Sitka Mountain Gear
My 2019 NWT Adventure
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
'Ike' (Phone) 08-Aug-19
grossklw 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Charlie Rehor 08-Aug-19
EmbryOklahoma 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
otcWill 08-Aug-19
Jeff Holchin 08-Aug-19
Treeline 08-Aug-19
Southern draw 08-Aug-19
Scar Finga 08-Aug-19
Stoneman 08-Aug-19
Bowboy 08-Aug-19
Chief 419 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Wv hillbilly 08-Aug-19
buzz mc 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
ki-ke 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
JW 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
Rocking R 08-Aug-19
kota-man 08-Aug-19
Ambush 09-Aug-19
bowhunter24 09-Aug-19
'Ike' (Phone) 09-Aug-19
BULELK1 09-Aug-19
bigswivle 09-Aug-19
Bowboy 09-Aug-19
mulecreek 09-Aug-19
Bou'bound 09-Aug-19
Brotsky 09-Aug-19
GhostBird 09-Aug-19
Rocking R 09-Aug-19
Southern draw 09-Aug-19
Rocking R 09-Aug-19
Kevin Dill 09-Aug-19
Rocking R 09-Aug-19
Highway Star 09-Aug-19
Rocking R 09-Aug-19
Chasewild 09-Aug-19
Bowboy 09-Aug-19
Jeff Holchin 09-Aug-19
Chief 419 09-Aug-19
Treeline 09-Aug-19
Jasper 10-Aug-19
caribou77 10-Aug-19
bigswivle 10-Aug-19
Matt 10-Aug-19
cmbbulldog 10-Aug-19
Rocking R 10-Aug-19
EmbryOklahoma 10-Aug-19
Rocking R 10-Aug-19
caribou77 10-Aug-19
Treeline 11-Aug-19
Bou'bound 11-Aug-19
Thunderflight 11-Aug-19
Neubauer 11-Aug-19
Rocking R 11-Aug-19
Rocking R 11-Aug-19
Franklin 11-Aug-19
standswittaknife 11-Aug-19
Rocking R 11-Aug-19
adobe 12-Aug-19
njbuck 12-Aug-19
APauls 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Beartrack 12-Aug-19
Hancock West 12-Aug-19
SaltyB 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Kevin Dill 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
APauls 12-Aug-19
M.Pauls 12-Aug-19
Ambush 12-Aug-19
Kurt 12-Aug-19
Bou'bound 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Bou'bound 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
jordanathome 12-Aug-19
huntinelk 12-Aug-19
bigeasygator 12-Aug-19
Southern draw 12-Aug-19
Nick Muche 12-Aug-19
Hancock West 12-Aug-19
Neubauer 12-Aug-19
M.Pauls 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Drahthaar 12-Aug-19
Flahunter 12-Aug-19
jdbbro 12-Aug-19
Jeff Holchin 12-Aug-19
Scott/IL 12-Aug-19
walleyes 12-Aug-19
Ambush 12-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 12-Aug-19
Predeter 12-Aug-19
Bou'bound 12-Aug-19
Waterfowler 12-Aug-19
Treeline 12-Aug-19
Trial153 12-Aug-19
iceman 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Paul@thefort 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 12-Aug-19
Thunderflight 12-Aug-19
Brotsky 12-Aug-19
Bowboy 12-Aug-19
Kurt 12-Aug-19
Nick Muche 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Beav 12-Aug-19
EmbryOklahoma 12-Aug-19
David Kretschmar 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
hunt'n addict 12-Aug-19
Tilzbow 12-Aug-19
bowbender77 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
jordanathome 12-Aug-19
Bliz6 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
patience2spare 12-Aug-19
Bowbender 12-Aug-19
T Mac 12-Aug-19
HUNT MAN 12-Aug-19
Jasper 12-Aug-19
Marty 12-Aug-19
M.Pauls 12-Aug-19
DanJ 12-Aug-19
Rocking R 12-Aug-19
BULELK1 13-Aug-19
Mad Trapper 13-Aug-19
Treeline 13-Aug-19
buckfevered 13-Aug-19
njbuck 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
Ambush 13-Aug-19
Mule Power 13-Aug-19
Kurt 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
jordanathome 13-Aug-19
M.Pauls 13-Aug-19
Brotsky 13-Aug-19
Scrappy 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
SaltyB 13-Aug-19
jordanathome 13-Aug-19
Photohunter 13-Aug-19
Bou'bound 13-Aug-19
APauls 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
Charlie Rehor 13-Aug-19
T.O 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
bohuntr 13-Aug-19
Mad Trapper 13-Aug-19
Thunderflight 13-Aug-19
Brotsky 13-Aug-19
Beartrack 13-Aug-19
Blue Buck 13-Aug-19
otcWill 13-Aug-19
bigswivle 13-Aug-19
WHOCARES 13-Aug-19
EliteFan 13-Aug-19
stick n string 13-Aug-19
Paul@thefort 13-Aug-19
pav 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
Scott/IL 13-Aug-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 13-Aug-19
M.Pauls 13-Aug-19
Bake 13-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 13-Aug-19
Kurt 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
njbuck 13-Aug-19
EmbryOklahoma 13-Aug-19
Stekewood 13-Aug-19
triggertrav 13-Aug-19
Bwana 13-Aug-19
bowhuntercam 13-Aug-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 13-Aug-19
deer tracker 13-Aug-19
DL 13-Aug-19
elkmtngear 13-Aug-19
Mule Power 13-Aug-19
MPN 13-Aug-19
ki-ke 13-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 13-Aug-19
APauls 13-Aug-19
Wv hillbilly 13-Aug-19
KY EyeBow 13-Aug-19
Bowboy 13-Aug-19
Heat 13-Aug-19
Predeter 13-Aug-19
elmer@laptop 13-Aug-19
Rocking R 13-Aug-19
HUNT MAN 13-Aug-19
nmwapiti 13-Aug-19
t-roy 13-Aug-19
standswittaknife 13-Aug-19
Treeline 14-Aug-19
T Mac 14-Aug-19
Yellowjacket 14-Aug-19
Buffalo1 14-Aug-19
Smtn10PT 14-Aug-19
Nogutsnostory 14-Aug-19
Neubauer 14-Aug-19
WoodMoose 14-Aug-19
zabwelch 14-Aug-19
Grubby 14-Aug-19
Neubauer 14-Aug-19
JB 14-Aug-19
bentshaft 14-Aug-19
bowhunter24 15-Aug-19
Tejas 15-Aug-19
Fuzz 15-Aug-19
OFFHNTN 15-Aug-19
Mark Watkins 15-Aug-19
INbowdude 15-Aug-19
Pat Bischoff 15-Aug-19
sticksender 15-Aug-19
SBH 16-Aug-19
GhostBird 16-Aug-19
Bowfinatic 16-Aug-19
Mike Ukrainetz 17-Aug-19
rjlefty3 17-Aug-19
JTreeman 17-Aug-19
huntnmuleys 17-Aug-19
wooddamon1 17-Aug-19
uteangler 19-Aug-19
hobbes 19-Aug-19
Busta'Ribs 19-Aug-19
Quick Draw 1 20-Aug-19
mountainman 23-Aug-19
Zackman 23-Aug-19
Mad Trapper 28-Aug-19
From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The baggage claim carousel in Edmonton
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The baggage claim carousel in Edmonton
I usually don't post much on Bowsite. I am a daily visitor but generally stay pretty quiet. However, I reached out to multiple Bowsiters when I was considering booking a dall sheep hunt. Because of all of the help I received, I feel obligated to post my story to return some of the favors and contribute to the site that helped me so much in preparation for my hunt. I kept a journal and took lots of photos during my hunt so hopefully you will enjoy re-living the adventure with me.

My journey started with flying from Colorado to Edmonton on the first travel day. You hear lots of stories about airlines losing hunting luggage and I had quite a bit of anxiety about this. So, as I stood at the carousel in Edmonton, I wondered if my bow and gear would show up after the first leg of travel. Thankfully, I had no issues and I proceeded through customs with all of my gear.

