Within 250 yards on the 9th (could have gotten closer). On opening day, and for 13 days after that, he was completely inaccessible. From the 10th on we got within 530 yards once, but that is past our shooting limit, and he was in the nastiest stuff I have seen! Maybe with a helicopter or Bear Gryllis rocking climbing skills, we might have gotten closer! What do you think?
You could have eliminated all your heartache if you would have just done some simple homework. Not to sound snarky, but your shooting limit was the reason you failed to make a dream come true. Why go through all that effort just to limit yourself or handicap yourself? With today's technology, there is no excuse for not reaching your potential as a shooter. I am not even talking about those 900 yard hunting shows either. Just by using a Leupold CDS, or Swarovski Z3-Z5, or Huskamaw, or any manufacturer with a ballistics program, you could have easily had a range of 600 yards with standard factory ammo. Some would say to you that you just had a tough break and bad luck, but others would say that it is your fault that you did not go the extra mile. I learned the hard way to not limit myself. Please learn from my mistakes.
There is more to mountain hunting than killing an animal. Once you kill it you actually have to be able to get to it to recover it. Hoyt said pretty clearly that he doubted his ability to do that. Also does your fancy computer tell you if there is changing wind 200 yards away? What if there is a blast of air coming over a ridge between you and the ram at 40mph?
Going by the discription on Alaska ADF&G i would say he is probably legal. But if i had to make a shoot or not shoot call based off just these views. I'd let it walk, because he may be just dang close. The broad side looks full but the head shot looks like he doesn't go above the eye.
The top picture is close but it isn't the right angle to judge the curl. The horns are more of an ellipse than a circle. Be nice if he would look up and left a bit.... My eyes sure would be straining to get a better view! If he ain't legal he is mighty close!!
He looks darn close in those pics but I would like to get a better view of him before taking the shot. Good call on not trying for him while he was in that nasty stuff no sense in harvesting an animal and not being able to recover it or maiming or killing yourself in the process.
Best od luck should you decide to try again this fall.
Hoyt, sorry for the tough break. That's a good looking sheep and I would have been trying to worm my way closer too.
I'd shoot it, but not from 530 yards. Shooting sheep and hoping they will fall to more accessible location is an iffy proposition. Had to be pretty frustrating.
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I'd shoot it, 9 year old, 35"/36" full curl ram
From what I see in the pics, he is a shooter. The side view, even though an eliptical view looks like a curl and a quarter if you look close, leading me to believe it will make full curl easy from the proper view. The frontal view shows alot of flair. I think he is a tight curl full curl+. I would certainly get a proper view and be ready to pull the trigger... at a reasonable range and an accessible slope.
Looks good to me as well (though I'd want a bit better view before pulling the trigger), and I agree with those who said it was the right choice not to shoot. Even with the right optics, rifle, and associated technology, shooting at a live target in the mountains is different than shooting at paper. Some can make that shot most of the time, but with so many variables, there is no way to be sure that they could make it all of the time. Good call, though I'm sorry that you weren't able to get in closer on successive attempts. My hat is off to you.
I'd be lookin' to shoot this one as soon as he turned to get the right angle. My best guess is that he's legal.
Bad deal not being able to get closer but you did the right thing... that's a nice sheep.
He looks like he's easily legal to me, but the photos are fuzzy enough so I would have to get a better look to be sure.
An excellent rule of thumb is when in doubt, don't shoot. If you made the right decision for you, you did the right thing. There is a huge difference between the theory and reality of shooting at 500 yards plus. Unpredictable winds, excitement, or a scope bumped slightly during the stalk can easily result in a wounded animal or a miss. And any miss could just as easily have been a wounded animal.
Great call on making sure you can retrieve your animal. Also on not slinging lead 600 yards. The angles, wind and posture of the animal make wounding at that distance pretty likely and retrieval all the more uncertain.
Interesting horns though. Looks certainly legal but small from the traditional side angle. Front angle you can see the curl is bigger than it looks and drops further. I am not too accurate at these but i say 36".
“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
Beautiful animal. I'm glad he's not out there with a wound. I think he's legal too.
A photo of the terrain would be nice to show where he was sitting. If your willing to share.
I think thats more of an issue here than the legality of that animal.
Capt T's assessment on size is mine too. He's a legal ram.
This pic and the ensuing discussion illustrates something important IMO. There is more to factor into a shoot/don't shoot decision than whether or not the animal is legal. Especially in the case of sheep and goats the hunter has to (try and) predict what will happen after the shot.
Given the backdrop in the pic along with the description of the terrain I would hesitate to shoot this ram even at chip-shot range. What good does it do to work that hard for the shot only to have a beautiful animal like that destroyed by a long fall.
Legal is legal, but a shooter takes more than just that.
If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today
Legal. If I were not by myself, I would have gotten one shooter up and behind him, and then got him up and out of that location. I have found, most often, it is easy to predict where rams will go, if spooked.
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