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Thread: Tok Sheep 08 a detailed account

  1. #1
    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default Tok Sheep 08 a detailed account

    I posted earlier but thought I would take the time to be more detailed. The way I type it takes a lot more time. It took 25 years of applying to draw. I flew out with 40 mile air on the Aug. 25. The weather co-operated nicely and we only donned rain gear once for rain in 8 days. We saw 4 bears in the first hour on the ground and a 5th before setting up camp the first night. We put on about 7 miles and 1500 feet the first day along the side of a glacier which included several hours in a lake to avoid alder busting. That evening and night it poured rain but cleared nicely by morning. We spent that day climbing to 7000' on a ridge, then setting up camp in a high saddle with an incredible view. 8 rams spotted able to distinguish a couple as legal, but hard to judge size at that distance. We traversed this ridge back the next day a couple miles and can see all the rams on three different mountains. This is also the day my partner bumped the only camera we had out of his pack and after a huge effort on his part to recover was never found; bummer, thus only horn pictures after the hunt. From our camp here we can see 15 Rams, 8 that appear to be legal. There are 6 rams that are living on an absolute wall 2 are estimated to be over 40", one in the 42" to 44" range (HUGE). A younger legal roughly 36" or 37" is on the ridge we are camped on but 1000í or so below us. Two very nice rams and large group of subs on the mountain opposite the wall, or other side of the ridge we are on. We opted to stay a few days and watch the habits and hope (Huge) will come off the wall. Still great weather but (Huge) ain't budged in three days. The rams on the opposite mountain have a pretty regular routine. The second biggest sheep is very sick, looks healthy but is suffering from a horrible cough (The cougher)and is hanging with a group of smaller rams down in some alders (The weed eaters). The best ram on the opposite mountain is est. at 39" or 40" and broomed on one side. He stays high with a younger 5/8 curl ram and will not lower him self to hang with any weed eaters. Day 6 we decide to go for the broomed ram and drop off a really nasty face to move toward the broomer. We get off the worst of that mountain and down just a little above the broomed sheep and his companion. Here we sit until dark 9:30 and then move to the bottom of the valley in the cover of blackness. Once in the bottom and around the ridge line we don our headlamps and climb up the drainage until midnight set up camp and crash. Day 7 up before dawn and climb the mountain the broomed ram is on in the very back of the valley well away from the sheep. Then side hill across looking for my sheep to be several hundred feet below us. While marmot peeking over ridges we finally spot the 2 rams 250 yards away, at our level, laying down, but staring right in our direction. I quickly peeled the plastic shells of my boots to make a move to a good rest. I make the 20 yard move to a real good rock to shoot off and when I peek again the big ram is standing broadside and both are staring right at me. I drop to the rock exposing just a little more of my head and gun. When I get the big ram in my scope I'm breathing hard and begin telling myself to take my time and relax as to steady for a shot. He is not going to allow me that luxury and turns to step off the ridge he is perched upon. A slight hesitation while quartered away as if to call to the still laying younger ram was my opportunity to squeeze the trigger of my Ruger compact .308. The bullet hit perfectly just 2" into the scapula exiting between the opposite shoulder and his sternum. He lurched up and quickly began to stagger almost backwards tipping over and rolling out of sight. The young ram finally stood staring bewildered at his mentor, by the angle of the stare it was obvious he hadn't fallen far. My ram was down and measured 39" x 35" with 13 1/4" bases. He was 11 1/2 yrs old and was a huge bodied ram with no bottom teeth on one side. The packs got heavier over the next couple of hours and we began our descent to the bottom of the drainage. As we approached the (cougher and the weed eaters) the sheep were bounding every where except for the cougher who slowly climbed past us on the next ridge over. Itís too bad we didn't have another tag. We got the sheep down to the creek, then spent the evening climbing back up to recover camp from the top of the drainage. We set up a comfortable camp just above the creek late in the evening this was the first we had been out of the wind in several days. The morning of day 8 was spent eating fried tenderloin under sunny skies and preparing for the 9 mile march back to the air strip. We left with roughly 100 lb packs at 11 a.m. and finally reached the strip at 8:45 p.m. There was so much snow left from last winter we were forced to climb out of the creek several times to get around nasty worm holes in the 20'to 30' of snow/ice. Once at the strip we made a call for pick up next a.m., then while making dinner a grizzly came strolling across the river bottom. A quick slipper pursuit ensued but he moved into a brush pile and we lost him in the fading light. While eating our dinner another critter of unknown species came very near camp on the down wind side but we never could see it in our headlamps. 40 mile landed to get us a 7:30 the next morning, we were very pleased with their service. At Tok ADF&G they said this was the biggest sheep they had seen this year. I am not impressed with the whole plugging thing, the Anchorage guy who sealed my sheep aged it wrong, measured it wrong and reported mis-information even after showing him differently. This set of horns is one of the easiest to age that I have seen. I ended up with a fantastic cape that Joe Romero will put together with the horns for a beautiful mount.



  2. #2
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    Default

    Great story and sounds like you seriously earned it; very nice sheep too. Congratulations. J.

  3. #3
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Trapperbob, Congratulations on the sheep, its a dandy set of horns and great story!
    You certainly earned it that one!

  4. #4

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    Sounds like a great hunt - seeing those huge rams - and getting your dandy ram! Good job.

  5. #5
    Member Jason in Anchorage's Avatar
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    Default Sweet

    very cool...congrats dude! My partner and I name the sheep too--Lookout Boy, Cripple, Big Dirty, Chumpy, etc...hope one day to draw Tok or Delta.
    Psalm 18:34
    He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks for sharing bro

    That's a good A to Z ram story for those of us who are yet to kill a full curl. Thanks, I'll bet that 9 mile pack out made your ram even tastier!

  7. #7
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Default Trapper Bob

    Just thought I would rejuvinate the thread so we could see the final mount. This was a great Ram. Congrats

  8. #8
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Default good write up man...

    nice ram. sounds like an awsome hunt. i've seen similar results with sheep sealing, and know for a fact two bear skulls i've watched get recorded wrong after i watched them get measured...that sucks. good write up. never personally seen that many good rams in one drainage, the beauty of the tok or delta(good sheep management). thanks for the story.

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