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Recommendation for 1st Sheep Hunt?
I want to do a sheep hunt with my bow, and would like advise from the veterans. I would like to go guided, with my bow. What, where and who would you recommend? Dall Sheep in Alaska or BC? Mexico? Other? Budget: 20k total. Is that realistic? If not please let me know what dollar amount is realistic for a quality hunt. I'm looking for a solid full curl animal, not a world record (of course I'll plan to shoot a monster-I'm an optimist). Thanks for your advise!
Nahanni Butte has a pretty good rep with bow hunters. Might be a good idea to work thru Bowhunting Safari Consultants. They know a lot and don't charge YOU for that service.
For $20,000 you're pretty much limited to a Dall. Alaska, Yukon and the NWT would be where you'd hunt.
You might want to talk to an experienced booking agent, such as Jack Atcheson of Atcheson and Sons. Jack's been in the business for a long time, he's a straight shooter and he really knows his stuff.
Attend The Sheep Show in Reno in January and meet a ton of sheep outfitters face-to-face. Join the WSF >1 Club and you will have three chances to win a sheep hunt at The Sheep Show.
Just like Kyle said, at $20k your options are probably going to be very limited. It'd definitely have to be a Dall sheep hunt. Hit up a convention or reach out to Bowhunting Safari Consultants.
You might looks for cancellation hunts for dalls in the NWT, which might be your best bet for a quality hunt.
I had a great archery Dall hunt with Nahanni Butte in 2005. In 2004 Ned Greer (loeshillsarcher) did the same hunt with the same guide I had. Good luck! C
What's a Canmore hunt cost?
More than $20,000.
I paid $13,000 back in 2003 and that did not include the license, tag, tips, or travel.
Thanks guys. I appreciate the information.
A good dall hunt is running 25k or more now after you factor in travel and tip and tag.. Thats in NWT.. You can probably do Alaska for less than 20K but when i plan mine ill be in NWT
I'm pretty sure a Canmore Bighorn hunt is north of $30K by now.
If you can handle the cold, and are interested in bowhunting rutting Bighorns, you should be sure to contact Frank or Flint Simpson, they hold 6 of the 8 Canmore tags now, and convince them to put you on their cancellation list. It also wouldn't hurt to contact Rick Guinn, who has the other two NR Canmore tags.
I got the call for cancellation hunts with Simpson Sheep Co. twice in 6 years, and that was when they held just 4 of the tags. So it does happen, and if you are flexible enough, you just might be the lucky guy that takes advantage of it. I still can't believe I was lucky enough to experience two "once in a lifetime" Canmore Bighorn hunts.
The chance of killing a full curl ram in Canmore is another story though, as most mature Rams are broomed back beyond full curl. My ram, a net B & C 11 year old war horse, that scored mid 180's, wasn't full curl. You may need to rethink that requirement, trust me, most guys would be more then happy with any legal (7/8 curl) mature ram from Canmore, even if if its not a full curl.
If you want a lead on a great Dall Sheep hunt in Alaska that will fit your budget, send me a pm.
Good luck, but be careful, sheep hunting will change you forever!
20K will just barely get you in the ball park of a sheep hunt?!?
I appreciate the guys that do these hunts and do cool threads for the rest of us to follow along vicariously.
I was super stoked just to see some bighorns in Canmore and BC, so I can only imagine how exciting it is for the folks that get to hunt them.
Good luck OP!
Here's my experience over the last couple of years looking/booking guided sheep hunts, with obvious variations (and these aren't last minute deals, nor do they include air/tip/hotel/etc.):
Dall: Low $20's in NWT; high $teens in Alaska Stone: $40ish Desert: $50ish Bighorn: low $30's (at least for Canmore)
For archery, you'll likely be booking some years in advance....
I'm doing Canmore this November, and got in under $30. But, booked it some time ago.
I did a fair amount of research and booked with Nahanni Butte. I booked at the end of last year for a hunt in 2017, which was the first opening. You will be north of $20K though, if you are looking to go to NWT. From what I learned, Nahanni Butte, Ramhead, and Arctic Red River were the 4 names that came up the most. Good luck and feel free to PM me with your contact number and I'd be glad to chat about what I've learned thus far.
Don't book anywhere until you contact Dustin Roe. Trust me. backcountrybcandbeyond.com is his website, give it a look. He is a bowhunter and knows how to put a bowhunter on sheep, has guided 3 of the 4 Archery World Record rams.
If you do end up contacting Dustin, make sure you let him know Chase Boggs sent ya!
Dustin is a good dude. I hope to hunt with him someday. In the interim, I'll just toss some beers back with him and hear about the past season.
Start applying for sheep tags in every western state. some one draws the tags. And when you can do a sheep hunt for a few hundred dollars Then you can hire a guide and not break the bank. This is my $200 dollar Ram. one of my buddys drew a Bighorn in Co. And a Desert in Nevada. Got a $3500 cancleation Dall hunt. and a $12000 cancleation hunt Stone hunt
Great information guys! Thanks.
