Alaska Sheep Hunt...The Rest of the Story

Ovis

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Took 2 1/2 days to get into the really good sheep country. By far, I busted more brush on this trip than any other.

The weather we had the entire time was gorgeous, except for the last three days, which was clear, but windy. At one point, recorded winds were 70 miles an hour.

Seen many rams, as mentioned before, but very little in way of legal rams. Gonna be some fine specimens in there in the next few years.

Didn't see any wolverines, grizzlies or black bears. No moose, or any other critters besides sheep.

Greg shot this ram the evening of our 4th day out. Unable to retrieve the ram that night, we returned the following morning to pack it out. Seems the ravens got to him before we did, and did a number plucking the hair from the entry and exit wounds. Greg was very upset about it, but I told him there was hope. Either a patch, or a habitat pedestal mount with the damage facing away and possibly shielded by some artificial rocks would do just fine.

Got the ram back to camp, pulled the skull, fleshed the cape and tended to the meat. We stashed the entire head in the creek to keep the bugs and birds from tampering with the skull. The meat lay nice and cool about five yards from the skull.

Days of hunting went by, and the trip was coming to an end. One evening, after spotting another individual that morning, in the drainage we hunted, we returned to camp. Walking by the area we cached the horns, I realized they were GONE!

Very upset, and in a state of panic, Greg and I searched the area over for the horns with no luck. Later that evening, the individual we spotted that morning trekked through our camp. When we told him of the situation, all he could say was, "Oh, how unfortunate".

I really don't like pointing a finger at anyone without proof, but I do believe this individual took Greg's horns.

Tis very odd, horns are missing and the meat, which lay five yards from the horns go untouched. Turns out the weirdo, we appropriately named "The Ax-murderer and Ted Kaczynski" seen us pack the ram out a few days prior, so he knew we had a ram in camp. I believe once he seen us leave camp in the a.m., he quickly paid a visit to our little home and took the horns. An animal would not of travelled far with the horns. It might of only gone as far as a bush where it would feel secure, nibble on the find, then leave it. We searched an area the size of a football field with no luck.

Kinda hard to sleep that night, but we finally dozed off. The following morning, we awoke to the termination dust at the higher elevation. We packed up camp, searched for the horns some more, and headed back to the pickup point.

During our 8 mile decent, the Unibomber caught up with Greg and I. Feeling uncomfortable with the guy behind me, I constantly kept my eyes turned over my shoulder in hopes to get somewhat of a glimpse of Ted if he decided to push me off the 300' gorge we crested.

What took us four full days to get to our final camp hole, took us one full day to get back. We humped it back hard, and my ugly, flat, blistered and sore feet were proof, we did some work that day. I expected the decent to take two days, so when we made it to the pick up point, we had time to hunt bear.

What looked like prime bear country, may have been just a little late in the season for Yogi. We seen a good amount of sign, but never any critters.

Instead of waiting two days at the lake, we were on hold for three. The heavy winds prevented the pilots from getting out.

Although, when it is time to go, I am ready to get home and get cleaned up, the trade off to our extra day in the field, was one more glorious night there. Mars and the moon were heavily visible. The Aurora Borealis danced above us all night...the sounds and smells were wonderful.

The trip was a blast. We couldn't of had a better time. The downfall was obviously the horns, but the bottom line is we had fun, made it out safe, and got some good pics.

Enjoy more of the shots we got...Jim

http://www.huntandlodge.com/gallery/albun15
 

Delw

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Those are great pics.
those four rams on the wall is pretty cool also. thats a steep ass wall.


Where did the ted guy come from?
Delw
 

John/Alaska

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Tok Alaska
Jim -

Sounds like a great hunt except for the horns disappearing! Yeah there isn't much better country then sheep country! Those are great pictures!

Your horn loss reminded me of a stupid thing I had done. I had a set of 43+ horns in the back of my pick up hauling them for a friend to our local taxidermist. I flat forgot about them! I had them for about 3 weeks sitting there(I don't clean my truck out often) That is until I was way the hell up on a mountain chasing wolves when in the peace and quiet of it all I remembered them! Thinking of my unlocked truck and what was laying in the back of it. Needless to say hunt was over and horns got to where they were suppose to go.

