Contributors to this thread:
Time Value of a Tag
A random thought based on some age and preference point/bonus point discussions.
Given when point systems were initiated, middle aged hunters have a "better" shot at drawing premium tags in preference point states, and to a lesser degree in bonus point states.
So, I'm looking for opinions, right now, would you rather be 60 years old and on the cusp of drawing a prized sheep tag, but towards the end of your hunting career or 30 years old with more years ahead of you, but no chance of ever drawing a sheep tag?
I know there are other ways to acquire tags, hit a lucky random tag, or save money, but this is a hypothetical where you are just trading time for a sheep hunt and I'm curious what you guys think.
this has to be a trick question:
Old with a chance
Young with no chance
Which is better?
ahhhhhhh maybe the one with the chance?
How about young enough to be dumb enough to think I have a chance!!!
Have the ability to make decisions that allow you to go on the tough, expensive hunts while still young by paying the cash.
Then figure out how to cover those costs over the rest of your life with the memories and animals on the wall!
Odds are, you never draw a sheep tag as a non-resident starting out today. Sheep herds get sick so states cut tags. That reduces supply. Demand is still high and as a hunter ages the realization could no longer do well physically on a sheep hunt might result in them no longer going on deer or elk hunts but when money is not tight then sheep applications will continue until the heart stops in many cases.
So, is not really a simple do I pay $X now and go hunt sheep (or moose or goat or bison) or pay a smaller amount each year with a CHANCE to hunt sheep with a draw tag at some point perhaps this year or maybe in 20 years or perhaps never draw a tag.
I think the free-range aoudad in NM can be way more challenging than most bighorn hunts where the challenge is drawing the bighorn tag and then is mostly field-judging rams. You can draw a public lands free-range aoudad tag in NM in a few tries unless have really bad luck.
I prefer mountain goats over bighorn sheep but have only drawn a bighorn ewe tag so maybe ram fever is a real thing and I have not been impacted yet.
I have had a lot of memorable hunts and often had nothing to do with the particular species. Based on that, hunt often no matter what the tag is.
I really don't understand the problem. The answer is very simple, move to AK or western Canada and you are guaranteed a sheep tag every year. Doesn't matter if you are 30 or 60, just what choices you make.....
I'd much rather be 30 now, as a general wish. But I know that when I was thirty, I thought there was no chance I could ever afford the most expensive hunts. And I sure couldn't then, with a mortgage and 2 kids on the rise. Like the old proverb states....too soon old, too late smart. Just gotta do your best to get smart before you get old. As far as sheep, we're now in the era of either buying your hunt or don't expect to go....the time of hoping to draw the most coveted species is virtually over. Key to everything though, is stay in good physical condition and health, and there's no reason you can't continue doing any kind of hunts you want, deep into your 70's.
Thanks guys for all the responses, maybe my initial question would've been better phrased this way: how many years of hunting other species would you give up to have a sheep tag?
Hunt sheep young.
You can hunt locally for deer, elk, antelope and bears when you’re old and fat and broke from spending all that money on sheep hunting when you were young.
Damn, I wish I was 30 again!
I do not have even close to the stones needed to broach the subject with my wife about borrowing my annual income so that I can personally go on a sheep hunt and how the family can pay for it for years on end, when she has also had so sacrifice career goals for the good of the family. Ain't happenin! But I know there are a lot of guys on here that are good at tellin' their wives whose in charge and what's what, so I'll have to defer to them for that ;)
Give up? As in, because it's an expensive guided hunt that you're giving up multiple less expensive guided hunts?
I guess I can't wrap my head around the issue. You either get lucky, pay, or move. And the hunting when you're old thing is a gig that really only worked if you got started 20 years ago. A young guy now doesn't have that luxury unless he lives in CO or possibly MT.
I moved to Alaska and work 6 months a year so that I can hunt sheep and anything else I want while I'm young and am trading a later-in-life retirement for that. I've hunted goat and sheep now and I'm hooked. I'd love to hunt DBHS as well, but I'll probably just have to get lucky when I'm old because I'm not willing to go on a guided hunt.
