Moultrie Products
2019 Colorado S12 Recap
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
2xLung 10-Aug-19
Stoneman 11-Aug-19
Ski-Skin 11-Aug-19
BULELK1 11-Aug-19
SmokedTrout 11-Aug-19
MWL43 11-Aug-19
Scott/IL 11-Aug-19
Predeter 11-Aug-19
HUNT MAN 11-Aug-19
Ghost425 11-Aug-19
otcWill 11-Aug-19
Treeline 11-Aug-19
SBH 11-Aug-19
Ermine 11-Aug-19
Beav 11-Aug-19
t-roy 11-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 11-Aug-19
Willieboat 11-Aug-19
bowbender77 11-Aug-19
Billyvanness 11-Aug-19
Southern draw 11-Aug-19
EmbryOklahoma 11-Aug-19
Marty 11-Aug-19
Scoot 11-Aug-19
stick n string 11-Aug-19
Les Van Pelt 11-Aug-19
Thunderflight 11-Aug-19
Ucsdryder 11-Aug-19
bowonly 11-Aug-19
Rocking R 11-Aug-19
JRABQ 11-Aug-19
hunt'n addict 11-Aug-19
Lone Bugle 11-Aug-19
'Ike' (Phone) 11-Aug-19
cnelk 11-Aug-19
Adventurewriter 11-Aug-19
huntingbob 11-Aug-19
Photohunter 12-Aug-19
pav 12-Aug-19
JL 12-Aug-19
Mad Trapper 12-Aug-19
GhostBird 12-Aug-19
Smtn10PT 12-Aug-19
njbuck 12-Aug-19
Bwana 12-Aug-19
OFFHNTN 12-Aug-19
Nogutsnostory 12-Aug-19
iceman 12-Aug-19
Kurt 12-Aug-19
jordanathome 12-Aug-19
Brotsky 12-Aug-19
goyt 12-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 12-Aug-19
JohnMC 16-Aug-19
rjlefty3 16-Aug-19
drmike 16-Aug-19
ixsolracxi 17-Aug-19
From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
May 17 East Buffalo Peak
2xLung's embedded Photo
May 17 East Buffalo Peak
Hunting sheep takes an army. Plain and simple. My wife Jennifer, my kids Ben and Katherine, my dad Bob, my mom Sally, my friends Ed, Sam, Seth, Mark, Huck, Verce, Vic, Eli, Tim, Tom, Jennifer and new sheep hunting friends Brad, Eric, Sean, Terry showed me that it takes an army to put a sheep on the ground. Each in their own way contributed to this successful hunt. Words of encouragement, duties covered in my absence, miles on the ground, early morning runs, time behind the scope, and selfless shared knowledge of sheep hunting were all provided to me this season. I couldn’t have pulled this hunt off without their help. While technically this was a “solo” hunt, 20 people had my back on the mountain this year. This year’s season started May 3rd on my way to breakfast with my friend Eli on draw day. I checked my credit card statement and saw a charge for $301.75. I drew a moose, sheep, or goat tag. Later that day I found I had drawn a sheep tag. At breakfast, I told Eli I was just happy that I got a tag and grateful I only got one. Trying to pull off more than one of the big three in the same year would be overwhelming. Little did I know that at lunch I’d find a second charge for $301.75. Irony has a sick sense of humor as I had drawn both sheep and goat for 2019. Hopefully the goat hunt will yield another story in September. To say I was overwhelmed with my current situation was an understatement. With the snowpack of 2018-2019, scouting would be difficult until late June, leaving only a short window to find sheep. I was not too worried about scouting for goats as I know that unit well. Looking at the calendar of scouting days and hunting days for both tags was daunting. My first scouting trip on May 17 was a bust. Post-holing my way to 11,000’ yielded no sheep.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19
My second trip on June 1 with my daughter Katherine was slightly better as we found ewes and two legal rams, but again the snow limited our travel. Snow banks and avalanche debris left roads closed, trails impassable and runoff at all-time highs.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
June 1, 2019 Rams
2xLung's embedded Photo
June 1, 2019 Rams

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Avalanche debris and a 5'9" daughter
2xLung's embedded Photo
Avalanche debris and a 5'9" daughter

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Morning rams, June 14, 2019
2xLung's embedded Photo
Morning rams, June 14, 2019
June 14th gave me some confidence as my neighbor Sam and I relocated the rams found two weeks before, this time with diminishing snow pack and a few more roads open. Even so, cornices were still over 20 feet in the areas I was targeting. Wet slide avalanches and boot-deep mud ruled the day. This trip was great as Sam and I observed hundreds of elk and wet behind the ears calves. We saw a cow that had just given birth and was tending to her 10-minute old calf. If not for the sheep tag, we would have not been up in the high country to experience such a sight.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Snowpack June 2019
2xLung's embedded Photo
Snowpack June 2019

