Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Sheep hunting and old injuries

  1. #1
    Member Stickeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    SE AK
    Posts
    90

    Default Sheep hunting and old injuries

    So I'm going on my first sheep hunt this fall, which has been at least ten years in the making, as one thing or another has set me back whether it's been relocating for jobs, getting into commercial fishing, kids, or injuries. Glad to finally have a deposit down and buying new gear, as the stuff I've accumulated for this hunt is "too heavy" now.

    Anyhow, after watching SDRHUNTER's killer video's I am PUMPED. However, watching them come down some of that terrain with loaded packs makes me think about my reconstructed ACL, which I initially tore playing one-on-one hoops with one of my middle school students. I had Dr. JACK FROST do the surgery about 5 years ago because I know he's good, and he is also a sheep hunter and would be able to tell me YES, you'll be fine for future hunts. I have some torn meniscus in that knee from the same injury and torn meniscus in the other knee that has never been operated on.

    It hasn't slowed me down deer hunting, and I have put it to the test on quite a few alpine hunts since. BUT.... I never have a pack that'll be loaded like my sheep pack will be.

    So... My question is, how many of you are hunting with or have hunted with a similar injury, and did you where a brace? I have the big plastic one they gave me and am not sure if it would be worth packing along. Just looking for a little support from others who can sympathize with me.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bedrock, Alaska
    Posts
    87

    Default

    I would suggest that you "practice" with, and without your brace enough that you can make your own, most accurate decision.
    Summer and great (??) weather is-a coming. I'm sure you will do 100+ conditioning hikes developing both physical as well as mental toughness. Good luck with the knee. Have a great hunt. Pls remember to tell us, the forum, about your sheep hunting experience.

  3. #3
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    I've been watching SDRs videos and I can't wait for August myself. I don't have a knee injury but I've got a pretty substantial old back injury that I have to really watch out for.

    I've been working with a chiropractor and a trainer for a few weeks now trying to get ready. Both of them think if I can stay healthy through training this summer then the actual hunt should present no problems. They both have proven invaluble so far.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    738

    Default

    Rather than give you my anecdotal information, I think it is important that you test yourself. Each of us with a "similar" injury/surgery bring other variables into the mix whereby one would succeed and the other fail. So, I think you should do some meaningful hill climbing without a pack and work up to a loaded pack. You need to test yourself and build up confidence to what your abilities are. You've got 4 months............. to find out.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks Area
    Posts
    7,272

    Default

    Being one with a few old injuries my best advice is walk in your hunting gear as much as possible before your hunt and remember 2 light loads are much easier on an old body than one super heavy one. Try a pair of trekking poles and use your arms to help take the weight off your knee and be very deliberate on planting your feet and stop when you get tired, injuries often happen when we try to push too hard.

    Good Luck and be safe.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  6. #6

    Default

    Stickeen - I've had meniscus tears and I would have some concerns sidehilling and such with both of your knees. If you've been alpine hunting since along with your current meniscus tears then it might be ok. The bad thing is you are starting off the hunt with a pretty big disadvantage. No amount of conditioning is going to make the meniscus tears better only worse until they are fixed. I feel for you. Let us know how it works out.

  7. #7

    Default

    Hello Stickeen, I have done many sheep hunts and when I was younger I tore both my played ACL and both my MCLs playing football. It hasn't caused me much problem. I also have some metal hardware in my ankle from a pylon fracture that occurred from a fall I had while building a house. This has caused me more problems than the injury from my knee, but I have successfully guided and hunted sheep on both my bad knee and my ankle. Just take your time and be careful. It really all depends on how good of shape you are in, and how mentally tough you are. You can overcome a lot of old injuries with some mental toughness. One thing that has worked for me is the simple remedy for taking care of injuries known as RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. At the end of a long day, take a couple Aleve and prop your knee up over your head to allow the swelling to go down. I usually soak my foot in a cold stream or something and then wrap it foot up with an Ace bandage to give my foot some elevation over my head. You can't really do this with your knee, but maybe you could try taking some cold rocks from a stream and wrapping them around your knee. This will alleviate some of the pain. This will help keep the swelling down, which essentially will give you more endurance.

