Contributors to this thread:
Canmore Trip Report Simpson Sheep Co.
I've just returned from a wild and epic 15 day adventure in Canmore with Simpson Sheep Company. Most archery sheep hunters regard Canmore as the best place in the world to bowhunt rutting Bighorn rams late in the season but it comes at a price, in more ways than one.
Unfortunately, I'm not in the same financial bracket as most traveling sheep hunters. The only way I can ever dream of doing a trip like this is on a cancellation deal. As some of you may know, I got a chance back in 2004 to hunt with Simpson on a last minute cancellation but missed my opportunity at a nice mid-160's ram.
That shot has haunted me for 6 long years.
I begged Flint Simpson to keep me in mind, should another opportunity become available. I stayed in touch with him and spoke to others who knew Flint and made sure he knew I was serious about getting back up there someday.
Well, after 6 long years I got the call. One of Flint's 2010 hunters (he only has 4 tags) had suffered a torn bicep and could not make it this year.
I made a completely irresponsible decision and took the hunt.
I had a month to get ready but this time I was already in sheep shape, having just returned from a NWT Mountain Caribou hunt.
That month flew by and on Nov. 16th I finally found myself back in this legendary place.
Awe this is gonna be good! Mike
Looking forward to the rest.
Ur living my dream! Continue please! JJ
Looking forward to this!!!!
Sweet! I made an irresponsible decision about sheep this year also and it turned out well. Hope the same for you!!
Love these kind of stories. Keep the updates coming!
I hope you are typing.....we are getting antsy!
My hike to base camp began the next morning. Although I had two weeks to get this done, I was anxious to get to camp in the morning and have time for an afternoon hunt.
We arrived in camp mid day Wednesday, Nov. 17th.
Life is short.....regardless of outcome, you made the right call.....but I am betting on you to get the job done this time!!
My guide for this hunt was Allan Douglas. Allan runs his own Bighorn hunts in Alberta but is finished his outfitting in time to guide for Flint in November.
They don't make them any better than Allan. This guy is absolutely perfect as a sheep guide. Quiet confidence, hard work, constant attention to my needs and relentless determination made my hunt a wonderful experience.
I love this man.
Any idea what your pack weighed? It looks pretty full. Keep the story coming.
"I love this man."
O my,he did kill a good one...:)
Fellas I gotta bad feelin Chris is gonna torture us with a strung out thread... I may hafta wish the fleas of a thousand camels on him if he strings it out too bad. LOL, Mike
Here is the view from camp. We have two drainages we can hunt from this location. This steep chute led way up to a basin that has a good south facing meadow where the sheep often feed in late season. We hiked up soon after we dumped our sleeping bags and some other gear to get the hunting started.
We saw no rams but we did see two ewes and a lamb up in the meadow so at least we had some bait in the water.
It started out near zero when we left town but we could feel a different level of cold starting to set in as we returned to camp that first evening. I slept way cold that night and would have to tweak my sleeping clothing to get a better sleep.
I've never seen anyone have to peel raw eggs before but this was the way day two started.
Absolutely everything was frozen solid but nonetheless, Al whipped us up a great breakfast.
Chris, I,m gonna make a promise to the other guys on here-- If you hold out on us too long, I'm gonna come over, kidnap ya and chain you to my computer until you finish, lol. Can't wait for the rest of the story! Thanks for sharing. Bill V.
Man did it get COLD around the 19-23rd or so....WOW.
Right after breakfast, as I was getting my boots on, Al came flying into the tent and said one word, "Rams!".
I jumped up and ran out with one boot on and saw 4 sheep heading down the chute directly towards our tent. I scrambled to grab my bow and strap on my release as they approached.
I got ready just in time as they passed by at 40 yards. Al glassed the last one, which turned out to be the only ram in the group, but it was quickly apparent that he was not what we were looking for.
I was so close to another quick finish but I had told Al early on that I really did not want to shoot a barely legal ram. I really wanted something mature and was prepared to go home empty again if we could not find one.
But it was certainly an exciting way to start our first full hunting day.
This was my view as I flew out of the tent, the sheep in a string coming down the chute in the center of the photo.
Thanks Jim,that is a nice one! :)
You know Kelly, one of these day's we're gonna have to explain that inside joke.
Anyway, we decided to hunt the second drainage today. Here's Al leading up the creek. We had a few inches of new snow and very cold temps. Not sure how cold as neither of us had a thermometer, which would turn out to be a good thing.
This country can make you feel awfully small.
We reached a good glassing position way up the valley and although the day started out bluebird clear, things changed fast as the weather closed in. Both the snow and the temps continued falling throughout the afternoon. I was wearing everything I brought except my sleeping bag.
Unfortunately, we saw no more sheep today. But the weather did clear as we descended back down the valley toward camp. Hopefully this change would hold for tomorrows hunt.
When we reached camp we found 4 new sets of sheep tracks, including one ram, within 25 yards of the tent. They led back up the drainage where the sheep had come down at first light. It didn't make much sense that the same sheep would make a big loop and head back up the mountain but who knows? We were hoping it was a different group with a bigger ram.
