California Bighorn in BCContributors to this thread:
HUNT MAN 09-Sep-18
Rocky D 09-Sep-18
skinner creek 09-Sep-18
hunt'n addict 09-Sep-18
Southern draw 10-Sep-18
Just returned from a great hunt for California Bighorn in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Thought I would share a few photos from the trip. The first is of two rams that we really focused on during the hunt. This is a picture taken the day before the season opened. There were seven rams in this group, but these were the two biggest. The guides spend a lot of time trying to decide which one I should shoot. Each one had something special. After looking them both over, I finally said "guys, this is really easy. I'm going to shoot the one that gives me the opportunity." We put them all to bed that night from the top of the mountain.
The next morning was typical for an opening morning. None of the 27 rams we had spotted the day before could be found. No matter how much we looked, they just weren't there. Finally, mid day, we spotted a group of 4 rams with one shooter in the group. They were in a different location up the mountain. So up we went.
The 4 rams were bedded just below the opening in the middle of the photo. I stalked down, took off my boots, and went in socks to within 32 yards of the bedded rams. The one shooter was off to the side and didn't offer a shot. Suddenly, they all started looking below, and stood up. A tree blocked the vitals of the shooter, so I didn't shoot. After a short time, they jumped off the rock and walked away into the timber, never giving a shot. I looked down to see what scared them... Across the way, on the top of a hill, was a black bear. But that wasn't it. I saw white moving through the forest below, so found my binoculars and looked. For the only time in many years of hunting, I was watching a man in capris pants with a green and white golf umbrella walking through the forest. Has never happened before, and will probably never happen again.....
With little light left in the first day, we finally found the group of 7 rams we had been looking for. They had gotten down low enough that we just couldn't see them. Rather than risk a stalk, we decided to come back early the next morning. At first light, they were pretty close to where they had been the night before. So down the mountain we went. Once we got within 100 yards, I was on my on. My guide and my wife stayed back, as I belly crawled out onto the ledge above them. There was very little cover. It took hours to go 20 to 30 yards. I was trying to get to one rock that would possibly give enough cover to get on my knees. In this photo, the 7 sheep are bedded on the right, and I'm crawling on the top left, under the branch of the tree. Once I made it to the rock, it was just lie there and wait for them to make a move.
After lying in the sun for 3 hours, unable to move, it occurred to me that I had my phone in my pocket. So I texted my wife, "Honey, it's really hot out here on this rock. Can you walk back up the mountain and get me a beer?"
The response back was pretty expected. "Honey, I've been sitting next to this tree for 3 hours, and I'm bored. Go get your own damn beer."
As usually happens when all is going as planned.....it stops going as planned. The wind did a little swirl, and the sheep got up. Instead of feeding to the right, which would take them right below me, they headed up the mountain instead. The outfitter knew that the backside of the mountain was extremely steep, so that they would probably stay up there a while.
After waiting a while, we went up the mountain as well. They had dropped just over the other side, and were bedded on this ledge. Again, off came the boots, and I inched forward, to the trees immediately above them. I could only see 3 of the sheep. I knew one of them was one of the two big ones. He finally got up and walked broadside at 37 yards. The problem was that one of the small ones had gotten up as well, and pretty much had me pegged. He just wouldn't take his eyes off of me. I had the shooter broadside, looking away, but didn't want to risk spooking the smaller one. So I just waited. Finally, another small ram walked up and nudged the one looking at me, causing him to look away. So I took the opportunity to get my bow drawn, and release. I knew it was a good shot. Fortunately, he ran around the ledge, and not down the cliff.
The result was pretty incredible. He didn't run more than 75 yards, and stayed up on the ledge in the grass. Of the two rams in the first picture, he turned out to be the one of the left. As I had said earlier, I was shooting the one that gave the opportunity, and it happened to be this one. I've been trying to shoot all four of my sheep with the same Slick Trick broadhead (new blades, of course). I was a little concerned that with the pass through over the cliff, that the arrow would be long gone. But with a little searching, we found it, and the broadhead is still in great shape (after three sheep.) Needless to say my outfitter was thrilled. I was his first bowhunter, so he was a little skeptical when I booked the hunt. To his credit, though, he did say that this put the "fun" back in sheep hunting for him.
I've been really fortunate that my wife has started to tag along on some of my hunts. It was really special to spend this with her. After 30 years of marriage, we've finally figured out how to make it work. She spends time hunting with me, then we go do some "touring" for her. In this case, the Okanagan region of BC is incredible, and has wineries everywhere. So we did spend several days hitting as many of those as we could.
WOW!! Unreal, what an accomplishment you make it sound so easy! Sounds like the trip of a lifetime on both ends, congrats to you!
As for the ram, he was a great one to take. 8 1/2 years old, mature. They've built an incredible herd of sheep there through proper management. Even though it's an "any ram" unit, they still focus on taking the mature ones. And the results speak for themselves when it's done right.
Brute well done.
From: HUNT MAN
Amazing thank you for posting! Hunt
From: Rocky D
Great ram...great hunt. Congrats...
Awesome hunt! Congratulations! That is a gorgeous ram!
Did you and your wife have any of the sheep meat with some wine from one of the wineries? Sheep meat is one of my favorites.....Congratulations!!
You really make it sound so easy! Congrats on a great hunt! What ram are you missing for your slam?
Congratulations on your Ram. Great shot!
From: skinner creek
who did you hunt with? Congratulations on a great hunt. I loved reading your write up.
From: hunt'n addict
Very nice. Congratulations. What area of BC is this?
Congratulations Alan! That is one heck of a ram. Can't wait to see number 4!!!
Alan, Congratulations!!!! Great Cali! Not even too smoky in the photos compared to what it had been.
Congratulations!! Beautiful ram!
What a Dandy Ram!!
Good luck, Robb
Beautiful congrats. Thanks for sharing
Beauty! Thanks for sharing!
Outstanding! Congrats on getting 'er done, and on a beauty of a ram!
From: Southern draw
Great story and Great ram, congrats. What ram do you have left for your slam? Post pics of the other rams as well, we would all love to see them.
Beautiful ram! Congratulations!
Wowza. Congrats!! Which ram is the last one for you?
AWESOME!!! Congratulations on a great ram and hunt! Thank you for sharing this!
Congrats on a great ram!
Great ram. Congratulations!
Congratulations... well done.
Well done. Great ram. Great memories.
Congratulations!! Great story and ram
Big congrats! Thanks for sharing
Very nice! Thank you for sharing your story. Love sheep hunts especially with bow
That’s an Illegal Alien, send them back here.
Alan has one of the coolest wives anywhere. So her "Get your own damn beer" response is perfect!
Well done! Very well done! Thanks for sharing
Congratulations, Alan. Beautiful ram.
Guys- I appreciate all the kind words. And a special thank-you to Kyle for the tip on getting this set up. To answer several of the questions, I've got to go back for a Dall. This was actually my FNAWS/Slam/4th sheep, but heading back for Dall so it will all be with archery. So I've got to get one more clean kill from the Slick Trick Magnum 100. Storing it until next August.... I'll attach a couple of photos of the other two sheep.
Desert Sheep from Texas in 2015
Desert Sheep from Texas in 2015
Fannin Sheep from 2015
Fannin Sheep from 2015
Congrats! Great story and great ram.
You've taken some great rams Alan. Congrats again.
Congrats on a great ram and thanks for sharing!