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Thread: Sheep Size and Weight of Pack

  1. #1
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    Default Sheep Size and Weight of Pack

    On another hunting thread, "Sheep Necessities" one post mentions the weight of his boned out sheep and pack at 92 pounds. At the other end of the scale another post claims a boned out sheep and cape weighed about 120 pounds. On yet another sheep hunting thread a guy weighed all the components of an unboned sheep and came up with 75 pounds. All this leads me to want to do a survey, so here goes.

    Please indicate whether you have actually weighed (W) or are estimating (E) weights of your sheep, pack, or both. For sheep indicate if boned, quartered, and weight of horns or cape if you have. If walk-in hunt what was your total pack weight coming out. This should be both interesting and informative.

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Actual weighed pack going in for 10 to 14 day sheep hunt averages 60 to 75 lbs. - with est'd food weight at 10 to 15 lbs. I have never weighed pack coming out except once when was 105 lbs (mostly because of mid-hunt air drop). As the years have gone by and light weight equipment has become more readily available (and I have become a little smarter) my initial pack weight has dropped accordingly. The weight of one's pack coming out is highly variable depending on amt of meat harvested and/or eaten in the field, and size of ram.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I've weighed the bone in quarters, backstraps, and neck meat of five rams that I've taken to meat processors and all have come in between 75 and 80 pounds. These were rams ranging in size from barely legal to old bruisers. I would like to find one of these heavy bodied rams that I hear about, but all that I have been involved with were about the size of nice Sitka blacktail bucks on Kodiak.

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    I checked in 82 lbs of boned out meat to the meat locker. Not counting horns or cape. And that was a smaller sheep. If you are in the field longer with a couple of guys hopefully you could eat your way to a lighter load!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  5. #5

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    Five of the rams we weighted (easter Brooks Range) were from 200 to 220 "live" weight; hanging weights close to 100 each and boned all about 80.
    Hanging weights were about 50 percent of the "live" weights and boned weights 80 percent of the hanging weights.
    Eighty pounds of boned meat from a mature ram (at least in the Brooks Range) is a good "ball park" figure for estimating how much meat will have to be transported. Certainly important information for making the decision of "where, when, and how much" can be harvested.
    These sheep were weighted in their entirety, including entails. All were mature, full curl plus rams.
    Also have a break down of percentages by quarters, ribs and neck, etc.
    Good Luck
    Joe (Ak)

    (I was very surprised at just how close the weights were to mature bucks on the south end of Kodiak, though certainly would never have "guessed" so by just looking at them)

    Would be interesting to know from what Ranges the other weights were obtained.

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    Good info Joe, thats in line with what I always thought.

    I used to guide sheep hunters full time, never weighed a pack then all I know is I NEVER made 2 trips. The Ram would come to camp in one load, most times bone in. Of course my pack was pretty much empty during the day.

    Last fall I went on a solo sheep hunt and killed a very small ram, (just legal) I brought out every scrap of meat the horns and my camp in one load. I did weigh my pack and it was 92 lbs. The only bone I had was the horns and brisket (my wife would kill me if the brisket bone was left!) no cape. I wish I would have weighed my pack before I left but didnt. I travel lighter than most so to me Joes estimates sound very real.

    If you are sheep hunting solo for the first time I would highly recomend putting 90 lbs in your pack and walk around some it will give you an idea of what to expect. We each have our own limits, mine is now less than 90 lbs a guy like Northway it could be well in excess of 100.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Solo hunt....47 lb, 11 oz. going into spike camp with rifle.........coming back to base camp with sheep meat/horns and cape ....118 lbs.

  8. #8

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    Never had to weigh one as they were all heavy! Heaviest pack I ever had on was 225# of moose. That was weighed. Had to carry it over a mile. I would guess sheep packs have always been around the 120# mark.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    I've weighed the bone in quarters, backstraps, and neck meat of five rams that I've taken to meat processors [COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)]and all have come in between 75 and 80 pounds.[/COLOR] These were rams ranging in size from barely legal to old bruisers. I would like to find one of these heavy bodied rams that I hear about, but all that I have been involved with were about the size of nice Sitka blacktail bucks on Kodiak.
    Yep....... +1
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    Id say the ram I packed out last year was in the 120# range. It was heavier than my weighed 100 lb pack full of gear.

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    Default Sheep Weights

    Thanks for the feedback guys. My own experience would be most consistent with the reports from Chisana and wantj43. Joe, did you do this work for F&G or in conjunction with a university study? Pretty good info.

