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Thread: Dall Sheep Outfitter Recommendations

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    Default Dall Sheep Outfitter Recommendations

    Gentlemen; looking to book a sheep hunt for the fall of 2008, I've spoken with Bill Burwell at Ram Creek Outfitters out of Slana; anyone have any firsthand information on Bill's outfit? Seemed like a real good guy on the phone, looking to book with him. If not, any other recommendations? I'm also thinking of Max Schwab as well, like to may get a griz combo....

    Thanks in advance
    Regards,
    Craig Nolan

  2. #2

    Default check out Matt Synder

    Check out Matt Synder of Tok. I don't have the website here, but he and his family are some of the best sheep people in the whole state.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you're looking to save a few bucks but still have a great hunt with the actual guide (instead of with some assistant guide lacky that you don't talk to until you get to the field), talk to BRWNBR here on the forums. I've heard nothing but good things.

    -Brian

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I'm booked up for 08 already, scwab is popular although i've never talked to anyone who's hunted with him. Blake Trangmoe, Wayne Woods, Ralph Miller, Arctic Rivers Guide Service and the other names already mentioned are noted sheep guys. Who you go with might not really be the kicker, as you know timing is everything, Billy Bob guide service can put you on sheep.

    Ask some serious questons of the references...how many other hunters in camp, how far apart were the clients, how many ohter hunters did they see on their trip, who was their guide, how many sheep/legal sheep. food, quality of the gear, attention to detail, delivering what was sold..thats a biggie.

    Success rate for the last three years...

    Numbers (phone) of guys who didn't shoot a sheep...

    Are they willing to move you inside of four days if tyou dont' see anything, or will there be enough area to hike around. Some outfitts that run four or five clients at once, each get a drainage and thats it. if your sheep is there great..if not..well maybe one will come over the hill. to many sheep hunters in one area=not enough room to spread out if you can't find the game.

    Who's your guide, wheres he from, how long as he worked for you, how long has he guided...HOW MANY SHEEP HUNTS HAS HE GUIDED(successfull and not), man that ones a kicker. now that you have to seal sheep in alaska, alot of rookie or virgin sheep guides are scared to drop the hammer due to lack of exeperince.

    For the combo hunt are they going to move you to hunt the bear or do they just figure a bear will show up while you sheep hunt?

    Your droppin' big coin for the trip you want, you don't need to settle shop around find what fits you, outfitters can sell stuff thats why you need to know who your actual guide is. some outfit won't have a guide lined up, until they book a hunter, then they'll go find a guide, ask this and call the guy who'll be your guide. Get as much in writing as you can. Bigger outfitts can afford to screw guys over more..smaller outfits can't..as much.
    research, research.
    good luck
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_M View Post
    (instead of with some assistant guide lacky that you don't talk to until you get to the field),
    -Brian
    Now there's a knowledgeable statement by someone with years of experience in the guiding biz!!!!!!
    Letting that promotion go to your head, B_M?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Brwnbr's gettin some love around here lately, but he's accessible, available and ready with the goods.
    Somebody poke his head with a pin to deflate it....

    Doesn't take a brain surgeon (or master guide status) to realize that a minimum wage assistant guide from New Jersey might not have the same junk in his trunk to guide one to that big ram as an experienced guide, Trap. C'mon.
    If I were new to sheep hunting I'd be really wanting a guide who knows how to age rams for starters.

    No dis to some of the assistants out there, there are some hard working guys out there that know their stuff.
    But If I'm dropping 13 large for ovis, I want the guy I talk to on the phone with me on the mountain! Nuff said.

    One forum promotion and its anarchy!

