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Thread: The Dall Ram in my Avatar

  1. #1
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Default The Dall Ram in my Avatar

    Several of you have asked about the ram in my avatar. Below is a copy of a pm I sent to Bon after he asked about it. I was fortunate to spend 21 years in Alaska and have the opportunity to hunt most of what the state had to offer. I was also fortunate to have good hunting partners and we did our hunts self guided.

    My hunting partner and I drew tags for the Tok Management area. One of the most popular and desirable sheep tags in Alaska. We flew out of Tok, Alaska in Super Cubs and landed on the gravel bed of One of the local rivers. From there, we hiked 14 hours up a creek into a beautiful valley. Just the two of us. We saw moose, caribou, grizzly bears, black bears, wolverine and of course Dall Sheep. Had one grizzly come within 20 yards of camp, stand on his hind legs and woof at us like a dog!

    The sheep hunting was fun. We were at a bit of a disadvantage due to the steepness of the mountains on both sides of the valley. The sheep could see us coming from both directions. We had to hike down the valley out of sight, then up and to the sheep. The weather was crazy with constant fog rolling in and out causing us to lose sight of the animals we were stalking... I ended up blowing a stalk for the largest ram I have ever seen. I got within 40 yards of him without even knowing it! When the fog lifted, I was looking down the valley from a ledge and my buddy was saying Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! I'm looking all around and don't see anything. Finally I look straight across and see the ram looking me right in the eyes just as he bailed off the other side of the ledge he was on! Wow!

    Saw him again later! Massive!

    The weather turned crappy again, so we took shelter in a little cave and ate lunch and tried to dry out a little. After a few minutes, I started getting antsy, so I told my buddy Dave I was going to take a hike a little higher up the mountain (we were nearly at the top then). I had only gone a short ways when I peek over into a big rocky bowl and across the bowl about 450 yards I see a ram. The wind is blowing pretty good so I decide to get a little closer when the fog rolls in. The rocks are noisy, but the sheep are used to that. So I go a little ways and the fog starts lifting. I stop and get down, the ram is still there 400 yards. Fog comes back in, I move. 350 yards.... Fog lifts, I get down. Get my gun ready. Ram still there. Asleep.

    I wait for what seems like an eternity as the fog rolls in and out a few more times and eventually the fog lifts and the ram is standing! Alright! 300 Win Mag. Does the job. I have my Dall Sheep. Way more gun than you need for sheep, but in Alaska, one has other things to consider... My buddy hears the shot and comes trudging up the hill and we hike over to the ram together.

    It is dark by the time we are making our way down off the mountain in the rain with heavy packs of meat, hide and horn. We stumble, fall and slip on the wet rocks, mud, moss etc.. We fall in the creek because our legs are like rubber from the climb and descent!

    We finally make it back to the tent along the stream bank somewhere around 10pm. Both wet tired and cold. Funny the two opposite reactions we had upon arrival at the tent. We put our gear and meat away. Got out of our wet clothes and then Dave went straight for the food. He sounded like the Tazmanian Devil ripping open packages and devouring anything and everything he could get his hands on! It was almost comical!

    Myself, on the other hand... I put on dry long johns and crawled into my sleeping bag and just got warm. Drank some water, but just wanted to get warm and rest.

    The next day, thankfully was sunny! We hung out at camp taking care of meat and hide. We hunted for another week, but Dave did not kill a ram on that trip.

    The hike out of the valley was just as rough as the hike in, except that it was DOWN the valley!! Fun trip!

    Thanks for asking, it brought back some great memories!
    Bill Davis

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the story Bill, waking to hear the story on the second sheep (big horn?).
    Last edited by mngundog; 03-16-2013 at 10:13 PM.

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    Senior Member duk4me's Avatar
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    Great story. I'm jealous, well except for the Grizzly part.
    I have learned I need these dogs much more than they need me. Tim Bockmon

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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    The second ram is a Desert Bighorn from Arizona. I drew the tag in a unit north of the Grand Canyon near Colorado City just south of the Utah border. The hunt was in December. I drove down from WA state where I was living at the time expecting a nice warm hunt (it is Arizona after all). Boy did I have another thing coming! We were met with a snow storm and ended up spending two days in St. George, UT waiting out the weather. Finally, the snow let up and we were able to get into the unit to begin our hunt. It was still very cold, windy and foggy for most of the hunt. So much for my Arizona vacation...

