Sitka Mountain Gear
Which sheep species first?
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
tkjwonta 10-Aug-19
Matt 10-Aug-19
caribou77 10-Aug-19
RK 10-Aug-19
Southern draw 10-Aug-19
Ned mobile 10-Aug-19
Adventurewriter 10-Aug-19
sticksender 10-Aug-19
Redheadtwo 10-Aug-19
JTreeman 10-Aug-19
RK 10-Aug-19
dirtclod Az. 10-Aug-19
Waterfowler 10-Aug-19
Kurt 11-Aug-19
kota-man 11-Aug-19
BULELK1 11-Aug-19
Huntcell 11-Aug-19
MQQSE 11-Aug-19
Slate 11-Aug-19
sticksender 11-Aug-19
kscowboy 11-Aug-19
Treeline 11-Aug-19
Kurt 11-Aug-19
Ermine 11-Aug-19
Treeline 11-Aug-19
Rocky D 11-Aug-19
Ambush 11-Aug-19
tthomas 11-Aug-19
Shrewski 11-Aug-19
TSJ 11-Aug-19
Southern draw 11-Aug-19
bowslam 11-Aug-19
Treeline 11-Aug-19
Mad Trapper 12-Aug-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 12-Aug-19
Bou'bound 12-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 12-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 12-Aug-19
tkjwonta 12-Aug-19
Nick Muche 12-Aug-19
EliteFan 12-Aug-19
Sandbrew 12-Aug-19
DL 12-Aug-19
Adventurewriter 13-Aug-19
Spiral Horn 26-Aug-19
Zackman 26-Aug-19
Dinkshooter@work 26-Aug-19
kota-man 26-Aug-19
wkochevar 26-Aug-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 26-Aug-19
'Ike' (Phone) 26-Aug-19
kota-man 27-Aug-19
tkjwonta 18-Sep-19
Treeline 18-Sep-19
Glunker 18-Sep-19
BighornRam 04-Nov-19
Dale06 04-Nov-19
Nick Muche 04-Nov-19
Surfbow 04-Nov-19
Jim in PA 05-Nov-19
From: tkjwonta
10-Aug-19
While the rest of us are waiting for sheep reports to start rolling in, or putting the final touches on elk/deer gear, I thought this might be an interesting discussion.

Assuming you are going for the sheep grand slam, which species would you pursue first?

From: Matt
10-Aug-19
Dalls

From: caribou77
10-Aug-19
Dalls for sure. My favorite and the cheapest.

From: RK
10-Aug-19
Stone

Fannin

Bighorn

Desert

Dall

Get the hard ones out of the way first then add on the rest

10-Aug-19
If money wasn’t an object I would go for the Stone first just because of their beauty .

10-Aug-19
I would say stones also

10-Aug-19
if money is not an issue Stones first as it is already 40 grand plus and goes up 10 percent ever every year

From: sticksender
10-Aug-19
Bighorn ewe (and possibly even Desert ewes in Nevada) is a way to have high odds of drawing within a short number of years and you can hunt them DIY at minimal cost. Would be a good way to start an archery sheep hunting career. The ewes are wild and wary as hell in most of Colorado. Don't know if ewe is allowed for an official Grand Slam but it's still a wild sheep, and a nice bowhunting accomplishment to take one.

From: Redheadtwo
10-Aug-19
The hardest to kill or the most expensive.

From: JTreeman
10-Aug-19
Whichever one you can get!!!!

—-jim

From: RK
10-Aug-19
They are all easy to get with certain criteria being Met

From: dirtclod Az.
10-Aug-19
Small furry lamb.

From: Waterfowler
10-Aug-19
Desert or stone the others are readily available and "cheaper" . Not that any sheep hunt is cheap , the price paid in sweat alone may kill you.

From: Kurt
11-Aug-19
I'd save the Dall or Desert for last as they are a bit easier in my experience than Stones or Rockies...but just pick one and get going. Took me 37 yrs to complete my archery sheep grand slam! Hunted Bighorns first..5 CO tags to get one DIY, then drew NV NR tag and got one DIY after 8 days. Went on an Alaska Dall hunt and got Shankstered by the outfitter, then drew Bighorn in CO and connected DIY on the 11th day. Moved to BC and hunted Stones on 8 backpack hunts spanning 6 seasons before connecting DIY. Hunted Dalls in the NWT and got one on day 7.

Good luck!