At least we had a plan for tomorrow.
Hey! I recognize that camp!
Can't wait to hear 'the rest of the story!'
Yeh, spent a cold hard week in that camp too..boots actually froze to the floor boards one night. Later someone in town said it was -38 in Canmore that night.
Only camp I've been in that had a shitter made of rocks...nice view tho.
Please hurry I want to hear the rest!
I agree with Michael Jackson Sr. (MJS)
lets get this show on the road Busta...lol
i told u to borrow my gear u look cold in the pics,,,
Simply wonderful so far Chris!
Happy for ya.
Good luck, Robb
For you guys who've not been there, Flint Simpson is unbelievable. He's got long legs, is fairly thin and is an animal.
When I was there in 2003, Frank Simpson was my guide, but Flint hunted with us a couple of times. The first night of the hunt, we had 22" of snow in Canmore, with 3-4 feet higher up. A couple of days later the three of us were heading up and around a mountain in deep, deep snow, with Flint breaking trail. As many of you know, I'm in great shape and Frank has been doing this all his life. We were moving at a very good pace. But even so, Flint was so far ahead of us we couldn't even see him. Frank and I stopped for a couple of minutes and started joking about Flint.
Then Frank told me a story. As those who've hunted there may know, Flint spends much of his winter hunting lions in those mountains for the Alberta government. Frank said that one day a few years earlier, he and a couple of other guys were trying to follow Flint and the dogs after a lion when they ran into a couple of hikers.
Frank asked the hikers if they'd seen Flint. Their answer was, "Yeah. He went by here about 30 minutes ago and the dogs were following him!" LOL
A couple interesting photos of a cave we saw on the way back up towards the sheep meadow on the morning of day 3.
Wonder how many animals have partied in here?
Another look at the chute, going up.
This time there was a ram in the meadow with the ewes.
We needed a closer look at him. You can see the meadow in the upper right of this photo.
Chris it's almost like being there with you keep the story coming!
This was gonna be one beautiful day in the mountains.
Unfortunately, this ram was also not what we were looking for. Here he is keeping track of one of his girlfriends.
We were easily able to get within bow range of this ram, which was encouraging. It's just too bad he wasn't old enough.
Great read so far carnt wait for more man there is some snow on the ground Thanks Shane
Fantastic adventure so far Chris...Can't wait to hear the outcome.
Time for a hot buttered rum by the fire and wait for the chilling conclusion.... what a great icy adventure! Let me guess Chris, if you get your ram soon there is no way you are going to rush into canmore when you can eat frozen eggs :)
In 2003 my guide and I were sitting in that exact meadow where that ram and girl friend are. We waded out there thru 3 or 4 foot of snow, sat down to watch a ram just in the trees to the right. (never could see if he was big enough). While there, the sun was out, bright and shiny while we ate our frozen sandwitches and lunch. Thought I would check my thermometer that I carried on my pack...it had bottomed out at -20 degrees F ..sitting in full sun.
Saturday the 20th dawned clear and very cold. This was day 4 in camp for Al and I. We were hoping the frigid weather would get the big rams moving.
We decided to push a bit further up the west drainage and hike to a knife-like ridge above the sheep meadow which would give us a commanding view of the eastern drainage. This way we could keep track of the sheep activity in both areas we've been hunting.
We passed another (or maybe the same) small ram in the meadow on the way up.
He was feeding heavy and could care less about us as we circled above him.
Getting up to this high, narrow ridge was a little spooky and the steepness and sharpness of the ground dropping off on both sides of where I stood took some getting used to.
But the view was just spectacular.
Nothing like a toasted PB&J at 20 below!
I did have to wait a while for a drink to wash it down though. My bladder bag would have been totally useless on this trip and even Al's extra wide mouth bottle was frozen solid. Part of each mid-day activity included toasting our lunches and thawing water bottles.
We spotted no sheep in the east drainage but there were lots of tracks. We did see one very active Mountain Goat (Billy) that was cruising all over the valley but we still thought some of those tracks must have been made by sheep.
We descended late in the afternoon, again passing the resident sheep in the meadow on our way back to camp.
We discovered that camp had been raided by a Pine Martin while we were up the mountain today. Luckily, he only tore up our trash bags.
Flint later mentioned that he woke up one night with one of these little pests running across his chest while he was buried deep in his sleeping bag in this camp.
Caribou steak for dinner tonight ended day 4...
I keep checkin this thread like a fat kid waitin on cake! Mike
Once again, beverages were an issue.
The old frozen water bottle trick!
When we were there last year every night for 2 hours was spent melting snow for water and then wrapping water bottles in jackets in our packs...next trip will see me with a thermos.
We at least had a creek nearby, so the snow melting was unnecessary (at least for now, stay tuned), but having everything frozen solid did make the meal prep interesting.
