Contributors to this thread:
Adventure with MMO
I am returning from my trip with Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters in NWT. This was more of an adventure then just a hunt.
I had 2 years to prepare for this trip. I received a lot of info from Bowsiters that I really appriecate and proved to be helpful.
As I travel from NWT back to PA, I will try to post some pictures and a few details from this adventure.
On the day we landed at base camp, as I got of the float plane, I was able to briefly meet , shake hands and chat with Tom Foss (tthomas).
After the meet and greet with the guide staff and stashing my gear in the cabin, I was paired with my guide Rob Aasen. It was his first sheep bow hunt, not quite what I had hoped for.....but he seemed anxious and energetic. We were quickly flown out to spend the night on the mountain , so we could get the 12 hour wait out of the way.
The next morning we were up and going, I was a sheep hunter. After 14 hours of hiking and glassing on day one, we located a band of 5 rams. My goal for this trip was a legal ram, one ram in the band was that and one was ALOT more. After spotting the rams, I was ready to go after them, but Rob said due to the distance and wind we should wait till morning. Again not what I was hoping for. With no darkness and seeing my first rams on my first sheep hunt, I didn't sleep a lot waiting for morning hoping the rams would still be around
Oh this is going to be good! Carry on!
Yep, looking forward to a taste of the high country!
Sounds like this is going to be good!! Please continue!
The next morning, after not sleeping much. We climb back up to where the rams were. Now instead of 5 there are 8, still the one ram is clearly the biggest. We make a plan to get above them, and we are off, my first ever sheep stalk. We got to within a few hundred yards of where they were and Rob hits the dirt and says " ram right there 54 yards". It was a smaller one, I wouldn't have had a shot opportunity anyway. It was the last ram in the group as they were leaving the drainage we were in going into the next one. We climbed into some big rocks and watch all the rams climb a nearly vertical face and bed on the only patch of grass on that side. There wasn't going to be a bow stalk happening while they were in that spot.
Looking forward to your recsp
After the sheep settled in for their nap, we moved to a grassy spot where we could watch them . For the next 5 hours we relaxed in the sun watching them. A heavy thunderstorm rolled in, we moved a bit, put rain gear on and covered up with a tarp. The storm was short, but pretty intense. When it let up we looked back at the rams and there was only 2, the biggest one was one of them, still laying in the same spot. Then there was a very loud rumble of thunder, that got the biggest ram on his feet and moving down hill. We hoped he would head back to where they had been earlier in the day. We hustled near that spot where we would be hidden but still be able to watch the 2 rams as they moved.
For some reason, maybe because of the satellite internet? I can't get photos to post, I get an error msg. I will be at the airport later, maybe they will have stronger WiFi.
The rams didn't head back where we had hoped they would. The rams dropped off the vertical side they went to to the stream and started up our side. For the next couple hours we played cat and mouse with the rams now with 3 in the group. As they fed one way then back again, we kept moving to stay above them. We were hoping to be able to ambush them as they fed up the slope. After some more time we decided they weren't going to come back up the slope.
We had a brief conversation and decided it was time to go for it. With me and my guide having a combined 4 days sheep bow hunting experience , we made a plan.
Not much beats watching a group of rams. One memory I will always have is that of a big Dall with his neck all stretched out sleeping in a billiard green patch of grass. Can't wait to see how this turns out.
We started down a green shoot that will put us on a bench that is no more than 100 yards from the stream in the bottom. Once we were on the bench we started in the direction of the 3 rams with a small bush on the edge as our goal to get to. About half way to the bush with not one bit of cover, Rob says "here he comes , right there" with him being uphill from me he could just see the rams back heading up hill. We drop to our knees , the ram comes into view, within my effective range. Rob whispers "its the big one". The thought that goes through my mind is, holy crap this is going to happen right here , right now....
So far---so good!
Exciting for you.
Good luck, Robb
The ram glances at us , Rob whispers the range. As the ram looks up hill I draw, anchor, settle the pin and unconsciously trigger the release. It truly seemed like the arrow was traveling in slow motion, finally I see a flash of organge on the white hide as the arrow zips through the ram. Instantly I knew I had hit a bit back, the ram dropped into the stream and came out on the other neatly verticle slope. We I get the binoculars on him I see a lot of blood running out both sides of him and making large pools on the ground every time he stops. The big ram and his 2 smaller buddies very slowly cover a short distance into a very nasty, cliffy area. The big ram beds and the other stand around for a few minutes then slowly move off leaving him.
We set down to wait a little time, with the ram still in sight. I realize how shaken I am at this point, it takes some time to get settled down....such an awesome feeling.
