Sheep: now or later

kevinfoerster

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Jan 12, 2013
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17
Guys and gals,

I have a lot of dreams in life, call me young and dumb if you like, but I'm happy to be an optimist and even happier I've been very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and wanted opportunities I certainly don't deserve.

I've always wanted to go on a sheep hunt ( as well as moose, Mt. Goat, elk and caribou). I've been on two unsuccessful diy elk hunts, have shot a free range cow bison with my bow in wyoming, and now am trying to determine if it's better to wait and save for a dall sheep hunt and maybe go on a guided elk hunt and mt. Goat hunt or go for it and do the sheep hunt now.

If you ask my wife she would encourage me to get a new f150, but I refuse to dump "sheep money" into anything with 4 wheels. I'm quite content to drive my little Ford fiesta deer hunting and get laughed at when I have to load one in the trunk.

What do you guys think. Anyone been on a bad sheep hunt and regretted it? Hoe many of you have been on a good, but unsuccessful sheep hunt that was guided.
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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Colorado
The answer is always now, if you really want to go. The cost will never go down, and there is uncertainty about access for NR sheep hunters in the future. You do need to be prepared for the possibility that you will spend a lot of money and come home without a sheep. I hunted Dall sheep in 2007 and the same hunt has increased 89% in price since then.
 

MTGomer

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If you can afford the sheep go now.(or book now. You aren’t going with a reputable outfitter for a few years) They will only go up in price especially with Canada still being covid paranoid for the second year.

Book with a good outfitter. If your deposit is refundable for x period of time (like until a year out) apply in the Chugach or the TOK while you’re waiting.

I would only spend sheep money in Alaska on outfitters in special draw units or with federal (sole use)concessions.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t good hunting on state land OTC, but I’d just find it overwhelming to weed through what’s what and be confident in spending >20k to go where there’s a risk of crowds.

If you have new f-150 money, go twice!
 

Slate

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May 23, 2020
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Go now life is short. If you want success go NWT. Nahanii Butte Outfitters. Hit me up if you have any questions. Add a goat and save a lot of money. Do it because you only live once.
 

MTGomer

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Go now life is short. If you want success go NWT. Nahanii Butte Outfitters. Hit me up if you have any questions. Add a goat and save a lot of money. Do it because you only live once.

Are the NWT outfitters taking bookings? They’ll have two years of backlog plus whatever else is already booked.
 

Slate

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Are the NWT outfitters taking bookings? They’ll have two years of backlog plus whatever else is already booked.
I’m not sure but, well before this covid stuff you always had to book out some time. Yes my Mt Caribou hunt was pushed out a year. Give you more time to save if need be.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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I'm like you, Kevin. A vehicle is just something to get you from point A to B. I'm a multimillionaire and still drive a 1999 Jimmy with 300K miles on it. Now that little red fire engine sports a cracked bumper and nearly new bronze hood after a muley buck piled into me near Malta last fall. Meah, so what. I'm spending my money on a trip to Africa (again) instead of car loan payments and insurance premiums. I don't look real classy going down the road when I'm hunting but I get plenty of game and have a couple of the best (and cheapest) hunting dogs in the field. Memories are worth a lot more than a shiny piece of expensive metal that can get totalled out in a second and become worthless. No truck ever found a crippled pheasant.
 

EYJONAS!

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You might consider looking at one or a couple of the hunting consultant companies and see what the options would be for a cancelation sheep up. Only problem is that they are a pretty spur of the moment deal. The plus those is that if you do your research I'd say you have a fairly decent opportunity to get something with a reputable outfitter.

Jack Atchison out of Montana is a good consultant firm with reputable outfitters might be an option. Plus those hunts are fairly discounted as well.
 

Otto Matic

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Jan 3, 2021
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402
Lifelong dreams:

I've had a bunch. These come to mind.

Hunt bear on Kodiak Island.
Nope. But I have been to Kodiak 3 times deep sea fishing.

