Moultrie Products
Tuchodi Stones Go Get 'em Mark Watkins!
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
Tilzbow 25-Jul-15
t-roy 25-Jul-15
HUNT MAN 25-Jul-15
sureshot 25-Jul-15
Jim in PA 25-Jul-15
Southern draw 25-Jul-15
Bou'bound 25-Jul-15
huntinelk 25-Jul-15
BULELK1 25-Jul-15
SteveB 25-Jul-15
KJC 25-Jul-15
Stekewood 25-Jul-15
Stekewood 25-Jul-15
bliz6 25-Jul-15
LWood 25-Jul-15
Tilzbow 25-Jul-15
huntmaster 25-Jul-15
Cajunarcher 25-Jul-15
trkyslr 25-Jul-15
Hawkeye 25-Jul-15
Mark Watkins 25-Jul-15
Bowfreak 25-Jul-15
Nick Muche 25-Jul-15
Mark Watkins 25-Jul-15
Ron Niziolek 25-Jul-15
iceman 25-Jul-15
Kurt 25-Jul-15
TD 25-Jul-15
loesshillsarcher 25-Jul-15
JLS 25-Jul-15
Medicinemann 25-Jul-15
huntnmuleys 25-Jul-15
Charlie Rehor 25-Jul-15
Jason Stafford 25-Jul-15
Zackman 25-Jul-15
bearhunter 25-Jul-15
Scoot 25-Jul-15
Ermine 25-Jul-15
chasin bugles 25-Jul-15
Genesis 25-Jul-15
Jaquomo 25-Jul-15
JW 26-Jul-15
Mark Watkins 26-Jul-15
Waterfowler 26-Jul-15
cityhunter 26-Jul-15
Dennis Razza 26-Jul-15
Alexis Desjardins 26-Jul-15
KTH 26-Jul-15
otcWill 26-Jul-15
brianhood 26-Jul-15
B N A A guy 26-Jul-15
Mark Watkins 27-Jul-15
njbuck 27-Jul-15
Rob Register 27-Jul-15
loesshillsarcher 27-Jul-15
huntmaster 27-Jul-15
midwest 27-Jul-15
deerhaven 27-Jul-15
IdyllwildArcher 27-Jul-15
KTH 02-Aug-15
loesshillsarcher 06-Aug-15
No Mercy 06-Aug-15
Medicinemann 06-Aug-15
sureshot 06-Aug-15
Waterfowler 07-Aug-15
TD 07-Aug-15
bliz6 07-Aug-15
HUNT MAN 07-Aug-15
Shug 08-Aug-15
Tilzbow 08-Aug-15
KTH 09-Aug-15
LWood 10-Aug-15
writer 10-Aug-15
JM 11-Aug-15
Medicinemann 11-Aug-15
TD 11-Aug-15
Tilzbow 11-Aug-15
kota-man 12-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 17-Aug-15
elmer@laptop 17-Aug-15
IdyllwildArcher 17-Aug-15
BULELK1 17-Aug-15
sureshot 17-Aug-15
Hawkeye 17-Aug-15
KJC 17-Aug-15
EmbryO-klahoma 17-Aug-15
LWood 17-Aug-15
njbuck 17-Aug-15
GhostBird 17-Aug-15
Dennis Razza 17-Aug-15
huntmaster 17-Aug-15
Bigpizzaman 17-Aug-15
Stekewood 17-Aug-15
Charlie Rehor 17-Aug-15
Zackman 17-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
kota-man 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
bliz6 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Stekewood 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
No Mercy 19-Aug-15
bigeasygator 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 19-Aug-15
HUNT MAN 19-Aug-15
Zackman 19-Aug-15
sureshot 19-Aug-15
Foot Shooter 19-Aug-15
Tilzbow 19-Aug-15
Dennis Razza 19-Aug-15
Medicinemann 19-Aug-15
writer 19-Aug-15
FLGator 20-Aug-15
BULELK1 20-Aug-15
Southern draw 20-Aug-15
Mad Trapper 20-Aug-15
KJC 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
njbuck 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Medicinemann 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
Stekewood 20-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 20-Aug-15
loesshillsarcher 20-Aug-15
njbuck 20-Aug-15
KJC 20-Aug-15
huntmaster 20-Aug-15
LWood 20-Aug-15
Waterfowler 20-Aug-15
JLS 20-Aug-15
Medicinemann 20-Aug-15
Dennis Razza 20-Aug-15
primitve 20-Aug-15
Adventurewriter 21-Aug-15
BULELK1 21-Aug-15
Bigpizzaman 21-Aug-15
writer 21-Aug-15
Pyrannah 21-Aug-15
Ermine 21-Aug-15
tacklebox 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
EmbryO-klahoma 21-Aug-15
Shug 21-Aug-15
kota-man 21-Aug-15
writer 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Stekewood 21-Aug-15
sureshot 21-Aug-15
writer 21-Aug-15
Bill VanderLaan 21-Aug-15
kota-man 21-Aug-15
R. Hale 21-Aug-15
B N A A guy 21-Aug-15
No Mercy 21-Aug-15
EmbryO-klahoma 21-Aug-15
Bou'bound 21-Aug-15
njbuck 21-Aug-15
archerybs 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Jim in PA 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Brotsky 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 21-Aug-15
sureshot 21-Aug-15
Sage Buffalo 21-Aug-15
Brotsky 21-Aug-15
TD 21-Aug-15
Charlie Rehor 21-Aug-15
Trial153 21-Aug-15
Tilzbow 21-Aug-15
Db1 21-Aug-15
otcWill 21-Aug-15
Paul@thefort 21-Aug-15
LWood 21-Aug-15
Tilzbow 21-Aug-15
EmbryO-klahoma 21-Aug-15
Jim in PA 21-Aug-15
SteveB 21-Aug-15
Ambush 21-Aug-15
Stekewood 21-Aug-15
KTH 22-Aug-15
TD 22-Aug-15
primitve 22-Aug-15
Southern draw 22-Aug-15
KJC 22-Aug-15
RTJ1980 22-Aug-15
6x6 bull 22-Aug-15
ridgerunnerron 22-Aug-15
bearhunter 22-Aug-15
huntmaster 22-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 22-Aug-15
GhostBird 22-Aug-15
BULELK1 23-Aug-15
Ermine 23-Aug-15
JLS 23-Aug-15
Bowboy 23-Aug-15
ibowelk 23-Aug-15
loesshillsarcher 24-Aug-15
njbuck 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 24-Aug-15
Matt Palmquist 24-Aug-15
Bou'bound 24-Aug-15
Mad Trapper 25-Aug-15
trkyslr 25-Aug-15
sticksender 27-Aug-15
Mark Watkins 27-Aug-15
Mad Trapper 27-Aug-15
t-roy 27-Aug-15
deerslayer 29-Aug-15
Alexis Desjardins 29-Aug-15
Clutch 29-Aug-15
From: Tilzbow
25-Jul-15
Wishing Mark luck since he departs for his hunt in a couple of days!!!

From: t-roy
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

From: HUNT MAN
25-Jul-15
Go gettem Mark. Hunt

From: sureshot
25-Jul-15
Get it done Mark! Good luck and shoot straight!

From: Jim in PA
25-Jul-15
Good Luck!

25-Jul-15
Hunted there when Ross Peck had the area , beautiful country, Good Luck!!

From: Bou'bound
25-Jul-15
git er' dun!

From: huntinelk
25-Jul-15
Good luck,Mark

From: BULELK1
25-Jul-15
Enjoy, travel safe and live out a dream!

