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Thread: Opening Day Ram

  1. #1

    Default Opening Day Ram

    My buddy and I rode out to his area on the 6 August to see if we could locate any sheep and then to try and find an area to camp for the next few days. We rode back about 25 miles before we started seeing any sheep. We took out the spotting scope and seen they were all ewes and lambs. We rode on a few more miles and decided to camp for the night. The next morning we awoke to have caribou to each side of us, we were there to sheep hunt but still took a few pics. We headed up another drainage to see what we could find. We went a few miles back but seen nothing. On the way out he said he wanted to check the next ridge over.

    As we topped the crest of the hill in front of us we could see the far ridge made a bowl and all around the bowl were white dots. We took the spotter once again to find this time they were all rams. We started checking to see if we saw any full curls. He told me that in this area the rams can be more than 8 yo and still not make a curl. We looked and looked, but I could not see a way to get closer to the rams. We decided to wait until morning and come back and see if we could make it in closer w/o getting spotted. So.... on the morning of the 8th, I said I was going to take a look to see where the rams were and would come back and pick up him, our gear,and etc if they were in a more desirable spot.

    I came to the top of the hill again to find 3 sheep laying down on the facing slope about 1 mile away. I looked through the spotter to find one that was flared way out but didnt seem to be full curl. Then I moved the spotter down to find one that was full curl. I couldnt belive I was actually looking at a legal ram. I noticed that not only was he full curl but that he was larger bodied than the other one. I couldnt take the spotter off him! Once he looked straight at me and I thought, Can you see me? I put my face down for a few seconds thinking he may see my reflection. When I looked back up, he was looking in another direction chewing his cud. Then a patch of fog moved in and I slipped off the mountain.

    The day of the 9th was verrry long. I couldnt keep from thinking about the ram I saw the previous day. We decided to go to near the top of an adjoining mountain and camp. We only took the fly from my tent, a tarp, sleeping bags, MREs, and our backpacks. We built a stone wall in the front, pulled the fly from there and used the tripod as a point to make the water roll off. We layed the tarp down inside and that was camp.

    The next moring finally came after getting about 2 hours sleep...I was so anxious. We went up the side of a hill that would allow us to look into the bowl. We imediately saw 3 sheep on the far side about 1 mile away. I was so afraid the 3 rams from the 8th had moved there. The scope quickly told us it was not them. While laying down we were trying to decide what to do...move up and maybe be spotted by the sheep far away. Stay and wait for them to move. After about 5 minutes, I said lets look over this edge and see whats there. We crept up maybe 20 yds to see 10 rams on the valley that sloped up to the mountain where the ram laid 2 days before. I looked through my rifle scope and started from the top and went to the bottom looking at each ram...no...no...no...no...I didnt see him. Crap! I started again..no...no...no...no I went and looked at all 10 again. I put the gun down and wondered what to do next. Then I looked at the ridge again to see another sheep I didnt see. I remeber saying out loud, Where did you come from? I looked thought the scope again...There you are! I pulled out the range finder, but it would not give a reading. the morning mist must have not allowed for a reading. I tried twice more. Nothing. I looked at my partner and asked him how far he thought. He said I belive some where over 300 yds. I thought the same thing. I held somewhere over his back....BOOM! SMACK! SMACK! The boom was from the rifle, the first smack was from the rifle scope hitting me and the next smack was from the bullet on the sheep. My buddy said hes hit. Laughing I said, So am I. I looked at him to show him my face and he laughed too. I shot a couple more times when I noticed the sheep was still standing but wobbling. I never hit him again. Once I got to my feet, I pulled the rangefider out again and it fially read. 484 yds. I know what is going through everyones mind, I read the post from the guy who shot at 600 yds. But HAD I missed, I still would have went to check for a sign of a hit. However, I got to see the ram lay down and expire. I even found the bullet inside him. I owe a special thanks to the guy who "guided" me the whole way.
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  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Absolutely awesome, man! Congratulations. I didn't know you were a sheep hunter. Was this your first? Either way, you obviously earned this one, battle scar and all. What was the age on the ram?

  3. #3
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    Smack? Ouch.....

    Good shot, regardless.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  4. #4

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    Congrats on the scope eye! Oh yea, nice ram too.

    Great write up, it sounds like you guys done good. I'd love to get out early one of these sheep seasons and do the scouting before the opener, but I went and got married on the 10th of August, so it'll be tough to squeeze water from that rock. Unfortunately the wife has no desire to go out in the field with me, so I'll have to find the sheep that you guys leave behind.

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Great story! Congrats on a hard won trophy.
    Regarding the scope eye, after shooting my 325 WSM off the bench a few times and taking note of how close the scpe came to my brow, I went and picked up a 270WSM for my mountain hunts.

  6. #6
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    Congrats on the scope eye! Oh yea, nice ram too.

    Great write up, it sounds like you guys done good. I'd love to get out early one of these sheep seasons and do the scouting before the opener, but I went and got married on the 10th of August, so it'll be tough to squeeze water from that rock. Unfortunately the wife has no desire to go out in the field with me, so I'll have to find the sheep that you guys leave behind.
    I got married on the 16th of October, opening day for whitetail, what the hell was I thinking. I asked my wife to remarry me on another day but she said I got lucky the first time and not to push my luck. Maybe it will work for you.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  7. #7
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Great story and hunt...made my mornin'.

    Wear that Weatherby eyebrow as a badge of honor and think of that w...i....d....e, gorgeous ram when you see that scar.

    Great job!

  8. #8

    Default Sheep hunter?