***Disclaimer - This is going to take me a little while to finish. After spending two weeks away from home, I am buried. I will try to get this done as quickly as I can.

08-Aug-19
Bring it...

From: grossklw
08-Aug-19
Hell yeah, looking forward to this one. Not enough sheep stories on here.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The famous Polar Bear at the airport in Yellowknife
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The famous Polar Bear at the airport in Yellowknife
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Charter Plane that would fly us into base camp
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Charter Plane that would fly us into base camp
Day 2 of travel found me flying from Edmonton to Yellowknife, then on to Norman Wells. We would take a charter from Normal Wells to our base camp. This can be the tricky part of the travel experience since flying to and from base camp from Normal Wells is dependent on the weather. I was warned of being stuck in Norman Wells if the charter plane was unable to fly.

Looks like there was weather moving into the area that afternoon so the charter company wanted to get us loaded up quickly so they could fly us out and avoid being stranded. All of my gear showed up so we were off to the float plane to load up and fly out. I couldn't believe this was actually happening!

08-Aug-19
Looking forward to following this Dan! C

08-Aug-19
I love sheep stories!

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Awesome scenery
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Awesome scenery
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
It rained most of the flight to base camp but overall the flight wasn't bad. I've never been on any type of small bush plane or float plane before so I was a little anxious about it. But, I actually ended up really enjoying these flights. The scenery was incredible.

After about 45 minutes, we were landing on the lake at base camp.

From: otcWill
08-Aug-19
Hell yes Dan! Dream hunt

08-Aug-19
That’s a decent start, will be following this one!

From: Treeline
08-Aug-19
Bringing back some very fond memories. The most incredible hunting adventure I have had to date! Looks a little soggy and might show a little white on top after that!

08-Aug-19
Looking forward to seeing and hearing about your hunt !!

From: Scar Finga
08-Aug-19
Man this will be epic! Keep it coming!

My knees, neck issues and probably my wife and bank account would never let me do this type of hunt, so I truly live through those of you how can!

Now get on with it!!!!!!

From: Stoneman
08-Aug-19
Hunting thin horns with a bow has to be at the top of the list. Looking forward to your story.

From: Bowboy
08-Aug-19
Keep it coming!

From: Chief 419
08-Aug-19
Im tuned in! Take me there.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Gana River basecamp as seen from the plane
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Gana River basecamp as seen from the plane
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
I stayed in the Ram Cabin while at base camp
Rocking R's embedded Photo
I stayed in the Ram Cabin while at base camp
I did a lot of research before booking this hunt. After talking to many people, I decided that I wanted to go to the NWT rather than Alaska. Bowhunting terrain, weather, density of sheep, etc. I decided I would spend the extra money to go the the NWT, meaning I would have to book a little further in advance to save for the trip.

I spoke with many outfitters and narrowed it down to two operations. Ultimately, I felt most comfortable booking my hunt with Gana River Outfitters. Honestly, most dall sheep outfitters don't exactly get excited about booking bowhunters. In fact, from what I am told, some of them no longer take bowhunters. Harold was comfortable booking me as a bowhunter and the hunt was finally booked.

Everyone has that specific animal that they have always dreamed of killing with their bow. For me, it was a dall sheep. It always has been. When I booked my hunt, I honestly felt that Gana River was going to be my best chance to fulfill my dream.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19
Upon arriving at base camp, we met some of the hunters who had been hunting the week before. They were all rifle guys and everyone had taken their sheep. They had nothing but great things to say about Gana River. I was just a little excited!

I met my guide, Ryan. He has been guiding sheep hunters for 15 years at Gana River. Ryan was one of the guides that people had recommended I try to request. I had emailed Harold a few weeks before the hunt and he informed me that Ryan would be guiding me. So, I was definitely comfortable with that assignment.

Ryan went through my gear with me and we organized my food for the trip. I was ready!

The only problem was that weather was setting in. I was informed that we could not fly out to our hunting area until the fog improved. Therefore, we would stay in base camp and hope to fly out in the morning. As you can imagine, I barely slept that night.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Fog setting in
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Fog setting in
Hunt Day 1

We woke up at 5:00 AM the next morning. We had a quick breakfast and our pilot informed us that we are going to give it a try. He would take Ryan first, then come back and get me.

My gear was packed and ready. I was ready. The pilot, Del, dropped off Ryan and came back to pick me up. We loaded my gear into the super cub and immediately took off. We were halfway to the hunting area and Del informed me that we may be turning around. Fog was starting to set in. We got to the hunting area and Del felt that we still had a solid window to land and for him to take off before the fog got bad. So, we landed on the strip and unloaded my gear. Del took off and beat the fog by 15 minutes. Seriously, 15 minutes later and we couldn't see 100 yards.

We set up camp by the landing strip and hunkered down as it started to rain. We had to wait 12 hours before hunting so the weather, at that point, was no big deal.

08-Aug-19
Great start! Can’t wait for the rest.

From: buzz mc
08-Aug-19
Good stuff

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19
In preparation for my hunt, I had read a lot of dall sheep hunting stories. I knew that fog was a major issue. However, I can't quite say I was mentally prepared for the weather. Rain had followed the fog and we were totally socked in. I really wanted to glass but now you couldn't see more than 75 yards in any direction. So, we hung out in the tent, listening to the rain, and Ryan and I talked quite a bit about expectations, etc.

I told Ryan that I felt like I was in the best shape of my life since playing college baseball. That was 20 years ago. I physically prepared as hard as I could for this hunt. I shot my bow a million times at long distances, strange angles, sitting, kneeling. I prepared as much as I could.

Ryan then told me that the physical part of sheep hunting is not going to be the difference between killing a sheep or not. It certainly helps, but it is not the difference maker. He told me that the mental side of sheep hunting is what ultimately decides success or not. As we sat in the tent unable to glass due to weather, I really tried to digest what he was telling me and take it to heart.

From: ki-ke
08-Aug-19
I'm sucked in......and I have undiagnosed ADD..

...................................................? What were you talking about??

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19
We were able to glass for very short periods of time that afternoon between the fog and rain. I could legally hunt that evening but there was no way we were leaving our glassing area. Just way too foggy. Even as excited as I was, I knew that blowing sheep out of the country the first day was a terrible idea.

During our glassing sessions we were able to locate 7 lambs and ewes in one basin, 6 lambs and ewes in another basin, and 3 lambs and ewes in yet another basin. We also glassed 2 rams a couple miles away in some cliffs but Ryan determined that they were non-shooters. I was super excited to be glassing rams from our camp and I was confident we could get on sheep if the weather would allow.

We went to sleep that night hoping for an early start tomorrow and better weather.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
This was the view at sunrise
Rocking R's embedded Photo
This was the view at sunrise
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Weather would occasionally break long enough for us to glass
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Weather would occasionally break long enough for us to glass
Hunt Day 2

We woke up at 5:00 AM to glass and make a plan for the day. We were hoping to hike along a ridge for a few hours to glass another basin that we were unable to look into.

However, we woke up to heavy fog. We hoped for the fog to lift so we at some breakfast and tried to pass some time. The fog would lift quickly, allowing for us to glass, but only for a few minutes at a time.

There was a lone yearling ram about 200 yards below us. We glassed 8 ewes and lambs below camp. On another ridge we located a young ram and a ewe and lamb. We then spotted 4 rams along a knife ridge in the basin to the north. However, Ryan decided that we could do better so decided these rams were not worth pursuing.

The fog then rolled in again and stayed until 1:15.

From: JW
08-Aug-19
Loving this! Keep it coming!!!

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan glassing the rams
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan glassing the rams
The heavy fog lifted at 1:15. We decided tho change our original plans due to the weather and hike to the north to glass further into the basin and look for other sheep.