    I have been 18 sheep hunts and been involved in taking 21 rams (10 my own, 11 hunting partners). Ten of these hunts were walk in hunts where we always tried to get our packs going in to weigh under 50 pounds, usually 45. Except on one occassion my partners and I made it out in one trip, sometimes with one ram, sometimes two. All sheep were boned out for the walk-in hunts and believe me we did the best job possible in salvaging the sheep meat which I consider No.1 for tablefare amoungst Alaska's big game. I can't imagine anyone, especially an Alaskan resident, not making the effort to salvage all of his or her's hard earned meat. I have seen it happen once, but with a non-resident trophy hunter.

    I got off the track. Packing out with a ram per hunter for me required the assist of a pack dog or a game cart, sometimes both. I only weighed-in once on the return and just the boned out sheep meat; so the following are estimates of an average trip packing out based on my experience.

    Pack and camp--35#; sheep meat-- 70#; horns and cape--20#; rifle, shells, knife etc--10 pounds. Total estimate is 135# coming out. In an average situation I am allowing for 5-7 pounds of sheep meat eaten in camp or lost from blood-shot. On the high end, with a big ram, we might have had 150# coming out. Now, not being a super packer, like some guys I know, I had the assistance of a pack dog carrying about 35# and in some cases a game cart for the hole load after a shuttle to a suitable trail.

    That is my experience and I appreciate hearing from others.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lure View Post
    "... Joe, did you do this work for F&G or in conjunction with a university study? Pretty good info..."
    Joe,
    We took the weights for our own information. Though the information was put in the form of a "short report" and provided to enforcement and several agencies.
    The percentages, by front quarter, hindquarter, etc. were very consistant with information published by the department of agriculture, in the early fifties, for farm produced animals like pigs and beef.
    I initially weighed the sheep and deer because of the importance of the information in making the decision as to whether an animal should be harvested depending on time remaining on the hunt and distance from the "pickup" point.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Default Sheep Weights

    wantj43 provided some great information on Brooks Range sheep. There must be some information from other ranges in Alaska. Seems like ADF&G sheep biologists like Dave Harkness, Wayne Heimer, or Lyman Nichols would have been involved in studies of Dall Sheep weights. Does anyone have access to work of this nature or can ask Wayne or Lyman for references? (Dave passed away)

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Talked to this certain person the other day, whose hunted dall sheep, and he says he seen 300-plus pound sheep.....I say he's on crack!.....if there is , I wanna see some pics. ..........I guess it could be possible, I have seen some sheep with big necks, and big other stuff....but never 300 pounder.

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    Kawahawi - pm send
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lure View Post
    wantj43 provided some great information on Brooks Range sheep. There must be some information from other ranges in Alaska. Seems like ADF&G sheep biologists like Dave Harkness, Wayne Heimer, or Lyman Nichols would have been involved in studies of Dall Sheep weights. Does anyone have access to work of this nature or can ask Wayne or Lyman for references? (Dave passed away)
    Maybe some of the guides (or other sheep hunters) in the other ranges also have weighed animals. The one posting refers to 300# animals. Will be interesting to find out if they were actually weighed. All too often estimates are really guesses - kind of like some of those "1800" pound - 12 foot brown bears.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Indeed, dall sheep can be full curl and yet very small in size.

    We hunt Preserve land that is often infested with park service bureaucrats so we photo all of our boned meat on-site, photo the gutpiles. and GPS our kill site to keep things real.

    I once met a ranger as I approached my truck at trail's end after a long, hike-in, successful sheep hunt.
    He complemented my nice fullcurl ram and then lifted my game bag and second guessed me for no other reason that "it didn't feel heavy enough". I respectfully told him he didn't know what the heck he was talking about and quickly showed him all of the aforementioned pics and even produced the heart and liver from the game bag.
    He shook his head and went his way.

    Keep it real and document your hunt, it takes a few extra seconds for peace of mind!
    Proud to be an American!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Your a nicer man than me. I would have told him the same thing I told the trooper that questioned the length of my headless fish as I packed up to head back to the truck. W/ a smile I pointed at the rather deep creek and said the heads are in there, I'll be happy to wait while you retrieve them so we can remeasure.

    I would have just smiled, given him the GPS coordinates from my harvest card and told him I look forward to discussing it w/ him after he gets done checking out the kill site.

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    Just found a table of approximate weights of Alaska Big Game Species on page 30 of the 2010-2011 Hunting Reg Book. Here is what they list for Dall Sheep: live adult weight--230#; carcass weight--138#; boned-out carcass--79#. These are refered to as maximum weights and appear to be consistent with most of the posts below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lure View Post
    Just found a table of approximate weights of Alaska Big Game Species on page 30 of the 2010-2011 Hunting Reg Book. Here is what they list for Dall Sheep: live adult weight--230#; carcass weight--138#; boned-out carcass--79#. These are refered to as maximum weights and appear to be consistent with most of the posts below.
    Don't forget to add about 30 to 40 lbs for the cape and horns.

    Steve

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