    No Brian, I would not consider myself a sheep hunter. In fact as you probably remember, I drew the tag for behind the Eagle River Visitors Ctr last year. I flew that area 3 X's looking for a ram. From Dishwater to Thunder Gorge we saw a ton of sheep, but the largest ram was one 3/4 curl that was by the glacier out of Thunder Gorge. I still hunted it and could have taken a ewe, but w/ hunting by myself I am not sure what I was willing to leave behind (equiptment) I simply could not carry it out myself.
    However I belive I am not as bad off as the out-of-stater that drew the permit too. I spoke w/ him and he hired guide Dan Montgomery, paid $11,000 to hunt there and he too returned w/ no ram.

    This time really SHOULDN'T have happened. There were sheep hunters back in the area and we saw a couple of planes flying the area but neither the hunters or the planes came out of the main drainage and you really couldnt see but the very top of the far mountain due to the other mountain in front of it. As far as the age, F & G said that he was 8 years old.

  9. #9
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Are you wearing BLUE JEANS?? Don't you know that any self respecting sheep hunter has to wear $250 Schoeller fabric pants? Just kidding. Nice job on your hunt.

  10. #10
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    '"souldn't have happened"??

    You were in the right place at the right time, with plenty of effort,

    Congrats !!

  11. #11

    Default Blue Jeans....

    Yes, that is a pair of old Levis that I am wearing. My buddy poked fun a few times. I carried the heavy MREs, wore blue jeans the majority of the time and used an empty 20 oz Diet Mt. Dew bottle to carry water in. I told him that his "sarcasm" was noted.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbrier View Post
    Yes, that is a pair of old Levis that I am wearing. My buddy poked fun a few times. I carried the heavy MREs, wore blue jeans the majority of the time and used an empty 20 oz Diet Mt. Dew bottle to carry water in. I told him that his "sarcasm" was noted.
    Nice! I won't wear jeans because they're so miserably uncomfortable when wet, but I like your style. My "hunting pants" are simply wind pants that cost me $10-20. My brother uses the Mt. Dew bottles as well for his water bottle. Spending less on gear always makes me smile where I can get away with it.

  13. #13
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    One tip on the mountain dew bottles...use the 1 liter wide mouth kind. They are easier to break ice out of on those cold mornings..

    Congrats, sounds like a great hunt and a great ending...

  14. #14

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    Congrats on a great sheep and nice touch not cleaning the scope eye too much before taking the pics! Consider it a well-earned badge of honor.

    Question - how steep is it in the pic shere you're holding the sheep? Camera makes it look flattish, but I'm sure THAT is an optical illusion.

    Nice job, and great story.

  15. #15
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Congratulations on getting a sheep this year, esp. after the disappointment last year.

  16. #16
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    Greenbrier gettin it done Old School. Where is your wool shirt? At least you could have taken an empty Gatoraide bottle! All kidding aside; congrats on a great sheep.
    Alpine

  17. #17

    Default Steepness......

    In looking at the picture it does seem like it is flat. However it wasnt straight up, but it definately was up!

  18. #18
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default My twist to the story...

    I was fortunate to have hunted with ole Greenbrier. We met here on the forum hoping to connect on a future hunt. He had asked if I wished to join him last year for he drew that tag in the Chugach. I was torn between another hunt with a "wishy washy" partner. As last years sheep season drew to a close, neither of us connected. We talked of the 2009 season for a moose hunt up north and eventually our 09 quest for sheep. I always opt for an early entry to the mountains not only to locate game, but to secure some real estate. We headed in early, located sheep and as mentioned, had to wait it out. Being the nice guy that I am, I offered Greenbrier first dibs on the shot. He had already found the ram he wanted, now I just had to find the other ram I knew was legal. As he located his ram, I had slipped back to grab the spotter so I could "count rings" on the only other ram with legal potential. I distinctly recall him saying I am gonna take him, I whispered "Hold on, let me get the spotter..." As I slipped back a few feet, BOOM! Back up I went w/o the spotter. He had hit that big flaired ram. I yelled "He's hit, hit him again" He complied. Here's where the laughter comes into play, you all saw it, the ole scope eye! As one said, battle scars. I did not locate "my ram" for the rest bunched up and headed to higher ground. All I knew was the work was about to begin. As we headed out, packs full and smiles abroad, we encoutered some hunters whom were heading up. I guess they changed their minds after seeing us loaded up .

    As for the heckling, yeah, I had some constructive criticism for Greenbrier. Mountain Dew bottles vs a hands free drinking system, Levis in lieu of a lightweight synthetics, yeah, he got bashed!

    Looking back at this hunt, it was sucessful any way you look at it. I may have not harvested a ram, but I gained something more valuable, a good friend and memories that will last forever. So, here's to you hunting partner, Congrads again on that fine (and tasty) ram! Looking forward to doing it again!
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

  19. #19
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Since these seems to be the question of the 2009 sheep season - Where did you have your ram sealed and what did he end up at in terms of age and horn length?

  20. #20

    Default Horn criteria

    I had it sealed at F&G on Raspberry rd in Anchorage. They told me he was 8 yrs and if I remember right he was 35" and something for the length.

    I took him initally to Knights Taxidermy but one of the guys who was there said while they do great work, I should take it to Joe Romero @ Aurora Wildlife Arts. He said when I walk in and see the mounts he does I would understand why he suggested him. When I did go there, I knew I wanted him to mount it. He was several $$$ more, but after seeing his work I knew that I wanted him to do it. He also told me that the first 5 sheep brought in would be done by Christmas and that I was the first for the season.

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