I have friends that sheep hunted into there 70s. I plan to. No cut-off as long as you stay in decent shape. You just go a bit slower. I will say the 2-1/2 day pack out last fall on my buddy’s Stone was a challenge but actually felt better as it went along. So hunt them when you are young, middle aged and old as much as you can!
No desire to go back to 30. The world is waay too messed up for my liking. Besides, I am knocking on 60's door and I am just getting started. Bring on the sheep tags...
Ike gets it!
Hell, next thing you know he will be moving to BC... Rockies, California’s, Fanins, Dall’s, and, of course, Stones! Every year.
I'm 53 and gonna hunt sheep as long as I can financially and physically. No desire to go back to 30 for the reasons Mad Trapper stated. Bears in the spring, sheep in the fall...bring it on! :)
If give up hunting, period, to be 30 again. Lots more to life than just killing animals.
I'm with Matt. I'd give up hunting everything to be 30 again. Fishing I'd give up also.
Turned 72 in May, it's some depressing if I dwell on it late at night. Circles and cycles........ 30 is the month of May. 72 is late November.
Yea I'm with Matt and Bluedog!
How have you been Dan. See your still lurking some :)
Danny boy!!! Where ya been, brother. I’ve missed you.
Drew S12 sheep tag this year at 62, gladly hand that over to you all to be 30 again...
I am no math whiz but I’ve long ago accepted that I would never draw a sheep tag in the lower 48. And even if I would have started buying points when I really started getting into the adventure hunting (say 15 years ago) I still would be no closer to drawing a tag, but would have probably spent thousands of $ on points. I am a firm believer in working hard and earning money (and making life choices) that allows you to purchase these bigger adventure type hunts. Obviously Ike and some others made life choices to live where they are able to do these kinds of hunts. I made choices to make time and money to do them.
I am 43 now, certainly not young, and I’m starting to feel older. I wonder how long I can keep doing some of the physically challenging hunts, and really see the value of spending my $ now on the mountain hunts. I honestly cannot imagine giving up years of potential hunting to “possibly” draw a Sheep/goat/moose tag. And anyone just getting into those point systems now really need to take an honest look at how/when/if they can ever draw one.
I’m living my retirement now, I’ll work when I’m old! Like I’ve heard Carlie say “take a trip of a lifetime every year”. And I have been known to take 2-3 a year ;)
Given the confusion, I'm obviously not very good at this.
My intent was not to figure out how I could hunt sheep or the best way to go about saving/moving/applying for tags.
This is a purely hypothetical situation where I am trying to gather opinions on how important sheep hunting is to various different individuals. Thus the questions about how much you would give up in time, other hunting opportunities, etc.
I'm 32 and although I would really like to hunt sheep someday, I wouldn't rather "fast forward" 20 years, just so I would have enough points to draw a sheep tag and sacrifice all the other opportunities in the mean time.
Again, I know this isn't a realistic situation at all, I was just trying to gauge where you guys rate sheep hunting relative to other aspects of your life and outdoor pursuits.
Glad I could drag all of you along on this tremendously confusing thread.
I was blessed to hunt sheep one time in my life. It's certainly one of my fondest memories in the last 30 years, but it's just one memory out of countless others. There's nothing more precious than time.
I would even take 32! Hell yeah!
If you want to hunt sheep, your best bet is to move to BC. Hunt them there every year and apply for desert tags in as many states as you can.
I know you weren’t only replying to me, but let me rephrase a little. And this may not be exactly what you are asking either...
If you came to me at age 30 and said I have 2 hunting choices:
A) - I can have a free sheep tag at 60, but can only hunt white tails at home and maybe an elk or antelope trip every 4-5 year.
B) - I can hunt whatever I can afford next 30 years and maybe or maybe not be able to sheep hunt.
I would take B every time.
None, if that was a real choice.
Enjoy your youth!!! The hunts will come or they won't ??