We hiked for about an hour along the spine of a ridge to get a better view of the interior of the basin. This area was super steep, among the steeper areas that Gana River hunts. But, Ryan likes this area for bowhunters due to the terrain. After hiking for an hour, we set up to glass on a rocky outcropping. We immediately found 10 rams. Ryan estimated 3-4 shooters. I was pumped!!

Now is a good time to explain my expectations for this hunt. I told Ryan that I was not looking for a book sheep. I've never killed a sheep. I was not going to be picky about size. Gana River Outfitters, along with most outfitters in the NWT, try to harvest rams that are 9 years or older. I told Ryan that I could care less about the score but I wanted a ram that was at least 9 years old. I wanted a mature ram. So, based on that criteria, we had located 3-4 shooters.

From: Rocking R
08-Aug-19
It started to rain and then the fog rolled in again. Heavy fog again. Impossible to hunt. So, we knew that we had to leave the rams alone and wait for better weather.

It rained the rest of the day. So, we went back to the tent and got water for the evening. On the way back to the tent, we peaked into another basin and found 31 ewes and lambs.

We really hoped for huntable weather in the morning as we listened to it rain all night. I laid in my sleeping bag hoping we would be able to find the rams again in the morning.

From: kota-man
08-Aug-19
Good stuff...

From: Ambush
09-Aug-19
There is nothing like sheep country and sheep hunting!! This is really shaping up to be a good story!

From: bowhunter24
09-Aug-19
Dan you are doing a great job with the story and pics looking forward to a nice Ram for a good guy!

09-Aug-19
Is it me, or do those rocks not look like Sitka OptiFade Elevated II...

:-)

From: BULELK1
09-Aug-19
Exciting!

Thanks for taking us along

Good luck, Robb

From: bigswivle
09-Aug-19
This is unacceptable, let’s go!!!!

From: Bowboy
09-Aug-19
This is getting good!

From: mulecreek
09-Aug-19
All its going to take is a couple more posts from RockinR and i'm calling up MMO and booking another hunt. This is fixin to be a good Friday at work.

From: Bou'bound
09-Aug-19
this is going to end very well..................I just feel it.

From: Brotsky
09-Aug-19
Awesome story so far Dan! Truly a dream hunt that many of us have to experience vicariously through Bowsite stories! Looking forward to the rest!

From: GhostBird
09-Aug-19
Good stuff so far Dan... let it roll.

From: Rocking R
09-Aug-19
Hunt Day 3

Before falling asleep, Ryan showed me how to check weather on my Garmin InReach. He didn't have the weather option on his so we decided to use mine, hoping for some good news. Instead, the InReach showed the exact opposite. Rain every day for the next 7 days. Wintery conditions for a couple days. Not what I wanted to see. Ryan reminded me about the mental side of sheep hunting. I was beginning to learn that this would be my biggest challenge.

We woke up at 5:00 AM again. I immediately opened the tent and saw that we were not fogged in! I walked over to one of our glassing areas by camp and immediately found our group of rams. They were close to the same spot as last night. I found 9 rams so I went back to the tent and told Ryan that our rams were there.

We ate breakfast and loaded our packs. Ryan told me to bring at least one dinner, two lunches, a breakfast and snacks with me in case we would spend the night away from our tent. So, we loaded our packs and decided to close the distance on these rams and formulate a plan.

09-Aug-19
Night away from your tent now you are sheep hunting:)

From: Rocking R
09-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Fog beginning to set in
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Fog beginning to set in
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The face of a frustrated hunter
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The face of a frustrated hunter
We hiked 20 minutes and the fog set in yet again. Heavy fog again. We sat on top of a ridge for 2 hours waiting and hoping to make a play on the rams. I was beginning to get pretty frustrated with the weather. The mental side of sheep hunting was tough!!

From: Kevin Dill
09-Aug-19
I've seen eyes with that look before. Sheep weather will do that to a guy.

From: Rocking R
09-Aug-19
After 2 hours, the fog broke long enough to glass most of the basin where the rams were hanging out. We immediately spotted 2 rams that had broken away from the rest of the group and were feeding on a ridge with timber on the other side. From far away, both rams appeared to possibly be shooters. After looking at the terrain, we decided that 2 rams would be easier to stalk. Also, Ryan looked at the fog and thought that if we backtracked and went around another way, we might be able to slip in below the fog. He told me that we might actually be able to use this fog to our advantage.

From: Highway Star
09-Aug-19
great thread love the pic's

From: Rocking R
09-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our glassing setup before it started to rain
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our glassing setup before it started to rain
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Glassing setup during the rain
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Glassing setup during the rain
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Furthest ram bedded on the highest point
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Furthest ram bedded on the highest point
The plan worked well and we were able to slip down into the same basin as the rams using the fog as cover. We stopped to glass since it started to rain pretty hard. We were now about a mile from the rams.

The steady rain continued so Ryan decided to set up his tarp. We ate some lunch under the tarp and devised a plan to attack the rams.

As we sat and glassed, the two rams started to get a lot more company. After about an hour, we were watching a group of 15 rams feed over the ridge into the only timbered section in the basin.

We needed the rams to bed down so we could stalk over the side of the ridge and get above them in the timber. This would be our best chance.

From: Chasewild
09-Aug-19
YEEEEESSSSSS.

From: Bowboy
09-Aug-19
I'm feeling an arrow is taking flight soon!

09-Aug-19
Great job adding good pics to your story

From: Chief 419
09-Aug-19
I think this going to end with a photo of the horns sticking out of your pack.

From: Treeline
09-Aug-19
Lovin’ it so far, man!

Has to be one of the most spectacular places on earth!

Patients is tough as hell on one of those hunts... Between weather, horse issues and other hunters in camp I know that after about 7 days or so, a guy can get a little goofy!

Hang on and enjoy every last precious second because what you are experiencing is truly the best of the best.

Loving the story and great pictures.

More, please!

From: Jasper
10-Aug-19
This is epic! You’re doing an awesome job, can’t wait for the next chapter!

From: caribou77
10-Aug-19
We all understand you have been gone and need to get normal life back on track before finishing this story. We all also DO NOT CARE. This is great. Love it.

From: bigswivle
10-Aug-19

bigswivle's embedded Photo
bigswivle's embedded Photo

From: Matt
10-Aug-19
Haha, Ryan preparing you for the obligatory, "we are going to spend the night on the mountain" treatment. It just isn't a sheep hunt with Ryan if you sleep in the tent each night.

From: cmbbulldog
10-Aug-19
So far so good!

From: Rocking R
10-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Some of the rams before we started our ascent
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Some of the rams before we started our ascent
Most of the rams did what we were hoping they would do. They fed over the top of the ridge to bed down. A couple of stragglers fed through the timber but eventually they all made in to the top and either bedded on the spine of the ridge or just on the other side.

The rain was still coming down pretty hard. Ryan and I discussed the situation. He told me that if we went after these rams, we would probably end up spending the night away from the tent, under the tarp. We would, of course, have a very wet night since the rain was obviously not going to stop. But, he also told me that he felt this would be a very good opportunity for a stalk due to the location of the rams and the terrain.

The decision was mine. After spending the majority of my first 3 days either in the tent or sitting and staring at fog, I did not hesitate to say "lets go." I came here to hunt sheep. It was an easy decision.

10-Aug-19
Got us reeled in... (refresh, refresh, refresh).

From: Rocking R
10-Aug-19
It would take us a couple hours to close the distance because of the steep terrain and really slick conditions. We were able to remain out of sight of the rams during the climb. We were over halfway to the rams and we found an area where we could visualize the timbered area again. We noticed that one single ram had fed back over the top into the timbered area. He was by himself. We couldn't tell if he was a shooter or not because of heavy rain and thick cover.

We located a rocky area just before the timbered ridge that we would most likely be able to get within rifle range of the lone ram and determine his age. We could stay out of sight to that point. Then, we could figure out how to close the final distance if he was a shooter. We hoped the ram would stay by himself as we headed his direction.

From: caribou77
10-Aug-19

caribou77's embedded Photo
caribou77's embedded Photo

From: Treeline
11-Aug-19
Back to the top so maybe Dan will get back on track with his story!