I shot my moose last week (Nov 23) and it was -37 C...i have a feeling you know all about that kind off cold too after this trip :)
The next two days produced more bone numbing cold and a lot of hard hiking and glassing, but unfortunately, no big rams.
Oh, and a lot of Snot-cicles.
Our mid day campfires kept having to get bigger.
And more clothes/layers were necessary.
We later learned that it was 40 below...down in town. We were literally sleeping in an ice box.
Time to break out the "Savage" headgear.
After 6 or 7 days with no big rams sighted we decided to pull the pin and head back to town. One hunter had been hunting out of Flint's condo and had been getting into some good rams. It seems like there is a bit of a migration when the temps and snow get extreme here.
The ewes head lower and the rams follow. The road through Canmore is frequently covered with sheep, eating the grass in the ditches and licking the salt off the highway.
A hot shower and warm bed would be a welcome change but I was not looking forward to leaving the mountains and competing with other hunters sighting sheep from the road.
Part two of our hunt was about to begin.
-40 is -40, no matter F or C.
All temps referred to are F.
Back in town now and some time to recharge the batteries. Also time to do some soul searching regarding what I really want out of this hunt. Obviously, I want to kill a mature ram. The question is, am I prepared to do what it takes to get the job done?
Living in the condo and all it's comforts is really tempting, especially in these extreme conditions. But hunting from town and traveling to new glassing spots by truck, well to me, it's really not sheep hunting.
Now, lots of rams have been killed this way here, I know that. But if I'm not suffering, am I really still sheep hunting?
We can literally glass and set up the spotting scope from the house. I don't know, we spent two days in the comfort of town but ironically, it was there that I was most uncomfortable.
Flint mentioned how many guys fall into the comforts of home here in town. Wine in the evenings before dinner, no big hikes until a legal ram is spotted, and of course, a warm bed and shower every day.
But you also have to hike from the bottom every time you want to hunt, plus you obviously dramatically increase the odds of competition if a nice ram is spotted because chances are, someone else is also looking through their spotting scope as well and the race is on.
Spoken like a "True sheep hunter"...this is gonna get good!
Keep it coming Busta
We did see a lot of sheep though, and were able to get very, very close to a few of them. But again, not quite big enough.
This guy put on quite a show for us. 25 yards.
Jim told me of all your hours of hard training , go get um ,,, canmore can get in your blood what a place to be ....
Here is where the story telling is gonna get tough. I (and all of you) have to respect the fact that these sheep spots are very hard earned, highly coveted and intensely protected. My photos from this point forward could easily reveal details that would give away many of Flint's hard earned honey-holes and I heard enough stories about spots that they "used to hunt" that I refuse to be responsible for giving up anything that may put extra pressure on these areas.
Sorry but that's the way it has to be.
Anyway, part two of our hunt (the comfy house part) had to end.
Earlier in the hunt another one of Flint's guide's and hunter had discovered an area that held some very good rams. The other hunter came very, very close to killing one of them but after spiking out on the mountain there for one night, did not want to return.
It's a very difficult spot to hunt and it really can't be done in a day from the house. But there is no comfy wall tent there so it's backpack all the way.
Al and I hiked in there on Thanksgiving day on a recon mission and found the sheep. Lots of them. And lots of rams. Big ones.
We returned the next day with a tent, stove, food and sleeping bags.
We were about to begin part three of this hunt and we were back in the game.
Man oh man....truly an awesome adventure buddy. Cant wait to hear about Part 3 of the hunt!
No more cozy wood stove and no creek for our water. It's melting snow....
....and Mountain House from here on out.
After a long, hard, all day push to get here I dove into my bag and bundled up. It was a cold night sleeping on the ground but this is the sight I awoke to.
My loyal and new best friend Al, getting the fire going and making the coffee. He is truly the best of the best.
This is fun. Looks like it is really really hard in many ways. Good luck! C
Getting ready for the morning's hunt.
Could this be the day?
Stay away from the plain oatmeal packet. Tastes like drywall spackle.
Jumbo. This is why I came here.
I've dreamed of a mature Bighorn Sheep for as long as I can remember. I've been very fortunate to have hunted for quite a few awesome species in North America but this is the very top of my lifetime wish list.
I really cant put into words how much it would mean to me to take a ram like this with my bow. But I also know just being there, hunting them is such a privilege that if I couldn't kill a big ram, it would still be a fulfilling adventure.
STOP STOP i cant take it ,,, I want to go back ..Look at that canmore beast look how steeeeeppppppp wow thats sheep hunting
Thank you for this great story... I'm sure anyone following this has a solid glimpse of what it takes to live this dream bowhunt and really hope you get your giant ram!! I now wonder how many guys die or get seriously hurt trying? Looks like you might need petons and rope to get to that one!
Busta you are doing a Fantastic job telling the story. Thank you for sharing.
Chris, you're making me want to make a call and get out the check book!
I love hunts like this the harder and tougher the sweeter success is IMO.
Can't wait for the grand finally!
This is an awesome story to follow.