From: kota-man
11-Aug-19
I booked a Stone as my first, but ended up doing a Desert first on a last minute cancellation. In order of kill, I went Desert, Dall, Bighorn, and Stone. Had to hunt them each twice, except the Desert.

From: BULELK1
11-Aug-19
The tags I can draw but if I was just starting out I would do the Thin Horns first and then do the Rocky & Desert.

Good luck, Robb

From: Huntcell
11-Aug-19
Marco Polo and work my way down and home from there.

From: MQQSE
11-Aug-19
I went Dall, Rocky, Desert and stone this coming week. For most you have to take the opportunities when you can get them. Dall being the most reasonable seems a logical starting point for many.

From: Slate
11-Aug-19
Non of them are hard to hunt just hard on the wallet.

From: sticksender
11-Aug-19
Slate have you taken an archery slam of sheep?

I've only done 7 sheep bowhunts so far, but didn't find any of them to be easy.....just varying degrees of hard ;-)

But that's what makes archery sheep hunting so gratifying.

From: kscowboy
11-Aug-19
My dad did his Dall in his 30s, Rocky in his 40s, Stone in his 50s, and Desert in his 60s. Kind of a nice way to space it out.

I have a Dall in my 30s, Rocky in my 30s, and still in my 30s. Stone will definitely be next for me and I’m ahead of my personal schedule. I may consider paying-off my house first before going for a Stone, unless I find a screaming deal. I’ll keep trying to draw a Desert and if this doesn’t happen in the next 25 years, I’ll probably spend the money and go to Mexico. Being halfway there, I’m kind of committed now.

From: Treeline
11-Aug-19
I’ve been lucky enough to have had three bighorn sheep tags in Colorado. Hunted my tail off with over 40 days on the mountains and no ram to show for it.

It’s been 15 years since my last tag and I’m beginning to wonder how long till I get another one!

I apply across the board for sheep tags and buy lots of raffle tickets in hopes of getting lucky and getting another chance.

I got extremely lucky a few years back on a combination mountain caribou/Dall sheep hunt and was finally able to close the deal.

Although I absolutely love sheep hunting, can’t say any of them are easy. Tougher with a compound. Seriously tough with a longbow...

From: Kurt
11-Aug-19
Sticksender has it right! Slate comes across as a troll based on how sheep hunting with bow and arrow has gone for most of us! Even on a guided Dall hunt in a great area it was a heck of a lot of work and no "slam" dunk for me. And the 5 and 6 seasons of sheep hunting DIY to collect a Rocky and a Stone were anything but easy despite being cheap.

From: Ermine
11-Aug-19
Yea nothing easy about sheep hunting. I’ve only hunted sheep once. Drew a Colorado tag. The Rocky sheep I was hunting were some of the spookiest critters I’ve ever hunted. Combine how wild they were with the terrain and it made for some tough hunting.

I could never afford to hunt them all! But maybe I’ll get to hunt another sheep at some point.

From: Treeline
11-Aug-19
Nope, nothing easy about sheep hunting. From getting tags to the actual hunt.

For some, when it rains it pours. Have a good friend that is hunting sheep now in Colorado on a great tag.

He will be hunting Nevada later in the fall with a desert sheep tag that he drew with half the points that I have there.

Although the state draws are low probability of ever getting a tag, they are the most reasonably priced hunts. You gotta pay the price, stay the course and keep applying year after year after year and hope that someday you will draw. Heck, I am at over 20 points in a number of states for sheep and still may never draw.

Moving to Alaska will allow you annual hunts for Dalls as a resident. If you can swing moving to Canada and gaining residency in a province with sheep, you can also hunt them on an annual basis. BC has the most to offer a sheep hunter in that regard.

Of course, the option of paying for guided hunts in Canada and Mexico is there but they are expensive. The mental aspect of those expensive hunts is extreme. Between the travel logistics, weather issues, reliance on horses, equipment issues, the behavior of the quarry, and knowing that if you draw blood you are done - the pressure can be overwhelming. You have to be prepared to go on multiple hunts to be successful with a bow, even in the best of areas. The temptation to kill one with a rifle is one that you will have to tamp down, even if it means coming home empty handed.

From: Rocky D
11-Aug-19
For the average Joe the fall would probably be the most obtainable unless you live in a state that has sheep. Certain areas are more conducive to bowhunting sheep. The Brooks range would probably be much easier than the Chugach unless you drew something like 14C. As with many species hunting sheep with a bow is really about getting an animal in the right situation. This said I would thin that after Dall the Rocky then then either stone or desert would be an either or on which one be the most affordable. This is just my opinion but unless you opt to move like Treeline suggest then I think that this would be be a normal route for most.

