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Thread: 12day DCUA Walk in Sheep hunt Day 1-6

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    Default 12day DCUA Walk in Sheep hunt Day 1-6

    Here's the pics: DCUA 2006 Pics

    Here's the story:
    2 friends, 12 days, 50 miles, 2 first rams DCUA Walk In Hunt

    The Initial Plan:

    Hook 2 homemade game carts on the back of our mtn bikes, bike in 6 miles up the old road, stash the bikes in the brush, throw our packs on the carts and pull the carts overland on the atv trail to the Gerstle, hike the up Gerstle to July creek, drop the carts and head up to an area that I was at 3 years ago with another friend who shot his ram. About 20 miles.

    Reality:

    Terrain and rivers change. We could only get our carts about two miles before reaching Bradford creek. Gerstle had a deep channel next to the mountain. No prob. Stash the carts and keep walking. Problem, still 8 miles or so from July creek and 11 or 12 miles from where we wanted to go. New Plan: Hunt Bradford Creek.

    The Hunting Expedition.

    8/8/06 Day 1: Got a late start. Left the rig at 11am. Biked in 6 miles pulling homemade game carts on a muddy road. Tough work pulling a cart with an 85lb pack on it. Stashed bikes, pulled carts almost to the Gerstle. Camped for the night.

    8/9/06 Day 2: Pulled carts (slow going) as far as we could go. Stashed carts a couple miles before Bradford creek where the Gerstle ran up against the bank. Went on to Bradford creek. Hiked up Bradfrod creek about a mile to a spot we could get up the ridge. Camped for the night.

    8/10/06 Day 3: Opening day- still not in sheep country. 1 day behind OUR schedule but... we were right on HIS Schedule. Hiked/climbed up the gnarly ridge and up into sheep country. Took us 8 hours to get up there. Steep, technical slow going. No way we were going to be able to come back down this. We would have to come back out via Bradford creek. Finally we arrived in a nice saddle, found water, pitched the tent- sheep camp 2006. We have arrived. Spotted 1 legal Ram and 1 maybe from the tent that night. Right on schedule.

    8/11/06 Day 4: We were wasted and still had the whole hunt ahead of us. Spent the day resting, eating, guzzling water and gatorade and glassing. Spotted Rams. Right on schedule.

    8/12/06 Day 5: The Third Day of sheep season, got up and felt rested and excited Spotted the "maybe" ram on across the drainage. Went after him, by the time we got there he vanished. Explored the country, glassed distant bowl and ridges, saw sheep everywhere. Hunted along the edge of a high plateau that dropped off into steep, did I say STEEP chutes full of craigs, etc. Ram country. Came across a maybe (the earlier maybe??) and a 3/4 curl just off the edge in the craigs. They made us and took off. We waited a bit and then pursued. While in pursuit I spotted another ram who was legal. Just at full curl, feeding on the edge of the plateau. I made a short stalk. Close as I could get was 300-350yds. At least what I figured at the time. I had a good rest, shot, knocked him over behind a little rise. I could see flashes of him as he flailed. I figured I lung shot him and hit some bone thus knocking him over. All the sudden he jumped up and gave two kicks or so, he was above the rise, below the rise, above the rise below the rise. No way to get another shot. He jumped over the edge into no mans land.... It happened in a matter of seconds. We got there and peered over the edge, took a breath and "went under"... down into STEEP no-mans land. He had taken a nasty fall but was still alive looking up at me, I couldn't believe it. About 200 yds, all I could see was the top of his back/neck and part of his head as he peered over the rocks. The only shot I had was off hand. Hit him just below the spine and knocked him down the chute. He took a nasty fall several hundred feet. My first shot was a little low. Slightly up hill, hit him high in the lower leg, up through the brisket and up threw the far shoulder. Missed any vitals. Went back to the same area two days later looking for another ram and figured he was further than I initially thought. Maybe a range finder next time. Getting down to him was a very high pucker factor. Steep, steep, steep. Loose, wet, muddy. If you fall, you go a thousand feet or more. No way to self arrest on that terrain. When I started down the chute the fog rolled in. We went from being at the edge of a grassy, sunny, green "happy/ friendly" plateu to a gray lifeless, unforgiving place of nothing but rock and mud within one or two minutes. The fog just added to the atmosphere making it surreal. That combined with the steepness of the terrain, adding the element of danger took us into that unique once in a lifetime kind of place. It was awesome to me, I took my time and paused and soaked it in. Plus I had to find good foot and hand holds!! Times like that really make me feel alive. I was at what I would consider my limit. What stopped him from falling was that he finally hit a small pile of larger rock on a little less steep terrain. I GOT MY FIRST RAM!!! Couldn't hardly believe it. After years of dreaming and months of preparation there he was, full curl, 34 inch, 12 inch bases, 9 years old. Not a whopper but a trophy to me. We got back to the tent that night at around ten. Pretty grueling hike back. Stashed the meat in the cool creek bottom below our ridge. One down, one to go. Right on schedule.

