A little gear advise for sheep season



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  • A little gear advise for sheep season

    I am planning my first sheep hunt for the fall and have plenty of time to do my scouting through the summer.

    The thing that worries me isn't finding sheep it's being properly equipped when the season roles around. Late in the fall I have never hunted in the mountains and have never targeted sheep.

    As far as optics I have been told to get a spotting scope (up to at least 48x, I have a 35x but am considering newer optics) any suggestions?

    I am also looking at a new sleeping bag and debating if a 15 degree or a 0 degree would be better. I am looking at the mountain hardwear down ones, light weight I figure.

    These are the two major weaknesses I perceive I may have out of all my gear. Any suggestions of things people may have found of special importance would be welcome!
    River Runnin

  • #2
    Buy the best spotting scope you can afford. Quality optics can save you both time and effort. The better your optics the better chance you have of judging legal sheep and not wasting time chasing sub legals. Quality used gear sells well and you can sell it and get most of your money back. Do a search for spotting scope tons have been written on them. I use a Pentax PF-65EDAII and have had good luck with it.

    As far a sleeping bag goes. I use a wiggy's 20 degree bag. The weather is usually mild the beginning of Aug. You can always wear your long underwear in your bag to stay warmer and carry a lighter bag.

    Check out this link on gear, lots of good advice.

    Good luck, I got the fever as well, working on cutting weight from my sheep pack also.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"


    • #3
      Spend some time reading in the Gear Forum and the Optics Forum. Both have many, many great threads on the equipment you're looking for.


      • #4

        Gear Quick Notes....IMHO...

        (Note I am not a "gear head" and have never been confused with anybody who loves the newest gadgets.....)

        Bring whatever scope you have. I seldom go over 20 power, except early in the AM. Above 20 power you start tp pick up that heat shimmer deal.
        Your bag will be fine for an Aug hunt.

        Put all your available resources, both time and money, into backpacking all summer. As a new hunter and new sheep hunter you need to become comfortable living like a caveman. No amount of great equipment will help you more than becoming comfortable with your-wet, sweaty, exhausted, brused, alder battered-self.

        Try not to think to much....intellectual sheep hunters tend to shorten hunts. Don't abandon all common sence, but above basic survival, stop thinking and stop trying to figure out a better way...start thinking primitive.
        Be physically and mentally tough and the equipment issues will not exist.

        AK TAGS
        Imagine (It's easy if you try)
        …miles and miles of mountains…wide expanses of tundra...remote wild waters…
        (Whisper words of wisdom) Let It Be


        • #5
          I would recommend finding a NICE spotting scope, but not too big and heavy. I started with a Zeiss 85mm with a 20-60x eyepiece. Too much scope. Now I have a Nikon fieldscope, I think it is a 60 or 62mm (the medium one) with a 20-60x zoom eyepiece. I am happy with the quality, much happier with the price and happier with saving more than 1 pound. The other thing to consider with a spotter is bigger scopes will need a stronger (usually heavier) tripod. I have found that as important as optic quality is, having a crappy tripod will ruin it all. A nice tripod with a smooth head will make your picture much clearer than one that is bouncing around in the wind and every time you bump it.

          As for sleeping bags, there is a bunch of good advice on the other forums as indicated above. Down is lighter, but if it gets wet, you will be cold. I have two bags and use them depending on the weather. My heavier bag is a Marmot cloud 9 (0 degree rating synthetic bag). The lighter one is a synthetic integeral designs 32 degree bag. Lots of guys like the Cat's Meow or wiggy's. This is potentially a good area to save weight.

          Another thing that I do is put all my gear into an excel spreadsheet. I sent this out about 2 years ago. I'll see if I can't find the thread and let you know where it is. This way you can see what you have and how much it weighs. Then you can decide if it is worth it or not. This is helpful for fly out hunts where you need to get under a certain weight.

          Hope this helps!


          • #6

            last 2 paragraphs that alaska true adventure made are about as good as it gets for sheep hunting......that is the best advise period..
            I ♥ Big Sheep


            • #7
              good glass

              two things i dont skimp on is raingear and glass, good binos and spotting scope will save you a ton of hiking! I have an older Bausch scope 40 power that is light and compact, it goes everywhere! Dont overlook boots, after 25 years guideing last year i found Limmers, for goat and sheep country nothing else even comes close. My most memorable hunt was a sheep hunt 4 years ago, took wife and 2 kids, 6 days not a cloud! no legal sheep either but it was the trip of a lifetime! Have fun and good luck!


              • #8
                Gear list

                Here is my gear list.


                There is a link from the food tab to the line item for food. So, if you change the weight of your food on that tab, it will adjust it for you on the main sheet. IF you change the destination cell on the main sheet, it will mess up the formula.

                Good luck,


                • #9
                  Gotta agree with the majority here, bring some top shelf glass, it will save you many miles of unneccessary walking. A 20 degree bag will be fine and like Perry stated earlier, if you get a bit chilled, throw on some long underwear and you'll be fine.
                  Bring plenty of food (Mtn House) and drink lots of water but most of all, enjoy your time in the mountains and spend a little time in taking it all in. You never know if you'll ever get back out to chase sheep again. A little common sense will take you a long way. Good luck.


                  • #10
                    no down

                    Alaska has a very unforgiving environment, when it wants to. As someone else mentioned down insulation can leave you cold, if it gets wet. I've used two different weight bags that have one of the better poly fills in them. I use them separately or in combination depending on the season.
                    Good luck.


                    • #11
                      Take a look at the newer model Nikon 50mm compact scope. My buddy has one and its Excellent. Its not quite as bright as my larger ED scope but the optics are excellent and its small and light. Perfect for a backpack hunt.
                      “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ― Aristotle
                      “I'm not young enough to know everything.” ― J.M. Barrie


                      • #12
                        good boots is a great place to invest some real money. You will go much farther if you have comfortable feet. Also your legs are your vehicle in this case so a twisted ankle can leave you stranded. Investing in good mountain boots can save your life. I like good mountain boots from brands like Lowa, Meindle, Kenetrek, Scarpa. I also carry trekking poles but there are plenty that use their rifle for that purpose. A good tent is another place to spend some time... You can spend as much as you want on chasing the white ghosts!

                        I agree with Dennis though at some point it gets boiled down to "right foot.....Left foot......right ....." You will be amazed a the amount of teritory you can cover by just putting one foot in front of the other!


                        • #13

                          I've seen some good deals on Leica Televid 62's lately. One on the Swap and Sell here and Doug at Cameraland was advertising straight rubber body 62 w/ eyepeice for 999.00 I believe. Tough to top. I have and love this scope.


                          • #14
                            I've climbed around in the mountains some and got some new boots. They are the Merrel Traverse. Pretty comfortable, I figure I'll see how they do scouting earlier in the season. I know lots of people who are using the stiff plastic boots so I might end up investing in some more...

                            I've been looking at those new xl nikons, I think that is what they are calling them. The straight plain looking one, looks more like a rifle scope or something.
                            River Runnin


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by River Runnin View Post

                              I've been looking at those new xl nikons, I think that is what they are calling them. The straight plain looking one, looks more like a rifle scope or something.
                              Good call on the Nikon. I've got the Spotter XL II, and I have really liked it. $1-2,000 glass is nice to look for, but it's tough to justify dropping that kind of coin on a scope. My Nikon is very clear and has great resolution at higher powers. I've never had a problem judging a ram with it, and it cost me $225. Speaking of that price, there is one listed on the Swap and Sell forum right now for $225 and it comes with a tripod. That's a pretty smokin' deal, if you ask me.


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