Unfilled Tag on Guided Sheep Hunt

Granular

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Oct 6, 2021
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6
I'm in that boat, yukon stone sheep hunt, and i'm going back to try again. It was of no fault whatsoever of the outfitter or guide, we busted our asses for 13 days and I've been there before, they have the sheep and a great success rate.
First mountain range we knew something was off but stuck it out a few days and evidence led us to believe wolves had been in there. We moved ranges, saw over 100 sheep, a few around 8 but no shooters and decided to go back to first range. It was a whole different place 10 days later, found 2 mature shooters on day 11, had the shot but wind was howling & wanted to be 100%. Thought we had them dead to right, as we moved in we got weathered out in moments, along with the rams retreating to the cliffs below as the weather blew in. We couldn't see 30ft sometimes. Stayed that way for the remainder.

I also probably shouldn't have wasted a day shooting a moose as we moved ranges but it was too easy not to and we'd been seeing him daily from up top.
Learned the "don't shoot a big moose on a sheep hunt" lesson on my first Yukon sheep hunt as well back in the mid 1990's.
 

idig4au

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Jun 1, 2012
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On one of the 7 continents….
Yep I didn’t get my desert sheep in Mexico nearly a decade ago. Was not from lack of trying or effort. We hunted hard and even extended the hunt for a few days longer but didn’t see a legal sheep. Big names have hunted the area just the previous years and the area had 100% success rate up until the year I went. I think the success rate was like 30% that year. The sheep just moved out.

While it ended up being a very expensive camping trip, it was still memorable and a great experience. It’s not always about the kill. Its why we call it hunting and not killing.
 

Bambistew

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Jan 5, 2013
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Alaska
The 30 year running average NR success rate in AK for guided general hunts is 69%. Last year (2021) it was 53%. I'll bet it will be closer to 40% than 50% this year. At some point the odds will be weighed on cost vs. reward. That's a lot of cheddar to put down with low chance of success. I don't know why hunters would come to Alaska when they can go to Canada and have a higher chance at success. Ultimately in AK, more pressure will be placed on success, and what that pressure will look like is anyone's guess at this point, but it won't be in the interest of sheep, but rather in the interest of $$$.
 

ganngus

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Oct 1, 2018
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Texas
The 30 year running average NR success rate in AK for guided general hunts is 69%. Last year (2021) it was 53%. I'll bet it will be closer to 40% than 50% this year. At some point the odds will be weighed on cost vs. reward. That's a lot of cheddar to put down with low chance of success. I don't know why hunters would come to Alaska when they can go to Canada and have a higher chance at success. Ultimately in AK, more pressure will be placed on success, and what that pressure will look like is anyone's guess at this point, but it won't be in the interest of sheep, but rather in the interest of $$$.

I believe people go to AK over Canada because there is like a 10-15k difference on price. Even though sheep is a rich man's game for non-residents, people still try to penny pinch.
 

Dragonfish

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Joined
Jan 4, 2019
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Pittsburgh, PA
I went in 2020, didn't see a legal ram. and just for good measure Alaska dealt me another blow last year, and didn't get a goat. not for lack of trying on either trip- and wouldn't change a thing. had a blast, and i'm hooked and trying goat again this year, and sheep again next year. luckily for me, both outfitters did me right and treated me very fair on the next trip.

sheep- did my research on the outfitter, they had a very high success rate for a long time, but bad winter in the area i hunted thinned out the mature rams.

on my October goat hunt last year in SE- three feet of snow on the tent severely limited our mobility, damn that bitch of Alaska anyway, but she hooked me, i'm coming back!

let's hope third time's a charm this year.
 

Stew

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Mar 5, 2013
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158
Mtn Goats are a dime a dozen, mature rams are not. Strange to compare the two.
but are mature billys a dime a dozen strange to compare any goat to a mature ram.
What defines or qualifies as a mature ram.
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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Alaska
What I should have said was it’s rare to hear of an unsuccessful guided mountain goat hunt. Sure, it happens, but not near as much as with sheep.

I love big mature Billy’s, they’re near the top of my list in terms of what I enjoy hunting the most.
 

schmalzy

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Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
808
I went in 2020, didn't see a legal ram. and just for good measure Alaska dealt me another blow last year, and didn't get a goat. not for lack of trying on either trip- and wouldn't change a thing. had a blast, and i'm hooked and trying goat again this year, and sheep again next year. luckily for me, both outfitters did me right and treated me very fair on the next trip.

sheep- did my research on the outfitter, they had a very high success rate for a long time, but bad winter in the area i hunted thinned out the mature rams.

on my October goat hunt last year in SE- three feet of snow on the tent severely limited our mobility, damn that bitch of Alaska anyway, but she hooked me, i'm coming back!

let's hope third time's a charm this year.