From: Bou'bound
11-Aug-19
Great read. Congrats on a super hunt.

11-Aug-19
You are killing us!!!! Lol

From: Neubauer
11-Aug-19
This is awesome! My dream hunt. Looking forward to learning how this turns out.

From: Rocking R
11-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The route to the sheep
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The route to the sheep
This picture shows the route we took to the sheep. You can see the timbered ridge, the only trees in this basin. The sheep bedded over the top of the peak above the timber. From this point in the picture, we had to go directly to our left and drop down to the creek, then up the other side. This put us on the other side of the ridge on the left side of the photo. We would hike on the other side of the ridge, keeping us out of view of the timbered ridge.

From: Rocking R
11-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan aging the ram. You can see the lone ram feeding on the timbered ridge.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan aging the ram. You can see the lone ram feeding on the timbered ridge.
We made it to the rocky area undetected. We very slowly peaked over the rocks and immediately spotted our ram. We backed down and took off our packs. Ryan set up his spotting scope to age the ram. The ram was still by himself.

We were 351 yards from the ram and he was still up and feeding. Rain was not letting up. It was still coming down pretty hard.

Ryan aged the ram. After looking at him for a bit, he told me the ram was at least 9-10 years old. However, he told me that this particular ram was not a big sheep. He was going to be an average scoring ram since we was broomed on both sides and just didn't have the length of some of the bigger sheep. He then asked me what I wanted to do. Again, the decision was mine.

From: Franklin
11-Aug-19
"Huntus Interuptus".....this is just like a book but you can`t turn the page.

11-Aug-19
Great write up!

From: Rocking R
11-Aug-19
It was a very easy decision. I wanted to stalk that ram.

Our weather had been terrible and wasn't going to improve. I had a mature ram by himself in the timber. He was feeding in a location that was favorable for an archery stalk. I've never killed a sheep. I didn't come to the NWT to be picky. All I wanted was a mature ram. Again, an easy decision for me.

Ryan understood. We formulated a plan for a stalk. Ryan would stay back at our current glassing spot to give me hand signals if I needed a location once I got closer to the ram. I would back track a little ways to get out of sight. Then, I would hike further up on the other side of the ridge. We decided on a certain patch of trees where I would enter the timber. This would put me directly above the ram and I would hopefully use the trees to slowly stalk down to the ram.

Off I went.

From: adobe
12-Aug-19
Awesome story! I was one of those "rifle guys" in camp when you came in. I was the one who just got back from a caribou hunt as you guys got off of the plane. What great hunt! Continue with the story!

From: njbuck
12-Aug-19
Awesome story so far.

Waiting for these updates is like being rained in the tent and waiting on the fog to lift, great mental practice for sheep hunting.

From: APauls
12-Aug-19
Awesome awesome awesome story and writing. Feel like I'm there with you! Keep it up!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
I made it to the top of the ridge and found the trees that we targeted to enter the timber. I quickly glassed over to Ryan and he gave me the thumbs up. That meant the ram hadn't moved much and was in the same general location.

The brush was pretty thick upon entering the timber so I slowly made my way down the ridge. I did not have a visual of the ram yet because of the thick brush and timber. I knew I had to still be above him. I crept through the timber very methodically, hoping to locate him for the final stalk.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
The rain was making the steep descent tricky because it was extremely slippery. But, I felt that the rain was actually giving me an advantage. It was helping conceal the noise as I shuffled through the brush and between trees. I had a slight wind in my face so my descent through the timber continued.

I finally picked up the ram through my binos. He was just over 100 yards and feeding directly below me. He was feeding from my right to left very slowly. He was in a pretty thick location, which helped me to stay unnoticed. I watched him for just a bit and figured out a spot I would try to get to and wait for him to feed out of the thick brush into an opening for a shot.

From: Beartrack
12-Aug-19
Having hunted with Dan twice, I will tell you once he has an animal in his wheel house, it's in a whole lot of trouble.

From: Hancock West
12-Aug-19
awesome thread. keep it coming.

From: SaltyB
12-Aug-19
Refresh, refresh!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
I nocked an arrow and slipped into 40 yards undetected. The ram was directly below me feeding in thick brush. Even at 40 yards, I had to use my binos to see exactly which direction he was going. He was feeding from my right to left. He needed to take about 10 steps to my left to be in the open for a clear shot. It would be an extremely steep shot if he fed out to that position. He would have to walk in front of a tree which I ranged at 41 yards. If he went to my right, I would have to hustle around more brush and trees to a different location for a shot. I settled in behind a bush, set my slider sight to 40 yards, and waited for his next move.

Here's where I got myself into trouble. I had to continually use my binos and rangefinder. I had them stored under my rain jacket to keep them dry and hopefully keep them free of fog. At 100 yards, I opened my jacket so I could instantly access my optics. The steady rain was not letting up and I was already starting to get pretty wet. I didn't care because I had a ram within bow range.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
I was settled in behind the bush. I knew that if the ram fed out into the opening, I would have to take a sitting shot. I would not have time to stand and there was no way I could stand right now and blow my cover. I was fine with that since I practiced sitting shots all summer long, even at long distances.

The ram was still clueless as to my presence. I continued to survey the situation and noticed one small brach of the bush could be right in the way of my shot if the ram fed into the opening. So, I very slowly reached out to break off the branch. When I did that, the ram immediately raised his head and stared at me. I was pegged at 40 yards!

The ram couldn't see any of my body since it was obstructed by the bush. But, he did not like the movement he picked up and the fact that the bush had all of a sudden slightly changed its shape. He continued to stare right at me.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
I froze in my position, hoping that the ram would get comfortable again and go back to feeding. I was confident that the bush in front of me still had me pretty well concealed. The rain continued.

The ram would continue to stare right at me. He would try to bait me into moving by slowly putting his head down, acting like he was going to feed. Then, he would immediately jerk his head up and stare back at my position. I was later told that rams will do this when they are worried that there may be a predator in the area. There was no way I was going to move. The ram was either going to bust out of there or get comfortable again and go back to feeding.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
This cat and mouse game with the ram felt like it took forever. Ryan confirmed later on that this took place for over an hour. The ram didn't move 3 steps in over an hour. He continued to play his game. I made sure I kept as still as a human possibly could.

By now, I was completely soaked. I was shivering and shaking because I was drenched. The rain coming in through my jacket had saturated all of my upper layers. Plus, the adrenaline and anticipation didn't help my nerves. I was basically a mess!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
After over an hour, the ram finally became comfortable again. He finally went back to feeding and was working right to left, like I hoped he would. I had my arrow nocked. It was going to be a 40 yard sitting shot once he cleared the trees.

And then he decided to bed down...

From: Kevin Dill
12-Aug-19
Rats....

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
Fortunately, the ram only decided to bed for about 5 minutes. He got up and again started to feed right to left. A few more steps and he would be in front of the 41 yard tree.

He took a few more steps and I drew back. He had no idea I was there. I settled my pin and the ram stopped again to feed. I released and the arrow was on its way.

From: APauls
12-Aug-19
This story is hitting paydirt

From: M.Pauls
12-Aug-19
WOW, I waited until now to start reading this thread so I wouldn't be on the edge of my seat for days, and this is where you stop!? My timing was a little off. KEEP IT COMING!! Great story..

From: Ambush
12-Aug-19
And just like that, the arrow and us are left hanging in mid air!! EXCITING STUFF!!

From: Kurt
12-Aug-19
I'm betting it is a dead ram!!!

From: Bou'bound
12-Aug-19
rage in the cage baybeeeee

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
The arrow hit the ram and my first thought was, "Oh no".......

The entry was further back than I wanted. The ram ran a few steps forward, then immediately turned around and took a few steps from my left to right. He was quite confused as to what just happened. I quickly nocked a second arrow and guessed 45 yards. I put the pin high on his vitals and released. The arrow was perfect right to left, heading straight to his vitals.

