Mathews Inc.
A year with a sheep tag
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
wildwilderness 18-Jan-18
APauls 18-Jan-18
Bowboy 18-Jan-18
Nesser 18-Jan-18
BIG BEAR 18-Jan-18
Paul@thefort 18-Jan-18
Kurt 18-Jan-18
t-roy 18-Jan-18
njbuck 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
stick n string 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
Treeline 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 19-Jan-18
DL 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 19-Jan-18
wildwilderness 23-Jan-18
wildwilderness 23-Jan-18
wildwilderness 23-Jan-18
wildwilderness 23-Jan-18
njbuck 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
Treeline 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
Treeline 24-Jan-18
NVBighorn 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
Mark Watkins 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
t-roy 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
wildwilderness 24-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 24-Jan-18
Nick Muche 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
APauls 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
Treeline 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
Treeline 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
Treeline 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
wildwilderness 25-Jan-18
Predeter 25-Jan-18
LINK 26-Jan-18
Nick Muche 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
wildwilderness 26-Jan-18
BULELK1 27-Jan-18
SBH 27-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
Treeline 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 29-Jan-18
Yellowjacket 29-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
The last savage 30-Jan-18
Beav 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
Treeline 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
Shug 30-Jan-18
Marty 30-Jan-18
Bowboy 30-Jan-18
Quinn @work 30-Jan-18
Predeter 30-Jan-18
wildwilderness 30-Jan-18
Zackman 30-Jan-18
Yellowjacket 30-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 30-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 30-Jan-18
Nick Muche 31-Jan-18
CCOVEY 31-Jan-18
OFFHNTN 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
TXCO 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
Scoot 31-Jan-18
Ermine 31-Jan-18
Treeline 01-Feb-18
wildwilderness 01-Feb-18
otcWill 01-Feb-18
sticksender 01-Feb-18
wildwilderness 02-Mar-18
bill v 22-Mar-18
Nesser 22-Mar-18
Mark Watkins 24-Mar-18
Elkhorn 24-Mar-18
kscowboy 24-Mar-18
18-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Was lucky enough to draw an Archery Ram tag his year. This is how it changed my season. Going to take a while but at least this will get me to share the adventures.

From: APauls
18-Jan-18
SAWEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!! Congrats!!!

From: Bowboy
18-Jan-18
So is there gong to be a story?

From: Nesser
18-Jan-18
Love it

From: BIG BEAR
18-Jan-18

From: Paul@thefort
18-Jan-18
You mean, "lucky enough to draw a sheep tag LAST year". 2017

From: Kurt
18-Jan-18
Rut hunt! Best odds to shoot a ram with the bow. Bet it was,successful!

From: t-roy
18-Jan-18
Bring it on!

From: njbuck
19-Jan-18
I'm looking forward to reading this!

19-Jan-18
I'm traveling so it will have to come in pieces.

I decided to make some big life decisions (my wife calls it my midlife crisis) and set the stage to move in 2018. So early in the planning for tag applications I wanted to use up my CO points.

I had 3+6 sheep points. I had already committed to a Kodiak deer hunt with a friend in Aug so was looking for a later hunt to not conflict. This hunt popped out as good success the last few years for bowhunters and maybe a chance at drawing it.

19-Jan-18
As many of you who have kids know, hunting with them can be more fulfilling than your own success. My oldest loves to hunt and a lot of the time was spent with him.

When the draw results came out, he drew a nanny Mt. Goat tag as well! We were going to spend a year in the mountains!

19-Jan-18
We had a family vacation planned to Hawaii and I have hunted there a few times before. My wife agrees to let my son and I hunt the Na Pali for a couple days. It's a great backpack hunt and will be a jump start to getting in shape

19-Jan-18
Thats awesome! Great to see teens out there....Excited for the rest of the story!!

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
With the limited time we wouldn't make it to the end of the trail. We planned to camp at the halfway point. There are usually goats there.

From: Treeline
19-Jan-18
Have only made one trip to Hawaii and left the bow at home. That will never happen again! That looks like an absolute blast!

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
We made it to the campsite and had time for a quick snack after a 6mile pack in. On the hike in had to mention to my teenage boy "You don't need to mention to Mom about the topless girls we past by ;)" (sorry no pictures)

19-Jan-18
This hunt is shaping up...

From: DL
19-Jan-18
Congratulations, enjoy the journey. Save every bit of meat when you get one. It will be the best eating meat you will eat. Mine has been just wonderful.

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
After setting up camp we got back on the trail for an evening hunt. As luck would have it I heard a goat as we rounded a turn. It was the same area I had shot my first ever Hawaiian goat about ten years earlier. My kid was up and couldn't believe the luck. He made a great shot and had his first archery goat

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
I had also killed a goat with my recurve in this same area about 5years earlier as well, it it had fallen down this steep ravine. Neat to take your kids and share old hunting stories while making new ones. This area is an eradication zone for goats so no limit and open season all year for archery. There was a juvenile with the nanny my son shot that started up a racquet so I decided to cull it so as to not draw attention from the other hikers. Really tender meat! Backstrap kabobs

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Relax and snack
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Relax and snack
We slept well that night. The next morning we hunted further down the trail. We got on a couple decent billies but no shot because of the thick cover. Good practice for my kid to learn some stalking skills. We packed up camp and headed back to the trailhead. We did see another mob of goats (but no more topless ladies) on the way out but they were a bit out of range (I'm sure Pope and Young would have flung a couple arrows) and really steep (dangerous) to get closer.

19-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
No Mahi Mahi but tuna makes good Poke!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
No Mahi Mahi but tuna makes good Poke!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Shave ice
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Shave ice
I enjoy taking a bow to Hawaii and planning the hunt for the beginning of the trip. 16miles on that trail in less than 24hrs with a pack can make you sore. It's nice to have the rest of the vacation to relax and enjoy. My wife also thinks I'm in a much better mood after a hunt than all antsy and impatient before

23-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
on top
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
on top
We stepped up our conditioning with a local hike- 2 miles and 2,000" elevation gain. Tried to do it once a week, adding weighted packs closer to season.

