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Thread: Shanked by the weather Sheep Hunt

  1. #1
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Shanked by the weather Sheep Hunt

    Just got back from our sheep hunt today (Sunday), and ended up not getting a sheep...the main objective was for my son to get one, and it all started from day one, we were supposed to fly out on the 6th and didn't get out until the 13th due to heavy fog, we started hiking that day and started hunting the 14th, and on that day we saw about 20 or so rams, and what was disappointing was only one was barely legal.....we passed on it. We glassed the whole basin, and spotted two grizzlies ( season opens on 1 Sept), one which was really good size I would guess 7 1/2 to 8 foot the other smaller one about a mile apart was smaller....we were working our way into an area a few miles up where I figured the bigger sheep would be in the crags and cliffs but was hesitant about taking my boy up there, so as we got higher in elevation after dropping over the ridge, I started glassing with the spotter, sure enough there were two up there maybe more, but the wind was picking up so strong I couldn't get the tripod to stay still, but the indication of dark heavy horns coming out of there skulls told me these were the ones, so we dropped down into another creek drainage and started the trek we then camped for it was late and we were exhausted, the next day the temperature dropped and fog was coming in, so we moved on up, as we were working our way it started to rain heavily we hunkered down behind some rocks because the wind was picking up, we made it to the top and I set up the Hilly, then it started sleeting in heavy winds, we got some food and hunkered in the tent, the winds picked up so strong it broke both poles on the tent, the winds were about probably 70 mph, I had the heavy rocks on the stakes and the tent was tearing , then the heavy snow came with the wind...I thought for sure we are going to call for Rescue service, we rode it out for the rest of the night and most of the next day, we could not even go outside the tent, thats how bad it was, when it finally stopped snowing the tent was almost buried. I had to go out to move the snow away from the tent because the tent became a two man bivy....we ended up staying in there for 4 days, because the visibility was sooo bad, we couldn't see a hundred feet, It was too dangerous to walk around because we were near steep slopes and one of us could end up going all the way down, we were at 5700 feet. when the winds died down we came down very slowly and carefully, we had a few scares but we made it to the creek where it was safe to finally walk and descend and we we ran into another bear running across the snow away from us, we hunted our way back to the ridge above the airstrip, then again all the rams we saw were not full curl, finally we just decided to head back, my son already missed the first two days of school, which started thurs. so we both agreed to leave. On the way back we saw a wolverine which was a treat, and all in all it was a still a good hunt with my best buddy .......and the night before we left the airstrip in front of a nice fire, my son said to me ......thanks for taking him, although blizzard 2.jpgthe conditions.....he got to spend the quality time with me.
    This was his second sheep hunt.... here are some pics with our crippled Hilleberg Nallo



    blizzard.jpg

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    WOW K, sounds like an epic adventure. Glad to hear you both made it back safe. A father and son can learn much about each other on a hunt like that.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Man sounds like a tough hunt.To bad on not scoreing a ram but at least you got the boy out there on a sheep hunt,I hope one day I can get my daughter out for one.

  4. #4

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    Wowsers - good job being prepared for the worst. Although the outcome of the hunt wasn't what you had hoped for it was good time spent with your son and still a hunt to remember - way to go!

  5. #5

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    Approximately what elevation was the snow level at in the Brooks today? I'm probably headed up later this week to see about a ram. Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Hunts like that are special for another reason. My first sheep hunt went the same way during opening week, blindsided by several feet of snow at the airstrip (4700'). Ended up hiking out to find another strip, fun. Congrats on getting out there and living life, sheep or not.

  7. #7

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    Glad you and your son made it back safely.
    Sure it had to be tough on the side of the mountain with all that snow - certainly tough enough when based on the valley floor. Hunting with the solid snow cover is usually great if one has whites and crampons for the stalk. Tracks always a big plus.
    Again, glad you both make it back safely.
    Joe (Ak)

  8. #8

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    Good grief Chuck you are putting hair on that boy's chest at a young age. Really good to see you. I was getting a little concerned as I expected you to be home before myself. I did 72 consecutive hours in a tent with my old boss on my very first sheep hunt. Oh the bedsores. Glad you got home safely.

  9. #9
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Unusual not to read success stories from you. Your not done are you?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  10. #10
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Wow, Kaha.
    Always enjoy your hunt details and this one was no exception!
    Your experience goes beyond hunting--far more about survival.

    Kudos for an incredible father/son adventure in tough conditions. That's true success.
    Proud to be an American!

  11. #11
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    The boy did great, always upbeat and never once complained, I really put him through the test, he broke down a couple times, and I knew he was sore but he pushed on.....




    Travis sheep hunt.jpg

  12. #12
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Unusual not to read success stories from you. Your not done are you?

    I thought about going back next week solo, heard the weather supposed to be better.....whats another $1200 bucks for air fare..... only thing, I don't think the wife will go for it......

  13. #13
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    I'm glad you made it out in one piece. Enjoy those creature comforts of home.

  14. #14

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    Sounds like a sheep hunt to remember. What do think of that Hilleberg? Been considering that same tent since I had a Black Diamond and REI 4 season tent get the bent and broken pole syndrome on a couple sheep hunts myself.

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    Wow, what an adventure. Glad to hear you were able to ride out the storm and get off the mtn safely. One thing for sure, your boy is paying is dues! His time will come. As a side note... Did you contact Hilly yet? I bet they replace your poles and either repair or replace the tent.

  16. #16
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    WOW!! That is the first report I have read where a Hilly tent got bested by momma nature! Glad you guys made it out of there in one piece and kudo's to the boy for toughing it out. I have three sons getting bigger every day and I can't wait to take them on their first sheep hunts. How old is your boy?

  17. #17
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    Kaha,
    You two had an adventure without punching a tag! Thanks for the report on the sheep hunt that turned a bit dicey! You won't forget that one anytime soon.

  18. #18
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    I think I would be sweet walking the wife into that solo trip next week! I always liked sheep hunt'in in the snow, as long as there was no fog so that you can see!

    I'm going in on a solo sheep hunt on the 26th, hopefully I have the weather, And a little snow won't hurt my feeling either!

  19. #19
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    WOW that is one heck of a sheep and and one you and your boy will never forget. I was hoping to read a hunt report from you this fall with another slam dunk like you and your boy had two years ago. Best of luck to you next year!!!

  20. #20
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    Still a success. Anytime father and son bonding can occur like that; showing him how to work and perform under real pressure, and spending time in the tent.....telling stories about ..everything - getting out OK, seeing Griz in their environment, seeing rams in their hidy-holes, SUCCESS IN MY BOOK.

    Chomping on sheep this winter, if i know you, is not out of the realm of possibilities, yet. Sheep fever has only one cure...

    Good luck and great pictures! The pics really inform new hunters that AK is no joke and a sunny day in the middle of summer may not be too sunny the next.

    That cranker you saw is out ther putting more bone on his head this very second...

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