My 2005 Brooks Range, Alaska Dall Sheep Hunt by Jim Speaks

Discussion in 'Hunting Success Stories - Discussion' started by Len Backus, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,356
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    This is a thread for discussion of the article, My 2005 Brooks Range, Alaska Dall Sheep Hunt, by Jim Speaks (jimbo300). Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.

    The author will have this thread automatically notify him of posts so that he can join the discussion.
     
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001

    He certainly is a beautiful animal.

    I expect I would be thrown in jail the first day because I just don't think I am going to throw rocks at a grizzley bear when I have a perfectly good rifle handy.
     

  3. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Buffalobob,

    The first grizzly was a young female with a beautiful coat. The arctic grizzly's usually have some of the best colored coats of all the bear species. This particular bear didn't seem too dangerous, when we yelled and hit her with rocks she left in a hurry.

    However, the large boar grizzly I mentioned would snap his teeth when hit with rocks. I remember wondering just how effective my 180 BT's were going to be on a charging bear. :eek:

    My guide was packing a better set-up when it came to bears. This guy had a sixth-sense when it came to bears. He had guided bear hunts most of his life both big coastal bears and interior grizzly's.

    I had tried to obtain a grizzly tag, but my outfitter was only alloted something like 4 tags/year and all were already issued to other hunters.
    Believe me if I had a tag I would have tried to keep him in sight for about 8 hrs then smoke him.:D
     
  4. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Great reading, thanks.
     
  5. norsepeak

    norsepeak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Jimbo, I'm hoping to do a Dall hunt next fall, mind if I pick your brain a little about gear? what did your guide provide? did you need your own spotter, or food? I'm looking at doing a very remote hunt, so weight is an issue. Not having to take my own spotter would save some. What about food? When I'm hunting hard, I burn a lot of calories do I need to fend for myself? I just want to be prepared...any info would be appreciated...awsome ram by the way!
     
  6. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Great read Jim, thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
     
  7. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    norsepeak,

    I assume since you are a resident of WA, you are going to have a guide on this up coming Dall sheep hunt. Actually, your outfitter should provide you with a list of things that you will need on your hunt. You mention that weight will be an issue. You are correct in this assumption, not only in regard to what you will have to hump around, but you are also limited to a certain weight when flying. Therefore, only take necessities.

    As far as optics are concerned you really only need to take a good pair of binoculars ie. 10X50's. Your guide should have a good spotting scope so the both of you can critique the ram once spotted. Most of the actual spotting is done with your binoculars first. There is usually plenty of time in most instances after the ram is spotted to set-up the spotting scope for a detailed look.

    Make sure you don't skimp on quality on any of your gear, you will regret it with every agonizing step. Take a good, well broken-in pair of mountain boots ie. Lowa , Meindl or something comparable. Also good quality hunting/hiking socks are a must ie. Wigwam ingenius or Bridgedale ascent or like quality. And while on the subject of feet, take a good look at your feet before you go on your hunt. Make sure to cut your toe nails and address any potential problems such as in-grown nails or corns, before you leave home. As far as clothing is concerned, take no cotton garments. Go with good synthetics. Polartec makes some excellent undergarments, as well as pullovers and jackets for layering. These are light weight, breathable, packable and quick drying. Outer garments need to have the same characteristics. I carried one pair of pants, they were a pair of Mammut Champ pants. The top I wore for the most part was a Polartec pullover. I however, like the looks of the Sitka hunting clothes, I might have to look at these closer in the future. Light weight, packable rain gear is also a must. I used Cabela's Dry-Plus Spectrum ultra parka and pants. One other item I carried was a pair of light weight hip boots called Sourdough Slippers. These are made by Neos, I purchased them from Barney's Sport Chalet in Anchorage, AK. They are great if you have to make many stream crossings each day. You will find a lot of quality gear for mountain hunting at Barney's. You will most likely have to supply your own sleeping bag and pad. Here you also want to go with a good synthetic because it will dry faster than down if it gets wet. I used a bag that had Du Pont Quallofill with a Thermarest prolite 4 pad. Both would compress into easy to carry stuff sacks. To carry all of your gear you need a good backpack either internal frame or external. Which ever you decide to go with make sure it fits you properly. Take time to go over your pack thoroughly and adjust it for your body. Your hips should bear most of the load not your shoulders. It's a good idea to use your pack in your conditioning program. Load your pack and take it for a walk, here you can determine any problems. When I was preparing for my sheep hunt I would load any where from 50-100 lbs (most of the time 75-80 including my rifle) and go on a 5-8 mi trek.

