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Thread: First Ram took 2.5 days solo!!!

  1. #1
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    Default First Ram took 2.5 days solo!!!

    Opening day sheep hunt on the kenai peninsula was a great success! i wanted to get up there on the 9th and couldn't find anyone who could get away during the week so i thought i would go in an area that i knew by myself.

    started along the trail with one other hunter a few hours ahead of me i assumed. as soon as i break out of treeline and peak up into the valley i see 22 sheep on the first low peak. 6 were rams. they were too far away to see if any were legal or close to legal. i decided to keep heading up towards the top of the valley to set up camp and see where the other hunter would set up camp. next morning woke up and saw the other hunter going the opposite way of where i saw the 22 sheep and thought to myself "YES" i get all these sheep to myself today!

    i hiked around all day up and down peaks battling fierce winds and clouds and finally spot 4 rams and one ewe. posted up behind a big rock and waited for them to make a move. wind was not in my favor. sneaked down the valley closer to them and got myself in position for a shot if they were to walk up two of the three shoots. ofcourse they walk up the one i wasnt in position for. they peaked over the other side and the chase was on. i snuck around the backside and looked down on them and they could smell me coming and immediatley peaked down this face 200 yards out of sight. one ram looked legal. i pursued but they pulled the old J-hook on me. i walked over to where they went out of sight and by the time i got there they had hooked down around me and back to where i came from and by the time i saw them they were 500 yards away.

    at this point i was defeated. i was by myself and the weather was miserable and i had to walk all the way back to camp. got back to camp at 7 and ready to go home! i was lonely as **** and kept debating on what the hell am i doing with my life! a 21 year old back from an associate degree at college trying to figure out my next move. i moped down to the creek next to my camp and filled up my water bottle and sat and stretched for a while.

    I started looking around and here just below the cloud line right above my camp are two sheep. i looke through the binos and hear they are RAMS! they were a half mile away and i was so exhausted and defeated i questioned weather to go for them. i thankfully got my act together and did. wind was in my favor this time. got a closer look directly below them and one looked legal and the other almost. did one look legal? i only had about 30 seconds to decide before they walked out of sight. quickly decided and took a shot.

    both ran up some and out of sight then popped back in sight and stopped and looked down at me. they couldnt see me luckily because the clouds were in and out. did i miss? i was so close i couldnt have missed. both were standing there looking down
    at me looked untouched and fine. luckily i had already jacked another one in and took another shot. this time both turned and ran up and i saw the one go over the top and the other one didnt follow. i hiked up to made sure i made a kill and did. was he legal? i am new to sheep hunting and was 90% sure.

    RAN back down to camp cuz i forgot my knife!!! then walked the 1,000ft back up to gut my sheep at 9 p.m. got back to camp at dark. the stalk to when i got back to camp took 3.5 hours. next day packed up everything and thought how the hell am i getting all this down??? packed the cape and the meat and aas much as i could and went for it. all muscles were cramping at this point so really stretched and drank before i headed back down. got back down to the truck in 4.5 hours and back home at 9 pm to a very very proud mom and dad. i left for the hunt monday at noon and was back home wednesday at 9 pm with a boneified full curl ram according to larry lewis the biologist. first ram in the office this year. Did everything by myself and was by far the hardest thing ive ever done! but also by far the proudest moment of my life. Only in alaska right? man i love this place!!! sorry i cant figure out how to put pics on here
    Last edited by hunt_ak; 09-12-2010 at 08:33. Reason: Wall-Of-Text....

  2. #2
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Nice job on geting a ram!!!I would love to see your pics.Was it a drawing hunt?Or were you one of the very few to bag a kenai mountain sheep on a harvest ticket?My most memorable dall ram,that I lucked into and was my first,came from the kenai mountians on a harvest ticket.He was a curl and a 1/4 only being 36" with a very tight curl,He will always stick in my mind.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Congrats to you and way to do it solo. there is a good thread in the general or intoductions, can't remember, but there is a sticky that tells you how to post pictures and it's really easy. can't wait to see them.

  4. #4

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    buckkunz,

    Wonderful story! Especially the part about how you felt struggling with your life and decisions about your next step and so forth...most folks find themselves when stretched to the limit while hunting in Alaska...it helps to get away and go for a dream. Maybe there is a lesson in there for your next job search...stretch yourself and go for your dream job!!

    What caliber of rifle did you use? Yes, pictures would be great to see!

    CHAPS

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Good effort! I know that solo lonely feeling, it subsides and the experience is stronger when it does.

    I'm sure your parents were proud. I would be if you were my son.

    Now post up them photos.

  6. #6

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    Great story, but PHOTOS???

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    buckkunz,

    Congrats on your ram. We all learn a lot about ourselves going out into the woods solo.

    I just wanted to respectfully add that typically, being 90% sure a ram is legal, and making a fast decision like that to shoot, can often result in taking a sub-legal ram. I highly encourage all sheep hunters to take more time in order to be 100% certain a ram is legal.

    Thanks for posting.
    Sincerely,

  8. #8
    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    Congrads on the successfull hunt, enjoyed the story to boot..Now lets see them pics.

