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Thread: DCUA Sheep Hunt (Late hunt)

  1. #1
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    Default DCUA Sheep Hunt (Late hunt)

    I drew the DS204 permit this year and have been completely obsessed since then. I was surprised to find very little information about my specific hunting area. From what I read on this forum, Jim Cummings sounded like the guy that I'd want to fly me in. I booked the flight as soon as possible and began my obsessing. I had decided on a late hunt because I love mid September in the Interior. I tried to find a hunting partner for the trip...to no avail. I went in solo and it was the best thing that I could've ever done. Even apart from the sheep, I've never enjoyed a hunt so much.
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    Default DCUA continued...

    I got into Delta on the morning of September 8th. The wx was not good for flying so I'd have to wait it out. That night brought almost an inch of rain for the Delta area. The 9th looked promising at first but the ceiling never really went above 1000 ft. The 3 day NWS forecast was sounding good and I was glad to not be out there in the rain. The 10th started out with the usual low clouds and patchy fog. By noon however, the skies cleared and a flight was looking more imminent. We flew out late in the afternoon and I was alone in the valley by 6:30 pm.

    I hiked no more than a quarter mile from where I was dropped. I positioned my camp in between some moraines. I had fresh water and a wonderful spot to enjoy my time. After having some Mt. House dinner, I examined my surroundings more and came up with a game plan for the next morning. First thing in the morning, I would hike to the base of the mountain. I would then work my way back toward the South as to keep the wind in my favor. I had spotted a large group of ewes and lambs and one lone ram above my camp. I slept like a baby that night...

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    Default Sheep

    Before daylight on the 11th, I had eaten my oatmeal and drank my coffee. BTW, I love my jetboil. Ready for a full and hard day of hunting, I set out on my quest. An hour or so found me working my way along the base of the mountain. Then, a spot of white ahead of me along a crest of a hill. It's a lone ram. One side of his horns is clearly broomed. What about the other side? I must admit that the legal requirements did have me on edge. A full curl ram would have actually been quite easy to identify but this ram was not full curl. I looked closely at the annuli but would never feel confident in shooting something based on age.

    I dropped my pack and sneaked up the ridge to get a closer look. At one point, the ram actually looked right in my direction for some time. I was glad to only be dealing with one set of sheep eyes. I ended up laying there for a couple of hours, mostly watching him chew his cud. I was hoping that he would wander over the end of the moraine and briefly out of my sight. And he did.........
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    Default sheep

    I had to calm myself down and realize that I still needed to take my time and not do anything stupid. I went back and got my pack from where I had left it. Honestly, I still did not know for sure if this was even a legal ram. I snuck up to the knoll where I had last seen him, crawling the last 10 feet or so. There he was less than 75 yards below me. He was happily browsing through the alder. At this close distance, there was no doubt about his legal status. Click Boom.

    It was a perfect lung shot. He had twisted around and was standing there looking up at me. My instincts took over and made me put a completely unnecessary bullet into the base of his neck. In a few of the pictures, you can see some slight damage done to a horn from the exiting neck shot. Nothing too bad but unfortunate.
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    Default thanks for posting

    the 1/4 mile part sounds too good to be true. see any bears back there?

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    Member Berto's Avatar
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    congrats! great story and photos, thanks.

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    Default sheep

    I quartered and packed the sheep back to camp. By 3:00 pm. I had finished the packing. The weather was amazing. the nights were getting cold and I was glad to have brought a 0 degree sleeping bag. The sheep had been eating well and was very fat. With the cool nights, there was no problem keeping the meat cool and dry. I called Jim that afternoon and told him that I'd like to stay a few days just to soak it all in. If it weren't for the meat, I think that I'd have stayed another 10 days. I had food for over 10 days so I lived like a king for the last few days..eating as much as I wanted. I hiked around and just completely enjoyed being there.

    I should mention that I was hunting near the Gerstle Glacier and saw several more legal rams before I left. I should also mention that the crew at Golden Eagle Outfitters was exceptional. Jim is definitely a great pilot!

    The ram measured a little over 32 inches on each side with 12 1/2 inch bases. Fish and Game aged him at 10 years and my taxidermist said 11 years old. I hope that you have enjoyed my story and pictures!

    BTW.....LuJon I have those gut pile coordinates that you wanted.
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    If your are reasonably good physical condition and emotionally comfortable with yourself, those solo hunts will be the greatest adventures of your life.
    Congrats on your ram trophy. Fine ram for you. Fine ram for the DCUA to give up. Win/win.

    How many black bears did you see? How many grizz? Any moose sighting? Wolves? Caribou?
    How many other hunters did you view?

    dennis

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    No bears no wolves. Lots of sheep. Some caribou on the glacier. Hundreds of caribou on the distant ridge to the north. No moose. No other hunters whatsoever. There was a fox lurking around but I never did catch a glimpse of him.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    That sure sounds like a hunt I'd enjoy, expecially the extra eating at the end. Thanks for the hunt report and it looks like you shot him in a good spot.

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    Pretty cool when you can actually gain weight on a sheep hunt. Nice ram.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Once again, congrats man. I'm glad to hear you had not only a successful hunt, but a very enjoyable hunt as well.

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    Way to go man! A solo trip is great but with nice weather and a legal ram, its about as good as it gets!! Thanks for the pics and story.
    What was your rifle setup?

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    The rifle is just a Weatherby in .338 win.mag. 3X9 Vari-X 2 Leupold scope. I was sure that there would be bears around, which is why I brought this rifle. With heavier bullets, the rifle is too abusive for my taste. I loaded 200 grain Combined Technology bullets to about 2850fps with IMR-4895. This makes a load that I can shoot effectively. The exit wound from the first shot was phenomenal. Half of his lungs were already removed from the body. In hindsight, I'm not sure how effective this combination would really be on a heavier bodied animal such as a bear. For the sheep, a much smaller caliber would have been sufficient. For my next sheep hunt, I may have to look more seriously at one of those lightweight Kimber rifles in one of the short mag. calibers.

  15. #15

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    Excellent Job man!!! Way to go. Awesome that you were able to stay a few extra days and just soak up hanging out in some totally gorgeous surroundings. Congrats and my hats off to ya.

  16. #16
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    Talking

    Cool. So many things can go wrong on a sheep hunt, but not in this case. The cards were stacked this year!
    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

  17. #17

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    Really refreshing to hear how you stayed and "soaked it all in" after your ram was down. Folks are so busy these days they want to kill it and get out ASAP. Congrats on the ram.

  18. #18
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    Sounds like an awesome hunt. Nothin' like doing it all on your own.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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