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    You "C'mon, Frank.
    Where did anyone, except B_M, get the idea that an asst is some guy from NJ?
    Do you think that a guy who spends every fall in the field as an asst. HAS to live in Alaska? You don't live here anymore, Frank. Bet you got some decent experience on sheep.
    If the guy you hire wants 13 large for his sheep hunt, chances are he's too busy running the whole biz to actually be on the mountain for a whole hunt period. Little guys doing the lower priced hunts HAVE to be in the field. They can't afford asst's.
    Both your "minimum wage" statement, and Brians "lackey" comment were a dis, made by 2 guys who are in a postion on this forum that should show more respect to valuable members of the hunting community.........assistant guides!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Lightbulb

    that's it, all ast. guides from n.j. turn in your licenses. some of the hardest guides i have met were from the lower 48, to be exact the montana, idaho, wyoming area. i think the hardness of a guide is determined by his heart, work ethic, motivation and fitness, not where he chooses to live after the hunting season is over.

    i know there are some resident ast. guides that are not able to get up and go when the situation calls for it. don't ask me how i know this....

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    Default yep

    Heard some bad intel about +++++ as well. If you search the forum I also remember a nonres posted a bad experience as well. Was a long time ago though. Heard good about Max Schwab though.

    On a side note, I am trying to put myself into a nonres guided hunter's shoes. SO, let's say I am buying a guided elk hunt in Colorado. I think I would lose it if I got there and my assistant guide was from New Jersey!! I am not saying there aren't good out of state guides. I am just saying that if I were doing it I would demand a resident because..... How much time is a non res guide in the field? As much as a res? Maybe. Not likely if the guy spends any of time out in the field. I want the guy that is out every weekend there. AND if he were out every weekend there he would live there, cause its an expensive commute (from NJ) and he loves it so much he couldn't stand to leave!! Rant concluded. I am not trying to insult any group but I have always thought this way and never heard anyone else say it. Am I alone in this rationale??
    Last edited by fullkurl; 03-03-2007 at 10:02. Reason: no names please....

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    Man am I proud to be from New Jersey!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Now there's a knowledgeable statement by someone with years of experience in the guiding biz!!!!!!
    Letting that promotion go to your head, B_M?
    Oh, come on marten, aren't you reading a little too much into my statement? It was said tongue-in-cheek. (Of course, slight sarcasm doesn't come across too well on the internet, now does it?) I say that as the brother of one of those "lackeys" that guided for many, many years. He did a great job, but the truth is that sometimes the hunters that he met in the field had unrealistic expectations that weren't conveyed prior to the hunt, specifically because the hunter didn't talk to the man actually doing the guiding, but instead dealt with the registered guide. I was merely recommending that he might prefer to go with a 1-man operation instead of a registered guide with multiple assistants working underneath him. (By the way, I know that there are MANY excellent guide services in AK that have multiple guides. I was not intending to impugn their services or integrity.)

    How about just an inch of slack, eh Marten? As for my "promotion", me and all the other moderators are here because we care deeply about this community and want to help. I know that the position comes with added responsibility, but I'm not a perfect person. If you expect perfection from me in all of my statements, well....I'm sorry, but I'm bound to disappoint. If you really felt my statement was out of line, please accept my apologies and request for forgiveness. It wasn't intended in the way you read it, but...I apologize nonetheless.

    -Brian

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    Default Thank you sir may I have another....

    Mike, point taken--maybe minimum wage wasn't fair...

    Two years ago I was jumping on an Alaska airlines flight and I met a kid with a Zeiss spotter under his arm. One thing led to another and we sat together on the flight to Fbx. and talked hunting. (The plane was relatively empty.)
    He was on his way to Alaska to head into the field. He told me he was to be an "assistant guide".
    This kid was a fireplug and I have no doubt he was a tough guy. He said he had trained bigtime for the trip and I believed him too.
    Admittedly he was very green with dealing with the public and he told me he was hopeful he'd get the job done with 50" moose and full curl sheep. He was clearly intimidated by the regs.

    My point is that some guys save a lifetime for a hunt in Alaska and spending a king's ransom for anything but a seasoned guide seems a bit questionable.
    I've no doubt that there are many hard working a.g.'s out there!

