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Your First Sheep Hunt Ever Story.....

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  • Your First Sheep Hunt Ever Story.....

    Thought this might be a interesting post, let's hear about your first ever sheep hunt! Here's mine.

    Started off with the DS102 TMA in 98'. I was pumped to only have put in for this permit for the first time and get drawn. I read every book I could find, called and talked with tony russ (great guy), spent every penny I had on gear (still wasn't enough) and made the flight reservations with 40mile. The date was Sept. 3, 1998. Arriving at 40mile I started showing places on the map where I (had insider info) would like to go, but was told that there were allready to many hunters there, hmmmmm, sounded fishy. Then I was asked what my hunting skills were, they really did not want to fly me out due to I was going SOLO, I had told them it was ok, I am not a greenhorn and have spent many a day out in alaska alone hunting/fishing and camping. They agreed to fly me out that day. The flight was great the mountains beautiful and I had thoughts of that 40" plus hog in my mind. After about 50 minutes in the air the Pilot heads up my drainage to the strip. He comes over the mic and say's if it's to windy I would have to be dropped at the base of the drainage and hike up, no prolem I said. After 3 circles in a box canyon looking at the flagging tape down on the strip he said, We can do this, a big grin on my face I reply cool! I have never in my life landed in a bush plane on the side of a mountain, THIS WAS A RUSH!!!!!! Lief landed that cub going uphill and pulled her to a nice rolling stop. I was thourowlly impressed. Upon unloading the plane and signing the paper work to were I was at and in what unit, he took off to leave me in GOD'S country. I had 14 lambs and ewe's right at the end of the strip and was in heaven. I set up camp and glassed sheep the rest of the day in total aw, this was my first sheep hunt and would never be my last. The next day Sept. 4th was sunny, cold and beautiful. I ate breakfest loaded the pack and started off. Day one revealed 13 rams, 4 legal ones but no stocking oppertunity. Basically it was a 15 mile hump in the mountains and asking myself, self? What did you get you butt into! Man was I pooped! Next morning Sept. 5th brought really low clouds, rain mixed with snow and wind. After a couple hours it looked like it was lifting so I decided to just make a run a few miles down the drainage to look up into another. This was one of those "just gonna be a minute deals", my mistake. I left the tent on a empty stoumach, like water and minimal gear. I made it to the drainage and started up into it. After about a 3000ft climb it turns into a white out, I found a huge rock that juted out from the hill side and tucked myself under it. After about a hour it broke off and I stepped out to look around. I noticed somethign down in the bottom of the creek that looked like 3 snow patches, nope, snow patches don't move. Looking through the spottign scope, there they were, 3 rams, 2 full curl and 1 7/8. I flew down that mountain to get to the other side of the creek where there was a 30ft cliff to hide my stalk. I made it down the creek to a patch of brush that I had land marked the rams close to. I belly crawled up the side of the mountain's brush to see they were still there and bedded down now. EST on range, 500+ yrds. I had to do better and scoped out the stalk. Back down to the creek for another route. I closed the distance to 250yrds and parallel with the bedded rams. I sat down in a big divit and a nice little saddle infront to shoot from. I sat there for at least 40 minutes just marveling at what I had been through and seen that day. The ram was was quarting twords me slightly, I had found my time, I was at peace with the situation at hand. I lind up the crosshairs right at the curve of the shoulder and sqeezed off the shot. It was all quiet and there lye my first ram. I was so estatic I shouted out in glee only to realize I was hunting alone, no buddy to high five and share the momment with. I hiked back down to the creek, grabbed the pack and went to see him, upon reaching my prize I was at a loss for words as I marveled in this trophy, I came to understand what sheep hunters have allways talked about. It is a feeling that you don't need to talk about because you know. After the capeing/boning and loading up I relized that man I am STARVING! It is now 6:30pm and I am wet, cold, hungery, tired and have along difficult hump back UP the drainage to camp. I desided to take all the meat, cape and horns out in one load, wow what a load! I reached camp at 10:45p.m by mag light. I was in the first stage of hypothermia and really kicking my self for my actions during the day. First thing out of the cloths and into dry warm gear, second in the sleeping bag for heat, third, FOOD! I set up my MSR stove in the tent (do not recomend this to anyone) after priming the fuel my hands were so cold I couldn't light the fuel right away, finally it light and PAAAAWWWOOOOOOFFFFFFFFF! Flash fire across the bottom of the tent! Now I am pist at myself. After 2 packages of sweet and sour pork freeze dried dinner and feeling much better, I headed outside to flesh and salt the cape and take care of the meat. 4:00AM FINALLY SLEEP! The next day brought fresh snow and sunny skies and 18 sheep 300yrds behind the tent! And yes 7 were legal full curl rams! I ate breakfest watching them to learn more about there movments. That evenign I hear a cub and start to quickly tear down camp only to find out it wasn't 40mile, LOL... But I held up my horns and gave a thumbs up which in return I got a wing tip wave. The next morning sheep back straps for breakfest and the plane rise out.

