Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Thread: 2009 DCUA sheep and moose hunt

  1. #1

    Default 2009 DCUA sheep and moose hunt

    I'll try and keep this short and simple and post pictures in the photo thread tomorrow.

    My hunt started on the 28th of August and I was lucky enough to have my wife come along with me to help me find a nice legal ram for the freezer. We rode into our hunting area actually on the 29th since we got a late start on the 28th and ended up staying the night in Delta Junction.

    It was about a 45 minute ride by wheeler to our base camp, the "Taj". After arriving in camp we unloaded the wheelers and start making plans for an early afternoon hunt when we heard some wolves howling on a distant ridge behind camp. I glassed the ridgeline and found 7 wolves playing and howling. I howled back and got an instant response with all 7 sitting n their behinds and howling into the sky, what an incredible sight. After a few hours they trotted down the hill right inline with camp so I told the wife to grab her rifle and get ready for some action. I positioned her about 75 yards down from camp and I took up a position on the other side. An hour later and nothing, then a small bull and cow moose come running out of the trees and across the riverbed yet still now sighting of the woves.


    The next few days are spent hiking up different drainages looking for a legal ram but all we can find are sublegals and tons of ewes and lambs.
    An old friend rides into camp on Sunday and upon greeting him I catch something moving on the distant hill behind camp, it's a nice fat dark grizz but he's too far away for a stalk so we watch him walk into the brush and never see him again.

    Not much else for excitement for the next few days other than spotting lots of small rams, ewes and lambs. Wednesday rolls around and the wife decides she's going to take a personal day and stay in camp and take a nice hot shower.......yes, we built a battery/propane powered shower and it was NICE!!! Anyhow, my friend rides off to go look for a moose and I ride the big hill up from camp to look for more sheep. The wind is HOWLING so hard I can hardly see through the spotter so I decide to bag it and head back to camp. As i'm riding the wheeler towards camp I see my give the spike/fork signal and point across the drainage. Cool, sounds like Greg got him a moose.

    I ride across but take the wrong trail and ride around a bit before I finally find him. He's got the wheeler and his trailer standing by and is working on a nice fat forked horn bull. We spend the next couple of hours cutting him up then head back to camp, hang the meat and kick back to a nice fire and a cold beer. Whoever said this sheep hunting thing is tough must be doing something wrong! OK, that was a joke.......

    We spend the next couple of days looking for a legal ram and in one particular drainage, we think we have found him. He's about 1500 feet above us and is looking good. He is one of the widest and heavier rams I have ever seen but not full curl. I debate on getting closer but we eventually decide to press on towards the glacier. Once we get there we find the valley full of sheep, 1 small ram and 23 ewes and lambs. We take pictures and spend some time glassing distant rock faces looking for a hidden ram to no avail so we load up and head back to the wheelers. As we head back we spot the wide horned ram again and he's looking better every minute. Everyone's tired from the hike to the glacier but I want to get closer but eventually decide that he's not full curl.

    Friday rolls around and it's time to pack up gear for the ride out on Saturday when 3 more hunters roll into camp, one being a friend i've known since about '94. We spend the rest of the afternoon reminiscing and enjoying each others company. Staurday morning arrives and we say goodbye and head for home. On the drive home I cannot stop thinking about that wide horned ram. I try and convince myself that with horns that big, he has to be at least 8 if not older.

    Once I get home I start making phone calls to get another week off from work. I get the green light and Make plans to leave that Monday morning as it's a long drive to the trailhead. The wife wishes me good luck with a huge hug and kiss and I'm off for another week of chasing sheep.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Is there a part #2? The first report was great - thanks for sharing! Sounds like a wonderful time afield with your wife and friend.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    58

    Default More?

    And what happened next?

  4. #4

    Default Week 2

    I arrive at the trailhead and i'm off like a herd of turtles with my meat trailer in tow. I get half way in and here comes my friends, they are leaving for home except for my old buddy, with another spike fork added to the pile of meat and gear.