I really hate to admit this since I'd like to think I am a relatively hard individual. However, I don't think I am man enough to handle what you did. You have my RESPECT sir.
You do need to pick up the pace with this stry though:)
this was a 15 day hunt. how many days will it take to post the entire story? :)
I think his fingers got frostbite and he's typing with a pencil in his mouth.
bowboy - you crack me up! thanks for the laugh.
Just when I think I've read the best adventure I've ever read on Bowsite, along comes another...
Just think fellas while we are here reading and waiting he probably has a ram at the taxidermist right now. What do you think full mount or shoulder. Busta you put together an awesome story. i can't wait for more.
don't rush. people do week long live hunts on this site that don't hold candle to ths thread in terms of detail, emotion, and photo quality. i am freezing my ass of just reading it and looking at the photos.
take your time and do it right. this thread will live for decades on the site.
a true classic to this point...................
"i am freezing my ass of just reading it and looking at the photos. take your time and to it right. this thread"
What he said!!!! Man this is great!
Fantastic story so far. I dont think the average person realizes how cold, and what it's like at 40 below.
Of the things I dont care for, Deep cold is top of the list. There's just no escaping it. And to sleep on the ground in that temp,This dude is tougher than I am..
Awesome thread!!!!! Sitting here at work waiting for more!!!! Truly a amazing country!!!
This is cool. In a good way. My mind can't wrap around those temps. Really can't.
I also know how cameras flatten mountain slopes. That's some serious country.
What an adventure. Thanks a ton for sharing.
How much fo happy ending please?
Awesome story! No matter the outcome, this hunt is something you'll always remember. I live in Manitoba, and it gets to -40 sometimes. And let me tell you, there is hardly a way to keep warm in that kinda temps. And if it gets a bit breezy, forget it!! So, not even sure which part of the brain you froze to not feel that kinda cold and still think hunting in it was a good idea, but if you can tell me it'd be much appreciated!! Might make winters here a bit more bearable! Haha! Great story so far! Much respect.
In those temps I would be a little nervous of my bow blowing up as I draw it back. 30 below in grand lake co is the coldest I have been in quit my job the next day and moved to Chile for a few months.
I think he 'froze' or maybe his computer did...Great stuff!
"In those temps I would be a little nervous of my bow blowing up as I draw it back."
I was thinking the same thing. Busta, what was your setup and how did the severe cold affect its performance?
We were now deep in the game, with big rams sighted every day from our new spike camp. The mountain we were hunting however was very steep and treacherous and we were pretty limited in where we could go.
It was a bit frustrating, we had traveled so many miles, hiked up and down so many steep mountains and endured such extreme elements, but we had not located any mature rams. But now, here they were on the same mountain as us, but mostly, all we could do was watch them and drool.
Our hunting strategy here was simple, we got into a safe position on the mountain each day where we knew the sheep were traveling, and we waited them out. They were spending most of their time in inaccessible areas but there were a few safe spots we could reach where we had seen them for short periods of time as they fed and rutted.
We were running out of time and I was praying that all our hard work would finally produce an opportunity. It simply had to happen; anything else would just be unfair.
Chris what day is it how many days have u been hunting ,, Many would have broke down , both body and mind ...
You're a gifted man...Very happy for you! I know you sacrifice much to do these hunts. Good on ya!
Again I ask. Why not another pic of you sunbathing in the "enhanced" speedos? It doesn't look THAT cold....
Great story. GREAT story.
"Why not another pic of you sunbathing in the "enhanced" speedos? It doesn't look THAT cold....Ki-Ke"
Please dear god don't go there! Mike
Who ever offered to go over to his house and force him to finish this I will spot you gas money.
This is all great but the true measure of any man is how quickly he can peck out a story and hit submit.....:)
U da man Chris!
Agreed Genesis. Evidently he is setting their staring at his sheep horns instead of typing. :)
OK I just got back to this and it is incredible, thanks for doing this Chris!!!
I had been drawing my bow numerous times daily throughout the hunt to make sure the cold would not effect my equipment. I managed to take a few practice shots with a judo whenever I could find something soft enough to shoot into.
On the morning of Saturday the 27th we got to our ridgetop honey-hole and when I drew my bow I heard something screech in my release. It was frozen solid and would not trigger. It took me a while to get it thawed and I knocked out a big ice chunk from the trigger area. I held my breath and tested it and all was well.
Equipment failures in super cold weather have cost me many chances in the past and I knew this time it would be different.
I looked at Al and said "we are going to kill a ram today".
Well, our strategy finally paid off.
We were glassing a bunch of sheep below us on a high jagged ridge when a ewe appeared less than 80 yards away, working her way up towards our position.
Thankfully, a big ram was following.
They got below us and behind a little clump of spruce and disappeared. We waited forever and then I saw legs through the spruce, twenty yards away.
As the big ram cleared the spruce trees I came to full draw, knowing it was now or never.
But it was not to be.
He must of saw me drawing my bow and he quickly dropped back over the edge and out of my life forever.
But thank god this awesome ram was right behind him!