About the time enough time had passed, for me and the ram, the fog rolls in. The fog is so thick you can't see 50 yards. It is now about midnight, with the ram in a spot that could be dangerous to get to in good conditions, the decision has to be made to leave the ram in the cliffs and retrieve him when the fogs clears, that was not such an awesome feeling. There are a lot of grizzlies and wolves in the area. Another night with very little sleep. I am awake a 4:00 still foggy, I flop around in my tent until 5:00 still foggy , 6:00 I am out of the tent pacing still foggy.
10:00 finally the fog lifts enough, we head up the mountain. Of course its steeper and takes longer to get to the cliffs where the ram was last spotted when the fog rolled in. I take the lead, arrow nocked, one step at a time. Around a large rock and.....there he is laying in almost a perfect setting. It sets in I am a successful sheep bow hunter, my knees get a bit wobbly.
Wow. Congrats on the hunting accomplishment of a lifetime
Congratulations! Great read. Thanks for sharing.
Can't wait to see the pictures.
What ever you need to do to get those pics. posted, dammitttt.... Major congrats !
After taking ample time to take it all in, a lot of pictures , and processing the sheep, we made the call to schedule a pick up. With 5 other hunters in camp all gun hunters, we find out that we are the first to be successful. After flying us back to camp, Stan ages my ram at 12 years old, never in the 2 years of planning for this trip did I expect to kill a ram of this caliber.
After a day in camp to come off my high, we head out to go caribou hunting.....
Awesome! Congratulations! Mike
Wohooooooooooo! Congratulations! Ram down! Nice job on the storytelling......keep it going!
A 12 year d ram from MMO should be worth waiting a while for pics. Congratulations!
Man, this is an awesome story and I love how it is being presented to us. Big time congrats on the ram and I look forward to pics and reading more.
I am glad it worked out with the new guide too. It will be an experience he will never forget either.
Fantastic! Congrats. Can't wait to see the pics.
Way to go Gene! Great job painting a visual picture for us as well. Can't wait for the actual pics!
Yes sir. How cool is that?
kota-man: You drooling on the keyboard?:)
The suspense is killing me! Congrats big time and let's see some pictures!!!
Your killing us! Pictures Please!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
Great story and congrats on the ram. Can't wait to see the pics!
If anyone wants to pm me an email, I will send pics and you can post them for me. Still can't get them up.
Great job painting a visual picture with your story. Looking forward to seeing your pics.
Yes I am Charlie...Leaving Wednesday for the Brooks. This is JUST what I needed...Pics might put me over the edge.
A great account of a great hunt! The world awaits the pictures... Congratulations on a hunt of a lifetime!
I think more are coming kota-man, you may want to hang on.
There you go kota-man! Great job Gene! Congratulations!
Thanks for posting them.
We headed out after caribou after the ram was taken care of. We went to an area the called the Serengeti, very little cover. The first morning we started glassing caribou everywhere, there ended up being 400 - 500 caribou in the area. We spent the day trying to get close to one of the big bulls we spotted. After a full day of non stop action , 100 yards was as close as we were able to get.
Day 2 caribou hunting we are out in the same area, but spotting less caribou, which is actually a good thing. We were hoping to find a single bull or a small group of bulls to stalk. After a short time Rob says "wolf", it was a long ways away but angling toward us. Rob quickly pulled his Tikka .270 wsm out of his pack, and hands it to me. When the wolf was about 650 yards away Rob started howling and the wolf answered and heads straight at us. When the wolf hit 150 yards I pulled the trigger and it went in a pile. A gun kill, but I think it was a good one to use the gun on.
After the wolf is skinned we go back to base camp to regroup and try a new area for caribou.
Back to caribou hunting....
What a great sheep! Congrats, can't wait to try this myself really soon :)
Had to have been a fantastic time man. Such a great write up. Thanks for that. Wow!
The next day we walk out of base camp for a day hunt for caribou. After a couple hours we spot 6 bulls and one cow scattered in a rolling rock field. We try 2 stalks on groups of 2 bulls, both times the high mountain swirling swirling winds give us away.
Since we were already so high on the mountain we decided to finish the "loop" and come out a few miles the other side of camp. We covered ground , just enjoying the day and chatting , stopping to glass from time to time. On one of these stops we spot a single bull at the base of a mountain in knee high vegetation...perfect this is the one we are looking for.
We get to 250 yards from the bull and Rob sets up the video camera and wishes me good luck on the stalk. I take off on my hands and knees through bushes , rocks, water, and mosquitoes. I make it to the 100 yard mark from the bull pretty quick, then things really slowed down. Between the bull randomly moving around , and a few times he caught me moving or heard me, I spent over a half hour within a 100 yards or less from the bull. Finally on one of his random circling moves he came broadside within range. I rose to my knees and drew at the same time, settled the pin and sent there arrow on the way. The bull made a hard run for about 100 yards and went down. I was now out of tags.
