Contributors to this thread:
From bear to sheep
Like most guys Covid threw my hunting plans for a loop. Im thankful for mine and my families health and being able to be going on any hunt at all. In 2016 I booked my dream hunt, Alaskan Brown bear. My outfitter was going to be Jonah stewart. It was set for this year and when the bear seasons got cancelled, Jonah was good enough to allow me to come out on a sheep hunt instead. I cant thank him enough for working with me, as I know this virus has impacted many people in many different ways from health to finance.
3 months ago I found out that I would be doing this hunt, I have trained as best as I could. Cutting 30lbs and exercising 5 days a week. I leave NY in a little over 2 weeks. I purchased a grizzly tag as well.
We will be hunting in the Brooks Range. I have been shooting and tweeking my setup and I really like the way my bow is shooting. This is going to be a challenge but I fell up to it. I will plan on updating this and taking you guys along as best as I can while I have service.
Good luck to you, Leo! Look forward to following along on your trek.
Leo, Take a lot of photos.....you'll treasure them for the rest of your hunting days!!
Good luck! Looking forward to it.
At this point I would worry more about your feet, legs, and lungs than your shooting. Good luck!
Good luck !! Looking forward to following this one!!
Looking forward to your story!
Good luck Leo! You are going with one of the best in the business! Have fun and take pictures of everything!
Get ready for an incredible hunt! You’re hunting with one of the best. If you get to Fairbanks and need anything before you head north, let me know.
Good luck, will be looking forward to your reports
Wow good deal. Jonah will get you in on some rams!!
Excellent. Can't wait to read about it when you get back. Good luck!
Should be a hoot! Have fun, take lots of pics, and share with shleps like me!
Yeah it can’t come soon enough. I’m backing off my hiking and strenuous excercise a bit. I don’t want to risk getting hurt so close to my hunt. I’ll take tons of pictures and post up a write up when I get back. Thanks Nick. I’m overnighting in Fairbanks, if you are around let’s grab dinner.
Best of luck! Can't wait to hear the story of your adventure.
Good luck and can't wait to hear about it. You already got my respect just taking on the sheep hunt challenge. Be safe out there.
Good luck and look forward to hearing about the hunt!!
Awesome! Good luck and have fun!
Good luck! Looking forward to the photos and story!
Good luck to all of the sheep hunters out this weekend!
Good luck and safe travels
Leo, good luck! Hope you get a nice one!! Enjoy the effort and sweat! Kurt
Awesome! Will be following along. Good luck!
Good luck and we’re looking forward to your story! You’re doing the right thing. Backing off intense exercise a week or two out is a good idea since it allows your body to be fully refreshed when you start the hunt.
Have a great trip......good luck!!
Good luck Leo!!!
In 2012, Jonah and I were 51 yards from a great ram in the Brooks on final approach with arrow nocked......then a gust of wind changed everything!! Haha!
Jonah is first class all the way! You will have a great adventure!
Good luck! I've hunted with Jonah three times. First class operation and the new lodge makes it that much better.
Best of luck and God bless! Looking forward to the stories
Awesome! Have fun and I look forward to seeing pics.
I’m sitting at the airport right now (JFK). There are more employees than passengers. It’s eerily quiet. I had a little last minute crisis that I thankfully averted.
I took a rapid test on Thursday and it’s considered an antigen test which isn’t acceptable for entry by Alaska. Luckily I had a backup plan and had a test kit on hand from picture genetics. I mailed it in on Friday at 5 pm and got my negative results at 4 am this morning. Less than 36 hours. Incredible.
I would have been fine to enter either way as long as I had a test pending but having the results makes it that much easier.
In 10 short hours I’ll be in Fairbanks. I’m overnighting at Pikes waterfront lodge if anyone else is as well let me know.
Tomorrow at 2 I’m jumping on a flight into the mountains.
At least I got a cool mask. One of my customers made it for me.
Good luck we will all be waiting on updates as they come in.
Excited for you Leo.... Safe travels and great hunt!
Welcome to Fairbanks!
I made it to Pikes waterfront lodge in Fairbanks. The process of clearing the airport was simple because I had filled my declaration page out online and uploaded my negative test results.