Good luck, Robb

From: SteveB
25-Jul-15
Oh yeah....cant wait for the picks!

Good luck and enjoy every second.

From: KJC
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

From: Stekewood
25-Jul-15
Have a great hunt! Look forward to reading about it.

From: Stekewood
25-Jul-15
Have a great hunt! Look forward to reading about it.

From: bliz6
25-Jul-15
Good luck buddy!!

From: LWood
25-Jul-15
Good luck, Mark!

From: Tilzbow
25-Jul-15

Tilzbow's embedded Photo
Tilzbow's embedded Photo
Heh Mark, Twister Jr. should still be there so "tap" him on the shoulder and tell him hi from me!!!

From: huntmaster
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

From: Cajunarcher
25-Jul-15
Good luck mark!!

From: trkyslr
25-Jul-15
Good luck mark! Chris

From: Hawkeye
25-Jul-15
Good luck buddy!!!

From: Mark Watkins
25-Jul-15
Thanks a bunch.....certainly appreciate all the well wishes!

You know it's time to go when:

-you are driving your family crazy! -you can't sleep at night -you are going through your "gear list" 4-5 times a day when you know you already have everything you need -it's all friends and family ask you about -you run 5 miles, pick up your bow and shoot 3 arrows with your heartbeat pounding out of your ears....and call it good -you have taken over the family workout room and have turned it into your gear collection spot for the past 6 weeks -your co worker has loaded oodles of new music your I Phone to help keep your mind off of the long, steep climbs ahead -you are absolutely worthless at work -you are going to your youngest daughter's college freshman orientation day with all your gear in the truck and then proceeding to the airport -your lovely and endearing wife of 28 years looks and smiles at you and says (in front of a group of 10 friends )....."You better not shoot this sheep on the first day of your hunt and come home early". Where is the love?:)

Yes, it is simply time......time to go!

Quoting (or getting close) one of our very own Bowsiters (Tom Foss)....."We are lucky to do the things we do, in the places we do with the people we do!"

Mark

From: Bowfreak
25-Jul-15
I can't wait to read the recap. Good luck!

From: Nick Muche
25-Jul-15
Best of luck Mark!

From: Mark Watkins
25-Jul-15
Oh, and yes Tilzbow, I would be honored (and ecstatic) to tap Twister Jr through both lungs with an injexion!

Mark

From: Ron Niziolek
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

From: iceman
25-Jul-15
Good luck!

From: Kurt
25-Jul-15
Mark, Good luck! Enjoy the hunt, as Stone's are neat and special in my eyes. If I ever get it done DYI it will almost be a letdown not to have the the anticipation of hunting them with the anticipation of getting my first one! Kurt

From: TD
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

Remember.... you're FAST..... not half-fast like me....

Have a great hunt.

25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark. I have already seen your Stones photo however. lol Enjoy every moment.

From: JLS
25-Jul-15
Good luck! A full photo recap after the hunt, right?

From: Medicinemann
25-Jul-15
Good Luck, Mark!!

Exactly when do you leave?

From: huntnmuleys
25-Jul-15
go get em!

25-Jul-15
Christmas in July! Safe hunt! C

25-Jul-15
Have a great hunt Mark. Good luck!!

From: Zackman
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark! Catch you when you get back

From: bearhunter
25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark. Looking forward to your hunt recap and some pix. Will be watching for this one for sure. Twister Junior was watching us from 100 yards while we skinned out goofy on the last day of our hunt last fall. 2 days later camp was closed for the season so he should be waiting for you. Gorgeous ram and will be a year older now. Good luck.

From: Scoot
25-Jul-15
Good luck- have a blast!

From: Ermine
25-Jul-15
Good luck mark!!

25-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

From: Genesis
25-Jul-15
Good Luck, enjoy the time !

From: Jaquomo
25-Jul-15
Too cool! Live the dream for the rest of us!

From: JW
26-Jul-15
Best of luck! Archery Stone sheep is my dream hunt !

From: Mark Watkins
26-Jul-15
Jake,

Yes, I have the backpackable archery target you gave me packed! It proved to be a good luck charm last year!:)

First flight is Tuesday.....MSP to Edmonton. Wednesday is Edmonton to Ft Nelson, BC. Thursday is Ft Nelson into Base camp and then get on horses for 15-20 miles. Saturday....it's game time.

Bearhunter, Perfect.........a dumb full curl ram in Twister Jr! Hopefully his eyesight isn't so good and he is deaf as well so this flatlander can put the sneak on him

Mark

From: Waterfowler
26-Jul-15
It kills me to read this. Do me proud Mark.

From: cityhunter
26-Jul-15
be safe

From: Dennis Razza
26-Jul-15
Best of luck Mark! I look forward to you and T Jr together in a nice photo.

26-Jul-15
wish you the best on your hunt Mark get a good one.

From: KTH
26-Jul-15
Don't overthink it too much. You are going on a 2 week camping trip into some of the prettiest country there is on this earth. Soak it all in. Take plenty of pictures and enjoy yourself. And oh yeah they let you hunt stone sheep while you are there. I hear it's pretty good hunting too. Shoot straight and keep the wind in your face. Good luck and tell Larry and the crew I said hi.

From: otcWill
26-Jul-15
Dream hunt! Good luck, Mark

From: brianhood
26-Jul-15
I bet you are wound tight right now. I would be. Good luck and take lots of photos.

From: B N A A guy
26-Jul-15
Go get'em Mark. Best of luck on your adventure and can't wait to see and read all about it.

Best regards, Scott Alberda

From: Mark Watkins
27-Jul-15
Waterfowler,

Thanks agin for keeping this hunt in the family....without you I wouldn't be headed on this adventure. You will be with me in spirit!

KTH,

You know me too well.....great advice!

Just leaving the house to take our youngest daughter for freshman orientation today uat the University of St Thomas in St Paul. Will be a great day starting her new life adventure !

Mark

From: njbuck
27-Jul-15
Mark,

Best of luck on this incredible hunt. Please enjoy every moment of it and take lots of pics so we can follow along as well.

From: Rob Register
27-Jul-15
Good luck Mark!

27-Jul-15
Oh to be saddle sore again. Envious. Can't wait for the report. Get em.

From: huntmaster
27-Jul-15
If your Stone hunt is anything like your Dall story I just read in Bowhunter, we are in for a treat.

What a journey, just to get into the sheep! I'd be pulling my hair out right now!

From: midwest
27-Jul-15
Best of luck....looking forward to the story and pics!

From: deerhaven
27-Jul-15
Good luck!!! You are after an awesome, majestic animal. One of the best trophies in NA IMHO.

27-Jul-15
GL!

Looking forward to the story

From: KTH
02-Aug-15
Just think Ol' Mark is out there living the dream and at this point has never heard of Cecil. BTW, freakin' check in when you get wifi at the lodge!!!!!!!

06-Aug-15
Wondering if Marks ram is down

From: No Mercy
06-Aug-15
Good luck Mark!

From: Medicinemann
06-Aug-15
When is Mark's hunt done?

From: sureshot
06-Aug-15
I think next week. I am betting he gets it done.

From: Waterfowler
07-Aug-15
8/15 is his last actual hunt day I believe.

From: TD
07-Aug-15
Sheep on the ground or not..... what an adventure. Betting he has a great hunt.

From: bliz6
07-Aug-15
Marks hunt started on August 1 for 14 days.