    We head back down to the "Taj" and make plans for the coming days hunt. The following morning I am up early and glassing for sheep but I decide to head back up that same drainage to try and find Mr Widehorn. Once again I see several small rams and lots and lots of ewes and lambs but nothing worthy of a stalk so I go back to camp feeling a little dejected. My bud arrives in camp shortly after I do, we eat dinner, have a cold 7Up and Crown and hit the hay.

    Wednesday arrives and I've decided it's time to put some miles on my boots so I cruise across the drainage and across the ridge as far as I can go, park the wheeler, load my pack with enough stuff for the day and I'm off once again. Almost immediately I start seeing sheep but still, nothing legal. I eventually find 2 rams that we had spotted the night before from camp but quickly surmise that neither are legal, though one is close. I creep along the ridgeline glassing distant mountains when I spot 2 tiny white spots high in the crags about 3/4 of mile from my location, I glass them as they are beeded, when they decide to getup and start feeding downhill. I spend the next 3 hours hiking down the ridge across the creek and back up the other side. Man am I tired and I wonder if i'm going to make it to the top but push myself knowing that there could be legal rams not to far off. Once I arrive at the top I am having trouble locating the rams, that's because they switched gears on me and decide to start feeding up the granite rock fortress. Bummed out about what just happened I decided it's time to start heading back to camp. The next few hours I see probably close to 75 or more sheep but nothing legal. I also spot 2 fairly large moose in mock combat but my mind is on other things.

    I arrive back in camp to find my friend sitting there drinking a cold 7Up and Crown with a **** eating grin on his face. Oh boy, he killed a moose is what i'm thinking and sure enough he did. So i change into my other boots and we head off to clean up his moose and get it back to camp. We arrive in camp about 11:30 that night with a beautiful 54" bull moose but we are way to tired to hang it so we have a quick drink of water and we're off to bed.

    The following morning I get up early enough to get my buds moose hung up using the wheeler and straps and make short work of it. I hop on the wheeler and off I go to my favorite drainage with the widehorned ram and just before I make the turn to head in, I spot 2 sheep on a ridge closer than I had planned on hunting. I quickly throw up the spotter and see that they are rams and one might be good. I haul butt down the riverbed and try to find the rams but with no luck. So as i'm looking to find a place where I can start climbing I notice something out of place about 100 yards up from the creekbed........ it's the rams and they've got me busted. So up the hill they go and I can't get a good look at them as they are weaving in and out of the rocks. 30 minutes later I am 500 yards up the hill and watching the rams walk away and into a deep gorge. I walk past a small band of ewes and lambs and head in the rams direction. After 30 minutes of hiking I arrive to where I had last spotted the 2 rams so I slowly creep down to where I think they might be and voila! There they are, not 200 yards below bedded on a ledge. I drop my gear and reach for my spotter, thinking that this is the perfect chance to try and see if I can count rings. I unzip the side pocket on my pack and crap, no spotter, I dig through the rest of the pack to only come up empty. I spend the next hour rehydrating and putting much needed calories into my body and watching the rams.

    Finally i've had enough and decide to try and get closer. I crawl down the ridgeline and get within 30 yards of both rams but still cannot determine if the one is legal. I snap some pictures and try to range them with Leica 900CRF but it won't give me any readings. As i'm putting it away I hear rocks crashing into the gorge only to see that the rams have vanished. As I glass the upper part of the gorge I finally spot them walking up and across then they stop about 300 yards away, perfectly in line for me to get a look with the binos. Dang, neither are legal but the once is really nice and heavy. Oh well, looks like I wasted a lot of time watching 2 sublegal rams but at least I got a good look at them.

