Contributors to this thread:
Who's been on a Stone sheep hunt?
I'm thinking about going on a Stone sheep hunt in 07 or 08. How many out there have already been and who is going. I've done a lot of looking around and still plan on doing more but would like a little help.
I would love to see some pictures of some sheep and the Mtns.
Brady,never been but am booked for 07 with Yukon Stone Outfitters.
Incidently, CA FNAWS is about ready to lick off our sheep raffles! Dall AND Stone hunts are available! We've finalized all of the details and only need to get the tickets printed and the order form finished.
Stay away from Randy Babala. pm only for info.
Let's see some pictures!!!!!
Tadpole, would you feel comfortable posting any of your concerns publicly? What is that outfit's name? I understand the reasons you may not want to post publicly, but I think it is important that we bowhunters share the good and the bad about various outfitters so that perhaps our breatheren won't make the same mistakes that we did.
Randy Babala sold his area last year to a fantastic outfitter with a proven track record.
I know a couple of guys that took really big rams with Babala. The rams I have seen from his area have more of a Fannin look, and even his dark rams have white necks and faces. I had dinner with the new owner this year at GSCO and he seemed like a heck of guy.
Roger, I was born and raised in Little Rock. I now live in Utah. Where are you from?
I have hunted Stone sheep with a rifle successfully but not ever with a bow. The outfitter I went with, Art Thompson of Gundahoo River Outfitters, takes some bowhunters from time to time. Let me know if I can be of any help.
I've heard of Gundahoo river outfitters. Can you tell me some details about your hunt. Do you think the area is good for bow hunting? How many legal rams did you see? Did you see many residents hunters? Can you post some pictures of your hunt.
I hunted with Gundahoo also (rifle) Killed my ram on day two. He was with two other legal rams. They typically have a 100% success rate with rifle hunters. Never laid eyes on another hunter. Killed a good caribou also. The area that I killed my ram in would have been conducive to bow hunting. Country is rugged and steep. Of my 4 rams, my stone sheep hunt was my favorite and most challenging. That year and the year prior they took the gold medal rams, 176 and 175 The thing I like about Art's (Gundahoo) area is the rams are typically dark gray, not much white on them. Lot's of stones when shoulder mounted look like a dall. Vic
What year was your Stone hunt? Could you send me a PM (or post it here) and tell me what the cost was?
I am booked this fall for a stone out of Dease Lake in a bow only area. I will let you know how things go if you would like. I also grew up in Arkansas, but now reside in Alaska.
Vic, thats because many sheep claimed as "Stones" ARE Dalls!!!! Its 2006 and we hav DNA. Its time to redraw the line irregardless if we hurt some feelings or not!
I've never been. I have been with an outfitter that runs these hunts. Some of the areas these BC guys have is more conducive to bowhunting. For example, Some of the high bowls where these sheep live is wide open with very little cover. The one outfitter used to save a bowl with big rock outcroppings and some cover for bowhunters to stalk. I would buddy up with some of the big boys through FNAWS. I would bet there is nothing these guys would rather do than talk sheep! Just call some of them. Somebody like Tom Hoffman would probably know every sheep territory. I know Tim ( Tall Grass outfitters) has guided Tom and has his own area in BC now and he sometimes guides in other outfitters territories. I don't know how his area is for sheep.
Tom would be about as good a source as you could find. In addition, he's a really cool and unassuming guy. Just genuine as all get out.
I hunted last year with Taku Safari. Can't reccomend them. PM me for details.
Kyle, Not to put you on the spot- but you would be one of the first guys I would call!
I filmed Spike Lewis shoot this guy at 15 yards while he snoozed under a rock outcropping. We hiked 18 miles into unknown territory..in and out 3 day hunt...$50 tag. Wouldn't you love to be a B.C. resident!?
BTW, The ram was sleeping under the rock, not Spike.
Call me any time. If I don't know the answer, I'll just make something up. ;^)
I took this ram in 2004 with Trophy Stone Safaris in the Yukon. It was a rifle hunt but the hunt would be doable with a bow. Lots of big boulders for cover.
Allen, that sheep has a nice coat for August.
Keep the pictures coming, guy
"I know Tim ( Tall Grass outfitters) has guided Tom and has his own area in BC now and he sometimes guides in other outfitters territories. I don't know how his area is for sheep."
I goat hunted with Tim of (Tall Grass Outfitters) last year. First off all Tim doesn't offer sheep in his area. Second, Tim might be a good guide working for some other outfitter but Tim's outfitting business is POOR and I don't recommend it!
