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Boots For Dall Sheep Hunt
Does anyone have any recommendation on a good pair of boots for sheep hunting ?
I wear Koflach mountaineering boots in the Brooks Range for my sheep hunts. You really need alot of ankle and foot support on a sheep hunt. Alot of climbing up and down...
I also wear koflach plastic boots here in Alaska. I use the hunter model. Don't know if they make them any more. Easier to dry if they get wet, more ankle and foot support, superior sidehilling ability and also have the ability to fit ANY kind of crampon if you need to use them. ON cold nights, I can bring the liners into the foot of my sleeping bag and have warm boots to start off the morning! IF I have a lot of flatter walking/hiking, I just do not lace the top 2 eye hooks and walking is pretty easy with them.
IF you want to go with leather go with something like the Lowa Tibet.
I'd swear I responded to this last night. Boot style really depends on the terrain. In many areas, plastic boots are unnecessary and would be a liability. In some areas, you really need them. I see you are not from AK, so I presume you are going with an outfitter who you could ask for their recommendation.
IMO most places outside of AK seem to be better suited for leather boots. Asolo, Hanwag, Kenetrek, Lowa (which I wore on a dall hunt last year in AK with great results), Meindel and Scarpa are the brands I see referenced most often. My recommendation is to make a list of boots that fit the characteristics you need and then buy for fit, not for brand. It seems a lot of folks get hooked on brand and end up disappointed when their boots start giving them problems during their hunt because they really do not fit properly.
One NWT outfitter's equipment list specifies that boots are the most important item on the list (in BIG letters), so make the decision carefully.
ILL SECOND LOWA SHEEP HUNTER BOOTS
I wore Lowa sheep hunter boots on my hunt, very good boot for the hunt and to wear back home on other hunts. Our guide wore the plastic Koflacs and was able to traverse across steep hillsides much easier! Go with something that has lots of support because those packs loaded with sheep are HEAVY. One nice feature of the plastic boot is it has a neoprene liner that you can wear as a camp bootie.
I juat wanted to thank everyone for their input,I went onto all the manufacturer web-sites to check what was recommended.
Thanks Again For All Your Help !!!!!!!!!!!!
If you are archery hunting I would stay away from plastic mountaineering boots as they make a lot of noise and you would not want to end a stalk wearing them.
Be sure that whatever you go with has a rubber coating on the toe and sidewall. Lowa and the Hanwags are a great place to begin.
Here in Colorado unless it is unusually rainy, you could get away with sheep hunting in a pair of tennis shoes or ankle high mountaineering type shoes.
my plastic boots don't make much if any noise so I use them on most of my stalks. most of the stalks on sheep I"ve done I'm more on my hands and knees trying to stay out of sight so I'm not even walking in them. There have been times when I've even take the plastic outer boot off and the inner boot is pretty silent. I wouldn't do that with wet grass but if you're in scree or bigger rocks or dry grass just being in the inner boot for the stalk is really quiet.
Ken, You need to really think critically about plastic mountaineering boots. I have worn them on Mt. Rainier. These are big, stiff, and clunky boots normally used for crampon work. They are heavy and will really fatigue you faster than leather boots. But, they have been used with success on sheep hunts, no doubt. Just do plenty of all-day field testing if you go this route--this is a totally different class of footwear.
I wore Scarpa leather boots on my Dall hunt. Any good leather mountaineering boot will do. Note the leather thickness on mfg specs...you want to avoid the thin leathers, as when they get wet, they stretch badly. Once this happens, your foot slides all around and bad things happen.
Don't worry about water proofness too much. Down low your feet are getting wet no matter what, and up high in the rocks it is easy to avoid getting wet. Bring lots of socks and change out often. Vacuum pack your extra socks. They compress nicely into a waterproof container!
I did wear a pair of Gore-tex gaiters. This can help with water quite a bit. When your feet get hot, just roll them down and you cool off. I would for sure bring these.
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme is the best boot that I have found. They were selling like hot cakes last week at FNAWS. It is a great boot that is much lighter than the Lowas or Meindls.
Stats wise, the Lowas and Kenetreks are within just a few ounces of one another for comparable models. Any more data on actual weights?
Not all terraine where dall sheep live is the same. I hunted sheep in the Chugach Mountains in Alaska last year and found that a mountaineering type boot would be best suited for there. I wore Meindl Tetons, the same boots that I used on two previous Mt goat hunts in BC. While the Tetons were OK I could have used a stiffer boot in each of those hunts.
On the recommendation of Spike Lewis, a BC guide and outfitter I purchased a pair of Asolo Granites for my goat hunt this year. I hunted goats with Spike in 05 and I would take his word to the bank. He spends the entire season every year in the Coast Mountains of BC guiding hunters and gets to see a variety of equipment. He knows what works and what doesn't in the type of terraine and conditions there.
If you haven't already check the link above.
Good luck on your sheep hunt!
i have used mendals for awhile but i just bought a brand new pair of kenetrek boots down at teh grand slam show and i really like em, no break in on em and they are comfy, good grip and some great reviews from some serious sheep guides
id wear my irish setters. theyre pretty cheap, very warm and also rugged.
Schnees Sheep Hunters by Lowa!
Lowa sheephunters all the way.
Plastic boots are great when you are climbing, scree, nasty stuff, but they will kill your shins on the flat walking (that is my experience with them) We are sheep hunting not climbing waterfalls!
Plastic boots don't kill your shins if you don't lace the 2 top eyelets while on the flatter terrain!
I've never really had the need for a true mountaineering boot while I've been sheep hunting. 90% of the time a quality hiking boot, I wear Asolo Fugitives, is the better choice because of their comfort and lighter weight. The other 10% of the time I've been able to get by. I couldn't imagine trying to walk 8-10 miles, day after day in sheep country with a pair of plastics or mountaineering boots. What every you go with make sure you get them broke in with lots of steep climbing and descents. Where are you planning on sheep hunting?
Plastic boots aren't my thing. I will admit that I haven't used them on a hunt, but that is because I have tried them on and couldn't imagine wearing them for a long time. I have heard people say it takes a while to get used to them, but I prefer my leather boots. I have a pair of Miendl Canada boots and really like them. I have worn them for 5 years of Alaska hunting and my feet have never felt better. One thing I will add about them. Like many of the boots out there, the factory insoles are not very good and should be replaced with a pair of superfeet. I would recommend trying boots on for yourself. Everyones feet are different. If you order over the internet, order from somewhere you can return if they don't fit.
I've got the Meindls and have used them on 3 sheep and a goat trip. My son just got Kenetrecs in the mail so we'll try them for his goat trip this fall. I weigh too much and the strength of the Meindls have really helped. I'm not exactly a kid anymore so the strength helps even if the weight slows me down.
I used Koflach plastic boots on my first sheep hunt, and they were WAY too painful. Last year, I used gore-tex stocking foot hip waders with Cabelas Backcountry wading boots. This was my footgear while down in the flood plain, crossing the river channel every hour. Once I got out of the bottoms, I switched to a pair of La Sportiva Trango GTX EVO (I think...too many letters to remember all of it). I tried on a bunch of boots, and these were an "entry level" mountaineering boot. Not designed for cold, but Gore-Tex lined, fairly stiff sole with a little rocker made for easy walking. They were also light for mountaineering boots. I think I weighed my size 13 boots at 3.25 pounds for the pair...they were half the weight of the plastic boots.