T Bone's sheep hunt

T Bone

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Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
4,771
Location
West Slope, CO
In a nutshell...No I didn't kill a ram. We found a B&C class ram and got close 2 times but never even fired a shot.

It was a brutal hunt in the physical requirements and the weather was nasty. I'll post a journal and photos when I get them back.

T Bone

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 09-16-2003 10:02: Message edited by: T Bone ]</font>
 

T Bone

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
4,771
Location
West Slope, CO
Monday Sept 1st

600 pm left work, kissed the wife and kids goodbye and hit the road.

Tuesday Sept 2nd
100 am arrive in Nampa, ID. Catch a few hours of sleep at aunt's house. Pick up Moosie's chevy.

900 am pick up the llamas from Thundercreek Llamas in Boise.

300 pm arrive in Challis and meet my Dad there. Lots of salmon in the river between Stanley and Clayton.

700 pm arrive at Crags campground and trailhead. We load the panniers for the next day.

Wed 9-3

0700 left trailhead. Limited visibilty due the fires.

300 pm arrived at Ship Island Lake. We decide to spend the night there, Dad's pooped. I glassed the evening and located one half curl ram in an avalanch chute above the lake.

Thursday 9-4

Went straight up and over a saddle into Parrot Creek drainage. Now we are in sheep country. We set up base camp and intend to do a 2 day spike camp.

On our way out we run into the only outfitter in the unit. They are returning with a client and 3 guides. They are beat and the hunter carried bad news. They hunted 7 hard days and only saw 3 ewes. They could have been bluffing but I believed the hunter. If they'd have found rams they'd of been packing one out after 7 days. They'd hunted mostly the Parrot creek drainage.

We change plans and intend to go further in tomorrow. We glass the evening and see 2 cow elk about a mile towards the middle fork.

Friday 9-5

We saddle up the llamas and go straight up and over into another drainage. Set up base camp and do a spike camp. We see goats but no sheep.

Saturday 9-6

We spike camped up "X mountain" and found fresh sheep sign. At sunset I glass 3 ewes 2 lambs and a 1/2 curl ram. I get to within 80 yards of them to make sure I'm not missing anything.

Sunday 9-7

At first light I locate 2 sub-legal rams they feed into a bowl dotted with alpine spruce. Then I hear the crack of rams butting heads coming from the bowl! 5 minutes later another crack.

I move around to where I can see the bowl a little better and what I see sucks the wind out my lungs.

A BIG ram. Full curl, broomed ends 3 knuckles thick, good mass, curl drops below the jaw. This is a genuine book class ram. With him is a good 3/4 curl with broomed ends and good mass. A 7/8 curl thin horned ram and the 2 1/2 curl rams I saw earlier in the morning.

I study the situation and come up with a plan. The rams are bedded. There are 3 escape routes I can see. They are avalanche chutes that would offer clear shots at 100-200 yards. I move into the bowl from the bottom I creep in with the wind in my face and finally hear a rock scrape. I see sheep moving through the scrub spruce about 80 yard in front of me. I get ready for them to go up one of the 3 chutes. They don't go that way. They stay in the trees and fishhook around me only 80 yards away the whole time. The rifle was up, safety off and finger on the trigger. Could see parts and pieces of rams but couldn't not enough to be sure of which ram I was shooting.

This bowl was definately the ram hangout. Stinks with sign and ram rubs on lots of trees.

That night we glassed 3 ewes but couldn't locate the rams.

Monday 9-8

Big cold front moved in. It first rained then hailed, then snowed. We are in total white out that lasts the whole day. We stay in tent and read Louis L'amor books.

Tuesday 9-9

White out. 2 inches of snow in the bottom at base camp. Everything is wet. Tired of waiting for the weather we decide to go down toward the middle fork to get under the clouds. This takes all day as the country is very vertical.

Evening is bitter cold with high winds. Locate 3 cow elk at dark. No sheep.

Wednesday 9-10

Glassed the low country near the middle fork. There are elk everywhere with the rut in full swing. I had a big 5x5 at 7 yards! I took about 5 pictures of him. He didn't seem to care. They obviously don't get much pressure here.

Very little sheep sign. Still very cold and raining and snowing.
Thurday 9-11
Glassed the low country in the morning and located one nursery group of 11 ewes and 7 lambs. No rams.

Watched 4 hunters get life flighted out from the other side of the Middle Fork off Stoddard creek trail. I'd bet they weren't prepared for the cold.

We decide to go back up to the high country where we saw more rams. The weather has cleared but is nasty cold.

I get back up to "x mountain" and I find my bachelor group of rams with the big boy! They are feeding on the open half mile away and I have 3 hours of light left. I studied the big guy close as I waited for them to feed into some trees then I could moved closer.

Then for no apparent reason the blew out like their tails were on fire. There is no way the saw me or smelled me....Must have smelled a lion or bear.

We looked the next day and never located that group or any other rams again.

We headed out and it took us 2 very long days of travel to get back to the trucks.

I thought for sure I'd bring home a ram, but no such luck. I'll later post pictures of the country. I hope they do it justice. It is some vertical stuff. My body still aches from it. Dad barely survived it (literally, story there I'll tell later.

If I do it again, I wouldn't do it much different. The llamas were top-notch and I highly recomment Thunder Creek Llamas for beasts of burden. They will go anywhere a human can and are very low mainenance.

We planned right on food. The weather was much colder than expected. I had all wool or synthetic, I did OK but my Dad did not. He had the cotton stuff and got the genuine hypothermia and was disoriented and blue when I found him. It was a near disaster. I'll post pictures when I get them back.

Thats my story.

T Bone
 

Elk Turd

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Feb 15, 2001
Messages
132
Location
Boise, ID, USA
Wow! Can't say you didn't try! That story is amazing!!! Glad to hear you both are ok, that is a tough hunt. Sorry you didn't get one, but from the sounds of it, you will never forget that hunt!
 

BigHornyRam

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Feb 26, 2002
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433
Location
T Falls, MT
T bone,

Sounds like the hunt of a life time, even if you did not get your ram. Thanks for sharing your story and looking forward to the pictures!

Paul
 

DRAFTSTUD

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Nov 14, 2002
Messages
5,087
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SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
WOW x 2! T-Bone, What an adventure and to have done it with your Dad! I have reached the point where having friends and family on a hunt count for as much as the trophy. I have yet to hold a set of antlers that had the warmth of my Daddy's hand as we shake hands and go our separate way at the end of a hunt. Just guess I'm getting senile
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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8,172
Location
WI
Sorry it didnt turn out like you hoped. But it sounds like a good time anyway
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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Location
Colorado
Yep, sounds like a great hunt. Too bad the weather didn't treat you better. Looking forward to the pics.

Oak
 

Elkhunter

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Dec 20, 2000
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11,273
Location
Jackson, Wyoming
Thank you for a great story. The day by day notes are great and easy to follow the entire trip with. Sorry you didn't get your ram, but sounds like it was a fantastic hunt none the less. Sorry to hear about your father and hopefully that story will help many other hunters be better prepared. I am looking forward to seeing some great pictures.
 

JoseCuervo

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Feb 26, 2003
Messages
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Location
South of the Border
Tbone,

Congrats on a good hunt.
It sounds like you gave it 100%, and you found the animal you wanted.

Thanks for the story, and I look forward to the pictures.

(Cotton Kills!!!)
 

Ithaca 37

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Mar 4, 2001
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Home of the free, Land of the brave
That's a good story and I'm sorry you didn't connect, but glad your dad made it back. There's a lot of things that can go wrong on those sheep hunts and sometimes you're lucky just to get back OK. And I know how worn out you are. It took me a month to recover from a sheep hunt in that country the last time I went.
 

A-con

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Dec 23, 2000
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Fresno,Ca.
Great story T. I know you wanted to fill that tag, but you gave it your all.
Sounds like a great hunt, other than your dad, I hope he's OK
I trust you put an "X" on a map where you saw all thoses elk ?
 

mtmiller

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Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
9,408
Location
Montana
I would say "too bad", but it sounds like you had a hunt you will never forget. That is great that you got to share it with your father.

Now I am getting a little ansie, show me some pics.


I always love it when a guy does better than someone paying big bucks to go with an outfitter.
Unless it is me with the outfitter, then again who am I kidding, I can't afford one of those anyway.

Oh yeh, do you have any pictures.
 
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