Thought this might be a interesting post, let's hear about your first ever sheep hunt! Here's mine.
Started off with the DS102 TMA in 98'. I was pumped to only have put in for this permit for the first time and get drawn. I read every book I could find, called and talked with tony russ (great guy), spent every penny I had on gear (still wasn't enough) and made the flight reservations with 40mile. The date was Sept. 3, 1998. Arriving at 40mile I started showing places on the map where I (had insider info) would like to go, but was told that there were allready to many hunters there, hmmmmm, sounded fishy. Then I was asked what my hunting skills were, they really did not want to fly me out due to I was going SOLO, I had told them it was ok, I am not a greenhorn and have spent many a day out in alaska alone hunting/fishing and camping. They agreed to fly me out that day. The flight was great the mountains beautiful and I had thoughts of that 40" plus hog in my mind. After about 50 minutes in the air the Pilot heads up my drainage to the strip. He comes over the mic and say's if it's to windy I would have to be dropped at the base of the drainage and hike up, no prolem I said. After 3 circles in a box canyon looking at the flagging tape down on the strip he said, We can do this, a big grin on my face I reply cool! I have never in my life landed in a bush plane on the side of a mountain, THIS WAS A RUSH!!!!!! Lief landed that cub going uphill and pulled her to a nice rolling stop. I was thourowlly impressed. Upon unloading the plane and signing the paper work to were I was at and in what unit, he took off to leave me in GOD'S country. I had 14 lambs and ewe's right at the end of the strip and was in heaven. I set up camp and glassed sheep the rest of the day in total aw, this was my first sheep hunt and would never be my last. The next day Sept. 4th was sunny, cold and beautiful. I ate breakfest loaded the pack and started off. Day one revealed 13 rams, 4 legal ones but no stocking oppertunity. Basically it was a 15 mile hump in the mountains and asking myself, self? What did you get you butt into! Man was I pooped! Next morning Sept. 5th brought really low clouds, rain mixed with snow and wind. After a couple hours it looked like it was lifting so I decided to just make a run a few miles down the drainage to look up into another. This was one of those "just gonna be a minute deals", my mistake. I left the tent on a empty stoumach, like water and minimal gear. I made it to the drainage and started up into it. After about a 3000ft climb it turns into a white out, I found a huge rock that juted out from the hill side and tucked myself under it. After about a hour it broke off and I stepped out to look around. I noticed somethign down in the bottom of the creek that looked like 3 snow patches, nope, snow patches don't move. Looking through the spottign scope, there they were, 3 rams, 2 full curl and 1 7/8. I flew down that mountain to get to the other side of the creek where there was a 30ft cliff to hide my stalk. I made it down the creek to a patch of brush that I had land marked the rams close to. I belly crawled up the side of the mountain's brush to see they were still there and bedded down now. EST on range, 500+ yrds. I had to do better and scoped out the stalk. Back down to the creek for another route. I closed the distance to 250yrds and parallel with the bedded rams. I sat down in a big divit and a nice little saddle infront to shoot from. I sat there for at least 40 minutes just marveling at what I had been through and seen that day. The ram was was quarting twords me slightly, I had found my time, I was at peace with the situation at hand. I lind up the crosshairs right at the curve of the shoulder and sqeezed off the shot. It was all quiet and there lye my first ram. I was so estatic I shouted out in glee only to realize I was hunting alone, no buddy to high five and share the momment with. I hiked back down to the creek, grabbed the pack and went to see him, upon reaching my prize I was at a loss for words as I marveled in this trophy, I came to understand what sheep hunters have allways talked about. It is a feeling that you don't need to talk about because you know. After the capeing/boning and loading up I relized that man I am STARVING! It is now 6:30pm and I am wet, cold, hungery, tired and have along difficult hump back UP the drainage to camp. I desided to take all the meat, cape and horns out in one load, wow what a load! I reached camp at 10:45p.m by mag light. I was in the first stage of hypothermia and really kicking my self for my actions during the day. First thing out of the cloths and into dry warm gear, second in the sleeping bag for heat, third, FOOD! I set up my MSR stove in the tent (do not recomend this to anyone) after priming the fuel my hands were so cold I couldn't light the fuel right away, finally it light and PAAAAWWWOOOOOOFFFFFFFFF! Flash fire across the bottom of the tent! Now I am pist at myself. After 2 packages of sweet and sour pork freeze dried dinner and feeling much better, I headed outside to flesh and salt the cape and take care of the meat. 4:00AM FINALLY SLEEP! The next day brought fresh snow and sunny skies and 18 sheep 300yrds behind the tent! And yes 7 were legal full curl rams! I ate breakfest watching them to learn more about there movments. That evenign I hear a cub and start to quickly tear down camp only to find out it wasn't 40mile, LOL... But I held up my horns and gave a thumbs up which in return I got a wing tip wave. The next morning sheep back straps for breakfest and the plane rise out.
The moral of my mistakes on this trip? 2 minute's or 10 hours from camp for a quick peak see, have your "bleep" in order, be prepared for ANYTHING!
I have been hooked on sheep hunting ever since and am looking foreward to my first goat hunt. The ram I took was not a monster but a hunt that I will truely never forget!
36"x12.5" and 20" spread.
How did you get hooked on sheep hunting???????????