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#2932002 - 02/15/16 12:28 AM 2015 Sheep Hunt recap
Sillyak Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 52
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Well our 2015 sheep hunt was not successful, but it sure was a good time. Getting some serious cabin fever and want to get back to the mountains so I figured I would do a quick little write up if anyone cares to read.

My hunting partner and I scouted an area this last summer that seemed to hold lots of sheep. We saw several bands of ewes and lambs, a few rams and several goats on our scouting trip. So we made plans to hunt it this fall. We couldn't make it out for opener as my hunting partner had to get married (couldn't talk him into postponing it for some reason.) So or schedules lined up for the first week of October.

We hiked into camp on a beautiful day. Over 1000m elevation gain to get to camp and it started turning cold the last hour, we saw a band of ewes on the way in, promising, but secretly we were hoping for an easy ram! Set up camp and went to bed when it looked like this:

Woke up to this:


We thought we were going to be socked in for the day so took our time eating breakfast. It soon started to clear up so we climbed a nearby peak that gives an awesome vantage point of several drainages. When nearing the top the valleys socked back in again so we took the opportunity to take some photos of the summit with no fear of skylining ourselves as only the tips of nearby peaks were poking through the fog.
Yours truly:


We spent awhile up top hoping it would clear, but it did not. So we spent the day circling the mountain we climbed taking a roundabout way back to camp. We spotted two groups of ewes and lambs, over 50 sheep in total on our walk, but no rams.

Waterfall #1:

Waterfall #2:

After 10 hours out and about we ate dinner to a clearing sky and went to bed. Waking up that night to pee the sky was completely clear and the temperature plummeted. When we woke up we figured it was about -10 to -15. All our water and gear, boots ect were frozen solid. The stove did not like starting for the morning coffee either. I think a little discomfort is a given hunting sheep in October though.

Third day:



About 5 minutes after I snapped this pic, as I was brewing coffee, a Grizz walked over the ridge and walked within 120 yards of camp. He paid us no mind and it looked like he knew where he was going because he stopped for nothing. My partner was still in his tent getting dressed when I calmly said "Hey Matt there is a Grizzly walking past the camp" that got him out of his tent quick on the very cold morning. No pics of the grizz, but I did snap a shot of his track the next afternoon (it had melted quite a bit.)

We spent this day trucking to a drainage about 3 hours away. Saw the same two bands of ewes and lambs on the way there. After a few hours of glassing this new drainage we were just about to give up and try a new drainage when two rams came out of nowhere and perched themselves on a scree slope beneath good escape cover. We glassed these rams and determined one was legal, one we could not tell because he would not turn his head. We made a stalk on these rams by following a depression that brought us under the scree slope beneath the rams. We got to a point that offered a great rest for a shot, no wind, rams had not spotted us. They were ranged at 840 meters though. Too long a shot for either of us. The one ram also still had not turned his head to show us a profile of his horns. We were 3 hours from camp with about 3 hours of light left and could not get any closer without being spotted. We didn't have too much of a choice as there was no other way to stalk to the rams, even if we were to try again tomorrow, as it would be probably 60 km to get at them from the other way. The direction they had moved earlier was going further away from camp. So we decided the only thing we could do was walk nonchalantly down the valley and act like a couple tourist hikers hoping they paid us no mind. Well as soon as they spotted us they got the [beeep] out of dodge going away from camp.

A couple pics from the day:
Valley we saw rams in

Had a delightful snack in my t shirt in this location getting the last rays of sun before it went behind the mountains for the day. It really warmed up during the day. I cannot describe how peaceful it is to sit in the sun in a place as beautiful as the mountains without a care in the world. No work calls, no worries at all just a rifle and a pack and the most amazing scenery on earth.


Stalk blown we made back for camp. On the way back I made a dumb decision to cross a steep snow slope that was frozen solid. A slip would have been deadly and we could not kick good steps in the frozen snow. It was only about 8 steps that were scary, but, they were indeed very sketchy. Something that would be fine with crampons and an ice axe, but without was a dumb move. I used to ice climb and do alpine climbing avidly so I should have known better. Note to self, one has to be much more conservative in the mountains when one is not set up for alpine climbing.

Made it back to camp at dark, not overly tired physically but mentally shot from the steep snow crossing. This coming from a guy who has been dangling over 100m from the ground on vertical ice!

Went to bed easy that night as it was much warmer. Woke up on the fourth day refreshed, a little bummed about the rams; however, I'm way more focused on the experience than any kill. Maybe that makes me a poor hunter, but God do I have fun out there.

We both had to make it home that night as we both had to work the next day (originally planned on seven days, but work cut that to four. Booking off 10 days for opener for 2016!)

We glassed a new drainage until 1 or so, but saw nothing moving. Packed up camp and headed back to the truck, making it out by 7 o'clock.

The whole week we only saw one other hunter and he was only an hour from the road. I had an awesome trip even though we missed out on a ram.

As a note I've included pictures that may make it obvious where we were to anyone who has been there. I ask that you keep any information on the location to yourself. Most don't included pictures of the surrounding peaks of their hunting areas in Alberta. Hopefully it was not a lapse in judgement posting them here.



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#2932027 - 02/15/16 07:26 AM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
dan brothers Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/03/10
Posts: 3739
Loc: Santee, SC 29148 USA
WOW... what a great adventure... glad you came out in one piece. I've been a bowhunter all my life, and I would always say that if there was just one animal in the world that I could harvest... it would probably be a full curl Dall Sheep.... it never happened, and probably never will, but I salute those who try it with any kind of weapon.

SALUTE


PS... you are right about those incredible quiet times that you are Blessed to experience in the wild sometimes. The Peace and Quiet that is beyond words.


Edited by dan brothers (02/15/16 07:28 AM)
_________________________
Forgive my Sins... Jesus... Save my Soul


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#2932217 - 02/15/16 01:03 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
DesertRam Online
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8774
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
Wonderful scenery. Thanks for sharing your hunt with us. With luck, next year you'll also be sharing photos of a nice ram.
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"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

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#2932219 - 02/15/16 01:08 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
Great trip and good for you for getting out there and giving it a try.

Thanks for sharing, great looking pics
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Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

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#2932343 - 02/15/16 04:57 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15527
Loc: S. Texas
What a great experience and awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
hm
_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#2934855 - 02/20/16 01:27 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
Sillyak Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 52
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Thanks for the kind words everyone. Can't wait for next year! I'm very lucky to live in a place where I can do this.

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#2934869 - 02/20/16 02:07 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
dan brothers Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/03/10
Posts: 3739
Loc: Santee, SC 29148 USA
Blessed.... not lucky
_________________________
Forgive my Sins... Jesus... Save my Soul


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#2934964 - 02/20/16 07:41 PM Re: 2015 Sheep Hunt recap [Re: Sillyak]
BMeyer Offline
Custom Call Maker

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 3421
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Sillyak
I'm very lucky to live in a place where I can do this.



That is an understatement my friend! I could only dream of such a hunt. Great pics and story... thanks for sharing it!

Brian
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