Contributors to this thread:
Today I was contacted by CPW that the S73 Ram license has become available and I was next in line. Originally when I applied if I drew the tag I was going to DIY. Now with this late notice I have a few concerns. I am not in sheep shape, and I am recovering from a sprained calf muscle from an incident 2 weeks ago. With my physical condition should I pass on this great opportunity? Or, if I were to find an outfitter then try go later in the hunt and try to get in shape? As much as I would like to DIY, I'm not sure I could pull everything together even if I went later in the hunt to get recover and get in better shape. Any ideas on potential outfitters I could check with?
Has anyone on Bowsite hunted in S73? It appears that most of the sheep harvested came from 3 general areas. I am looking for information mainly on access and how spread out the sheep where? Do they stay in the same general areas? I'm still waiting for a call back from the biologist so any information to help me make this decision would be great.
I searched Google on S73 sheep hunt and S73 sheep tag and S73 ram hunt and S73 ram tag.
Comanche Wilderness Outfitters (Scott Limmer, I think): "S73 – This unit opened in 2009. This is a backcountry pack-in area. These sheep were transplanted nine years ago and there are some 10 year-old rams now. You should be able to get at least a 160 class ram. My 2014 nonresident hunter got a 170 ram. Sheep are scattered."
TopRut has stats: http://www.toprut.com/hunt/colorado-bighorn-sheep-unit-s73/
Based on the stats, I would look to hunt with someone that has been in the unit before and had success.
If are a member of HuntinFool, they may have a prior hunter or two for that unit in their files but perhaps not since so few tags in recent years. Might be worth the $100 roll of the dice. Might hear from a recent hunter the hunt can be done solo and is not that physically tough. Or, the opposite. Or, reach no hunter.
Hiring a guide is an option but with so few sheep tags the outfitter may not have been on a sheep hunt in 73. Perhaps the guide is in some of S73 for elk and deer hunts so saw sheep over the years. Maybe they have horses which could be very useful if are not able to get closer to sheep shape the next few weeks. Sometimes a unit can be hunted with road access then hike to another road. Having a guide or outfitter can help with a one-way hike so you cover more ground that if double-back each day to the starting point.
Good luck and may the arrow fly true.
Good luck and
I know a guy from Walden who has hunted this unit if you are interested.
Sent you contact info in a pm.
Thanks for the input. I have left a message for Scott yesterday and hoping for a call.
Yes I have thought about finding a packer that could pack me in to an area also.
Thanks for the PM's and the contacts.
You are a NR. Bite the bullet and go. Odds of you drawing again are terrible. My father has applied since the 1980s as a NR and never been drawn. Have you seen how much a bighorn hunt goes for in Canada?
Go, hire the guide, and enjoy the hell out of it. This is your hunt of a lifetime. Make it happen and pull-out all the stops. If you aren't successful, I guarantee it will be a more memorable hunt than just about anything you've ever done in some beautiful country to boot.
I agree with cowboy. Get after it. The Zirkels are awful pretty with a good trail system. It is not that hard a hike to get to sheep country, set up a camp, and day hunt from there. Opportunities like this are few.
You should 100% take the tag, you may never get another opportunity in your life to go after them. Even being underprepared for the hunt, you still have a better shot at getting a ram than the rest of us do with no access to a tag. Get the tag and go give it hell while having the time of your life. I was lucky to draw a non resident tag in '12 and unfortunately did not fill my tag and it still haunts me since I know I may never draw the tag again in my life. Trust me, even if you do not kill a ram, you will NEVER regret going on this hunt. Hire an outfitter and go have fun, im Jealous.
I will be sheep hunting in S73 this fall. I pray for a great experience.
For sure at a minimum contact Joe. He can coach you up. If you don't work out a deal w Limmer or others surely you have a buddy who would like to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
Just curious how this turned out for you? Any tips? A good friend drew this tag and I'll be helping out. Thanks, Sandbrew