    I climb to the top of the mountain to see what's on the other side but only find sheep way off in the distance and it's getting late so I head back down to the creekbed where the wheeler is parked. As I'm walking back towards the saddle where I came up I slip on a huge flat rock and my rifle goes flying from my hands and crashes to the ground. Awesome, what else can go wrong??? Little did I know what I was in for......... I try and take a short cut down the mountain but end up in the worst alder jungle you can imagine and it's a long way to the bottom. I spend the next hour and 45 minutes fighting that crap and end up losing my sunglasses and getting a few more scratches but make it out alive.

    I head back to camp dejected and wondering what the heck am I doing here. I get back to camp and my bud has dinner on the stove, bbq pork ribs, fried taters and onions and an ice cold Coors Lite. Things are looking up already!! I also had to resight my rifle as it was htting about 4 inches higher than before, it took 4 rounds to do it which left me with 9 for the hunt. I only need 1 right??

    It's Friday and i've got one more day to find a ram. I head back into the drainage where I had seen the wide horned ram but this time, I only make it about a mile from the wheeler when I notice 2 rams are watching my every move. So I walk across the creek and get out of their sight but in a position where I can still see them. I get the spotter on them and FINALLY, a legal ram but they are climbing up and to my left putting some distance between me and them. They finally bed down and I plan my stalk, I'm going to walk back down the creekbed and go up a little draw where they cannot see me, i'll creep into range and shoot the legal ram in his bed. Unfortunately things didn't go according to plan. As I climbed up the hill to get above them I discovered that I had actually climbed too high and I was exposed but not yet spotted by them. Now i'm frozen and cannot move as they are looking in my direction. I watch them for close to 10 minutes, then they get up and start walking towards the direction of the glacier but still much lower than me.

    I was about to give up when I came up with another game plan, I would go back down the draw and back up to my orginal postion when I first spotted the rams. Once there, I could see the rams standing on a hill above a deep landslide but they are getting jittery and they start to climb up. This is it, my last chance at this ram. I estimate their range to be about 225 yards and hold my sights where his neck meets his shoulder, he stops and I squeeze of a round. I see they start to run but he stumbles and I can see him fall into the brush. I watch for a few more seconds and he finally lays his head down for good. I cannot believe what has just happened, after almost 2 solid weeks of looking for a ram I have finally found him and put him down. I had dropped my pack about 300 yards from where I made the shot so I retrieve it and head up to my ram.

    Once I get to him I am on cloud nine but a little shocked at the damage my bullet had done to him. The entry wound was about the size of a ping pong ball and there was blood everywhere, including all over his face and neck. That had to be the most devistating wound I have ever seen. I snap just a couple of photos and quickly get to work as it is starting to get late. I get him loaded into my pack, grab my rifle and head back to the wheeler. Man is this pack heavy and too add to everything, I spot a big grizzly working his way up a mountain on my righ hand side. I hope he doesn't see me and decide to investigate but I quickly put some distance between him and I. I get back to the wheeler and load everything up and head back to camp. My sheep hunt has finally come to a close.

    When I get back to camp there is nobody there to celebrate it with me so I hang the meat and pop a cold beer. My friends arrive back into camp and I show them my ram, they congratulate me and shake my hand but I can see that there's something on my 1 friends mind. He walks over to my ram, picks it up and says "As far as i'm concerned, this ram is full curl but F&G may not see it that way". He proceeds to tell me about the sealing process and how they measure using a piece of pvc tube. Talk about a huge letdown, now I'm worried that I may have actually shot a sublegal ram. This weighs heavily on my mind for the next 2 days as we look for some legal bull moose.

