Question: Have you ever just wanted to give up on a hunt, or what is it that keeps ya going when its long, hard slogging w/no results for what seems a veeeerrryyy long time?
Answer: Yes I have wanted to just give up a time or two. Especially on my very first sheep hunt. In fact I sort of quit but returned a few days later.
I had climbed too steep a ridge with way too heavy of a pack with very new boots soaked to the bone from rain and sweat with 800' left to go to get to the top. I was so sore I couldnt walk any further. It was getting dark and I set up my tent on a slope that was way too steep for a tent but did the best I could. I lost my nerve and desire and in the morning, I packed up and went down the mountain back to the road. I was going to go home and go fishing for the rest of my time off of work. It was now opening day. On my way down the mountain I heard shots and two sheep were down in the distance. I realized that it could have been me if I had gone about things a bit smarter. When I got back to my SUV I decided to rest and decide if I wanted to rethink my plan. I camped out at the truck for the rest of the day and the next while examining every detail of my topo map while looking at the actual mountain and formulating a plan. I then drove 6 hours home to get more supplies, chat with my mentor over a cold beer, slept in my own bed and then returned. When I got there I had decided to use a drainage as an access point instead of a ridge. Drainages come out farther from the mountains than ridges and they go farther into the mountains than the ridges so it isnt as steep. I found it to be much easier to get into sheep country this way. When I got there I set up camp in bad weather and it was socked in for several days. After laying in my tent for 3 days due to fog and rain I decided that no matter how bad the weather was tommarow, I was going for a hike. Sure enough it was bad again. Fog so thick you couldnt see 20 yards. I went out anyway hoping it would clear up. I reached the top and sat and waited. It rained and rained and the wind blew and blew. I was getting very wet and cold so I retuned to camp. I decided sheep hunting was for the birds and would pack up in the morning and go home rain or shine. When I woke up the next day, it was bright and blue. I just couldnt help myself. I went up stream for the top. After about 1/2 mile I saw a sheep's head about 130 yards up on a table top. I was hunting in an any sheep area and didnt care how big it was or wasent I was going to bring meat home. I layed down bipod out aimed under the chin and fired. The small ram rolled over in his bed.
In a sense, I gave up. But I did go back. I believed that if I went about things a bit smarter I could succeed. I cannot stand it when I fail. What keeps me going is that I believe that it isnt "if" I harvest a ram it is "when" I harvest a ram. Also I see how magnificent they are and have a VERY strong desire to harvest them. I also know that I enjoy the overall experiance wheather I score or not. Since I love the experiance I return time after time and if you put yourself in their country, eventually you will find what youre looking for. It can be a very long time it seems. I harvested my last ram in 2003 and skunked in 04, 05 and 06. Friday however, I broke the cycle by harvesting another nice ram. Knowing that it will happen and that I love being there keeps me going Every clue tells a story. Sometimes it takes a few years to get enough clues to make enough stories to make a complete book.
Below is one reason I keep at it even when it gets long and slogging. The results are worth the time and effort. But you have to know you will eventually will succeed with time and effort. This is the ram I harvested Friday that ended my four year dry spell.