Don't let price motivate your choice. Save a year longer and pick the absolute best outfitter.
I booked a late season "bargain" hunt with a well-known operator at a show for stone sheep. I never saw a legal ram, and neither did any of the other sheep hunters that were there while I was.
My advice: Go early (longer days). Pay full price (I think you get what you pay for). Focus on just sheep.
I came back from BC that trip with "the world's most expensive mountain goat". I don't wish that on anyone.
Dustin Roe is an excellent hunter, and an even better networker. Basically, he will get permission to take you into another outfitters area where you'll have really good odds for success. This is a really valuable service, since the best areas often change from season to season and he is dialed in to that information better than most anyone else.
I would recommend a dall hunt in NWT. You will save a few bucks in Alaska and they do take a few good bow-killed rams there, but look at the overall success rate (for bow kills) between Alaska and NWT. There really is no comparison. PM me if you have questions about outfitters. As to relying on drawing a tag in the states, I say GOOD LUCK. I have more than 15 points in a few states and am still waiting to draw. I wish that I could will them to my son. By the time I draw one of those tags, they will have to wheel me in a wheel chair. But then there is Jake.... Dustin is a great resource and is tough as nails. But his services will likely add to your overall costs.
I would recommend having a savings account just for lower 48 tags.
If you have $20k and can make yourself available, you should contact outfits you would want to hunt with and be available for a last moment cancellation to fill a spot- almost every guided hunt I've ever done happened in that fashion.
Do you know which ram will be the "easier" to hunt with a bow? dall?, Stone? Bighorn? I am sure that the cheapest is the dall, correct? but which one have the highest success rate?
Toby I don't think the terms "easy" and "bow-killed ram" ever belong in the same sentence....lol. However there is some info available on success rates. Generally speaking Stone Sheep seem to have the lowest success rate for archery hunts. A lot of guys have had to go back 2, 3 or more times to get their ram. Bighorn is probably in the middle. FWIW, Colorado is the one state that issues a load of bow-only ram tags and historical success rates are 25-30 percent. On guided hunts success is probably a little higher. For Dall Sheep I have never seen stats but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the 40-50 percent range for NWT hunts. Truth be told there is no easy archery ram hunt though.
Thanks Sticksender. i was talking with a Mexican guide, about the desert sheep in Sonora or Baja and he mentioned that the rate for archers is relative quite high (he mentioned 70%) but the cost is also very, very high!!!
I have hunted Dall's in both AK and NWT. Would be happy to share what I know (not much compared to a lot of guys here). Send me a PM and we can set up a call.
My $200 sheep photo didn't come through. So I will try again. It will be my only sheep if I don't draw another tag .
That's a great sheep Dan. Congratulations!
Bliz6 I'll PM you. FYI For some reason I have a hard time figuring out the PM feature on bowsite. Specifically, where to find my in-box. So if I don't respond that is why. I'll give you my cell number though so we can text and set a time. I really appreciate it. Thanks!
Dang Danny Moore. Paid just over $1/inch and just under $1/pound.
The luck of the MT resident!
I'd recommend these guys.
Also this one. Both are AK outfits.
To me the choice is simple if the goal is to spend around $20,000 and have the best chance to actually kill a sheep with a bow and not just go sheep hunting, helicopter hunt in the NWT for Dall sheep. Not sure why people always like to leave the "small" helicopter factor out of it? Save up the extra $5000 and make your budget $25,000.
Great info from lots of folks above.
Dall sheep is probably your best bet and the NWT Mackenzie Mountains outfitters are probably the best for success. They have lots of sheep to get you more opportunity.
I went with Gana River a couple of years ago on a horseback hunt combo Mountain Caribou and Dall Sheep. Would have to put that hunt at the top of the heap for all of my hunting experiences by far. AWESOME! Was lucky enough to get two great animals on that hunt with a longbow. Very classic horseback and camping hunt, but horses are not for everyone. On my hunt I think the horses were more of a problem than they were worth.
They also do backpack hunts where they use a plane to get you close and can move you around if necessary. The "backpack" hunts are a little more affordable. At least one outfitter up there uses a helicopter to get you out and that would also be huge.
You may need to save up a little more money but it will be worth it. Also don't forget to add in the travel, a couple of nights in hotels while travelling, meals while travelling, tips (guide, wrangler, cook, etc), extra baggage fees to get your sheep home, and taxidermy.
Have had a number of buddies go on "budget" hunts and have to go multiple times to get an animal. Those budget hunts can end up costing you way more than paying top dollar the first time around to get into an awesome hunting area.
Don't overlook the draws, either. As a resident of Colorado, I have been lucky enough to have drawn 3 archery bighorn tags!
You have to play that game as it is way more economical than the guided hunts in Alaska, Canada, or Mexico. You actually have a chance in many states the first time you put in. Points help you odds but can be pretty frustrating waiting year after year and seeing the points to draw increase just out of reach.