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Thread: Nutzotin Sheep ~ Success!

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default Nutzotin Sheep ~ Success!

    Here’s my recap of my recent Nutzotin hunt.

    Day 1, Aug 9th: Forest fires in the interior make for a very smoky ride into the Nabesna river in a Cessna 206. From there we jump in the super cubs and head for the Nutzotins. We fly over some real rugged country that is plum full of ewes and lambs and several bands of big rams. This really primes the pump. We try and land on our gravel bank but a real strong cross wind is blowing. On the 5th try Randy is able to land the cub, Ethan and my cousin Leif follow right behind us. We quickly unpack, filter some water from the glacier creek and head for sheep country. The initial 1 ½ miles is through some real nice moose county. About 3pm the rain starts to fall heavy and we drop the packs and don the rain gear. As we eat a quick bite we see a nice ram about a mile away. We decide to pitch camp and not spook him. Rain is falling heavy and we quickly remember 2008. Not good memories.

    Day 2, opening day. We wake to clear skies and begin our hike into sheep country. After a good 7 hours and 5 miles we find our camp site. We pitch the tent at about 5,000 feet with great water source. We quickly take a peek around. We end up spooking two rams, one of which is probably a shooter.

    Day 3: We wake at 6 am, look outside the tent to find 3 inches of snow and fog right to the tent. Once again visions of 2008 creep in. Perhaps we are cursed. I do my Tlingit sun dance and we sacrifice a ground squirrel in hopes of better weather. Instead of playing footsie in the tent we decide to gear up and head over a mountain pass about a mile from camp. This pass is 1,000 feet straight up; a combination of big rocks and dreaded black shale scree ~ the kind of stuff that takes three steps to gain a foot. After 2 hours we make it to the top. After a couple hours it’s clear that the fog is here to stay. A couple hours trek back to the tent.

    Day 4: The fog has lifted and we get our first real glimpse of what we went up the day before We make it to the top of the pass by about 1pm. We then get our first glimpse of the next drainage. We quickly have some lunch and break out the spotting scope. To our great pleasure we quickly spot a band of 7 rams about half way down the valley. We can tell that at least 4 are shooters, with two really nice rams. Here comes the hard part. In order to make a play on them we have to do so under the cover of darkness. We have about 3 miles to get there, but we’ll only be under cover for the first two miles. Camp is a several hours away. We decide no time like the present and go for it. About 6pm and we get as far as we can, they remain in the same spot and we can see a ridge that will give us a perfect place to put the elmer fudd stalk on em. Dinner is a couple cups of top ramen and some chocolate bars. At 10:30 its dark enough to proceed down the valley. Headlamps go on at 11pm and by midnight we arrive at our “beds”. We quickly dawn every piece of clothes that we brought and jump into our space blankets. At 2am we’ve had enough and crawl out of the tin foil and boil some coffee. At 4am its time to climb the mountain. We are so cold in such a hurry to get the blood flowing that we fail to grab food, or even our water bottles (decision that will not sit well). At 5:30 am we are sitting on the ridge and peering over to where we last saw the sheep. To our dismay the 4 shooter rams are quite a ways away. Two full curl rams are about 600 yards above us, two real heavy broomed rams are below us at about 700 yards. Give it time we say, they will eventually come feed closer. We try to take a nap or two, but sleeping on the cold ground is not pleasant. Its noon and no movement from the rams. We can see our food and water 1,000 feet below us. No way to get to it as they will see us. It’s now 4pm and no movement from the rams. We’ve been up since 6am the day before. Camp is a good 6 hours away. We decide that we must press the issue. We bunker down and put our cross hairs on the two rams above us, the rangefinder says 587 yards with a 20 degree slope. Crack, we both shoot and the rams run towards us. Several shots later and they both dive into a rock slide, out of our view. One of them pops over the top and I take a couple cracks at him from 400 yards, Ethan moves up the ridge for a better shot. 5 minutes later and 4 more shots and he’s over the top heading to Canada. We never see the other ram and assume he’s gone up another escape route. We’ve gone 36 hours with no sleep and have a good 6 hours back to camp. Dejected we drag ourselves off the mountain and back to the packs. We finally get some water and food and begin the empty handed march back to camp. At best we’re back to our sleeping bags at 11pm. As we are walking we look back up the mountain and notice a suspicious white rock. Out comes the spotting scope and we quickly see a wounded ram! Given what we’ve done the past 36 hours and given that he’s a couple hours back up the mountain, there wasn’t too many high 5’s. He’s in some real bad stuff. A couple hours later and we are on him. Thankfully he fell about 500 feet. The slide is so steep that it’s hard enough to stand, let alone dress out a sheep. We snap a couple pictures and quickly start working on him.

