Sitka Mountain Gear
Sheep Hunt? Maybe you can afford it?
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
MathewsMan 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
jims 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
Bou'bound 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
razorhead 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 04-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 04-Jun-16
Stekewood 04-Jun-16
MathewsMan 04-Jun-16
BULELK1 05-Jun-16
Bowboy 05-Jun-16
WoodMoose 05-Jun-16
KJC 05-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 05-Jun-16
Mark Watkins 05-Jun-16
Southern draw 06-Jun-16
Mad Trapper 06-Jun-16
Shrewski 06-Jun-16
Huntcell 06-Jun-16
Pat Lefemine 06-Jun-16
sticksender 06-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 06-Jun-16
brettpsu 06-Jun-16
njbuck 06-Jun-16
Shrewski 06-Jun-16
Pyrannah 06-Jun-16
Pat Lefemine 06-Jun-16
willliamtell 06-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 06-Jun-16
Shrewski 06-Jun-16
Nick Muche 06-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 06-Jun-16
md5252 06-Jun-16
jims 06-Jun-16
BIGHORN 06-Jun-16
Rackmastr 07-Jun-16
dave kaden 08-Jun-16
Scoot 08-Jun-16
Ollie 08-Jun-16
Reflex 09-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 09-Jun-16
Mike-TN 09-Jun-16
Mike-TN 09-Jun-16
Scoot 09-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 09-Jun-16
Bigdan 09-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 09-Jun-16
ridgerunnerron 10-Jun-16
jims 10-Jun-16
jims 10-Jun-16
Scoot 10-Jun-16
Mike-TN 10-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 10-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 10-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 10-Jun-16
Halibutman 10-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 10-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 10-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 10-Jun-16
jims 10-Jun-16
Shrewski 10-Jun-16
Bigdan 10-Jun-16
TXHunter 11-Jun-16
Shrewski 11-Jun-16
NvaGvUp 23-Jul-16
NvaGvUp 23-Jul-16
NvaGvUp 23-Jul-16
NvaGvUp 03-Sep-16
Mark Watkins 04-Sep-16
kota-man 04-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 04-Sep-16
jims 04-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 04-Sep-16
jims 04-Sep-16
jims 04-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 04-Sep-16
IdyllwildArcher 04-Sep-16
Scoot 05-Sep-16
Scoot 05-Sep-16
g5smoke21 05-Sep-16
JRABQ 05-Sep-16
Bou'bound 05-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 05-Sep-16
Bou'bound 05-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 05-Sep-16
g5smoke21 05-Sep-16
Bou'bound 06-Sep-16
Mad Trapper 06-Sep-16
NvaGvUp 08-Jul-17
osage 08-Jul-17
MPN 08-Jul-17
Pyrannah 08-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 08-Jul-17
PAbowhunter1064 08-Jul-17
MPN 09-Jul-17
Charlie Rehor 09-Jul-17
BULELK1 09-Jul-17
caribou77 09-Jul-17
Bou'bound 09-Jul-17
Treeline 09-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 09-Jul-17
Paul@thefort 09-Jul-17
Southern draw 09-Jul-17
kellyharris 09-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 09-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 09-Jul-17
JDM 09-Jul-17
Highllainsdrifter 09-Jul-17
MQQSE 09-Jul-17
BIG BEAR 10-Jul-17
Mad Trapper 10-Jul-17
njbuck 10-Jul-17
osage 10-Jul-17
Brotsky 10-Jul-17
3dirtdevils 10-Jul-17
APauls 10-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 10-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 10-Jul-17
Pigsticker 10-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 10-Jul-17
Busta'Ribs 11-Jul-17
NvaGvUp 03-Aug-17
Korey Wolfe 03-Aug-17
BULELK1 04-Aug-17
hunt'n addict 04-Aug-17
Southern draw 04-Aug-17
TXHunter 04-Aug-17
MQQSE 04-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 04-Aug-17
MQQSE 04-Aug-17
Pigsticker 04-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 04-Aug-17
TXHunter 04-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 04-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 04-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 05-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 05-Aug-17
TXHunter 20-Aug-17
BULELK1 20-Aug-17
Southern draw 20-Aug-17
JRABQ 20-Aug-17
NvaGvUp 20-Aug-17
Sandbrew 20-Aug-17
From: Pat Lefemine
04-Jun-16

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Pat Lefemine's Link
Discuss Kyle's article Here!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
Pat,

Thanks for asking me to write this Bowsite Feature!

Guys,

As I wrote in the article, due to a lot of research along with a high level of physical fitness, I applied for a unit in Wyoming that guys with more points than I had had been bypassing.

Since I sent this article to Pat, the Wyoming draw results have come out and I drew the tag in the 'max points' draw.

My research and physical condition therefore allowed me to draw a coveted WY sheep tag several years before I would have otherwise. You, too, can do this!

Note that this is the second sheep tag I've drawn in public draws in the past two years.

From: MathewsMan
04-Jun-16
I enjoyed the read, some valid info for sure.

I'll likely will not hunt sheep outside my home state unless I move.

Wish I had taken advantage of a lot of hunts that looking back to 2000 or even 1990 timeframes have skyrocketed in price. I can remember snow sheep hunts running around $7k including airfare- as close to a Stone as I may have ever been.

Personally, I'd get as much out of a few DIY hunts with my son vs me taking another ram species. It truly all boils down to one's own priorities and income.

There really is not much compared to a tough sheep bow hunt, like a lot of people I hope to have another taste.

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
Scott,

Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Say "Hi" to your dad for me the next time you see him.

Kyle

From: jims
04-Jun-16
I've been fortunate to go on a few sheep hunts over the years (all self guided). Drawing tags is often a lifetime commitment (both financial and time) with no guarantees of ever drawing a tag. If you live on a limited budget and prefer DIY hunts (nonguided) it makes things even tougher.

There are several desperate ways to hunt sheep that are within financial means. One would be to hunt an unlimited sheep unit in Montana....no guided needed! Might be a tough chore having success (especially with bow) but it's possible to hunt sheep in Montana every year. A second way would be to move up to Alaska for enough months to become a resident and hunt an OTC dall sheep unit. A third way would be to draw ewe tags. Draw odds may not be too terribly bad and a ewe is a sheep!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
jims,

Moving to Nevada also increases the draw odds tremendously!

When I moved to NV in 2009, one of NDOW's main guys told me, when I told him how many points I had, "You will draw a tag in the next few years."

He was right!

From: Bou'bound
04-Jun-16
Excellent article Kyle

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
Thank you, Grant.

I enjoyed writing it and hope it helps a few guys get a chance to go sheep hunting.

From: razorhead
04-Jun-16
I was able to do sheep hunts in the late 70's and into the 80's..... I was fortunate, but to me, the hunt has been ruined for nothing else than money,,,,,,,

most will not say this, and they talk about saving the animals, and the donations, and the guys that support efforts, to maintain, a healthy herd, which I support,,,,,,

but in many aspects, to put it out of reach for so many, will not pay dividends in the future....

just a point from an older guy, who has been there, done that,,,,,,

I want our young hunters, to be able to do, what I did at there age

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
Supply and demand, razorhead.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The supply has been steadily increasing, esp. in the Lower 48. But demand has been increasing faster than the supply.