23-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
still lots of snow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
still lots of snow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Next up a Scouting trip. The whole family was willing to go on a back pack trip to my son's goat unit, which happens to be in one of the most beautiful wilderness. We did glass up a couple goats! Pretty exciting.

23-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
buds
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
buds
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
sitka course
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
sitka course
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
figured out I needed adjust my 3rd axis
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
figured out I needed adjust my 3rd axis
To many who have raised teenagers, its quickly apparent they value there friends more than their parents! Luckily my son's best friend loves archery and hunting. Having grown up in a big city, with nobody hunting or fishing, and having to struggle to learn and go as a kid, I am very sympathetic to bring youth along. I had taken my son's friend to shoot his first elk, and also first deer so he is a good kid and dedicated.

So the boys were dying to go to the Total Archery Challenge at Snowbird. It was great! really got you in shape and honed shooting skills. Bring extra arrows!

23-Jan-18

wildwilderness's Link
With my sheep hunt not until November, it was constantly being pushed on the back burner. My recommendation is to figure out when you are going to draw your tag, and don't plan anything else! That summer I found out that my hunting partner Brady was going to cancel on our Kodiak trip. It was going to be a 10 year reunion with the island since the last time we had been there was 2007. With the deposit paid on the flight, I decided I would take my son for his first trip to Alaska instead. 10 years goes by fast!

check out the link for a blast from the past. http://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=339313&forum=7

From: njbuck
24-Jan-18
Great story so far, keep it coming!

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
view
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
view
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
tiger trout
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
tiger trout
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
not the biggest but first trout on a Dry!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
not the biggest but first trout on a Dry!
Getting gear and packing lists ready for any trip is part of the fun. Its a good excuse for some upgrades. Getting ready for Kodiak was important to teach my son what it takes to go on hunts like that DIY. I also took some time to teach the boys how to fish, and fly fish. My oldest was able to catch his first trout on a dryfly! I generally fish when its not hunting season, especially when on scouting trips to the mountains.

From: Treeline
24-Jan-18
That is one hell of a Tiger Trout! Congratulations!

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
killing time in Anchorage
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
killing time in Anchorage
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
another day waiting for weather in Kodiak
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another day waiting for weather in Kodiak
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
can you catch too many fish?
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
can you catch too many fish?
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
saw his first dall sheep
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
saw his first dall sheep
With changing the Kodiak trip from long time hunting buddy to taking my boy for the first time to Alaska, the expectations and goals also changed. As a Father you want it to be a great experience, see your boy be successful, and learn to love the hunt as much as you.

The flight to Anchorage went well, but that is when the reality of Alaska weather set in. We boarded and flew to Kodiak, but got turned away because of fog at the airport. Back to Anchorage. For Three days!! checking in only to be sent away. Not wanting to live at the airport I decided to make the most of it. Fortunately the weather in Anchorage was amazing. sunny and warm. We took full advantage of the salmon run, and to explore the city and area.

From: Treeline
24-Jan-18
Looks like the boy is having a blast catching fish! Gotta luv them salmon in Alaska!

From: NVBighorn
24-Jan-18
Is that the Hanakapiai beach and falls trail? Where did you shoot the goats?

24-Jan-18
NV- That was on the Kalalau Trail, past mile 6 where we got the goats. The Hanakapiai trail comes off that that trail at mile 2 after the river crossing.

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Finally made it to Kodiak. Only to find out the bush flights had been fogged in as well and were really backed up. Once again another weather delay! Gratefully the chief pilot at Andrew Air, Scooter was very professional and didn't want to take any risks with forcing it to get us out. I'm sure my wife at home would concur with his judgment and oldest son's safety on the line. I was watching hunting days slip away.... I needed to remind myself that I needed to make it a good experience and enjoy the journey. The planned 8 hunting days was now only 4 with the lost time. Andrew Air, Bre, was very helpful as well with finding a place to stay since Kodiak was packed with 3 days worth of cancelled jet flights. They said it was the wettest foggiest summer they could remember.

From: Mark Watkins
24-Jan-18
Great story and pics...keep them rolling!!!

Mark

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first bush flight
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first bush flight
The next morning the weather finally cleared. It was supposed to be decent for the next week so we were hopeful. I had a caribou tag and we had 4 deer tags between us. Scooter said he would look for the best place to put down based on what we saw flying in. As luck would have it he was able to find the one herd of caribou (reindeer on Kodiak) and put us down. It would be a few mile slog to get to where they were, but I was committed. I made a tough decision based on logistics, saftey (we saw a big Sow and two cubs near by while flying in) and time. I took the camp rifle instead of my bow, knowing it impractical to carry both weapons with a full pack for spike camp, and hopefully a full caribou back. My son took his bow hopeful to get a deer.

We got base camp set up, unpacked and repacked for spike camp. set up the bear fence to hopefully protect base camp while we were gone. Then started up hill. Finally we were hunting!

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first bou
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first bou
On the hike up we saw several deer, but no good stalk opportunities. I had forgotten to mark the location of the caribou on my gps, so I was going old school Army Land Nav terrain to find where they were. As luck would have that evening I caught a glimpse of the herd and tried to trail them.

On Kodiak you cannot hunt caribou same day as flying (you CAN hunt deer same day) so I made my best effort to keep up. This was my first caribou hunt, and I quickly learned you cannot keep up with moving caribou over tundra! We were pretty tired after a few miles up the valley and decided to set up spike camp. We had spotted several deer in the area, so we spent the last bit of daylight to try to stalk some deer with a bow- no luck but a learning experience.

The next morning I was up early and antsy to get out and look for the caribou. Luck came again and a few hours later we were looking over the herd. The camp rifle was my 35 whelen. It shot ok, but nothing like my long range 300wsm set up. So there we were bellying crawling at 300 yards from the closest bou. No really big bulls were spotted so I was hoping to close in at least another 100 yards to take a shot at a decent one. I don't know if I would have had a chance with a bow in that open country.

I felt a shift in the herd and noticed they were starting to move. From yesterday I knew my time was short, but I couldn't make a confident shot from where I was. Moving bou don't like to stop for a shot! Pretty soon the whole herd was going away! I went into commando mode. Dropped my pack, and started after the herd trying to get an angle. After a tortuous half mile running slog I knew it was my last chance. I took the shot and watched one stumble!