    Sunday rolls around and it's time to start thinking about going home and get my ram sealed. I get up, get dressed and walk outside. I grab my binos and figure what the heck, you just never know. I glass across the creekbed and I spot a fairly large white spot that I hadn't seen before. I grab the spotter and it turns out to be a bull and a good looking one at that so I jump on the wheeler and head in his direction. 25 minutes later I am on foot and trying to locate the bull when I spot a cow not 100 yards from me. I watch her for a bit and suddenly see some white behind her. It's the bull and he does look good. I glass him but cannot see enough to determine him legal or not. So I follow them in and out of the trees and bushes to where I can finally see his antlers. OK, 3 points on his left brow and 4 on his right, he is most definitley legal. I've got what I think is a clear shot but something didn't look right so I hold off but keep my eye on him through the scope. Good thing I waited because it turns out that the cow had moved right next to him and it was her body that I was looking at and not the bulls. The cow finally moves out of the way but the bull has bedded down in the brush and all I can see is antlers and I cannot get any closer without them hearing me. So I wait, 5, 10, 15 minutes when he gets up and starts to walk to my right, he steps into a small opening in the trees, I grunt, he stops and I put a 150 gr Nosler Partition into his chest, barely missing his heart but destroying his aorta. He swings around and stumbles, crashes over a small tree and is down. I walk around him and put in a finishing shot so he doesn't suffer and my moose hunt is over. He measured 47"s and will be some good eating for the next year.

    This hunt was filled with all sorts of highs and lows but the one greatest high that came out of it was when I took my ram to F&G today and they said he was a legal full curl ram and congratulated me.


    P.S. So much for not being long winded..........

  5. #5
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    Awesome write up, sounds like a great hunt overall. Congrats!

    I'll bet your pretty glad you headed back out!!

    Look forward to the pics.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Fantastic!!! Man, you had me worried for a while there. I love the hunt reports that take you along for the ride and let you experience the ups and downs of the hunt. Yours sounds like it was a great one! I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures when you get a chance. Congratulations on your (first?) sheep and on filling the freezer.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    58

    Default Good job!

    Way to go 45!!!

  8. #8

    Default

    This is ram # 2 for me and we're having fresh sheep tenderloins for dinner. It's been a long time coming.

  9. #9

    Default Thanks for sharing

    the great story! You certainly put the time in and looked at a ton of country and sheep! Glad you got some great eating in the freezer! Good luck on the goat!

  10. #10
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Dang it...........what's with this doing everything right? No 400 yd running shots. Making sure your animals are legal? Geesh, your ruining it for everyone!!!! On top of that, you had a way better hunting season than me! Some guys have all the luck. Where's the pics?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  11. #11
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska/Idaho
    Posts
    2,162

    Default

    Way to go, J!

    Great story and hunt!

  12. #12

    Default

    Awesome, I love experiencing things like that whether in person or vicariously ! Thanks for the write up.

  13. #13
    Member MTBrownBearHunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Congrats and thanks for the great write-up! Glad everything worked out as far as the sealing goes, I'm sure that was a little tense for you.

    Sounds like you put in the time and effort necessary, job well done and I really enjoyed the play by play.

  14. #14
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    John, great write-up, congrats on both the sheep and moose, you certainly put the time and effort into the hunt.

    Glad the scope didn't get knocked off zero, had that happen once when I took a bad fall and rifle came off my shoulder, thought to sight it in afterward just to make sure and was glad I did cuz it was several inches off. Looking fwd to the pics, thanks for the write-up,

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Congratulations. Persistence did pay off. Way to stay with it.

  16. #16

    Default

    Appreciate the kudos guys, I busted my hump on this hunt and having fresh moose and sheep meat this year was worth all the effort.

    Here's a picture of my wife/hunting partner catching some rays....Alaskan style!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17

    Default

    One of several drainages I traveled trying to find a ram.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18

    Default

    Here's a picture of those rams I snuck up on, the first one was taken at about 200 yards and the second at 30 yards.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19

    Default

    Some folks might be offended by all the blood but it was part of the hunt the only pic that was worth showing of my ram.

    And keep in mind that this ram HAS BEEN SEALED BY F&G and is perfectly legal.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20

    Default

    Last but not least, a pretty decent photo of my moose, just before we cut him up for the ride out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •