|My Account||CLUB Visa Account||Wish List||View Cart (0 Items) $0.00||Checkout|
"He's at 260 yards; hold right where you want to hit and he's yours." With that advice from my guide Lance, it was over six months earlier that I had gotten a call from Eric Pawlak of Cabela's T.A.G.S. saying, "Congratulations, Jack. You drew a Dall sheep tag in the very best unit in Alaska." How could I say no?
So with ample time at the range, and packing and repacking, and having to change my hunt dates for work commitments, the date of departure on Aug. 19 finally came. Upon arriving in Anchorage, it was raining and the rain was expected to continue. The decision had been made to not wait for the weather to clear for a flight in to a different camp but rather to hike in. After dinner, Lance, our packer, Sam, and I took off driving. After about seven hours on the road we pulled over and slept for three to four hours in the pickup. Early the next morning we had breakfast and drove the remaining 30 miles to the trailhead. The camping spot we were heading to was about 18 miles up a creek; he did have a quad that helped cut a couple miles off the trip. We left the truck about 9 a.m., and after crossing the creek what seemed like 30 times, stumbling over numerous rocks, falling several times and climbing up a narrow canyon - and all in the rain - we (actually I) stumbled into camp. I was soaking wet and cold when I stopped and was beyond exhaustion. The guides brought in hot dinner and hot chocolate, and after about 30 minutes I realized I would indeed live. That night and well into the next day the rain and snow continued. Finally things cleared somewhat about 1:30 p.m. and we crawled out of the tents. Lance suggested we move camp over the next pass. When we crested the ridge, it opened into a long beautiful valley - it felt like sheep country and I said to Lance, "We'll get our sheep in here."
Late that evening we spotted a nice ram sitting on a high, seemingly unobtainable ridge. But we decided to make a move on him. After a couple hours of working my way up the hill, I just about caught up to Lance and Sam. When I got close to the top, Lance was telling me to hurry and get in place for the shot. The ram had started to move over the top of the next ridge and he had him ranged at 460 yards. While still breathing heavily I got in position and took a shot, but not one that I felt good about. The guides arrived at the spot well before me and followed the tracks for at least 300 yards in the snow and found no blood. With that we headed back to camp arriving well after midnight.
The next day the weather was clear and Lance headed down the creek to do some scouting with a suggestion that we follow in a couple hours. We caught up to him at about noon and he had two groups of rams spotted on different high ridges. One group included three rams with one that was broomed and very heavy. The plan was to sit them out and see which group moved down to feed first. We set up a tarp to keep out the rain that had started and lay down. But after several hours the group with the heavy, double-broomed ram was on the move and coming down. The plan was to climb a ridge above where they were headed to and catch them in a small valley. Finally we reached a spot about 400 yards above them, but after the miss the night before, I didn't want to risk a long shot again. I spotted a large rock 100 or so yards ahead and suggested to Lance we go for it. We finally made it to the rock and the rams were getting nervous, but Lance had them ranged at 260 yards and we set up a good rest. With the pull of the trigger on my .300 Win. Mag. Remington 700 I saw blood on the side of the sheep and knew I had just harvested my first-ever sheep (25% to a grand slam). After a couple shots to finalize the deal, we made it down to him. He turned out to be a fine sheep indeed, just less than 36 inches on each side, with bases that are about 13.5 inches and a green unofficial score of about 158 B&C conservatively.
Many thanks to Eric of Cabela's T.A.G.S. for suggesting I apply and to Lance for knowing the area and knowing sheep, and to Sam for helping me continue to move forward when many times I felt I couldn't (although I didn't say that to them). All three of these guys are just plain first-class people. Honest as the day is long and easy to get along with. Of course thanks to my wife, Tena, for letting me go on these adventures.
When I first spoke with my wife after the hunt, I told her I was lucky I couldn't speak with her the first night, since I would have easily sworn off hunting, but now with a week to reflect, I'm ready for another sheep hunt!
You have no recently viewed items.
The Cabela's Community is growing fast - join in!
Get exclusive deals, news,
& special offers.
Please try again later.
You'll hear from us soon.
An App built for
Our e-mail is filled with deals, news, sneak previews, top-rated products, e-mail only specials and more.