The caribou was down, but not out. I worked my way up to finish it off. Of course as I walked to the downed animal the herd bunched and came right past us at less than 100 yards! My kid said he wished he had a caribou tag! I was glad he didn't as I knew the pack back down was going to be tough.

From: t-roy
24-Jan-18
Great adventure so far! Looking forward to more!

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
relaxing at base camp
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
relaxing at base camp
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
snagged a tiny one
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
snagged a tiny one
We boned the caribou, hiked back to spike camp, and loaded it all up. Our packs were heavy going down to base camp but I was content. We saw several bucks going down, I asked my boy if he wanted to shoot one with the rifle just to get one and he said not yet.

the hike was tough and very wet. The vegetation was thick and hard to move through. Out of necessity we ended up hiking down a creek. We arrived at base camp exhausted and soaking wet. The rest of the hunt we wisely wore waders!

24-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first sitka blactail
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first sitka blactail
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first sitka blacktail with a bow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first sitka blacktail with a bow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
I was a very proud Dad!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
I was a very proud Dad!
Up early the next morning. This was a day for deer. I took the rifle as backup, he had his bow. We set out up the draw behind base camp. I had spotted several deer in the area. It was tough going to get through the alders and devil club! but once above the vegetation on the ridges it was ok. We glassed up several deer and a couple bucks. Things were getting exciting.

We came over a ridge and spotted a buck. We were a few hundred yards above the buck on a ridge with nothing between us but grass. I asked again if he wanted to just shoot one with the rifle, of course he said NO, its not big enough and I want one with my bow! That deer ended up moving out and I thought a good chance with it.

What happened next I would never have believed if I didn't watch it first hand! I spot a really nice buck come out of the brush at the bottom of the ridge and feed. Then another smaller buck comes out and starts feeding towards the big buck. My kid is excited about the bigger one and says he would shoot that with the rifle if he had to. We start butt sliding and creeping on the open face to close the distance to less than 200 yards. Luckily they don't spot us moving. Then the big buck beds down facing directly at us straight up the hill at us, and the smaller buck facing directly away from us. Tricky deer covering both sides. It starts to blow a bit and rain. My boy says Dad, let me shoot it! I say its bedded, maybe we should wait for it to stand and get a clear broadside. He says "I can perfectly see his shoulder in the scope" I says "Its better to wait for a perfect broadside when he stands" and back and forth for 15 min.

I give in since it's his deer and hunt. With the rain and wind in and out I say just wait til its clear....He says I got this- BOOM. the buck just rolls legs up with the big bullet perfect through the shoulder. Awesome shot. But even more amazing the smaller buck never flinched! It was sleeping head down and never knew what just happened. My kid says- Dad I'm going to slide straight down there and see if I can kill that buck with my bow. OK!

I didn't think he much of a chance covering 150 yards in the open but hey, its worth a chance. A few minutes later I can't believe he was closing in. I see him knock an arrow. the buck is up now! I see him come to full draw, the buck is starting to spook, I see the arrow flying and the buck moving at the same time! The arrow disappears- did he miss? where did the arrow go? Then the buck stops and looks back. I think- try to get another shot..... Then the buck falls over!! Buck down! Two bucks down in 5 mins. The second one with his bow!

From: HUNT MAN
24-Jan-18
This is great . But that deer story is the best every. Love Kodiak . Hunt

From: Nick Muche
25-Jan-18
This is awesome, keep it coming!

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pack out
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pack out
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
almost to camp that night
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
almost to camp that night
We cut up the deer and once again had heavy packs going down. We were fortunate to not see a bear while on the ground! We made it back to camp late, completely wiped out, starving and soaked. I had been able to make arrangements with airlines and air taxi to get one more day in the field.

We grilled up some fresh backstraps. I do have to say Sitka Blacktail is the absolute best wildgame meat I have ever had!

At this point though, I had to make a choice to make this hunt a great experience for my son. He was tagged out, and pretty tired like teenagers get. However I didn't feel I could leave him alone for a full day yet so I decided to take the next day off to recoup and rest. Normally I will hunt til I'm dead, but once again I had to realize this hunt wasn't about me. I glassed from camp hoping something my come by but nothing did.

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
one of the bucks we glassed up
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
one of the bucks we glassed up
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Headed out, happy hunter
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Headed out, happy hunter
The last day I grabbed my bow, and we headed out. I spotted a really nice buck as we hiked up the ridge. He was moving and I made a note of where we thought he would bed. Throughout the day we were able to glass a few bucks, some far away. When I had shot the caribou there was a bachelor group of bucks near by. However it was close to 4 miles (tundra mile are like 3 x harder that regular miles!!!) and I didn't feel like I should force a death march again and ruin the experience.

All the bucks we saw were smaller than the one I glassed first thing so I decided to go for that buck. Late afternoon had us above the alder patch he had disappeared in. I saw a doe, then a fawn move out. Then another doe. Finally I spotted the tips of his velvet antlers. He started to feed in the brush as I tried to guess where he would go. However luck wasn't on my side. Light gave out as I was only able to get 65 yards from him with only his head/neck above the brush. No shot. He spooked as I made a last ditch move to make something out of nothing.

That next morning we packed camp and boarded the float plane, glad the weather had held up for our return to civilization.

From: APauls
25-Jan-18
So cool! I think we need to put a limit on these Kodiak threads, because otherwise I guarantee it will cost me $.

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
silver salmon
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
silver salmon
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
can't get tired of catching silvers!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
can't get tired of catching silvers!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first silver, and definitely not the last!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
first silver, and definitely not the last!
As a bonus, my Brother and Sister in law had just bought a Fishing lodge near Willow. They had talked about my son going to work there next year (2018) for the summer so we had that afternoon to go check it out and fish for Silvers!

From: Treeline
25-Jan-18
They have me looking at the hunting season dates and fish runs to try and figure out the best strategy for a drop camp hunt already... A few tweeks to my backpack gear list and I am ready! It has been far too long since I was able to get up there on that island.

