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Sheep Tricks

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  • Sheep Tricks

    We've been talking heavy issues here, friends! I want to see if we can talk about something a little lighter for a bit; sheep tactics! We've talked a lot about sheep hunting here, and I thought a new spin might be some of the little tricks you use. You know, little tips and shortcuts you do that make it a little easier, more effective, whatever. So how about it? Here's a few ideas to chew on.

    1. Overwhites. Yes or no? Have you tried them? Did they work, or are the rams still running?

    2. Reducing pack weight. Always a biggie.

    3. Tarp or tent? Or bivy? We're talking primary shelter here.

    4. Other gear stuff?

    5. Hunting tactics. What works best in your area?

    6. Glassing tricks.

    7. Areas. Careful now, I may be researching for another book! (I'm not... uh... seriously....) Not asking for secrets here, but generally how have things been going in the major areas; Alaska Range, Chugach, Brooks, Wrangells, etc?

    8. ??

    Well, this should be fun. One more rule: no knuckle sandwiches, noogies, swirlies, or other forms of abuse. I promise I'll behave myself. Lord knows, I could use a break!

    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (406) 662-1791

  • #2
    Wow- no replies yet... OK, I'll start.

    Whites do work. But only if you use them properly. I've "accidentally" been within 40 yards of a band of immature rams while wearing 'em. But my advice is to make sure you can get them off quickly. I had a pair that I had trouble getting off over my boots. Bad, very bad...

    As far as reducing pack weight goes, the best thing you can do is find a reliable hunting partner. Even though I prefer hunting solo, there's only so much you can carry by yourself. Splitting "common" items between two or three packs can save a lot of weight in your own.

    I use a solo tent (an old Walrus Zoid 1) as my primary shelter. It's light weight, well ventilated, and easy to move when necessary.

    I carry a MSR dragonfly stove as my main cook set. But I also carry an Esbit stove, a few fuel tabs, and a mountain house meal whenever I leave camp. You just never know when you will need a hot meal when the sun goes down and you are still away from camp. And I always carry some heavy tinfoil to use as a windscreen. It's a real fuel saver. The dragon fly is a bit heavy and I've been thinking about replacing it with a pocket rocket or other small cannister stove for a while now, but I just don't know if I want to give up the stability of the wide-legged dragonfly.

    Some general advice- bring along a good mechanical pencil and a small rite-in-the-rain notepad. Keep a journal. Write down everything you can think of, from the weather and hunting conditions to general thoughts about life. Write a few times a day. You don't have to write a novel, just jot down your thoughts. It's amazing how the high mountain air clears your mind and gives you a different perspective on life. Read the journal next spring or before your next hunting trip. It's a great way to keep your focus throughout the year, and a great reminder of what you thought was important in life at the time.

    Oh yeah, one more thing. You can never drink too much water. Stop and refill every chance you get. You never know when or where the next water source will show up.
    Originally posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!


    • #3
      Don't let them see you and get as close as possible. I like to try and get above them when I'm stalking a ram.


      • #4
        sheep tricks

        If you're serious about sheep and can't afford the very best in optics, do without other things until you CAN afford one thing(IMO) is more important.

        Where there's a hobble, there's hope.


        • #5

          Well I hope you all add more to this thread - I and my wife will be heading out this August on our first hunt! We were both drawn for the walk in hunt. Preparation is ongoing. We are walking every other night with weight and doing longer walks on the weekends. I have narrowed our hunt location down to four sites and plan on walking into them this summer, we will conduct a fly over last weekend in July prior to the season opening.
          Thanks for all the helpfull information!!


          • #6
            Whites worked for me from above the rams. 8 rams were bedded down below in 80 degree weather. Had to cross an open stretch of steep shale to get to a rock outcrop close enough for a shot. All 8 rams glanced up and just continued to lie there, but were definately more alert and edgy.

            Reducing pack weight - probably the biggest items for weight reduction are tent, sleeping bag, mattress pad, stove. The only extra clothes I carry is an extra pair of socks and poly-wicking undershirt.

            I use a North Face Roadrunner tent. It weighs 6 lbs. Its a 2-man, but I use it solo. My partner also carries a Walrus tent. We could go lighter and squeeze into one tent, but generally don't unless we plan to spike up high for a night.

            I'm going to try trekking poles this year. Never used them before. Seems like people either love um or hate um.

            I like to work sheep from above, but I will spend time below to spot them. Once I've spotted, I look to find a way to get above them for the shot.

            Area - this year it's the TMA. Got my flight already booked with Golden Eagle.

            Fly over if you can, quality optics, get in shape, and practice shooting all summer.


            • #7
              sheep insights...

              well heres a few I found over the years....

              Expect beauty and a challenge-not a sheep. If the Lord blesses with one, well, thats as good as it gets. When you find a spot with rams, learn it well. Learn the escape routes, favorite bedding areas etc. Sheep aren't incredibly complex. Ive seen rams that loved the same spots almost every day. Use that knowledge to your advantage.

              Trim your toe nails, and wear proper fitting footwear. Wear quality wool or poly socks-not too tight! A bunion is a painful thing for 30 miles.

              Wear knee braces--Ace style (many don't do this, but after wearing them, if I remove them it feels like I'm all wobbly. They offer loads of support.) Don't wear them too tight or they dig in the back tendons of your leg.

              At least one hiking pole is a must. With a sheep-loaded pack they are literally lifesavers while sidehilling.

              Get as high as you can and camp there. Sheep don't expect danger from above generally. If you get high above them its a whole new ball game!

              Hunt like you are bowhunting--that is to say, close the distance. A miss is unlikely if you are shooting from 135 yards. This leads me to another point--take the range finder. It is invaluable in sheep country. Its deceiving up there to guess yardage.

              Move with caution in sheep country. Invariably theres a band of rams laying on the lee side of your climbed hill. They will hear you or worse, see you, and could then be four drainages over.

              Don't give up on semi-spooked sheep. I watched 14 rams disappear into some crags/spires alarmed and I managed to follow them. Two remained in the spires and bedded. The big one never awoke. If your area has lots of "clutter" eg. rocks, boulders, sometimes they will stick around especially if you hunt in a smaller contained area. I've found that sheep would rather not cross a wide, low valley to avoid danger. This could provide you another opportunity for success.

              Glass, glass and glass some more.

              Good luck! Frank
              Last edited by fullkurl; 05-12-2006, 17:42.
              Proud to be an American!


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