I just found out I drew a ram tag for unit 26 in idaho. The hunt runs from 8/30-10/13. If anyone has hunted this tag before or has any good sheep advice I would sure appreciate it. This will be my first sheep hunt. Thanks
First off, congrats!!! I know nothing about your unit but any sheep tag is golden in my opinion.
Advice? GET IN SHAPE!!!! Sheep live in tough country and you'll be much happier hunting them the better shape you're in. Also, you might want to call Huntin' Fool and ask them if they have a member reference list for that hunt. If they do, the $100 membership you'd have to pay to get those references would be a good investment. Past tagholders are usually extremely willing to share everything they know. Also, I'd suggest getting ahold of the biologist for that region and start picking his brain. Generally they want you to succeed and will gladly help. They may even share past tagholders names with you.
Thanks for the tips. I will definitely post photos and further info when the time comes. I have been training for fire season and carry about 50lbs on my back all summer through the the west. I've made contact with one of the biologist and got some great preliminary information. Now I just have find a air taxi to get me there.
Better get your clothes off your stairmaster........................
In all seriousness, it is a tough unit but the sheep are there. I have a buddy that drew in there 2 years ago and he and his partner both got really good sheep. I can ask him where they went if you wish. I do know that they were back in on horseback about 25 miles.
That would be great Randy. I have a general game plan but I haven't got any first hand ,or second hand info from anyone who has hunted sheep in 26. A friend flew in for a buck hunt and he has pointed me to the country he saw sheep in. I always train hard for fire season and it always pays off at work and in the field chasing big game but I would be lying if I said I haven't been pushing it harder since I drew this tag
This hunt came together at the last minute. I planned to hunt the last 10-13 days of the huntime that didn't work out mainly because all my pals drew tags for other critters. I got an opportunity to get out of work on September 22 and my buddy Eve' was able to clear five days, so I made the call and got our flight bumped to the 23rd. We arrived at the airport in Cascade at 3:30pm and we were in the wilderness by 4:30. We checked our gear and headed up the mountain. By the time it got dark that first night we were perched on a ridge poised to glass at first light. Day began with no sheep in that first basin so we climbed up to a false summit that rolled over into a long narrow basin, more like a wide chute. There was timber scattered in the upper end as well as the west face of the ridge that made the far Edgemont the basin. Eve' and I started jockeying around for different angle to start picking apart the country. From my first couple perches I found nothing but I kept hearing what sounded like rocks rolling far below. I motioned to Eve' that I was goino to reposition on a outcrop below and he followed. I got up on the rocks and lifted my binos to immediately have four rams in view. I couldn't believe my eyes we had rams in front of us at 8:30 am on our first morning. I quickly set up the spotter and determined that two of the rams were shooters with the other two being notably smaller but still adult rams. We watched the rams feed up a chute and bed. While they fed the two younger rams would annoy each other and pop their horns together while he was the sound I heard that lead me to them. We came up with a route to stalk down the backside of a rock spine that would put us inside 300 yards across the draw from the rams. It took us a while to get in position and when I finally peeked around the corner to get on the rams they were nowhere to be seen. I took one step out towards the edge to get a better vantage and the smallest ram busted me and proceeded to lead the herd out of the country. As this unfolds before me the sun crests the ridge behind the rams and destroys my sight picture if I could have easily enough picked the right ram. They were at 271 yards when they blew out. At that moment I was pretty sure I had blown what could have been my only opportunity. I spent the rest of the day hunting the the top of the mountain while Eve' hauled water 3000 vertical feet to our spike camp. Eve' was a lifesaver on this hunt it was hot dry and steep. I found no more sheep the rest of that day. The next day we made our way to a large rocky side drainage that I was sure would hold rams. We saw three groups of ewes and lambs but no rams. I kept running throughthe encounter the day before and hoping that wasn't my shot. At 5:15 Eve' finds sheep , four sheep clear on the other side of the main drainage and about eye level with us which put them a couple thousand vertical feet from the bottom. I put the spotting scope on them and sure enough it was the same rams. We quickly gathered our gear and bombed down the mountain to try and get to them before dark. We made it to the bottom quickly and began up the steep grassy hill that lead to the backside of the ridge the rams were on. We got to the top with a few minutes of light left and peeked over, nothing. I dropped back and gained 30 yards more elevation and peeked again, bingo I caught one white rump disappearing up the draw about 150 yards out. I did a final J-hook up the ridge to gain elevation and this time when I bellied up to the ridge all four rams were in view lined out once again behind the youngster headed for the rocks. This time my rest was rock solid and I had a clear view as each ram filed through the burnt timber. Number one is the little guy number two is better, number three is really nice number four has is nice with big bases. After one quick switch from four to three and back I made up my mind. Just as number four started up out of the draw I settled the cross hairs and squeezed off the shot. He piled up immediately and I knew had just realized a dream. I nearly tackled Eve' in celebration. We caped and quartered my ram in the moonlight. We got back to the trail hung the meat until morning. The next day we packed all the meat to the airstrip and called for a 5pm pick up. After retrieving our camp and a food cash we made it back to the airstrip at about 4:45 and our pilot was right on time. We were back in Cascade having a real meal by 6 and I'm still can't pry the grin off my face. This was a experience of a lifetime I hope you all enjoy the story.
Way to go!!! Sounds like an awesome hunt. We need more pictures! Sheep usually like in some cool, rough country. I can only hope to get to experience the thrill of sheep hunting again some day. Once was definitely not enough!