  8. #8
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    Come on, Stick, let's get serious here. Plenty of old people and plenty of fat people kill sheep. You can be sure that some of them have old injuries in addition to their wrinkly pear-shaped bodies. Just do a quick google search if you need to be motivated by pictures of other average Toms, Dicks, and/or Harrys with their magnificent rams. I even found a picture of a 9-year-old kid from flat-ass Illinois who managed to shoot a sheep in TMA. Assuming you have a hunting partner who can keep you from freezing or starving if you twist your knee on the mountain, it seems like you should wear whatever brace is comfortable and go hunt yourself a sheep.

    sheep_kid_2.jpgtma1.jpg
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  9. #9
    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    495

    Default

    I was worried going into steep terrain, I broke my left ankle 7 years ago, I actualy turned it around backwards. Something I hope to avoid ever doing again. And after years of abuse from the ocean my knees make a nice grinding noise when I squat down.

    So I made sure I had every extra tool and piece of equipment to help make it comfortable.
    For starters (2) trecking poles, good-high boots to tie the ankle up nice and tight,and a good pack.

    Getting there is the easy part, coming down with a loaded pack with camp and a sheep is the hard part.

    I was guided but shared the load with my guide, There were many time I slipped and the thought of my ankle breaking flashed before me. But having a pole in each hand deffently helped way more than I can mention.

    We weighed our packs when we returned back to the hanger and both were pushing 100lbs.
    One nice thing is the scenery makes the pain not really noticable.

    Have fun, and good luck!!

  10. #10
    Member Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,334

    Default

    My left knee has has tears for years - no surgery but there have been times where walking down even a slight hill with no load was a no no. I tried diff braces and settled on 2 diff elastic ones. They def help support but I was told to be xtra careful and slow with a lot of rests as you get over confident from the brace and can push it way too far and do more damage. Also, they make your knee or back of your knee area pretty sore from sweat and rubbing, so they help but do have drawbacks.
    Like Stid says make more trips if need be and go slow and you should be fine!
    Best of luck....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  11. #11
    Member Stickeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    SE AK
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Come on, Stick, let's get serious here. Plenty of old people and plenty of fat people kill sheep. You can be sure that some of them have old injuries in addition to their wrinkly pear-shaped bodies. Just do a quick google search if you need to be motivated by pictures of other average Toms, Dicks, and/or Harrys with their magnificent rams. I even found a picture of a 9-year-old kid from flat-ass Illinois who managed to shoot a sheep in TMA. Assuming you have a hunting partner who can keep you from freezing or starving if you twist your knee on the mountain, it seems like you should wear whatever brace is comfortable and go hunt yourself a sheep.

    sheep_kid_2.jpgtma1.jpg
    I know what you mean Skinny. Hopefully I don't come off as too much of a wuss. I've seen the pictures of some who have filled their sheep tags and thought well if they can do it...

    Not going to let it stop me from hunting, just do what Stid says if that what it comes down to. I'm a pretty active guy and heck, I'm only 33. It's nice to see pictures of old guys like Stid still doing it. Lets me know I have A LOT of years left in this!

    Thanks for the advice guys! Training now, but will be gillnetting up to the day I leave, and will have to come up with a workout routine for the boat.

  12. #12
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,133

    Default

    2 years ago I went with 3 guys in their 60's. We didnt have much for lightweight stuff. Everyones pack was about 60 pounds going in. One guy wore his knee brace. That same guy went last year. And is going this year! His pack is getting lighter I hear though. If the doc clears you, and you think you can handle it. Go for it. Nothing like sheep hunting to psyco strengthen that knee.

    That guy does use trekking poles BTW and he says they make all the difference.

  13. #13
    Member Stickeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    SE AK
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    2 years ago I went with 3 guys in their 60's. We didnt have much for lightweight stuff. Everyones pack was about 60 pounds going in. One guy wore his knee brace. That same guy went last year. And is going this year! His pack is getting lighter I hear though. If the doc clears you, and you think you can handle it. Go for it. Nothing like sheep hunting to psyco strengthen that knee.

    That guy does use trekking poles BTW and he says they make all the difference.
    Trimming insoles for my new Scarpa boots right now, which seem really stiff and offer great support, and will definitely be using trekking poles.

  14. #14
    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    495

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stickeen View Post
    Trimming insoles for my new Scarpa boots right now, which seem really stiff and offer great support, and will definitely be using trekking poles.
    Here are the poles I used,they are on sale now, if your looking for a pair. Hard to beat for the price,just make sure you lock-tight the tips on. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabel...h-All+Products

  15. #15

    Default

    Stickeen,

    You have been given a lot of good advice by members here. I am not a sheep hunter, I'm an RN. Here's my input.... I've periodically worked with ortho patients for 20+ years, and I am an ortho patient. I have had multiple ortho injuries (50 yr old) and my left knee has been problematic for 16 years. (I won't talk about spinal fractures and my body cast days...different subject...Ahhh!) I've had an ACL bone-tendon-bone surgery, 2 torn meniscus tear surgeries and 1 meniscus removal because it was damaged past salvage, and a high tibial osteotomy with hardware...all on the left knee. I'm still upright and functioning but I lighten the loads when possible, limit impacts, take more breaks than I'd like to admit to myself or the public, and my awareness of potential injury is pretty high so I am cautious.