The arrow sailed right under his armpit without contacting the ram. The yardage was actually about 50 and I had misjudged the ram.

The ram took off to my right angling down the mountain. He was out of sight. I heard the rocks below me crash as he ran off and my gut told me that I was going to be in for a long night of either blood trailing or waiting until the morning to try to find this ram. I was feeling so many different emotions at this point.

From: Bou'bound
12-Aug-19
what broadhead were you using?

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
Vortex 125 Grain All Steel. I have never used a mechanical broadhead until this hunt.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
The original plan was for Ryan to bring my pack down to me once the stalk was over. He would watch the whole thing from our glassing spot. I checked out the area where the ram was hit and found good blood. It was continuing to rain so the thought of blood trailing later on was pretty worrisome. I sat down for a second to gather my thoughts. I heard Ryan whistle through the timber so I whistled back in order for him to confirm my location.

Ryan met me with my pack and he was pretty confused. I was very worried about finding my ram. At that point he said, "Dan, your ram is dead right down there. You didn't see him go down?"

I can't really describe my emotions at this point. In fact, they were beyond describable. Apparently, the sound of crashing rocks was actually the ram doing a death fall down the mountain. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was ready to put my hands on him.

From: jordanathome
12-Aug-19
SWEEET!!!!!

From: huntinelk
12-Aug-19
Great story. Looking forward to the pictures. Congrats

From: bigeasygator
12-Aug-19
Awesome. Just fricking awesome.

12-Aug-19
Very cool congrats!

From: Nick Muche
12-Aug-19
Loving every second of reading this thread!

From: Hancock West
12-Aug-19
great story & well written, thanks for sharing

From: Neubauer
12-Aug-19
Best thread ever! Love this and congratulations

From: M.Pauls
12-Aug-19
So good! Congratulations and thanks for taking us along

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We went directly to down through the timber to the ram. I couldn't believe it as I examined him and tried to wrap my head around the fact that my dream had come true.

The ram ended up being older than we thought. Ryan and Harold later aged the ram at 10 1/2. The wildlife officer at the ENR office aged him at 11 years old when he put the plug in his horns prior to export. My ram had obviously broken his jaw earlier in his life and healed as a large callous. You can see the callous on his jaw in the picture. This had most likely stunted a bit of his horn growth.

I loved the character of this old guy as I sat there digesting the experience.

From: Drahthaar
12-Aug-19
Awesome. Forrest

From: Flahunter
12-Aug-19
Great stuff Congrats

From: jdbbro
12-Aug-19
Awesome. Congrats!

12-Aug-19
Great job. No way I could have won that stare-down contest like you did, and then make a killing shot in bad conditions. Amazing!

From: Scott/IL
12-Aug-19
Awesome write up. Congrats! Certainly a dream hunt of mine as well.

From: walleyes
12-Aug-19
Sweet! Can’t wait. Leaving to the nwt on Wednesday. This has done nothing to temper the excitement

From: Ambush
12-Aug-19
Congratulations on a gorgeous old ram!!

And thanks for the great story telling!

12-Aug-19
An awesome adventure!! Congrats!!

From: Predeter
12-Aug-19
Awesome, beautiful ram!

From: Bou'bound
12-Aug-19
You da man

From: Waterfowler
12-Aug-19
Fantastic ram. Way to get it done.

From: Treeline
12-Aug-19
Spectacular icing on the cake! Great ram!

Hell of a job on the stalk and keeping it together when it all came together!

Great recap of the hunt as well!

Congratulations! Well done!

From: Trial153
12-Aug-19
Congrats, well done

From: iceman
12-Aug-19
Fantastic write-up! Congratulations on fulfilling your dream!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
Everyone, stick around if you're interested. I have more hunting to do on this trip. I will try to accelerate the story and get it done so I don't draw this out too long. I've actually really enjoyed telling this story. I am reliving the hunt as I type.

And, thank you everyone for the kind words.

From: Paul@thefort
12-Aug-19
"Dan, your ram is dead right down there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

A perfect ending for sure. Nicely done. my best, Paul

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan starting the fire
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Ryan starting the fire
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our camp for the night
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our camp for the night
Because of where the ram died, it was definitely challenging to cape and bone him out. It took longer than usual but we were able to get it done without too much issue. The rain was still pouring down. So, Ryan decided that it was too dangerous to try to hike back to camp. Just too slippery and steep. Since it was already 9:00pm, he decided to set up his tarp about 100 yards uphill from the ram. We would stay under the tarp for the night and pack out back to camp tomorrow.

I was completely soaked. Once the adrenalin wore off, I was reminded that I was freezing cold. Ryan made a fire and I slept as close to the fire as I could, still being under the tarp. It was a miserable night. But, I had just killed a ram so I figured I was just adding to the adventure at this point. I shivered most of the night. Thank God for the fire.

12-Aug-19
Heck yeah!! Congrats, loving every minute!

12-Aug-19
Epic story! Im looking forward to the rest.

Thanks!

From: Brotsky
12-Aug-19
Awesome ram Dan! Congratulations and excellent story telling to boot. Really enjoying your retelling!

From: Bowboy
12-Aug-19
Congrats on a great ram. Thanks for sharing!

From: Kurt
12-Aug-19
Way to go!!!

From: Nick Muche
12-Aug-19
Fantastic!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The basin we would hike up back to camp. Looking uphill from the timbered ridge.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The basin we would hike up back to camp. Looking uphill from the timbered ridge.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We decided to peak over the ridge to see if we could find the rest of the rams from the day before. No luck, they were gone.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We decided to peak over the ridge to see if we could find the rest of the rams from the day before. No luck, they were gone.
Hunt Day 4

The rain continued until mid morning. So, Ryan took some time to finish caping my ram and we waited for the rain to quit. Once it finally did, we packed up and started the trip back to camp. Our trek would be all uphill since our camp was at the top of the mountain. The hike took about 6 hours and the rain held off most of the time. I was really happy about that!

From: Beav
12-Aug-19
Congrats and thanks for sharing the story! Cant wait to hear more.

12-Aug-19
What a great story (so far) and great accomplishment! Congratulations, Dan!

12-Aug-19
What a great hunt, congrats Dan!

David

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Moss Berries
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Moss Berries
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Blueberries
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Blueberries
We ate moss berries and blueberries on the way back. Ryan said the moss berries helped to retain water. We were running a little low on water since we had to stay on the spine of the ridge most of the way back to camp. The blueberries were another little treat along the way. It also gave us an excuse to stop and rest a bit during the hike.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
I told Ryan that I wasn't going to be sad about not having to hike through rock fields with a loaded pack anymore!
Rocking R's embedded Photo
I told Ryan that I wasn't going to be sad about not having to hike through rock fields with a loaded pack anymore!
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We couldn't out-run the rain
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We couldn't out-run the rain
The rain started up again during our last ascent of the hike. I felt fortunate to get through most of the rock fields before the rain started. Those rocks are nasty when they're wet!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The fire helped dry out my wet gear
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The fire helped dry out my wet gear
We made it back to our camp and my sleeping bag was a sight for sore eyes. We laid in the tent while it rained and replayed the hunt. Ryan used his inReach to let camp know that they could bring the super cub any time. We figured we would wake up tomorrow morning and get flown out if the weather allowed. The rain had quit for the night and it looked like it might stay clear for a bit.

At 11:00pm, Ryan heard the plane coming in. We jumped out of our sleeping bags and got dressed. I loaded up my gear and threw it all in the plane. We did not plan on getting picked up tonight. But, with the weather all over the place, the pilot decided that the break in weather tonight was a great opportunity to get us back to camp.

We landed back at base camp. Harold started a fire in the cabin so I could dry out my gear. I was still soaked. After a shower and a 1:30AM dinner, I hit the pillow pretty hard.

I needed to get some sleep since we would fly out mid day to hunt caribou!

12-Aug-19
Congratulations on fulfilling your dream! Beautiful ram. Thanks for sharing.