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo

wildwilderness's Link
After the Kodiak trip I checked in with my friend Brady who had ditched me to go on a sheep hunt in NWT. It turned out well and was glad I was able to take my son instead, so was he!

This did get me thinking when would I ever find time to focus on my sheep tag?

Brady had a good write up of his adventures here:

http://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=464218&messages=79&forum=12

From: Treeline
25-Jan-18
Mid-August to the first week in September seems to be the sweet spot for a combo cast and "blast" up there. Have hunted November on Kodiak - the bucks are chasing, but the days are short and the fishing is more limited. Would love to spot and stalk like for mule deer above treeline.

25-Jan-18
Sitka Blacktails are great to spot and stalk that time of year. Especially with a longbow. On my first trip there 2 were shot at 20yds and less, and I passed on a few more within that range. The days are long and weather can be nice. Fishing is great.

I don't think many Alaskans hunt in Aug because that's OTC sheep season!! Also I think most like the late hunt since it can be easy to park the boat and tag out in a couple days on the beach! Easy way to fill the freezer.

From: Treeline
25-Jan-18
NWT is amazing. Glad I was able to get that one done when I did, though!

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
View from base camp
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
View from base camp
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Hiking up to the pass
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Hiking up to the pass
Next up was Mt. Goat season. Unfortunately the season was during school, and since I value grades/education I didn't feel my son could miss too many days. With various scouting trips not turning up many goats, I thought it most expedient that he hunt with a rifle instead of his bow.

After school Thurs we made the drive up to the trailhead. Maroon Bells can be crazy busy this time of year. It was not my first choice to hunt there but the local biologist and game warden said they were seeing lots of goats in that area. It was a good lesson to show my kid that you can hike in the dark, and make camp in the middle of the night!

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's Link
The next morning we tried to get an early start but was tough with the late night before. We had about 4 miles and 2,600' elevation to get to a glassing spot from base camp. These mountains will burn your legs! The pass was at 12,600' so the air was thin as well.

On the hike up we ran into another hunter who had tagged out the day before. They had been there a few days, and gave us some good info. We continued up made our way to Willow Pass. I noticed some tracks on the trail and kept looking at them, seemed a bit different than a deer.....

We crested the pass, took in the view, Then I spotted 3 white dots!! There they are!

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
young billies
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
young billies
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
broken horn billy
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
broken horn billy
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
goats out of nowhere
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
goats out of nowhere
Definitely a good nanny. We watch them for a minute as we make a plan. I wanted to cut the distance by at least a few hundred yards. The goat fed behind the rocks and we moved. All set up it was going to be a waiting game. Soon we saw two goats feed out, but they looked different, Then another, and another! Goats were popping out of everywhere. Since he had a nanny tag we wanted to make sure, and at least a few were billys.

25-Jan-18
Finally we see a goat come out where we had last seen the big nanny. I tell my son, I'm not sure its the same goat. It might be a nanny though. Then the goat squats down in the dead giveaway its a nanny. Now we know its a nanny, but I say I don't see the "bad hair" (clumps of fur that also identify a nanny) that the big one had. He said it looks good to me....Boom

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
one of my favorite pics
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
one of my favorite pics
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
view from 12,700'
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
view from 12,700'
Goat down! Right after the shot, I see another goat step out to see what just happened. It was the Big Nanny with bad hair! Field judging goats is tough, especially for novices like us. Now I was wondering what the goat that he shot was like.

We made our way up to the downed goat. Steep terrain but luckily no cliffs where it was. It turned out to be an older mature nanny with a broken horn. So hard to judge these goats from a distance. Very beautify animal with character.

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
luckily no antis wondered into camp. This area has a lot of librals
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
luckily no antis wondered into camp. This area has a lot of librals
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
back to the trailhead
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
back to the trailhead
We loaded up and headed down the mountain. We got to base camp that evening and had a good meal, and hung the meat to cool. The next morning we had plenty of time to make it back to the trail head and the drive home. Always more satisfying after a successful hunt.

The weekend before the goat hunt I did begin to notice my left knee getting sore. After each hike it would be worse.

25-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
beautiful Stone
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
beautiful Stone
I followed up with another friend on his hunt for a Stone. He is one of the most dedicated hunters I know and he said it took everything he had to close the deal on this ram, on the last day of his 2 week hunt. Toughest hunt he's been on, and he already has an archery dall, and desert!

Of course he asks- so when are you going to scout up your Bighorn?? I know, I know, life is too busy!

From: Predeter
25-Jan-18
This is awesome! Can't wait for the rest of the story!

From: LINK
26-Jan-18
I sure do miss Paul Harvey!

From: Nick Muche
26-Jan-18
Man oh man, this is already an incredible year and we haven't even gotten to your sheep tag yet!

26-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Brady passing up on this small 5x5
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Brady passing up on this small 5x5
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Bradys last day bull
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Bradys last day bull
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Helping out on Brady's bull the year before
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Helping out on Brady's bull the year before
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Brady had this year bull packed out. The older I get, it is totally worth it!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Brady had this year bull packed out. The older I get, it is totally worth it!
I purposely did not get an Archery elk tag this year; the first since I moved to Colorado almost 10 yrs before. I knew it would be too much. Since my boy tagged out on the goat, I was able to pick up a "leftover" bear tag in unit 61 since my buddy Brady (who ditched me on Alaska) had an archery elk tag.

Being a good friend I agreed to hunt with him a few days (karma). Nothing like bowhunting elk in the Rut! We called in a number of bulls, but since he has already killed a few nice ones (with us helping out) he was passing them up. I was lucky to find a carcass down a steep canyon and hunted it a couple days. On the last night I could hunt, a bear came in to 50 yards at last light. However the wind was unstable and it never gave me a shot. I was ok with that, I didn't want to use up all my luck on this hunt!

Hiking up out of that hole wasn't hard, but my knee was still acting up. I told Brady I couldn't keep it up every day, plus had other time commitments. Brady did tag out on the very last day of the season

26-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
friend's knee for you MD type
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
friend's knee for you MD type
During the Mt. Goat hunt I had another really close hunting friend want to go. However his right knee was was acting up. He went to the Ortho guys and had an xray- nothing serious, but he needed to take it easy. That meant he couldn't come along on our goat hunt.