Are you thinking of returning there in the next couple of years? Or are other critters calling to you?

Again sounds like it was a fun hunt!
 

Ovis

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Thanks guys!

Del

The Ted guy came up a few days behind us, but he came up out of nowhere. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just aren't alone...even in Alaska. We seen three other people and they were a mile away on another mountain. We waved at each other through while looking through our spotting scopes.

John

I've got some duty related things going on next hunting season, so it all depends on the timing of that what I end up doing. I definitely am going back though. Twas a really good area. Only thing that may keep me from going is a TMA or 14C tag
 

John/Alaska

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Jim -

Good to hear that it was a good area that you would like to return too!

Just your luck you'll draw either the TMA or 14C and work will get in the way! I can't seem to draw a TMA tag at all. By next season I should have a cabin up in the TMA too!

Oh SIL got snowed out on his sheep venture. He wanted me to go with him to another "secret" spot but weather screwed that up too!
 

Nevada Dan

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Jim,

As you said, there is no way the horns could have marched out on four legs, without the meat being touched. What goes around comes around, I just hope Karma catches up with that guy. Must have been great watching the northern lights. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
 

JLG

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Ovis, first of all I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friends horns. I have a lost horn story. First of all I am from AZ. I had an antelope tag back in 1986. It was my first and to date I have only had two. I shot about a 14" buck. I was staying at a friend of mines place in Flagstaff. I had skinned and deboned the meat and had it in an ice chest out in the backyard, but I left the horns sitting on the ice chest. That night I had a dream that something took my horns. The next morning I got up and looked out on the ice chest and they where gone. I searched high and low and no horns. I was pissed at myself for leaving them out and easy to get to. I never found them and I had to head back to Phx. to go back to work. I was heartbroken, antelope tags in Az aren't an every year tag. About 4 or 5 days go by and I get a phone call at work. On the end of the line is a Game & Fish officer that lived up in the area I was staying. He first askes my name and I tell him who I am. He than asked me if I lost a set of antelope horns over the weekend. I'm like did you find a set of antelope horns? He proceeds to tell me that he was driving home from work and sees a dog running down the street with a set of horns. His words "I apprehended a dog with a set of horns" My tag was still on the horns so he got my phone number from the tag info and called me. He asked me if I wanted them back? Yes, Please, a couple of days later, they arrive in the mail. One prong was chewed up pretty bad and the hook on the other side was chewed as well, but considering what I had done, that put me in the situation in the first place I was very lucky to ever see them again. Once, again I am sorry for your friend, I know when I lost my horns it tore me up. Good Luck, JLG.
 

Ovis

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Thank you all for taking part in the pitty party. It isn't the end of the world, and we both had a great time. Like I said before, so long as we have the memories, our health, and a few pictures...the horns become less important. The other stuff is what counts. I've got great stories to pass on to my children, and hopefully theirs.

Thanks again guys.

JLG

Welcome to Hunttalk, and thank you for the story. Do you ever think back and laugh now? Tis almost comical
 

JLG

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Ovis, all the time. When ever I "picture" the dog running down the road and the G & F guy "apprehending" him. I see your from Mountain Home, I don't know if your involved in any of the archery 3D's that seem pretty popular in Idaho, but I have a good friend that lives in Nampa now. He shoots with the Nampa Bow Chiefs. Very good archer and a great all around hunter. He moved there from Page, Az. about 5 years ago. He has been having a blast tearing up the Idaho wildlife. His name is Mike Munoz, I wonder if any of you guys from Idaho have met him. A couple of years before they moved to Idaho his wife shot a 432 non-typical elk here in Az. At the time she was number 3# altime here for a little while. The have it in their living room on a pedistal mount. It was a 7 x 8. I was on the hunt she killed it on. I actually saw her drop it. I was on a hill about 500 yards off watching it through binos, when I saw the elk buckle, than I heard the shot, truly an amazing elk. Mike's number is in the Nampa, phone book, he is a guy to get to know if you like to hunt hard, hunt ethicial, are a straight shooter and are addicted to hunting. He's one of the good guys. If any of you know him, say John Greiss said Hi. Good Luck, JLG.
 