Build my own home.
Wanted it to be a cabin in the wilderness, but I did accomplish this one!

Hunt Cape Buffalo in S. Africa.
Bought the rifle, that's about as close as I got to this one.
Sure was a fun dream. LOL!

I've hunted elk and mule deer in Colorado and antelope in Wyoming.
I've fished on the Mississippi River.

1) you may be "young and dumb", but every sunrise you experience is one sunrise closer to your last one.
2) never put off until tomorrow what you can do today
3) don't lose focus*. Decide what your goal is.

*remember your "extracurricular activities" can affect your goals. Just be careful. A buddy had big plans until his girlfriend got pregnant.

Shoot for the moon!
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
If you and your wife are fine with spending the amount of money it takes to go on a sheep hunt, do it now. It's not going to get cheaper nor will there be more sheep opportunity in the future.

If I was putting that much money down on a hunt/trip, I probably take out trip insurance.
 

thusby

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Douglas County, Wisconsin
So many variables to this one... I have the same idea of doing a big hunt every 6-7 years. I invested all of my sheep/goat money and now I'm just waiting for timing and opportunity to collide.
 

OMB

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Mar 3, 2021
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I was kicking around the same idea 5 years ago in my late 20's, as I was single and had a really great living situation that allowed me to sock away a ton of money while still enjoying a few fun bird hunting trips every year. I did a ton of research, talked with every outfitter in the NWT, a few in Alaska, and probably called over 100 guys from reference lists to talk it through. Booked a hunt in 2018 for the 2020 season.

Since then, I've gotten engaged, closing on a house next month, getting married later this summer and probably trying for kids sooner than later. Covid pushed the hunt back to 2022. Things changed really quickly, and there's been more than a few times I've thought "man, it sure would be nice to have that extra $xx,xxx that I spent on a sheep hunt." That being said, the price of that same hunt has went about around 30% since I booked and I would guess with the current backlog of guys who got pushed because of Covid and Boomers looking to take their once in a lifetime trip, the price is only going up for a while. I was also able to move my dates around and will be adding mountain caribou to my hunt.

I think I made the right choice, and I'm still just excited to go as the day I booked it, but everyone has to approach it differently based on what they want to accomplish and what's financially feasible.
 

brownbear932008

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SWVA
Find something else to hunt. A sheep is not worth the money IMHO. I have never hunted them and I never will. I'm simply not going to financially swamp my family to kill an animal. EVER. Personal decision.
I agree it's an animal at the end of the day. I'd love to hunt sheep myself and have the money to do so right now. But honestly I'd rather invest that money in a way that benefits an easier life down the road for myself and my family. A sheep hunt is not pocket change. If I ever draw a bighorn I'll gladly go but I'm not putting $30,000 into hunting any animal on this 🌎. Just me personally but hey people waste money on silly things every day and if you can't stand life without chasing them go after it. Personally I'd move to AK first for a few years if I were still young and chase them every year. I suspect if I ever hunt sheep it will be on a nanny tag in the breaks when I'm old. I'll be that guy that burns 30 points on that tag.😂

Edit: Also I'll add I know guys that save and penny pinch all year to hunt out West but yet will not take their family on a nice summer vacation because of that. DON'T BE THAT GUY!!!! If your reading this thread.
 
Last edited:

kevinfoerster

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Jan 12, 2013
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Guys I appreciate all your feedback and honestly see both sides. Money is always more valuable saved and invested, but doesn't do you any good when you are dead.

I see both sides if the argument. 20,000 for 10 days is ridiculous and I get it. It's also crazy to spend 40k on a vehicle. To me I'd much rather spend 20k on a vehicle (or less) and 20k on a trip while still going on fun family vacations.

It's important to prioritize and I think for me it is.
1. Keep roof over head
2. Retirement investments (max every vehicle possible
3. Fund kids college education with goal of free college for them
4. Working vehicles
5. Family fun
6. Hunting fun


This is a crude high level list but where I'm at mentally.
 
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