From: HUNT MAN
07-Aug-15
Good luck again. Hope you are on the mountain holding your stone sheep as I type. Can't wait to hear about it. Hunt

From: Shug
08-Aug-15
Good luck Mark and be safe

From: Tilzbow
08-Aug-15
Right now I guessing Mark is thinking, "Man these BC mountains are tough buggers! Much tougher than those NWT "hills"!"

At least that was one of my thoughts 1 week in. I

Seriuosly, I've got a feeling he's kicking back at horse camp getting a lesson on caping and watching sheep ribs simmering on the fire. Yeah man!!!

From: KTH
09-Aug-15
He's on a good one. I hope he closes the deal.

From: LWood
10-Aug-15
My fingers are crossed for you, Mark. Get it done!

From: writer
10-Aug-15
I coulda done without the mention of sheep ribs on the fire. :-)

...possibly the best meal I ever had, walking over and just slicing one off as the rack hung from a stake.

Now I'm going to be disappointed in anything else I eat this week.

Anxious for his report.

From: JM
11-Aug-15

JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
Good luck Mark! Stone sheep hunting was my favorite hunts and that is some awesome country.

From: Medicinemann
11-Aug-15
I just hope that he took a LOT of photos...so he can reminisce about this hunt in the years to follow, and come to think of it, he could share them with us on Bowsite. What a coincidence.....win-win!!

From: TD
11-Aug-15
Jake.... as per a thread here a little while ago.... he has a satellite phone as well.... just sayin'..... heheheheh....

From: Tilzbow
11-Aug-15
Mmmmmmmm, sheep ribs!

PS - There's no reason I posted that other than writer's comments above. Even if I knew I wouldn't tell.....

From: kota-man
12-Aug-15
I talked to Mark a little today via text. He's still hard at it, but oh so close...still sitting on same ram.

From: Mark Watkins
17-Aug-15
Overnighting in Edmonton as tomorrow is the last leg of this journey....the flight to Minneapolis.

Had an incredible "trip of a lifetime" for sure!

Hunting the most incredibly regal critter I've ever laid eyes on in a pristine mountain wilderness does wonders to recharge the battery pack!!!

Pics, stories and tales in a few days

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience"

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mark

From: elmer@laptop
17-Aug-15
Can't wait to hear the story and see photos Mark!

17-Aug-15
Looking forward to it

From: BULELK1
17-Aug-15
Exciting!

Good luck, Robb

From: sureshot
17-Aug-15
Awesome! This should be a great one. Glad to hear you had a good trip. Jeff

From: Hawkeye
17-Aug-15
Safe travels buddy:)

From: KJC
17-Aug-15
This sounds epic! Patience is for people who don't have wifi!

17-Aug-15
I envy the guys that get to make this hunt a reality. Living vicariously through you guys. Look forward to hearing the story and seeing the photos.

From: LWood
17-Aug-15
Welcome back to civilization, Mark! I can't wait to hear about your adventure. Safe travels!

Lenny

From: njbuck
17-Aug-15
Welcome back Mark, cant wait to hear the story and hopefully it ends with a monster stone!

From: GhostBird
17-Aug-15
Welcome home... look forward to a story!

From: Dennis Razza
17-Aug-15
Glad to see you made home safe. Look forward to the story.

From: huntmaster
17-Aug-15
Can't wait for the story!

From: Bigpizzaman
17-Aug-15
Welcome back, can't wait for the story!

From: Stekewood
17-Aug-15
Looking forward to the recap!

17-Aug-15
What a terrific quote! Live it!

From: Zackman
17-Aug-15
Good to see you made it back Mark. I look forward to the recap

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
OK, "I'm back in the saddle again!" as Steven Tyler and his Aerosmith cohorts would scream...back in the saddle of civilian life that is.

Yes, these adventure trips are about harvesting (and the pursuit of) the animals we seek in some really incredibly beautiful and remote places, but equally important factor is the great people we get to meet along this journey!

After having dinner with my Mother, I head to the hotel in Bloomington, MN. 125 miles from where I live.

And who do I run into?...... one of my best friends Jeff.

Our families do vacations together and a fun things on a weekly basis.

Crazy small world and of course we have to "celebrate our good fortune" (of running into one another) with some cold ones at the hotel bar!

This trip is starting out right!

Life is good!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
On the flight to Edmonton, AB, CA, I meet three other sheep hunters....all going to BC to hunt the magnificent Ovis dalli stonei!

Jerry is on his first Stone's Sheep hunt. We will end up 40 miles apart in the wilderness and we find out we live 35 miles apart in MN!

Dick and Geri are on their third Stone's Sheep hunt. They've been married 58 years! 58 years! Dick is 20 days shy of his 82 birthday! People of great conviction in all facets of their life!

An 82 year old Stone's Sheep hunter....Are you kidding me? Here lies a great source of inspiration! I call these people "gifts" because it is simply a gift that your lives cross paths and you have the privilege of getting to know them and their life's stories!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Jerry and I have dinner at the same place (same table) my good buddy Bill Pettet and I had dinner in 2014 ago the night before we flew to the Northwest Territories to hunt Dall's Sheep. Pretty sure I ordered the same burger....at least I tried to....

No superstitions here!

Mark

From: kota-man
19-Aug-15
Is it me? Or does that 82 year old man look like he's in better shape than Mark? ;)

I mean, Mark is in great shape, but that dude looks AMAZING!

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
We are greeted by these monsters in Edmonton!

Mark

From: bliz6
19-Aug-15
Wish I would have been with you for dinner again this year Mark!

82 years old and heading out on a sheep hunt!! That my friends is dedication!

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
We land at Tuchodi River Outfitter's base camp after about a 110 mile flight from Ft Nelson, BC!

All flights have gone super smooth...on time and all luggage has arrived with me....

This is a pic of what will be the new main "cook shack/dining hall" for all Tuchodi team and visiting hunters to have meals when in base camp.

Incredible hearty family style meals of moose, sheep and elk are created by Kirbi (Larry and Lori Warren's daughter). Pretty sure I'm gaining weight rapidly at this stage of the trip!

Larry grew up in Whitehorse in the Yukon, wrangling horse at a young age and he started guiding at 17. His ability to remember phenomenal detail and his story telling skills of great horse hunting adventures gone by is legendary!

I told him he needs to write a book about all these bush adventures...seriously!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Here's a great pic of Larry on one of his favorite horses...Blaze.

I kept hearing about "Larry's horses." So, I kept asking, "How many does he have?" "A lot" was the most quantitative answer I ever got!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
How could I have missed this pic? My first visual of a Stone's Sheep! In light of my refined hunting skills, I was able to stalk up to about 4 yards with ease to take his pic!

This is in the airport in Ft Nelson, BC

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
The Chadwick ram....taken just west of the Tuchodi concession....Legendary!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
KTH's great ram (Grandpa)from last year! Huge character in that old boy...(not Kyle, but rather the ram!)

This is inside the "hunter's cabin".

OK, by now I've seen enough pics of big rams (and moose, elk and grizzlies) on the walls of the Tuchodi camp that I have adrenaline overload and energy to burn!

It's time to get this hunt rocking!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Three 50 yard tests shot with slick tricks...ready to go!

Jake, you recognize this target? I've hauled it about 6K miles thus far in the past two years!

Thanks a million....a great way to "check the rig" everyday providing the confidence to make it happen when the opportunity arises!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Did I mention this is my first horseback hunt?

In light of my vast experience and skills as a Horseman (about 8 hours in the saddle in 52 years of life)....they put me on "Buckeye."

Just what I needed, a low slung trusty mountain steed!