04-Jun-16
Great stuff!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Jun-16
Thanks, Ike!

One more thing, razorhead:

The increase in the cost of sheep hunts is almost 100% the result of inflation. Inflation is 100% the result of your government deflating the value of our currency.

From: Stekewood
04-Jun-16
Excellent write up Kyle. Can't wait to hear about your WY hunt.

From: MathewsMan
04-Jun-16
I'm sure he will catch this Kyle, he is scheduled for his 6th lower back surgery.

On our last ram hunt together (2011) he was not 70 yet- but climbing an avalanche chute half a day and having a 175+ ram at 14 yards at full draw with the only sappling blocking the vitals while I was 19 yards from the ram too is one of the most memorable hunting memories I will ever be fortunate to experience. Heck, it never crossed my mind to have my bow up and to back him up when I could here the ram coming up the chute to us. I was pulling for dad to get his ram finally, I just sat motionless until that ram could tell something was not right and whirled around. Had I been cognizant that something like that would happen, I had a clear shot and then a long opportunity once the ram was calm looking back at us (experiences like this are what makes taking a wild sheep with archery gear such a monumental achievement).

My dad is working on his 5th Colorado Ram tag. Drawing tags and actually killing sheep with archery arr two different endeavors, although I have watched my dad pass on 3 160" rams in easy bow range wanting one a bit better.

From: BULELK1
05-Jun-16
Good read for sure

Thanks for sharing your insight Kyle.

I need my Desert to have all of my OIL species ~~

Good luck, Robb

From: Bowboy
05-Jun-16
Great info Kyle thanks for taking the time to due this article.

I've been fortunate enough to go on two guided sheep hunts. Hopefully will get to go on a few more in the future.

From: WoodMoose
05-Jun-16
I enjoyed the read Kyle, thanks for taking the time to write that

From: KJC
05-Jun-16
Good info Kyle and timely! I'm in the process of planning a Dall sheep hunt.

05-Jun-16
GJ Kyle.

A lot of info done in a concise manner.

From: Mark Watkins
05-Jun-16
For me....the biggest part of doing my first sheep hunt was to dare to set a BAHG.

so, i set a goal, yes, a monetary goal. If X, then I do my research, due diligence and book the hunt.......ie...."I had earned it" by achieving the goal.

This made the cost justification easier (not easy!) to swallow.

Mark

06-Jun-16
I watched the Stone sheep hunts jump from 10,000 to 40,000 in roughly 10 years (1990-2000) if one outfitter jumped fees the rest followed, and plenty of bommers rose to the occasion, Ill have to say it will be tough for the beginner sheep hunters to obtain all 4 sheep.

From: Mad Trapper
06-Jun-16
Great Article! As Kyle noted above, the costs of sheep hunting is simply based on supply and demand and the demand is increasing a rate far greater than the supply. That is why everybody should support the Wild Sheep Foundation. They do some unbelievable work associated with putting and keeping sheep on the mountain. These guys are the real deal. A yearly membership is not that expensive and you get a great magazine. You can also join the <1 Club and get a chance at a sheep hunt. My 2 cents.

From: Shrewski
06-Jun-16
20 years ago, the exchange rate worked FOR the hunter and did make Canadian hunts much more affordable. Now the outfitter pockets and extra 25-30%. I can't remember the last time I saw or heard of any discount for paying in US currency.

From: Huntcell
06-Jun-16
That's a great thing about Canadian hunts when the exchange rate favors the Canadian dollar you pay Canadian dollar, when the exchange rate favors the US dollar you pay in US Dollar . Consistent and easy to remember. one question you never have to ask is that American or Canadien dollar? Because It's the top dollar of the day for your "top dollar hunt" funny how that works.

Wouldn't want it any other way if I was on the other end of the transaction.

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Jun-16
How true. I am sure it works this way for every international outfitter.

From: sticksender
06-Jun-16
Agree wholeheartedly with Mark Watkins on his "BAHG" approach. Cost of these hunts can be daunting...but a guy who really, truly wants it bad enough CAN make it happen, in time.

One of my favorite quotes to live by, is one that I read in a past thread on bowsite. Though I don't recall who said it, the statement was very simple...."life is short, write the check"!

From: NvaGvUp
06-Jun-16
Greg,

Absolutely. I love that quote.

As I've often said, "I refuse to die with a bunch of things on my bucket list that have been there a long time. So I better do them while I still can."

From: brettpsu
06-Jun-16
Babine Guides is always priced in CAD. Right now a hunt with them is almost 30% cheaper in USD. Great time to book a hunt.

From: njbuck
06-Jun-16
Sheep have always been at the top of my bucket list and I was fortunate enough to draw a Colorado Archery tag for bighorn. Unfortunately I was unable to take a ram, which really hurt.

If there is a will there is a way to go sheep hunting, but just like hunting sheep, coming up with the finances to do so will be tough for most but adds to the overall experience.

You only live once but if you live it the right way, once is enough!

From: Shrewski
06-Jun-16
Thumbs up for Babine. That's the first I've seen of that in forever. Maybe we should make a list of Canadian outfitters giving us that advantage.

From: Pyrannah
06-Jun-16
what makes a sheep hunt so expensive for a guide? is it a supply and demand type thing or are thier costs really high?

also what is the drive to hunt sheep? im a whitetail hunter and would like to expand my species, but not sure this is a good fit due to cost and terrain.. im not sure my fear of heights would be good for me with hunting sheep and goats, so perhaps the challenge is the real appeal?

thanks ben

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Jun-16
Strictly supply and demand. If logistics were the driver my Greenland muskox would have been 50k.

Honestly, and IMO the sheep prices can not be rationalized. Goats are a far better bargain,

From: willliamtell
06-Jun-16
Several good takeaways from the article: 1) It ain't gonna be cheap. Too many guys chasing too few sheep tags. But for at least some of the sheep species, it doesn't have to be a completely outrageous amount of money (unless you're a 1 percenter, in which case thank you for spending SOOOO much money on the outdoor industry). 2) The more preparation you put in, the more likely you will be successful. Not earth-shattering news, but some smart prep pointers also. 3) Do it before you get old and crocked, because finding the sweet spot of not spending like a 1 percenter, not impossible draw odds, not more than likely eating tag soup in a lousy unit, and still being able to go after and get them is not a job for an old man.

I might be in Pat's corner about focusing on a goat rather than a sheep.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Jun-16
Pat,

Goats are also a great entry level 'gateway drug.' Once you've gone goat hunting, you'll be hooked for life on hunting in high, far-away remote mountains. That will make you want to become a sheep hunter!

Ben,

Like anything else, it's supply and demand. But their costs are also pretty steep.

From: Shrewski
06-Jun-16
Goat hunt prices gave quadrupled in the last 15 years as well. No "cheap" sheep or goat hunts in Alaska or Canada seeing as none of us that live in the lower 48 are "qualified" to hunt either species on our own up there. Kinda funny as I will be getting dropped off on a "goat lake" according to AK F&G to hunt deer in a couple months...

From: Nick Muche
06-Jun-16
Haven't got the sheep bug yet but I sure do love hunting goats. Someday I'll set aside time to hunt sheep and I did initially plan on it this fall but a few draw tags and other opportunities came up. Maybe next year.

