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Thread: Walk in Sheep - Brooks

  1. #1
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    Default Walk in Sheep - Brooks

    Hey everyone, I am looking for some pointers on walk in Dall Sheep Hunting in the Brooks Range with my Dad. We are leaning towards this area to try and get further away from the population and therefore hunting pressure. I realize that since it is a walk in hunt there will always be a greater chance of running into other hunters. We will just try to hike farther. I read the Tony Russ book and a couple other books so I am starting to get a better idea of what we are getting into. We have done other big game hunts but not yet sheep so this will be our first attempt.

    Does anyone have any lessons learned from hunting in this area?

    Also, does anyone have any alternate suggestions for locations to get away from people? We are willing to drive anywhere in the state if it means less pressure, however flying is not in our budget. I do not need exact location (nor would I want it posted publicly, ha ha...). If you can point me in the general area then I can use topo maps to figure out the rest.

    We appreciate any advice since we are going in cold. Oh, and we did put in for our three drawing hunts so this is just for a registration hunt, Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Guide Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DIYhunter View Post
    Hey everyone, I am looking for some pointers on walk in Dall Sheep Hunting in the Brooks Range with my Dad. We are leaning towards this area to try and get further away from the population and therefore hunting pressure. I realize that since it is a walk in hunt there will always be a greater chance of running into other hunters. We will just try to hike farther. I read the Tony Russ book and a couple other books so I am starting to get a better idea of what we are getting into. We have done other big game hunts but not yet sheep so this will be our first attempt.



    Does anyone have any lessons learned from hunting in this area?

    Also, does anyone have any alternate suggestions for locations to get away from people? We are willing to drive anywhere in the state if it means less pressure, however flying is not in our budget. I do not need exact location (nor would I want it posted publicly, ha ha...). If you can point me in the general area then I can use topo maps to figure out the rest.

    We appreciate any advice since we are going in cold. Oh, and we did put in for our three drawing hunts so this is just for a registration hunt, Thanks.
    I see you are from San Diego...Are you a student in college down there and originally from AK or does your dad live in AK?? If to both of those then you will have to hire a guide (Alaska Law states non-residents must hire a guide). DIY (as your name suggest) is simply not possible for non-resident hunters wishing to hunt dall sheep, mt. goats, or grizzly/brown bears in Alaska.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Good point Lanche.... On another note from talking to quite a few people and friends that have hunted that area you run into a problem trying to out-walk the competition. Basically the more you walk the more you run into people that flew. It is pretty hard to out walk an airplane.

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    Yes, Dad is an AK resident and we have been hunting together for years (lucky me). Have done brown bear, black bear, caribou, and moose so far but this will be our first attempt at sheep. I have read alot of the posts on this forum and seen quite a few naive non-residents who are interested in sheep and brownies so I can appreciate your checking on legality of the hunt. I just want to do all the research possible before we set out. I think there is no subsitute for getting out there and experiencing but still was wondering if anyone had tried walking in for sheep in that area.

    Is east or west of the road better for not running into the fly in hunters? I didn't even think about that being a concern. I see some lakes west of the road where I bet they would be tempted to land. I also see that if we go west we have to be careful about staying out of the national park lands...

  5. #5

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    The Brooks is getting Hammered!!! EVERYBODY is doing the Brooks hunt these days. Thanks to forums like this, It will be a Draw hunt before long.

    Funny how you talk about "Naive" non-residents. You being one....

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    Sorry if I come off that way. By naive I mean a lot of them just post blindly without reading the regs, reading all of the great information on this website, hunting in Alaska ever, etc... At least I am trying to ask the questions before jumping into it. Dad is an AK school teacher so I have been hunting up there with him for the last eight years or so. I have hunted many more years than that growing up in MI, Canada and in some of the other states I have lived in. I have learned through experience that AK hunting is the toughest hunting of anywhere I have been in terms of the weather and the ruggedness of the terrain. I guess I am saying that I don't feel like a naive non-resident since I am not a virgin to hunting up there and I am putting in the planning time. We are definitely going sheep hunting, it is just a question of where.

    I think that the information I have found on this site is what gave us the idea for the Brooks hunt location in the first place so I see what you mean. If anyone can send a private PM with a recommendation for alternate units or even general areas I would be greatly appreciative and that way it isn't "exposed" publicly like the Brooks hunt seems to be. We are going to make this happen this year because Dad isn't getting any younger and he has lost a lot of weight so he is the same waist size as me right now (36"). Best time for us to pull this off is now.

  7. #7

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    I wish you and your Dad the best. Nothing better than hunting with your old man! Good for you.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    It does seem that everyone is hunting the brooks these days. It has a reputation for being the last bastion of opportunity for a general harvest area. A few calls to air charters will show that there are lots of folks flying into pretty much every drainage up there. This site is not likely to be your "best bet" to find info on sheep hunting locations, especially not any of the highly coveted road accessible areas! Your best bet would be seat time in a super cub exploring the mountains that would be the number one followed by doing the same w/ boot leather. Assuming your dad has summers off he should be able to call the regional bio's and spend time out hiking in the summer to get an idea of what is out there.

