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  1. #1
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    Wyoming Sheep Hunt

    Last spring a drew I drew a sheep tag in the random draw and a few guys on here really helped me out. Here is the story of the whole hunt. If it get a little long winded I appologize. I hadn’t planed on drawing the tag and really started from scratch learning how to hunt sheep. All in all it was a great adventure.

    My plan was to hit as many drainages as I could in the unit before the season. I knew that with limited time available off of work I wanted to be able to pull the trigger on opening morning an not regret cutting the hunt short. The first trip hiking into the unit was cut short when I bumped a bear off the the trail in a tight canyon in front of me. The bear ran straight up the canyon and with so few ways for the bruin to get out of the canyon, I decide that he would probably stay in the bottom and I better not push my luck. I turned around and called it a day.

    The next weekend my wife and I hiked in a few miles to where we could glass one of the main ridge lines in the unit with the sun at our back. As we sat and ate our lunch I picked up a sow grizzly with three cubs playing in the snow around 11,000 feet. No other animals where seen that day.

    July, 3 - A friend came down from Montana to hike into a ridge line that would give us a view of the two of the major drainages in the unit. We left the truck around 11am and hiked 11.5 miles and 5000 vertical feet. On the hike in we bumped into two black bears at abut 30 yards. About a mile from where we wanted to glass from, we stopped to fill up with water. We dumped our packs on the ground and had a snack and started filtering water. As we were packing up our things, Isaac to a look back down the trail we had just hiked and caught a sow grizzly with two cubs crossing the trail behind us at about 300 yards. We had been in that exact spot about 10 minutes before. We pack up our things and moved on with out the bears knowing we were ever there. We hiked to the edge of a steep vertical face that gave us an incredible view of a giant drainage at least 10 miles to the back of it. We glassed peaks that were so inaccessible by horse and would literally take days to get into on foot.

    We sat on the edge of that cliff the rest of the night and turned up about 40 sheep spread out across the drainage. It was the first time getting a real feel for the country the sheep liked to live in. As the sun slipped behind the the ridge to our back, we dawned our packs and headed up the ridge to camp so that we would be able to glass the drainage to our west at first light. We gained another 500 vertical feet just as the sun slipped beyond the horizon. It was an exhilarating feeling. The country was as wild as any I had ever been in and we we finding some sheep.
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    One thing about sheep country is that there never seems to be a good pace to set up a tent. It is either too steep or way too steep. That night we ended up setting up our tent on the ridge line overlooking the meadow we saw the sow and her cubs several hours before. Between the thought of the bears only a few hundred feet below and the gust of wind that kept pushing the tent down on top of us, little sleep was had that night.

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    The following morning was chilly and clear. It was supposed to be in the mid 80s that day in the valley but it couldn?t have been more than 30 degrees when we woke up. As the sun came up at our backs we we able to pick of sheep on the far ridge lines 2-8 miles away. I was impressed by how far we could glass with the perfect light. All in all we saw an additional 30 or so sheep and had a way better feel for the country they liked to summer in.

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    Last edited by Kodiak; 01-26-2019 at 12:49 PM.

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  3. #2
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    As work and time would allow I would glass the ridges and mountain basins that I could see from the the road from hiking in several miles to a good glassing point.

    July 21, a different friend made the trek down to hike into a different drainage. The plan was the same as a few weeks earlier, find a glassing point and glass east in the evening and west in the morning to locate where the sheep were hangin out.

    On the hike in the trail was dry and dusty and we followed the tracks of a big grizzly for about a mile and a half. The tracks were fresh enough that we could pick out the cracks in the big boars pads. Fortunately we didn’t bump into him. About 4 miles in we cut off of the trail and started gaining elevation in a hurry. The glassing point was reached at about 5pm and we glassed till dark. There seems to be a magical angle the sun hits where all of the sheep stand up and the light is just right because we hadn’t seen any thing for several hours, abut right around 8pm, started picking sheep off of the areas we had been glassing for hours. The last animals we spotted for the evening was a sow grizzly with three cubs that pushed a group of ewes and lambs out of sight. They were about 2 miles away and it was fun watching them roll and play up in the alpine.