Goats are "entry level"...? Not sure about that comment, I'd say they are just as difficult if not harder in some respects.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Jun-16
Nick,

They are 'entry level' because they are more affordable than sheep hunts.

They are as physically as demanding as sheep hunts, yet they are easier to hunt than sheep, primarily because they are way easier to spot than are sheep. Sheep blend in. Goats stand out like a flashing light.

From: md5252
06-Jun-16
Life is about priority and choices. If you're determined and resourceful enough it can be done.

However, for me I just cant justify the cost vs my desire to hunt sheep and/or take that $$ away from the family.

To each his own though. Yes, I'm not getting any younger but neither are my kids.

From: jims
06-Jun-16
It seems like a lot of guys have given up hope drawing tags or affording grand slam sheep species hunts. Many have converted to "poor-mans's" sheep hunts. Free ranging auodad is a great example of this. Unfortunately even aoudad and other sheep species hunt prices have sky-rocketed.

From: BIGHORN
06-Jun-16
Great article Kyle! As Scott was saying that I have drawn 4 ram tags in CO and I am going to try for a 5th tag.

I have to say that I didn't know anything about sheep or sheep hunting until Scott asked me to meet him at the Division office where they were meeting with a group called the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society (RMBS).

I attend the meeting and I was so impressed with the RMBS group and how they interfaced with the CDOW that I decided to attend one of their monthly meetings. They wondered who I was and I told them and that I wanted to hear more about what the organization did for the sheep and the hunters. I attended about 4 more monthly meetings and became a member and since there was an opening on the BOD and I seemed to be interested enough to attend, they asked me if I wanted to be on the BOD. Of course, I was very excited to be a part of this organization.

After a couple more months I knew that I wanted to do more so I became a Life Member. There were a lot of responsibilities that I took over (raffles, sheep shop, banquet preparation, preparing handout materials for the meeting of the ones that drew sheep or goat tags and setting up and manning the booth at the Denver Sportsman's Show. There was more but I will not mention anything else. It did take a lot of my time but I did it for the sheep herds, not for personal recognition. I have to say that it was the most rewarding thing I ever did for the sheep and for the other hunters that hunt the Bighorns. That is why my handle is BIGHORN.

And, as Scott has mentioned above, I am going to apply for a 5th ram tag. My spine is fused in 9 levels and my age tells me that I shouldn't do this but it is in my blood. Scott was with me when I arrowed my Unit 2 bull last fall and my bull caribou the year before. This fall my wife is coming with me on a bull moose hunt in Manitoba. And yes, there is this little thing about a 6th spine surgery at the end of this month.

I figure that if my friend Paul at the Fort can keep going I can too. Well, at least try my best.

Thanks again for the article my friend.

From: Rackmastr
07-Jun-16
I'm a lucky guy as I currently live in BC and have lived in Alberta. I lived in Alberta for most of my life and have been on a few great sheep hunts. I was lucky enough to watch my wife shoot a bighorn back in 2010 on a Cadomin late season draw and then in the same year I hunted Canmore bowzone as a resident in November. I didn't connect (long and painful story to have to remember and live through and some hard lessons learned and regrets no doubt).

I moved to BC and hunted Stone's sheep in the first full year I lived here in a late season hunt, and then connected the following year on a late August hunt on a beautiful dark ram.

One of my really enjoyable trips was actually down to Texas for an Aoudad hunt. I killed a 27" ram on a semi-guided hunt in west texas. The country was rough and it was every bit of a sheep hunt as any hunt I've been on. All in I think I was around $3000 and that included travel from Canada. The mount is stunning in my trophy room and people love looking at it as its unique. A pretty good 'cheap' option to get into some really enjoyable sheep hunting and I look forward to going back one day!

I'm luckier than I probably even realize, getting to hunt bighorns within an hour or two of my house on day-trips on a OTC tag every year, and within a 16-18 hour drive I can be hunting Stones on the same OTC tag. All I know is I'm trying to enjoy every chance I get to chase sheep while I'm young enough to do it and get out there. Getting to chase mountain goats is a special treat as well and one that I rank VERY highly up there with sheep hunting.

Great conversation!

From: dave kaden
08-Jun-16
I am always surprised at how the Other great wild sheep we have here in usa he aoudad gets ignored in sheep hunt considerations.And those who do hunt them sem to all use a gun. I have hunted bighorns in colo with a bow three times a long time ago and I took up hunting auodads when i moved to New mexico. Like most sheep hunts, it is rugged country and takes patience. I think they are as wary, if not more so, than bighorns and its a trophy that deserves more respect. I assume the fact that they also exist in many high fence operations diminishes the challenge of taking one, but taking a free range auodad with a bow is something any one who has done, will never forget. It took me a while to take a good one, but now I have two one in NM and One in Texas. I recommend paying for private land in far west Texas as it is much better in most cases as NM quality has really diminished in recent years on public land.You can sometimes find ranchers with whom you can negotiate a DIY hunt..So all you guys who dream of a sheep bowhunt but 5 figures is an obstacle try AOUDAD!

From: Scoot
08-Jun-16
Very interesting and informative write up, Kyle. Thanks for putting together all of the info. I don't have aspirations to sheep hunt, but a good buddy of mine does. He was quite depressed to read your article because it pretty well clarified for him that he's not likely to make it happen. There's no doubt he COULD make it happen given his income, but with work, parent, and kid-related obligations he is prioritizing appropriately (IMO) and being realistic. But... he goes hunting something out West most years, so he's not complaining.

It'd be fun, but it's not in the cards for me either. For those who do make it happen, go get 'em! Kyle, I hope you shoot a stud this year in WY! I also hope you catch a big muskie this August! :)

From: Ollie
08-Jun-16
I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned applying for a ewe tag. In some states they are not too hard to draw. Gives a person the chance to go "sheep" hunting without winning the lottery or selling your house to raise the needed funds.

From: Reflex
09-Jun-16
Great article Kyle. Thanks for sharing. I've always enjoyed reading your various sheep-shape threads and you kept me motivated when I ran my first marathon a few years back. I hope to hunt sheep someday, but to be able to fiance the hunt, my approach is much like retirement savings, LONG TERM (which you outlined nicely in your article). I just hope that I can maintain good physical shape (certainly as well as you have!) for when the day comes that I can actually commit to the hunt.

From: NvaGvUp
09-Jun-16
Marty,

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

From: Mike-TN
09-Jun-16
Keys to hunting sheep on a tight budget...... 1) apply in as many states as possible 2) start applying as young as possible 3) stay in shape as long as possible

With a little luck you will eventually draw a tag and still be physically able to hunt them.

From: Mike-TN
09-Jun-16
Keys to hunting sheep on a tight budget...... 1) apply in as many states as possible 2) start applying as young as possible 3) stay in shape as long as possible

With a little luck you will eventually draw a tag and still be physically able to hunt them.

From: Scoot
09-Jun-16
"Keys to hunting sheep on a tight budget...... 1) apply in as many states as possible 2) start applying as young as possible..."