I was at full draw when this much bigger ram stepped out and my shot found the mark, a little far back but definitely a fatal hit.
I turned to Al and started hugging him and jumping up and down like a little kid.
Allan Douglas, super guide!
The mass on this ram was insane.
Sorry to keep you hanging all day.
One more look and Al and I and our hard earned trophy of a lifetime.
Great Ram!! Great story!! Congrats! Can't wait to try that myself.
THATS WHAT IM TALKIN BOUT!
Congrats man that thing is a giant.
Congrats!! An amazing hunt!
Great Ram! Thanks for sharing, I was updating this thread all day to see the end. Congrats!
AWESOME!!! Congrats on a bruiser of a ram!!!!
Words can't describe how awesome this story was to me. Congratulations for being one tough and determined sob!!!! Nice job, and great photos.
By far the greatest thread I have ever read on this site!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing and a million congrats on an absolute trophy of a lifetime. I am the most jealous man in the world right now. Thanks again for taking us along.
Great read and a great ram.
Congrats to you and Allan...an awesome team effort!
great story. i hope you write an article on this and submit it to a few magazines. one of the better ones i've ever read.
AWESOME STORY!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for the great read, great pics, and great time i spent reading your experience on a great hunt. one of the best stories ive read in a long time and that ram is a GIANT!!!!! hope to one day get my own ram.
What a BRUTE!! Congrats Busta on a well deserved ram and a dream come true. You worked hard for it and paid your dues. I don't know anything about scoring/judging these beasts, but he sure looks like he has exceptional mass compared to others I've seen.
Thanks for sharing the story and pictures. It's likely as close to the real thing as many of us will ever see.
Fabulous effort and result.
Congratulations. It couldn't have happened any other way.
Great job, I couldn't be more happy about the result...and the fact that you kept all your clothes on this time.
Great accomplishment and fantastic trophy photo's. BB will be proud! Congrats! C
Great story! Great Ram! Just awesome!
Hope to see you in Reno in February at the Sheep Show!
Chris, UNBELIEVABLE! What a wonderful story and lifetime memory! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on a tremendous ram! Your utmost respect and gratitude for Allen was well conveyed and something you will never forget. Teamwork, great job guys! Tom
Wow! That should be holy wow!!! Congrats...
Ahhhh.... happy ending....
Great story, exceptional ram! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Congrats on the achievement of a lifetime. No small thing that....
Busta this has to be the best post i have read on bowsite that ram have out of this world mass Thanks Shane
I wish every thread was this good! Great pics and an incredible animal, congrats!
When all the well deserved congratulations settle down, please walk us through your gear (likes/dislikes/don't leave home without's) and the do's and don't for extremee cold weather hunts.
Wow, what an incredible advenute, and the ram of a lifetime. Congratulations!
Great job Chris!! Congrats on a fantastic ram and write-up. You surely deserved this one. Elliott
Wow that there sheep was definitly worth the work you put in to it. Incredible.
Great Sheep and great story. That's the trophy of several lifetimes there. I can only imagine the satisfaction of holding those horns in your hands and turning the head back and forth.
Wow, unbelievable. A big HUGE congrats on a very hard earned trophy. Man that thing has got some wagon wheels for horns!
What a toad! The smile on your frozen face says it all. Pretty cool how you can see the growth rings well with the snow inside of them. What vest is that? Congrats again.
Dude....wow! Congrats Chris, that is seriously the pinnacle of bowhunting in my opinion. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Good job stud.
Wow, that thing is huge, how old would he be? Looks really old to me. Great story, congrats.
WOW! Incredible! Thanks for sharing. I felt like I was along for the ride. WOW!
Awesome ram,Awesome hunt and the way you told the story made me feel like we were there. Congratulations, that is a achievement of a lifetime.You will remember every detail of that hunt for years to come.
Ditto what TD said Dittoing what Matt said
That's an oustanding ram! Congrats you earned it!
The Toadometer just went to RED!
Amazing hunt...amazing animal!
I'm heading up next Nov,so you have exponentially passed the baton!
Congrats,what an accomplishment....
As a kid,AquaMan was my hero
This year I'm asking Santa for some Busta'Ribs Underoos...in 4X
Great read! What an amazing experience.
WOW!! That is a huge ram. Congrats!!
Off the charts awesome!!!! What were the mass measurements on that bad boy???
"As a kid,AquaMan was my hero
This year I'm asking Santa for some Busta'Rib Underoos...in 4X"
That is quite possibly the funniest post EVER on bowsite...along with the best thread!
Extreme cold weather bowhunts always seem to be the most memorable.....and they sure make you appreciate a hot shower and a warm soft bed when you get back to civilization, don't they?
Great ram, great story of a well earned ram! Congrats!
Well done on all fronts Busta! Congrats on a tremendous trophy!
Now THAT's Bow Hunting. You're the real deal man, kudos and congrats!
Bill in MI
How did you get that bad boy down the mtns??? Put it on your back and go down in a sled??? Now that would be a sight!!