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Cornices at 11,000' June 2019
2xLung's embedded Photo
Cornices at 11,000' June 2019

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Mosquitoes will drive you insane. 12,800' and thick as thieves.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Mosquitoes will drive you insane. 12,800' and thick as thieves.
Work and travel kept me out of the mountains until July 14, when I was able to sneak in a bomber scouting trip to the Buffalo Peaks. I spotted a group of 24 ewes and lambs and was able to approach them up high, giving me confidence that I could spot sheep and get up to them. My excitement was tempered by the swarms of mosquitoes that followed me to 12,800’. As I huddled behind the scope with my rain gear on I watched the sheep and elk twitch, scratch, and run from the ever-present buzz and bite making me think I was watching caribou in Alaska. This trip also revealed that the that the rams I had been watching in another basin for several weeks had moved to other locations. Three weeks to the opener and I had no rams to hunt.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
August 1, 2019. Rainy with a chance of sheep.
2xLung's embedded Photo
August 1, 2019. Rainy with a chance of sheep.
On Thursday before the Saturday opener, I drove back to the Buffalo Peaks in a driving rain storm, hoping to find rams. After a short sleep in the back of my truck, Friday 4:10 am rolled around and I started my daily routine. Coffee, breakfast, load up and head up the hill. Fortunately, the hike to altitude was only 3.5 miles and 2,400 feet. “Time and miles” was the motto for me. In my mind I only had to go the next 30 feet – the distance my headlamp broke into the blackness. Uphill in the dark is a mental game and if I just focused on the short goals in front of me, eventually I would break out on top.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Buffalo Peaks at sunrise. August 2, 2019.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Buffalo Peaks at sunrise. August 2, 2019.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Goats and no sheep.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Goats and no sheep.
The hike to tree line was exciting as I busted a bachelor herd of 15 elk with three nice six points, many five points, and an elk that easily pushed the 340 mark. Once at my glassing spot, I was disappointed to find not sheep, but goats. Several successful sheep hunters had told me, “If you find goats, move on. You won’t find any rams.” How true this statement came to be.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Ewes and lambs, 12,600'.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Ewes and lambs, 12,600'.
As I climbed the hill in the pre-dawn darkness, I told myself to make this an easy miles day as the season opened tomorrow. After after staring in my scope for three hours looking at goats, I was driven to press on. More miles and more ups saw the day finished with over 10 miles and 3,500 feet gained. I did eventually find a herd of 34 ewes and lambs in the afternoon and watched them pass by me at 90 yards. I sat in on a herd of 150 elk watching them feed, communicate and do what elk do. While this day was full of great experiences, the lack of rams was disappointing at the same time.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Panorama of half of a herd of elk August 2, 2019.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Panorama of half of a herd of elk August 2, 2019.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Sunrise on opening day with not a ram in sight.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Sunrise on opening day with not a ram in sight.
Opening day! Rinse and repeat the morning routine. This morning I branched off the easy path up to altitude look at another set of cliffs. What a mistake that was. After a mile and 1,000 feet of stumbling over deadfall and boulders, I found myself staring at a cliff with no sheep. Another 1,000 feet and 1.5 miles of scree, talus and cliffs found me back at my glassing spot.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Having a great time above treeline despite a lack of rams!
2xLung's embedded Photo
Having a great time above treeline despite a lack of rams!
I did learn a lot about sheep behavior this day. From my glassing spot, I observed the ewes I came across on Friday following the same path and the same routine. I could almost set my watch to their actions. This knowledge gained proved to be critical later in the week. On Sunday, I felt I had to do something differently. I had about 2 miles of cliffs that fell off a large plateau at 12,000’. After the thermals switched uphill, I decided to sneak along the top of the cliffs, still hunting in hopes of finding sheep. 30 minutes into this tactic found me at 40 yards from 9 bedded ewes and a young ram. Knowing that coming from above, with the wind right showed me that it is possible to get within archery range on sheep. So many people had told me this was impossible. I just proved them wrong. While my sneak was on nothing I could shoot, it did give me confidence. Later in the day the 34 ewes and lambs also reappeared, right on time.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
2xLung's embedded Photo
The weekend resulted in 28 miles covered, 10,000’ of ups, lots of ewes and lambs, awesome views of elk and goats, and a loss of four pounds. No rams, but at least I’m thinner. My plan at this point was to pack in to the Buffalo Peaks on Wednesday with llamas on a six-day trip, circling the Buffalo Peaks until I could find a ram. My buddy Seth has scouted the south side of the Buffalo Peaks on Saturday for me and while he didn’t see any sheep, he did find an outfitter who was base camped with a client at the exact spot I had planned to start my llama trip. At the same time Seth was eyeing the mountain, my friend Ed was up near Weston pass looking for elk and looking for sheep. Ed had found that there were rams running on Weston Peak and at the pumphouse by Buena Vista. Maybe I’m idealistic, but I really wanted to kill a ram at altitude in the alpine. While the number of rams at the pumphouse was enticing, it wasn’t for me. I wanted to beat them on their home field in the thin air. Work on Monday and Tuesday was distracting. I wanted to get to Weston Peak. Fortunately, my llama outfitters Tom and Jen were very understanding when I told them the llama trips I had planned for this month were off and I’d stay mobile, hunting from my truck. My original plan was to leave the house at 4am on Wednesday and drive to Weston Pass. I couldn’t wait that long. My wife and family saw the look in my eye and wished me good luck as I pulled out Tuesday night at 7pm. Their understanding also proved critical to what would unfold over the next couple of days. Tuesday night was restless, trying to figure out what I should do the next morning. The last time I’d been here was over a month ago and I hadn’t located any rams. I figured my best bet at this point was to glass the peak and cliffs from my truck with a hot cup of coffee at sunrise. I usually glass ridgelines before gridding the hillside with my scope. As I sat down behind my glass I said out loud with less than enthusiastic optimism, “Well, I might as well glass the ridge and find a ram.” 30 seconds later, Boom! Nine rams coming off the peak on the ridge headed lower. I couldn’t believe my luck. Had I left Wednesday morning as originally planned, I never would have been in a spot to find these rams. I tried to get a picture through the scope but kept losing the rams on the hillside. It was more important to keep track of them than to try to get a photo. I watched for 30 minutes as they worked off the peak and into the triangle. They soon disappeared from view. I had seen rams in years past work across from the triangle to the scree fields and on to the cliffs on Weston Peak. I had a pretty good feeling of what they had planned for the day. Looking up the hill I figured I could make the climb to be above them in about 45 minutes, wait for thermals to change and move in from above with the wind in my face – just like the ewes on Sunday.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