Mike, I'm not trying to jab or be a trouble maker here, I mean this as a serious question: If a guy starts applying for sheep in all available states and starts pretty young (say early 20's), how much money will he have spent on sheep applications/fees/points by the time he could reasonably expect to draw a tag? I'd guess one heck of a pile of money...

From: NvaGvUp
09-Jun-16
Scoot,

I'd surmise that unless he was very unlucky in the draws, it would be less than if he'd bought the hunt outright.

It would be an interesting exercise, however.

Most states don't charge you for the tag unless and until you draw. So for those states, there's no cost there.

For states that do charge you for the tag, then refund your money when you don't draw (NM, CO, ID, WY), you're out the time-value-of-money from the day you sent them the money to the day you get it back.

Many states require you to buy a NR license, either to apply, or to get points if you don't draw. So that's a hard cost, as are the application fees states charge. OTOH, if you are already planning to hunt deer, elk, birds, or speed goats in AZ, NV, OR, ID, etc., then that license fee probably shouldn't be used in the calculation.

To figure it all out, a guy would probably need to do a state-by-state analysis, pick a reasonable time-value-of-money, factor in inflation, total it all up for various time periods, then compare those totals against what simply purchasing a hunt outright would cost.

Of course, if you go ahead and pop $$$$ for a hunt up front, then you've lost all of the future growth on those dollars forever, which can be considerable.

Back in the mid-late eighties, I had a couple ask me to help them with their retirement planning. At some point I mentioned I used American Funds as my primary mutual fund firm. They responded by saying, "Oh, we know American Funds. We used to have some money with them."

I'm thinking, "Oh, crud. 'Used to?' " So I asked them about it. Why the, 'Used to?'

Their response was one for the ages: "Well, we inherited about $500 of American Mutual back in the mid-fifties. It was too small an amount to do much with, so we just held on to it. Then a couple of years ago, we sold it and BOUGHT A VERY NICE NEW CAR!" which cost them ~ $20,000!

The time value of money; The 8th wonder of the world!

From: Bigdan
09-Jun-16
My only sheep tag was in the Breaks in Montana it cost me $135 for the tag in 2 1/2 days I saw 87 rams I could have shoot rams from my Rhino So age does matter much here in Montana. Except if you plan on hunting one of the unlimited units in Montana. I have been applying for Nelson in Nevada, Utah & Az that will be the only way I will hunt another sheep Spending $30k to $100k on any hunt will never happen for me. But anyone that wants to thats there business. I have been in one 7 Montana sheep hunts in limited areas and none were very hard.

09-Jun-16
Personally, I'd already be applying in CA, AZ, UT, and NV - even if those states didn't have any sheep. It costs me $10-$15 extra to apply for sheep in those states. The odds are terrible, but that's 6 sheep apps right there for less than $100. Over 35-40 years? There's no way that's going to buy me a sheep hunt, but I might win a tag. No-brainer for me since I'd apply in all these states simply because of the elk tags. (EDIT: I should add that I have a lifetime hunting lic in CA which is why it only costs me $8 to apply for sheep. Out-of-staters are looking at a ~$150 hunting lic to apply).

Where you have to start looking state by state individually are the states that cost more and/or make you submit the funds.

CO's a great place to apply (based on odds) if you can part with $2100 for a couple months, or you can go the DBHS route for $1400 for better odds right now but worse odds over several decades.

NM - personally, I don't apply there even though I really want a sheep tag. The tag price ($3100) is too much IMO, mainly because you have to submit it upfront and the odds now are horrid. Personal decision.

MT - the odds are so terrible that the new cost has to be made by the individual. $80ish non-refundable. For me, it's worth it.

WA - I stopped applying in WA. It's like $120 non-refundable for really bad odds. Not worth it. I'd apply again in WA if the non-refundable was 1/2 that.

OR - If OR was a place I wanted to build points for elk, I'd apply for sheep, but the upfront cost and non-refundable ($170ish if you're not already applying for other species) just for sheep keeps me from applying in OR.

ID: Any year I don't apply for elk in ID, I'll be applying for a CA DBHS. Making that decision is tough. Next year I'll probably need the elk tag when it comes time to apply. I'm probably not going to apply for moose over CA DBHS. Again, high non-refundable ($170ish), but the odds drive me to take an occasional pop at a sheep in ID.

WY - Another tough call if you're just starting out. Catching the PPs may not happen before old age so you're hoping for a random tag. The cost up front ($2100ish) would be easier to swallow if you had archery tags and odds like CO, but that's not the case. Plus, if you're a DIY hunter, you're limited by the wilderness. I don't apply for sheep in WY because of this, but I do for moose...my personal cost:benefit analysis puts moose at the "just under my threshold" and sheep at "just over my threshold."

So for me, it's 8-9 sheep apps per year not counting AK. Counting up the $, I still don't think I could buy a sheep hunt with it. It's impossible to calculate due to the rise in costs of sheep hunts and the rise in costs of applying. Everything static or appreciating in value evenly, I think the apps are worth it. Plus, I want to hunt them DIY, so drawing a tag is the only option anyways.

Or you can move to AK. I'm probably going to hunt Dall in 2018 OTC unless I draw in 2017. But I see them as mutually exclusive because I really want to hunt desert sheep, whether they be CA DBHS or DBHS.

10-Jun-16
Nice article Kyle.

As sticksender and njbuck says...

How bad does a guy really want it? If there's a strong will to make it happen, then there's a way to make it happen!

From: jims
10-Jun-16
It comes down to most states charging $50 to $200/year to apply. 25 years applying x $50 = $1,500. 25 years x $200 = $5,000. 50 years x $50 = $2500. 50 years x $200 = $10,000. Most states increase fees over the years so the cost is likely going to rise.

The draw odds in most states is usually less than 1%. The odds of drawing a tag in 100 years may be ok...if you can live that long! Some states like Wyo that offer almost all their tags to the guys with highest pref pts. Someone just starting out applying has virtually 0 chance to ever draw.

The cost above is for applying in just one state! If the average price to apply for out of state sheep is say $100 the cost for applying for 25 years is $2,500. If someone applies in 4 states that would be $10,000 to apply for 25 years and $20,000 to apply for 50 years.

It may be easy to say, "apply for as many tags and states as you can" but it comes at a lot higher price than a lot of guys realize! Garth pretty much started this trend of thinking many years ago. A lot of guys don't realize that the draw odds you look up for sheep in a particular unit today aren't going to be the same draw odds 10 or 20 years from now. Every year your odds of drawing decreases because more applicants apply each year than the number of tags issued. With more guys applying each year it is becoming tougher and tougher to draw limited high demand tags!

If it were me and I was young and wanted to sheep hunt I would likely move to Alaska and dall sheep hunt each year, hunt unlimited Montana sheep units each year, save up and hunt a "poor man's" sheep such as aoudad, or apply for ewe tags. It is always easier to draw sheep tags as a resident. I would live in a state where I had a decent chance to draw a sheep tag in my lifetime. If $ isn't an issue....by all means "apply for as many states and tags as you can!"

From: jims
10-Jun-16
Forgot to mention in my post above the cost/year of applying doesn't include the $1,000 to $3,000 price of the tag. State's keep increasing tag prices so these will likely increase considerably in the next 10 t 25 years.