ds

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thanx for sharing the memories, man this stuff lives on forever!!! Sorry to hear about your mate’s trophy, only if u caught that dude in the act, you would so seriously shove them so far up his........
That sheep country is out of this world looks much like Tahr terrain though l would suspect a little more remote. What chance does a bloke throwing sticks have?
Reading about your 2 1/2 days of hard yards rekindles many sore memories

There is something really special about relying on 'shanks pony', many in NZ chopper in these days. Though when asked why you would waste valuable hunting days packing in when there is an easier alternative, how does one reply, well l just say 'man you just don't get it'.
l have a hard luck trophy story also, the bro and l had been busting pork on a weeklong outback excursion. I had struggled all week to connect on good ivory; my brother on the other hand had no less than four sets of good hooks. Nearing the end of the trip l finally connected on a good boar, we had been leaving our trophies on a table in camp. The next morning we awoke to find the bottom jaw of my boar missing while the rest of the horns and tusks were unmolested. We also searched high & low to no avail, ultimately suspecting on of the many foxes that frequented the area...cheers ds
 

mtmiller

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Woops, I thought I already commented on this thread. I think I just got a quick read before heading to work and then stewed about it several times during the day. Truely unfortunate that you guys were not able to bring back the head, but you did get some great photos of the trophy and and the experience.

I was just thinking, do you have to check in your rams in Alaska? Was there any problem with not having proof of the meat coming from a legal ram? I would guess the pictures would alleviate the problem, but I was just curious if there were any hassles.

Congrats once again.
 

Ovis

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JLG

I am into archery. I did a few shoots here around Mt Home last year, and hope to get out more this year. I don't know of your friend, but if I ever run into him at a shoot, I'll be sure to tell him you said hello. Thanks again for the story.

DS

One of these years I need to get out to your neck of the woods. I do want to hunt a few of NZ's critters, especially the Tahr and Chamois. I'm not interested in poking a critter from the heli, but to use one for transportation would be nice.

As far as bow hunting sheep, it definitely can be done. People do it all the time. I've never taken my bow after sheep, only goat. There have been two times I have been well within bow range of a nice dall. Last year, I had two friends take dall sheep with their bows. The one took the largest P&Y ram during the entire year. It is a bad ass ram.

Thanks for the post.

MT

According to the regs, horns and meat must be salvaged. So yes, this did worry me a bit, but as you said, I had pictures. The nice thing about it is my camera is digital, so if confronted by a brown shirt, I coulda shown them on the spot a "legal" ram was taken. Thankfully nothing came of it.

In the last two years there have been proposals to have horns "plugged" as they do here in the lower 48. Thankfully, the proposal has never passed. I don't want anyone, especially some college kid working the front desk, drilling on my horns. Currently, you do not have to check your sheep into ADF&G.

To everyone else, thanks for the compliments...they are all appreciated.

Jim
 

ds

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Ovis, a self guided hunt for Chamois & Tahr is highly achievable, considering where you have been. We buy a car most times & backpacker’s accommodation is cheap, as is normally the case you must pick your valley wisely. Australia on the other hand can be a little different due to access restriction with some beasts just depends on what critter you wish to chase. Sheep with a bow would have to be one of the ultimate hunts..ds
 

ELKCHSR

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I'm really sorry for your buddies loss, I am glad that he is able to give it up and move on with life....Thanks for the story!!!
 

OAKSTER

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the unibomber should of been sodomized with a stick until the horns re-appeared. IMHO!!!



No one wants to hunt with a unibomber nearby anyhoows!

Looks like yall had a fab time, too bad about the horns.

Oakster
 
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