Contributors to this thread:
I always hunt DIY but I have been hearing that in WY it is really tough, with any weapon and even for an ewe. What are your thoughts? I never thought I would hire a guide, especially for sheep. I have 19 points so there are units I can draw (most with wilderness) and many others I will be able to draw soon.
I'll contract with a guide if ever I draw. I want access to the entire population of sheep.
Well it depends on a lot of things, mostly you though. Can you handle a horse as rentals are available? Assuming you are taking a friend along, safer easier. Take a inreach, plan on using a rifle. If you can draw unit 5 pm me for particulars.
Glunker is right. It comes down to horses. If you can handle them you can hunt as long as you want instead of booking a hunt where you have one week to get it done. My cost to lease is the same whether I have them for 3 days or 3 weeks. If you want to access and own the kind of country you need to in order to use those points wisely you need transportation. If you can’t saddle, ride, and care for horses I’d say bite the bullet and book with an outfitter. I wouldn’t do a backpack hunt for sheep. I need to cover ground and have a solid camp up high.
I've got 2 areas picked out and both are DIY. With 23 resident PP I should draw my area in a year or two, maybe this year.
Plenty of NR ewe tags in other states you can draw with minimal points and hunt DIY, why use all your WY points on a ewe? If you draw a ram tag not being able to legally hunt wilderness areas would be handicapping yourself...
I used a guide this year and couldn’t imagine it any other way. We hunted wilderness which I wouldn’t have access to without a guide as well.
I would think you just pick a unit with what will work for sheep and do what you have to do. Many are illegal for all intents for diy and others are huge and rugged, you may have to do a bit of suffering, but then again it aint antelope hunting over a puddle. Kinda like a G-5 goat Don, what could go wrong? ;)
#5 works, but it aint no road hunt...
It all depends on your skill/fitness level, amount of time to hunt, and desired area you want to hunt.
I’m not a WY resident, I am still working, and I don’t know the areas like many do.
It would be crazy for me to not use the services of an outfitter when I draw. I would do it anyway just for the access to some great areas I would probably want to hunt when I am able to draw a tag.
I too would hire an outfitter. Its now a once in a lifetime hunt in WY. You get a lot with an outfitter. They know the area, they know the quality of the sheep. They can judge sheep from a distance. They have good horses and will take good care of you, at least most of them will. I have had two sheep tags, hunted on my own for days and then went with an outfitter. I live right here where my tags were and am friends with the guides and outfitters. If you are draw area 4 or 5, PM me about our local outfitters.
Don, I'm one point behind you and starting to look at this question also, I have a good friend that is a resident of Wy and therefore can get me into the wilderness without a guide. I really want to do the hunt with just him and another buddy and currently researching units, finding one that doesn't require horses to move to different drainages during the hunt seems to be the main sticking point with bears being another concern. Really wish I lived closer and could hike the areas in the summer/fall and see how possible it would be before burning a OIL tag.
I'm a resident and scouted my area a lot. Remember, if you hunt the archery season the Rams tend to be very high and quite a few miles in. I eventually hired an outfitter. It was the best decision I made.
On my hunt we road in horse & mule over 6 hours straight. We saw lots of sheep and I got it done in 6 days. Like stated, this will most likely be a once in a lifetime hunt.
My outfitter stated when the snow comes in October it usually pushes the sheep down their easier to hunt.
If you'd like his name PM me.
Here's my 2017 Area 5 Ram
Here's my 2017 Area 5 Ram
I was able to hunt sheep in the late 70's and early 80's,,,, a tag was easier than, but yep I had an outfitter,,,, my outfitter is gone now, another great one
Kind of in that same predicament. On 19 or so points. Not that interested in paying a boatload of money for an outfitter in Wyoming even though I would love to hunt in that backcountry.
Money is not the reason I do not want to use an outfitter. I am in great shape and have no problem packing in for weeks if needed.
That said I drew a premium Vermont moose tag and hunted the entire season every minute of daylight HARD. I never saw or heard a moose. I would like to harvest every species possible diy and it is unlikely I will ever get to go after Canadian moose again. Last day I met a hard core local when mentioned a guide who was $200 or $300 a day and is nearly 100% in a couple days.
I really regretted not getting a guide. I would have been happy with a cow moose. Success came from guys driving roads until they saw a moose. I refused to do this and with no outfitter had low odds of getting a decent bull. I was over confident and did not listen to guys who said it was not going to be as easy as I expected and the success rates were deceiving if you did not road hunt or go guided or be a local.
I will NOT make that mistake again.
I think your Vermont experience gives you the answer you seek.
It’s not like you won’t still be able to take advantage of the fact that you have time and are well-conditioned just because a hunt is outfitted. You will still be able to go farther, harder, and longer. I’ve not yet met a sheep guide who would hold anyone back.
Don, Your to dangerous to hunt alone. You need someone there to make sure you don't get run over by moose, fall off a cliff or loose your mind from isolation. You better get 2 guides and a body guard. Doug
Don, add run out of food in AK when ur bush flight was late... lol
BTW, Don and I are barbary sheep hunting in NM this week. Please pray for me... Last time we hunted NM he almost killed me...lol
Thunderflight please post your results. I’ll be there Tuesday hunting Barbary.
My 2016 ram
I drew a MAX POINT tag with just 16 points.
317 guys had more points than I had and 402 more guys had the same number of points I had.
NONE of the 317 guys applied for my unit and only five with the same number of points I had applied. Actually, I looked the physical challenge as a bonus, because I knew that meant lots of guy would not apply for the unit for that very reason.
That meant there were just six of us in the draw for three NR tags.
I not only drew, I took the best ram taken in that unit all year and I shot him on Day Two.
Why didn't more people apply? Because it's a VERY physical unit and therefore success rates were a bit over 60% as a result.
The physical challenge was of no concern to me and as a result, I drew and tagged out.
That was one heck of a Ram and hunt Kyle!!!
Us greybeards do just fine when we keep in year round training.
Thanks for sharing that pic again---- Robb
Guys we have some great sheep hunting in DIY areas. Great access and big rams, no grizz either.