Time to get comfortable with the horses and quick!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
I think I kept pinching myself at about here in the hunt...."You're in BC on your archery Stone's hunt!!!

How cool is that? The luckiest guy in the world!

Take note of my place in the pack string....

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15
To say at this stage of the trip I was a bit nervous about being on a horse would be like saying.....sometimes it rains in BC.

A severe understatement.....no question about it, this flatlander was flat out scared! Especially after they told me it would be about an 8 hour ride to spike camp where we would begin the hunt.

Mark

From: Stekewood
19-Aug-15
Great, great stuff! Keep it coming.

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
We had crossed the main portion of the "crick" about 1/2 mile from base camp. Up on a gravel bar in the middle when one of the pack horses decided he was done with his panniers.

He starts bucking like the a competitor at the Calgary Rodeo and succeeds at his mission and along the way spooks the life out of the rest of the horses!

WTH?

Tristan, the wrangler and Jesse my guide are obviously "horse gifted" and quickly get things under control, calmed down in a matter of a few minutes we are repacked and ready to go.

I had heard about train wrecks with horses...so I asked..."was that a train wreck?"

They both chuckled and said oh no, that was no train wreck....you'll know when we have a train wreck!

So, I defined it as a "sh*t show" They got a good laugh and we continued on.....

Mark

From: No Mercy
19-Aug-15
Haha. Been waiting for this !

From: bigeasygator
19-Aug-15
Awesome, Awesome stuff so far!!! Keep it coming!!

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo

Remember my placement in the pack train....dab smack in the middle!

We had made it a whopping 1/3 mile up the trail when "Fiddler" decides it's time to buck off the panniers again!

Once again he is successful and sends terror through the string (and me)!

Good "ol Buckeye rears up and does a 180 degree pirouette and at this juncture this bow carrying one armed horse rider is trying to bail!

Whether I got bucked off, bailed off or fell off is open to interpretation, but anyway you look at it I hit the dirt.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw this brown freight train heading my way and I knew enough that the only "safe haven" was to get into the timber!

Ok, no broken bones, only a severely bruised ego and a broken bow...

No problem, I always carry a back up bow so we head the 4/5 mile back to base camp, exchange bows. I shoot the new bow, its "on" and we are on our way.

Pretty sure Buckeye could hear my teeth rattling of fright for the remaining 7 3/4 hours of the trip into spike camp!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Why we come to the wilderness!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo

From: Mark Watkins
19-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
We made it! Jesse and Tristan had this camp all set prior to the season and ready to roll...very well organized.

We cooked under the front tarp and the two of them slept in the back of the modified wall tent.

I slept in a two man tent which was probably the best for everyone as I tend to thrash around like crappie in a fish basket at night.

Tomorrow is August 1st! The sheep opener!

Let this hunt begin!

Mark

From: HUNT MAN
19-Aug-15
Mark , I leave for Alaska in a hour . Type faster Please. Hunt

From: Zackman
19-Aug-15
Beautiful B.C. Thanks for getting us all updated on your trip, Mark. I always appreciate your storytelling. This is making it much easier for me to pass the next 3 weeks before I leave to Northern BC...NOT!!!

From: sureshot
19-Aug-15
Thanks for taking the time Mark, looking forward to the rest of the story!

From: Foot Shooter
19-Aug-15
Awesome recap so far! Can't wait to see where it leads, I will be with tuchodi next year, but not for sheep........

From: Tilzbow
19-Aug-15
Bring it Mark, we've been waiting for this for a long time!

From: Dennis Razza
19-Aug-15
Great story telling! Looking forward to the rest of the hunt.

From: Medicinemann
19-Aug-15
Mark,

There is something about photos of a packtrain that really captures the spirit of a true back country hunt in the wild. This hunt is going to be etched into your memory for the rest of your life....regardless of outcome. There are few things that can rival these remote access sheep hunts.

You can probably understand why I walk instead of ride horses. You can also understand why I always take two bows. Horses are great to help pack out large animals....and when it comes to a large river crossing, I'll ride one across. I just never felt that I could trust their temperment. In their defense, I have about as much time on horseback as you do....that might have something to do with it, too. I have seen three hunts compromised by broken gear as a result of a Sh*t Show.....(luckily, none were mine, because I don't ride them). I am impressed that you were able to ride one for 8 hours, having never ridden before....I wouldn't have been able to walk the next day!!

From: writer
19-Aug-15
In the Yukon I road 50% of the time the first several days. Thankfully I was walking when we had a legitimate train wreck. We were all sleeping when the horses broke loose one night and ended up about six miles away. We got to start hunting at 2 p.m. that day.

Keep the stories and pics coming. Lovin' it!

From: FLGator
20-Aug-15
Mark, Thank you for sharing your experience!!! Sounds amazing. I am living my sheep hunting dreams vicariously through your story and can't thank you enough for sharing the adventure here. Pics are great! As a new horseman, I truly appreciate your perspective. Lol.

From: BULELK1
20-Aug-15
Pretty cool !

Good luck, Robb

20-Aug-15
great story so far thanks for sharing

From: Mad Trapper
20-Aug-15
Some of that scenery looks familiar!

From: KJC
20-Aug-15
C'mon Mark! This is totally unacceptable! I need more!

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
OK, as long as we are on the horse theme, we'll continue on with a few more horse/pack train pics.

In case you guys had not figured this out already, I was not the Valedictorian of my high school class.....but I did figure out that I wanted to be the last one in the pack string AND about 25 yards back.

If the sh*t hit the fan, then I could: A: Get myself and my horse off the trail in the timber B: Bail and get my carcass off the trail in the timber

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
The horse trails are in the "bottoms"...around the base of the mountains. Even NE BC (on the eastern slope of the northern Rocky Mountains) receives "a lot" of rain.

Think rain forest....moss on the spruce trees, alder thickets, popple thickets, you name it. At times we had to walk and lead the horses in light of the thickness of the vegetation.

Every morning you put on rain gear whether rain was in the forecast or not....heavy dew en route to the hunt.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
After a two hour ride and a one hour climb, we are on top of the mountain.

The hunt begins.....it looks good, it smells good and it feels GREAT to have bow in hand "one top of the world!"

After about two hours of scouting for rams, fresh tracks, beds and droppings, I comment to Jesse about the lack of fresh sign. He concurs.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
I should say that our preference to hunt any mountain is to be on the flank of a nearby mountian and to glass the target mountain, identifying a legal ram, putting it to bed. Then put the plan together for the stalk to get above him and give him the thunder from above. This was simply not possible on 90% of this mountain in light of the very thick vegetation.

We continue on down the spine of the mountain, peeking off each side looking for rams and/or fresh signs when we come upon the "scene of the crime."

A wolf kill....a 7 year old ram that didn't make it 60 yards....we estimated it to be 5-7 days old...a few flies still hanging around and a bit of stink.

We now found fresh beds....fresh wolf beds. Basically each member of the pack grabbed a quarter and went and laid down and gorged.

As we all know, hunting is often a process of elimination. We weren't happy to find this dead ram on a mounting that I liked for bowunting. BUT, at least we knew...this mountain was "dead" for the foreseeable future.

Time to move.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15
Another buck off the old horse, but no big deal really as this is a 14 day hunt.

Jesse talks to Larry and we head back to base camp and then on to Plan B.

We rode the entire day in moderate to heavy rain.

Have another incredible Tuchodi meal of fine food and great fellowship. These folks are nothing but fun and awesome!

We will pull out in the morning for Plan B!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Larry comes to talk to me at 7:00AM. He has just returned from a trip down to the "crick". "Mark, we don't want any injuries or deaths, I'm not letting anyone cross that crick today. It goes up fast and comes down fast. We will check it tomorrow AM."

The crick is now a class II raging river complete with the thunderous sounds of river rock being redeposited and moved downstream. It's impressive to say the least.

I came to hunt sheep, not allow my wife to enjoy the fruits of my life insurance policy:)

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
The next morning Larry gives the thumbs up! In fact he will lead each of us across on the horses. I like this kind of leadership!

We are loaded up and headed out with the same pack string.

Except I am now on one of the largest horses at Tuchodi.....Ringo. They had good reason to put me on big boy...to fight the 12-14 MPH current.

Ringo was tall (I had to be on the upside of the mountain to get on him or off a rock or log). However, his biggest attribute was he was built...like a tank.

As Tilzbow had discussed a year ago....These Tuchodi horses are the most incredible four wheel drive mountain machines imaginable.

Even I felt comfortable aboard Ringo...and the view wasn't bad either!

Mark

I told Jesse and Tristan I felt like I was riding an albino cow moose.

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Plan B began with a great wilderness sunrise!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Once again, about a two hour ride and a one hour climb to the top.

We were rewarded with this view of remnant snowfields from last winter.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Lambs and ewes....not overly concerned with us. They just kept grazing as long as we kept moving and didn't make eye contact...

Mark

From: njbuck
20-Aug-15
Some great pictures Mark, keep them coming! I cant imagine how pumped you must have been when you saw those first stone sheep.

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Yes, jacked to say the least to see sheep, even if they are lambs and ewes.

although it is common for a band of rams to hang out at this time of the year away from the women and children.

But the bottom line was, these are Stone's Sheep.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
I'm liking this!

There has got to be rams in these cliffs somewhere!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
How do you get your mojo?:)

The weapon of choice (complete with my good luck charms) that harvested 7 critters last year.

The first two yarn bracelets were made by our youngest daughter. The 550 cord bracelet was made by a good friend of mine's son.

I always take all the good luck I can get!

And oh yeah, Jesse and Trisan wanted to listen to some ACDC this mornig before we left camp...a bit unconventional, but we all liked it....nothing like a little Thunderstruck and SHoot to Thrill to provide a little extra propulsion for the climb!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
A delicious lunch of PB&J pancake sandwiches.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
A quick nap!

Mark

From: Medicinemann
20-Aug-15
Is that your father-in-laws name on the vanes?

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15
Jake, Yes, in honor of his courageous battle with stage four lung cancer.

He is such a great man, that has assisted thousands of people in the creation of great jobs which in turn creates self worth!

Tom continues to be a great mentor for me...for over three decades!

I asked him to pilot my arrows again this year.....he smiled and said of course!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
A visitor....this is a whistle pig. They take it upon themselves to be the "whistle blower of the mountain."

And yes, they are protected by law....

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Bingo!

I back off the ledge, go get Jesse and it's game on!

Legal Stone ram is located!

Mark

From: Stekewood
20-Aug-15
Beauty!

From: Mark Watkins
20-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
A different view of him.

Four rams in total.

They are below us. We need them to bed in a location where I can put the sneak on him down the mountain without getting busted!

They are 224 yards away.

We sit like a pair of starving vultures....patience!

Mark

20-Aug-15
Legal by a loooong ways. What a whopper. You had to have been soooo excited at this point?

From: njbuck
20-Aug-15
WOW, what a ram!

From: KJC
20-Aug-15
Huge ram and great cover for a stalk! This is getting really good!

From: huntmaster
20-Aug-15
Excited would be an understatement for me...

From: LWood
20-Aug-15
Wow, what a ram! Great adventure so far, Mark. Thanks for taking us along in detail!

Lenny

From: Waterfowler
20-Aug-15
and then ??????

From: JLS
20-Aug-15
You're killin' me Smalls. Can't you put these up any faster?

From: Medicinemann
20-Aug-15
Are you frigging kidding me? What a ram!!!

From: Dennis Razza
20-Aug-15
wow what a ram!

From: primitve
20-Aug-15
No need to count rings on that ram!

21-Aug-15
Beauty...classic ram

From: BULELK1
21-Aug-15
He sure looks like a dandy Ram!

Good luck, Robb

From: Bigpizzaman
21-Aug-15
Mark,

Don't shoot that "Dink", save him for ME!!! LOL

From: writer
21-Aug-15
Mark? Hey, what's going on?

You do know that a lot of us can't sleep because we just keep checking the site, looking for an update, about every 17 seconds, right?

Show that kind of ram, without the rest of the story, is just plain mean.

:-)

From: Pyrannah
21-Aug-15
dang... i normally try to wait until these are finished before reading but couldn't help myself.. now stuck on the ledge waiting for MORE!!!!

GREAT story!

From: Ermine
21-Aug-15
Guess a backup bow came in handy!!!

Nice pics so far Mark!

From: tacklebox
21-Aug-15
Someone isn't playing nice!

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Sorry for the delay. After being out of the office for three weeks had to get my nostrils at least above water again!

Here's a better pic for showing horn length....

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Good mass....

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
3:00PM: We first spot the rams...at about 230 yards as they come around a rock formation on a small finger ridge.

No brainer at least one legal ram in the band and a second one might make it as well. If you have to have multiple sets of eyes, you might as well have multiple targets!

As indicated before, I ease out when the rams aren't looking, get on top of the mountain and go get Jessee.

Mark

21-Aug-15
I love this! Threads like these are what makes Bowsite so enjoyable.

Looking forward to the full recap, and thanks, Mark, for taking us along.

From: Shug
21-Aug-15
Good luck Mark....stay safe

From: kota-man
21-Aug-15
That ram is a slammer for sure. The last two pics really show the length and mass.

From: writer
21-Aug-15
Wow, what an animal!

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
We settle in, break out the spotter as I want confirmation from Jesse of what we have for legal rams.

At this juncture, the rams are feeding/milling around between 205 - 225 yards doing what rams do. The big ram beds, but not for long and he is back up on his feet.

Jesse quickly rules out the two smaller rams (5 and 6 years old). I must have asked him 3 times during the 10-15 minute evaluation if the 4th ram is legal.

"Jesse, do I have two potential rams or just the one?"

In BC (and someone can comment about the Yukon) a legal ram must be full curl or at least 8 years of age.

At this point, you are trusting your guide 100% to make the right decision on legality. They will have a tendency to play it safe as no one wants to shoot an under sized ram (obviously). You go with whatever he or she says...

Jesse tells me I have one ram to focus on...

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
The rams are down the mountain and to our right. The wind/thermal is coming up and blowing from our left to our right. It is not perfect, but it is workable.

We are now camped on these rams, waiting for them to make the next move as we couldn't do anything with them on their feet at 200 yards. We needed them to do one of two things:

-A: Bed (not the ideal scenario because of minimal terrain features and very little vegetation to use for a stalk to close in for the shot. Also, dealing with 8 eyes and sheep never bed all facing the same direction)

-B: Come up to the top to feed (this was the preferred scenario as there was a 3-5 foot "rock wall" that was about 25 yards off the edge of the top of the mountain that I could hide in front of blending into the terrain)

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
I ask Jessee, "How long will we have the upward thermals?" We had a fairly sunny day so that was good in "heating up the mountain."

His reply... "about 5:00PM."

OK, we have about 2 hours for something to happen...otherwise you just have to back out, come back the next day and relocate them and put a new plan together.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
5:10PM (the thermals are still good)

"Jesse, grab your sh*t! They are coming to the top!"

The 7 year old made the decision to lead the band to the top to feed for the evening.

We ease out when the rams aren't looking, grab our spotter.

We run like a pair of scalded whistle pigs for about 110 yards and jump down in front of the little rock wall using this little wall to break up our outlines.

Perfect, I love this position. We have cover and this is going to be close!

We knew one thing...the rams would not all come over the top at the same time. The big ram hadn't made one decision in the two hours we watched them.

He was always dead last. (Make mental note)

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
After sitting at this spot and testing the wind, I come to the conclusion this is too high risk in light of the wind direction and us not knowing exactly where the rams were going to crest the top of the mountain.

I feel like we need to move down about another 30-40 yards to be 99% confident the wind would be right. If these rams smell us it's game over.

Jesse and I move quickly to get the wind right....there is literally no cover. I'm scanning for a small tree or bush to grab to use...zero in this alpine environment.

I suggest to Jesse to get behind me to reduce our outline(s) and to be over my left as he will be running the range finder if we need it.

Arrow is on the string and the release is locked and loaded.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
Mental checklist: -Arrow and release are ready to go... -This is going to be close....like 25 yards... -This is very likely going to be a frontal shot.... -Anticipate that the big ram will be last of four... -Stay calm...

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
Sure enough the 7 year old is the first to crest the top of the mountain head on at 25 yards. He is looking on and off in our direction.

The 6 year old steps up next to the 7 year old. They know that something is "new" in their world but not quite sure what it (us) is. The wind is perfect.

They would look in our direction, look at each other..."What the heck is that?" They then begin milling (not comfortable enough to feed) out to about 40 yards.

We wanted them to just move on out, gain some distance but it was imperative that they stay on top of the mountan!

This would be a sign that "all is clear" to the 5 year old and the big ram would follow putting him in my lap at 25 yards.

This did not happen. At about the 40 yard mark, the 7 and 6 year old rams decide to go back over (down) the top.

This whole event took probably 3-4 minutes but felt like days! We knew the big ram was just over the top of the mountain..maybe 60-80 yards max from where we crouched.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
At this point the thought goes through my head:

Stand up, draw your bow and walk to the edge, locate the big ram, make a quick decision on distance and if he is within 40 yards, make the shot. My first pin is 30 yards.

There would not be time to range (and besides my guide didn't have and angle adjusted range finder). I knew the downward slope was 32 degrees which meant that I would simply take 85% against what I thought the actual distance was to quickly arrive at an "angle adjusted distance"...ie...40 yards becomes a 34 yard shot.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
I'm not a high risk taker and this was a high risk move.

If it works, its all high fives.

If it doesn't work, I'm going to blow this ram out to the Yukon.

It is day five. This is the first legal ram we have seen.

I decide against it as we have a lot of the hunt left, none of the rams smelled us, the 7 and the 6 year old didn't blow out of there and the big ram was clueless not knowing what danger lurked just above him.

If the big ram was the first, second or the only ram, he's a dead ram.

A question for all of you.

I'd like to get your thoughts and opinions (as Ive relived this moment about 1M times in my head).

What would you have done?

Thanks

Mark

From: Stekewood
21-Aug-15
Phenomenal story telling. Can picture everything perfectly. As for your question....since there were 4 rams, I would see it as a low percentage chance and since there was plenty of time left it would make sense to back out and try again each day until it came together. HOWEVER, knowing that such a great ram is RIGHT THERE over the edge would probably drive me to do the less sinsible thing and give it a try.

From: sureshot
21-Aug-15
As they say in Alberta....."Just shoot the $##!#/!! Ram!" Hahaha. In all seriousness though, not knowing where the big one was at, you made the right decision.

From: writer
21-Aug-15
I was not there.

I did not plunk down enough money to buy a decent car to shoot a stone sheep.

I would have taken a rifle. :-)

I would have listened to my guide's advice, what ever he suggested you do at that point.

Really enjoying the photos and the text, Mark.

Thanks, again!

21-Aug-15
Agree with waiting. Having to find the ram, guess the range and then try make the shot makes for a slim chance for success.

From: kota-man
21-Aug-15
That would've been SWEET if you could've blown him out to the Yukon! :) Take one for the team man!!!!!

Speaking of the Yukon...Same rules. 8 or full curl.

Great story telling Mark. I love it. No doubt you made the right call that early in the hunt.

From: R. Hale
21-Aug-15
A shot on goal is seldom the wrong play.

Fortune favors the brave....

From: B N A A guy
21-Aug-15
Tough choice Mark but I would have done the same ( I think )Very exciting story and great pics!!!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing!!!!

Scott Alberda

From: No Mercy
21-Aug-15
Right choice!

21-Aug-15
Good choice on backing out and great story! This is awesome!

From: Bou'bound
21-Aug-15
You made the right call because you were there. great story telling, but it is impossible to get the full feel and vision of the area and options that you had. that said.............never leave a putt short. I would have pushed onward, maybe not have taken it all the way to the kill or fail moment, but pushed onward to possibly get a bit more info and then decide from there.

PS - there is a hint here that you have run this though your head a million times since. had it worked out and you killed the monster later in the hunt I doubt you would have been dwelling on this moment.

therefore i will go out on a ledge (pun intended) and hope you got another ram by the end of the trip

From: njbuck
21-Aug-15
Mark,

I think you made the right call but you will always second guess yourself. I did the same exact thing on my bighorn hunt in Colorado, the second night of the hunt I had the band we were after around 80-90 yards. There was alittle cover that I could have probably gotten to which would have closed the distance another 25 yards or so but I figured that I still had plenty of time left on the hunt and I didn't want to blow them out of the unit. I stayed put and let them walk off and I never did get another opportunity on that hunt.

From: archerybs
21-Aug-15
I think I would have had to peek over the edge to see what was going on and then made the call on how to proceed...but that's easy to say from my office chair.

Anyway, who cares what we would do...what did you do?

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
Great thoughts and insights! Keep them coming....I like to hear all the different thoughts as I think it makes us all better.

In lieu of responding or discussing them right now......I GOT to get this thread done:)

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
The next day we are back on the mountain early to relocate the rams.

We find them after about an hour and half of glassing. We found them in very nasty (almost cliffy) type of terrain. We can only assume they retreated into the nasty stuff because of running into the "new rock" on top of the mountain the day before.

We camped on them for the rest of the day...watching them for total of 6 hours until we were concerned about the downward thermals busting us.

Mark

From: Jim in PA
21-Aug-15
"In lieu of responding or discussing them right now......I GOT to get this thread done:)"

YES, YOU DO!!!

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Here's what Mr Big was up to.....napping.

He didn't have a care in the world, all stretched out like a cat (with his head down) sleeping on the black shale.

This pic was about 550 yards away.

We took this as a good sign that he wasn't spooked a bit. Interesting that he always had one buddy that would bed in the wide open as a sentinel.

Remember, the big ram never did make a decision and was always last when they would move or reposition.

UGH!

This one trait saved his life yesterday.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15
I'm working on it:)

Bottom line is we continued to look for the big ram (and the other three) for the next 8 days to no avail.

We traveled to other mountains (which we glassed every day with binos and the spotter).

He seemingly gave us the slip....not uncommon for these rams to drop down and live in the timber....thus their nickname...."timber rams."

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
I saw this nanny coming from a couple hundred yards out and just sat still.

Here she is at 12 yards.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Nanny and her kid.......straight down!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Closed in on this billy to 55 yards.

Goat season was not open or he would have gotten a free ride to MN.

