VIDEO: An “Epic” Sheep Hunt by Butch Whiting
April/May 2013 Eastmans Hunting Journal (Issue 136) – This sheep hunt started as other hunts begin: a remote possibility with potential for greatness. Any legal ram is a trophy, but my heart was set on a true adventure with giant full-curl potential. Statistics suggested that only a few giant rams are taken every couple years outside of “draw areas.” I wanted to hunt on public land with an over-the-counter tag, just like other resident sheep hunters.
Sheep hunting is often associated with big money. Individuals pay insane amounts for a tag or even save their entire life for a guided hunt. One of the luxuries about living in Alaska is the FREE, over-thecounter Dall’s sheep tags!
For months I pored over topos, talked with biologists and pilots, and conferred with a consortium of successful sheep hunters and guides. I came away with a notepad full of unlikely leads. Sheep hunters are tight-lipped when it comes to the honey holes that big rams frequent. It wasn’t until I decided on a partner for this hunt that my intel grew stronger and my plan started to materialize. When I asked one of my best friends, Larry Bartlett, who is also an Alaska Adventure Planner, and founder of T.A.G. Bags if he would be interested in going after sheep, he just smiled and asked when we were leaving.
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After some research, Larry said he’d narrowed our options and had some leads on a mountain drainage with the potential of taking a nice ram but the distance to this area would make the trip somewhat arduous.
It was subtle, but Larry’s definition of “arduous” was concerning. When he says an adventure is difficult, he really means that most mortals would quit or potentially harm themselves during the pursuit. I was in… [Read the rest of the story in the April/May 2013 Issue of Eastman’s Hunting Journal]