From: Scoot
10-Jun-16
Thanks for the thoughtful replies, fellas. The actual cost of the tag isn't really the big concern for me. If I was ever lucky enough to draw a tag, I'd happily pay the $3K for it! I'm also not too worried about loaning the cost of the tag for a few months- no huge deal IMO. However, it's the "nickel and diming" that would get me. License fees (the vast majority would be in places I wouldn't be hunting that year, so license costs would almost always be additional). Processing fees and the cost of preference points would also add up to a lot of money over time and like Kyle said, if you factor in inflation and the time value of money, you're talking about one serious pile of cash.

But... for those who have a burning desire to hunt sheep and for those who can afford it without problem, go for it! I've got other fish to fry (not bigger fish probably), so I'll dump my money in other places and not hunt sheep. That's ok with me.

Very interesting info and discussion here...

From: Mike-TN
10-Jun-16
Agree Scoot that it is a long term nickel and dime game...but that is the only game most guys can afford. It's all about cash flow and why people opt for monthly car payments instead of throwing down the cash upfront. The difference being that the total cost off applying over many years is likely less than buying the tag which is not true for car purchase. The only exception I can see would be a cancellation dall hunt. If you want a rocky or desert you problably better start applying. AZ is due in a couple days :)

Mike

10-Jun-16
jims, I respectfully disagree with your numbers.

"It comes down to most states charging $50 to $200/year to apply."

Those numbers only work if sheep are the only thing you apply for. There are very few people who put in for sheep who aren't putting in for other things - as I pointed out is the case for me.

Yes, each state individually needs to be looked at for long term cost vs odds of drawing, but that's not every state. And I agree with your point that there are some states where one could conclude that it's not worth it.

I put in for roughly 35 total tags per year and it costs me around $1500 a year in non-refundables and that includes 9-10 sheep tags if you tack on AK.

Let's cut out ID and assume it's 9: "$50-$200" per tag to apply would imply that it costs somewhere between $450 and $1800 per year to apply for those tags, but I'm spending $1500 per year on 35 total tags and 9 of them are sheep tags?

If you're playing the "Western Tag Game," sheep are just a part of it and the cost to apply is what I would consider small.

Not to mention the possibility of multiple tags. If you decide to pay for one guided sheep hunt instead of applying, you are guaranteed to go on exactly one sheep hunt. Kyle mentioned above the example of someone who's gone on 5. Now, of course, you "could" draw zero.

But I honestly believe that I will hunt sheep in the lower 48 in my lifetime with my draw strategy. Obviously, I can't prove that though. But on on a personal level, over my lifetime of applying which should be at least 35 years of apps, I can say without a doubt that the money in is worth the chances I'm buying.

Yes, in today's dollars, that's $52,500 over my lifetime for those 35 tags/year. But I'm going to go on a bunch of awesome hunts. I just don't know what they are yet.

If I were to just go guided, I could blow through $52,500 in one hunt.

And adding on tag prices doesn't really compute because most guided hunts you still have to buy the tag (and tip).

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jun-16
Ike,

The guy who's 'gone on five' has gone on more than five sheep hunts. 'Five' is simply the number of sheep tags he's drawn in the lower 48!

10-Jun-16
That's what I meant - that he's drawn multiple.

You can't draw multiple if you don't apply.

Seems like a no-brainer for me. $1000 in apps per year can get you in the running for well over 20 dream hunts. I realize that's a lot of dough for some folks, but you choose what you spend your money on. I drive an old truck and an old car and I do a lot of cooking for myself instead of eating out everyday.

I guarantee that when that tag ends up in your hand that you'll think it's worth it.

From: Halibutman
10-Jun-16
I had given up on a ram tag, so I cashed in my 5 points for a Missouri breaks ewe tag. I had an awesome experience, and got to see a ram that scored over 190 alive on the hoof at close range. It was excellent. I drew an Idaho ram tag the very next season. I killed a great ram in the "church" that took several gallons of sweat and his fair share of soreness and boot leather. It was one of the greatest hunts of my life, and one I'll literally never be able to repeat.

Apply. You never know what will happen if your name is in the hat!!!

I apply religiously for desert bighorns. I hope I've got enough time and luck to pull a tag one day.

10-Jun-16
Let me ask you this Kyle:

You've spent some significant cash on sheep hunts and sheep apps.

Worth it? Yes or no?

And I'll pose that question to anyone else who's hunted sheep as well.

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jun-16

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
Ike,

It was worth every penny, despite the eleven year drought covering six different sheep hunts between mid-August, 2002 until late November, 2014 in BC and AB where I saw exactly ZERO legal rams.

But, ah, the memories! The adventures! The country! The people!

I don't care where you live or how much your home is worth. I bet you can't find a better 'home' than this! (Stone sheep hunt, Frank Simpson, 2014.)

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jun-16

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
October 2013. Southern Alberta.

This photo was taken after a 3,700' ascent from the road you see at the bottom of the valley. Six-plus hours to make the climb, only to discover neither of the two rams we'd spotted were legal.

Adventure!

From: jims
10-Jun-16
I've actually been on 4 sheep hunts. All were self guided hunts with drawn tags. I'm a Colo resident and have drawn 2 sheep tags here and am in the running for a 3rd tag. I really don't expect to draw another Colo sheep tag in my lifetime. What was pretty good draw odds 10 to 15 years ago is horrible today...and getting worse by the year! It's super cheap to apply here as a resident so I will continue to put my name in the hat.

Similar to others I apply for multi-species in other states. I have pulled the plug in numerous states because draw odds are so horrible and the additional cost for applying continues to sky-rocket. I would much rather put my hard earned money towards exciting trips I can actually conduct on a fairly regular basis rather than just dream about.

As each state raises the price it costs for bonus/pref pts, application and license fees....and draw odds continue to drop I find myself pulling the plug on more and more applications.

Many of the best memories of my hunting career were in the sheep hills. I pretty much thought outside the box to secure 3 of the 4 sheep tags I drew but draw odds continue to drop in those areas. To be totally honest, if I was a young hunter just starting out and wanted to sheep hunt I likely wouldn't apply for many public tags unless I had a career where I made more $ than I do. If I was young and wanted to sheep hunt I would likely move to Alaska for several years to partake of self-guided sheep, mtn goat, grizz hunting opportunities. If I didn't want to move to Alaska I would likely move to a state where I had a fighting chance of drawing a sheep tag in my lifetime. If that isn't possible I would likely hunt "poor-mans" sheep.

I know for a fact I would never be willing to fork out $15,000-$20,000+ for a guided hunt...especially since I get so much satisfaction out of hunting on my own. There are an incredible number of trips I could take for that kind of $. My preference is to apply for tags that I'm pretty certain of drawing in my lifetime and spend my hard earned cash on trips I can enjoy! If I made more $ and didn't have a family to support I would likely have a different opinion on tossing $ to the wind applying for tags with such horrible draw odds!

From: Shrewski
10-Jun-16
Funny. I only apply for elk tags in states I'm already applying for sheep. The very best days of my life are in the month I took my young family to Colorado to hunt sheep with my bow. The license was $1500 and I was able to rent a house for the whole month for $1500. They went sightseeing and play in paradise for all that time and so did I. Odds were slight I would draw that tag, but they were much better than I would have had if I did not apply.