    Another important item is a good First-Aid kit. You should also have some moleskin and spyroflex blister dressing for any blisters you might get. This kit is also a handy place to keep toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.

    Bug/Mosquitoe spray, don't forget.

    On the issue of food, on a backpack hunt it's usually something like this:
    Breakfast-instant oatmeal (easy to pack, easy to prepare, and good energy source) plus a protein bar.

    Lunch-will consist of something like Mountain House or like meals. Here you just add hot water and about 5 min. later you have a very tasty meal.

    Diner-will again most likely be Mountain House or something similar. Here you need to get ample protein to help your muscles recover. So I would also have maybe 2 protein bars.

    When you talk with your outfitter ask him about the food. He will most likely have ample amounts and good quality food for you and your guide. I bet if you discuss this with him, he would be willing to supply certain items, that you like. The only food items that I brought with me were chewy granola bars (in between meal snack) and protein bars. However, my outfitter had supplied us with a variety of such items.

    I would recommend that when you talk with an outfitter you discuss in detail any and every concern you have with him, for what these hunts cost he should be more than willing to answer all of your questions.

    Hope this helps some. There is actually a great article on the Home page by Michael Eichele titled Gear for Dall Sheep Backpack Hunting. As an AK resident he gets to go more often than most of us in the lower 48 can dream about.:rolleyes: Check it out well written and full of good advice.

    Jim
     
  8. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007

    Thanks eddybo. Now that you got your Oryx hunt out of the way it's time to get that 6X47 smokin' again. See you at the range.
     
  9. norsepeak

    norsepeak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Jim,

    Thanks for the info...I have most of the gear already, I do some backpack hunting in Idaho, but I've never been on an outfitted hunt before. As half owner of an outfitting business, I know what I provide, but you can never be sure of what others do, and I don't want to go all the way up there and go CRAP I NEED THAT WHATEVER IT IS AND I HAVE ONE SITTING IN THE CLOSET AT HOME! I'm not even booked yet, because obviously all of the sheep outfitters are out hunting right now, but I'm hoping to get booked for the '09 season, but I may have to wait till '10. Starting on Mon. we'll be running full tilt with archery elk season starting, so I may not get a chance to work on it for a couple of weeks. Again thanks for the info.
     
  10. mjs

    mjs Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    I did enjoy your story. Well done. Shame you didn't buy a Grizzly tag when you picked up your sheep tag. Your sheep is beautiful. What did he score?
     
  11. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Thanks mjs,

    I would have purchased a grizzly tag in a heart beat if I could have, but the outfitter only received something like 4 tags each season. When I booked my hunt with him, he had all of his grizzly tags already committed for the season. I believe he actually had the following 2 seasons booked as far as grizzly tags were concerned.

    The outfitter really had a good deal at the time, you could add grizzly to a sheep hunt for only $2,000 extra, if memory serves me correctly. Many of the people that booked with him, opted for a float hunt in which the hunter and guide would float down the river and find promising looking territory and then head out on foot. This proved to be a great way to hunt sheep and grizzly.

    As far as the ram that I took on that hunt; he had a beautiful, classic dall look. I never had him scored, he is a good ram but not a hummer like the draw areas of AK are famous for producing. I knew when I saw him that I would be happy with him hanging on my wall. Hopefully some day I will get the chance to go on another dall sheep hunt. Here's a look at the ram as he hangs over my fireplace.
    [​IMG]
    Jim
     
  12. mjs

    mjs Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Nice sheep. I hear you about quotas on game. I've had to deal with that in Africa. I'm looking forward to my first sheep hunt and I hope that if I get a sheep it's as nice as yours.
     
  13. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    I am assuming you intend to start with dall sheep. If so there are a few guys who are members on this site that are hardcore sheep hunters. These guys could be of great assistance if you are thinking about going to AK. Some of these guys live in AK and most likely know some of the top outfitters depending on the area you are looking at for a sheep hunt. Good luck and go do it, you only live once.
     
  14. mjs

    mjs Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    I just came back from a bear hunt in Alaska. I hunted GMU 16A. My outfitter used to hunt sheep, but he's older now (mid sixty's) and only hunts bear. I asked him about sheep hunting and he refered me to Ellis and son up in the Wrangells. My guide feels that the outfit is honest and has been hunting in that area since the 1950's. He stated that he's hunted with them also.