    I wanted to cape him, but every time we take a chunk off, he slides another 20 feet or so. It takes a good hour to get back down. It’s now 8pm. We have full packs with a very long hike in front of us. We try for 30 minutes to slog up the valley but we both quickly realize we don’t have anything left in the tank. We quickly decide to stash the meat and head. We triple bag the meat and bury in the creek, the head goes up in a tree.

    We now embark on the 2009 version of the death march. 5 hours and several thousand feet up the pass, followed by a thousand foot decent back to camp. Each step hurts and whenever we stop for a break both of us nearly fall asleep on our feet. At 2:30 am on the 14th and almost 40 hours after we left camp we arrive back, as mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted as we could be. The next day we pack up our camp and begin the death march back over the pass to reclaim our buried sheep. At 8pm we arrive at the meat, no bears thankfully. We load up the packs and manage another hour. Awake at 6am on the 15th and we think we have 5 hours to the landing strip. 9 hours later after busting through moose bogs and alder brush we finally arrive at the landing strip. Dreams of dinner at Fast Eddies are in our heads, along with a cold beers and sauna at Ethan’s buddy’s place in Tok.

    The death march was worth it, we are back in Tok with a great Ram. He measures out at 38 ½ inches with 13.5 bases. He’s only 8 years old, a couple more years and he would have been a real bruiser. I’ve never done anything that comes close to the exhaustion we experienced on this trip. Have never done anything that’s been more rewarding either ~ at least in my hunting experiences.
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    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 08-27-2009 at 23:26. Reason: changed font to make it more readable
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
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    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

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    Would love to read your story but your font size is too small, can you make it bigger so it's easier to read? Thanks.

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    ".....the rangefinder says 587 yards with a 20 degree slope. Crack, we both shoot and the rams run towards us. Several shots later and they both dive into a rock slide........ I take a couple cracks at him from 400 yards, Ethan moves up the ridge for a better shot. 5 minutes later and 4 more shots and he’s over the top heading to Canada. We never see the other ram and assume he’s gone up another escape route. We’ve gone 36 hours with no sleep and have a good 6 hours back to camp....... As we are walking we look back up the mountain and notice a suspicious white rock. Out comes the spotting scope and we quickly see a wounded ram!"

    Congratulations.... I guess. I will be the first to admit I'm fairly new to the Alaskan hunting seen compared to most of the guys/gals around here. Is this what most Alaskan's call hunting?

    Lucky you saw that you wounded him after what sounds like 20+ rounds over the hill.... or you might have left your trophy there after all your hard work.

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    Nice ram. Sounds like a great hunt, a year from now that "death march" won't seem that bad and you'll be ready to do it again!

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    . Is this what most Alaskan's call hunting?
    Yes, this is exactly what most Alaskan's call hunting. Lob lead in the right direction and hope for the best.
    True Hunters at their best!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    ".....the rangefinder says 587 yards with a 20 degree slope. Crack, we both shoot and the rams run towards us. Several shots later and they both dive into a rock slide........ I take a couple cracks at him from 400 yards, Ethan moves up the ridge for a better shot. 5 minutes later and 4 more shots and hes over the top heading to Canada. We never see the other ram and assume hes gone up another escape route. Weve gone 36 hours with no sleep and have a good 6 hours back to camp....... As we are walking we look back up the mountain and notice a suspicious white rock. Out comes the spotting scope and we quickly see a wounded ram!"

    Congratulations.... I guess. I will be the first to admit I'm fairly new to the Alaskan hunting seen compared to most of the guys/gals around here. Is this what most Alaskan's call hunting?

    Lucky you saw that you wounded him after what sounds like 20+ rounds over the hill.... or you might have left your trophy there after all your hard work.
    "...Alaskan's call hunting..."
    Not the Alaskans I grew up with. "HopeAk" last posting was probably a lot more insightful than I was willing to give credit. Sadly, it is difficult to keep from wondering just how representative these postings are of "hunting" in Alaska. I hope they are not.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    Would love to read your story but your font size is too small, can you make it bigger so it's easier to read? Thanks.
    On your browser toolbar you can go to View: Make Text Bigger. I had to! Now I gotta read the story!

    Tim

  8. #8

    Default Congrats!

    Tlingetwarrior,

    That is a beauty! 5 post and already the quarterbacking is beginning! Makes me wonder why "anyone" posts here anymore. I guess more are just so much more ethical than the rest of us. Sounds like you had one hell of a trip! That is a dandy ram to say the least. Best to you and your hunting partner! The beer was well deserved!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    Tlingetwarrior,

    That is a beauty! 5 post and already the quarterbacking is beginning! Makes me wonder why "anyone" posts here anymore. I guess more are just so much more ethical than the rest of us. Sounds like you had one hell of a trip! That is a dandy ram to say the least. Best to you and your hunting partner! The beer was well deserved!!!!!!
    Great point! HE IS A BEAUTY!
    ENJOY that ram! It was well deserved! And listen - DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE OTHER RAM THAT WAS SHOT AT - HIT OR NOT NO ONE KNOWS - EVEN IF WOUNDED -WHO CARES - THERE ARE LOTS OF SHEEP.