    The first several days, hunting was slow... The animals were laying low due to the weather. We did start seeing sheep, mule deer and pronghorn antelope on about the fourth day...

    The country we were hunting was canyon country. You come in at ground level and the world drops away from you at the canyon edges... The canyons were very deep and are feeder canyons into the Grand Canyon. A highlight of the hunt was one day sitting on the edge of the canyon... We heard the sound of jets in the distance. As we looked up... Coming right at us... Single file, was four fighter jets just off the deck. They were moving fast and dropped into the canyon right over our heads and disappeared down the canyon in seconds! Wow! Made me think what our enemies must think when they hear that sound...

    That afternoon we spotted two rams across the canyon feeding and milling around. When they bedded down, we marked the spot on the map and headed for camp.

    The next morning we were up before daylight and drove around to the other side of the canyon and came in from above to make a stalk on the rams. It took about an hour, but eventually we made our way to a position where we could see the ram I wanted to take. He had moved out of the shade and was in the sun trying to warm up a little. I was using a 270 WSM. And the shot was only 120 yards... Almost anticlimactic after all the work to get to this point. But a Desert Ram is good any time you can get one.

    Another fun hunt... But cold....
    Bill Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    The second ram is a Desert Bighorn from Arizona. I drew the tag in a unit north of the Grand Canyon near Colorado City just south of the Utah border. The hunt was in December. I drove down from WA state where I was living at the time expecting a nice warm hunt (it is Arizona after all). Boy did I have another thing coming! We were met with a snow storm and ended up spending two days in St. George, UT waiting out the weather. Finally, the snow let up and we were able to get into the unit to begin our hunt. It was still very cold, windy and foggy for most of the hunt. So much for my Arizona vacation...

    The first several days, hunting was slow... The animals were laying low due to the weather. We did start seeing sheep, mule deer and pronghorn antelope on about the fourth day...

    The country we were hunting was canyon country. You come in at ground level and the world drops away from you at the canyon edges... The canyons were very deep and are feeder canyons into the Grand Canyon. A highlight of the hunt was one day sitting on the edge of the canyon... We heard the sound of jets in the distance. As we looked up... Coming right at us... Single file, was four fighter jets just off the deck. They were moving fast and dropped into the canyon right over our heads and disappeared down the canyon in seconds! Wow! Made me think what our enemies must think when they hear that sound...

    That afternoon we spotted two rams across the canyon feeding and milling around. When they bedded down, we marked the spot on the map and headed for camp.

    The next morning we were up before daylight and drove around to the other side of the canyon and came in from above to make a stalk on the rams. It took about an hour, but eventually we made our way to a position where we could see the ram I wanted to take. He had moved out of the shade and was in the sun trying to warm up a little. I was using a 270 WSM. And the shot was only 120 yards... Almost anticlimactic after all the work to get to this point. But a Desert Ram is good any time you can get one.

    Another fun hunt... But cold....
    Thank you for sharing those two hunts. Enjoyed reading about them.
    charly

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Cockfield's Avatar
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    The Rams are awesome but that buck in your old avatar was quite impressive as well.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."--George Orwell.

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    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Pretty cool stuff, Bill!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    That Desert Big Horn looks a lot like what we have around here. We have seen them hiking the trails above the gorge and also at the top of Kachina Peak here in the ski area. Are they the same species? Not too far away from where you hunted, probably a similar environment here in Taos?
    Carol,
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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tall View Post
    That Desert Big Horn looks a lot like what we have around here. We have seen them hiking the trails above the gorge and also at the top of Kachina Peak here in the ski area. Are they the same species? Not too far away from where you hunted, probably a similar environment here in Taos?
    Hi Carol, NM has both Desert Bighorns and the more common Rocky Mountain Bighorn. Not knowing the geography of your area, I don't know which that would be. At that altitude I would guess they are Rocky's. The only place that I am aware of Desert Bighorns at that high an altitude is in California... I think it is the White Mountains. But, I could be wrong.
    Bill Davis

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    the closest I have ever been to a Desert Bighorn is when I hit a one iron over the back of one as it grazed on the fairway at Lake Las Vegas GC, as my ball sailed over his back he looked at me as if to say " ..WTH, you can't yell Fore".....
    All my Exes live in Texas

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    A few things that I learned still ring true. "Lanse when you get a gift, say thank you and walk away. When you get a screwing walk away. You are going to get a lot more screwings than gifts"

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