    General info: Your meniscus is a piece of 1/2 moon-like shaped cartilage that is a weight-bearing gliding pad in your joint. When the meniscus becomes torn it has a tendency to extend the tear from the original tear if it is is overstressed by weight or an impact. If the tear extends completely through the cartilage one piece may "float" and this can cause the knee to intermittently "lock up" causing a reduction of range of motion. If you get to this point you'll probably want to consult an ortho surgeon because there is no self-fix for it. It sounds like where you are at now is not to that point, good! Use treking poles, appropriate footwear, walk softly, lighten the loads if possible, take frequent breaks, and you'll last longer than if you don't. Depend on your age and your surgeon, the meniscus may actually be repaired. If you're past 30 years old (ish) your surgeon may opt to notch out the torn area so it does not extend the tear. This usually works fairly well for pain reduction and function but now you have the total amount of weight bearing on a smaller pad and another tear is common. A knee brace may provide some confidence and comfort but for a torn meniscus it will not prevent further injury or an extension of a current tear. If you have swelling with your bad knee the brace can help keep some compress it and therefore prevent some swelling. If you do get swelling, RICE is commonly the best response (RICE = rest, ice, compression, elevation). Knee braces can be pretty helpful for stabilizing the knee joint with an ACL tear before you can get it repaired. You are the only person that can test and see if you can do what you want. If you are training up to the task, go lighter so you don't create a further injury.

    Don't let life pass you by. Go do what you want to and if you take a few more breaks that the 22 year old endurance athlete, who cares!

    AJ

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Come on, Stick, let's get serious here. Plenty of old people and plenty of fat people kill sheep. You can be sure that some of them have old injuries in addition to their wrinkly pear-shaped bodies. Just do a quick google search if you need to be motivated by pictures of other average Toms, Dicks, and/or Harrys with their magnificent rams. I even found a picture of a 9-year-old kid from flat-ass Illinois who managed to shoot a sheep in TMA. Assuming you have a hunting partner who can keep you from freezing or starving if you twist your knee on the mountain, it seems like you should wear whatever brace is comfortable and go hunt yourself a sheep.

    sheep_kid_2.jpgtma1.jpg
    Very intersting to see those TMA area sheep pictures....The guide in one picture epitomizes the rape and pillage philosophy, and so much that is wrong with sheep management in Alaska today. On the other hand, you have a guide that morally and ethically represents what was once a noble and widely respected profession.

  17. #17
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J in AK View Post
    Very intersting to see those TMA area sheep pictures....The guide in one picture epitomizes the rape and pillage philosophy, and so much that is wrong with sheep management in Alaska today. On the other hand, you have a guide that morally and ethically represents what was once a noble and widely respected profession.
    I'm not sure about all that. I don't think there was a chairlift to get that old, old woman on top of the mountain though.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    I'm not sure about all that. I don't think there was a chairlift to get that old, old woman on top of the mountain though.
    No Chairlift needed...Sue Entsminger is tougher than nails, and one of the finest sheep guides in the state, along with her husband and son. I even had the priviledge of seeing her in a fur bikini when I was a little kid.

    But, as far as the other guide goes, I am quite sure about all that...Until sheep management is changed in this state, guides like him will continue to abuse the resource in the search of the almighty dollar.

  19. #19
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska/Idaho
    Posts
    2,162

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J in AK View Post
    Very intersting to see those TMA area sheep pictures....The guide in one picture epitomizes the rape and pillage philosophy, and so much that is wrong with sheep management in Alaska today.
    Really bad timing for comments like that, J.
    Sad hijack indeed.

    Stickeen, I have bad knees as well. Meniscus has been torn for some time as well as my ACL.
    I always wear an ACE style brace and may opt for a hinged style this year just for the lateral support. As was said, pole are everything!
    Get in shape, and when you hit the hills take your time.
    Proud to be an American!

  20. #20
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Default

    Agree with FULLKURL on the sad hijack attempt....Nobody on earth is more dedicated to (sustainable) sheep hunting than the Entsminger fam.

    Agree with SkinnyD.....Old people, large-round people, tiny people can harvest sheep, as well as the fit and fast. A sheep harvest does not always go to the fastest on the mountain. Often, slow and deliberate works just fine. Mental toughness, coaching, training, cheer-leading....counts.
    dennis

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •