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Sheep hunt help?
Guys, once in my life I would like to hunt sheep. (ok....I'd like to do it yearly, but lets start with once). I'd prefer a Dall's. Really dont care where. Looking for options from those who have been. And all in price. (hunt, travel, whatever). Combining it with a Mountain caribou would also be a great option. Thanks for any and all help. Also, living at sea level.....what do you do to prepare your legs. (I haven't read the sheep shape thread yet....)
Diamox (prescription) to help acclimate. Train (cardio and some strength). Have you had altitude sickness?
For those 2 BC. Most hunts are not that high (I think). Most have to go over 10,000 feet to have problems (minor) 12,000 for worse problems.
For me over 10,000 slight headache only for a day
How much can you afford to spend? If I had my choice I would go to NWT for a sheep/bou combo if $ isn't an option. Alaska would be ok but you will likely have a lessor quality hunt (possibly see other hunters) and less quality of rams (in OTC units). They have monster mtn bou in NWT as well! Take a look at most of the NWT websites and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. The prices they are currently asking for multi-species hunts are about the price of a brand new truck!
I already have a newer truck! lol I realize the price will be plenty. Looking a few years out so sticker shock wont be so bad....
Jim, I actually have already been looking in the NWT. Arctic Red River is what I have been looking at. And for your information, the combo hunt does cost more than my 2011 f150 cost me 2 years ago.....
I was in the same boat when I wanted to do my first sheep hunt. What I found best for me was to go to the Sheep Show and talk to outfitters face to face or find an agent who you REALLY trust. I went with MaKenzie Mountain although there were several who I was comfortable with. Never regetted it one second. I see you are from Iowa. There is an Iowa chapter of Wild Sheep Foundation. I can send you contact info if you can't find it. Best advice is talk to as many people as you can until you are comfortable with your decision. It is a lot of money, don't rush it.
I haven't looked into NWT but there are a lot of considerations and questions to ask. I imagine some outfitters use helicopters, super cubs, boat, horseback, or via foot. I'd agree to take a closer look at the best outfitters to determine exactly what kind of hunt they offer..and which ones you are physically capable of. I have a feeling some offer more actual "days of hunting" than others? Some may be long enough that if you don't originally get into rams that you may have time to be dropped into a new area...especially on a combo hunt. Some may have more bou or sheep than others...and some bou may highly migrational. I'd make a list of questions about as many details as possible...as well as get in touch with some of their references.
Look closely at the Mt Caribou boundaries, along with the Dall boundaries. Our BC Dall management units are the two management units in NW part of the province (against Alaska and the Yukon), and typically only produce a harvest of 2 or 3 Dall rams a year combined. This wouldn't be where I'd go on a guided Dall sheep hunt. The NWT has produced good combo hunts for bowhunters based on photos I've seen. You have more options if you are interested in a Dall/Barren Ground caribou hunt vs Mt Caribou. Good luck!
I got my Dall and Mt. Caribou both with Nahanni Butte Outfitters. (Different trips) I'd hunt with them any time.
Just remember, if you go early for sheep, the caribou won't be very developed. If you wait for the caribou to fill out their antlers, you could run the risk of compromising the quality of your sheep hunt.
Dall and Mt. Caribou with Nahanni Butte Outfitters on the same trip. My buddy took a Dall and a Goat the same trip. One other bowhunter in camp with us at the same time took a Dall with traditional. Highly recommended!
Bow or rifle?
I did a couple of Alaska hunts (generally would not recommend AK for a once in a lifetime opportunity), one bust hunt in NWT with South Nahanni (out of 38 rams spotted, not one was shootable), and ended up having a fantastic bowhunt with Harold Grinde at Gana River. Based on my fairly extensive research, MMO was my #2 choice and ARRO was my #3, and I would happily go with any of the three. With Gana, I killed a nice ram with my bow on day 6-7 and killed a representative caribou 2 days later.
The elevation of the mountains in the NWT by and large is not that high (5,000-7,000 ft. from what I have seen), so ignore the diamox recommendation. I have one lung and live at 180 feet over sea level and did just fine. It is all about training to climb with a pack and improving your cardio capacity.
As stated, British Columbia shouldn't be in this discussion, with the Yukon being the only other province to consider.
If you can to to the WSF convention and talk with the outfitters directly, it might help you settle on a choice you feel really comfortable with.
Don't overlook the Yukon...You can book a sheep hunt in an area that has Fannins...hunt price generally would be at the upper end price for a Dall hunt...and if you ended up with shooting a Fannin, it could be considered a Stone by a lot of people....and at nowhere the price of what a Stone hunt is going for nowadays!...then you could go on a Dall hunt next!
If you end up taking a Dall instead- Congrats on your first sheep! Be advised- Most hunters get some kind of disease after shooting their first ram and/or experiencing the high country...they want to hunt sheep again!!