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How many is to many?
I am getting a lot of offers for help for my NV desert bighorn hunt. Assuming guys are good hunters and smart how many is to many? My thought is 3 guys (1 hunter and 2 helpers).
Your thoughts? I know this is a vague question but lets here some thoughts.
2's company and 3's a crowd ..
I've never hunted sheep, but I've used that mantra in the past.
Actually three is a very good number as long as everyone is a team player. 4 would be overkill, I'd hunt 3 all day no worries!!
It is fun to share this hunt with others. The animals are visible, the weather is usually decent, and the excitement is contagious. That said, too many people can be a pain.
You will likely want one experienced hunter at your side on the stalk. Having spotters keeping an eye on your chosen ram is very helpful. If you are having difficulty finding a quality ram, then is it nice to be able to send a couple helpers to a different area to glass.
Enjoy your hunt. These don't happen often enough.
When I had a desert sheep tag in CO I had a few people want to help which I was very appreciative of. I had a couple people help at different times during the hunt which I thought was helpful will glassing and locating sheep. But when I killed mine I was solo and don't think I would have killed that ram if I had someone tagging along as I went way back in the wilderness to get it. It would have helped to have someone there to help pack it out. I would only take one person who is just as determined for you to kill a ram as you are.
It can definitely help to have extra people glassing in different part of the unit to help locate rams. Not sure you can have too many, as long as everyone has a plan on where they are going and spread out well.
It can also help to have at least two people set up in a good glassing location far enough away to not bother the sheep and give you signals. For that, it usually helps to have several guys behind glass watching the sheep and the hunter.
See a lot of pictures with a whole crew in the background - particularly with desert sheep. I always wonder how that works to have that many people on a hunt. Most of the time it appears to be a rifle kill that would be easier. You will want to do your stalk solo - much less for the sheep to see, smell or hear.
Depends on the terrain. In Mexico, it wasn't uncommon for six of us to glass from our starting point. Once we located a shooter ram, two people (bowhunter and guide) made the approach. If necessary, once inside of 100 yards, bowhunter might close alone. The great thing about extra people is the extra eyes for glassing, and if you have at least three people, one can stay back and flag you into the ram....
I think Treeline is right on. A few extra guys to glass the country & only a select one or two for the stalk at most. Just pick wisely, sometimes personalities can spoil a good time.
I watched a video on you tube where the guide and hunter were working a ram, but they had guys with a radio giving directions to the ram from afar. That would be illegal in my state. It really bothered me to see that. Hand signals, OK, but the radio thing bugged me a lot.
The use of radios and phones to guide the hunter to the animal during the hunt would also prevent it from being eligible for entry to most all records programs, including Pope & Young. I believe even people glassing and then calling or radioing the hunter to come and look at a particular ram (that they then proceed to take) would also be disqualifying.
My 2 cents - many kill pix of desert sheep with really obscene horns show an army of helpers. The reason appears to be density is low in the desert and time to hunt is limited. You almost can't have too many eyes in the area to try to locate sheep, if the spotters know what they're doing and the logistics of a group can be handled. Even if you locate a potential target once, it can 'vanish' at any time, and then you're back to trying to relocate it.
I'd defer to guys who've actually done the hunts regarding the up-close-and-personal phase. Seems like the fewer the better. Unless they walk like an indian if I can hear them so can the sheep.
Blowhards, clowns, or whiners can put a serious dent in any hunt. If I was working with 'volunteers', I'd make it very clear who was calling the shots and that they understood and were comfortable with that scenario. Eyes from afar could be a big help, and the extended timeframe of chasing a trophy can result in individuals rotating in/out.
Possible P&Y and B&C disqualification for any remote signaling is interesting. Stick, know anybody in those organizations who can provide the skinny on that?
Stickflicker is a long tenured official Measurer as am I and if electronics are used to direct the hunter it is not considered fair chase. The fair chase rules are available to anyone on www.pope-young.org
Good luck Don! C
It's not "any remote signaling" as you mention, it's "...the use of electronics for attracting, locating, or pursuing game, or guiding the hunter to such game..." (pertinent part of P&Y Fair Chase rule). Electronics includes radios and phones for locating or guiding the hunter to the game. The use of hand signals is fine.
Good spotters are a YUGE asset on a sheep hunt.
So are guys who can help you pack out the ram once he's on the ground.
I have been on many Sheep hunts, some my tags and mostly getting an invite to take the tag holder scouting (my home state Rocky Ram units BARETOP & Sheep Creek, plus 1 hunt in Az./Vermillion Cliffs-D-Ram) and then spend a couple days during the hunt with them.