    8/13/06 Day: 6 Woke up to socked in fog. Just as well. We rested. Started to clear a little around 2 or 3. We didn't venture to far that day. Went up our ridge a ways and glassed another bowl and a different part of the plateau. Saw Caribou and sheep grazing side by side. A truly unique thing to see. The sheep were youngsters with a few 3/4's. Tomorrow we go for number two. Right on schedule.
    Last edited by Snyd; 03-04-2011 at 20:05.

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    Default 12day DCUA Walkin Sheep Hunt Day 7-12

    8/14/06 Day 7: The plan: go back up to the plateau area where I shot mine. Possibly venture back further a couple miles to some far bowls and ridges we glassed a couple days before and saw sheep. We went back further this time, same type of deal, sneak along the edge of the plateau above the craigs and chutes. Saw a 7/8ths. Watched him for a bit, he got nervous and moved. We followed and found him hooked up with another ram. Got the binos on the new ram and I said "Shane! He's a broomer! Looks like an old bugger! Even walks with a limp!" You could tell just by looking at him next to the other ram that he was old bugger. Like seeing a young man and an old man standing side by side. After a bit he turned his head and presto... we saw his other horn, broomed. "Take him Shane!". Shane verifies he's legal, jacks a shell into his ol standby Remington 700 BDL 338 and.....the bolt won't close!!! AAAWWW!!! NO WAY!! Years of dreaming, months of planning, days of humping and now at the crucial moment a gun jamb! "Here Shane! Take the Kimber!" I hand him my new Kimber Montana 325, he's laying prone with a good rest, 200yds or so, I have the ram in the spotter, blamo, the sheep didn't even flinch, I didn't see hair or blood fly, nothing. "You missed him!" I said "No way!" says Shane. "I lung shot him". The two rams took off. We saw the 7/8ths beat feet over, down and up another draw. We start seeing rams popping out all over. " There he is!". Get the binos on him and "No, not him!". This happened a couple times. Shane says "I know I hit him" I'm beginning to think that he must have although it sure didn't look like it. We start peering down the steep chutes between the craigs and finally Shane spotted him. One of those deals where if one guy stood on one foot and leaned as far as you dare you cold see him piled up down in the chute. He got him!! We got 2 rams!! He had double lunged him. Even broke a rib going in and out. That .325 200 grain accubond just punched a hole right through him like nothing. We got him all boned out and now headed back to the tent. We were several drainages away and had lost quite a bit of elevation. Darkness fell so we stashed the meat down in the creek bottom of upper Bradfrod creek and siwashed it next to a big rock on the mountainside until daylight. Right on schedule.

    8/15/06 Day 8: Humped it down Bradford creek and then up and overland back to camp. Got a few hours of sleep, packed up the tent, dropped down into the creek drainage and got my ram, headed up and down and dropped into Bradford creek. Stashed the sheep, beat feet down stream with gear until dark. Nasty gnarly going. Totally spent and soaked. Found a patch of sand to pitch the tent. Right on schedule.

    8/16/06 Day 9: Set the tent with our gear in it on top of a huge pile of rocks above highwater line in case the creek came up. Humped it back up the creek a couple miles or so, passed by my ram and up farther to Shanes ram. Then back down and grabbed my ram. Now we are each packing our own rams. Too cool, and heavy too! Humped it back down to the tent. Dropped the meat, packed up camp and headed down out of the creek canyon to our first campsite on Bradford creek we made on the way in a week earlier. Made it an hour or so before dark. Pitched the tent, built a fire and it stopped raining. What a day, Bradford creek kicked our butts, but we made it... so far, but not so soon... The sheep is still up the creek! But, once again...Right on schedule.

    NOTE: Bradford creek is in a steep narrow canyon, it is very technical slow going. More crawling than walking. Fortunalty the water was'nt any higher than it was. As it was we were soaked between walking/crawling in the creek and the rain. It is very fast, some areas are like a natural water-slide with the way the water has worn away the rock. If you fall in with a 130lb pack on, so long... One spot was totally impassable, a massive water-slide that filled the narrow canyon. Water was so loud you had to yell to talk. Fortunately there was one... and only one spot where we could scale straight up a few hundred yards and "portage" our way around the waterfall/chute. We literally had to push and pull each other up. Plus we had to make the trip 4 or 5 times leap frogging our way out!! It was way gnarly, I didn't even take any pictures. All we could think of was getting our butts out of there before the creek rose and trapped us in the canyon. We both still think we left our butts up Bradford creek somewhere!.

    8/17/06 Day 10: Time to hump it back up Bradford creek and get the sheep. Back down to camp. We're fried now. All socks are soaked and we have had a good case of sloshfoot for 3 days and we are still 13-15 miles from the rig. But finally we have both rams and all gear in the same spot. Hung the sheep in a tree. The sun came out for about and hour. Time to head to the Gerstle! Packed up camp and humped it down Bradford creek to the Gerstle past our carts a few miles into the low land. Pitched the tent next to the ATV trail by the creek in the trees. Right on schedule.

