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Thread: Sheep Harvest Elevation

  1. #1
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Default Sheep Harvest Elevation

    I was looking over my topo map program lastnight and came to the question, how high can you harvest sheep? What is the average? I know you can have extremes either way. May be a stupid question, but I thought I would ask. Our base camp will be about 4500'.
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  2. #2
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Default

    I doubt if many sheep are taken over 6000'. In areas that are not heavily hunted sheep prefer lower elevations where there is more food.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I imagine to some degree it depends on the range. All of my sheep were taken in ranges that had no mountains within 10 miles of over 6,000'. I would say the average elevation of the sheep I have take is about 3,500-4,000'.

  4. #4

    Default

    The mature rams inside the DCUA portion that I hunted last year were between 6000 and 7000 feet, even one nursery band stayed at that elevation the nine days we were there. We didn't push them, that is where we found them when we entered the country about 6-7 miles up the valley from our camp.

    I think they are where you find them depending on the terrain you find them in, terrain dictates everything.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default elevation

    ...ram kills as low as 4500 feet, as high as 5500 feet, perhaps one at 6000. Year-round ice above that...

    dennis

  6. #6

    Default

    Well, we know they get harvested on the Seward Highway at sea level, so that would be the lowest. I have see two killed by vehicles near McHugh.

  7. #7

    Default Sheep Elevation?

    It wasn't mentioned in the initial post which species of sheep but I have a feeling since this is an Alaska forum you are referring to dall sheep? I can understand how it would be great to figure out a strategy to eliminate areas at particular elevations, slopes, aspects, vegetation types, terrain, etc. where sheep may not inhabit. This could potentially pinpoint areas where sheep (rams in particular) may occupy on a regular basis at certain times of year and save a lot of time searching areas void of sheep.

    Here in Colorado I shot my first bighorn ram at treeline at approximately 10,500' elevation on a south facing slope where there were springs/lush vegetation during an extremely hot summer/fall. The 2nd bighorn I shot in Colorado at approximately 5,000' in the cliffs on a south facing slope in mid August just above a stream. The bighorns in the unit above my house (here in Colo) can be found at 5,000' to over 14,000'..year round. Even though sheep in that unit are distributed over a large elevation range it is still possible to predict which slope, aspect, terrain, vegetation, etc rams will hang out on at certain times of year. This has helped me eliminate gobs of country searching for rams!

    As mentioned in an earlier post, if there is permanent ice at certain elevations, slopes, etc in the area you will be scouting/hunting this could potentially eliminate a lot of country that dall rams may not occupy?

    If you are an "extreme" hunter and prefer the challenge of hunting areas where few animals may be found; however, if you find one it may be a true trophy, you may want to re-think your hunt strategy rather than hunting areas noted for high animal (and hunter) concentrations? I have read several past articles in reference to B&C class animals often living on the outside edge of the normal "range" of a particular species. In regard to dall sheep this may be extremely cliffy, glaciated, etc areas where rams may seldom be hunted or even seen?

  8. #8
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question Big Guys...

    jimss brought up an excelllent point. Historically, many older and larger rams have come out of high, inaccessable, marginal areas with low sheep density. So the big question is...............

    Do big, smart, mature rams "migrate" or move towards tough, high elevation, inaccessable, marginal areas because they have become intelligent, sage with age?

    Or do some sheep just grow up in tough, high elevation, marginal areas and therefore grow older and larger and wiser because of the inaccessable country that they have always lived in?

    I don't know.

    Dennis

  9. #9
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    Default Sheep harvest elevation

    I wanna go hunt with Brian!

    All the sheep my hunting partners, guided hunters, and I have harvested have been taken in the 4,500 to 5,500 ft. elevation REGARDLESS of which range. I am guessing this holds true for 90% of the harvest. Insert exceptions here <...> ;-)

    -Chris

  10. #10

    Default Marginal vs Inaccessible?

    I have a feeling there have been a fair number of monster rams shot in marginal areas and others that have been shot in inaccessible country with extremely poor/limited access. Some lucky farts probably shoot great rams right next to drop off spots each year!

    When I am researching and scouting super elk and muledeer areas I try to find the largest areas without decent access and those are usually the places I concentrate. I hunt a couple "hell hole" canyons that horses and even llamas can't even access! I would expect super rams start to figure things out and know where to go once the planes start flying and hunters start crawling up the ridges? I would expect them to migrate to marginal/inaccessible areas as mentioned earlier...these could be at 4,500-6k but are super tough to access.

    It sounds like 4,500 to 6,000' is a good starting point for dall sheep? Areas with limited access via boat, supercub, 4 wheeler, horseback, and tough access on foot could be potential great areas to search out...especially in areas with hunting pressure.

  11. #11
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default i got two

    one at 5100 and the other at 6300
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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