Brady, I posted pictures before but they probably cannot be pulled up anymore. My guide on the hunt, Brent Sinclair, guided some bowhunters to rams with Gundahoo. There are areas with a lot of sheep in Art's area. The areas I hunted and some of the area Vic hunted had fewer sheep than some of Art's other areas. Art put us young guys (me and Vic) in some of the tougher country with somewhat fewer sheep. Of the six hunters on the first hunt in 2003, five got 160 class rams with most of them killed in the first day or two. I killed mine on day 12. Nearly got a big ram on day two but the eleven rams (3 legal) saw Brent before he saw them on the final approach (less than 100 yards) and spooked. I turned down a couple legal rams in the middle part of the hunt. Some of the other hunters saw many more rams than I.
I will send you a pm as I can give you more details in private about the specific areas, sheep numbers, and camps within Art's area. I will be in BC in July with Art and I could find out more for you if you'd like. Art is first class all the way and really cares about getting you a sheep. He has excellent guides and horses. In my opinion, he is in the top three of the BC Stone outfitters. He also is one of the more expensive but you get what you pay for.
Someone who can post pictures send me an email and I'll send a picture of my stone. Vic Steve H.- Understand what you are saying. I was refering to stones that have white faces with lots of gray on back and saddles, no doubt they are stones, just won't look like one once shoulder mounted. There are many Fannin sheep that don't appear to really have much if any dark hairs on them and they get counted as stones sheep. It has always been confusing to me. Seems a slam should consist of 5 sheep, rocky, dall, desert, stones, california, and fannin. My 2 cents. Vic
Didn't you just name 6 sheep, not 5?
Sorry, it was Monday. 6 it is then.
Fannin's aren't unique they are dalls.
In 2000 I hunted with Barry Tompkins of High & Wild Safaris (formerly Big 9 Outfitters) in B.C. Took this ram on the last day of my hunt. The shot was about 35 yards downhill. The ram was bedded with 5 other rams. There was one ram that may have been a little bigger but not as old as the ram I took - the one I took was 10 years old and had lost most of his teeth (of course he was opposed to us checking his dental work before the shot). The rams layed below a ledge as I made the shot. The rams scattered into the cliffs as the mortally hit ram ran straight downhill into the thick timber. Recovery was about 100 yards or so. Best regards, Ovis
That is a nice sheepand good picture with the fog in the back ground. How did you like the outfitter? Was it a good area for bow hunting? what did the sheep score?
Steve, Go shovel your fannin baloney someplace else.
The sheep in Northern BC where Gundahoo is located are defintely Stones', even according to the DNA study you may be familiar with that called some doubt into the Northern Yukon Fannins'. I have seen "black" or very dark rams in the Gundahoo area that Vic and I hunted as well as sheep with gray faces and gray upper necks with darker bodies. These are not Dalls'.
This same study has been questioned now by some sheep experts. Like any study in a sceintific field, it will have to be verified (duplicated) by others before it is accepted as fact. The same study said that Stones' are more closely related to Bighorns than Dalls'. One thing is for sure, there are more sheep all the time showing up with some dark hairs in areas that previously had none.
If they are more closely related to the Dalls' than to Stones' they are still unique and worthy of a separate listing for hunting purposes, if not science.
RD, I have no agenda. Do you? I only have an interest in bio-geography and taxonomy, oh and sheep and goats too.
BTW, like it or not, the same researchers are presently collecting non-introduced mtn goat tissue samples so expect a goat DNA study in the next few years. My two Alaska goats will be amongst their data.
Scott, yeah some populations may be 100% non-white but many of the fringe areas with 100% white and some with a bit of color in the same herd/band are obviously the same animal with different phenotypic expressions in response to a dominant gene that seems to be more prevalent in recent years.
In my limited experience in genetics/taxonomy, although far more extensive than most, that would not warrent any meaningful distinction. I would liken it to black vs chocolate vs cinamon black bears and agueably nothing more although I will admit my bear scenario isn't an identical genetic situation.
I created this thread to get help me find the right outfitter for a stone sheep hunt and for poeple to tell stories about their stone sheep hunt's. So please limit our post to this subject, thanks.
Apologies Brady if my posts have taken the thread off track. I was just trying to point out that modern science has indicated, much to some people's dismay, that true stone sheep range is probably not as geographically extensive as record book organizations lead folks to believe.
If you want to hunt a true stone and not a dall with some color you may wish to take this into consideration when selecting a destination, and if not, thats great too as dall's are also awesome animals!
Do you have any stone sheep pictures to post.
A blurry Fannin ewe at several hundred yards! LOL
I was researching where to search for Fannins on the Alaska/YT border for the past 5 years, originally with the thought of hey, I CAN afford a "stone" sheep hunt (being an Alaksa resident). So I started researching BOTH sides of the border including historic works and the influence/isolation of different populations. I made friends with the YT's sheep biologist so I get a bit of the inside scoop on what happens on that side of the border.