Once those same kids are gone on their own, I'll be taking my 25 or so Montana points and go ewe hunting.

From: Bigdan
10-Jun-16
Montana max points going into this years draw was 16 points for Moose, Sheep & Goat I have 14 for Moose 12 for Goat and 4 for Sheep but this is my first year I can apply for Es Sheep after my 7 year wait

From: TXHunter
11-Jun-16
Good article Kyle.There are no easy answers to hunting sheep.

It takes commitment of both time and $$.

I bit the bullet and went on a Yukon Fannin hunt in 2006. That hunt was $20,000 "all in". Today, it is well more than twice that.

I began applying in nearly all the states with available sheep tags in 2002. The first few years the hard costs were about $600/year. Today, they are about $1500/year. Plus I buy several state-sponsored raffle tickets and some other raffle tickets per year.

That adds up to a lot of money, but it's all I know to do to have a chance to hunt sheep in the lower 48. Is this for everyone? No. It's a personal thing - and not a decision to be made lightly.

In 2014 lightning struck and I drew a NR AZ desert ram tag, making it all worth it.

I booked a Yukon dall hunt for 2017.

I just love to hunt sheep. So I'm going to sacrifice (within reason and my means) to give myself every opportunity to do so.

From: Shrewski
11-Jun-16
TX--In 2002 I did a 12 day "mixed bag" hunt in the Yukon also taking a beautiful Fannin. $10,500 plus $2500 trophy fee for moose and grizzly, and $1500 for caribou.

Dan--I'm max or one below right now in MT; I was projecting what I will have by the time I am ready to go.

Sheep hunting is #1 in my book but my salary won't allow much of it. I will fill the gap with high country mule deer. A lot of the same experiences but without the curls at the very end.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Jul-16
This just came in via e-mail a few minutes ago from michelle@atcheson.com. It's typical of the last minute deals I mentioned in my article.

"Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Cancellation Hunt October 2nd to 12th, 2016 This has been very high success Bighorn hunt the last few years. Now available due to a cancellation by the outfitters client. This horseback hunt takes place in Southeastern BC in the East Kootenay Mountains. Rams have scored 165 to 172 class, so pretty darn nice rams.

Traditionally a $35,000 hunt, the outfitter is willing to look at a base price, then trophy fee arrangement, on taking the ram. On a traditional priced hunt, the outfitter can either extend the length of the hunt or bring the client back to hunt at the end of the season, which is October 25th."

Contact Jack Atcheson and Sons if you're interested.

406-782-2382

office@atcheson.com

From: NvaGvUp
23-Jul-16
Ooops!

Forgot the picture.

From: NvaGvUp
23-Jul-16

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo

From: NvaGvUp
03-Sep-16

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
My application idea in Wyoming worked!

From: Mark Watkins
04-Sep-16
Whoooop! Congrats Kyle!

Mark

From: kota-man
04-Sep-16
Way to go Kyle! Big congrats...What is the story with the guy with Jason Nutini in the pic above yours? Jason has guided me on a couple hunts. A pure Predator.

From: NvaGvUp
04-Sep-16
Cory,

I have no idea. I just posted that as an example of what folks might see when a cancellation hunt becomes available.

From: jims
04-Sep-16
Even if the base price is reduced by $5,000 I myself wouldn't consider $30,000 plus a trophy fee, license, airline ticket, etc a great deal! I have done a bunch of outrageous trips the past few years for around $200 to $1,500 each...now those are great deals. These actually included 2 dall sheep and 2 mtn goat hunts that I did on my own! I doubt if I'll spend $30,000 in my lifetime on trips so I really don't consider a reduced cancellation deal like mentioned above a bargain. There are lots of options and great hunting opportunities to be had if a guy is willing to think outside the box!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Sep-16
jims,

How is something that's reduced in price by a LOT not a bargain?

From: jims
04-Sep-16
If it's around $25,000 more than you can afford to spend!

From: jims
04-Sep-16
You should start another post titled "Sheep Hunt? Maybe you can't afford it? Explain how an average Joe or someone just starting out has a chance of possibly hunting sheep in their lifetime without spending $25,000 for a guided hunt or spending $1,500 a year in 5 states trying to draw tags with insane draw odds. There are ways to do this! I don't think you explained any of these in your article!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Sep-16
jims,

I'm not saying something has to be almost free to be a bargain, because that in no way is the definition of the word. All I'm saying is that when something good is being offered at far below retail, that's a bargain.

BTW, I did not start this thread. Pat did. If you can't find any helpful information in the feature Pat asked me to write, that puts you in the minority. Indeed, you are the first person to complain. Everyone else who commented had positive things to say.

04-Sep-16
Grats Kyle!

From: Scoot
05-Sep-16
WTG Kyle- I'd say it definitely worked out!

From: Scoot
05-Sep-16
WTG Kyle- I'd say it definitely worked out!

From: g5smoke21
05-Sep-16
I think Kyle is pretty well spot on with the article. I would have never though I could afford a 9+ thousand dollar goat hunt combo but next year the hunt will take place. By booking a hunt early enough in advance and gradually saving monthly it is possible. After my goat hunt I will start saving for a dall hunt. Yes it will probably take me 6 years to save enough for it but if you want it bad enough it will happen. Yes you have to make sacrifices but hey its worth it to me. Congrats Kyle!

From: JRABQ
05-Sep-16
Kyle, congrats on the great ram, I,d say your strategy sure worked! I seem to have developed a strategy for not drawing.

From: Bou'bound
05-Sep-16
I actually wonder if Instead of saving for six years there is a better way. Given inflation saving six years would mean you could be paying 30-40% more than current rates. On a high end hunt it may be cheaper to take a loan and do it sooner. I don't know how he math would work or what the breakpoint would be

From: NvaGvUp
05-Sep-16
Bou'bound,

It would depend on the rate of inflation (historic average is ~ 3%) and the interest rate you pay on the loan (historic rate is greater than inflation, as it must be)

Everything else being equal, taking a loan would cost you more money than would investing over the years and paying the higher cost of the hunt caused by inflation.

From: Bou'bound
05-Sep-16
Thanks Kyle I knew you would know. For that idea to work the inflation on the hunt would need to far outpace the general economy.

if you think about an increase on a 10,000 hunt at 8% inflation, which some hunts seem to run, that hunt would be almost 16K in year six.

From: NvaGvUp
05-Sep-16
We haven't seen 8% inflation in thirty years and given the way the Dems have screwed up the opportunity for economic growth, we're not likely see anything approaching even 5% in quite some time.

From: g5smoke21
05-Sep-16
Agree thanks Kyle! Will be saving!!

From: Bou'bound
06-Sep-16
As I said there are types of hunts that have increased at 8% which far outpaces the general economy.

From: Mad Trapper
06-Sep-16
Congrats on your ram!!!!!!!

From: NvaGvUp
08-Jul-17
UPDATE!

One of the things I wrote about in the Feature was getting a cancellation hunt.

Last Wednesday, Atcheson and Sons e-mailed me about a cancellation stone sheep hunt in the Yukon.

After asking lots of questions, checking references, et. al., I decided to take the hunt.

Retail, the hunt is $41.5K + 5% GST, plus tags, air charter and licenses. The outfitter is otherwise booked out until 2019.

