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Thread: back to the basics.

  1. #1

    Default back to the basics.

    I am wondering how many out there are cutting down the things on your sheep hunting list.

    I have been doing some research....I guess I am waiting for my son to get done with his classes so we can go out to out Chitina for the rest of the Summer. Thus I am doing the complete Alaskan truism of hurrying up to wait.
    I have figured that many of the old timers are still kicking and it is now the time to get the information from the source.

    So I have been calling the living sheep hunters who have taken the largest legal sheep. Lentfer.Lewis.Webb. Sherwin Scott doesn't live in Alaska and was guided by Bill Ellis anyway. I think Jon Summar died but I am going to get the story from his son who lives in Tok or pin Craig Gardner down who is flying and fighting the good fight taking it to the wolves. It is interesting. There is much less ado about technical equipment and more emphasis on keeping things as simple as possible, scouting and ferreting out pockets of big rams. There are a lot of vagries that produce a monster ram that may or may not be repeated.

    I have been thinking about my early hunts and sometimes I think I was a better hunter when I was sleeping under a tarp and on top of a piece of visqueen made into a mattress with alpine tundra moss.
    I am not trading in my bibler eldorado but I think that I am going to simplify. I am going to take the bare minimum of bat cave items.

    Thus I am seeking to cut back. Technology has made leaps and bounds are reducing weight.

    I am just wondering if there are people at this stage as well that are going to cut back to the basics. I think that we get caught up on things that make us comfortable and I have heard that Alaskans spent 3 times on average more than any other group of outdoorsmen and women in the US. We try to build an ARK and then fill it with two of everything.

    At the same time, most of these sheep with the exception of the Webb Ram which was shot right at the end of the season were shot near the opener-when it is Summer yet. This means that on the other hand we have to balance simplicity with safety. I am just looking for your thoughts.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    depends on what you mean by cut back. Are you talking in weight or cost? The old timers used to haul a bunch of weight just to get a meager camp into the back country. I remember my old Eureka frame pack, all Coleman gear from sears and outdoors and more along with a weeks worth of MRE's. It packed HUGE and was all heavy. But it was cheap and I never thought I was missing out on anything.

  3. #3

    Default Everything.

    Most of the big sheep were shot in the 60s and 70s. Lentfer talks about 20lbs max pack weight with his trapper nelson. No tent just a piece of visqueen. No stove just a coffee can. Lewis Bradley also cut things down to bare minimums.
    They just cut out all the niceities and hunt the hungry style.
    A lot of times these hunters don't eat a lot and just endure however the results speak for themselves.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  4. #4
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    Ya but didn't these guys also have big base camps that they flew in with bacon and eggs and spuds and even a camp cook to come home too? Then when it came time to hump it up in the sheep mtns they'd take one gun and 20lbs each and basically siwash it for a day or two? Most of us weeked warrior type guys just can't hunt like that. I know I can't.

    I doubt these guys were hiking in 10-20 miles one way for a 10 day hunt with 20lbs? You didn't have too back then. Gas was cheap and they could fly, spot and shoot in the same day.

    Even with modern light gear 20lbs is only a pack a rifle a bullet, a knife, binos and butt wipe. Oh wait, no sense in packing the butt wipe when you've got no food

    But, I sure would have like to have been able to hunt the "Alaska of old" like these guys.

  5. #5
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I thought about this reading some older stuff from O'Connor. Guy didn't even appear to take a canteen and talks about eatng old snow while hunting sheep.

    Then he talks about the pack string, the guide, the camp. Must have been quite a trip to be able to travel that heavy and still hunt light...

  6. #6

    Default Most of these guys didn't

    I thought that a lot of these guys were bankers and businessmen who had both time and money.
    Instead I have found out that many of them didn't have either. They would scout a bunch but then they would endure with partial camps.

    I think that Marty Webb had a pretty good camp but I think that he mentioned that he and Paul started running out of food. He was intent on getting his sheep with a recurve bow and spent 18 days stalking it with the recurve.

    Lentfer never took much for gear and never flew. He would just use a piece of visqeen.

    Toney Oney who shot many really big sheep never even brought a stove. He would eat all of his food cold and just dealt with the hardships.

    Lew Bradley may have taken more giant rams than any other hunter. He took two 180+ rams and several in 175-178 inch class. He has never entered them because he didn't want to draw attention to himself. Again he would go fast and light. He was a school teacher and couldn't spend more than 4 days hunting. He would scout 14A pre Chugach Forest all summer and then hunt the big ones.