Absolutely awesome adventure!!! Thanks for taking us along.
Congrats on a great adventure and ram !! and thanks for the story, Fish
Congratulations, truly awesome hunt, story, and ram! The stuff Canmore dreams are made of.
Thanks for all the kind comments guys. I'm really trying hard to get life back to normal but my head and my heart are still in those mountains.
I sat on my couch in the dark this morning with those horns in my lap and truly, I can't even try to put that feeling into words.
My dearest friend and mentor once told me "don't anyone steal your dreams", and he was right.
I'm just a normal hard working guy, like most of you here, but I dream a lot bigger than most would think possible. I really can't afford to play this game but where there's a will there's a way.
This photo is in the bedroom I stayed in at Flints house.
The pack off the mountain with the ram was an ordeal to say the least. This is a really steep, nasty place and there is only one way to go and that's down, down, down.
We had all of our gear except for the tent and stove with us so our packs were heavy before we added the ram.
My pack was way heavier than what could have been called a safe load in this spot but Al's pack was just unbelievably heavy. I had to help him get to his feet after every break.
It was a really dicey extraction, to say the least. We started our day at 6 am and rolled into Flint's garage at 1 am the next day.
I soon realized that sitting down during our breaks was harder than just standing (actually, the getting back up was the hard part) so I discovered that I could take the weight off my back by bending and resting the ram's horns on the top of my hiking pole grips.
Flint's three other hunters all had solid opportunities and we could have very easily been 4 for 4 but we all know how fine the line is between being close and looking up ones nose.
Unfortunately, my ram was the only one packed off the mountain this year but it may wind up being the best they've taken in a long, long time.
He is 39x16 on both sides, green score was 184 and change and he was aged at 10 1/2.
I'll post a gear review thread soon.
Thanks again for all the kind comments.
Congratulations! That is a beautiful ram! What an adventure!
Congrats on a great hunt!
Could you tell us about your clothing you used on this hunt?
Hunt of the year IMO! Congrats again, Chris. This story has me dreaming too.....
"This year I'm asking Santa for some Busta'Ribs Underoos...in 4X"
Now, damn, that was funny!
Without a doubt, this is the best part of Bowsite. Thanks for such a great adventure story. Not many guys could endure those conditions. Congrats on a well deserved ram!
Can't wait for the equipment review.
You and Al are Da MEN!! Well deserved and a great message for all young hunters about dreams, perseverance and determination.... something tells me you live your life like you sheep hunt... the most telling part of the story is when you said once you were in town how you "felt more comfortable being in the mountains"... an inspiring and captivating thread..so glad you made the effort to share with us!! Thanks again!!
Great story & a beautiful ram!The best ever thread here on Bowsite! Congratulations,David
Well done Chris, that cold 10 days of weather we had sure was brutal. Congratulations. You put in your time, were prepared and got a great ram. What is really impressive is the photos you got when it was so brutally cold. Great job, wonderful pictures and story and thanks for sharing.
Look forward to your gear report... resting the rams horns on the poles was genius... yes, necessity is the mother of invention!! :)
I know this is a hunt that I will never do, so thanks for taking me along. When we use the word AWESOME to describe this hunt, it has been earned. Thanks again for caring us along. Congratulations!
one of the best reads in a while. that is insane persevearence and well deserved
I remember a similar picture from years back of you admiring someone's else's Ram horns at Flint's.
Little did you know that you would not only get to hunt Bighorns again but shoot one that dwarfs that set.
Life's little twists can be amazing.You deserve it.
Outstanding story telling and a WELL earned AMAZING ram. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!
Holy Crap Chris, Congrats, I hope to see that ram someday! Bill V.
a quick question chris.....with those brutally cold temps, did you drop the draw weight on your bow from what you normally shoot??
What a great post and story! What an experience! Congrats on a well-earned trophy of a lifetime.
this is amazing. What an incredible feat of endurance and skill. Im very impressed. Congratulations sir on a once in a lifetime trophy
You are truely an inspiration to us all! Congrats to you on such a fine animal and such determination and hard work to achieve it! I know nothing about sheep hunting, however this has got to be one of the most captivating and jaw dropping hunting adventure stories i think ive ever read.
Im only 20 but ive dreamt of hunting the rocky mountains for Bighorns or Dalls someday...your story just sealed the deal for me. I will
Thanks for sharing
Chris: Are Marco Polo rams next on your bucket list, if so I'd be interested! U the man!
Great story, congratulations and thanks for sharing.
Many thanks for posting this. As Bou said, I froze my A$$ off just paging through the posts. You clearly earned this great ram. You story inspires me to train harder and hope for the chance someday to walk in your tracks there. Congrats again.
Unbelievable ram. Congratulations. You are one tough cookie to endure the Canmore elements. Would love to hear your recommendations as far as equipment needed. Way to go! Is that one of the bigger rams ever taken in the Canmore??
Awesome thread, Awesome Ram! Congratulations on a great success story!