    The moral of my mistakes on this trip? 2 minute's or 10 hours from camp for a quick peak see, have your "bleep" in order, be prepared for ANYTHING!

    I have been hooked on sheep hunting ever since and am looking foreward to my first goat hunt. The ram I took was not a monster but a hunt that I will truely never forget!
    36"x12.5" and 20" spread.

    How did you get hooked on sheep hunting???????????

  • #2
    try to post pic again.......

    try this again....
    Last edited by AKDSLDOG; 04-03-2007, 21:41.


    • #3
      My friend made a mistake

      He gave me a package of Dall sheep steaks from his ram. This was back in 1990 and After I ate those great little steaks,, I went back over and begged for some more...
      He said.. "OK" now I have you hooked on the meat,, your priorities will be in the right place..He had no Idea that he was stuck with me as a hunting partner for several seasons, I pushed him a little harder than he sometimes wanted to be pushed on some of those hunts over the years,,, but he was always pleased with the results,,
      that next season we headed out together and hiked in an open area on the Kenai and we both got legal rams.. The weather was blue bird and in August still lots of sunlight.. I remember sitting at our little base camp looking through the spotting scope at a herd of Ewes and Lambs (about 40 of them) playing on a big patch of snow. The Lambs would race accross the snow patch at full speed ,, stop and jump and buck, Turn and run full speed back,, and forth,, for hours,,, and then they would go see momma and get a little milk,,and then back at it again,,, playing with the other lambs,, the mothers rested and ate around the edges of the snow field.. A Black bear fed on anouther hill near our camp on Blue berrries and Crow berries.. The feeling of being up on top of those peaks was so wonderful.. the air was the sweetest I had ever smelled. We found our two Rams about 1 mile from the Ewes and lambs on the other side of a steep rocky peak. We glassed and glassed and moved a few hundred feet and glassed again.. We found these two rams about 7/8 of the way up on mountian laying down chewing cudd and resting in the early fall sun.
      It took us an hour to get within 300 yds of them without being heard seen, or winded...
      We did the old "ONE< TWO < THREE" thing and I think my buddy shot between ONE and TWO.. anyway.. his ram lept up from his bed and flipped down the mountian,, My ram stood up as I shot, and I blew a boulder up where he was laying.. My ram jumped up a rock or two and turned to see where his buddy had gone off the cliff.. I popped him with the old 270 win. and he followed his pal with a perfect swan dive,,,,
      I talked to my hunting partner about his counting problem as I was sure he thought 3 came before 2..... He said with a grin,, " I'm Dyslexic"..
      Any way.. the Sheep were retrived and careful attention to the Meat..
      We packed them out that afternoon and evening to camp in two trips.
      I did not Cape my sheep, as I did not plan to make a mount...
      I wish I would have, as I later found out that lots of guys either botch their capes, or what ever and are in need of capes.... Since then they all get caped..
      great hunt.. I will never forget any sheep hunt I have ever been on,, but the first one seems to stick out as the best.. I was alot younger 16 years ago, and the old wheels don't cover the ground as speedy or as willing anymore, but I just take a little longer to get up the hills...
      35 1/2 and 38 inch
      The hunt was wonderful and I had hiked alot that summer to be in shape.
      Still to this day,, when someone mentions Dall sheep, my mouth starts to water...
      Last edited by Alaskacanoe; 11-13-2006, 19:53.
      When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

      Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years.


