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S12 Scouting Reports 2015
Guys, I'm sure a bunch of you lucky tag holders have been scouting and talking to each other. For what it's worth I spent yesterday above Montgomery Reservoir on the trail up to Wheeler lake. Man that road is tough! Anyway, about 1.5 miles up from the trail head on the north slope of Mount Lincoln I saw an absolute stud of a ram! Between 7/8 and full curl and very heavy!
In 2010 I scouted this area and consistently saw rams, but I ended up hunting south. I think a guy would pretty much have this basin to himself.
Thanks for the scouting report Eric. I have been hesitant to start scouting because of the snow, but it looks like it is time to start.
Guys, was back up on Weston yesterday. The sheep are behaving as they usually do.... Which is really good news for you hunters!
Boys, I'm dreaming about the next time I get to hunt sheep! I'll probably be 100 years old by then, but I'll be the happiest 100 year old on the mountain.
Eric I've got a buddy with a bow tag....I should be there opening weekend, let me know if you'll be around.
Awesome! I can be there second weekend.
Eric, Did you walk up the Wheeler Lake road? There are a couple of really rough rocky spots at the start of the road so we opted not to take our 4x4 up the road. Sending you a PM. Bill
Found a couple mountain goats in S-12 this past weekend. I heard sheep don't like goats.
the goats bully the sheep out of the area...let the DWMs over there know the locations, they may opt for removal options
Cool video....recognize some of that country from Elk Hunts
Cmb-where at? I found one in the Buffalo Peaks when I had my sheep tag. I did notify CDOW.
There were 2 on the east side of Buffalo peaks.
By my count there are 10 days left until the greatest hunt of your life starts! Good luck guys!
Less than 48 hours.
Soon the alarm will sound, coffee will be made. The gear you've checked 10 times will be counted one more time just to make sure. Socks will be pulled up high, boots laced tight and toes wiggled to make sure they're not too much so. With binoculars in hand your pack will be slung over ready shoulders, a bow gets picked up and you look up to the ridge line. It's a full moon, so you think for a moment that maybe you can see something already. You hear the quiet of the early morning darkness and know that this could be the day. One last mental check of the gear you know you'll need and you set off. The first 300 yards are easy, then the altitude and the grade begin to remind you of where you are. You tell yourself to slow down, don't break a sweat. Something small scurries away in the rocks above you. You hope that any sheep close by pay no attention.
You are sheep hunting.
This isn't scouting, this isn't getting ready, this is really doing it. One footfall after another you gain ground. The treeline is barely above you. Dawn is still almost two hours away but in the pit of your stomach you feel like maybe you're too late. Last night you planned what you would do this morning. You thought about the rock you stop at and wait for first light. From here that rock looks like the wrong place to be. Maybe that outcropping 200 yards further, maybe that decomposing granite belt. You hope something will feel right when you get there.
You are hunting sheep.
For a brief moment you worry that you may have forgotten something important back at camp, but then you remember that you put it on the outside right pocket of your pack. A quick sip of water and short rest has you ready to climb on. Suddenly you hear a rock fall several hundred yards away. Did you spook something, or was that just one of the hundreds of natural shifts that happens each day as this enormous mountain sinks slowly into the earth. Gravity. Both your friend and your enemy. Going up it hurts. Going up it pulls you back. Coming down it must be an friend. Unless of course things go as you hope. Loaded with a sheep quarter it will double, triple the pain in your joints but it will be so worth it! You are sheep hunting. Finally you reach that rock, the place you dreamed you would start your hunt. Quietly you slip off your pack and settle in. The stars are still bright. Snow on distant peaks look like bright landing zones. Are other hunters seeing the same places? Are other hunters close by? Are the sheep close by? Now you wait.
You are hunting sheep.
I'd love to hear how this ends for you guys hunting this year! Good luck to all of you, hopefully I'll see some of you up there!
Excellent, hopefully in the next couple of years.
Eric you made it feel like I'm on that mountain. Nice little write up and oh so true.
I am so ready for this S12 hunt. We have only seen one herd that we know had rams. Two rams were 3/4 curl. One other heard only had ewes and another group was too far away and too briefly in view. We leave tomorrow. Ken
Best of luck Ken! Tell your story when you can!
Day two has begun..... I wonder how its going? Anyone hear anything?
Just heard from an archery hunter who is seeing rams in Weston area. Says there are other hunters there, but he has not heard of anyone connecting. Sounds like the goats are in the north end of the unit.
Come on guys!
Any news guys? I spoke with one hunter seeing rams almost everyday.
Anything? When does the season end?
I heard someone connected in the new unit above Silverheels.
What can I say? The 25 days I spent archery hunting in S12 were some of the best days of my life and yet were some of the toughest days I have ever had while hunting. S12 is an excellent unit and we saw many rams, but we (my hunting partner Ken and I both drew archery sheep tags) were unsuccessful in our quest for a bighorn ram. We mainly hunted the Mosquito Range from Horseshoe Mountain to Weston Mountain with a few trips to Buena Vista to look for the river herd. Opening day began with a herd of 9 rams on Lamb Mountain, but just as advertised if you see the sheep then they generally see you. The hunt ended with yet another unsuccessful stock on 6 rams in the 12 Mile drainage middle canyon just a rock throw away from Ptarmigan Peak. I was never in bow range of a ram and guess you would have to say that my hunting skills are lacking, but I had a great time and am only now coming to grips with the fact that this was my one and only “once in a lifetime” bighorn sheep hunt in Colorado. It took me 13 years to draw the tag and even though I would like to think that I will be equally active at age 74 (13 years from now) I know better. Sheep hunting is hard! Good luck to the rifle hunters who begin their quest for a Colorado bighorn sheep tomorrow. Rumor has it that one S12 rifle hunter is 80 years old while another one is 16. Special thanks to Lone Bugle (Eric) for his help prior to and during our hunt.
Bill, thanks for including me in your hunt by keeping in touch! Really glad to hear you describe the experience the way you did!!
ok guys looking for a goat in s12 I have a buddy that got the call to take out one of the goats out of the unit HELP !!!!! Thanks
Dang! I want to get a call like that!
I think I was at the DOW office when that tag was turned in. The gal looked at the guy and said that they never have that kind of tag turned in. I asked if it was sheep. She looked and said, "Almost as good." The guy replied that he killed one recently and didn't think he'd get drawn. I wonder if he ever heard of just applying for points!
I saw a goat in the south branch of 12 mile creek below Ptarmigan. Bill also saw one in the middle branch, possibly the same goat. Ken
Two goats hanging out at the top of the Twelve Mile Creek drainage. I've watched them in there on several occasions over the last month.
0 for 9 in 2015 according to the harvest report. Ken