Mark

From: Brotsky
21-Aug-15
Awesome story thus far Mark! Thank you for sharing! In your position I would have done the same thing. Live to fight another day. That ram looks like a smoker and I'd want every chance I could get at putting him on the ground! Keep the story coming!

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
weather challenges are going to be a part of any trip like this....it just comes with west coast mountain hunting.

It rained 10 out of 14 days. I lost 4 1/2 days to weather and horse travel.

You get up in the Am and the first thing you do is put your rain gear on....riding the horses through wet bush whether it rained overnight or not.

I kidded Tristan and Jesse that BC rain is really British Columbia sunshine!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Can make for challenging glassing:)

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
I had brought a rubber blunt for the taking of grouse and ptarmigan....we got low on moose meat towards the end. Ptarmigan would be a blast with the bow and a great source of fresh protein.

Jesse informed me about the season not being open...good thing I ask before I started shooting:)

The young of the year could barely fly...very good thing the province protects them at this time of the year.

I had these young ptarmigan come up and sit on the rock near me one day.

We had a good talk.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
21-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Heres my "trophy pic"

We called him "the skinny ram"

Too bad the wolves got to him a week before I did!

Incredible experience and journey in some of the most remote places left in the world!

I loved it and will be going back for Stone's Sheep Round II to finish this mission!

Thanks everybody for all the well wishes and following along on this thread....it is much appreciated!

Mark

From: sureshot
21-Aug-15
Thanks for the story, it was great. We will all anxiously await your story telling of round 2. Hindsight is always 20/20, if you gamble and win you are a hero and if you gamble and lose you are foolish. It always seems that the right decision today is the wrong one tomorrow.

From: Sage Buffalo
21-Aug-15
Mark to answer your question you did the right thing.

We all know if you were 24 you would have been dumb enough to take the risk with the outcome probably not great.

If you really wanted to kill one you would have picked up the rifle and shot it but it was more than just "killing" a ram but about doing it on your terms.

I would have shot him with the rifle at the end but that's just would I would have done - not right or wrong. Just what I would have done given the chance.

Thanks for taking us on the journey!!! It was fun.

From: Brotsky
21-Aug-15
Great story Mark! You'll get them next time! I still think you did the right thing in backing out. Just think of what he'll look like next season....Thank you for sharing your adventure. Stories like this are as close as I'll ever get to sheep hunting unless I get incredibly lucky. Good luck with your other hunts this fall.

From: TD
21-Aug-15
What an adventure! Thanks much for bringing us along. Great story, like I was there.

WRT what to do.... I have a hunting partner that is super aggressive and pretty successful, kills way more animals than I do for sure. But then he probably hunts two or three times more than I do, I'd say 3 or 4 days a week minimum, year round. He freely admits his aggressive style blows up on him time to time.

I'm pretty slow and conservative. And wind up second guessing myself if I should have been more aggressive or not when it doesn't come together.

We argue time to time when we hunt together....

Bottom line..... you never know. Both styles can and will FUBAR. It's hunting, living with choices that need to be made sometimes in a split second. sigh....

Not being there, hard to say, but I think you made the right call, you did get on them then next day, but they don't get big by being careless and stupid. (rut might have helped some with that...=D) my $.02 and worth every penny....

Thanks again. Great question posed, gets a person thinking.

Love to hear more and see more when you get the rest of your head above the work surface.... =D

21-Aug-15
Way to go Mark! Great attitude!

From: Trial153
21-Aug-15
Great story thanks for sharing!!

From: Tilzbow
21-Aug-15
Mark,

Thanks for sharing! Great story and excellent pictures. Did you book for next year already!?!?

FWIW I was in nearly the exact situation as you but it was day 13 of 15 and with only 1 or 2 days left we decided to go for it and it worked out with a close shot of 35 yards. We were also pretty aggressive with the first stalk on Twister Jr (day 3) and had it not taken me as long as it did to get set to execute the shot he would've died early in the hunt. That said I might've done the same thing you did in the same situation, early in the hunt. But, many of my successes have resulted from aggressive tactics, so.... If you have no regrets then you may the right decision. See you in Reno in Jan!

From: Db1
21-Aug-15
Well done Mark. I wouldn't second guess anything. Having Rams within 100yards is a success in my opinion. Good for you holding your ground and not pulling out the long iron for a chip shot. Great adventure!

From: otcWill
21-Aug-15
Awesome hunt and thanks for posting your story Mark!

From: Paul@thefort
21-Aug-15
Mark,

From one story teller to another, your hunt, pictures, and narrative was 5 Star excellent.

You came home with a life time worth of memories, ie, a troply of a life time. You left your heart and soul on the mountain.

This sheep hunt is one "trophy" you can surely hang on the wall, in your mind, and then still share with others.

My best, Paul

Looking forward to your next adventure.

From: LWood
21-Aug-15
Mark,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I agree with those above, 5 stars my friend. You will cherish those days on the mountain as long as you are taking in oxygen. The trip of a lifetime, regardless of the outcome. Have a great weekend.

Lenny

From: Tilzbow
21-Aug-15
I think Mark might be the first to post a story on Bowsite and pass up a monster Stone that he could've killed with a rifle on any given day. That's an impressive display of dedication to bow hunting.

21-Aug-15
Great story, Mark! Thank you for taking the time to tell of your adventure. Well done!

From: Jim in PA
21-Aug-15
Mark, you had an adventure that 95% of hunters will never come close to. When I hunt sheep I use a rifle because I know in the end I will go to one to get it done. I admire the fact that you stuck to it. Sheep hunting is not easy regardless of method, it is not supposed to be. Congratulations on the adventure and I am looking forward to round two.

From: SteveB
21-Aug-15
Thanks Mark, really enjoyed following along. What an experience that must have been! You have a great attitude and are a great ambassador for bowhunting!

I hope you get him in round #2!

From: Ambush
21-Aug-15
Great hunt and story! As far as making the "right" decision? That we never know until the deal is done. If you had peeked over the edge and blew him out, you would still be asking the same question. "Should I have waited?". I live in BC and can buy an OTC tag for $80 and I still ponder every miss-move I've made. "What if's" only immobilize a person. You made a decision and on you go.

You're just better equipped and more likely to succeed the next go-round.

And I like horses as long as I don't have to sit on them.

From: Stekewood
21-Aug-15
Great Story Mark. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. Great inspiration!

From: KTH
22-Aug-15
A great adventure indeed! This story makes me appreciate the opportunity I had to take a stone, even more. You'll get it done. It only took me 27 days of hunting to get mine. When you get your opportunity it will all be worth it. You made some great memories on this hunt.

From: TD
22-Aug-15
You know... Tilz x2. tthomas would be proud. Actually, that says a lot. Pretty cool.

From: primitve
22-Aug-15
Thanks Mark! I'm 36 days in on Stones and appreciate a bowhunter who goes home a bowhunter. Not sure if that makes sense, but glad you had a blast! Like you I have a few on the "wall" in my memories and one day hope to have one in my home!

22-Aug-15
I was out a bit yesterday afternoon, but caught up now, I would like to think I to would have left the scene when 3 of the 4 rams got close and the big one never topped out, I think that was a great decision. look forward to more of the hunt.

From: KJC
22-Aug-15
Great write up! Thanks for posting your adventure. Good luck on your next hunt.

From: RTJ1980
22-Aug-15
Thanks for sharing your story Mark. This was a great adventure that reminds us all what hunting is about, making those memories that last a lifetime whether we punch our tags or not.