2xLung's embedded Photo
After a brief but sweaty crank uphill, I found myself sitting in the middle of rock rubble waiting for a shift in the wind. After 90 minutes, the wind was still downhill and I was running the math on what to do next. At that moment, I heard rocks tumble above me. At 90 yards, a young ram was poking his head over the rise on his way to the cliffs. Soon another followed, and another and then two shooters came in to view. After 30 miles of hiking over the last several days I had rams close! But at 90 yards, they might as well have been a mile away. Once they had passed, I snapped a picture of a distinctive rock marking their path of travel and watched them move casually across the talus above me. While they saw me, they did not seem concerned. After all, they had the high ground and were on home turf. Foolishly, I tried to follow, but after 20 minutes, I realized this was a fruitless effort.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
13,000' and still looking.
2xLung's embedded Photo
13,000' and still looking.
Once the rams were fully out of sight, I hiked back down the hill, moved north up the valley to try to pick them up with my scope. Now if you know this hillside, it is covered in hidey holes and sheep-colored boulders. An hour of glassing could not find the rams in this sea of browns and shadows. I’d seen rams move out of the cliffs and back to the triangle during the afternoon in past years. I decided to circle south, make the climb and work down into the triangle, hoping to catch them in the afternoon.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
2xLung's embedded Photo
By 5pm, I’d glassed several more areas and eventually settled into what I felt was a good position. The wind was good, and I held hope that I’d see these guys again. 6pm. No sheep, just rain. 7pm. No sheep, but at least it stopped raining. 7:10 pm. I said aloud, “Come on sheep.” God must have been listening as just at this moment, 9 rams appeared over the rise 400 yards below me. For the next 80 minutes I watched these nine sheep browse their way up the hill, bed, water, browse, bed. What I thought was a good position turned out to be lousy as their closest approach was 90 yards. 90 yards! I was there this morning! What this time did offer was a chance to closely evaluate the two shooters. Cocoa Puff was a nice chocolate 3/4, tightly curled ram with a great cape. The other ram, whom I named Buff Diddy had dark legs, a beautiful buff coat and a 7/8ths curl that flared wide. Either ram would be awesome, but I told myself that if given the chance, Buff Diddy is who I wanted to shoot. Big Horn Sheep have incredible vision. By 8:30 pm, the light was fading and the rams had bedded 300 yards away. My goal was to sneak out undetected and try again in the morning. I checked the rams through my binoculars, and all were bedded. They seemed unconcerned with the world around them. I crawled on my hands and knees 30 yards uphill to where I left my pack and glassed the rams again. I looked again and now 18 eyeballs were staring right through me! They knew something (me) was not right. All nine got up and walked/trotted over the rise away from me. I hoped that I hadn’t blown them out. By 10pm, I had made it back to my truck for dinner out of a bag and sleep. Today had been a long, but exciting day! The next morning, I awoke ready to go after sheep. I felt confident I hadn’t bumped them too hard and would repeat their routine today. Watching sheep for three days on the Buffalo Peaks showed me that they are creatures of habit and will do similar things if not disturbed. I climbed the 45 minutes up the scree field to where I was the day before, looking for the rock I’d taken a picture of. After a minute of searching I found it. I moved uphill into position and waited. On Wednesday, these sheep had come through on the trail at 8:30 am. At 6:30, I knew I probably had a couple of hours to wait – if they went back to their beds the night before. At 7:30, the all too familiar rock tumble happened 30 yards above me and to my left. Slowly turning my head, I saw a 1/2 curl ram looking over the rise as he made his way along the same trail as the day before. He hadn’t seen me and the wind was still downhill. The first ram slowly walked along the trail, unconcerned. A second young ram appeared. Buff Diddy then showed himself. Now I had planned to be on my knees facing uphill in anticipation of this very event happening. The reality is, kneeling on a talus-strewn 40 degree slope for more than 30 minutes is not in my wheelhouse. So here I was, facing the wrong way with Buff Diddy 30 yards above me. Immediately above me was a shelf that offered some cover. While Buff Diddy was out of view, the rest of the rams were walking single file, 30 yards away. Knowing I would get busted by a younger ram, this was my opportunity. I slowly grabbed my bow and range finder, move to stand and turned around. This movement caused Buff Diddy to climb 10 yards higher quartering away. A quick range found him at 42 yards. While my shot wasn’t perfect, it was deadly. Immediately, I saw bright red blood spraying out of him and onto the rocks. This would be a short path to a sheep.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
2xLung's embedded Photo
Mayhem ensued as all 9 animals ran from danger over the next rise. I climbed up to the point of the shot to see a bright red trail looking like a highway fog line painted across the talus in the morning light. I followed the trail 100 yards to the rise to see a young ram above me looking below him and then at me. Just then, a bad gymnastics routine of hooves and horns played out before me. Over and over the ram rolled 700 yards through the talus and down an avalanche chute. While this made the pack out easier, I worried how beat up he would be.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Happy days!
2xLung's embedded Photo
Happy days!
After a careful 30 minute descent, I came across my ram. To know that this hunt actually came together was overwhelming. I wished all the people who had helped me to this point could be with me to share in my excitement. While they weren’t there in person, they were all with me.

