Stone Sheep Help

DennisT

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Sep 13, 2015
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57
I've been thinking a lot about going on a stone sheep hunt in British Columbia or the Yukon. I'm not getting any younger, and the price of these hunts is becoming astronomical. If I am going to do it, I need to do it soon.

Most outfitters book two to three years out, and honestly that is probably how long I will need to pay for it. Price wise, I have seen hunts starting at $39,000 + gratuities, all inclusive on the low end, to close to $70,000 on the high end, once you factor in taxes, licenses, air charters, tips, etc.

Obviously, $70,000 to hunt a sheep isn't going to happen, but the lower end hunts are a possibility.

I would really appreciate any advice I can get from those of you who have gone on one of these hunts, especially when it comes to selecting an outfitter.

My biggest concern is that stone sheep hunts are not typically known for high success rates. Due to the cost of the hunts, I will likely only get one shot at it. I know that there are never any guarantees in hunting, but I want to hire an outfitter who can provide me with the best opportunity possible. The physical and mental preparation, time practicing at the range, etc. are all on me.

This would be strictly a rifle hunt. I really am not concerned with horn size or how dark the cape is. An older class mature ram and an enjoyable hunt are more important.

It doesn't matter to me if I go to the Yukon or British Columbia, but from the research I have done it seems you have to be really careful about selecting an outfitter that guides in an area with little or no resident pressure.

As far as horseback hunts verses backpack hunts, I'm really not sure. I did a lot of reading, and a lot of people said backpack hunts are more successful, but they never explained why. I did see where someone posted an older message written by Bryan Martin that seemed to be a pretty good explanation. Bryan said that he used horses to get into the area, but backpacked after he was in sheep country. He said that you need to be glassing early and late, but if you were on horseback you would miss seeing the sheep. He said to make sure you selected an outfitter who hunted that way to be successful. If anyone has some other thoughts, I would really like to hear them.

There were a number of outfitters that people in various forums mentioned were good, but Tuchodi and Big 9 outfitters received a lot of really high praise. If anyone has some suggestions, please let me know. Also, if there are any outfitters that anyone would strongly recommend not using, you are more than welcome to send me a PM or email.

Thanks in advance for any help you provide,
Dennis
 

DennisT

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Sep 13, 2015
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I had the same thought, but I already had airline/ hotel reservations for the Western Sports Expo. I know there will be a couple there, but there will be a lot more in Reno for sure.

Thank you,
Dennis
 

Buckshotaz

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Jan 6, 2019
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I would look at the research that came out not too long ago that said most of the stones in the Yukon are not true stones but dall sheep
 

6fatrat

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Jan 18, 2014
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Black River Michigan
I agree with the with buckshotaz , I shot a Dalls in Alaska with many black hairs on the neck and face, guide and I both agreed it was from the shale. I had the taxidermist leave it alone, people that see it think it is a Stone's sheep.
Steve Bair
 

Lukeandcod

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Sep 23, 2018
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Just checking to see how your search is going? I'm doing my first Stone sheep hunt in the Yukon this August with Yukon Big Game Outfitters. I called Big 9 because they came highly recommended. Only thing I was unsure of was they were selling out to someone new last year and sounded like it would be under new ownership this year. Good luck in your search if you haven't picked a place yet. If you want to reach out to me in late August I will let you know how my hunt went.
 

Lukeandcod

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Sep 23, 2018
Messages
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Location
Pennsylvania
Dennis,

I have no personal experience with hunting in the Yukon or British Columbia or any prior history with any of the outfits.
Besides Yukon Big Game Outfitters and Big 9, I also reached out to Scoop Lake, Tuchodi, and North River Outfitting. I narrowed it down to those outfitters based only on information I gained online and in hunting magazines. It Is my belief they are all quality outfitters and offer good opportunities. I narrowed it down to Big 9 and Yukon Big Game Outfitters based on cost and communication.
The woman I spoke to at Big 9 was very helpful and they seemed like a really good outfit. They had one opening due to a cancellation, but I couldn't do it in 2018. She said they were still involved in the guiding last season (2018) but they hadn't worked out details with the new owner if they would be involved in 2019. That was the only thing that made me nervous about them.

Shawn (YBGO) was prompt in returning phone calls and emails. He seemed very committed to offering a good hunt. I called several references and everyone gave him good reviews. If I didn't connect on a sheep he said he would work with me on coming back up to make sure it happened. The average age of rams have always been over 10 and I believe this past year (2018) the average age was over 12. That is pretty cool that rams are getting to that age in his area.

One thing I learned through my research was that resident hunting pressure for Stone sheep has really increased in British Columbia. It seems that in some of the best areas with great genetics or population it is very common to run into other hunters chasing the same rams that you are after. It sounds like in the Yukon that is not nearly as prevalent due to the low people population and remoteness of the sheep country. I really liked the sounds of hunting an area where I shouldn't see other hunters, so that also helped steer me towards hunting the Yukon. It does sound like British Columbia has higher sheep population densities though.

Those are just some things I learned through my research. I will make it a point to follow up with you after my hunt. I don't know how to private message (new to the forum) but if you want to talk about any of the outfits or specific details, let me know.

Ed
 

GA Sheephunter

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Aug 28, 2017
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Subscribed and doing research as well, for 2020

Are there any other outfitters besides the following?

Big 9
YBGO
North River Outfitting
Terminus
Tuchodi
Prophet Muskwa
Gundahoo
Stone Mtn Safaris
 

Antonio m

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May 6, 2016
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222
Wish you luck. I live in southern BC , Bighorn country but venture north every few years to hunt Stone's and have worked for outfitters as a guide.
Perhaps a booking agent can fill a slot on a cancellation for you. I am 61 myself and my time is limited .
Go to a sheep show, if you don't already join fnaws. If it were me, I would book on the first hunt of the year, in BC is is a sheep only hunt- not mixed bag. Aug 1 is the best chance at good weather. As you know rain and snow can hinder a hunt.
 

DennisT

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
57
Subscribed and doing research as well, for 2020

Are there any other outfitters besides the following?

Big 9
YBGO
North River Outfitting
Terminus
Tuchodi
Prophet Muskwa
Gundahoo
Stone Mtn Safaris
 

DennisT

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Sep 13, 2015
Messages
57
Sorry GA, I think I hit send too quick!

There are a few others, but you may have to double check to make sure they are still in business. Some outfitters seem to stay in business a long time, and others seem to sell their areas after being in business for only a few years.

I have seen several posts where people have booked with an outfitter, and their area changed hands before their hunt. I guess it could be hit or miss if that were to happen, depending on the new outfitters knowledge of the area, their ability to retain the previous owners guides, etc.

I did read an article a while back where the hunter contacted his outfitter, only to find out the business had been sold and the new owner knew nothing about the hunter being booked. Fortunately, the outfitter still honored the agreement.

Definitely read the fine print before you sign! Ask for a lot of references, both successful and unsuccessful. I think repeat clients really say a lot about the quality of the service too.

I only spoke with a few from my list and from yours, but you might want to add the following to your list to research:
Scoop Lake
Collingwood Brothers
Simpson Stone Sheep
Cassiar
Fire Mountain
Golden Bear
Full Curl Stone
Gunson Guides and Outfitters
Yukon Stone
Deulling Stone
Besa River Outfitters
 

DennisT

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LRH Team Member
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Sep 13, 2015
Messages
57
Thanks Antonio, I appreciate the advice!
 

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