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Thread: Double Dunker Dall Opener!

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    Default Double Dunker Dall Opener!

    Great hunt for me and my buddy! Read on! Tastes great by the way!

    The day before the season opener we set out hiking with full packs and strong legs, sun beating down on us and bugs biting our skin. The temp was hovering in the upper 60’s I’d guess. Carrying 3 liters of water each, we guzzled and climbed, higher and higher in hopes of spotting a legal ram or two before dark so that we could stalk and shoot first thing in the morning. Not seeing sheep was not too disappointing because we scouted this area a month ago and saw some nice, legal rams up in the cliffs that we were clawing our bodies and packs towards.

    We did, however, find some incredible caribou antler sheds and couldn’t resist taking a few pics. Finally from “Caribou point” we spotted our first dall sheep – a ewe, then another, then another. We were finally in sheep country.

    Must get higher… After sucking crystal clear water out of the mountain with our lips, we loaded up again and kept gaining elevation, stopping at every spring and brook trickling out of the drainages to hydrate. I remember taking note with Yogi that we’ve only pee’ed once since the start….must drink more.

    Yogi couldn’t help but stop at every blueberry patch to load up on Mother Nature’s bounty, which turned out to be catchy, because I found myself stopping to eat the little goodies…..(not sure if I was stopping to rest, or to grab berries, but I wouldn’t admit the need to rest to my sheep partner who has 5 years on me and is ripped like Arnold the Terminator.

    We finally made camp for the first night on a soft tundra bed, spotting only 1 ram that caught our interest. Waking up at 0700 with the sun beating down on my oven/tent I got up and stretched…..first day of sheep season!!!!!! After a quick glance at the mountain, I spotted a whole band of sheep about 2 miles away on the other side of the valley, near the summit. Above that band were 2 heavy horned sheep! With the swaro spotter out, I yelled at Yogi to see what I was seeing and we confirmed that there was 1 super dandy ram and another legal with him. Those sheep were going to be harvested before nightfall, we kept telling ourselves.

    Our stalk was difficult. Everyway, the sheep would see us, except for one way….the hard way. We decided to play it safe and descend the mountain that we painfully climbed the day prior, stalk up the running creek bed, and climb up again to the top. There we would walk undetected above the sheep and in a mile or so, find the rams and let our rifles roar.

    We made a time strategy schedule and lauded ourselves for beating our own expectations (the time tables we set for ourselves could have been beat by a medically retired one legged wheel-chaired science monkey, I think). Still, we were ahead of schedule and feeling good.

    Once we climbed up ¼ of the mountain, we found a spot to make camp, lighten up, and prepare for a butt-kicking ascent. I told Yogi that I had spotted a broken horned ram up in the valley ahead of us and if he is still there, I wanted him. With that plan, Yogi agreed that he would then go after the big-boy we saw after I killed the broken horn.

    When we neared the top, there were dall sheep everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Band here, band there, all ewes and lambs. Yogi was glassing a bunch of sheep and I decided to go 5 minutes more up and peek over the other side when all of a sudden, I came around the corner and came face to face with 4 resting rams about 100 yards away. They looked at me amazed and surprised. None of them got up! I quickly ducked behind some rocks, took my scope cover off, chambered a round in my .270 WSM Sako and army-guy low crawled to a pile of rocks to get a better look. I peered over the rock and all of the rams were looking at me like I looked at substitute teachers in 3rd grade, “Who the heck are you and what are you doing up here?”

    I picked out a monster ram, clearly the oldest, heaviest, but not full curl, not broken horned. The next in line was a younger ram with a full curl. The other two were legal next year. The rams got tired of me looking at them and stood up. I took the safety off and fired a round into the full curl young one. 3 rams took off, mine stood still, not moving a muscle.

    Seeing that he was less than 5 yards from a 700-800 foot cliff, I fired another round into the same hole, still no movement. I chambered my last round and fired it (all 3 shots in a group about 2 inches or so behind the shoulder). That one did it and he fell towards the cliff. I held my breath and he quickly expired. Just then, I saw Yogi running up behind me saying did you get one? I nodded yep. He smiled huge.

    We walked up to my ram and I put my hands on him, Yogi was getting his bino’s out as there were sheep everywhere. He was one step ahead of me… I saw 4 rams making their way down the avalanche chute and told Yogi that I see a big ram. He grabbed Mr. Blastie .270 Winchester and laid down in sheep poop prone lining up the cross-hairs. “How far”, he asked. “About 300”, I said. He said, get the spotter, I turned around and heard BOOM! I glanced over my shoulder and saw the largest ram taking a tumble. NICE SHOT YOGI!

    The other 3 rams would not leave the monarch alone…they would not leave him. They stayed there watching their leader sit in the rocks. Yogi snuck around the cliffs and placed another shot fatally into the ram and he tumbled and tumbled down the chute going from white to reddish-white to red. I had my spotter on the ram and noticed that one horn was broomed/broken and the other was full curl and the ram was ancient! Nice ram! Yogi had trouble talking as some tears were starting to run…. He still had smooshed up sheep poop all over him, too, I noticed. Glad I had my own tent to sleep in.

    We gutted my ram, descended to his ram, boned it out, packed it up, and clawed our way to the top, happened to bump more legal rams about 100 yards from us, where we started caping and cleaning mine. With full packs about 110 lbs each, we started down to camp about 2100 hrs. Arriving to the steepest part, we knew that walking down it was impossible.