But because it's a cancellation hunt, I got it for $33,500 which includes the 5% GST, the air charter, the govt. harvest fee, as well as the tags (sheep, grizzly, caribou) and license. That's over a $12,000 savings.

From: osage
08-Jul-17
Or you could go to Africa 4 or 5 times.

From: MPN
08-Jul-17
My, even with the 16k discount, that is a chunk of change! I would love this hunt, but alas waaaay out of reach for me... Best of luck to you!

From: Pyrannah
08-Jul-17
wife pitches a fit over 5k hunts... couldnt imagine approaching her with one like this...

either way i wish you the best of luck!

From: NvaGvUp
08-Jul-17
osage,

For whatever reason, going to Africa is of no interest to me.

MPN,

For sure it's a chunk of change. But the only thing I have left on my hunting bucket list is getting a really nice Stone; 160" or better and with awesome chocolate and white coloring.

I have a Stone, but while he's legal by a mile, he's a runt and does not have the amazing coloration I love. At age 68, I figured, "I'm going to do this at some point anyway, so I might as well do it now while I still can."

"Life is short. Write the check!"

08-Jul-17
I'd write the check, but couldn't afford the $35 returned check fee!!

Congrats & best of luck, Kyle!!

From: MPN
09-Jul-17
@NvaGvUp...Either you are single or your wife is the woman we hunters dream of!! I do envy you, have a great hunt and will look forward to reading about the adventure.

09-Jul-17
Pabowhunter1064: One of the funniest posts I've EVER read!! Still laughing!

From: BULELK1
09-Jul-17
Have fun and enjoy Kyle!!

Happy for ya man.

Good luck, Robb

From: caribou77
09-Jul-17
Good luck!!!!!! That's a huge savings and still a huge chunk of change. I'm with you in the Africa boat.... no interest. Not yet anyway....

From: Bou'bound
09-Jul-17
Good luck. You earned it kyle

It is foolish for one man to count another's money.

From: Treeline
09-Jul-17
Awesome! Great outfitter and it will be a great hunt! Congratulations on picking up the cancellation hunt!

Been looking at jobs up there and hoping to get lucky. Figure the only way I will ever get to hunt Stones is to just move north:)

From: NvaGvUp
09-Jul-17

NvaGvUp's Link
My wife is very understanding of my passions.

Lucky me!

We've always kept separate bank accounts and each of us decides what to do with our own funds. I pay most of the bills for the mortgage, utilities, etc. and she chips in for some of those things.

That makes it easy for us to spend as we choose.

We both have saved and invested well for long time, which allows us to do stuff like sheep hunting without harming our retirement or our ability to pay our bills.

No question sheep hunting can be expensive, which is why most sheep hunters are in their fifties or more. The value of compound returns on your investments is truly the Eighth Wonder of the World, so when you put that together with your career progression, sheep hunting is something many can then start doing.

Of course, staying fit enough to be able to handle the physical part of sheep hunting is equally important. It does no good to have the funds if you haven't also kept yourself in great shape.

See my Bowsite Feature on 'Getting and Staying in Sheep Shape' at the link for information on that.

From: Paul@thefort
09-Jul-17
Kyle, your article brought back a lot of good memories when I was applying for and preparing for my Colorado Big Horn Sheep Hunt prior to 1997. After 6 years of applying for a resident archery sheep tag, I drew and was successful in that year with a nice PY ram. The price of the tag was around $200 and I only lived 60 miles from the sheep unit. As now, the application fee was $3 so that cost was a total of $18.

My hunt was self guided so the biggest expense was having the sheep converted to a shoulder mount. I have now been applying for a Colorado Desert sheep tag but the odds are very long as only 10 tags are available but one is available to non residents. Here in Colorado one can not apply for a Big Horn Sheep and a Desert sheep in the same year so most apply for the BHS and if successful, then apply for the Desert.

For those that live out side of a state or providence that has sheep, no doubt it can be done with lots of planning and some sacrifice but harder to do with a growling family and limited budget. I move from Ohio to Colorado, six years prior to the sheep hunt and that made the sheep hunt possible as I might have never hunted sheep if I had stayed in Ohio. The memories of that one sheep hunt has remained and been burned in my mind for years so good luck for those still trying if only in their dreams my best, Paul

09-Jul-17
Congrats on your future hunt and good luck, I think stone sheep country is some of the most beautiful country in the world, and also one of the most beautiful big game animals ever created.

From: kellyharris
09-Jul-17
Kyle,

That was a very well written article.

Great Job

From: NvaGvUp
09-Jul-17
Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate it.

From: NvaGvUp
09-Jul-17
For me, being in the high mountains in northern BC or the Yukon for two weeks straight is worth whatever the cost.

The scenery is incredible, but to me, better yet is that for two weeks, the only sign of civilization you'll see is a contrail or two.

Can it get any better than that?

From: JDM
09-Jul-17
I was looking at that hunt also, but already have a stone booked and leave in 3 weeks.

Keep us posted.

09-Jul-17
I was lucky enough to draw the Montana Breaks sheep tag this year ! Lucky me but I have been applying for 40 years as a resident and have been putting in for 482-20 district since they started allowing harvesting in this district. I like big Dan had max bonus points. I plan on spend a thousand dollars on the whole hunt and I live 2 hours away. My cost will be lost wages but plan on only coming home to get more cash or food. The biologist told me there are over 500 sheep in the district with 47 rams 4 years and older. Using my recurve I plan on being picky but not greedy and hunting the ewe hunters to find more rams. I am going to make a 10 yard broadside shot at a 195"+ ram

From: MQQSE
09-Jul-17
I agree with Kyle and wish him luck. We only have so many days on this earth and better spend them wisely.

I'm finally starting to live life more and do things I may not have done in the past. I leave for AK for Dall on August 4th for the 10th opener.

I also booked a desert tag in MX for Feb 2019 and a stone hunt in the Yukon for August of the same year.

Now I just need to draw that WY tag and also figure out how to ask the wife to make room for some full body mounts.

From: BIG BEAR
10-Jul-17
Hunting is a pay to play game....... regardless if it's a sheep hunt or an elephant hunt or simply purchasing a deer tag in your home state.... it all costs money and it's all good.

From: Mad Trapper
10-Jul-17
GOOD LUCK Kyle!!!!

From: njbuck
10-Jul-17
Best of luck Kyle! Make sure you take lots of pics for us to live vicariously through you!

From: osage
10-Jul-17
Sometimes I wish I had invested more wisely. Instead of buying the airplane, numerous boats, the Dodge diesel, 90 pairs of high heels ( for my wife, so don't start it ) , then I could go on these fabulous trips you guys talk about. Reminds me of the old cowboy who said " I spent most of my money on whisky and women, and the rest I just wasted".

From: Brotsky
10-Jul-17
Good luck Kyle! I hope to be able to do one sheep hunt in my lifetime. Most likely as you described sometime in my mid 50's. Just have to keep saving and keep grinding until then! Post up the pics of your hunt when you get back!