"This is a purely hypothetical situation where I am trying to gather opinions on how important sheep hunting is to various different individuals. "
If you'd have asked me this question the year I killed my first elk, I would have said, "not important at all."
I went on my first sheep hunt last year and I now my hunting plans all revolve around my annual sheep hunt. It was absolutely the coolest hunt I've ever done and I didn't tag a sheep. 2019 might be the first year I haven't hunted elk since I first started hunting them 10 years ago.
It took a long time to get to my 50th year in life and the road was full of lots of ups and downs. I never hunted sheep until I was 46 and actually wondered all along if I ever would. Now I have hunted sheep four times and have seven more sheep hunts booked (2 this fall). I actually drew my first sheep tag just this year for Colorado and have a stone hunt in the Yukon in August. I feel that it was impossible for me at 30 to know what things would be like at 50 or 60, let alone how my body would feel.
I think if hunting is what a person loves then you have to hunt something every year and keep working toward those dream hunts. Things can change quickly in a persons life and you never know what changes tomorrow will bring.
I waited almost three years as a resident of AK to go sheep hunting, mainly because I knew once I started everything else would take the back burner. Maybe that's why I don't go Elk hunting, my friends tell me it's the best....those bulls will be around later in life and I'll find joy in chasing them then. For now, my time and money will go towards sheep, goats, bears, etc... Had I not moved to Alaska at 27 years old, I am all but certain I'd have never been able to hunt sheep and I know how lucky I am, thank my lucky stars every day for the opportunities I've been handed. I hope whatever plan you come up with works out, best of luck!
I enjoy hunting.
Sheep are cool but so are a lot of other animals. I will certainly go sheep hunting every single year because it’s fun, but I won’t sacrifice other opportunities if it came to that. Sheep is about 4th on the list for me when it comes to Alaska hunts, luckily it doesn’t interfere with the other 3 scheduling wise so as long as I’m afforded the time away from work to pull off all 4 each year, I’ll keep going.
I'd like to drawn some sheep tags in my 30's. I'll be 60 in 2020. I've been on three sheep hunts two in AK and one in WY. Hopefully I'll get to go again in a few years. I think it's tougher for younger folks due to family situation especially with kids or they don't have the income.
At 60, I would have to consider financial condition and physical condition.
I’ve seen some 60+ persons wear down 30 somethings on hunts.
Age is truly a number !
I’ll go with 60 since I’m 69
You guys gotta be kiddin me. When I was 55 I could still eat barbed wire and crap out rusty horse shoes, well at least Shetland shoes. 30? I was a damned Adonis and nothing could stop me, I mean nothing. One mean MF'er on life. What I would not give to go back to 30, under one condition. My children, grandchildren, wife, family and lifelong friends would have to come with me. If not I am staying right where I am: ten minute stretching warm up in the morning for stability and ease the pain, wobbling like a circumcised duck till about 10 am, raiding the pill case to keep me going the rest of the day and raiding it again at night to "pass out" so I can eventually "come to" in the morning. Who at my age can "fall asleep and wake up"? ;-) Then do it all again and again, but damn I look around and back at my life and experiences and love it so, and, on second thought would not trade it in for 25. God has been especially good to me through the years everyday and I ain't taking the chance of doing it again and He might be having a bad day. ;-)
Yes...youngun's...live your retirement now because when you are young the colors are never again to be so bright, the bathing suits on the girls not the sun making you sweat on the beach and cranking out all nighters going straight threw without missing a beat. Playing friggin shuffle board on your cruise trip, top deck ain't gettin it with a boat full of money. Be concerned about your future, yes, but do not trade it for the best friggin times of your life which you will never relive again. Burn the candle at both ends AND the middle and yourself in the process. The shuffle board court can't guess your age and by that time who cares anyway....another ENSURE please. I would pay $ 10,000.00 just to be able to take a piss without it burning. $hit.
I had back surgery at 30. 30 kinda sucked, if ya ask me....;^)
Nick, "later in life"? LOL! The underwear I'm wearing right now is older than you!