From: Ambush
11-Aug-19
The trouble with living in a place with sheep like B.C. (I do) is you figure you got lots of time to hunt them. So you end up putting it off. Then you get old.

We have, Rocky’s, ( and California) Stone and Dall. I’m going to hunt Rocky’s this year but failed again to draw a Dall area. Lots of OTC for Stone.

So much to hunt and so little time!!

From: tthomas
11-Aug-19
I would go on several spot and stalk mule deer hunts first to get used to ranging. sneaking, stalking and shooting up and down hill. Then in order of expense (if having to use a guide or outfitter) dall, bighorn, with stone and desert close depending on the where and the hows. Bighorns have been the cheapest, $50 plus tax for the tag. In order of success, probably a guided desert, with bighorn and dall close, but for some the dalls are easier. Stones are tough but you will plan on spending a bunch of time and energy there.

Throw all of this out if you are looking for something old and big or just trying to get a ram or even a mature representative animal.

Good luck and hunt while you can, the mountains do not get any easier.

From: Shrewski
11-Aug-19
Makes no difference at all. Whichever one trips your trigger.

From: TSJ
11-Aug-19

11-Aug-19
You can have all the money you want but there’s nothing easy about a sheep hunt! Respect to all the archery hunters getting it done!

From: bowslam
11-Aug-19
I'll give you all a free tip here. If you want to talk about sheep hunting, killing sheep with a bow and arrow...Listen up when "tthomas" makes a post. I think he's at sixteen bow killed sheep and three bowslams. PS: Tommy, it was good seeing you at he sheep show.

From: Treeline
11-Aug-19
You definitely know you are in a GREAT SHEEP CAMP when you see the name”Foss” on the wall!

From: Mad Trapper
12-Aug-19
If you have never hunted sheep before and you are committed to only use a bow, I would book my first hunt in the nwt for a dall. This is the “easiest “ sheep to get and the least expensive. It will give you experience and confidence to go after the other three which are generally tougher and more expensive. I would not attempt to build confidence on the toughest and most expensive hunts unless time and money are no object. My two cents.

12-Aug-19
I started with dall in NWT specifically for the reasons Mad Trapper mentions. After arrowing my dall on the 4th day, I was going to go stone second until I ran into a good opportunity for deserts this coming January/February. If I am successful on that hunt, I will likely move my focus back to stones and have to decide what outfitter I want to hunt with.

From: Bou'bound
12-Aug-19
...............or you could just use Jake's method of get it all done in less than a year and move on process. In my opinion still one of, if not THE, most spectacular achievement that has been shared on this site ever. The slam in less than 12 months with a bow.

12-Aug-19

12-Aug-19
I still think i would go stones after all the advice given above. Try to draw the others. Getting the toughest and now most expensive completed first if possible. It was the toughest for me anyway. lol

From: tkjwonta
12-Aug-19
Thanks for all the responses, bowsite doesn't disappoint, as usual. I had always planned on doing Dall first, as I really like the looks of them, but I wanted to ask the experts.

A follow up, why are stone sheep hunts so difficult? Is it tough to find sheep? Difficult to find a legal ram? Tough terrain to get close enough?

I could deal with not coming home with ram, but it would be awfully tough to spend the time/$/effort to not even see any sheep.

From: Nick Muche
12-Aug-19
"A follow up, why are stone sheep hunts so difficult?"

I've never done one, but I'd say it's a combination of all three of the factors you've listed, add in rising cost as well...

From: EliteFan
12-Aug-19
I would definitely start with the Stone sheep. Getting pricier every year and that is not likely to change. Sheep hunting interest has gone through the roof the past few years and demand is high. I need a Rocky to complete my slam but can't draw a damn tag for the life of me. Alberta is looking like my only hope but hard to do when I live in Montana. Come on sheep tag draw gods, shine on my hiney soon! :)

From: Sandbrew
12-Aug-19

Sandbrew's Link
If you've never hunted sheep, I'd say start with a Dall. Make sure you have what it takes to get it done, endure some weather and hardships before cashing in all your chips on Stone hunt.

I really like tthomas idea of hunting high country mule deer a lot first.

The overall levels of hard can vary on a sheep hunt but easy is not part of the equation.