      • #4
        What A Story!


        Nice job on the story telling. I have been waiting for many years. Too many to list,but next year I am off on my first guided sheep hunt. Heck, what am I talking about? This will be my first ever sheep hunt of any kind! I too have read everything I could get my hands on, and have talked with veteran sheep hunters till I am blue in the face. I used to laugh at the phrase, " sheep fever". It now is a reality. August 07 can't come soon enough!!!!!!!!


        • #5
          TMA Ram

          I drew TMA in 2004. It was my second sheep hunt ever. I flew 40 mile air. The smoke was really bad that August and we spent a day in Tok waiting and hoping it would clear up. We finally got to head out that evening. We got dropped of by the Robertson Glacier. We hiked a couple miles to the start of the drainage and spent the night. The next morning we hiked up the drainage, what a trip that was! We saw everything from old glacial caves we had to go through to a water fall we had to go up the side of and of course it was 90 degrees! We saw lots of sheep but no legal rams. We stayed on the side of the mountain that night and about froze to death! The next day we hunted then hiked back down to camp. That evening we hiked back up with the tent and stayed about half way up the drainage. The next day we saw a nice ram and took off after him. Just as we got ready to peek over a huge wall of smoke and fog came up the maountain. We slipped back to camp and spent the next 3 days in the tent with rain and snow. When it broke we started to pack up and head down. On the way I spotted 3 rams. One for sure was a shooter. I dropped my pack and took off up the creek. It took me about 3 hours to get to where I shot from. The rams were about 300 yards. My first shot hit the mark perfect. The ram started running up hill so I shot again, then he spun and ran down hill and I hit him one more time and down he went. I can't explain the emotions I had. A few years before this a good freind and I had planned on going sheep hunting this year adn he passed away January the year befor so I was pretty emotional. I hiked over to my ram to find my 3rd hit was right in the head and I ruined the cape. Blew the lips clean off of him! I did find a cape for him and he is on the wall now. Everytime I look at him I get chills. He is 41" on both sides and has 15 and 15 1/2 inch bases. Not that I care but he was a half a point from B&C. I also had Leif as my pilot and he is a very good pilot. It is amazing what those guys do with those planes.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Mine will compile my first sheep hunt and my first successful sheep hunt into one since they took place in a 2 week period.

            I had been training, reading and dreaming of the upcoming sheep hunt that would take place in August of 2004 since the previous October 2003 when I had decided it was time I take on the greatest challenge of all, a walk in sheep hunt. I spent all Winter,Spring and Summer carrying my pack around with 55# of weight in it. I would spend 45 minutes at a time on the stair stepper during the winter every other day increasing the difficulty each week and beating myself into remission that I would be prepaired no matter what for this upcoming adventure. My partner was doing the same. I spent endless nights reading books and searching the internet for any and all information that would make me as prepaired as I could be with the best gear I could find. The fall of 2004 arrives and we load up and drive up to the Brooks Range for this venture we have been prepairing for almost a year. We already knew where were going to walk in and had our stuff wired tight. It had been raining for days beforre we got to our launching point and seemed like it would drizzle for another year. The mountains were socked in with a low ceiling and basically it was everything we didn't plan on, since weather is always a gamble. I will stop thi ssotry here because it was lacking success in the ned. We spent 3 days in heavy rain stuck in the tent 5 miles up a drainage before calling the hunt and heading home. There was so much disgust between us on the ride home that it seemed as if quitting hunting would be the best bet.