Now my knee was acting up, it was getting worse, and a bit swollen. It was the end of September and I was planning time for scouting trips to my Sheep unit. I didn't want anything to ruin my sheep hunt. Following his good example, I made an appointment as well.

To my relief nothing major, just over-use and I'm getting old (40)!!! Imagine that, I guess I've been carrying heavy packs on gnarly steeps and elevation all summer!! Time to take it easy (along with some strong anti- inflammatory meds) and some physical therapy/stretching daily (RICE). diagnosis was quadracep tendonitis. Just a warning to those who may go too hard fast when they get a sheep tag to listen to your body.

That was going to put a damper on my scouting plans for sheep. However I wasn't going to risk compounding the injury.

26-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
fun freezer hunt in WY
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
fun freezer hunt in WY
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
he loves fried rabbit nuggets
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
he loves fried rabbit nuggets
With resting my knee, we had an easy hunt for reduced-fee doe tags in WY. I really like antelope meat, and my boy enjoys the hunt. We have been 100% the last 5 yrs on the first morning. I always apply for too many tags in the Spring when bored and dreaming of hunting. Sometimes you realize too late and have too many tags to fill! I'm always a sucker and hate leaving a tag.

With this in mind I did cancel a youth doe hunt for my youngest boy in AZ. That would have been too much. I took him rabbit hunting instead and he was just as happy.

I had also drawn a 4th season mule deer tag in CO that overlapped my sheep hunt. The deadline for turning it in was close.....

26-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
free cabin with electrical sure beats a freezing tent!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
free cabin with electrical sure beats a freezing tent!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
heading up the mountain
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
heading up the mountain
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
the summit- 14,114' elevation. cold and windy!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
the summit- 14,114' elevation. cold and windy!
Finally the time came for a scouting trip to my sheep area. I had to sneak this one in. My Youngest Son had a competitive soccer league game in Denver, about 4.5 hrs from where we live. I volunteered to take him, and worked it so I could go early and at least drive my unit for half a day (my knee still precluded me from hiking much)

Another stroke of good luck- A good friend and old roomate, who flips houses for a living, had told me he was working on an old cabin in Divide, CO. which just happens to be right in the middle of my units!! It was almost done on the remodel and I was welcome to stay in it.

We made the 5.5 hour drive out to the cabin, and the next morning bagged the easiest 14er- Pikes Peak while looking for sheep. The bad news was we didn't see any sheep. It was 7 F on top and blowing 30mph gusts. How am I going to bow hunt that? I checked out access to a few other areas as well, knowing that I needed to make another trip out. To cap it off they won their soccer game, and we made the long drive back home.

26-Jan-18
A couple weeks later at the end of October I was able to go back for another quick trip. Thanks to some information from a couple bowsiters, I was able to gain access to some private land. This would save a lot of hiking to get to an historically good spot.

Once again I stayed at the cabin in Divide. One morning I checked out Colorado Springs Utility land below the summit where a number of rifle hunters had been successful earlier that year. No luck, and I wan't up for a 10 mile hike yet... I then focused on the S46 unit which is traditionally winter range. The biologist said there is a resident herd there, but they tend to stay on private.

That afternoon I accessed through the private I had permission for a slowly hiked a couple miles. It looked great, but no sheep. The next morning the plan was to cover the other end of Dome Rock SWA that I didn't get to from the private the night before.

I headed out on what I thought was the trail that joined where I was the evening before and where sheep were reported in the past. After a couple miles I thought this doesn't look right, I had left my gps in the truck thinking this is a SWA with trails, I can't get lost and my batteries are out. I didn't even have a map! I was only planning a couple mile and thought I'd be back soon.

Needless to say it wasn't til I was about 4 miles in I ran into a couple other hikers and figured out where I was. There was a big loop and I had taken the wrong way in. I knew that I could join up to where I was the night before and come out the way I had intended. However this turned a quick 2 miles in/out for 4 total miles to a 9 mile loop.

That's when I got lucky. No sooner had I hit the section I covered the evening I thought I should hurry through this part I notice tracks on the trail. Then I spot movement. Sheep on the Rocks. My lucky mistake let me walk right up onto a band of sheep! There was a legal ram with them. I just glad to finally find some sheep.

The extra 4 miles out was ok, even though I ran out of water. Better to make these mistakes on a scouting trip, and to learn the area, and my knee was holding up ok.

26-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Bighorns
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Bighorns
This area was a lot easier to hunt than the Peak. Hopefully the sheep will be there during the season, or that the weather gets the sheep to migrate off the Peak.

From: BULELK1
27-Jan-18
Very kool reading!

Thanks for sharing with us--------->

Good luck, Robb

From: SBH
27-Jan-18
SWEET! What a year! Your doing it right and having a pile of success. Memories you and your boy will never forget. Great inspiration, thanks for posting.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Good mass, biggest buck to date
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Good mass, biggest buck to date
As I mentioned earlier, I am a sucker for too many tags and filling them if there is a chance. We were luckily when an elderly friend gave my son a deer voucher last minute to hunt her property. He had drawn an Archery Doe tag in the draw, and was without an A tag. She is a widow with no children and only has a middle aged nephew (with cancer) who occasionally hunts when he can. So she likes the vouchers to be used, especially by kids.

How can you say no to that? It was for the 3rd season, so the weekend before my sheep hunt. We had hunted the property before and knew there were a number of deer, but not usually any size. The first morning we glassed a couple deer and my son set up on a small 4pt buck. I was on the video, but the deer wouldn't stop for the shot. Of course I was telling him to wait for the perfect set up! The buck spooked last minute and ran up a little ravine. We start to run to get an angle before it left the property- The 3 bucks come out the top. No time to video, my son takes a shot. The deer run, but one circles and falls! It turns out to be a 3x4 with lots of mass we had seen the year before but didn't shoot.

29-Jan-18
Did I say I was a sucker for too many tags? I had turned in my 4th season buck tag because I needed to focus on the sheep. The thought was I might if extremely lucky tag out on a ram and still have time to hunt deer. But from past experience that is too much of a distraction. As I was to find out there is a big mental aspect to sheep hunting.

