? Both from Palmer and also from Anchorage (might work out better for my brother’s needs to fly from Anchorage).

    As for safety/early pick up if needed—is there cell phone coverage in this area?

    Anybody who has hunted this area before and would care to offer guidance please do so…

    Please feel free to PM me if you don’t want to share your information with the rest of the forum audience.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  2. #2
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    No, forget about access from Knik River Road, you need a boat to cross in august. There is one primitive airstrip near Friday creek, it's one long hike to where you're headed. There is another airstrip on the other side of Metal Creek, there is no walking back across metal creek and you would have to hike into the mountains from there.
    This side of and right at Metal Creek, up to the left is the public trail to some mining claims. This trail climbs 8 miles up into Metal Creek and deadends at a ravine. Walk from there. Atv accessible and you're fastest cheapest way to access this hunt area, I believe, unless landing at the airstrip on the other side of Metal Creek would put you in a better position. You wouldn't be able to cross Metal Creek on atv or truck in August, usually. Cell phone coverage is hit or miss up there. Can't stake your life on it if that's what you mean.

  3. #3

    Red face ATV access

    I was out that direction looking for sheep last year on August 20th. You can get an atv a ways up metal creek, somehow I remember 6 miles. Im not sure if I would leave a atv on the trail for any extended periods of time as a lot of people ride around out there. There wasnt any good vantage points to glass from on the trail.

    The other option is a small airstrip out on the knik river gravel bar about 1 mile from metal creek. Im sure someone out of palmer could drop you off. The problem with that is its a long hike to the top.

    Last year I seen a large number of sheep, between 30-50, scattered between friday creek and metal creek on the slope overlooking the knik. It looked like a couple were rams but I couldnt find anything worth the effort to climb up to them.

    hope this helps

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    Two years ago a buddy and I hiked up from the Knik into Friday creek and were fortunate to get 2 rams. Lots of pressure then, but now that it is draw you should have a great opportunity to pursue some sheep. I flew Metal creek then and the population was non-existant, all the sheep were in the Friday ck drainage, but its right over the top from there so I'm sure they move from side to side quite often. Pick a side, 'cause once your up in Metal ck. valley you probably won't be wanting to drop down and cross metal creek to get to the other side, easier said than done. DWS is right on, the cheapest and best way to access is on the old trail on the West side of the creek- you may be able to cross the creek if you want, it all depends on the weather we've been having.

    Hope there's some giant 13 year old ram up there for you that hasn't been hunted by the hoards of guides/clients and residents (including me of course) over the years!!!

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    I've checked the odometer on 3 different machines and they said that public trail up metal creek was 8 miles. at mile seven a trail drops down to Metal creek and someone has cut a couple of trees down and they span the creek and is the only crossing point I've seen up there. as stated there are very few places to scope from on that trail and I've never seen sheep up there. As also stated ALL the sheep hang out from Friday east up to near Metal, with the majority near Wolf Point. You can go up there and scout them out from the bottom of the valley anyday in the summer, I've never NOT seen sheep up there. 120 was the most I counted from one spot. Some may have been goats though. You can drive a street truck up there to check them out, usually.

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    DWS- you sound like a regular to the Jim creek 'street truck' area...beautiful country, when its not blowing like a bat out of hell!!!

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Planes can land in grasshopper valley. Not all planes but you may find someone who has and can do it for you.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    From Grasshopper its just a hop-skip and a jump over the top of 6000' mountains and you're in metal ck. valley- but, as mentioned earlier, you will probably be stuck hunting the east side only...choose wisely!

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    keep in mind with less hunting pressure this year, the sheep may not move around as much as they have in the past, they'll be waiting for the air assult that usually comes and it won't ever show up, might confuse them...
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    No kidding on the air assault, last time I flew it I had one eye looking for sheep and one eye watching the 3 other cubs in the same valley (not to mention the 4 cubs on the two strips in friday creek)!!!! I think going to permits was a great idea for that specific area...

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    sent you a PM

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up Metal Creek Sheep

    I have hunted the Metal area drainages many times; best access is by air- grasshopper/marcus baker fork side has 6 strips total. Only 2 of those are much use without alot of packing/glacial stream crossings. The main Metal access for the upper portions of the area is a glacier landing. You can also go by landing at the Friday Creek Left Fork strip and humping over the pass. It is a long way to pack a ram out, though. I would reccomend Billy Wiederkehr at Wiederkehr Air in Palmer to do your flying. Good luck!

  13. #13

    Default Thanx

    I want to thank all of those in this forum who replied to my request for assistance on the Metal Creek area for an upcoming sheep hunt—great information and leads provided that I am pursuing.

    A few follow up thoughts/questions:

    If we decide to try the ATV method of access does anybody have any leads on where to rent ATVs and the cost—would need to compare cost with air transport.

    Some folks have mentioned being hesitant in leaving an ATV out in the woods while hunting—has there really been many issues with that in this area or in general? Sad to see such things happen, especially in Alaska and when damaging/stealing somebody’s transportation could seriously put another’s life at risk.

    I also wanted to mention and wholeheartedly endorse the use of Google-Earth to conduct pre-hunt recons—the ability to look at terrain in detail and in dimensions and at different angles and then annotate the imagery and measure distances on possible routes is awesome. Also, the photos people post that show up on Google Earth give a person an even better idea at what they will be seeing for themselves when they get there. Of course nothing can compare to boots on the ground or a fly-over but Google-Earth sure does allow a hunter to become educated on an area.

    Finally, I will be sure to post the results of this hunt and the other ones I have planned for the fall. Hopefully there will be some photos of a nice big Chugach ram.

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