You can tell that you're getting closer to hunting season when the TV shows start reducing the number of fishing segments and increase the big game hunting segments.
Let's feed our growing long range hunting hunger by talking about our upcoming season plans. Whether backyard or halfway round the world, tell us about your plans. While I get just about as much satisfaction out of my back-yard hunts I'll start with my first upcoming hunt.
My son, Andy, and I leave on an Alaskan sheep hunt August 6. We'll be hunting with Terry Overly of Pioneer Outfiters in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. In the "small world" category, one of his guides is a good friend of Dave King and lives near Dave in the off-season. I hunted with Terry three years ago so I know what to expect in most ways. My partner on that hunt got a nice Dall but after a few days of hunting my knees were killing me from the horseback riding, Jack became ill, and we quit early. Nonetheless, I remember saying at the time that it was the most successful hunt I had ever been on even though I didn't fire a shot. We saw 150 different sheep, one mountain goat, several caribou and the tracks of wolf and grizzly. This time I will ride a skinnier horse and walk 80% of the time from the very beginning to protect my knees.
Since that time I am further into the long range hunting culture and have added a few gadgets or techniques. I will lug a new rifle fitted with a Harris bipod and carry a Kestral windmeter. I expect the deceptive mountain winds to be my biggest long range challenge. My newer rangefinder will operate out further. I used no drop table pasted to my stock last time. This time I will check zero and drop on Terry’s airstrip out to 500 yards and extrapolate from there. Three years ago Jack’s sheep was called a “willow sheep” because he shot it only 100 yards above the riverbank as it came down to feed on willow brush. The shot was about 185 yards and quite level. This year I will be prepared for a shot out to 500 or so in good wind and for angles quite steep. My rifle will sport a “Cosine indicator” attached to it. This is a device that measures shooting angles without removing your cheek from the stock as you aim. I’ll work up a post on it with a picture in the review section. Last time there was one probably legal sheep we couldn’t quite evaluate at quite a long distance through my very good Leupold 12 to 40 power scope. This year I will be lugging a heavier, sharper Swarovski 15 to 60 power scope which would have made the difference back then.
Pioneer Outfitters did a good job for us last time. This hunt is in some spectacular country and I can’t wait to get back. They are being featured this Sunday, July 29, on Basspro’s hunting program on TNN. I think the time is 7:30 Eastern but check for yourself. The hunt will be for grizzly bear. Terry's email address is Pioneer-Outfitters@worldnet.att.net
(my edit just corrected the email address)
Anyway, tell us about your plans for this fall --- backyard or halfway round the world.
[ 07-29-2001: Message edited by: Len Backus ]