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
Wow! Wow! Wow!
You are one tough dude to endure a hunt like that. Congrats!
Chris, congratulations just isn't enough! WOW! great story, great ram, great adventure! x2 what Matt said about the equipment review!
Genesis; here is that photo you remember from my last trip. It's hanging in my workout room and I've been staring at it every day for 6 years. Great inspiration!
I have to clarify something; yes it was minus forty while I was there but that was just for a couple nights. I didn't hunt in 40 below for two weeks straight and hope I didn't mislead anyone by leaving out some details.
It was brutally cold for sure but thankfully that only lasted a couple days. Most of the trip was spent in winter cold conditions with night time lows of zero to minus twenty Fahrenheit and daytime highs of minus 10 to single digits.
We didn't spend a lot of time stationary and were quite active the majority of time, which obviously helped keep us warm. We also built fires on the really cold days mid day to warm up.
I'm not sure about the rest of 410 (Canmore Bowzone) but Flint did say that our ram may be the biggest they have ever taken. The mass measurements are really strong so he scores higher than we all expected.
I'll try to get my gear review started later today.
Wow! That's all I can say. What a well-earned trophy.
Well done. Huge absolutly huge.
wow. thank you. this is why i check bowsite everyday
Great animal and great story, thanks for sharing.
My hat goes off to you for exhibiting such a high level of persistence and bold attrition! You have accomplished and awesome feat my friend! Cory Benge Bozeman, MT
Simply amazing. You have had quite the season. Your persistance certaily paid off, going that extra mile (literally) made the difference. Congrats on a hunt that most will only be able to dream about.
WOW....Great Story, Great Pics, Great Ram!!!!! My hat is off to you......Those are intense conditions, way to tough it out...wow.
I too would like to hear about the gear you used.....Cheers MM
Chris, Absolutely an amazing account of a fantastic adventure. Thanks for sharing!! Congratulations!
Congratulations ! ... simply awesome !
Thanks for sharing...
Congrats to you and the ram of a lifetime! The story was fantastic. Thank you for sharing you trip of a lifetime and go after your next dream now! JJ
Well done! Congratulations.
Outstanding hunt and an outstanding account of the human bodies ability to take on natures harshest conditions when the hunting bug is running strong through it. I don't think there are too many incentives to make one drive so hard for so long, as I am sure there were not many other people out in those conditions like yourself and your guide, particularly in a tent of all things. For sure the hunting bug runs very deep in you and your guide. Thank you very much for sharing a very inspirational experience. Legend
Thanks for sharing, great hunt, great ram, great story! Congrats.
Awsome Ram. What an adventure! Congratulations!
That ram is a Man! Busta you are the man.
Did not mislead the temp at all. If it is one day or 10 days at -40 it is still a tough hunt and kudos to you for toughing it out. This was a great read and I wish I had what it takes for an adventure like this. Great ram.
Fantastic story and adventure!!! Never mind ONE MONGO RAM!!
Thanks for sharing the great thread...
Busta that's a awesome ram, congrats on your trophy ! I enjoyed the read as well. thanks for sharing your stories.
What a fantastic ram. But the real trophy of this hunt is in hunt itself. How perfect a hunt and ending. congratulations, he scores way bigger than what ever he scores in the hunt itself. Way to go.
Great story! Much congrats on a great ram! Much respect to you for what you went through during the hunt to accomplish your goal.
OUTSTANDING!!! Man you just made my day!
Hell of an adventure. Awesome job!!
Great Ram and excellent story and documentation of the hunt. I killed my bighorn at Canmore in 1984 on my third hunt. Back then essentially everyone hunted from town. I may have been one of the first guided non-residents to demand camping on the mountain and it finally paid off. Your story and photos brought back some very fond memories. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for posting Jack,neat to here some history of the area.
Agreed, awesome to hear from Jack Frost (Jayfak) about the early years of Bighorn Bowhunting in Canmore.
Flint told me that his father (who guided in the area before him) has a bow that Fred Bear gave him when he guided him for sheep up there.
When you hunt in a place where guy's like Fred Bear, Jack Frost, Chuck Adams, Tom Hoffman, and Warren Strickland have all hunted, you think about that when your humping those mountains, at least I sure did.
It's all part of what makes Canmore such a special place.
wow thats awsome man, huge ram and deffintly in one of our best places to hunt rams in november for sure.
WOW! Congratulations on a well deserved ram! One of he best read stories on the site to boot.
Your story and photos are spectacular!
I finally got some time to load my video footage to my computer and figured out how to capture photos. The quality isn't great but I was excited to find I had some decent looks at the ram I ended up killing.
These first two were taken the day before I got my shot.
These next two were a few minutes before I shot the ram.
I think this is the first time I've ever gotten live photos of an animal I ended up killing.
I am speechless that was an amazing story and an amazing hunt. Congrads to you and acheaving your dream.
Amazing story! Best thread ever! That makes a bad Oklahoma winter look like paradise.....thanks for the story
Good Lord, that thing is just a horse of a ram!