  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    sometimes i leave my massage therapist at home...when i really need to travel fast and rough it.
    i've decided to only take 4 pairs of boots, i get tired of trying to pick ones than don't clash with my sitka gear camo patterns.
    I don't think its gonna rain on this years trip, so i'm leaving the iphone and DVD player at base camp, if i really need it, i'll 4-wheeler back and pick it up.
    its nice having the 4-wheeler, i'm not sure i'd want to shoot my .416 without my leadsled and lets face it, i just don't have room in my packers pack for it, my humidifier takes up most of that extra space.
    other than that, i'm about as bare bones as i can get it...
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  8. #8
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    Wow, sounds like they just took what they had, added hard work and went for it.

    I don't remember which book I was reading but it was about hunts in the Brooks that included cubs, lots of gas and flying, nice base camps and 1-3 day siwash hunts.


    Quote Originally Posted by kaboku68 View Post
    I thought that a lot of these guys were bankers and businessmen who had both time and money.
    Instead I have found out that many of them didn't have either. They would scout a bunch but then they would endure with partial camps.

    I think that Marty Webb had a pretty good camp but I think that he mentioned that he and Paul started running out of food. He was intent on getting his sheep with a recurve bow and spent 18 days stalking it with the recurve.

    Lentfer never took much for gear and never flew. He would just use a piece of visqeen.

    Toney Oney who shot many really big sheep never even brought a stove. He would eat all of his food cold and just dealt with the hardships.

    Lew Bradley may have taken more giant rams than any other hunter. He took two 180+ rams and several in 175-178 inch class. He has never entered them because he didn't want to draw attention to himself. Again he would go fast and light. He was a school teacher and couldn't spend more than 4 days hunting. He would scout 14A pre Chugach Forest all summer and then hunt the big ones.

  9. #9
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    ... so i'm leaving the iphone and DVD player at base camp...
    I thought I read somewhere where you had a DVD player and solar panel one trip...

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    other than that, i'm about as bare bones as i can get it...
    Yea, but something tells me your cot is gonna finds its way into your pack.

  11. #11

    Default Bare bones

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    sometimes i leave my massage therapist at home...when i really need to travel fast and rough it.
    i've decided to only take 4 pairs of boots, i get tired of trying to pick ones than don't clash with my sitka gear camo patterns.
    I don't think its gonna rain on this years trip, so i'm leaving the iphone and DVD player at base camp, if i really need it, i'll 4-wheeler back and pick it up.
    its nice having the 4-wheeler, i'm not sure i'd want to shoot my .416 without my leadsled and lets face it, i just don't have room in my packers pack for it, my humidifier takes up most of that extra space.
    other than that, i'm about as bare bones as i can get it...
    That is GREAT!!! Cracked me up!

  12. #12
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    lol ya the solar panel goes to base camp to charge my sat phone. with a job like mine and a wife like mine, i'd like to keep both. so i talk to the wife everynight to make sure her and the kids are doing ok. really helps keep the family united.
    the dvd thing worked ok for about two trips then went belly up...so now its just the Ipod, covers the client snoring usually and helps me sleep better.
    but not on sheep hunts...about the only thing i have extra on on sheep hunts is TP.
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  13. #13
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    Smile

    I must have initially read some of those early stories because I remember my first two hunts I slept in a visqueen shelter. The weather was nice and we had a lot of gear at base camp which was the car in one case and the airstrip in the second. We were bivying out very light in visqueen only but our basecamp was huge. We even had cans of beans and sardines and a lot of military surplus gear at camp. I am surprised the plane could even fly us in. I think I remember the pilot laughing when he picked up our packs. Now I pack a lot lighter but the gear is a lot more thorough and functional. Now, if I knew where a ram was near a road, I might go in very light now adays, but it would be a very short trip. Because not having enough gear is a problem also. I mean if your bag gets wet or you are shaking all night cold you arenít going to be much use for hunting all day. I am experimenting with another bivy sack which I had thought of using for a spike camp but so far there appears to be too much moisture involved. I will have to stick to a tent. If you had the whole season off and could pick good weather then you could head in with minimal gear, but not many of us have that luxury. I would love to just camp out next to a fire or lay out under the stars like the tough guys of old, but I got used to being dry and also my time off is too valuable to risk not having enough gear!

    By the way, thanks for the interesting details of those old time hunters. It would be nice to know there were some of them who didnít just spot and stalk their sheep with planes.
    ďI come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. ď Fred Bear

  14. #14

    Default kaboku68 (Summar)

    Has passed on. His son is no longer here in Tok. I can ask around about it. I remember the story, but don't want to butcher it here without making sure what I am talking about is what happened. I think alot of the "best" areas are now closed to non subsistence users. While there are still hogs killed every year, the largest sheep are not available to all to hunt.

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