From: Tilzbow
12-Aug-19
Great story and congratulations!!!

From: bowbender77
12-Aug-19
Congrats !

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
A few caribou taken by hunters while I was out sheep hunting.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
A few caribou taken by hunters while I was out sheep hunting.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our taxi to and from our hunting areas. Del was an awesome pilot.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our taxi to and from our hunting areas. Del was an awesome pilot.
Hunt Day 5

100% of my focus prior to the hunt centered on sheep. I knew that caribou was an option if I killed a ram but it was all about the sheep prior to the hunt. Now that I had killed my ram, I was able to inspect some of the caribou that had been taken early in the season at Gana River. Pretty darn impressive. I was starting to become pretty excited about having some time to chase caribou.

We ate breakfast and repacked our packs to get ready to fly out to hunt caribou. Another hunter in camp killed a caribou with his rifle the day before so we were going to fly out to the same area since we had good intel that caribou were passing through.

The plane picked up Ryan first and dropped him off along the river. I flew out next and joined Ryan at the airstrip. We hiked to our camp spot and set up our tent. We would have to wait 12 hours to hunt so we took some time to relax and enjoy the scenery.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Yummy
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Yummy
Prior to leaving, Ryan asked me if I wanted to grill some sheep backstraps tonight since we had to take it easy and wait our 12 hours. Of course!

We met the other hunter and his guide at our camp spot since they were going to stay another day and hunt for a wolf. Ryan started cooking the backstraps and we knew we were going to eat well! He surprised us with a beer for each of us. Are you kidding? Man, I really enjoyed my dinner that night!

We glassed that night and spotted some young caribou bulls. We enjoyed dinner and went to be early.

From: jordanathome
12-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing.......on to caribou!!!!

From: Bliz6
12-Aug-19
Awesome write up! Congrats!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our view at sunrise
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our view at sunrise
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Grizz scat about 20 yards from the tent
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Grizz scat about 20 yards from the tent
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We passed on this little guy
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We passed on this little guy
Hunt Day 6

It rained for a good part of the night but we woke up at 5:00am to good weather. We hiked up a rocky part of the mountain to get a good glassing view of the river valley below. This would allow us to see up and down river and hopefully be able to cut the caribou off as they were traveling.

At 9:00am we spotted 4 caribou bulls traveling down river. Ryan estimated the largest caribou at around 360". We decided to get ahead of them and see if the largest bull would present a shot. Then, I would make a last minute decision.

We got to a spot along the river but the caribou decided to cross the river and angle into the timber. We were able to get to close the distance to 160 yards but that was the closest we would get.

We went back to our glassing spot and it turned into kind of a drizzly type of day. We made a fire and continued to glass under the tarp. We watched a grizzly sow and cub at 5:00pm. At 6:00, we glassed a young caribou bull walking up river by himself.

That was the action for the day. We hit the tent at 11:30pm.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
Hunt Day 7

We woke up at 6:30 to a cloudy and overcast day. We hiked to our glassing spot and made coffee and breakfast.

At 9:30 we watched a young grizzly boar chase a caribou. The caribou had accidentally stumbled into the willows where the grizzly was hanging out and the chase ensued. The caribou got away.

It rained a little here and there throughout the day so we set up the tarp again to glass under. I really liked Ryan's tarp when the rain came.

That afternoon we saw 1 lone cow. The evening brought some grizzly entertainment. We watched 3 grizzlies fight over the old caribou kill. Two of the grizzly boars got into a good scrap with the larger boar taking the smaller boar to the ground. After chewing on him for a bit, the younger boar wriggled away and ran into the willows. Pretty entertaining day!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19
Hunt Day 8

We woke up and followed the same routine. After eating breakfast and having some coffee, we watched 2 cows stroll through the valley.

We again used the tarp to glass under since the weather was similar. Off and on showers throughout the day. It was a slower day today. Only a few caribou passed through.

Then, at 5:00pm we spotted a lone bull traveling up river. I grabbed my bow and headed up river to cut him off. Ryan estimated this bull at around 350-360". I was confident that I was ahead of this bull and waited for him to pass by for a shot.

The bull kept changing his course and angled away from me. I backtracked and got around him again and headed to the river to cut him off. Instead of coming up the river, the bull decided to cross the river and head up the opposite side. I could not get close enough for a shot. I was able to get to 120 yards but no closer. The bull continued up river and I couldn't catch up.

That evening we watched the same grizzly boars travel around the river valley. We spotted one lone cow at 9:00am. No more caribou for the night. We went to bed.

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our glassing setup on Day 7 and 8
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Our glassing setup on Day 7 and 8
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We watched this boar for a few days. He was the winner of the bear fight.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We watched this boar for a few days. He was the winner of the bear fight.

12-Aug-19
What a great adventure! Thanks for taking the time to write it up! Pete

From: Bowbender
12-Aug-19
What an awesome story!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the ram!!

From: T Mac
12-Aug-19
Outstanding Dan! Congrats on a fine Ram

From: HUNT MAN
12-Aug-19
Just a amazing adventure so far. Can’t wait for the rest!! Hunt

From: Jasper
12-Aug-19
One of the best hunt stories ever on the Bowsite. Congratulations and thanks for sharing !

From: Marty
12-Aug-19
Sweet! Living the dream, thanks for sharing!

From: M.Pauls
12-Aug-19
Wow glad I checked back in. Sneaky addition!! Keep it coming :)

From: DanJ
12-Aug-19
Congrats! There were a few moments in your story that brought back memories of prior hunts - great bit of storytelling. Lots of great pics to go along with it. You nailed the secret though - the mental battle is real!

From: Rocking R
12-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
The caribou cow and calf we spotted early on
Rocking R's embedded Photo
The caribou cow and calf we spotted early on
Hunt Day 9

The day started out basically the same as the other caribou hunting days. It rained most of the night. We got up and climbed to the glassing area early in the morning. We noticed it was quite a bit colder this morning.

We immediately saw 2 cows and a calf grazing across the valley. One of the grizzly boars was out and about for an early viewing. We hoped that the colder temps with the rain that lasted all night would have the animals out moving today.

At 9:30am we spotted a good bull heading down river. I grabbed my bow and Ryan and I ran down the hill to the river. We had a day and a half left to hunt. We didn't want to lose out on this opportunity. We worked up a pretty good sweat running to the spot on the river we needed to get to. We crossed the many river braids and willow patches on our way to the main river channel. We arrived at the main river channel ahead of the bull and we were in a good spot for the caribou to continue his course. We waited for him to continue down the river to our position.

I set up at the edge of the willows and ranged the bull at 112 yards. I nocked an arrow as the bull continued down the river in our direction. I waited for him to get into bow range.

From: BULELK1
13-Aug-19
Great Read

Congrats Man

Good luck, Robb

From: Mad Trapper
13-Aug-19
Congrats!!! My son and I are heading to Harold’s in a couple of days. I hope that you guys left us a couple of good bulls!

From: Treeline
13-Aug-19
Mad Trapper, sounds like you and your son are in for a treat! Good luck and make sure to give us a report!

From: buckfevered
13-Aug-19
Dan, what an amazing adventure. Congrats on the ram. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

From: njbuck
13-Aug-19
Heck of an adventure and ram. I hope we will be seeing you with a great mountain bou soon!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Cows and calves feeding below us
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Cows and calves feeding below us
Unfortunately, 112 yards is as close as I would get. For whatever reason, the bull decided to change his course and cross the river. He drifted off into the timber and we never saw him again.

It rained the majority of the day so we glassed under the tarp for shelter. At 1:00pm we found 9 cows and calves on the hillside. They would eventually feed right in front of us.

We made our last mountain house dinner for the trip. The plan was to get picked up tomorrow mid day. At this point, I was mentally in a great spot. I had an amazing hunt and had killed my dream ram with my bow. I had put stalks on 3 different P&Y caribou but just couldn't seal the deal. I saw tons of sheep. I should mention we glassed sheep every day at our caribou area. I watched grizzly bears. It was an awesome hunt and I was thrilled. Not getting a caribou was going to give me a great excuse to return to Gana River!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19
The evening wore on and Ryan and I were continuing our usual discussions of hunting, politics, social issues, etc...lol.