From: 6x6 bull
22-Aug-15
Mark wonderful story!! Thanks so much for sharing.

22-Aug-15
Congrats on a great adventure of a lifetime. Being on a hunt in a region like that is an adventure most hunters will never get to experience.

YOU made the right decision because it was the decision you chose to make. You had a choice and went with what you thought was best at that time. If it was totally wrong a good guide usually makes a suggestion before it's a totally gone opportunity.

Thanks for sharing your story and pics. (My one and only Stone hunt was def one of my special hunts over the years)

From: bearhunter
22-Aug-15
Great storey Mark. Was a great read and love the pix. Thanks for taking us along

From: huntmaster
22-Aug-15
Thanks for sharing the story Mark! Great adventure!

From: Mark Watkins
22-Aug-15
Lots of great thoughts, opinions and perspectives on the Day 5 situation/decision.....thank you as I appreciate them.

Looks like about 80% would have played it safe just as I did.

The other 20% would have "been more aggressive."

In light of it being Day 5 of a 14 day hunt, I would do the same thing again. However, had it been Day 10 or after, I would have stood, drawn my bow and walked to the edge of the mountain with the intent of making it happen or blowing the ram out.

I have a few more pics that I will post up when I get back to the office on Monday.

Mark

From: GhostBird
22-Aug-15
Thanks for taking us along on a great hunt!

Can't say what I would have done on Day 5...

From: BULELK1
23-Aug-15
What a satisfying story to read and the gratitude of Ethics.

You did great Mark

Good luck, Robb

From: Ermine
23-Aug-15
Awesome pics! Great story. Looking forward to round 2!!

From: JLS
23-Aug-15
Outstanding story Mark, thank you for sharing!

From: Bowboy
23-Aug-15
Mark great pictures and story. Thanks for sharing!

From: ibowelk
23-Aug-15
Amazing adventure - wish it could have turned out better in terms of success, but what a great experience and adventure. And thank you for letting us enjoy this hunt through you!

24-Aug-15
Thanks for the recap Mark!! I had around 54 days of hunting in for my Stones. I went on four hunts and could have killed a ram with a rifle on each hunt. It is hard to put the time in on the horses, climbing and glassing but each day I woke up in Stones sheep country, I kept telling myself that I had a chance to be successful. In the meantime while hunting, I was content to just soak in the awesomeness while waiting for an opportunity. I drew my bow twice in 54 days. Keep at it. I am sure that you will as sheep fever must be instilled after seeing that beautiful ram.

From: njbuck
24-Aug-15
Mark, thanks for taking us along on an adventure that very few of us here on bowsite will be able to actually experience in our lives. The bad news is that you didn't get your ram, but the good news is that you get to go on another incredible adventure again! Those are some amazing pictures as well.

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15
54 days...way to stick with it Ned.

Prior to the hunt I was diagnosed with "sheep fever" in a pretty bad way (I have two more sheep hunts booked and as indicated will hunt Stone's Sheep again).

Your perspective is right on...great advice...thank you!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Moose calf (relieving itself) in the corral at Tuchodi's base camp.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Momma wasn't far away keeping a watchful eye on her calf!

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
As indicated before, the Tuchodi horses are big, powerful, born and bred in the wilderness and are incredibly sure footed.

However, when the going got "too steep," you get off and lead your horse. One of those things when you are from MN and been on two pony rides at the county fair, I just didn't think about.

Well at first when I had 1,500 lbs of white thunder above me trailing me down the mountain I thought about it.

My buddy Ringo...

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Jesse, said to me for on the trips down the mountain when leading the horses..."If it sounds like sh*t is hitting the fan above you, make sure to get out of the way."

6+ inches of rain while I was there had everything, wet, muddy and slippery.

Everytime I thought this might be happening (something hitting the fan) , I would glance back at Ringo and he usually had all four brakes locked up and skidded to a stop with a look of bewilderment on his face.

"Why are we stopping?"

"Because I was scared, that's why!"

And then I would start talking to him like he was my long lost dog....it worked for us.

Anyway, I certainly grew to love riding these horses on their home turf.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Lambs and ewes in the fog...

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
wrong pic of the lambs and ewes, but you get the idea.

Clayton holding dead ram that was found by one of the hunters...

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
"Meet new people, make new friends!"

As with most of life's great adventures, one of the best things is you get to meet some really great people.

Here John Hubbard (another sheep hunter..from Texas) and I are getting ready for our flight back out to Ft Nelson, BC.

Mark

From: Mark Watkins
24-Aug-15

Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins's embedded Photo
Mark! Mark!

Someone is calling my name at the Delta check in Edmonton.

Rob Register and Bill Tittle were just returning from sheep hunting in the Territories.

Great guys, great stories, great times!

Yes, life is good!

Mark

24-Aug-15
Thanks for sharing Mark! Good stuff!

It is easy to sit here and type and say I would have been aggressive as I have experienced more success than failure in doing so. In hindsight I am sure it is even easier to 2nd guess yourself knowing the outcome of your decision. Unfortunately one never knows the answer to the 'what if' scenario. It may have worked or you may have blown them out of the country!

From: Bou'bound
24-Aug-15
heck mark you should have reserved one of those stones in the corral like they do for the moose hunters!

From: Mad Trapper
25-Aug-15
I have been traveling without my computer, but wanted to add my two cents. It has been my experience that you seldom find a mature ram alone. He is usually with a few younger rams. When they bed together, they generally face different directions making it very difficult to approach without being seen, not to mention without being smelled. I would have made the same decision that Mark did for several reasons: 1. It was early in the hunt. Most of the time, the band will stay in the same general vicinity if you don't blow them out. If you blow them out, they literally could move several miles very quickly. Just ask tthomas. No need to push them. 2. Mature stone rams are not behind every tree. You may only see one during a ten day hunt - if you are lucky. 3. The shot would likely have been a rushed shot and would have relied upon Mark's ability to accurately judge the range and the decline. I don't care how good you are at judging yardages and angles. Under that amount of pressure (think how much $ that one arrow had riding on it) and during the chaos that would have likely ensued as soon as the ram or one of his compadres spotted Mark's smiling face, I am not liking his odds. Patience usually pays off. My guide and I sat on a band of rams for five days waiting for them to make a move. We were getting frustrated to the point where we talked about finding some other sheep. But it paid off in the end. I will bet that the ram that Mark was after never left the general area, but stayed in the timber. For whatever reason, he didn't come out where they could see him. My two cents.

From: trkyslr
25-Aug-15
Mark, great trip and thanks for sharing it with us! Great pics as well!

From: sticksender
27-Aug-15
Just saw this updated thread. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us Mark. If bow-hunting Stone's Sheep was easy, it wouldn't be near as much fun!

Curious if you encountered any resident hunters during your time on the mountain?

From: Mark Watkins
27-Aug-15
Mad Trapper,

You have many years of sheep hunting experience...thanks for your input and insight...always a tough call.

I look forward to you killing your #4 sheep next November and helping you celebrate!

Sticksender,

I did not see hide nor hair of any resident hunters.

From: Mad Trapper
27-Aug-15
Mark hopefully two bighorns hit the ground next November! We will then see just how much alcohol Tee and Michael can handle!

From: t-roy
27-Aug-15
Great story Mark! Thanks for sharing it with us!

From: deerslayer
29-Aug-15
Thanks for the story and pics Mark. Looks like a great hunt!

29-Aug-15
nothing like hunting on horse back at least you got to see some animals, thanks for sharing.

From: Clutch
29-Aug-15
Awesome Experience !! Thanks for sharing !

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