    8/18/06 Day 11: Turned around and humped it back up to the Gerstle to Bradfrod creek once again ugg.... Bradford creek. Got the sheep, humped it back down Bradford creek down the Gerstle to the carts. Yes! Pigged out on canned stew and peaches we had cached at the carts, threw the sheep on the carts and hiked to camp. No packs or weight on our backs!! Got there about 6pm or so. Rain had stopped. (oh ya, it has been raining most of the time for about 4 days) Built a fire and ate sheep for the first time on the trip. Both sheep and our gear is now at the carts for the first time- yes. Right on schedule.

    8/19/06 Day 12: Packed up gear and sheep on the carts. Hiked for about a mile or so and then had to unpack the gear and hump the sheep up a steep rutted area. Drop back down throw pack with gear on and pull empty carts up the spot. Only took about hour and a half. Not bad. From there, all gear and sheep back on to the carts. 4 or 5 miles of pulling the carts on terra-firma. Up and down but not bad. Followed HUGE did I say HUGE griz tracks on the trail for about 2 miles. Getting close to the bikes now. Arrive at the mineral lick and there is a cow moose that will not leave. We finally chased her off. 5 minutes later we are back to the bikes, YES! Hook the carts to the bikes and ride the 6 miles of gentle downhill grade back to the rig. What a trip. I love it when a plan comes together! So long as it's...Right on schedule.

    I thank the Lord, my wife and my friend Shane for an awesome once in a lifetime hunt in the Alaska Range. We saw a helicopter and two small planes the first two days. After that, nothing and no one. It was a true wilderness experience. The most demanding rewarding hunt I have ever been on. We had a plan but the Lord had us on the Schedule. It all worked out perfectly. I trained hard for the trip. Hiked once or twice a week all summer and worked up to making at least six 2 hour hard hill hikes with an 85lb pack and one with 110lbs. That along with rigorous cycling, squats and other weight training. We had good gear and I will post some reviews as time goes by. During the trip we had many decisions to make. We took our time, prayed and rested when we needed it. No room for error when you are 25 miles from the nearest road. If you ever get the chance and have the ability to go on a walkin sheep hunt... do it. Nothing like it.

    Here's the pics: DCUA 2006 Pics
    Last edited by Snyd; 03-04-2011 at 20:05.

  3. #3
    Member Silvertipgrizz's Avatar
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    Yeah this was a awesome hunt..the hunt of a lifetime...one that i will never forget, I thank God and Perry for the opportunity to be able to do it.

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    Default good story!

    Just wanted to say good job!

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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Great story.
    Looks like you guys had a very good hunt with pleanty of memorie to boot .

    On a side note . What type of camera did you use ??

    RR
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    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by RANGER RICK View Post
    Great story.
    On a side note . What type of camera did you use ??

    RR
    Olympus Stylus 410. All Weather digital. Small, light, fits in a shirt pocket. Even came with a remote and also has a timer. I've had it for a few years.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Default memories

    did that same trip back in the 90's. we went over the top of the ridge adjacent to the gerstle, made things much easier than trying to get up the bradford. back then the gerstle was right against it's west bank, sounds like it still is ; no way to get back to july creek?

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    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great Job

    I am still waiting to get my first sheep. These stories makes it harder to sleep at night. Thanks for sharing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sh View Post
    did that same trip back in the 90's. we went over the top of the ridge adjacent to the gerstle, made things much easier than trying to get up the bradford. back then the gerstle was right against it's west bank, sounds like it still is ; no way to get back to july creek?
    Three years ago I walked back to July creek with another guy who had a permit. There was no problem getting there then. Just a few ankle deep crossings of channels of the Gerstle. We may have been able to cross if we backtracked but then what would it be like 10 miles up? What if we couldn't get back accross? We decided to not take that chance. Plus, now the Gerstle is raging hard at Bradford creek. You either have to backtrack and cross the Gerstle somewhere or go high and bust brush for a mile or so and then drop back down. Either way would take a lot if time. In country like that things take days not hours. So, we chose to head up to the closest sheep country which was Bradford creek. I do know of a guy who made it up to July creek with his 4 wheeler this year though. What took us 2 days took him an hour.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Default i'll have to go next summer

    and check it out again. never got as far as bradford or july on our scouting trip before, which is why we chose the top route. i'd like to make it back to the gerstle glacier just to see the country.

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    Ya it's beautiful country. I feel extremely fourtunate to have been able to go back there twice on two differennt walk in sheep hunts. The military now requires you to have a Recreational Accesss Permit to cross through the Gerstle Training area. No biggie, just pick one up.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member FALCON's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Awesome

    Snyd:

    That is one heck of a journal and photo gallery you put together. It was so good, I read it twice! Congrats on your hunt. It is nice when a plan comes together.

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    Excellent story Snyd, congrats to you and your partner Shane for getting it done in style!

  14. #14

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    THanks! I live for stories and pics like that. I hav eyet to sheep hunt, cannot draw a tag in the lower 48, have a AK dall hunt booked for 2011, had to bit the bullet and hire a guide against my will (no other way for me to sheep hunt)!

    AWESOME story, pics and sheep

    congrat's!

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