    I thought about rolling my pack down the mountain like Yogi’s sheep rolled down the cliff, but thoughts of a disintegrating frame kept me from doing that. Yogi tried a controlled drag down the mountain and his brilliant idea worked! We effortlessly lead our packs down to the tents over the slick tundra. Bed felt good.

    A heavy load out of meat and gear to the trucks the next day took twice as long as we estimated. At the trucks I loaded up on Rockstar and Nitrous energy drink, Yogi probably had something healthy like water and Gatorade, we ate jerky and took a snoozer. Knowing we had to go back up that creek bed we agonizingly started on our way, light in humor and cheer but heavy in the legs and lower back, we barely made it back to the camp by dark. Bed felt good, again.

    We woke up the next morning, finished some prep work on our capes, cooked up some sheep meat (fabulous, by the way! --- Thanks Yogi for bringing the McCormicks BBQ seasoning), and loaded up for the final out.

    The company was exceptional, the hunt was perfect, our bodies held up, Yogi’s better than mine, and neither of us would trade the experience for anything. Thoughts and plans for next year’s sheep hunt, stimulated by the 5 or 6 other legal full curls we saw, have a very real chance at realizing.

    The sealing process was just fine, the sheep are at the best taxidermist in Alaska, and the meat is in the freezer. I, we love AK! Enjoy the pix!

    In case anyone was wondering where we were hunting and saw all of these full curl rams with no one in sight, we were in a North-South position, paralleling the East West border of the river that flows up into the park that exists on the flats, between the inverted mountains with the rock on top, around the corner up on the shelf, quem ‘e a sua madre, soltei un peido! J Next year I’m packing a sling shot for ground squirrels…long story….too long for this posting.
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  2. #2
    Member 454casull's Avatar
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    Congrats guys. Nice write up.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Awesome pics and story!!! Stuck sitting this one out and stories like these are the next best thing to being out there myself!!

  4. #4
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Good job. Your portrait of labor and challenge was superb. Sounds like you found ram Disneyland.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    freaking awesome guys! way to go.. .love the write up on it!!!!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Yes and yes! Thanks for sharing and congrats.

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    right on thats awsome

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    Congratulations - way to go!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Right on..I've been waiting for the sheep reports to start pouring in, and you contributed with possibly the best one we'll see this year! Congratulations to the two of you, that is a hunt of a lifetime right there. And hey, if you want a sherpa one of these years, you just let me know. I'll even keep my eyes closed as we drive to the place.

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I think the list of sherpa volunteers would be long for a trip to "Dall Disney"!!

    Yeah, Brian's eyes would be closed tight and that new "Spot" would certainly have it's tracking feature quietly running in his pack lid...

  11. #11
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Very well done - Kudos to you both!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Awesome! You guys are more man than I am. That mountain stuff is for the birds (and sheep).
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Very Nice Job, the hunt, the story, the Whole Deal, Thanks for posting that

    Now,..... when you were between the inverted mountains, you know the ones with the rock on top, did you go left or right around that next corner................? I'm pretty sure I recognize that rock in the pic......

    Nah, You guys are Way Badder than I am,

    Well Done, Again, creating a Story of a lifetime
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  14. #14

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    Awesome hunt. Awesome well written story that is colorful enough to be sent into a hunting mag I am sure if desired. Thanks for sharing!!! You guys busted your butts and it paid off 10 fold. A couple of tough hombres no doubt. Well deserved rams. Thanks again fro the pics and story.

  15. #15

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    Congrats! Gotta love it when it all comes together like that. Sounds like you found a sweet spot to go back to next year, or was this a drawing area?

  16. #16
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Cast&Blast,

    I have to say it. I am so proud of you and your hunt this year!!! I've been waiting in anticipation specifically for your successful sheep hunting report to be posted. You yourself said what it was going to be and it sure ending up being such a good experience for you! You did it!

    Your picture on the right is breath taking! I could not even imagine climbing down that mountain with sheep meat, cape, and horns on my back and the thought of a .270 WSM after affects always takes me a moment to recuperate and yes, thank goodness for McCormicks! You can never leave for a sheep hunt without it!

    Lots of great memories came flooding back on your trip report.

    Thanks for posting it. I'll be looking forward to your next trip report.

    COtoAK
    Lurker.

  17. #17
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story and pics, congrats to you both!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    Congrats! was this a drawing area?
    Harvest area.

    Fricking Air Force is making me move after 6 years here... Won't be hunting it next year. I leave in a month, going to Texas-hell. I plan on returning ASAP! Set up a Commission Corp job here in AK (had 3 jobs lined up) then Mr. Obama-rama saw that there were too many officers in the corp and convinced congress to cut all new hires.....screwed me in the cornhole. Gotta move. Yep, the spot is fantastic, a good little find! I'm jealous of all you who get to stay, live here, and live the dream. I can think of no better way to raise my kids than stayinig up here. bummer....

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast&Blast View Post
    Won't be hunting it next year.
    Well, I'll tell you what...Just send me the GPS coordinates and I'll be sure to sit there each year in mid August to protect this little gem from any and all intruders. As a bonus, if you act fast I'll throw in my overpopulation protection services free of charge. We wouldn't want the population of rams to overgraze the mountains, so I'll make sure it comes down by a notch each fall until your return.

    In all seriousness, I'm sorry to hear that you have to leave. May the years until your return pass quickly, and may you be blessed enough to come back to find your spot still productive and ready to make more memories. Thanks again for sharing your success with us.

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Let me know if you need someone to watch your spot for you while you are gone. I wouldn't want to see it get overpopulated and the sheep over graze their habitat then you would come home to nothing!! Shoot me a PM with the details and any special gear recommendations for climbing upside down mountains!!

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