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Sheep hunt recap
I posted quite a bit before my hunt with questions and about preparing for hunt. I got home this evening. I hunted 13 days straight. One of my goals was not to be beat by the mountains and I believe I succeed. I hunted hard, got to places that held sheep and did it day after day. It was quite the Adventure, beautiful country,. Here is a recap of how hunting went.
The day before the season my brother, and friend Kyle packed in about 3 miles. We scoped a lot of ewes and a couple rams on pack in.
Morning one we found a group of 7 or 8 rams with a couple great looking animals. At about 300 yards they left the area not to be seen again. We hiked up to about 13500 feet that day. I found that there was a better way to access the area.
Day 2 we glass and covered some areas a little closer to camp but only saw ewes. Latter packed out back to truck and stayed in camper for the night.
On day 3 we hiked into some of the same country as day one but from the south. In about 3 miles we found 4 rams planned a stock that failed. Later that day in same basin. We actually smelled sheep before we saw them. I was able to get to about 65 yards with them bedded below me. Then all of sudden they spooked into trees. I found them in tree. Unfortunately I missed a shot. It was a real bummer.
These are the rams below me. I believe it was a group 17.
Day 4 we went to same area as day before and watch a group of 6 rams walk into a small group of trees/rocks. It was as a great opportunity or at least I thought. I moved down on them expecting them to be there when I got to trees. My brother was watching from above. When I got there they were gone. It was first taste of how they can just flat disappear. End of action for the day.
For the next several days I could not find a legal ram. I got into range of sheep several times they were either ewes or less than 1/2 curls or right at that. I had a couple days the weather made hunting really tough. It would rain and when the storms rolled in the higher elevations where the sheep were was impossible to see.
On day 10 I packed into a area with sleeping bag and bivy. Just before dark I found a group of rams. They were about 3/4 of a mile and going away from me. I was excited thinking I could find them in morning and have a opportunity. However the next morning I could not find them or any other sheep. By this time I could really feel the pressure of the end of the hunt approaching.
Day 12 my buddy Chris was up. On a whim we decided to go into a new area I had not been in before. We walked in and soon we found a group of 5 rams. After watching them for a while they moved closer to us and went out of site below a ridge. We pushed up thinking we could close the distance and possible into bow range. However again when we got to that spot they were no where to be seen. They call elk the grey ghost but I think it is more fitting of sheep.
Day 13 Kyle came up the evening before. He and I hiked back into same area as Chris and I had been in the night before. In the first hour of light we spotted a large group of rams. They were a good ways away and I did not think great terrain to put on a stock. But it was worth a try. Here is a picture of me moving in on them from Kyle spotting scope. It is hard to believe from this picture but I could not see them.
It turns out there was a small basin/draw the rams end up in. As I approached it I figured that was were they went. But it was a large group of sheep of about 2 dozen. Lots of eyes. Only option I had was to butt crawl to lip of draw. I did this for a couple hundred yards. As I worked down I could just see back one and ranged him at 60 some odd yards. I butt crawled about 10 yards further and could just see a horn.
I shifted to my knees and see 3 rams and range them at 50 yards. The edge of range I wanted to shoot but a range I am comfortable with. So I draw my bow and one of the 3 there stands up broad side. I release my arrow. I watch the fletching go right behind the should as he runs away. He only goes 40~50 yards and falls over.
In this picture you can see him laying dead in the shadows to the right and rest of band trying to figure out what happened down lower in basin. I can’t explain the feeling at this moment.
Congratulations on a well earned Ram
Congrats, nice recap and very cool pics to help with the story.
Good job getting back on the horse!! Congratulations!
Heck yeah!!!! Nothing like getting your tag's worth of hunt! Congrats on the ram and thanks for sharing the story!
congrats Sir! Thanks for sharing the story
Great work, John! I'm proud for ya! All of that work you were doing paid dividends.... well done!
Way to persevere! Congrats on your ram, thanks for sharing
Outstanding, you did real good.
Also digging that re-creation (intentional or not) of Paul@fort's iconic ram pack-out pic
Way to stick with it and come out on top! Congrats!
Incredible story! Congrats and way to persevere!
Thanks for sharing and Congrats!
Well done, John! Sounds like a helluva hunt
Congrats on a amazing trophy !!!
Congrats and awesome determination! Beautiful pics. A lot of satisfaction with that hunt, John!
Oh what a feeling that must be!!!
Good deal. It is amazing how such hunts are filled with such extreme highs and lows.... Even as a reader you feel the pressure...
Congratulations. Sounds like you had an awesome hunt!!
Part of group I shot mine from
Part of group I shot mine from
Bowsite getting it done on Rams this year!!!!
Elk I saw. Pic through binos so not great.
Definitely a hunt of a lifetime! Love that country up there.... Glad you had a good time and were successful on a great ram!
Great story, pics and a beautiful ram! Thanks for sharing. Congrats!!!