The mental aspect can take a much larger toll than the physical and many people cant handle that part. It's hard to train for the metal stresses of a sheep hunt. Once you train yourself to say no matter what is going badly there are 100s if not 1000s of people that wish they were in your boots things get easier. It's hard to prepare for endless days of rain and fog no rams sighted in a week, second guessing packing up camp and hiking 10-12 miles to a new area hoping rams will be there. Its all a mental game.

Make sure you watch the KUIU video "Don't wait."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Q17zA55Os

Sandbrew

From: DL
12-Aug-19
Which one first? The first one I draw. I’m a sucker for WSF sheep raffles that states sell.

13-Aug-19
I'm a 1/4 slammer and thinking I just might die a 1/4 slammer

From: Spiral Horn
26-Aug-19
Like a lot of guys I did Dalls first, but I’m also interested and pursuing some international Ovis and Capra Species as well. Since bowhunting isn’t legal or established everywhere I’ve been doing a mixed bag of hunting methods for mountain game. After all, these are all personal goals based on desire, money, time, and availability. Much I still want to do.

From: Zackman
26-Aug-19
Dall, fannin, then wait for your long-lost father to buy you bighorn and desert hunts...

26-Aug-19
Dad? Is that you?

From: kota-man
26-Aug-19
Lucky for me, the paternity test came back “negative” Zack...

From: wkochevar
26-Aug-19
Sandbrew perfectly summed up the sheep hunting dilema...mind over matter!! the hardest part is to convince yourself you are NOT going to quit!

26-Aug-19
Cory, the ones I saw came back positive and Dad, I need to book a stone and a Bighorn hunt... And I'm not nearly as good of bowhunter as Zack, so there will likely be a repeat in there!

26-Aug-19
“You are not the father” in my best Murray voice...Now you have to do the dance Kota!

From: kota-man
27-Aug-19
Demo/Scott...Talk to Watkins. You look more like him anyway...AND, he has slightly more experience with Stone sheep than I do... :)

From: tkjwonta
18-Sep-19
Thanks for all the input on this thread. I didn't intend it to motivate booking a sheep hunt, but it's too late for that now! I'm booked for a Dall sheep hunt in AK in 2022. Need to start training now!

From: Treeline
18-Sep-19
Congratulations!

The mental aspect will be the toughest. I looked and you are in Iowa.

Plan as much vacation time as you can over here in the mountains. Not sure if you’re coming west for elk or mule deer but it would be great experience under your belt.

As tthomas said above, high country mule deer above treeline will be the closest thing to sheep.

Summer bow shoots combined with some backpacking and climbing.

Even winter trips for skiing or maybe some predator hunting and get in a few nights camping in the cold.

The more experience you have in diverse mountain conditions and the more you know about how you will do in those conditions, the better prepared you will be when you finally get the opportunity!

Good luck!

From: Glunker
18-Sep-19
Depends on money, who uh our guide is. Maybe you can learn enough after 3 guided hunts to go unguided for your bighorn? Seems rhetorical.

From: BighornRam
04-Nov-19

BighornRam's embedded Photo
first ram a long time ago
BighornRam's embedded Photo
first ram a long time ago
This thread is about which species first, don't care just go!!! If you know someone that has gone pick their brain. If you know someone with a tag beg to go along. I am now 62 with a knee that will not allow me anymore sheep hunts. I can't tell you how much I miss it. I now have all the free time in the world and don't have the legs to climb anymore. After 18 sheep hunts I still cant stop dreaming about more. Most have been with other people holding the tag but 5 have been mine. They are all special and all worth the sweat and effort. Now if the sheep Gods would send me a desert tag I would crawl up the mountain and sleep under a rock for the opportunity!

From: Dale06
04-Nov-19
I shot (rifle) a dall a few years back, in the NWT. Was a terrific hunt. Believe it was $14,500, plus license, etc, etc. I’m guessing it was $18,000 all in. Today, I believe the cost all in would push the mid $20 grand range. Can I afford to spend the mega bucks on the other sheep, actually I could. I just can’t see spending that kind of money when I could go on three or more high end elk hunts, or at least three (4-6 animal African trips) for similar money. Absolutely nothing wrong with getting a sheep slam but I am not interested. Best of luck to you that pursue wild sheep!

From: Nick Muche
04-Nov-19

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Find a way to make it happen.

From: Surfbow
04-Nov-19
Yeah, yeah, rub it in Nick...

From: Jim in PA
05-Nov-19

Jim in PA's Link
Or you could win this!

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