Needless to say, I was looking through the leftover list and a 3rd season buck tag for a unit I had hunted elk in before popped up. I couldn't pass up a "free tag" and got it just in case. After my son had tagged out on his buck tag, I did a quick scouting trip and figured out two options:

First: I knew of a small funnel where deer come off the public into a private field almost like clockwork morning and evening. However the only bucks in the group were a couple 2pts and a 3pt. I felt really confident I could shoot one with my bow either morning or evening.

Second: I found this nice 4x4 buck feeding in a private field, but didn't know where he bedded but it just might be on public on the far side. I would have to rifle hunt for any chance, and it seemed slim since I had never hunted the far side before.

I called my hunting buddies and sent the video, to see if I should go for the big one, or just bowhunt a small one.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
nice mass
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
nice mass
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Good last minute leftover buck!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Good last minute leftover buck!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Sunset, with a pack out in the dark
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Sunset, with a pack out in the dark
It was Monday- I go into work a couple hours later so that was all the time I had to work with. My Sheep hunt started on that Friday and all my vacation was scheduled for that hunt.

My good friend Phil said it was a no brainer- I didn't need to kill another dink buck !

Monday morning found me a couple miles in on a ridge glassing the field I saw him the night before. Groups of deer were heading out to bed but I didn't see the big buck. I moved to the next ridge and kept glassing the edges. Finally an hour after sunrise I spotted him in the private field. He was headed the wrong way though, away from me.

I made a move, knowing I may loose him but had to make it to a vantage point if I was ever going to have a chance. Another hour has me looking over a BLM pinyon-juniper flat that touched the private. I catch movement and see a doe flash by. then another deer, and a small buck. I wait.... nothing else.

Then I spot the doe in a narrow sage opening in the junipers, then a big buck appears out of nowhere! Its a long shot but I squeeze of a shot. It jumps but doesn't go down. I put another shot in and hit him. He still runs back towards the fields. I take up the blood trail and find him just out of the junipers. Big buck down!

I barely have time to field dress and bag the buck, and cover the few miles back to the truck before I get to work (a little late). After work and school I grab my son and we go back it out right at dark. Another hike with heavy packs.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Phil is an accomplished elk hunter!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Phil is an accomplished elk hunter!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Helping Phil pack his bull off. He always returns the favor
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Helping Phil pack his bull off. He always returns the favor
I received some very good news that week. My buddy Phil, who was going to go on that Mt. Goat hunt but couldn't, said he would be able to go with me for the first 5 days of my sheep hunt! Very helpful to have a spotter and all the extra help. Most importantly the companionship and extra mental support were huge.

The other good news was the free cabin. It had sold, but wasn't going to close until after my hunt, so I was free to stay in it and not have to clear out each day for showings. Things were looking up.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
CSU watershed property
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
CSU watershed property
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Boehmer Res frozen, but no snow on the Peak
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Boehmer Res frozen, but no snow on the Peak
The first day of the hunt we decide to hike into an area I had not been in before. It was land owned by Colorado Springs Utilities. Generally it is closed to the public, but they do allow bighorn sheep hunters foot access.

I heard a few rifle hunters had killed sheep from that property in October. Looking at the maps it was a long hike in and out every day (camping prohibited). We hiked in about 5 miles and never saw a track. The property went another 3 miles, but felt we could glass that section from the top of Pikes Peak. This fall had been very dry. The peaks were still completely clear of snow. We hiked the 5 miles back to the gate and headed to the cabin.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Dome Rock
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Dome Rock
Day 2 we decided to check out Dome Rock where I had seen the band of sheep when scouting. Nothing there. With the access from private it was only half a mile instead of a 4 mile hike to get there. No luck that morning.

We then planned to head up Pikes Peak. There is a toll road up Pikes Peak with a number of restrictions. The gate does not open until 9 am, and the road all the way to the summit may be closed at anytime due to weather conditions. Also you had to be off the summit by 4pm, and out the gate by 5pm. Not very convenient for hunting. For bighorn sheep hunters only, they do allow camping on the summit or at the halfway point if you buy a permit.

29-Jan-18
We get to the gate about 10 am and drive towards the summit. The South side of the Peak historically has good sheep activity. I'm driving up and Phil is looking out and he spots some sheep! I quickly find a pull out, he says there's a good ram. The sheep are a few hundred yard straight down from us in the wide open. I get my spotter out and see a big ram, a smaller ram and a bunch of ewes. The wind is blowing and its hard to get good video.

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
big ram
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
big ram
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
overlooking the sheep.
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
overlooking the sheep.
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Lucky horseshoe
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Lucky horseshoe
We got ready to try a stalk on the Ram. From the historical data this unit is not known for big rams. This guy looked to be very good. I had no idea how this would work but figured it was worth a shot to at least learn how the sheep would react.

We went about 100 yards and got a visual on the sheep. Still about 300 yards away in the open below us. I wanted to swing wide out of sight and see if I could work down to their level. As I started to go, Phil said- There's a ewe right there! I look and see nothing. He said it spooked and went over the rocks.

We go to where he last saw the ewe and see nothing. I never saw it. However the two rams below us must as saw her because they got up and were looking weary. I hoped they would stay with all the ewes with them but it was apparent they didn't like what was going on.

They actually start to head our direction but lower. I figure its now or never and move to try to get an angle and see what happens. There is no way I can move fast enough at that elevation, and they are spooked anyway. I actually got to 60 yards as they crossed over the ridge and bailed down an escape chute. Wasn't even close to a chance but fun to see and chase sheep. I did find a horseshoe at about 13,600' and felt it might be lucky. You never know if you are too aggressive or not, but his time it didn't work out.

29-Jan-18
Day 3- We headed up Pikes Peak Hwy again. We were the first ones to go up this time. As we were driving along still far from the top, I looked out the window and said-There's sheep bedded right there!

There were a few ewes and a legal ram in an easy spot. The ram was maybe a 5/8 curl and I wasn't sure I wanted to shoot it on the 2nd day (I was still thinking about the big ram from the day before). Phil said I was crazy and would never have an opportunity like this again if I pass it. My goal was to kill a ram with my bow, and knowing the overall odds of archery success in Colorado is low, knew it was risky to pass a legal ram.