From: 3dirtdevils
10-Jul-17
Ron im in the same boat lol....was reading this post and had the same thoughts. Thought went through my mind if i was willing to sale my Cessna 170 to go on that oncw in a life time hunt? Dont think so....i was raised poor but worked hard for certain things that i enjoy. My sons will benefit when i pass on and will appreciate those boats and planes. That dream hunt would die with me unless i could afford to take them along. Elk will do for now, moose will be next.

From: APauls
10-Jul-17
If sheep had a rack maybe I'd wanna hunt them more ;)

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jul-17
APauls,

You put your hands around pair of bighorn sheep horns and your life will be changed forever.

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jul-17
Funny how things work out.

Earlier this year I'd planned on cutting back and only doing three hunts, all archery hunts. Two of those are elk hunts in OR and WA I'd bought at WSF Chapter banquets in 2015 and 2016. The other is an IL deer hunt where I arrowed a 165" Whitetail last year. The only reason I'm going back is because a Bowsite buddy went there with me and wanted to return again this year. How could I say 'No' on that?

But then the WSF banquet season came along and first I bought an OR muzzleloader blacktail hunt on-line at the Eastern WSF banquet auction for late this year. I got it for 50% of retail. One of the reasons for that, I'm sure, is that the hunt just an easy six-hour drive from Reno. For the folks back East, it's an all-day cross-country flight. There was tremendous discount value for me right there.

Then in early April, also on-line, I bought a 2018 AK Brown Bear hunt near Bristol Bay at the AK WSF auction. That also came at a discount, although not at a 50% discount.

Part of my thinking there was that Alaskans can do that hunt or a similar hunt for a LOT less than can non-residents. Which led me to believe there not might be much competition for that hunt.

So, as I wrote about in the feature, there can be some great values and opportunities at auctions. Pay attention and do your research!

From: Pigsticker
10-Jul-17
Kyle, Great article, it informed volumes compared to the everyday hunting magazine version of how to!

From: NvaGvUp
10-Jul-17
Wow!

Thank you, Michael!

That means a lot to me.

All I'm trying to do is pass along what I've learned over the past many decades so others can learn and benefit from it

From: Busta'Ribs
11-Jul-17

Busta'Ribs's embedded Photo
Busta'Ribs's embedded Photo
I've been fortunate to have done three sheep hunts, two trips to Canmore for Bighorn and one to Alaska for Dall. Luckily, I had great guides in great areas and now have both rams living here with me in New Jersey.

Total cost on all three hunts combined was less than $29K. That's what one Canmore hunt costs now. I did these hunts over a 10 year period by staying in shape, saving my money and making friends with the right people so when a late cancellation came up I got the call each time.

Where there's a will...

From: NvaGvUp
03-Aug-17
My outfitter called a couple of hours ago. The three hunters he had on the first hunt are all done and they have a lot of great rams spotted. He wants me to get up there ASAP.

It doesn't look like I can get a flight tomorrow, but Saturday is looking good.

From: Korey Wolfe
03-Aug-17
That is so awesome!

From: BULELK1
04-Aug-17
Good for you Kyle!!

Enjoy and be safe

Good luck, Robb

04-Aug-17
Great advice Kyle on the auction hunts. My friends dad gave me the same advice years ago. I have only found one hunt though that I was interested in yet. Good luck on your sheep hunt. I look forward to reading of your adventure.

04-Aug-17
Good luck Kyle and all the other sheep hunters hitting the hills this season!

From: TXHunter
04-Aug-17
Good luck Kyle!

I'm leaving early Sunday morning for Whitehorse via Vancouver. Then it's on to the backcountry on Tuesday for a 10 day quest for a nice Dall. C'mon clock - keep on ticking!

From: MQQSE
04-Aug-17

MQQSE's embedded Photo
Only 3 hours until Anchorage and then into the field tomorrow to wat for the opener on the 10th. I've always been an earlybird! Good luck to everyone else who is heading out this summer and fall.
MQQSE's embedded Photo
Only 3 hours until Anchorage and then into the field tomorrow to wat for the opener on the 10th. I've always been an earlybird! Good luck to everyone else who is heading out this summer and fall.

From: NvaGvUp
04-Aug-17
Adam,

Cool post.

For those who've never flown from Seattle to Anchorage, here's some advice:

On the flight up, get a starboard window seat.

On the flight back, get a port side window seat.

From: MQQSE
04-Aug-17

MQQSE's embedded Photo
Starboard!
MQQSE's embedded Photo
Starboard!
Darn good advice Kyle!

From: Pigsticker
04-Aug-17
I really have only three true drea hunts that are at the affordability factor. Yukon moose, it is not just the moose but the country. Brown bear and dall sheep with a bow. I have killed all three but two were rifle hunt and the moose were small meat hunt bulls. I have a good plan to afford one hunt a normal cost but will try to play the cancellation hunt price work for the second. If the wife would pass before I would then it would be easy peasy since I am set for retirement but counting on 401K to take care of her. All this information makes these true dream hunts a reality for the common man. As a young boy from the hills of West Virginia I used to dream of these hunts and could not fathom the thought of ever really be able to go but with ingenuity and perseverance many hunts I thought impossible came to reality. To all of the less fortunate try and live these hunts vicariously through fellow Bowsite members. Embrace their success and stories. These guys add fuel to my fire by turn their dreams into reality. Good luck to all and Godspeed to a safe return. I cannot wait to say wow and to drool at the animals and breath taking scenery.

From: NvaGvUp
04-Aug-17
Got my flight changed.

I'm outta' here at 12:44 tomorrow, via SFO to Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver, then head to Whitehorse to arrive at 10:57 on Sunday.

Take the charter to base camp Sunday afternoon, then it's 'Game On!'

From: TXHunter
04-Aug-17
I'll miss you by less than 24 hours. I arrive in Whitehorse 1:00 AM Monday morning.

Be safe and good luck!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Aug-17
Same to you, my friend!

From: NvaGvUp
04-Aug-17
This upcoming hunt of mine is proof positive why it's so important to always stay in great shape.

This cancellation hunt came up less than one month ago. I bought it, but I've needed to do nothing extra with my training beyond what I always do.

If that wasn't the case and I'd let myself get lazy and become a slug, no way could I ramp up for a sheep hunt in less than one month!

Get in shape and stay in shape! Make it a lifestyle, maintain your base and when an opportunity like this arises, your physical fitness will not be an issue.

"Never Give Away Your Base!"

Not ever!

From: NvaGvUp
05-Aug-17
My first flight was to SFO. I hadn't been there in three years. They remodeled the concourse and it's spectacular. Best I've ever seen.

United has a new lounge there as does AmEx. Both are well done and relaxing.

Flew to Vancouver with no issues and my baggage arrived on time.

Off to Whitehorse in the AM

From: NvaGvUp
05-Aug-17

From: TXHunter
20-Aug-17

TXHunter's embedded Photo
TXHunter's embedded Photo
I'll post up with my ram. Caveat: he's a rifle kill but still a dream come true.

From: BULELK1
20-Aug-17
WOW!!!!!

What a Ram

Good luck, Robb

20-Aug-17
Beautiful Congrats!

From: JRABQ
20-Aug-17
Nice Ram TX!

And good luck Kyle!

From: NvaGvUp
20-Aug-17
I'll post on the hunt as soon as I'm not too sleepy to post!

From: Sandbrew
20-Aug-17
Congrats!

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