Chugach Sheep Hunt

Alpine

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I just returned from a great 9 day walk-in sheep hunt. It had all of the elements of a classic mountain hunt; hard work, beautiful scenery, the full spectrum of weather, sore feet, emotional highs and lows, and... a nice ram. Snyd's "Sheep Shape" thread was key in finalizing my training and I'd like to especially thank Fullcurl for some really helpful conditioning tips. He knows his stuff! My outfitter absolutely worked his butt off and he is a great human being to boot. Here is a picture and thanks for sharing your great state. I smashed the piggy bank on this one so you won't have to worry about me for a good long while.

Alpine
 

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akpredator

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thats a great looking sheep you got there Alpine. congradulations on a sucsessful hunt
 

Brian M

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That is a fantastic sheep! Even better, it sounds like you had the hunt of a lifetime. It's great to hear that all of the training paid off...congratulations!

-Brian
 

Snyd

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Awesome! Congrats on your hunt. Preparation really is key isn't it. Glad to hear everything came together for you. Hard to put a price on an experience like that.
 

BrianW

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Great looking ram!

Let's see some more pictures, when you get a chance.
 

Jimmy Urban

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I'd smash the piggy bank any day for a ram like that. Great job!
 

Alpine

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Another Picture

Another Picture

Thanks for the words of support. Here is a photo that captures the feel of the day I got the ram. He ended up pretty high (6300 ft) in a steep basin where we had fresh snow and unstable weather conditions. We discovered the ram I ended up getting a day earlier when he busted us as we were checking out another leagal ram in an adjacent sheepy spot. He didn't seem too spooked as he snuck around a corner into the high basin. We decided to try for him the next day but that meant we would probably spook the more easily hunted ram that we had been watching for a while. Sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too. It was a tough day of hunting but it all worked out in the end and the 11 year old ram far exceeded my expectations. I'll have to get my sheep hunting fixes off the forum for a while so keep the stories and pictures coming!

Alpine
 
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Snyd

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That's great! I love hunting in the snow. Just something about it.
 

fulldraw

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Just have to say nice job, love your pictures, crystal clear, and love those deep curl chugach horns...
 

bizymocha

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Little more info.

Little more info.

So, give us your assessment of the equipment you brought. Pros and cons.
What was your rifle and caliber setup? What model Hilleberg tent is that?
Congrats on a job well done. I just don't think there is a "hunting high" as satisfying as wrapping your hands on your Dall sheeps' horns! Great job!
 

sh

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great story alpine

great story alpine

kinda reminds me of james bond in that snowsuit.

LOL
 

Alpine

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Sheep Gear

Sheep Gear

I agree Bizymocha. Dall Sheep and thier habitat are truly special. That ram you shot was great and I love the beautiful looking cape too. I enjoy trying to find just the right gear because it helps pass the time between hunts. A guide once told me that mountain hunters are really hikers that are hunting rather than hunters that are hiking if that makes any sense to you. Here is a rundown on how I felt my gear worked out.

T-Shirt: Cabelas X-Static Scent Control
Base Layer L/S Top and pants: Medalist Stretch (Under Armor Like) with X-Static
All X-Static worked great, relatively odor free after 9 straight days. I swear by X-Static containing base layers (elemental silver fibers) and have used them for several years.

Pants and Top: North Face Apex Soft Shell (lightweight)
These worked very well, tough, not too warm and OK in light rain

Insulating Top and Bottom: Montbelle Thermawrap
Absolutely Awesome-wore while sitting around in cold temps and to bed everynight which allows for a lighter bag (North Face Cat's Meow). The pants are full zip wich is a big help for layering.

Windblocking Top : Columbia Vertex midweight soft shell with hood
Worked well, loved hood feature, OK in light rain

Rainwear : Marmot Precip
Worked well, not super durable but very light, packable and kept me dry

Boots : Meindl Canada Hunters
Great, Fit my feet very well and have stood up to 3 mountain hunts

Sox: Bridgedale Summit Sox- My old standbys that I love

Pack: Kifaru Long Hunter Guide
Worked well, I had a small pack and some pockets sewn to the outside of the pack before my hunt which really improved the utility of this pack for me. Very comfortable. I don't use the gunbearer; can't get used to it.

Tent: Outfitter provided Hilleberg Jannu 2-man
Worked well, had to fiddle with ventilation openings and pitch it tight to minimize condensation. Held up to 50 Mph gusts with ease

Rifle: Kimber 84M Montana in 7mm-08 with Leopold VXIII 2.5x8 in Talley 1 pc Aluminium mounts. I love this rifle for mountain hunting.

Binocs: I brought some Minox 8X25 Compacts along because I wanted to save weight and I thought that most of the work would be behind my outfitter's spotting scope. How hard can it be to find white sheep against grey rocks? Big mistake. I'll bring my full size glass next time!

I hope that this post wasn't too long winded for you guys.

Thanks, Alpine
 

bizymocha

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Gear List

Gear List

Alpine,
Thanks for the gear assessment. Its interesting to read what others are using and what works.
Thanks.
 

FALCON

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Great Post!

Great Post!

Alpine:

Congrats on a great hunt. Kudos on a great post. I love all the details of the hunt. If you have more pics, please get em on line!
 

henleun

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Kimber rifle

Kimber rifle

Alpine:

Great pictures and it sounds like an exciting hunt. I carried that exact same rifle, scope and mounts on a sheep hunt last month. I didn't get a chance to connect on a legal ram like you did, but I agree that the 7mm08 is a great caliber and the weight of the kimber is hard to beat. Its good to see that not everyone totes the biggest and fastest magnum, especially on a mountain hunt. Do you handload or use factory ammo?
 

fullkurl

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Great gear overview, Alp.
Its nice to see a great plan and hunt all come together.

The Chugaches yield some awesome curls....
 

KCrowley

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Wonderful story and photos! And your equipment critiques are a real asset for those of us planning our first dall hunt. Thank you!

I didn't see a review of your sleeping bag and pad except to say it was a Cat's Meow; mind sharing the details?
 
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Alpine

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Gear etc

Gear etc

I am by no means a gear expert and many people on this forum have forgotten more than I'll ever know about backpack hunting. These obsevations are from my limited experience and I'm happy to share them.

The Cat's Meow is a synthetic bag which weighs about 2 3/4 lb and kept me quite warm at 20F outside temp if I wore base and insulating layers, wool sox and a fleece stocking cap. You can save 1/2 lb if you get a Primaloft bag and a pound or more if you go with a down bag. I prefer synthetic fill to be better prepared for wet conditions. I'll probably look for something lighter for my next hunt but this bag has been good to me.

I used a Thermarest Prolite 4 sleeping pad which seems to be the current standard with backpack hunters and I thought it was great. Comfortable, light and packs small.

I thought I'd throw one last photo in. I always try to get lots of scenery shots which can tend to irritate guides if overdone :)

Best to all, Alpine
 
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