I said lets go for it and see what happens. The ram was up and down, checking a ewe. When I was ready to move in it had bedded down. I got in to range and couldn't focus on a spot! ram fever kicking in. The front shoulder was in the way, the hind quarter tucked up tight, and I was shooting up and didn't want to punch the gut. Needless to say the steep angle up also through me for a loop. I ended up punching the release and knew I pulled it high.

The ram jumped up and ran to the ewes. I knocked another arrow but saw a ewe directly behind him, no shot. Pretty soon they knew what was up and the ewes bolted while the ram took off the other way. Hopefully that wasn't my only chance. I felt pretty bad.

We watched where he went and Phil said lets give him an hour and see. That was a long hour. We sneaked back to where we last saw him. A few hundred yards through the boulders Phils says- I see his horns! The ram was coming back towards us, about 60 yards away. A few big boulders were in between us. Phil stayed back and I went forward. I peeked around and saw his hind. I quickly ranged it at 25 yards, drew my bow and leaned out for the shot.

The ram saw me move and and bolted again. He ran back to where the ewes were. It was on a sheer cliff area with no chance of a stalk. I guess it wasn't meant to be. I was feeling down but learned some valuable lessons.

Here is a video right after my miss. You can see the ewe behind him so I couldn't take a follow up.

From: Treeline
29-Jan-18
Now we’re gettin’ excited!!!

29-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
hiking to glassing points
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
hiking to glassing points
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
glassing sheep
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
glassing sheep
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
kids getting it done without me!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
kids getting it done without me!
Day 4- We started out in Dome Rock once again with no luck. We left a truck at one end of the SWA with plans to come back in the evening and hike the whole length. We then headed back to Pikes Peak.

This time the peak was closed for traffic due to high winds. We waited for an hour til it was clear. It had become evident to hunt the Peak with all the restrictions I would have to commit and camp there. Always tough to give up a warm cabin and electricity for a tent in the freezing wind!

We glassed all day on the Peak and turned up several bands of ewes and one small ram, maybe a 1/2 curl. We then went to the SWA and hiked the 4 miles with no tracks and no sign of sheep. I needed to commit to the Peak since we had been seeing sheep there. Day 5 was also Phil's last day to hunt with me.

My son wanted to come along on this hunt, but with the logistics and school it didn't work out. He did however go help his friend (his dad agreed to drive) out on a mule deer hunt and spotted a buck for him. Not bad for a couple 15yr olds.

From: Yellowjacket
29-Jan-18
I'm enjoying reading this. I've helped a buddy take a ram off of Dome Rock and I've taken a ewe there myself. Brings back some memories!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Phil on the boulders where the sheep were. pretty steep
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Phil on the boulders where the sheep were. pretty steep
Day 5- We packed up in the morning. Phil was going to hunt til the afternoon with me then head off. He had a 4th season buck tag that started the next day. I was fully committed to hunt the Peak so I had all my camping gear and food for the rest of the week ready to go.

We got to the gate, and were informed that once again the road was closed to the top. That is why I need to camp in there, its not closed if you are already up on top. we drove to where rangers had the closure and waited. High winds (up to 70mph gusts) on the summit were to blame. An hour later the wind died down enough to open the road. Phil asked the ranger who came down if he had seen any sheep from the road- Nope.

As we slowly drove up the switchbacks Phil said you got to get one today since I'm with you to help out. I said that would be great, just got to find a huntable sheep. Next thing I hear is Phil saying "There's a ram over there!"

Sure enough he spotted a ram and ewe in a very stalk-able spot. From all our glassing the days before we knew we could get above the sheep, get to the edge of the cliff and hopefully have a close shot. We hurried to the parking spot and got ready fast, hoping the ram would stay.

I was having flashbacks of my missed opportunity before and starting to feel a little anxiety. Phil said you got this. We started moving quickly down the ridgeline to where we though the sheep were. The wind was blowing so our noise wasn't a big issue. We stopped above a cluster of boulders we had marked. Phil had the plan and said "I'm going to peak over and find the ram and range it. You only need to draw and lean over and shoot" I said "Ok, it better be closer than 25yds so I don't miss!"

I saw Phil look over the edge, bring up his rangefinder turn to me and say 23 yards, you got this!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
I get closer to the edge, come to full draw, then lean over. I see the ram looking at the ewe, and the ewe looking up at me. I feel ram fever coming over me, I keep thinking pick a spot. I narrow my focus on the shoulder crease, try to hold still with the wind, try to squeeze the release. The shot goes off, I see the arrow hit, a bit back but it felt ok.

The sheep run behind the boulders out of sight. Phil says you just got a ram! A minute later we see the ewe run out from the boulders and cross a draw away from us. Phil moves down the edge and spots the ram still standing below us. I hurry to him and he says 47yds (angle compensated) Once again I come to full draw. This time I am clear headed and deliberately go through the process. A clean release and we watch the arrow fly.... what? did I miss? it looked like the arrow went high over the ram?

No time to think about it because the ram is running across the draw, running, running, staggering! falling over!!! Ram down! It is down right there!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
2nd arrow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
2nd arrow
We worked our way down the steep cliff and saw where the ram was standing for the 2nd shot. Good blood, looked like the first shot would have done it. I then spot my second arrow below and retrieve it, completely covered in blood. The steep downward angle made it look like I had shot high, but by the looks of the arrow a perfect pass through.

We made our way to the downed ram.

30-Jan-18
The terrain is a lot steeper than it looks, but I finally get to put my hands on the ram!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
archery ram
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
archery ram
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Team effort, thanks Phil!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Team effort, thanks Phil!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
And a lot of pictures!

30-Jan-18
Fantastic year!!!! Non stop! Huge congrats,,,,.

From: Beav
30-Jan-18
What year!! Thanks for sharing!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
beautiful country
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
beautiful country
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Its great to break down an animal with two guys. We boned out the ram and caped it there.

From: Treeline
30-Jan-18
Icing on the cake for a wonderful hunting season with tons of fabulous memories with your son! Big Congratulations!