All of a sudden, in mid-conversation, Ryan said "Dan, grab your bow." I immediately knew what that meant and we were off running to the river. We stopped for just a second to decide on a route and I glassed two good caribou bulls at the river. We were a little worried because the caribou came out to the river in a spot that would be difficult for us to get ahead of them. But, it was the last night so we ran as fast as we could to get there.

We hit the river braids and immediately saw one of our grizzly boars 200 yards to the left on the gravel bar. He was facing the other direction so we kept going without catching the boars attention. We went through the different river braids and through the willows trying to get to the main channel before the bulls did.

From: Ambush
13-Aug-19
I hate roller coaster rides, but I'm loving this one!!

From: Mule Power
13-Aug-19
Then all of the sudden.......

From: Kurt
13-Aug-19
I am betting a nice bull and an arrow meet!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19
We arrived at the main channel of the river and the two caribou bulls were up-river about 200 yards still coming our direction. I settled behind a willow and nocked an arrow. Ryan stayed next to me to give me a range. I broke off one willow branch that could potentially be an issue and was ready. I quickly ranged a few areas before deciding where to adjust my slider sight. I didn't want to focus on the bulls so I told Ryan to tell me which one was bigger. He said they were both nice, but try to shoot the one in front.

The bulls continued to close the distance. The river took a slight turn directly out in front of us. I knew the range to that spot so adjusted my sight accordingly. The bulls would be directly broadside at that spot. They were now less than 100 yards heading to the bend in the river. The bigger bull was still out in front.

The bigger bull reached my target area and stopped just before the bend in the river. I asked Ryan for a final range. He confirmed the distance that I pre-ranged. So, I pulled back, checked my level, and settled my pin. I released and sent the arrow on its way.

From: jordanathome
13-Aug-19
WooooHOOOOOOOO!

From: M.Pauls
13-Aug-19
Scroll, refresh, repeat!

From: Brotsky
13-Aug-19
Thwack! Bring on the hero shot Dan!

From: Scrappy
13-Aug-19
This is epic!!!!!!!

Now bring the rest.

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Photo of the caribou, unedited, as he laid there across the river.
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Photo of the caribou, unedited, as he laid there across the river.
The shot felt great. The arrow hit the bull right where it needed to. Ryan immediately whispered, "you got him."

The bull crossed the river, stumbled across the gravel, and fell straight backwards. He didn't travel 40 yards. I was overwhelmed that my dream hunt just got even better. Ryan and I hugged one another and just looked across the river at my velvet bou laying on the gravel bar.

Unfortunately, we were unable to cross the main channel of the river with just our gaiters. We would have to go back to camp and retrieve our pack waders, then cross the river to the bull. It was painful to have to leave the bull without getting my hands on him. He was right there!

With the grizzly boar about 300 yards from the kill, we hustled as fast as we could in hopes that he wouldn't find the carcass before we returned.

From: SaltyB
13-Aug-19
So awesome! Man, someday I'm gonna go. But until then, thanks for letting me live vicariously through you.

From: jordanathome
13-Aug-19
I sense foreshadowing..............beat the grizz!!!!!

From: Photohunter
13-Aug-19
I'm still waiting for the end! This would definitely be a hunt of a lifetime! Congrats on the beautiful ram and thanks for sharing!

From: Bou'bound
13-Aug-19
Heck he’s going to get a grizzly out of this too

From: APauls
13-Aug-19
Every time I load this thread the arrow is on it's way. Camman dang it!! Phenomenal read

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
We got back to camp and unloaded all of our gear to lighten our packs. We grabbed our waders and hustled back to the caribou. We crossed the river and I put my hands on the velvet bull. Luckily, he was left untouched.

We took photos and broke down the bull. We remained very aware due to the many grizz in the area but had no issues while working on the bull. I still couldn't believe all of this happened. Unbelievable.

13-Aug-19
Take a trip of a lifetime every year!! Congrats!

From: T.O
13-Aug-19
Thankyou for sharing your hunt.

T.O

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Had to get a picture of the loaded pack!
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Had to get a picture of the loaded pack!
We packed the caribou back to camp. In the NWT, it doesn't get dark until well after midnight. It gets light again by 5:00am. When it does get "dark", its not really that dark. It makes sleeping a challenge if you are not used to it. We arrived back to our tent a little after 1:00am without the use of a headlamp! I found it funny to pack out meat in the middle of the night without the use of a flashlight or headlamp.

We climbed into our sleeping bags and I just laid there thinking about how fortunate I was. So many emotions and so many things to be thankful for.

From: bohuntr
13-Aug-19
Wow, what an incredible hunt and great story! Thanks for sharing it!

From: Mad Trapper
13-Aug-19
Congrats!!

13-Aug-19
!!!!!!!

From: Brotsky
13-Aug-19
Awesome Dan! Congrats on one hell of an adventure!

From: Beartrack
13-Aug-19
A taxidermy bill is next! Very great story Dan. Persistence and determination paid off.

From: Blue Buck
13-Aug-19
Congrats! Dream hunt for sure.

From: otcWill
13-Aug-19
I really enjoyed this. Thanks for taking the time and congrats on a truly world class experience!

From: bigswivle
13-Aug-19
So awesome. Congrats!!!

From: WHOCARES
13-Aug-19
Now that was fun! Congrats!

From: EliteFan
13-Aug-19
Awesome hunt and way to get it done! I was up there the first week (with Canol) and it is some beautiful country. I'll be back for a sheep/caribou combo in two years.

13-Aug-19
Special trip and you did a great job taking us with you. Thanks for your time and effort!

From: Paul@thefort
13-Aug-19
WHAT, YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again, nicely done, great hunt, super story and photos. my best, Paul

From: pav
13-Aug-19
Awesome hunt! Awesome hunt recap!

Thanks for taking us along! Congratulations on a trip of a lifetime and two magnificent animals!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
I got a kick out of the antlers tied to the struts of the plane
Rocking R's embedded Photo
I got a kick out of the antlers tied to the struts of the plane
Hunt Day 10

We woke up in the morning and made some breakfast and coffee. We packed the meat to the airstrip. We packed up our gear and hiked back to the air strip and waited for Del in the super cub to pick us up. We loaded up some gear and meat and tied the antlers to the struts of the plane. Del flew me back to base camp first. He returned to get Ryan.

We enjoyed some lunch and dinner at base camp. We hung out with the crew and shared stories around the bonfire. That didn't last long as heavy rain came through and ended the bonfire session.

I packed up my gear and was ready to fly out the next day. I had an amazing trip and was ready to get home to see my wife and kids.

From: Scott/IL
13-Aug-19
Wow! What a wildly successful trip! Congrats on going 2 for 2.

13-Aug-19
Incredible! Congrats and thanks for bringing us along!! Great job!

From: M.Pauls
13-Aug-19
WOW fantastic story and experience. Thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations on two fine specimens.

From: Bake
13-Aug-19
Awesome story! COngrats on a dream hunt!

13-Aug-19
Excellent! Congrats again!!

From: Kurt
13-Aug-19
Dan, you and Treeline for the win on great combo hunts with Gana!!!! Way to go! Superb animals taken in the Mackenzies...the last best place in North America in my opinion!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19

Rocking R's embedded Photo
Rocking R's embedded Photo
Thanks everyone for following along. This was truly the hunt of a lifetime. Before I left for my trip, I read every sheep thread on Bowsite and watched every sheep video available on the internet. I received a lot of tips from fellow Bowsiters so I wanted to return the favor. Hopefully, this thread will help hunters in the future get ready for their trip.

Harold runs a first class operation. I couldn't imagine hunting with a better outfitter.

From: njbuck
13-Aug-19
Congrats on the hunt of a life time! great write up as well.

