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  • passing on a dall

    i'll finally be heading to alaska in 5 more days. after 5 years of waiting and SAVING I WILL BE SHEEP HUNTING IN THE BROOKS RANGE. I am going with a very reputable outfitter with nearly perfect success on dall rams. undoubtely, this will be my only dall hunt ever and i have no desire to hunt caribou on this trip. my question is: Is it appropriate to pass on a legal ram with undesirable horns ie. one side broke off or just obviously a small full curl? I want a ram of a lifetime i don't want to shoot a borderline one on the first or second day. And, what is the guide going to think about this?

  • #2
    It's your hunt and your paying for it so you should be able to choose the ram that you want, if he's available. As long as you do your part on the hunt the guide can't say anything, all he can do is help put you in a position to get your ram, the rest is up to you. I'm sure the guide will not have problem with you being selective.

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    • #3
      thank you akhunter45.

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      • #4
        Having seen many Dall rams both alive and taxidermy, my opinion is that any legal mature ram is the ultimate trophy. There are areas that hold siginificantly larger rams (40" or better) and they are known for growing the big ones and those areas are draw areas like TMA, and DCU or even some of the subsistence areas like down by Chitna. With that said I believe the harder you work the bigger rams you'll find,but dont cut yourself of the ultimate trophy which is IMO is any mature ram searching for that monster. You'll know what mature is when you see it. Good luck.

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        • #5
          I would have some serious conversations with your guide before opening morning about what you can realistically expect as far as size. All of my sheep hunts have been self-guided, but I've always figured out what a realistic size expectation is before I head in. That being said, I've always taken the first legal ram I've seen - though twice I had a choice of multiple legal rams in the same area.

          Anyhow, I tend to agree with what AlaskaCub says about any legal ram being a trophy. In all honesty, my first sheep - a 32" ram from an area known for small rams - was by far the prettiest ram I had taken until last year. Although my next two were larger in diameter and base, I liked the look of the smaller one better.

          On another note, I can understand not wanting the hunt to be over on the first day. On those once-in-a-lifetime hunts, it can be bittersweet pulling the trigger. I had a bison tag a few years back, and while I eagerly pulled the trigger when I found a large bull, I was still somewhat disappointed that it was over so soon.

          Talk with your guide and give yourself some reasonable parameters, but then pull the trigger when you find an animal that pleases you. Of course, your standards may lower as the week progresses, but hey, that's hunting.

          -Brian

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          • #6
            bone -- I went on my 1st sheep hunt last year. It was in the Talkeetnas. I originally put in for a moose tag and didn't draw so I opted to go after a Dall's sheep. I knew there wasn't going to be a 40" around every corner or even as much as you would find in TMA or DCU but I had built a good repore with my guide over the months of planning the moose; he had a very good success rate for sheep; and, after all was said and done, I was more pleased having taken a Dall's sheep than I would been taking a moose (or at least I believe that as of right now).

            Nevertheless, I harvested a 36"X13"+ and another guy from Canada hunting with the same guide service as me harvested a 37"X13". Looking at the two together, I'd take mine over his if they were side by side. His had a deeper curl but looked thin whereas mine had a tighter curl with some flare and had more mass. While some strive for the 40"+, which I would undoubtedly take given the opporunity, I would likely take a ram that is 3/4 to full curl and broomed on both sides over a 40" ram.

            B_M is right. Speak with your guide. Let him know your wishes. You're paying for the hunt so it should be your decision to shoot after the determination is made that the ram is legal. Remember one thing...you are using a reputable outfitter and paying him for his knowledge so I'd imagine he's going to give you good advice and try and give you the opportunity to harvest the best ram possible. After all, his reputation is on the line!
            "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

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            • #7
              thank you all for your input. i guess the whitetail hunter in me just loves those wide flaring lamb tips. can you tell im getting excited?