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    congrats man...you should be proud of yourself! dont worry bout them guys putting you down for only bein 90 percent sure.....that was enough..u knew what you were doin. congrats!
    They say its unsafe to own a gun, I say its unsafe to have only one!!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawdogrichard View Post
    congrats man...you should be proud of yourself! dont worry bout them guys putting you down for only bein 90 percent sure.....that was enough..u knew what you were doin. congrats!
    So - if I should see you in the woods, and I'm 90%? certain I'm looking a moose, I should go ahead and shoot?
    Have to agree with Mark on this one.
    Joe (Ak)

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Do we really have to pick the verbiage of every story to pieces? He killed a legal ram!! I took the percentage to reflect him second guessing himself. Anyone that has taken an animal with specific requirements regarding legality for the first time has felt that twinge as they walk up to the animal.

    Congrats to the hunter!!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Do we really have to pick the verbiage of every story to pieces? He killed a legal ram!! I took the percentage to reflect him second guessing himself. Anyone that has taken an animal with specific requirements regarding legality for the first time has felt that twinge as they walk up to the animal.

    Congrats to the hunter!!

    Fortunately, it was a legal sheep and for that the hunter should be congratulated. However, it was not only the 90% certain aspect - maybe that was "second guessing", though that still, justifiably so, would stop some from shooting. According to OP the decision to shoot was made in thirty seconds as the animal was about to disappear. That at least for a fair number of individuals, that have participated in the harvest of quite a few sheep, myself included, would not have been enough time.
    Some of the numbers floating around regarding the numbers of sub-legal sheep being harvested would suggest that "90%" percent and 30 seconds may not be the best of conditions on which the base the decision "to shoot".
    Joe (Ak)

  13. #13
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    you shouldnt even be in the woods or call yourself a hunter if you see a human being and are 90% sure its a moose.....?????? seriously guy?




    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    So - if I should see you in the woods, and I'm 90%? certain I'm looking a moose, I should go ahead and shoot?
    Have to agree with Mark on this one.
    Joe (Ak)
    They say its unsafe to own a gun, I say its unsafe to have only one!!!

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    buckkunz,

    Let me reiterate. Congrats on your hunt, enjoyed the story very much. It's often hard being out alone in the wilderness and testing yourself like that. You pulled it off and learned a lot about yourself and about sheep hunting.

    My previous post was not about picking apart anything you said, or meant in any way as disrespectful. I know that thousands read these forums and may infer certain things or learn certain things.

    All I wanted to get across to all those others reading this is that while it came out great in your case, it often doesn't, and to offer the advice, the constructive criticism, that taking more time to be sure is typically the preferred way to go.

    If we get to the point, Lujon, that someone like myself can't offer up any constructive critique to a young hunter, and for other hunters on this forum, then we will not effectively educate others to become better hunters.

    You have my respect buckkunz, didn't want you to think otherwise.
    Sincerely,

  15. #15
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    It's one thing to be 100% sure and then to be wrong. It's another thing entirely to be less than 100% sure and take the shot anyway.

    90% sure the ram is full curl
    90% sure the bull is 50"
    90% sure the sow has no cubs
    90% you're 5 miles off the Dalton

    buckkunz was lucky his ram was legal, and for that we should all be glad but his own admission he took an unnecessary gamble. Hopefully his experience on the hunt coupled with this conversation inspires him to be 100% sure the next time.

    Congrats buckkunz. Solo hunts are unparalleled opportunities for self-analysis.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    There would be alot less opportunities for us to "look bad" if we didn't use this forum!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  17. #17
    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Cost of Monday morning quaterbacking: 10 cents
    Cost of arm chair criticising: 1 cent
    Cost of a legal ram: priceless !

    Congrats buckkunz !!

  18. #18

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    Cost of Monday morning quaterbacking: 10 cents
    Cost of arm chair criticising: 1 cent
    Cost of a legal ram: priceless !

    Congrats buckkunz !!

    All true amigo, but you forgot,

    Cost of shooting a sub-legal ram: Not so good, it aint' worth it!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story, buck. Everything about it was eerily similar to my first sheep harvest, and it brought back some great memories. Just like you, my first sheep was on a solo hunt in the Kenai Mountains at a young age (19 for me). I also remember grappling with some questions about my life at that time. At the end of that experience, I learned that I was capable of far more than I had previously thought. I imagine you've learned the same about yourself. Glad to hear that your parents were so proud. When I killed my ram, I climbed an extra 1,000' to the top of the tallest mountain around so that I could get cell reception just so I could call my dad and tell him. Over a decade later I still remember the sound of the pride in his voice. Good stuff, and I'm glad you got to experience that. Congratulations, sir. Legal rams are few in the Kenai Mountains and getting one is a challenge for even the most experienced hunter. You did well.

  20. #20

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    I was one of the first to see this ram when Buck came into town. It is a 100% nice Kenai sheep! He made a great decision and did it all solo. With all of the rules we have in hunting today, how can anyone be more than 90% sure anyway, especially with sheep. Congrats to Buck. A great young man who I am proud to have seen grow up. Well done!

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