13-Aug-19
That ram was awesome, but that caribou photo is money! Congrats again and thanks for coming on and letting us live through you. Well done!

From: Stekewood
13-Aug-19
You set the bar very high for 2019 hunt stories. Fantastic all around. Congratulations!

From: triggertrav
13-Aug-19
Great story and thanks for sharing and the efforts of writing. I Enjoyed every minute of your hunt. Congrats!

From: Bwana
13-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing your awesome adventure and congrats on the critters!

From: bowhuntercam
13-Aug-19
Awesome hunt, congrats. Thanks for sharing.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
13-Aug-19
Everything about this thread is simply Awesome. Congrats and Thank You Dan.

From: deer tracker
13-Aug-19
Great recap of your hunt. Very entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

From: DL
13-Aug-19
Very good story. Thank you for sharing your adventure. You just inspired many hunters to follow in your footsteps. Well Done!!

From: elkmtngear
13-Aug-19
Dream hunt for sure...great story and photos!

From: Mule Power
13-Aug-19
Very well written thread! I forgot I was at work today! Thanks and congratulations!!!

From: MPN
13-Aug-19
Congrats! Enjoyed following along and appreciate your taking the time to document and post your adventure.

From: ki-ke
13-Aug-19
Spectacular hunt and write up!!

Thanks for sharing

13-Aug-19
Yes great account of your adventure!! Do you have the notion to go after another sheep species now? Just curious

From: APauls
13-Aug-19
Truly tremendous write-up. Just super super awesome and thank you so much for taking the time to share.

13-Aug-19
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to share. What a adventure! Great story writing as well. Thank you!

From: KY EyeBow
13-Aug-19
World class hunt and world class write up! Thanks for taking the time to share

From: Bowboy
13-Aug-19
Congrats on two great animals and a trip of a lifetime!

From: Heat
13-Aug-19
Wow man, what a hunt! Really appreciate you taking the time to write a story and share the pictures of your adventure with us here on Bowsite. Most excellent!

From: Predeter
13-Aug-19
Epic thread! Thanks again for taking the time to post it up.

That picture you have titled "Our view at sunrise" is something I think I need to experience. Time to make a sheep hunt a priority...........

From: elmer@laptop
13-Aug-19
that was awesome. loved following along!

From: Rocking R
13-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher - yes, I have definitely caught the "sheep bug". I was told to beware and I can say that I am now officially "infected". I will continue to apply for my Rocky Mountain Sheep tag here in Colorado. The other two species are the big question. I can't lie, I've started to do a little research on stone and desert sheep. I just have no idea when I am going to be able to afford and justify those hunts. If I kill a Rocky here in Colorado then I would start applying for a desert sheep here in my state. But, the odds of drawing that are horrible so I can't really count on that.

I would return to Gana River in a heart beat and hunt dall sheep again. But, I would only do that if I determine that stones and deserts are out of the question for a long time.

From: HUNT MAN
13-Aug-19
Amazing post and animals . Thank you so much for posting. This is Bowsite !! Hunt

From: nmwapiti
13-Aug-19
Great story. Thanks for sharing.

From: t-roy
13-Aug-19
What an incredible adventure! Congrats and thank you for taking the time to share it with us!

13-Aug-19
Amazing post and congrats!!

From: Treeline
14-Aug-19
Now that....that.... that was a HUNT!

Congratulations!

It doesn’t get any better!

I think you held out to the very last second for a reason...

Thank you so much for sharing your adventure!

From: T Mac
14-Aug-19
Outstanding animals, pics and adventure! Well done Dan! Congrats and rest up Elk season is right around the corner.

From: Yellowjacket
14-Aug-19
A most excellent adventure! Well done hunt and write up. Thanks for sharing.

From: Buffalo1
14-Aug-19
Awesome adventure. Congrats on some great trophies. Thanks for sharing with us.

From: Smtn10PT
14-Aug-19
Wow, first and quite likely best hunt recap of the fall! Congrats!!!

14-Aug-19
Very nice!!

From: Neubauer
14-Aug-19
Best thread ever! Love this and congratulations

From: WoodMoose
14-Aug-19
awesome read,,,thanks for sharing and congrats!

From: zabwelch
14-Aug-19
Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing and congrats!

From: Grubby
14-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing your epic story!!!

From: Neubauer
14-Aug-19
This is awesome! My dream hunt. Looking forward to learning how this turns out.

From: JB
14-Aug-19
Congrats and thank you for sharing! Great pics and even better story telling!!!

From: bentshaft
14-Aug-19
Great job telling the story! And a great hunt, congratulations.

From: bowhunter24
15-Aug-19
Thank you very much for your most excellent story! Congrats as well!

From: Tejas
15-Aug-19
Thanks for taking us along....congrats!

From: Fuzz
15-Aug-19
Thank you for sharing your hunt with us!

From: OFFHNTN
15-Aug-19
CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for sharing this!!! Awesome thread, pics, and stories!

From: Mark Watkins
15-Aug-19
DOUBLE CONGRATS!!!!

Great storytelling, hunt and animals!!!

Mark

From: INbowdude
15-Aug-19
Wow! Just wow. Great story, and even better storytelling. Congrats.

From: Pat Bischoff
15-Aug-19
Great thread.Thanks for sharing an awesome adventure!

From: sticksender
15-Aug-19
Enjoyed your thread. Congrats on the two beautiful animals. Success like that, with bow & arrow, doesn't happen by accident. A trip to the NT should be on every bowhunter's bucket list.

From: SBH
16-Aug-19
WOW. Just wow! What a hunt! Awesome thread. You told it well. Thanks for taking the time to take us along. Inspiring stuff right there.

From: GhostBird
16-Aug-19
Dan, Congratulations on an epic adventure and some hard earned trophies. Good job buddy!!!

16-Aug-19
Congratulations on your success! What a journey to be able to take 2 great animals with archery equipment. I really appreciate you taking the time to bring us along on your journey

17-Aug-19
Congrats on the old Ram! Maybe a minor point but were you disappointed with the performance of your "waterproof" rain jacket?! In your words, "By now, I was completely soaked. I was shivering and shaking because I was drenched. The rain coming in through my jacket had saturated all of my upper layers." I mean if you hadn't had the ability to light a fire with an overnight stay this would have become life threatening wouldn't it? Just curious because I've had a lot of issues with these high end rain coats too, especially after just one year of use. I end up often going back to a rubberized jacket, like a Helly Hansen.

From: rjlefty3
17-Aug-19
What an awesome trip! I can only dream about that right now, but someday it'll happen. Thanks for taking us along!

From: JTreeman
17-Aug-19
Awesome hunt. Thanks for sharing.

—Jim

From: huntnmuleys
17-Aug-19
Wow! What a great hunt! Thanks for the killer write up!

From: wooddamon1
17-Aug-19
Great story and pics! Congrats!

From: uteangler
19-Aug-19
Awesome story. Congratulations!

From: hobbes
19-Aug-19
Quite the experience. Thanks for the effort you put into sharing it.

From: Busta'Ribs
19-Aug-19
A hunt like that deserves to be told exactly like that. Well done on all counts. Thank you for taking the time to take me with you.

From: Quick Draw 1
20-Aug-19
Dan - That was an awesome adventure, and you did a great job laying it all out there. You are correct and about Harold, Ryan, and crew. Great people and a great outfit. I couldn't help but laugh out loud about Ryan wanting to sleep under a tarp on the mountain. Been there and done that with him before....except nothing to burn for warmth. Longest night of my life! Congratulations on your experience. That's something that will live with you forever. Alan

From: mountainman
23-Aug-19
Excellent. You did a great job of writing it up.

Congrats on a hell of an adventure.

From: Zackman
23-Aug-19
Spectacular! The Mackenzie mountains are an amazing place and Harold runs an excellent operation.

Congrats!!

From: Mad Trapper
28-Aug-19
I saw where some guy named zack scrolled his name on the wall inside of one of Harold’s cabins. Something about a bow killed sheep...

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