From: 2xLung
10-Aug-19

2xLung's embedded Photo
Me and Buff Diddy, going for a ride in the Tundra.
2xLung's embedded Photo
Me and Buff Diddy, going for a ride in the Tundra.
The next three hours were consumed with building a table out of rocks to keep the sheep from rolling more, pictures, a full cape out, cramped hands, and bagging meat. While the pack out wasn’t the worst I’ve had, it sucked. My first load was around 80 pounds of gear and meat. Climbing back up the chute for my second and last trip, a thunderstorm opened up, soaking the hill with grease and the cape with weight. My second load was around 110 pounds of meat, cape and head, to take down a rain-soaked avalanche chute. I really underestimated just how heavy the cape and head of ram are and wished I’d taken more on my first load. Throwing the partially loaded pack on to my back resulted in landing on my face with my feet down hill, sliding about 10 feet with a rock grinding into my thigh. I’ve got an avocado-sized black and blue reminder on my left leg now, reminding me to take my time with this load. By 2pm I was back at my truck with the sheep loaded and a huge storm coming over the ridge. Today was a good day for the sheep army.

From: Stoneman
11-Aug-19
Nothing like sheep hunting. Great recap.

From: Ski-Skin
11-Aug-19
Nice Job!!!

From: BULELK1
11-Aug-19
Heck yeah

Good for you and Us!

Good luck, Robb

From: SmokedTrout
11-Aug-19
Congrats and thanks for the story. Nothing like a successful solo hunt!