30-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pack out
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pack out
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
great end to the hunt
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
great end to the hunt
Another heavy pack out. A great feeling!

From: Shug
30-Jan-18
Congratulations... great Stuff

From: Marty
30-Jan-18
Awesome story, thanks for sharing!

From: Bowboy
30-Jan-18
Awesome story and pictures. Congrats on a great year. Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!

From: Quinn @work
30-Jan-18
Congrats. Nothing beats an archery ram in CO.

From: Predeter
30-Jan-18
Epic year! Thanks for posting.

30-Jan-18
With the sheep tag filled, there was still a few easy hunts left to finish the year. The boys really finished strong

From: Zackman
30-Jan-18
Congrats on your Archery ram!!!!

From: Yellowjacket
30-Jan-18
Congrats! That's no small feat taking a ram on the Peak with a bow.

30-Jan-18
What a year! Grats on all your adventures! Great story, thanks for taking the time to write it up.

From: HUNT MAN
30-Jan-18
Thanks for bringing us along . What a year!! Hunt

From: Nick Muche
31-Jan-18
Unreal! Congrats on an incredible year.

From: CCOVEY
31-Jan-18
Great thread and congrats on a stellar year!!

From: OFFHNTN
31-Jan-18
CONGRATS on a great ram and year!

31-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
View from treestand with a deer down. I love seeing them go down in sight!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
View from treestand with a deer down. I love seeing them go down in sight!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
grateful to bowhunt
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
grateful to bowhunt
As we got back to the truck we ran into the other Archery Ram hunter. He had been hunting Dome Rock unsuccessfully. Phil took off for his deer hunt, and I went with the other hunter to show him where we had been seeing sheep on the Peak. Within half an hour I spot a group of about 15 sheep with a good ram about a mile away. I explained all the complexities of hunting the Peak and need to camp out. I wished him well.

I kept in touch with him throughout the hunt. He had a couple good chances and a missed shot throughout the hunt, but ended up empty at the end.

I had a week scheduled off after Thanksgiving in case I needed it for the sheep. Since I was tagged out I decided to go hunt whitetails in Arkansas with my friend Brady who owed me for help on his elk hunt ;) Its a low key fun hunt to hang out at deer camp. I shot a doe, and passed a few others and a 7 pt, waiting for one of his shooter bucks that never materialize. Always grateful to sit with a bow in hand in stead of at work!

From: TXCO
31-Jan-18
Congrats on a great sheep and great year!

31-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
easy blood trail
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
easy blood trail
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
accomplishment
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
accomplishment
I mentioned earlier that my son had an archery only antlerless deer tag. Tag was good for the unit we lived in and went from Aug-Dec. We got permission from a neighbor about a mile away to hunt his property and set up a ground blind.

As kids age they want more and more independence. This hunt turned out great for my son to learn to do it by himself. As a Dad I wanted to be there and tell him the best way to do things, but I never did sit or hunt with him during this hunt. It was close enough he could ride his bike over or get dropped off and hunt. He even had a couple friends sit with him on various occasions. There were a lot of learning opportunities (2 missed shots!) But finally he was able to connect on this deer! He even had it dressed and at home before I got back from work!

31-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
big cow
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
big cow
I also had a late cow elk tag for a winter range unit to fill. The winter had been very dry, still is, so the elk never came down off the mountains. Luckily I knew of a spot that held a resident herd of elk year round. I took my youngest boy along since he had not been on an elk hunt before. We spotted 4 elk feeding down, and I was able to get one. My son was surprised at how big they really were! I was extremely glad I could get my truck to it!

31-Jan-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
First Deer with a bow!!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
First Deer with a bow!!
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
tastey whitetail
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
tastey whitetail
And finally the last hunt of the year! My oldest son and his best friend - Justus were dying to go hunt whitetails. Justus had moved away that summer so my boy had been missing his companionship. So I set it up with Brady to come back with the boys during Christmas break.

I do have to say I was really impressed with Justus. The first thing he did after his move was to convince the local archery shop to hire him, a 15 yr old with no experience to work at the shop! I figured he deserved a little help to get his first archery big game kill ( I had taken him the year before and the boys killed turkeys with their bows).

It became a joke at deer camp that Justus was the only guy at the archery shop without a biggame kill so we put him in all the best stands. The Hunt went by fast, There was a couple days of general season where they took some does with rifles, then bowhunted the rest. Justus finally got this awesome doe at 17yards!! he was the happiest bowhunter! and a good friend, hopefully a friend my son will have to grow with and go on many future hunts and become the next generation of bowhunters.

As I have seen over the year, good friends and family makes a hunt priceless. And I plan to continue to leave a hunting legacy for the next generation. What a year.

From: Scoot
31-Jan-18
Wow, great year! Congrats in all regards! Great work getting the kid out in the field!

From: Ermine
31-Jan-18
Wow congrats! What a great year. I hope you have enough meat to make it thru the winter?

From: Treeline
01-Feb-18
Cherry on top of the icing on the cake.

Fantastic! Congratulations all around!

01-Feb-18
Plenty of meat in the freezer. I have a couple families that I donate a lot of it to and are very grateful for the help. Also in Arkansas they have a very strong Hunters feeding the hungry program.

From: otcWill
01-Feb-18
Good stuff! Congrats

From: sticksender
01-Feb-18
Congrats on a great season and especially on your great archery ram.

02-Mar-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Euro ram
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
Euro ram
I finished the euro mount on the ram. I love being able to hold it. My wife thought it would look nice on our bedroom mantle. I'm not complaining.

From: bill v
22-Mar-18
Nice. Congrats

Bill v

From: Nesser
22-Mar-18
Incredible season! Congrats!

From: Mark Watkins
24-Mar-18
Wow!!

What a year...congrats! Nicely done with the young guns! They are lucky to have a great Dad like you!

Mark

From: Elkhorn
24-Mar-18
My wife thought I hunted a lot....so I let her read your story.

From: kscowboy
24-Mar-18
Did you save the cape from him? If you happened to save the full cape, you will make a taxidermist out there very happy. Those usually go for quite a bit of money.

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