We went up to Faro, YT this past January. They have a nice sheep information centre and viewing area on winter range (Mt Mye). I don't know what happened by we didn't time our visit very well and only saw the one ewe.
Brady, Although I don't have any first-hand, been in the hills with Stones experience, I hope that my "distractions" point out a couple leads on thin-horn "Natural History" that make researching and an eventual hunt even more interesting (as if sheep need more allure)!
I read somewhere that Fred Bear thought out of all the animals he took that his Stone sheep was the greatest trophy. I would love to hunt for them some day but with the cost of the Stone hunts what they are I doubt I ever will. I envey those that have had the opportunity and those that will someday.
I talked with a BC outfitter at a SCI banquet last winter that feels that a Stone hunt should bring a higher price than a Desert Bighorn. His reasoning that there are more Desert sheep than Stone sheep. I always thought that it was the other way around. Does anyone know about how many Stone sheep or Desert Bighorns exist in this world? Compared to the prices I've seen for a Desert Bighorn hunt in Mexico a Stone sheep hunt in BC almost seems like a bargain.
Brady, you asked a few questions regarding my hunt with Barry Tompkins in 2000. Yes, I did like the outfitter and the guide. I plan to go back next year for Canadian moose. There is lots of game in the area. But with sheep in the north country, weather can play a big role in the outcome of the hunt. You also asked about the area being conducive to bowhunting. Yes it is, but sheep (or any other animal) can be in one place one moment that you can't do anything, then they move into a spot that allows for a stalk. My experience has been that most places have this diversity in terrain - it is up to you, the bowhunter, to be patient and wait for the animal to make a mistake. The sheep I took was 10 years old and scored official 141 1/8 P&Y. Best regards, Ovis
I am going with Gundahoo in a little over a month and have been on a Stone hunt in 2000 and didn't kill. I have watched various outfitters successes over the years and decided to go with Gundahoo.
Brady, be sure to contact Brian Martin of Canadian Mountain Outfitters. He is top shelf and does several archery hunts for other species like Grizzly but I know he has taken archery Stone sheep hunters as well. You will rarely meet anyone that is more nuts about hunting than Brian.
Are you bow hunting for the stone sheep with Gundahoo? Does Brain have a website? Thanks for the help and I better get all the deatial about your hunt when you get back and a ton of pictrues. Hunt Hard and shoot straight.
I'm almost certain Brian hasn't had a successful bowhunter for sheep. He's a great guide and ultra-enthusiastic though, no doubt about it. His personal email is email@example.com and his website is www.canadianmtnoutfitters.com
While I do bowhunt a lot, Stone sheep and the price they are commanding right now, warrant killing a sheep at all costs. When all is said and done and if I come home with a ram, I will have over $40,000 invested in two sheep hunts. I wouldn't take the chance of not killing one by using a bow. If money is not your problem, then by all means chase them with your bow.
Brian may not have taken a bowhunter or been successful yet...but he is definitely a great person and outfitter and he will do everything humanly possible to get you a sheep. Maybe the guys I am thinking of (that bowhunted) started out with a bow and killed their sheep with the guides rifle.
It is extremely hard to pay the amounts of money that a stone sheep hunt commands and not worry about getting one, but you have to enjoy the experience and remember above all, you have only paid for opportunity. Work hard, be in shape and do some homework. Be willing to go any where your guide asks you to and rely on him. I had the same problem when I was on mine... "what if I don't get one?" Get that part out of your head and concentrate on the adventure, that is what will have been paid for, if you get one that is good fortune. They are a great animal to hunt and I would agree with Fred, My stone is my favorite trophy and favorite hunt. Vic
I have hunted on the Gundahoo and met some of Art's guides while I was in there. It is a beautiful area be prepared for rain during the august hunts one of his camps is right beside a place called Rainy Lakes and every time I have gone in there it has rained fairly good for a couple of days. I never got my ram in there but I missed on with my bow and my brother missed a cranker with his rifle.
I ended up shooting this ram with a rifle last Aug in a different area. Probaly could have taken him with a bow but due to a family emergency at home had to cut the hunt short and only had a few hours before we had to hike out.
Nice ram and picture. If you don't mind what did the ram score?
The ram scored just over 164 due to his lite bases. he was 40 6/8 on long and broomed to 38 on the other side.
Bryan had one bowhunter kill a ram in 2004. That ram took first or second place at FNAWS. I was the only bowhunter he took in 2005 and I did not get an arrow out of the quiver. Although I had a great time, I saw only two legal rams in 14 days and that makes for tough, and very expensive, hunting. True: no one is more nuts about hunting or will work harder to get you a ram than Bryan.