As any seasoned hunter knows, the preparation for a mountain hunt starts early. Planning for an Alaskan Dall sheep hunt is certainly no exception. This was our third Dall sheep hunt in Alaska, but it seemed different this time. Not only would this trip be just my brother, Kenton, and I, but our common goal was for me to get my first sheep.
“Don’t drown him; Mom will be pissed.” The backpack straps dug deep into my shoulders and the black flies flew like kamikaze pilots into my eyes and ears. It was all I could keep telling myself as my younger brother followed me out on his first backcountry hunt.
Conservation Spotlight: The Wild Sheep Society of BC, By Kyle Stelter, WSSBC Director of Communications
It goes without saying that a little goes a long way when it comes to preparing for a hunt, especially a mountain hunt where your gear and fitness can have a significant impact on your success and enjoyment.
At least a couple times a day I answer a question that goes something like this. “Should I just chronograph my loads and give you the bullet speed and ballistic coefficient?” I look at my watch and wonder if I should get into it or just say yes to the chronograph. So far I have never said yes to that question, but rather have taken the time to explain a better way.
Mountain hunting requires that the hunter, and his or her gear, can handle a wide mix of terrain and weather conditions. From the early season to the depths of winter, we must be prepared to survive—and adapt—to everything from layer peeling heat and constant sun exposure, to frigid glassing sessions in subzero temperatures with nothing more than a stunted alpine fir for a windbreak.
I stared at the piece of egg sitting there on a hot rock. Man, I thought, that tasted much better going down than it did coming up. I flopped onto my back, a sharp rock digging into my spine, but somehow it still felt good. Something that reminded me I was still conscious and needed to stay alert. OK, I thought, How the f–k did I get here?
Dr. Ed Ashby invested 27 years in the study of arrow performance and broadhead lethality. Starting in 1981, while working as a PH in Zimbabwe, Dr. Ashby was recruited by the Mkuzi Game Reserve head Game Ranger Tony Tomkinson to assist in a bowhunting research study. At the time bowhunting was not legal in South Africa.
I’ve been told time and again I would never bridge the gap between the backcountry hunter and the long distance thru-hiker. It baffles me as to why we sometimes go out of our way not to interact with one another when there is a vast pool of knowledge waiting to be tapped into, sometimes a mere arm’s length away.
No one can argue that our fraternity of North American sheep hunters are a passionate bunch and are enamored with their mountain game. Nevertheless, our mountain hunting history hardly surpasses one century.
Located within the Central Cariboo Region of British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers, the Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park (Junction Park) consists of a diverse landscape, rolling grasslands, river valleys, forests, cliffs and hoodoos.