Once again after a little time to take it all in, and take a lot of pictures, we processed the bull. We split the load between our two packs and started the hike to the lake where the boat would pick us up for a ride back to camp. During this heavily loaded hike I had some time to try to grasp what I had just accomplished in a short time in the NWT, it was such a wonderful feeling to be in one of the most remote places in North American to enjoy my thoughts.
Wow! What an epic adventure. You just lived my dream hunt. Congrats!
Good luck, Robb
Congrats on a beautiful ram! What a hunt! JJ
Cpongrats on a great hunt and experience!!!!!
Congratulations, great looking ram. Looking forward to the caribou pictures . Plus by shooting the wolf you helped keep a few sheep and caribou on the mountain. Would love to go back to MMO one day.
Good luck Kota-man and everyone else heading out soon. Jim
Congratulations on the Ram and Caribou.
Great stuff. Congratulations!
Wow! What a great adventure. Congrats
Sounds like you had a great adventure Gene, congratulations on your success and thanks for posting the story.
There really is nothing better than bowhunting in remote, pristine country like the Mackenzies and hunting wild, beautiful animals like Sheep, Caribou and Wolf.
A trip like this is one of life's rare privileges and it will truly change who you are forever.
Be prepared for uncontrollable periods of non-productivity, and tell your friends and family to not to worry when you seem distant and detached. You'll have that far away gaze, and to others, it will seem like the lights are on but no ones home.
Your body may be back to the grind a few days after you're looking up your Ram's nose, but it will take much longer for your heart to leave those mountains.
Enjoy the success and memories of this trip, and look forward to next November's adventure.
Nice...and a wolf to boot. Congrats again.
Right on! Thanks for sharing your excellent story with us. Great job on the Ram! He is a dandy!
What an adventure. Post some wolf and caribou pics when you get time. This was a phenomenal story to follow along to. Big time congrats again.
Congratulations on your success, and what a beauty of a ram to boot! Thank you for sharing all the particulars and pics. Counting the days to MMO 07/14.
Wow what an incredible story. Thanks for sharing.
In three weeks I will be heading to the NWT to hunt sheep and caribou with Arctic red and hope to have the same success. Wish me luck.
Here is the wolf, please excuse the weapon...
Wow! what a cool colored wolf!
I am home now as time permits I will keep adding a few more pics of the trip.
Thanks for all the compliments, it is my pleasure to have an adventure of my own that is worthy of a thread like this.
Very unique wolf right there.
Good luck, Robb
Unreal! Congrats on one heck of a trip!
Here is my guide Rob Aasen. Every guide at MMO was excellent, but Rob really impressed me. If anyone is going with MMO, I would recommend him 100%. I could provide his contact info if you wanted to chat with him before your trip. If you go up he does enjoy Copenhagen....
When we were sheep hunting his back up weapon was a 45/70 with open sights. I don't believe he ever considered trying to push a rifle in my hands to kill a ram. He carried the scoped gun when we were caribou hunting in hopes of finding a wolf. After the wolf was dead he switched back to the 45/70.
Man that is just awesome. Congrats.
Gene, Congrats on "a hunt of a lifetime".....and here's to many more!!!
Wow what a great read. Congrats on the hint and trophies. thank you for sharing.
Congrats! That is a trip of a lifetime.
Incredible!!!!! Well done-great thread!!!
Great adventure and thanks for sharing with all of us. That wolf is as cool as they come.
Congratulations on a Dream Hunt! Thanks for sharing.
Great stories, thanks for sharing, that sounds like an amazing trip, one that I would love to do someday.
Couple of questions, would you be able to describe some of your equipment? Would be great information for those of us hoping to do the trip in the next few years and would like to spread out some of the purchases.
What kind of range and incline were your shots at?
Way to go! Huge congrats!!!
I really enjoyed following along on your hunt. Congratulations on some great animals. Thanks for sharing!
Great read! Congratulations! David
What an adventure, you won't soon forget!
Thanks again for the compliments.
As far as gear, I really didn't buy anything special for this trip. If you are geared for a back pack elk hunt you have most of what you need. Sitka/Kuiu clothing with some merino underneath. I have Lowa Tibet boots, Badlands 4500 pack, Hilleberg Akto tent, Marmot Helium bag, inflatable sleeping pad with down in it.
On both of my shots angle was not an issue, the caribou was on flat ground, the sheep was on a very steep slope but I was shooting straight across not up or down. I did forget in the excitement to level the bubble , causing me to hit the ram a bit back. Both of my shots would be at the long end of what most consider a traditional bowshot.