From: MWL43
11-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing!

From: Scott/IL
11-Aug-19
Awesome story, awesome ram. Big congrats!

From: Predeter
11-Aug-19
Great story and ram, congrats!!

From: HUNT MAN
11-Aug-19
Amazing thanks for posting

From: Ghost425
11-Aug-19
2xLung you’re the freaking man. Must be hard to sit down with nuggets that big. Great job, love to see hard work and dedication pay off. Congrats!

From: otcWill
11-Aug-19
Dream hunt. Soak it up! Congrats

From: Treeline
11-Aug-19
Great story and fantastic Ram! Congratulations and thanks for sharing with us!

Love that country!

From: SBH
11-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing the adventure. Well done

From: Ermine
11-Aug-19
Awesome

From: Beav
11-Aug-19
What a great recap! Congrats on the ram and thanks for sharing!

From: t-roy
11-Aug-19
Great write up! Congrats to you on an epic hunt and a hard earned trophy. Thanks for sharing it with us.

From: Grey Ghost
11-Aug-19
That was a great read!! Thanks for sharing.

Would that be considered a "Texas heart shot", 2xLung?

;-)

Matt

From: Willieboat
11-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing !

From: bowbender77
11-Aug-19
Great trophy ! Congrats.

11-Aug-19
Great job and thanks for the write up and photos!

11-Aug-19
Congrats he sure looks good in the back of your truck!

11-Aug-19
Hell yea! Sheep threads are my favorite. Congratulations!

From: Marty
11-Aug-19
Awesome! Well done!

From: Scoot
11-Aug-19
Outstanding and thanks for taking the time to share!

11-Aug-19
Awesome stuff

11-Aug-19
Great recap. Congrats!

11-Aug-19
Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

From: Ucsdryder
11-Aug-19
Great story! There was some strategy in that hunt! Way to outthink them.

From: bowonly
11-Aug-19
Must have been emotional walking up and laying hands on that hard earned alpine ram. Lots of support and effort all came together right there on the mountain. Thanks for including us.

From: Rocking R
11-Aug-19
Congratulations! Awesome accomplishment!

From: JRABQ
11-Aug-19
Wow, thanks for taking us along on the adventure!

11-Aug-19
Congratulations! Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the goat hunt.

From: Lone Bugle
11-Aug-19
Thank you for taking the time to share this so well! You have no idea how much I'm smiling as I read all of this. Congratulations on the trophy and adventure of a lifetime!!

11-Aug-19
Awesome, congratulations again...Waiting now for the Goat recap! :-)

From: cnelk
11-Aug-19
Awesome!

11-Aug-19
awesome thread!

From: huntingbob
11-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing that hunt! I absolutely loved all of it. I didn't tag a sheep on my archery hunt but I am in the draw again!

From: Photohunter
12-Aug-19
Excellent story and a well earned trophy! Congrats!!

From: pav
12-Aug-19
Congrats on a well earned ram! Thanks for taking us along!

From: JL
12-Aug-19
Congrats and thanks for posting up! It's fun to follow along.

From: Mad Trapper
12-Aug-19
Outstanding hunt and write up. Congrats!!!

From: GhostBird
12-Aug-19
Good work... thanks for taking us along. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: Smtn10PT
12-Aug-19
Awesome hunt and recap, congrats on your success

From: njbuck
12-Aug-19
Awesome ram and write up, congrats!

From: Bwana
12-Aug-19
Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment and thanks for sharing!

From: OFFHNTN
12-Aug-19
THANK YOU for taking the time to share this! Congrats on an amazing hunt and ram!

12-Aug-19
Very nice!!

From: iceman
12-Aug-19
Awesome! Thanks for sharing the story with us and congratulations on a hunt of a lifetime!

From: Kurt
12-Aug-19
Congrats on a nice bighorn! Nothing like sheep hunting!

From: jordanathome
12-Aug-19
Wow....great story......great hunt.....great finish!

From: Brotsky
12-Aug-19
Great story and telling of it 2xlung! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. Congratulations on an awesome ram! Best of luck on the goat hunt!

From: goyt
12-Aug-19
Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.

12-Aug-19
Way to go! Congrats!!

From: JohnMC
16-Aug-19
Awesome story. Can’t explain the emotions of seeing a sheep laying there you just killed!

From: rjlefty3
16-Aug-19
Great read! Thanks for taking us along!

From: drmike
16-Aug-19
Thanks for sharing your hunt with us and congratulations!

From: ixsolracxi
17-Aug-19
Awesome read, thanks for sharing, congrats on your success!!!

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