    Joe (Ak - no -disgusted)

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    Tlingetwarrior,

    That is a beauty! 5 post and already the quarterbacking is beginning! Makes me wonder why "anyone" posts here anymore. I guess more are just so much more ethical than the rest of us. Sounds like you had one hell of a trip! That is a dandy ram to say the least. Best to you and your hunting partner! The beer was well deserved!!!!!!

    Starting to figure that out. Everyone has opinions. I was born here and have lived here all my life, began hunting at the age of 5, probably in the same woods you learned to hunt. Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner. I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do.

    We should catch up at the sauna after moose camp? You hunting or does school get in the way?
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    Starting to figure that out. Everyone has opinions. I was born here and have lived here all my life, began hunting at the age of 5, probably in the same woods you learned to hunt. Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner. I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do.

    We should catch up at the sauna after moose camp? You hunting or does school get in the way?
    You may have been in the same woods - but we certainly did not "LEARN" from the same people. You may well not remember all the animals you've harvested. If this one was any example, you didn't know it was "harvested" until well on your way to camp after it was shot. Know your gun? what you can do and cannot do - your own account belies that statement.
    Good luck? certainly to whatever you may decide to "hunt". They'll need it.
    And we wonder why some have the attitude they do towards hunting?
    Joe (Ak)

  12. #12

    Default opinions, opinions...

    are like buttholes, everyone has one. I am not the "ethics" police, so I am not going to judge another. I'll leave it at that.

    TW, I will be out moose hunting. I'll shoot you a pm.

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    [QUOTE=tlingitwarrior;561137....Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner. I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do.

    We should catch up at the sauna after moose camp? You hunting or does school get in the way?[/QUOTE]


    I have honestly never been so disgusted in my life. Reading this board the last few days has made me reconsider the people I have associated with over the years. I have hunted and associated with hunters in a number of states and I have never been in a circle of associates that would have harbored the attitudes and practices you so readily boast of.... nor would they have anything but contempt for those who do.

    Until yours and another similar post a few days ago I honestly thought people like you didn't exist but were a made up figment of the imaginations of the anti-hunting nuts actively trying to take our rights away. Now, I don't know if I'm more concerned that you do exist or that so many others are so ready to post their support and enthusiasm for your endeavors.

    I think if a poll were taken and more than 10% of licensed hunters felt your hunt was an ethical and honorable hunt, then I would change my lifelong position and give my resources to the anti-hunting lobby to help shut down the woods entirely.... fully knowing that people like Joe and I would be out an incredible resource and an incredible gift.

    This has nothing to do with Monday morning quarterbacking. I honestly can't even believe there is debate here. I have read of many a fantastic hunting story on these boards, some truly inspirational. What I have seen lately turns my stomach.

    Hunting is not lobbing a bunch of lead in the general direction of an animal or a movement in the bushes. Hunting does not entail taking ridiculous shots at something to save yourself the added work of getting to the game. Hunting doesn't involve even pulling the trigger on something you do know fully expect you will hit and hit well.

    ------

    You said you have....
    "Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner."

    - If they were taken like this ram, then I would hardly call them harvested... killed sure, harvested no. Killed and harvested are two completely different things. I didn't even have to learn that in school.... I learned it from lifelong role models and other sportsman.

    "I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do."

    - Obviously not. You and your friend fired, lets see..... "crack, we both shoot"... "Several shots later".... followed by "a couple cracks at him from 400 yards" and finally "4 more shots...." at sheep that were more than 400 yds away. Maybe you know what you can and cannot do but you obviously don't let what you can't do stop you from trying.

    Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    I have honestly never been so disgusted in my life. Reading this board the last few days has made me reconsider the people I have associated with over the years. I have hunted and associated with hunters in a number of states and I have never been in a circle of associates that would have harbored the attitudes and practices you so readily boast of.... nor would they have anything but contempt for those who do.

    Until yours and another similar post a few days ago I honestly thought people like you didn't exist but were a made up figment of the imaginations of the anti-hunting nuts actively trying to take our rights away. Now, I don't know if I'm more concerned that you do exist or that so many others are so ready to post their support and enthusiasm for your endeavors.

    I think if a poll were taken and more than 10% of licensed hunters felt your hunt was an ethical and honorable hunt, then I would change my lifelong position and give my resources to the anti-hunting lobby to help shut down the woods entirely.... fully knowing that people like Joe and I would be out an incredible resource and an incredible gift.

