Contributors to this thread:
S12 Sheep 2016
So who are the lucky archers this year?
I am the lucky NR tag. I've been waiting and watching for you to start this thread. I've read through all of the earlier ones and knew you'd start this sooner or later. Just starting research now. I'm at a pretty big disadvantage being in Alaska--not going to be able to do any scouting, so the information on this site has been pretty outstanding. The information you have personally provided is invaluable. Thanks...ken
Ken, happy to provide any help you need! PM and let's talk.
hey Ken, great unit to hunt. If you find all the prior threads dating back to about 2001, you'll find all the secret spots mentioned and which quad maps to order. be in sheep shape, your hunt will start at around 10K feet and go to real close to 14K, unless you get lucky finding one down in the drainages. many of the back country FS trails took some bad floods last year, you'll need something with clearance if you get off the county roads. get the best optics you can't afford. PM me too if you want.
THanks Huntmaster-that is encouraging. I am getting pretty excited about heading that way. I think I have a pretty good idea on the general locations of the bulk of the sheep. Just have one big decision to make and I hope it isn't too late. Coming from Alaska, I won't have time to scout. Being in construction, where our seasons are already cut pretty short by weather, I can only get 2 weeks off from work. I've never set foot in the unit. With all those limitations, in addition to bowhunting, I am considering a guide. Never used one except out of the country hunts, but I've never had a bighorn tag either. So many decisions, so little time. ..kr
If I go this on my own, I need to rent a jeep and/or 4 wheeler. They seem pretty steep (at least the ones that allow off road travel). I'm seeing around $200/day plus mileage. Any of you guys know of a better rate? If not, I may just get a national chain Jeep and take my chances. But, I am worried they won't go where I need to go. I understand the roads up there are pretty rough. Any input?
Most of the roads are passable with a stock 4x4 with no problem. Most are even passable in 2 wheel drive if not wet. There are only a couple that demand 4x4 with clearance to get you to the sheep areas.
The worst road is going over Breakneck and into 12 mile. It is mostly rocky and needs a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. You just have to take your time and go slow. I once saw some young people in a Mercedes sedan up on Weston Pass and they were headed down the west side. this was a year when the road was washed out pretty bad.
Jimscol is spot on....any standard 4x4 rental will get you where you need to go. Enjoy the planning and preparing....it's a great hunt!
Thanks for all the feedback--here and on PM's You guys on this site are awesome! I finally made my biggest decision and have booked with Terry Sandmeier. I feel it will give my best chance at filling this tag. I still would like to do it on my own, but after talking about the difficulties on this hunt with a number of you I just feel like it would be close to futile to do it without having step foot in the unit. I also have some limitations on time due to work here in AK (Construction season is short up here). Thanks again for everyone's support here. If anyone is coming to AK or planning to feel free to contact me with questions or if you need any help...Ken
No shame in hiring someone to help when the tag is for a new area and new species. You figure you are saving $2000 or so on rental car fees. You might need to bring less gear so the net cost to hire a guide is offset in two or more ways. Good luck and may the sheep gods guide your arrow to the mark.
Don't forget the river herd. You will find sheep down there, probably a couple 3/4 or better rams.
There is access over by the pumphouse to hunt both Gable and Buffalo creeks, that's a great area to try. There's also access south of there on FS 377 where a few good rams have been shot as well. Easy to map these areas with the coords given on CPW site.
Terri is a great guy and will work hard at getting you onto sheep. Wise choice. Best of luck on your hunt- Some of my best memories bowhunting S12 for a month with my dad when I was 16.
It should also be noted that many hikers get close to sheep wearing hiking colors vs camo we wear. Many hike right by the sheep.
Can't go wrong with Terri! Looking forward to staying in touch!
Good choice with Terry, he knows that country and sheep behaviors very well. Good Luck and let us know how it goes. Best thing for you right now is get prepared for steep and high altitude hunting, trust the finding of them to Terry.
Get in shape. Terry knows where the rams are up there so you are in good hands from that perspective. He can also help you get up to where the sheep live.
You will just have to do your part and be in good enough shape to make the stalk.
hey lone bugle can you pm me I would like to talk to you about archery hunting s12. thanks
Terry is a good choice not to just get a ram but a better ram.... just makes sense...I am a DIY guy buuuut in your circumstance a good move
looking for updates guys! I'll be up in the unit starting Thursday evening.
I hear the weather is causing all sorts of issues..... Anyone have any news?
I hear the weather is causing all sorts of issues..... Anyone have any news?
OK, so took Scott up on a tour of the unit this weekend. Started out with a nice climb to summit of Horseshoe. Ended up getting him on three legal rams late in the day. He did a great job of getting to within 120 yards, but no joy. Watched the rams bed in an area that would have been tough for him to get to, but definitely doable. Just as he was beginning his stalk they decided to move down and across the canyon into an almost impossible position. Cool to watch from across the way. There was a fox that was messing with the rams for a bit too. He would approach and then slink 10 yards away and lay down. Biggest ram was a beautiful chocolate that was 5/8's, maybe 3/4.
Two rams down in S12. One on the river, one in an undisclosed location!
Any word on how the NR is doing with Terry?
I'm the NR that was with Terry (and new owner Matt Schneider). We had a blast! We were on rams every day and close many times. Got my ram on the 6th day. Heavy bases rough/green score of 171. 6 yo Long story about the first shot, but I'll just say it wasn't an ideal situation and a poor hit followed a tumultuous 3 minutes prior to the shot. But the happy ending is the next shot was made and was very fatal (the first was probably fatal, but not as timely). I have to thank all on here that offered advice and support. It was a wise decision to get Terry involved (and Matt), he truly knows sheep locations and mannerisms--he is the sheep guru! It was truly an awesome adventure! Hopefully the pic does the ram some justice--such a beautiful animal. Thanks again for all the support here and good luck to the guys still on the mountain!
Congratulations! Well done on a great ram.
Great ram! Way to go and congrats to you and Terry!
Thats awesome. Congratulations!
Nice ram! Congrats. Good call on hiring Terry. That's a once in a lifetime tag and a once in a lifetime hunt for a NR. You made the best of it.
Very nice AKbow, congratulations!
Congratulations on a great S12 Ram! well done
Awesome ram! Congratulations!
Oh man that's awesome! Congratulations!
Beautiful ram indeed! Congrats akbow!
Thanks guys! Still a grin on my face (even back here at work-ugh!). Much respect for Terry and Matt. I have another pic attached with Matt to complete the hunting group pics (sorry about the bloody nose--I must have let the head tilt forward too far). I have a photo with all three of us on my other camera, but not downloaded yet (work is getting in my way). Good Luck to the guys still up there--wish I was still up there chasing them!
CONGRATULATIONS! Great ram.
Way to go!!! Congrats on a beautiful ram!
Congratulations on a beautiful ram.
Grats; tell us more about the hunt and the stalk!
That is so great!!! Congrats to all involved.
Awesome ram!!! Congratulations!!!
A friend of mine took the S12 Goat tag that was offered to him by the DOW. Has anyone been seeing any goats this year?
Any help is appreciated, Thanks.
Yup, good billy on face of Weston and into 12 mile
Cool looks like a big animal...well done
Dang nice Ram akbow!!!
Good luck, Robb
Congrats on a great animal Ken!
Lot's going on in the unit this weekend. Had Scott on 5 rams Saturday..... along with two other hunters.
Found a ram in 4 mile, but a hunter on that one too.
Come on guys, let's get another one on the ground!
Thanks everyone for their comments. Hopefully some of the other guys have some pics soon! Still a week left--Good Luck to the remaining guys--wish I was up there still!