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Thread: sheep trip '09 unsuccessful

  1. #1
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default sheep trip '09 unsuccessful

    Hey all,

    Shphtr and I just got back a couple days ago from our Wrangell sheep adventure. I'm currently writing this from billeting at Eielson AFB. I head back to Little Rock AFB tomorrow. After all the trouble I had getting a partner, I was truly blessed to be able to go with Shphtr. His knowledge and experience proved invaluable, and his stories definitely helped pass the weather days (of which there were several).

    Anyway, still no luck getting me a ram, but it was a good hunt. Here are some details. No pictures yet because my wife didn't trust me with the digital camera. Had to use that old thing called film...

    We flew into Blue Lake on 9 Aug. and hiked south in the rain through Cooper Pass. Made it to the top of the pass and set up camp for the night and to wait out the rain. Next day I set off alone to check a few areas while Shphtr held down the fort. Didn't see any sheep in the areas I checked, but got back to camp and there were 4 half to 3/4 curl rams hanging out above camp. Try as I might I couldn't make them grow, but it was good to see rams.

    Next day was a weather day. We were out of the tent for a total of maybe 3 or 4 hours. That night it snowed about 4 inches.

    Following morning was foggy, but cleared and snow melted by around 11. We were glassing a 3/4 curl ram when I noticed a really pretty griz coming up the valley at a trot. We watched as the bear ran straight up the mtn at the ram (and 3 others hiding behind rocks). The bear got within 20' or so of the rams and went on the offensive. Couldn't have missed by much, but the rams took off. At this point we expected the bear to come down (and into rifle range), but he took off after the rams again! They got away again, so the bear laid down for a nap. We planned to wait until he woke up and came back down, and then ambush him at the bottom. But when he finally woke up, he went over the mountain, never to be seen again.

    Our next action came a few days later when we decided to check out another drainage. Got up early and made the trek down there. Noticed 5 rams up on the ridge above us, one of which was really wide and massive and worth a closer look. So after a painful hour straight up, we got a quick look. Still couldn't tell for sure if he was legal (my best guess was he was a big 7/8 curl), but I headed up after him just in case. Got to the top and got within 50 yards of his 4 pals, but Mr. Big was nowhere to be seen. After checking high and low, left and right I figured he must have slipped over into the really steep rocky stuff where I dared not follow. Skunked again!

    After that we decided to head back down to the lake and hunt from there. Met up with two other guys camped there as well who hadn't had any luck either, but found a nice set of drops. I did see one other 3/4 curl ram about 2 miles and 3 ridges away, but no other rams.

    After that, no more ram or bear sightings, and some crazy weather including hail. Flew back to Glenallen on the 18th, only to realize I lost the truck key out in the bush Well, Jim stuck around long enough to get that mess straightened out with a local locksmith, and made it back to Fairbanks that evening to a shower, shave and much needed steak and beer.

    So overall, a good hunt. Victories: great scenery, great partner, no major injuries, in and out on time, learned a lot, saw a lot of sheep and a bear. Failures: no ram!!!

    So until next time...

  2. #2
    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Default

    Good story.. You got out there and had good judgment. Came out in one piece with an experience.

    Sounds like a successful hunt to me.

  3. #3
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    It was a pleasure to hunt with c04hoosier. I had hoped to get him a ram but sometimes it is not to be. He gave 110% effort and never a wimper of complaint. Attached is image of Matt the morning of second day of hunt as well as picture of mountain side that bear chased after sheep on and finally went over the top. Next year Matt!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Your wide doesn't trust you with the digicam?
    Couple questions.........
    Who wear's the pants in your family?
    You can get decent digicams for 50 bucks on ebay.......can't you afford that?

    Hunt adventure of a lifetime and no digicam. Hhhhmmmmm!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  5. #5
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    Glad to hear you had a great trip and at least saw some sheep. Man, that must have been cool to see that bear do that. We didn't kill a ram either but had a great trip in the Brooks. Here's to next year!!

  6. #6
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Now that looks like some crappy weather! Sounds like a good hunt and a great set of hunting partners. You guys put the work in and got some good experiences from it. I watched a brownie do a similar stunk on Kodiak years ago and was amazed at its stamina running straight up and over a mountain from sea level, wish I could do that!

  7. #7
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Martentrapper, that was a little bit of humor. She trusts me with the digital camera, it was just that she was using it in Colorado at the time (documenting our son's mischief while daddy is off in Alaska), and doesn't understand the overwhelming importance of sheep hunting. Therefore, I was stuck without the digital.

    Jim, thanks for posting a few pics. I will get some added when I get them developed, as well as sending you doubles.

  8. #8

    Default Sorry to hear

    but glad you had good time. Just another excuse to keep trying!!

  9. #9
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    No rams and snow... it's a great combo isn't it? Took me 3 years to bag my first. Keep after. The tide will turn.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  10. #10
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default sure will...

    I'm already trying to plan ahead for next year...

  11. #11
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    I Wouldn't say the hunt was "Unsuccessful" You guys were out there, and thats all that matters, two friends enjoying the elements of the weather, even though the conditions were the way they were, You guys did it, and took pictures, sheep are just a bonus. I know many ( young and older) who just can't do this sort of stuff for many reasons affordability, physically uncapable, deployed, etc. etc.....My hats off to the you guys, thanks for sharing the story and the pictures......Chuck

    Besides, Shphtr has killed many sheep, I believe he's just tagging along just to get out.

  12. #12
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    Default true...scratch the word "unsuccessful"

    It was a successful hunt, that just didn't happen to include shooting anything.

    We can definitely look back and say we did our best, and had fun!

    That being said, I NEED to get a sheep in the next few years. There is a bare spot on my wall that is begging to have a sheep shoulder mount put there. I guess my Merriam's turkey from this spring will have to suffice until I can connect on Mr. Ram.

  13. #13
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    Sounds like you had a great time, outstanding.

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