I shot my bow almost daily for 6 months before going at distances out to 125 yards.
If course get in the best shape you can.
Holy crap. What an incredible adventure. Congrats on some fine critters. Excellent job...Chris
Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing.
That was great. A true adventure of a lifetime. HUNT
Congrats, beautiful animals.! nothing compares to climbing around the mountians, great story..!
Great animals....gnarly looking wolf.
Awesome, congrats on an amazing hunt and adventure.
Congrats on an incredible hunt, the pics and story are awesome, thanks for sharing.
Great story. Congrats on 2 great animals!!!I was booked to be in the McKenzies in Sept, but an arm injury has it postponed to 2015. Stories like yours make that extra wait that much harder. There is nothing better than mountain hunting! Well done
As I stated in your original thread... MMO is a true adventure and rarely if ever dissapoints
HOLY goose bumps huntinelk!!! CONGRATS on a great adventure with 3 stunning animals on top of it all! Thanks for sharing and congrats again!!!
Congratulations Gene. Great ram, great hunt, story and thanks for sharing. You are right, outfitter and guides are first class. You did very well my friend. You are a tried and true sheep hunter now. Whats next?
Thanks for the compliment, next for me and sheep is Canmore Nov 2014
Congrats Gene. Great adventure!
Congrats huntinelk. Definitely a trip of a lifetime. Great job telling the story too.
I'm headed to AK after a dall in less than 2 weeks..you definitely got me even more fired up now.
Wow! Congrats on three great trophies! A hunt of a lifetime you had!
Sweet hunt ! Thanks for sharing
Gene, great pictures and story. Love the color of that wolf. Keep the pictures coming. A friend and fellow Eastern WSF board member leaves tomorrow for MMO for a Caribou hunt. Hope to see you this year at Eastern in Lancaster.
congratulations on a great hunt...
CONGRATS GENE!!!!!!!!!! Awesome animals and great hunt description. I know of 3 other guys who will be in Canmore 2014. Two of them hope to finish their sheep slams and one will finish his 29. There should be a great party in 2014 in Canmore.
Here is a picture of the rams taken during the hunt. One of these is a winter kill pick up, and one guy had already left, his ram was an 11 year old 39".
4 of the 5 guides holding their hunters horns.
WTG Gene! Great story, awesome adventure!
Gene, thanks for posting! Good luck in Canmore 2014! Sounds like you guys will have quite the crew!
Great adventure- way to go!
I received a call from the local shipping company last week, that I had a package to pick up...it was my caribou antlers.
I used Talon Distribution in Edmonton to handle the shipping and paper work to get them here, since I wasn't able to bring them on the plane. It was my first experience having something shipped like this. I was very happy with Talon. Like everything in the north, it was a bit pricey, but they did a good job getting them here.
I had a few people ask about the score on the ram, here is the score sheet.
Great Ram! Congrats again and thanks for sharing.
Congrats on three great animals.....what a hunt!
Thanks for posting up your adventure!
Back to the top! I'm scheduled for the same week this July! Very excited!
Congrats on the hunt. I'm sure you will have an excellent time. It is a top notch operation.
cant go wrong with MMO.
I have two friends heading up this July opening week. One bowhunter and one gun
PAstringking, are they from PA?
Gene, Great ram! Congrats and glad you posted the link to this. I never read it the first time around.
I'm reading all of the Dall Ram hunts that I can, I'm curious as to your choice of bow/arrow/broadhead and sight?
If you don't feel comfortable posting on here, a message is fine.
Thanks again for the great right up, and a huge congrats!!!
Hey Jake I am sure you will get a bunch of varied responses on this but my choices are below. Sheep are not as tough as many of the animals we hunt and any reasonably placed arrow/broadhead should get the job done. I would place an emphasis on accuracy as shots can be a little longer and the terrain is seldom flat in sheep country.
Dall sheep equipment Bowtech Experience 70 pounds, Easton Axis 300, Slick Trick standard 125, MBG Pure 75 - third axis is a must in the mountains!
Stone sheep equipment Bowtech Experience 70 pounds, Victory RIP Elite 300 with 60 grain SHOK insert, Slick Trick standard 125, MBG Pure 75 - third axis is a must in the mountains!
I really like those Slick Trick Standards myself as well. Thanks for the heads up
Can't believe it's been 4 years already. I'm going moose hunting with MMO next year and Rob is going to be my guide again, really looking forward to it.
Hoyt Carbon Element, gold tip 250, Exodus 100, HHA sight.
Great story! Not sure how I missed it first time. Epic adventure!