            I had a lot of scheduled time off from work as thi shunt was supposed to entail 10 days in the field not including travel days so after a few days at home disgusted to all end, I decided that I couldn't be defeated. 2 days later I find myself back in the Brooks Range looking at a small white dot moving aound slowly all by its lonesome at the very top of a drainage coming in and out of sight between large cragg rocks. The Nikon Spotter is at 47 X and the eye relief makes it difficult to look through it for very long. I am able to determine that the ram has some heavy horn, he is all by himself and he has layed down to bed at the highest pinnacle of rocks in the head of the drainage. I talk myself into going after him, what do I have to lose. So with a partially empty pack, my binos, a half full water bottle, my bow , my hip quiver my range finder and my release I head off. I was hunting in a drainage inside the Dalton Highway Corridor with my bow and this was the first ram that I had seen that wasn't running aorund with 20-30 ewes and lambs. I head all the way around the drainage that this ram is bedded at the top of. Which obviously is much harder than going straight up the drainage he is bedded on but is the only way to get on him without him seeing me. I climb straight up by sidehilling on angles till I get to the shale fields. I then continue this zig zag pattern till I get to the Craggs. I am now out of water and completely parched, I can hardly swallow my own spit, but theres only one thing on my mind, and its the white spot that I last looked through the spotting scope at froma mile away. Okay now i am up here in teh Craggs and its about 3 hours from teh last time I saw the ram in his bed. All the stuff that can go wrong starts to go through your mind, like is he still there? How long will he stay bedded? I have made it impossible by taking the route that I did to see if he has moved. I slowly start climbing through the rocks coming back across to where I think he is. I decide that I have lost him all the Craggs have shelfs going up and thats something I didn't see form below. I climb through rock chutes like a monkey using my bow to stabilize me at times, thinking I am going to break something for sure but I have no choice. all I keep thinking is having read, be careful what you climb up that you cant climb down, but at this point you just dont care anymore you just want to get the ram. I decide that I dont knwo where the ram is so I start sidehilling kind of into what I think is below him and bam, there he is. I can see his head sticking up above me in the rocks and I take my range finder out and range him. 126 yards. Okay now I know I have to climb up some more. So I head back across on an angle away from him and zig zagging up through the rock chutes as best as I can. you cant help but cause rocks to fall and everytime it happens you think your gonna scre him. But I keep thinking of ords I have read that rocks falling is a normal sound to sheep so I press on. I climb up and up and when I think I am at his level there is one shelf left that he must be on, I get ready I drop my pack, I put everything down that I dont need except my binos (I still have to make sure he is even legal) and my range finder, I nock and arrow and wiggle through this last chute. I go to full draw and peak ove rstanding with one leg on each side of this boulder chute supporting me and guess what, he's gone. I look around and theres no ram. I wlak over to my left where I think he is and I see a bed and in my mind he must have been here and I scared him off climbing the last chute. I sit down totally frustrated and catch my breath even though I cant swallow because I am so parched. After a 10 minute break or so I decide to head down, this time using an easier route than the one I initially took. I am as bumbed as bumbed can be. I climb down to where I ranged the ram at 126 yards and I sit down. I sit there for maybe 5 minutes taking in the scenery when I stand up in preparation to head down the mountain and before I do I look up at where my ram was at one time and guess what , he's still there. My mind starts racing on what went wrong when I realize I had never climbed up high enough and made it to him. So I recollect my thoughts and think about how tired I am and whether or not I can do what I had just done one more time. Hell yes, I tell my self. So back up I go this time looking a little closer at some surrounding cliffs to get a better idea of where i need to be. 30 minutes later I am on my belly wiggling across the shale with one little birm up ahead of me and what I think is between me and this ram. I slide and slide trying to be as careful as possible when all of a sudden I start seeing his horns. i stop wiggling reach down for my binos and start to look at him as best s I can to determine if hes' legal. I watch him for about 30 minutes( no lie) and finally decide that he might not be full curl but he is definately 8 years old. I am simply amazed at this animals beauty as he lays there turning his head ever so slightly chewing his cud. I can take it no more. I put down the binos and reach for my range finder and I range the rocks directly behind him so as for him not to see me, the Bushnell tells me 25 yards to the rocks behind him. I catch my breath, slow down my heart rate, and slide back a little down the birm. I nock an arrow and actually draw my bow kind of laying down and on my side, I know I have no time when he sees me to do anything but shoot, so I get ready and decide its now or never, I pop up , he looks at me with big old bug eyes like how did you get there and what are you, I put the 20 pin right on his shoulder and let it fly. The arrow goes through him and I hear it hit the rocks behind him. He jumps up and runs right towards me as he has no escapr route behind him its a pretty nasty drop off. he stops at what I would say is like 4 yards looking right at me, when I see he's hurting bad. He coughs up some blood and just stands there looking at me. I was frozen in time, I could not believe how big he was at that distance. Here i thought they werent that big, this guy seemed so huge and so majestic i couldn't move, he trotted another couple steps when I cam back to and realized I couldn't let him get over the mountain. i nocked another arrow and let it fly, it hit him a little back, but it seemed as if he never felt the second arrow. He stood there getting sick and starts to sway side to side when finally he falls over and falls straight down all those chutes I had climbed. i hear him crashing down the drainange for what seems liek 10 minutes. I run to the edge and cant see him. I grab my stuff and try and mean try to slowly go down after him following hi blood on all the rocks he bounced off of. When I finally reach him about 200-300 yards down the drainage. All I could think of was please dont break your horns off. When I reached him, I stood over him with on ehand on his partically fractured right horn admiring him, it was all I could do not to tear up. Here before me was the most amazing animal I have ever dreamt of. I looked at how badly he was beaten up from the fall and counted his rings on his horns and then the work began. It was 5 hours form the time I last saw him through the spotter and the time I let an arrow fly. I had forgotten how thirsty I was, how jelloie my legs felt, everything in this world was in line and all was good. I darn near killed myself packing that entire ram down the mountain in one load before heading out and home. He now lives on my wall and I had him mounted in the exact angle that he was in when I let the arrow fly. All I can say is Dall Sheep Rams is what dreams are made of.He had a hair over 36" on his right side and had just under 13" bases and was 13 years old(per F&G). He green scored 141 and change so he is definately P&Y though I have never certified him. Here are the pics of him after the fall and him on my wall now. His face was badly beaten from the fall, hiss lips were split and smashed and his nose was as well. The taxidermist was Leo at "Remember the Moment " in North Pole.He done great.