Congrats on the ram and thanks for sharing the story!
Congrats on a great ram. Cool pics and good story!!
Way to persevere to the very end!!!
The mind is a very powerful tool!!!
Beautiful country and a heck of a nice bull!
Congrats on your trophy! Great job!
Very nice! Thanks for sharing and congrats!!
Right on! Way to hunt hard and get it done!
Congrats, John! You earned that ram. Well done!
Awesome! Congrats on a true trophy and hard core hunt!
Incredible Country...great job getting into bow range on those rams!
Persistence. Ishi would have been proud.....
Congradulations!! beautiful ram
Wow......very nice! I can't believe the pic of you moving on the rams where you said you could not see them.....amazing.
Congrats to you on a great hunt and trophy as well!
Congrats on a sweet ram and getting it done with your bow!
Congrats on a beautiful animal, way to stick with it!!!
Great ram and congratulations!
Wonderful! Look at him often and remember all your hard work.
This was painful to watch. Plugging the horn.
But necessary. Get those horns slipped and reset on the skull plate with bondo as soon as possible. Will reduce shrinkage and lost inches!
Well done John. my best, Paul
Awesome! Glad it worked out - way to stick with it. Congrats!
Officially a member of the S32 club. A lot of history in that unit by some great bowhunters gone by, and yet to come. Excellent!
S32 is a cool unit. A lot of sheep, a lot of big beautiful county. Mostly going to access with your boots. If a negative to it you will run into people that are just out hiking. The best places to access it are trails that people use everyday. But once you gone a couple miles they mostly clear out. However I did see people in places that surprised me. Including two young ladies that were coming down a face that looked like only sheep would go. They told me they just bumped a group of rams out of the area I walked 3.5 miles to check out. If anyone draws it in the future i've spent two preseason scouting in once two years ago with a buddy that drew it and this years and lot of days during the season. Anyone that draws in the future or wanting info before applying let me know. I would be happy to help.
Congrats on your sheep! It seems they don't come easy!
Great story and photos John. Thanks for taking us along. Love the shot of you in the meadow with the sheep, terrain can be deceiving! Liked that big elk too. Great Ram!
Great story and nice trophy.
Not being a sheep hunter - what is “plugging the horn” ?
Way to stick it out!! Great story. Thanks for sharing!
The plug is the silver thing in picture above. They drill a big hole in horn and put the “plug” might also have another name. It about the size of a finger nail with a number and CO for state. It is to identify the ram as legally killed if any question were to arise in future.
Got him officially scored today.
Grossed 152 3/8 Netted 151 7/8 P&Y
Congrats on an offical P&Y ram
John, When you say Kyle, did you mean Kyle Meintzer? If it is him, Kyle and I have been friends a lot of years. Just wondering where in S32 you hunted. I have bow hunted 3 times in the unit, 3 times with my son and 1 other unit. Did you hunt close to Democrat/Republican Mountains or were you further west? I hope to draw a 5th license but at 74 and a bad back my chances are getting slim. Just wondering.
Also, up high above and south the mine is a good place. Do you ever go to the RMBS Banquets? I use to be one of their Directors so I haven't missed one in many years.
Congratulations! A great achievement!
Bighorn a different Kyle. I sent you a PM.
How did I miss this thread!
Well done on the hunt and recap, enjoyed it. I bowhunted ewes there one year and loved that unit. Did you notice any “rock sheep fences” that the native Americans used to increase their chances, with shooting “nests” in the gaps?
Jeff where it the unit are those? Don’t think I saw any.
John, so glad you were successful in S32. That unit went through quite an adjustment with poor lamb recruitment and the drought in the early 2000 causing the food source to dry up and the numbers of sheep declined as did the number of licenses available.. You seeing good numbers of sheep might mean the unit as recovered some. my best, Paul
Congrats on a killer ram! Thanks for the recap and the pictures!!
They sure are fun to hunt. Congratulations!!
Really cool recap, the story was wonderful. Thanks for sharing John, awesome ram and an awesome hunt, great job!!!!
Congrats on the nice ram, John! Definitely recognize that area!
Just noticed this was back up. Funny to reread. Thanks again for the kind comments. I want to go again!
great read thank you, my dream hunt one Day hopefully 2020.
Outstanding work, congratulations. I have over 25 years of applying for this tag. Sounds like you had a great hint and things are looking better. Ed F
Outstanding hunt! Congrats!
Mount is done. Here is a couple pictures at taxidermist. Picking up tonight
Looks good, John! Congrats, again.
Looks great John!
I have a S32 ram mounted on the same form.
Fantastic reminder of a great hunt John!
Hung in the house with the rest of his friends
Congrats on a beautiful ram! Mount looks awesome too!
Looks real nice, following your hunt story reminded me of my S-32 bow Ram tag hunt.
Ya did real good .
Good luck, Robb