Amazing pictures and once again, congrats on an amazing hunt and even better animal. If you have video, please please please post it if you can, most of us will never get to experience hunting a big horn and this will be the closest we ever get!
What an incredible hunt, story and photos!! Congrats! I don't see how you hung in there enduring those conditions! This needs to be featured in a magazine for more hunters to read all about it.
Chris, you have my utmost respect as a hunter and a writer. All the best my friend, job well done and truly deserved.
Dont forget to post the mount! Awesome job on a truly difficult hunt.
Amazing ram, great story.
Congrats on the great ram!!
WOW! What else can I say???
Thanks for posting link. Great story and photos. I missed this the first time around.
I didn't see the post either til today. Man that is really cool!!! One of these days. LOL
I had somehow missed this one too, and am very glad Busta' linked to it from his taxidermist post.
What a fantastic recount of your trip. My hat is off to you to be able to go for days on end in that kind of weather and kill a ram like that with your bow.
Good grief, how many calories were you guys having to take in each day?
Dude your far from a average working man you have been blessed beyond mention. You have been so privileged to gone into places like you did and gone through what it took to get this Ram no average man could normally sustain this. Your a special man and you had been blessed with your guide and his gifts and talents. What a wonderful story and trip you had taken us on with you. Congrats to you and many more to come just looking at the photos and thinking what it could have been like where you hunted these animals from.
Simply amazing to say the least after I saw the thread of the taxy mounting I then read your story as if the taxy play by play wasn't amazing enough.
I can only imagine the challenges that were daily in this type of a hunt for hunter and his guide.
I thought it might be a bit self serving to revive this thread when I posted the other thread on the fantastic mount Jim Kelly did for me.
But I continue to be humbled by the responses here and I am once again, very thankful for all the kind words.
I'm also happy that some of the guys that may have missed this the first time around had a chance to hear the story and maybe get some inspiration out of it.
Of course, I love the attention and I love being reminded how lucky I am to have had this great experience. But the best thing that could happen is that one of you guys that thinks you will never be able to do this type of hunt is inspired to figure out a way to make it happen, just like I did.
I am seeing a lot of "man you are lucky" and whatnot....luck favors the prepared imo. Congratulations on seeing all of your hard work come to fruition, very inspiring! Fantastic ram by the way, I'll be dreaming about him tonight, what a magnificent animal
Grant, it surely is a classic sheep hunt and in one hell of an area. What is also interesting is the many replies to the story (2010) by guys whose names are not seen on Bowsite anymore. I am glad you posted it. my best, Paul
Classic for sure. One of my favorites . His moose hunt is a close second! Hunt
I must have joined here after this was written... Wow... what a hunt.... Awesome...
The mountain caribou hunt as well!
So glad this came up again. What a hunt! This was one of the original threads....back around the time when I started visiting this site. Threads like this opened my eyes to what others who were committed were out there actually doing. This has always been in me but I didn't know people where doing it and then all of a sudden there it was. These threads are inspiring. Glad to read it all over again. AWESOME.
Awesome. This was well before my finding Bowsite, thanks Bou for reviving it so guys like me could read it. Im on my phone, cant see the pics? But it was written well enough for sure to be able to use my imagination....
Congrats to the hunter and thanks again for bringin it up!!!
Holy wow, great job, story, hunt!
Tremendous animal. Beautiful. Well done, hard earned.
I recall reading that thread and thinking about the unimaginable cold. So well deserved. Congrats again Dave
What an unbelievable hunt. The way this was written makes you feel like your part of the hunt. Congrats on a monster ram.
First time I’ve seen this thread. WOW, what an incredible, extreme adventure, Busta! I’m glad bou brought this great thread back up!
Just goes to show that all you need to kill a sheep is money......NOT!!
allan douglas I one of the best sheep guides in alberta, hunted sheep his whole life and has taught his newphew landon everything he knows since hes been old enough to pack a back pack, you couldn't of had a better guide for such a extreme hunt, huge congrats on your ram and that is truly deserved great job
One of THE BEST threads on Bowsite!!!
One of the best if not the best write up on bowsite!
Fantastic! So happy to hear that an every day guy that doesn’t buy his way to success can still have his dreams come true! Way to stick with it! So happy for you. That satisfaction must be overwhelming!
What a hunt. Congrats !!!!!!!!!!
Great to read this again!!
Still hoping to get clued in on 60-11-2 ;-)
Awesome hunt, Spectacular ram!
Yeah that hit the spot. Been a year or two since I've read this. Kindles the fire for sure!
Best Bowsite thread ever...
The sad part is how badly the sheep hunting in Canmore and the zone next door 410 has gone downhill since then...bummer to see
Truly an amazing hunt and ending , glad you shared!
Brilliant, start to finish!
Yup. A guy should read this thread every year. Thanks for bringing it to the top bou. What an incredible hunt.
Brings back some memories! Hunted in 2010 as a resident and was not successful (wounded a ram). Man I wish I could go back with hindsight lol