Do the hard hunts while you can. No guarantees your body will go where your spirit wants to go in 30 years.
I'd go back to 30 and save 5 years of my life by getting my ex out the F'n way.
The juice aint worth the squeeze
I’m 61, I started the point game about 25 years ago. I’ve drawn one Bighorn tag, a couple primo elk and deer tags. I’m still waiting on other tags that I may or may never draw. But the years I didn’t draw there is still some awesome hunting that one can do. Sheep in BC and Alaska, grizzly hunting, African big game, Midwest or some Canadian whitetail hunting. I’ve been fortunate to do a lot. Just remember, there’s no guarantee you will draw any tags at 60, nor any guarantee you will even be alive at 60.
Plan for the future but live for today.
I’m 35 and if I had a sheep tag in my pocket I’d give it up to go back to 30 and have 5 extra years of hunting with my dad. He’s still in good shape now but I know when he isn’t, I’m going to want those 5 years.
I'll stay where I'm at age wise and the amount of sheep tags I've drawn with the option of drawing a few more with the Bonus Points I have in other states.
I suggest to the Young Bucks Not to even consider Preference Point States but to stick with Bonus point states that Split the tag allocations % in Units with 2 or more Non-ressy tag offerings...…..Ya just never know.....
Good luck, Robb
Jaq, if you’re wearing 30+ year old underwear I’d highly reccomend grabbing a few new pairs!
Standing rule: never wish your time away.
Yep, at 35 Uncle Sam threw me into the briar patch and shipped me up to Alaska. I caught sheep fever and was able to homestead in the last frontier for 8 years.
I’m pushing 60 and comfortable in my present hunting situation. I feel blessed for my experiences.
Go West, young man, while the sheep are still over the counter!
I may draw a tag in my home state one day. Until then I'll tag along with friends on their hunts in both CO and AK. Yeah, I won't be the guy that drops the string, but I'll be able to enjoy every other aspect of the hunt as well as share the success with my friends. That'll do for me
"Taking a “trip of a lifetime, every year” can be a sheep hunt or a four day weekend hunting whities on the back 40 with your bests buds."
Charlie, I couldn't agree more!
Taking a “trip of a lifetime, every year” can be a sheep hunt or a four day weekend hunting “ whities”on the back 40 with your bests buds.
I believe there’s laws against that.
Every year WSF state chapters offer raffles for sheep hunts. Usually $100. Per ticket 500 tickets sold. Better odds if you buy a few than a lot states drawings for NR.
And sometimes, one person might try and buy all of the tickets...Allegedly!
WY WSF is raffling an NWT Dall hunt right now. As for the thread, go while you are young and can handle the physical exertion. There is no guarantee that you will see 60 or be able to climb the mountain. Move to a western state like WY and your odds go up greatly. Drew my first in WY after 8 years.I went on my first Stone hunt at 35, cost $11000 total. Back then I could work 7 days a week for months and pay for the trip. Retired at 62 with lots of plans. A bad knee replacement, cancer and another knee about to go ended my sheep hunting. Raised a family and paid for the trips as a locomotive engineer. If I did not have a tag I usually had friends that did. If not I went scouting during the summer for future hunts. Don't wait there is no guarantee of a tomorrow.
I’m also 62 and drew a Montana Breaks sheep tag this year. Would I rather be 30, hell no I have a grandson!!
Kurt, I’ll call you for a ticket. This thread could be of use to the young guys. First responsibility is to your family. As an old guy I don’t regret any time I spent with my kids. And I moved back to Michigan for my wife. After that I went after it as hard as I could. Maybe pushed the limits. Like Kurt said I can still go, just slower. The memories I have are what I’m thankful for. There are no guarantees to the future so my advice is to do it now.
Guess I will skip answering other than to say I will, in my 50’s today, keep my sheep tag in the drawer for 3 more weeks...then put it to good use with bow in hand....and not worry about drawing sheep...but keep putting in.