            Last edited by AlaskaCub; 11-17-2006, 14:08.


            • #7
              My first sheep hunt I didn't actually hunt. A new friend of mine had been putting in for DCUA and TMA for 25 years and finally got DCUA, motorized hunt. He didn't want to go it alone because he had a near death experience on a previous solo sheep hunt. Even though he had the motorized hunt his plan was to walk in two days before the motor seasons started to beat all atv's and cubs. Seemed like a good plan to me even though I had a perfectly good atv in my yard. At first he thought we'd hike 5 miles or so. Well it turned out the plan was to ride mtn bikes 6 miles and then hike 15 and then head up to sheep country! Well, I grew up backpacking in western MT and am always up for a good adventure and had always wanted to go sheep hunting, so great, lets do it! A 10 day backpacking trip into the Alaska Range with added bonus of being able to get a sheep!. We made the trek, hiked into sheep country and found the valley of the rams. I'll never forget the first band of rams I ever saw. About 12 of them, all huddled up just like you see on the post cards. Then we started seeing rams all over the place in the head of that valley. We made a stalk. Got to within final stocking distance and I stayed back. He ended up not being able to get a shot that day. That day I snuk around a rock about the time a 3/4 curl ram came up over the edge. We were nose to nose, maybe 30ft away. I froze and the ram could not figure out what I was. I was knelt down watching him. He would step left or right and then kind of click at me like he was trying to get me to move. I've done this with deer before. Thye kind of duck a weave to see if you'll move. After about 20-30 munites he just walked away, just awesome. I may have been the first human he ever saw. Anyway, the next day we made a different approach up from the bottom in lots of good cover from the stream and boulders the size of houses and cars. We got to a certain point, he put on his whites and headed up to get his ram. I stayed back and got to observe sheep for about 5 hours. It was awesome. Lots of 3/4 and 7/8 rams. A few maybes up high. My buddy was up the valley waiting for his ram to stand up after crawling for about an hour. He did and he shot a nice heavy broomed old guy. The trek back to the tent that night was extreme, steep, dark, etc. I'm sure you can relate.

              He got his ram and I got bit by the bug. 3 years later a different frined of mine put in for DCUA and got drawn. That was this past fall. That story is here:

              My first ram:
              A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


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