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              • #8
                Legal ram is first priority

                While it wasn't mentioned here so far, obviously your guide isn't going to let you pull the trigger unless he himself is convinced it is a legal ram. The length of the horn is only important as to how it relates to the style of the curl.
                It must break the imaginary plane of 360* or be 8 years old or be double broomed. But the guide knows all that. You ultimately must decide if the style of horn is to your liking. After 3-5 days of climbing, your body may be dictating what looks good! Show us your pics when you get back.

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                • #9
                  Sheep tips

                  These folks are right; talk to your guide right away about your desires, expectations, etc. Naturally the holy grail of sheep is a 40-incher, but that's precisely why your chances of getting one are so slim. Big trophies are of necessity rare. Any full-curl ram is a trophy to most of us. And don't kid yourself. Once you do it, you won't be satisfied until you come back again. Sheep hunting gets in your blood!

                  -Mike
                  Michael Strahan
                  Site Owner
                  Alaska Hunt Consultant
                  1 (907) 229-4501

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                  • #10
                    I'll shoot the first legal one I can. Any full curl Dall Sheep is a trophy to me. Beautiful animals.
                    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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                    • #11
                      I used to do some guiding for muleys in montana. Every client wanted the magical 30 incher. They seldom got that, but got big, tall bucks with deep forks. Every critter has ingredients that make it cool/big. Similar to the 40" sheep. Personally I don't like the rams whose horns start flaring out right from the base producing a really wide, shallow set of horns. BUT that may be what you'd prefer. Take a sheep if you get the chance and you like 'em. Don't expect 40 in the brooks either. They tend to grow a little slower from what I've seen, so a good full curl may be old, heavy and full of character.

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                      • #12
                        Read Duncan Gilcrist!

                        Originally posted by bone
                        i'll finally be heading to alaska in 5 more days. after 5 years of waiting and SAVING I WILL BE SHEEP HUNTING IN THE BROOKS RANGE. I am going with a very reputable outfitter with nearly perfect success on dall rams. undoubtely, this will be my only dall hunt ever and i have no desire to hunt caribou on this trip. my question is: Is it appropriate to pass on a legal ram with undesirable horns ie. one side broke off or just obviously a small full curl? I want a ram of a lifetime i don't want to shoot a borderline one on the first or second day. And, what is the guide going to think about this?
                        You mentioned you're going to the Brooks; have you read Duncan Gilcrist's "Trophy Rams of the Brooks Range"? It will inflate your expectations, perhaps, but it's a good read from a man who spent a lot of time up there.

                        -Mike
                        Michael Strahan
                        Site Owner
                        Alaska Hunt Consultant
                        1 (907) 229-4501

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bone,
                          After living and hunting in Alaska for 36 years, sheep hunting is still my favorite hunt.
                          I never have got a big one yet, but I've enjoyed all the hunts and rams taken.
                          I believe, as most here have stated, that a legal ram is a trophy to always be proud of.
                          A mature ram will have lived 8 or more years in some of the harshest and wildest country on earth.
                          Les

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by salmo trutta
                            I used to do some guiding for muleys in montana.

                            Where at in Montana? I'm from Missoula. Been in Alaska 15 years. Western Montana mountain Mulies or eastern Montana coulie Mulies? I've hunted both. Lots of fun in both parts of the state.
                            A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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                            • #15
                              it's up to you.......

                              just don't pass on day 1 or 2 of a hunt and then spend all night and day moaning too your guide that you didn't get to shoot anything......

                              wait.........does that ever really happen?!?!?!?!

                              personally I think you should have an idea of the type of animal you want to harvest before you go into the field.......

                              if a "small" sheep wasn't good enough on day 1 why is it on day 7?

                              hopefully you're one of the ( small minority) of guided hunters who really is there for the experience and the opportunity to HUNT (vs being taken by the hand to an animal for him to shoot)......

                              as I said before.........have an idea of the type of animal you want to harvest before you go into the field........and when that animal presents itself then the decision is totally up to you

                              I don't know of a SINGLE guide who will be upset with a client for NOT taking an animal and opting to hold out for a better trophy.............UNLESS.......said client starts pissing and moaning a few days later that "I didn't get to shoot anything"........

                              it's your HUNT..........enjoy it!!!

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