    This has nothing to do with Monday morning quarterbacking. I honestly can't even believe there is debate here. I have read of many a fantastic hunting story on these boards, some truly inspirational. What I have seen lately turns my stomach.

    Hunting is not lobbing a bunch of lead in the general direction of an animal or a movement in the bushes. Hunting does not entail taking ridiculous shots at something to save yourself the added work of getting to the game. Hunting doesn't involve even pulling the trigger on something you do know fully expect you will hit and hit well.

    ------

    You said you have....
    "Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner."

    - If they were taken like this ram, then I would hardly call them harvested... killed sure, harvested no. Killed and harvested are two completely different things. I didn't even have to learn that in school.... I learned it from lifelong role models and other sportsman.

    "I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do."

    - Obviously not. You and your friend fired, lets see..... "crack, we both shoot"... "Several shots later".... followed by "a couple cracks at him from 400 yards" and finally "4 more shots...." at sheep that were more than 400 yds away. Maybe you know what you can and cannot do but you obviously don't let what you can't do stop you from trying.

    Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.
    Debating with you would be like arguing with coffee table. I will sleep better tonight knowing your opinion.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    I have honestly never been so disgusted in my life. Reading this board the last few days has made me reconsider the people I have associated with over the years. I have hunted and associated with hunters in a number of states and I have never been in a circle of associates that would have harbored the attitudes and practices you so readily boast of.... nor would they have anything but contempt for those who do.

    Until yours and another similar post a few days ago I honestly thought people like you didn't exist but were a made up figment of the imaginations of the anti-hunting nuts actively trying to take our rights away. Now, I don't know if I'm more concerned that you do exist or that so many others are so ready to post their support and enthusiasm for your endeavors.

    I think if a poll were taken and more than 10% of licensed hunters felt your hunt was an ethical and honorable hunt, then I would change my lifelong position and give my resources to the anti-hunting lobby to help shut down the woods entirely.... fully knowing that people like Joe and I would be out an incredible resource and an incredible gift.

    This has nothing to do with Monday morning quarterbacking. I honestly can't even believe there is debate here. I have read of many a fantastic hunting story on these boards, some truly inspirational. What I have seen lately turns my stomach.

    Hunting is not lobbing a bunch of lead in the general direction of an animal or a movement in the bushes. Hunting does not entail taking ridiculous shots at something to save yourself the added work of getting to the game. Hunting doesn't involve even pulling the trigger on something you do know fully expect you will hit and hit well.

    ------

    You said you have....
    "Have harvested more animals than I can remember and everyone of them done in ethical manner."

    - If they were taken like this ram, then I would hardly call them harvested... killed sure, harvested no. Killed and harvested are two completely different things. I didn't even have to learn that in school.... I learned it from lifelong role models and other sportsman.

    "I spend a lot of time at the range and know what my gun and I can and cannot do."

    - Obviously not. You and your friend fired, lets see..... "crack, we both shoot"... "Several shots later".... followed by "a couple cracks at him from 400 yards" and finally "4 more shots...." at sheep that were more than 400 yds away. Maybe you know what you can and cannot do but you obviously don't let what you can't do stop you from trying.

    Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.
    Ignore list: lakeside.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I must say, 500 yard shots are tricky, and I'm not at all against them, but you guys couldn't get any closer? If you can't git er done with a good shot, I'm not so sure you should shoot. But your the hunter and you got it done.

    I know the death march feeling. NEVER HURT SO GOOD! Dandy ram!
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    It almost seems like this post was written to get a rise out of people, nice ram in the end though. Did you guys really shoot at those sheep from that far away that many times, and then not even try to track them at all?

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    Thanks for the story and pics. I'm a lower 48 flatlander and I'm sure that the synopsis of your hunt was offensive to some but I'll just prefer to think that there was a lot of thought and energy at work on the hunt and your opinion of ethical behavior as presented is OK with me. If you are like most hunters that I know, you felt that you could make a clean kill with your rifle and experience in shooting it. Beautiful ram and the type of hunt that I can only dream of. Congratulations.

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    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    500 plus yard shots and you don't know if you hit the animal or not? Now that's hunting, or shooting, or something. I hope the other ram didn't end up dead because your lead might have found him.
    Your font is too small, but I read it anyway. Sorry I did. Sad story.
    Your first sheep hunt warrior?
    Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about. I've guided sheep hunts for 19 years and have had one client shoot and kill a ram over 200 yards. One shot too. Hunting in Alaska has truly gone south.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    To each his own. Some agree, some don't. When everyone thinks the same way, nobody thinks very much.

    Some people take great pleasure in "hunting" bears over bait, personally I give it as much credence as shooting some deer that's tied to a stick, or hunting some food plot in Texas.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

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