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    Actually, he has been talking about hunting the Brooks Range for sheep for quite a few years as a result of talking to his friends up there. So this forum did not give us the idea, just some of the specifics. But if you think it has been getting "hammered" that is not the type of hunting experience that we are looking for.

  10. #10

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    Doesn't make sense.... If your old man already had a plan, why come here and ask where to go? The Brooks is getting out of control.

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    No he didn't have a plan at all, just wanted to go to the Brooks for sheep mainly to avoid people. I am the one who came to this site for the planning specifics. Based on what you are saying it sounds like the situation has changed for the Brooks Range.

    I also was looking at the Wrangells access from the Nabesna Road but then I read that it can be a hunter superhighway as well. Seems like there are no good unspoiled locations remaining for us, or at least I can understand why people hold the information close to their chest.

    Yeah, I am thinking about coming up in July to do some scouting/backpacking but that won't really give us an idea of hunting pressure. Only way to determine hunting pressure is for us to go there for the actual season or get tips from people that have been there done that. Also, I would like to have our location chosen before the scouting. It is a shame that a significant part of hunt planning is trying to avoid other hunters...

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    Default your mission, Mr. Phelps....

    With only 6 posts on this system, you can't be PM'd, and info like you ask for can't be posted. So, mission impossible.

    Get up to 15 or 20 posts (not sure what it takes) so you can PM on this system, and I'll put you on a spot that might pan out. Its walk in all the way, but only something like 3-5 hours walk for you and your pop.

    Let me know when I can pm ya, like maybe by PM'ing me.

  13. #13
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    The brooks does get alot of hunting pressure, but then so does everything with access via the road system, youre bets bet will be to get in a few days before the open of season. i have hunted and been sucsessful from the road in the brooks, but you want to be the first guy in the drainage for the season or they get realy spooky. i didnt get into the drianage i hunt this year till sept and the rams were back in country i could get at em. later i found sign that there had been others in the drainage pior to us getting there, the sheep showed it as they booked it as soon as they seen us, pushing back further into places we couldnt persue or just wouldnt. i did see 2 legal rams a third which was close, and 1 that will be full curl in a few years. there are only a few drainages you can get back in when going west, before you hit the closed park side, but far more reachable drainages to the east, if going east prepare for a long walk to reach any sheep country, all drainages get some pressure, however most fly out hunters get off the road system a ways. if you want to avoid most rd adventures, cross the sag river and hoof it 6 miles to the northern portions, this area generaly gets more fly out hunters but will be realy touph going! the ram i took in 09' was exactly full curl, a inch shorter would have resulted in a fine so dont expect to see anything of size and look em over realy closely as pressure has realy devastated the ram supply. After the close of season i seen 5 full curl rams from the road so they are there dont be decouraged as sheep move around from drainage to drainage thoughout the season, it all about right place right time.

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    Not much new to add, but I tried the same thing you're doing a few years ago. Just like it was said above, it is hard to out walk a plane. To really rub our noses in it, we saw a legal ram within 50 yards of the road. Unfortunately the last time I picked up a bow I was a little kid. That being said, if you're looking for a cheap sheep hunt and don't have many other places to go, this may be it. I've done a number of sheep hunts that didn't end with a dead sheep, they still qualify as some of my greatest experiences.

    Have fun out there with your dad, sounds like fun to me.

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    At some point your gonna have to roll the dice. The sheep get moved around or hole up with all the pressure. You gotta be prepared to move quick and outlast others in tough conditions to get a ram off the road. It's hard saying what the pressure mix is gonna be from year to year so ultimately you'll be going in with a prayer for the right combination of elements leading to harvest. Hunt hard, hike hard, and have faith some unsuspecting ram will blow his cover before you do yours.

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    Well said Bighorse.

    There's no guarantee... stay positive, don't let your guard down, and just celebrate the fact you're getting to spend time with your dad in sheep country.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Alright thanks for the info. I am busy trying to get my posts up so I can receive PMs.

    I will still enjoy the hunt even if neither of us gets a ram our first time out. I am trying to keep my expectations low because I think it is unlikely we score on our first attempt, but you never know. Even one ram would be awesome and we would still have our hands full packing it out.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYhunter View Post
    Alright thanks for the info. I am busy trying to get my posts up so I can receive PMs.
    This is a JOKE! You asking for secret and special information and an out-of stater with little experience here on the site... If anyone gives you a "special" spot, they are going to be throwing pearls before swine... This blows my mind. There is a whole other level of secrecy that surrounds sheep and sheep hunters. Sheep spots are sacred and have to be earned. IMHO.

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    Default nice talk

    Quote Originally Posted by AK flyster View Post
    ...they are going to be throwing pearls before swine...
    DIY, if my mastery of the english language is what I think it is, I believe you've just been called "a pig".

    Nice talk, flyster....

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    I wonder how long a "good" secret sheep spot stays good?

    On the west side of the haul road, near Atigun pass, and just about 5 miles off the road, is some private land inside the Park. At least that is how it looks on some maps I have seen. The bag limit for sheep on private lands inside the Park is 3 sheep, and that is not 3 rams. It is 3 sheep, male or female.
    As a non res, you may not hunt there. But your Dad can. I'll probably get flak here, but unless posted legally, trespass is not an issue.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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