I am looking at this from the guy with experience/knowledge focus......not from the Newbie sheep hunter.
The guys that bring a crowd of novice tag along 'friends' is the guy that wants a bunch of hero antics and pats on the back after the harvest. I am not comfortable with that type of hunter......typically a gun hunter.
The very best hunts have been with guys that brings his wife or a son/daughter and that is all.
Any bow hunter knows that the less people the better when stalking/harvesting a Ram or any species most prolly.
So I would suggest that the guy out of all these guys that want to go with you-----that guy will come out to the Mandatory Sheep Orientation with you and then go scout your unit with you and be a part of the hunt from the get-go as many of the others will have a change of mind as Nov/Dec get here.
Pick your people wisely. As BULELK1 stated, everyone says they want to help, but when it comes down to it, they end up not being able to go. Get firm commitments from people you can trust. And make sure those that come along on your adventure know what their role will be - not everyone gets in on the kill.
I think it's less about the number of people (to a certain point) and more about who you select to come with and how clear you are about what is expected of them, and what you won't tolerate. Just a thought - if you know anyone willing to take on the role, it might be nice to have someone around to cook food and take care of camp while you're out hunting. That's always a drag to get back late and still have to make dinner, start a fire, etc.
I would think a big consideration with number of helpers would be the type of country, and the type of guys helping out. If it is super open country (which most desert country is) it may be pretty easy to spook smart ole rams out of the country...and a lot easier to spook if there is a large group of guys or scattered group of novice guys hiking all over the hills. The name of the game for most sheep hunts is glass....glass...and more glass. If guys are randomly hiking around spooking sheep rather than spending quality time behind glass they may do a lot more harm than good! If there are miles upon miles of country with few sheep it may help having a larger group of quality spotters spread out over a larger area. With that said, there is a lot of self-satisfaction out of researching, scouting, and doing it all on your own...or with just 1 or 2 buddies!
You haven't stated whether you plan to kill your ram with a bow. If so, I think you'd want the help to be experienced and dedicated archery hunters themselves, fully aligned with, and supportive of, your bow-hunting goal.
I think it is very obvious as when the OP posted that -- ---
'Love these female hunts! In the last few years 2 cow elk in WY, cow bison, nanny ibex, now ewe. "
AND not 1 of these "Easy ladies' hunts was harvested with his bow-----
No doubt like stated many years now on the Bow Site ~~ He is the best 'Gun Hunter' on the Bow Site....
Good luck, Robb
The experience level and attitude of your helpers is far more important than how many they are!
Good luck buddy....
One or two dependable guys are a great asset. Too many and there will be distractions. You need to stay focused on the task, not play ring leader.
Depends on the skill set of the individuals and the type of hunt, car-camp, back-pack, base-camp, horseback, fly-in. I've been on a couple Cali bighorn hunts where 3-4 was the magic #. For Deserts, up to 6 guys. Less is more with Dall sheep, 3 dudes max, and dude #3 better have some secret ninja skills.
If they don't bring unique skill(s) to the table, they're unnecessary.
Don't let their goals become your goals. You're not obligated to fulfill anyone's vicarious needs on a once in a lifetime permit.
Maybe it's a bit like the fisherman's ad looking for a wife - "must have fishing boat, send picture of boat'. "Must have spotting scope, sent details on scope", or 4wd etc. Obviously guides who are familiar with the unit and have pre scouted it etc. are a big asset to a hunter, so the question might be who/what combo gets you the best equivalent of that? An example, thinking this might be the year to finally score a Swaro spotter, how is theirs. How are their eyes? As pointed out above, somebody who can cook for a group would be a big asset also - one less logistical thing to have to deal with on top of the typical first-light, last-light hunting schedule (or does that go away somewhat looking for sheep in a non-summer heat scenario?). Are these guys going to pay their full freight including food, or do you think you'd be covering that end for them? How much time can they commit? Desert sheep seems like a siege as much as a hunt - I keep reading about 2+ week hunts, particularly diy. Can somebody get out there early before the weather starts to limit access etc? It could be that a location that is a total pia to get to is a really good area (funny how that works out). You don't want to put your eggs in that basket if you don't have some intel steering you there tho. And for sure any guys that don't know their north from south, or need to be babysat at all are out unless maybe they are the camp cookie. So gear and experience, some skills, and the ability to get along with a bunch of alpha wolves under probably stressful circumstances. Easy peaty