Last week got back from my Alaska Dall Sheep hunt. No I didn't tag out. Yes it is hunting. No I didn't make any mistakes or even get an opportunity. Yes it was the most challenging hunt I've ever done physically and mentally. Yes I will be going back.
I have had this hunt booked for 30 months. There were a few cheaper hunts in Alaska, but took recommendation of my hunt broker that Majestic Mountain Outfitters was the best option for honesty, experience, opportunity, and quality. Although I didn't tag out I still agree 100%. We were weathered out of hunting 7 of 11 days and remaining days just had 2 full days and 2 part days. The Outfitter is letting me come back 2017 and I'm first on list if someone cancels 2016 for a fair deal. Hunts aren't guaranteed! Often hunters miss or can't handle the hiking, but I simply didn't get an opportunity and did everything the guides asked of me.http://www.majesticmountainoutfitters.com
In the 2 full and 2 part days of hunting we covered 65 miles (10 more miles moving camps) and GPS recorded 25,000 feet of elevation climb. 90% of miles either creek bed rocks and water crossings or sunken mud trails with cross root hurdles. 10% actual climbing best being Muskeg that has great grip and soft all the way to Puckerbrush that fights you every step or shale 1 step forward slide 2 steps back. Our longest day we left camp at 4 am and got back 10 pm 25 total miles. Next part day we did 15 miles.
We had 3 different Ram stalks:
Ram #1 - turned out not to be legal, wasn't full curl or broomed.
Ram #2 - got within 1,200 yards and group of 9 Rams busted over the mountain. lead Ram was huge double broomed, big mass and body. Either the wind had circled on us or more likely we had seen fresh wolf sign coming up the creek and had pushed wolves into them. This was our 25 mile day, we continued up over this range to glance down the other side.
Ram #3 - this was the most heartbreaking. we spotted the Ram 3-4 miles away from camp and made a stalk almost to the peak within 150 yards. The guide was busted when raising his scope to double check if legal. He took a long time analyzing and Ram finally ran over next mountain. Can't second guess the guide, it was probably borderline legal, going up higher on the peak our wind might have been wrong, and farther away if he tried to use spotting scope the harder to determine if legal. here was Ram through the spotting scope from camp.
I was in pretty good shape and did everything the guides asked of me. Never thought it would be so tough though, much harder than any of the marathons I did etc. The long hikes not bad as the really steep stuff towards the peaks. You can max out your heartrate and VO2 pretty quick every 10-20 steps. Luckily little 30-60 second rest I would recover and do it again.
I would recommend this outfitter if looking for a challenging, high opportunity, high quality hunt found in the Wrangells. If you are looking for easier sheep hunt consider something in the Brooks Range which is an older mountain range and easier terrain. You can also find some outfitters that use horses. This outfitter doesn't use horses for the hunters, so daily you need to hike 5 miles from any camp just to get into the sheep country and then back again at night.
Logistics were commercial DFW to Seattle to Fairbanks, drive 3.5 hours to Tok, Cessna 206 100 miles to sand bar, and then Super Cub into base camp.
My tent at base camp.