Pulling for you and great to hear the outfitters treated you right.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Banded_spooney

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Jun 8, 2021
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346
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Oroville, Ca
I will say from a guides side of the equation, it is an absolute kick in the balls to send somebody home without a ram.

I have only taken a few that didn’t kill a ram, for reasons ranging from hunters quitting early, being scared to death of heights, to just straight up not finding a legal ram. Some of those hunts were also some of the most enjoyable hunts I have guided, from a guide/hunter relationship point of view.

If it were up to me I’d hunt until a tag was filled but everyone knows that isn’t usually a possibility.
Is this THE Tanner? TSD Tanner? Bow down fellas, we are in the presence of comedic greatness
 

Blockcaver

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Sep 9, 2012
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BC
My sheep hunting started a bit slow. I did all four species in two years and only killed one. (Desert). Since then, I’m 7 for 7. Of those first four, only one was truly a bad experience that I hope nobody ever has to go through. The other two were on me. (One miss and one wound) Looking to continue my streak next week!
Good luck Kota!
 

Aeroflot81

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
31
Out of my dad, brother and me over past few years we’ve been on stone and dall hunts in CA.

Stone sheep hunt, I shot mine on day 8 and my brother on day 12. My dad didn’t get one. It was a very difficult hunt with weather being the main factor. We had snow/rain/fog for 11 out of the 14 days. Other issue is the increase in tags there. Used to be a draw area for residents w 3 tags to 1 for the outfitter. Now 12:3 resident to outfitter every year. There’s still rams there but quality has suffered and weather played the main role but we only saw 4 legal rams. When my dad had been there in 2009, he looked over 30+ legal rams.

The dall hunt my brother shot his on day 8 and my dad and I both on day 11 of 10. Was a weird hunt as one other hunter harvested on day 15 of 10. Rams were migrating and were tough to pin down more so than on prior hunts that my dad and brothers had been on w this outfitter. They have an extremely high success rate on 10+ yr old rams. Just goes to show that as has been said, it hunting not killing. Even going in good spots with good outfits isn’t a guarantee. Lastly, it only takes one! I was resigned to go home empty handed when we caught magic in a bottle and killed a nice 10 yr old on the way out to the pick up landing strip.
 

Trial153

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Oct 28, 2014
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NY
Buddy of mine just came back empty from NWT. Never seen a legal ram.

Another friend of mine and his wife, went twice to a well regarded outfitter in NWT, four years ago …first hunt never got a shot but seen two legal rams.
Booked again they were like 7 days in didn’t see a legal Ram, he asked to be flown at his expense to another area and the outfitter declined saying he didn’t have a place to get him into…. Needless to say he didn’t book a third time.

They went again this year NWT, a different outfitter and I believe filled a tag.


It happens every year, more then most of know of.
 
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kipper09

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Dec 5, 2013
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West Virginia
I have read this thread and thought about it alot. There is something earlier in the thread about weighing the money and risk. Honestly since I went up the hunts have went up substantially like everything else. It’s at the point now that although I can probably make it work. I don’t know that I will. To wrap my head around 30-35k for a hunt is really getting hard for me to justify. I really want to achieve that goal. Monetarily I don’t know if it’s worth it to me. I’ve hunted elk, aoudad, mule deer, along with alot of other things. And for 30-35 grand I can sure do a lot of hunting and have a lot of fun

Not saying I won’t go. But I’m saying it’s awful hard for me to justify it and make it right in my brain.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mulecreek

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Oct 7, 2016
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33
Location
Wyoming
I did not take a sheep on my first Dall hunt in Ak. In 14 days we saw one legal ram. Saw him on day 1. He was a stud ram for sure.. Guide was hung up on book score and he thought this one would make it. Spent 2 days watching and waiting for wind, weather and other rams to cooperate. On day 4 he was gone. Never could turn him up again. Saw one other ram in the hunt that was legal, barely. Never chambered a round in 14 days. Outfitter was far more twisted up over this than I was. This was in 2012. Lots of talk of other outfitters encroaching in his area. AK residents getting flown into his area. Lots of shenanigans' with leaving tents at airstrips, using plane to scout, radioing to guide locations of rams, etc. It turned into an unfun hunt. I chalked it up to stuff doesn't always go the way you want. Have not and would not go back with this outfitter due to his actions and attitude.
 

oenanthe

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Joined
Aug 21, 2014
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407
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Fbks, AK
... Lots of shenanigans' with leaving tents at airstrips, using plane to scout, radioing to guide locations of rams, etc.

I hope you reported him to the Alaska State Troopers for the illegal use of radios in hunting.
 
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