Haven't really seen anything like this in the archives, but maybe I'm not searching well enough.
I'm interested to hear about what efforts people go to in scouting for sheep. Do you fly the area at some point in the summer or early fall? If so, how much time do you spend doing this? How valuable is the information, do the sheep move much between July and the duration of sheep season? Do you hike the area and spend time watching particular sheep and drainages?
I realize that guides probably spend a little more time and money doing this kind of reasearch, but I'd like to know what kind of efforts the rest of the crowd goes to as well.
I guess bottom line, does this make much of a difference when it comes to being successful come sheep season? Also for those of you, I'm sure you're out here, that spend a ton of time in the field doing this, how do you get that much time off work?????
I think scouting has several valuable benefits:
1) it is a good way to get in shape.
2) it is a good way to test gear.
3) you can found out where sheep are NOT.
Because of where I live, I'm lucky if I can get in one scouting trip per year, but I have always been able to verify my ideas about sheep numbers (right or wrong) on those trips.
...Oh, yes...the perpetual dilemna...-time off work, the weather, and (in my case)...coordinating the babysitter!!
-It helps so much insisting to an employer, that you simply NEED a full week off from work- you just can't "pencil in " a guarenteed, successful, sheep hunt...though, it has happened that way-just no way of knowing before hand...
-TWO weeks would be even better...but- I have found that one block of a week off for scouting 2-wks prior to the hunt, and another week off to hunt, is nice-
-if you draw a permit, you have a little more of an excuse for time off...and, if hunting early season, there is an advantage that it is before most every one else asks time off to go moose hunt-
-I do not fly an area to scout....always have gotten up in the country to spend time to glass, and observe...
-every area is different...but, once you get a feel for where the rams hang out in a certain area- there habits seem pretty predictable...
-coming down a ways in the morning to feed, bedding down mid-day, feeding more and working their way back up, and AROUND...'till the sun fades...what I mean by "around...is- I've observed that sheep feed and follow the rotating sun pattern...
-all this is general within a framework....getting up in the high country and just glassing and spending TIME gives you such a feel of where they will be-(lots of variables, though...weather, bar. pressure, and, yes-the moon phase(not all sheep hunters will agree with me, on that, though...that's ok; I don't care...)
-As far as major movement from their particular area....there is a pronounced difference that develops between early and late seasons...(and, timing varies, dep. on what part of the state you are hunting...)
-as the season goes on into Sept,(late Aug, more north you go...) and the snow starts dusting the tops, ...the rams will be inclined to feed lower...
-Also-where the ewes and lambs hang out at any given time, has so much of the time indicated for me where the rams are not...
-Just get up there and enjoy it- they are pretty predictable....-Have a great season,Oakman!...and my thoughts and prayers will be with you for a successful harvest...
-hope this helps a little-