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    The following morning we moved to a different glassing point and started turning up sheep sheep right off of the bat. We started seeing groups that we could tell were all rams. It seemed the ewes and lambs lived in the more open slopes and the rams like the grass areas between cliffs.

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    Last edited by Kodiak; 01-27-2019 at 10:17 AM.

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  5. #3
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    Enjoying the read thus far, don?t leave us hanging


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  6. #4
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    The next few weeks I spent mostly eliminating spots due to various reasons. I would eliminate spots based lack of water, hard access, no sign of sheep, or signs of outfitter activity. By the first week of August I had narrowed down to two areas that I knew held rams and I wanted to check out up close and personal.

    August 11 - Saturday morning found us on the trail bright and early hiking into the location that I felt had the best chance of holding huntable rams. The trail was a gradual elevation gain of 4500 vertical feet over 8 miles and then a pretty brutal 1500’ push to top of the mesa that would give us the view into several basin that we had glassed sheep in from a long way off.
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    When we got on top we glassed up a bachelor herd of bull hanging out around at 11,000’. We turned up a bunch of ewes and lambs but the rams we hoped for were eluding us. We changed glassing spots to the edge of a cliff that was about a 1500’ vertical drop into a perfect looking basin. The far side of the basing was cover with ewes and elk but no rams. We were a little bummed at this point and thought maybe all the sheep we ha been seeing were only ewes and lambs. We decided to cook up some mountain house and relax a little. As we cooked we started talking a little louder. All of a sudden two rams popped up out of no where about 50 yards away. They had been bedded on the on a tiny knob about 30 yards directly below us the for about two hours as we glassed over the top of them. This raised our spirits quite a bit.

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    As the sun was setting we moved a few hundred yard from where we cooked dinner and set up the tent in a slight depression on the very top of the mesa, GPS elevation 11,600?. I wasn?t feeling to great from what I think was altitude sickness so I wen for a little walk. As I glanced down over the edge of the mesa I spotted a group of 6 rams feeding uphill towards out tent. There were two rams in the group that were plenty big enough for me. We decided not to move the tent with the concern that we would bump the sheep as we packed up. The next morning we got out of the tent quietly to find the rams were about 300 yards below our tent feeding. We packed up and checked all of the glassing spots from the previous day, looking into the different drainages. We turned up a few more rams but nothing bigger than the sheep from the night before.

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    With the success of finding rams that I would be more than happy to fill my tag on we headed out of the basin with a game plan for opening day.
    Last edited by Kodiak; 01-26-2019 at 03:55 PM.

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  8. #5
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    Great so far keep it coming!

  9. #6
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    August 31 ? Friday mid morning found me and a friend waiting at a the trail head for our two other hunting companions and the horses they were bringing to help us up the mountain. I walked up the trail in front of the horses who carried all of our gear. It was great to have almost no weight on my back for the first time in all of the hiking I had done thus far. We made it to the timber line where we made camp in hopes to not bump any sheep that might be in the area. We were one drainage away from where we had seen the group of rams several weeks prior. As we unloaded the horses and set up camp someone in the group saw a group of three sheep on the hill about 1000 yards above us in the cliffs. We pulled the the spotter off the horses and as we set up our tents we watched two young rams and one heavily broomed older ram feed across the cliffs above us. Now we were sheep hunting!

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    One friend and I hiked up the basin a little higher to look at the head of the basin and get a better view of the three rams we were watching from camp. I had never hunted with horses and it was quite a treat to get back to camp and have cheese, summer sausage, apples and fresh meat in camp at 10,000?. We ate quietly that night in hopes of not pushing the rams we had been watching out of the area. After a better look we determined he was an older ram and one that I would be happy to take.

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    We made a game plan to hike to the head of the basin in the dark and hopefully be on top above the sheep at first light.

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    September 1 ? We were up and hiking well before light. Walking through the open basin in the dark was pretty eerie knowing that we could bump into a bear at any time but we made it to the top of the ridge just as there was enough light to start seeing things. We split into two group and headed to glass two different basins to try and locate the group of rams we had found a few weeks earlier. As the sun started to peak over the horizon the winds picked up. By the time we it crossed over to the next basin we were trying to glass into 20-30 mile an hour winds. The wind combined with mid twenty degree temperatures made our eyes water and wish we had brought more clothes. We couldn?t turn anything up in that basin so we moved to another glassing spot to look over one other drainage. That location turned up a group of ewes and lambs but know rams.