    Humor me....Do you want a nurse or a skilled surgeon operating on you?! Nurses work their butts off and get little glory; but it aint the same!
    PS.... Nolan, Max Schwab was, maybe still is, a sponsor of this forum. He's gotten good reviews here from what I've seen. I met him in the Carribean last winter--great guy to talk with.
    Check the archives...
    Frank

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    "Brwnbr's gettin some love around here lately, but he's accessible, available and ready with the goods.
    Somebody poke his head with a pin to deflate it...."

    lol geez kurl why don't you just do it...don't make me wait around!

    who cares where the guides from or what his license says, as i stated in my post, just check to make sure he knows what hes doing and has experience doing it. i was an assitant guide once, even back then i could use binoculars with my head all blown up, imagine how hard it is now!! lol
    some guides guide for 20 years and never take the registered test, no point if they don't plan to contract a hunt. never sell a guy short just based off what his license says, alot of them will have more field experience than alot of us do.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    As someone who holds an assit guide license, has worked for a guide, and with other assist guides, I find no humor in this subject. But I'll answer your question, Frank.
    If I'm dropping 13 grand, whether for a hunt, or an operation, I would want someone LICENSED and experienced. In regards to your operation, Frank, a nurse is neither licensed or experienced to do the job. Poor example. An asst guide IS licensed to guide, and may very well be MORE experienced than the guy with his name at the top of the contract.
    I don't expect perfection, Brian. I expect respect. The lackey comment didn't meet my expectations, and I don't think it met the rules set forth for this forum. However, apology accepted.
    I'd like to remind you 2, and anyone else holding such an opinion...........that all those big name guides........and the little name ones too, had to be "lackey's" working for "minimum wage" before they became the real mccoy!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Thanks for the replies, good information from all; all things being equal, I'd prefer a horseback or spike camp type hunt as opposed to a pure backpack hunt.... Sorry I touched off a minor altercation, but the point was well taken (an intended I assume)

    BRWBR, thanks for the detail of your reply; I've been on multiple hunts throughout the West, guided and unguided, including a previous sheep hunt in AK. Your points are spot on, I've been on both ends of some of the issues you mentioned....

    Any other recommendation and/or input is appreciated, I'll post when I book a hunt,

    Regards,
    Craig Nolan

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    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    Default dall sheep outfitter recommendations

    Man, the gentleman is asking for some good advice here and it turns into a pissin match. I don't blame trapper for taking offense to Brain's comment, and have to say that maybe B_M doesn't have a great deal of knowledge about the guiding business. But let's move on and give the guy something he can use.

    Why don't you guys start your own thread about non-resident lackey minimum wage guides and guides who post here every day who can't do wrong and throw out an apology to Craig for not offering to help him out.

    Spring bear season is just a few days away!

    Craig, I've heard a lot of good things about Max, and heard a lot about Richard Guthrie (who happens to be a friend of mine) too.
    http://www.alaskanbrownbearhunting.com/index.html

    I know other reputable guides here. PM me if you want.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Trap, I thought all the bears were still in hibernation!!

    Seriously, you make some great points.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    craig, good luck on your search, sounds like you have enough experience to know how to go about finding what your looking for. have a blast and we hope you get your sheep....even if its a assitant guide guiding you!

    Hope some of the info here helps you out...we've all been cooped up a little too long this winter and the trigger fingers are a might itchy...no worries.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Default Craig

    If your looking to hunt that area I would talk to the Ellis' at Nabesna. I know them on a personal basis. They are hard working, hunting diehards who have been in those mountains since the glaciers were formed. I dont know everyone in this specific area but with almost three decades under my belt and never hearing of this guy your talking about would make me wonder.

  20. #20
    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    +1 on the Ellis'. Great outfit as well. Kirk and Cole are by far some of the best pilots in AK, and were born and raised in Nabesna. They have a good sheep area in the Wrangells and don't over hunt it.

    "Hope some of the info here helps you out...we've all been cooped up a little too long this winter and the trigger fingers are a might itchy...no worries."

    LOL!!
    Last edited by Alasken; 03-01-2007 at 22:02. Reason: shpelling

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