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  • New to Sheep Hunting

    Hey I am trying to plan my first Sheep hunt and I think that I am beginning feel the bite of that sheep hunting bug. haha. I have yet to even see a live sheep! So I guess I wanted to run a couple questions by some experienced Sheep hunting enthusiasts. I am a resident, and I am young and dumb, willing and hopefully able to walk and walk and walk until I find a sheep. Is going in from the road still a viable option for someone hoping to have an adventure of a lifetime without seeing crowds of other hunters and possibly even seeing a legal ram? I was looking into the Brooks Range and the Wrangell Mountains, but from other threads it seems like some of you believe that it is getting harder to find yourself alone in the Brooks. Anyway, any advice on how I should narrow down my future hunting area would be very welcome. Thanks a lot.

  • #2
    Go to the Kenai.....

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    • #3
      Or the talkeetna's

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      • #4
        Maybe even try the hills across the bay from Seward, they are kind of steep & rough in places; should provide ya a good workout?

        Originally posted by kahahawai View Post
        Go to the Kenai.....
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Here's a general approach...get an Alaskan atlas and the hunting regulations. Then, cross off all areas that require a permit. They're not that many areas that is feasible to reach from a road by foot that will be open to harvest tickets. That'll narrow it down for you.

          Next, plan to spend this summer hiking in those areas. The next best option is to spend time in the hills East of Anchorage (if you live in that city) and observe sheep. Do this because 1) they are a beautiful to watch and observe behaviors and 2) getting to the sheep is only part of the quest.

          My last advice is to not train for getting to the sheep but train for the pack out. My partner and I double bagged sheep a few years ago. We made one trip off the mountain so we each carried our own sheep (boned meat, cape and horns). My pack was easily 140 lbs if not more and walking down is harder than climbing up.

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          • #6
            Find somebody who is older and more experienced. There are many people on this board who will help you if you are earnest and honest.
            Buy Tony Russ' Book. It is dated but it will start you on the right path. There are training groups in the bigger urban areas and you can find people who are addicted to it. Joe Want has a class on identifying and hunting trophy sheep. He posts here often. Those classes and seminars are great places to find other sheep hunters.
            You can never tell a sheep hunter from their outward appearance but when when sheep hunting is mention they get at once excited and then they get that fogged over-1000 mile stare- lost in the memories of the hunt and you find somebody who is not completely egotistical then you will be on the right path. Its truly harder finding a good sheep partner than a wife. Don't spend all of your money on top items except for the best quality boots that fit your feet. You can build the rest of your gear rack up overtime.


            Sincerely,
            Thomas

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            • #7
              Or maybe don't be too egotistical yourself and offer to help another gentleman out and go hunt sheep and experience the mountains.

              I think there was a guy looking for a partner into DS103 recently. A 50/50 meat split on a ram is a good deal.

              Be careful doing your own first solo trip. Make sure your filing a trip plan and have communications in case of injury.

              Using this forum was a good start. Look over the gear lists some guys post. At the same time, you can make do without the latest and greatest gear swag that gets sported around here. Boots +1 and a good pack are important among other things.

              Please share photos here when done.

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              • #8
                if you've never done a sheep hunt going solo is a scary proposition, can be done, but its a big risk. not sure how much mtn time you have but there are situations that'll get ya killed when your not ready for it. overloading yourself with a ram and all you camping gear...that could very easily be one. good advice above, find someone to go with. better yet go pack for a sheep guide for one fall..you'll get more experience that you ever dreamed then. multiple hunts, different situations, you'll be ready when the seasons over.
                other wise its alot of trial and error for sure.
                trying to pull of a cheap sheep hunt is just about everyones dream. Theres sheep in hatchers pass on occasion....
                best of luck to you!
                Www.blackriverhunting.com
                Master guide 212

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                • #9
                  Thanks all for the good advice! Yeah I am working in Kodiak so getting into sheep country is out of the picture for now, but I can and will get some quality time in with my hiking boots! (With weight on back too) As far as finding a partner, I have done some hunting for deer down here and I really understand where you are coming from, Kaboku, when you say finding a good hunting partner is harder than finding a wife. I vowed never to take a complainer hunting ever again! Sooo. . . shy away from Brooks?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mak of the woods View Post
                    Thanks all for the good advice! Yeah I am working in Kodiak so getting into sheep country is out of the picture for now, but I can and will get some quality time in with my hiking boots! (With weight on back too) As far as finding a partner, I have done some hunting for deer down here and I really understand where you are coming from, Kaboku, when you say finding a good hunting partner is harder than finding a wife. I vowed never to take a complainer hunting ever again! Sooo. . . shy away from Brooks?
                    They are being sarcastic on spots, email biolgists! I don't think waterboarding would get information from sheep hunters. Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      All great info given above. Sheep are taken every year with guys hiking in from the road in general harvest areas. Getting out and exploring some areas this summer is key. I enjoy hiking and exploring all summer MUCH more than salmon fishing (in fact been 2 years since I caught a salmon in anything but a dipnet) But investing time/sweat into finding an area with sheep is going to be the key.

                      Being in shape is MUCH more crucial than having uber lightweight expensive gear. If you pack is 60 lbs going in for a week long hunt is less important than a guy that had to work all summer to afford the gear to get you down to 45 pounds. Getting out and knowing what areas hold a potential chance for you to bag a ram is the man thing. That is the case no matter what animal you are hunting. Luckily if you are out exploring different mountains every weekend this summer you will be on your way towards getting in shape for sure. Get out and start exploring. Bighorse' idea of being a packer on a sheep hunt for an experienced guy would be a great idea as well.

                      Boots are #1 for gear items like Bighorse mentioned. Can't go anywhere if you have blisters on your feet. Find a pair that fit and hit the hills. Good luck man.

                      Opps just saw you said you live in Kodiak and can't get out and explore. Will then your best options other than going in blind would be to find a hunting partner and be willing to pack for him in exchange of showing you a sheep hunting area or glean what you can from area bio's. Heck I went sheep hunting into an area I had never heard for sure there were rams or been to last year with a guy I met for only 10 minutes before the hunt. Worked out well and he managed to bag a ram. I learned a lot from that hunt being the first sheep kill I have been involved with. Packing for sheep hunts is just as fun and only miss out on the pull the trigger part which is about .001% of the actual total whole hunting experience, especially if the guy you are packing for is willing to split the meat 50/50.

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                      • #12
                        A good place to study Dall Sheep is just south of Los Anchorage. If you get to the mainland you can spend days studying animal behavior in the Mc Hugh Creek/Beluga Point area.
                        "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=. shy away from Brooks?[/QUOTE]

                          LOTS of hunters working the Brooks from the Rd, for those willing to do some walking Id look at the Nebesna Rd

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                          • #14
                            Cool! Good to know. I might just be able to do that.

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                            • #15
                              Just a heads up, the Nabesna Rd area is pretty busy too. I was there a few years ago and there were hunters everywhere. Beautiful area and some of the easier sheep country that I have been in, but way too crowded for me. Plenty of opportunities in the other ranges. Just try to find somewhwere that is tough to get to. That will cut down on the competition quite a bit.

                              As mentioned above, there are places pretty close to Anchorage where you can hike in easily and see sheep. This is good training. I'd suggest bringing your pack with hydration bags full for weight (good training). You can drink the water at the top before you head back down. Cans of beer work pretty good too.

                              I can give you a little more help as well. If you're interested, send me a PM. I'd suggest searching this forum for "sheep". You'll turn up more posts than you can shake a stick at.

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