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    We made the trek back to our companions and found out right after we had split up, a sow grizzly with two cubs had walk up the same trail we came up in the dark right behind us. My hunting partners were sitting in a rock pile out of the wind waiting for glassing light when, one of them notice the sow headed straight at them at about 50 yards. Fortunately, they saw each other at about the same time and the sow made the decision to turn and bail off of the mountain away from my friend and our camp.

    That hadn?t turned up and rams either so we headed to look down the cliffs that we had seen the three rams the night before. We work slowly along peaking over the boulders and down the shoots but we could not turn up the rams. It was about 11am by this point and we we retry surprised we hadn?t seen any rams yet. Walked to a cliff to have lunch and found a few ewes and lams hanging out on the cliffs above a 1500? drop. We stopped and watched them as we ate.

    By this point we had glassed our major drainages couldn?t turn up the sheep we had watched the night before. We were out on a ridge line and decided to head back and glass the main drainages and relax for a little while. As we worked our way back we turned up a lone ram sitting in the middle of the drainage that we wanted to glass. We worked a little farther to where we could see the majority of the drainage and relocated the small ram. It was about noon and we were thinking things were going to be slow for a little while. It was finally warming up and the sun was feeling good. We sat in a rock pile to glass and rest for a while.

    ?I got rams, three of ?em!? One of my hunting partners utter almost as soon as we sat down. I hadn?t even had a chance to pull the spotting scope out of my pack yet. I hurriedly pulled the spotter out and located the rams. First glance told me this was not the group we had seen the day before. The sheep were about a mile away but I could tell two of them had mass and width to them. As we glassed we turned up a forth ram. They were bedded below the cliffs and in a prime spot to stalk. We decided we needed a closer look and the best way to get to them would be to peek over the cliffs they were lying under. From out angle we figured this would put us between 200 and 400 yards from the bedded sheep.

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  13. #8
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    To stay out of sight of the bedded rams, we backed over the ridge and covered the mile to the rock pile that looked like it would give us a good vantage. We then worked our way over the ridge and up to the edge. We crawled up to the edge and no sheep. I crawled a little farther and still no sheep. What looked like sheer cliffs from a mile away, were rounded on the edge more than we thought. I moved closer still and was going down hill pretty steep at this point when I picked up a ram much closer than I thought they should be almost, directly below me. The sheep had no idea we were there so my companions crawled up to my location and looked down at the sheep. There were two half curl rams feeding above two larger rams. We barley look at the sheep and I could tell one of them was a shooter for me. He was facing away from me and I could see his lamb tips curl up and out and his based nearly touched in the back.

    As we watched the bigger ram stood up and started feeding away from us. A quick range put the ram at 250 yards. Due to the steep angle and us being on out stomachs, I used one of my hunting partners as a shooting rest. The ram feed away slowly for a few minutes but eventually turned up hill towards the younger rams. As he did I squeezed the trigger and the ram dropped in his tracks.

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    It took us about an hour to move down the ridge line and find a point where we could get down the cliffs and then work our way up to the ram. There was quite a bit of crawling and scrambling involved in the process but we made it to the ram around 2pm.

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    He was a beautiful ram with with his lamb tip on one side and a slight broom on the other. It was a pretty surreal feeling picking him up for the first time and feeling the mass of his horns. We caped and quartered the sheep in the open basin. Where he fell was bout 11,100 feet in elevation and right by a snow bank. We were able to put his quarters on ice and wash the cape off in the snow.


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    We made the steep trek back up the cliffs and then down there ridge to our camp. The sheep was hung in the trees and we relaxed in out little piece of paradise at 10,000 feet for the the rest of the evening telling stories over the fire.

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  16. #9
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    Man, what a great story! Congrats on a wonderful trophy, you earned him!
    My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

  17. #10
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    Congratulations, Sheep are an amazing animal to hunt. I will never forget my hunt. When he is on the wall, you get to relive your hunt everytime you look at him.

 

 
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