If anyone is traveling make sure you go to the Alaska Covid declaration portal and upload a picture of your negative test. This will easily save you an hour if not more. They are not accepting paper declarations. There were easily 100 people waiting to fill out an online application when I left.
If you haven’t tested negative or have proof of a pending test they will make you take one for $250 and self quarantine pending results.
Good luck man. Hope you arrow a big ram in the next few day. What a dream hunt! Take it all in and take a bunch of pics to share
Good luck Leo, hoping you will be enjoying sheep ribs over an open fire in a few days.
Anxious to hear your recap, I have the same dates next year
Good luck buddy, your gonna love it up there!
I’m writing this from Fairbanks Airport as I wait to fly home. What a beautiful place the brooks range is. I had an amazing adventure.
I flew in last Sunday and overnighted in Fairbanks. When I woke up Monday I grabbed my flight into the brooks. This was flight number 3 for me and it held 6 passengers including a great couple who were sheep hunting also. The wife had won the hunt and was excited to be on her first sheep hunt. It was nice to chat with some fellow hunters.
We landed and I was greeted by my guide Seth and jonahs wife Skylar. What a great family. There 2 boys and baby girl were there in camp and it made me Miss my kids at home but I enjoyed there company. Just a great family. I shot my bow and waited for jonah to arrive for my flight in to sheep country.
We landed at our location and started packing. We had an extra guide whose hunter tagged out and he came along as a packer. He was waiting for us when we landed. After waiting the required time we were off to the races to find a sheep and we sure did find a beautiful lone ram
He was bedded on the highest ground on our side of the mountain so we couldn’t get above him. We waited till he dipped over the ridge and we made our move. Seth and I circled below him at 200 yards through some brush and just as we were crossing the last open spot he peaked over the ridge. We hit the deck and lay trapped there for an hour.
Looks like he's singing. Hmmmmmm, "RICOLAAAA"
This is exciting -
Sorry Leo, when I looked, the pic was sideways so I turned it, you must have turned it at the same time.
When he got up to reposition himself we made our move around the backside of the mountain. We were now 100 yards below him and I knew we wouldn’t be able to see him until we were close. Both Seth and I took out shoes off and moved in. As we crested the ridge he was standing 50 yards away and suddenly sprinted ahead. We thought he saw us and moved fast to follow hoping he would stop briefly and allow me a shot. He heard us and came toward the sound. Our eyes locked at 25 yards and he turned inside out and galloped down the mountain. We went over to where he was and found a hornets nest. That was what spooked him not us. Had we just kept easing up I’d have probably sealed the deal. That was a huge let down. We headed to camp to lick our wounds and regroup. He had been spending quite a bit of time up there as was evident by the amount of beds and rubbed bushes and shrubs. He was rubbing trees like a mule deer. Strange Ram indeed.
No worries. That’s pretty funny.
So we make the decision to hike up the drainage and see if we can find another sheep. We couldn’t locate this one for a while but as we were packing camp Seth spotted him. He was down and over the other side about 2 miles away. We made camp for the evening and decided it was best to chase this ram that we knew was legal rather than trying to find another.
Later that night we heard some noise and popped out to find a sow with 2 cubs 75 yards away and she wasn’t happy. Thank God she thought the better of it and ran off but not before she bluff charged us.
We wake up and get moving. Down through the jungle. As we make our way down the mountain I get stung by 2 different bees. I’m highly allergic to some bees but not all. My throat almost closed on me several years ago after a bee sting so I always carry my epipen. I kept monitoring it and it seemed ok so I kept plugging along. We get to the bottom and we are covered in sweat so we take some time to dry out. It was unusually hot.
Now we can see the ram from below so we make a plan to come up one side of this fold in the mountain. He’s about 2000 -2500 vertical feet above us. We start hiking and he moves. He beds exactly where we are headed and now we are in plain view. Our only choice is to back track down to the river and circle a half mile upstream and attack it from the steep side.
As we head up that way with our full packs and camp on our backs it becomes apparent that this going to be hard. It was all I could do to keep moving. I kept using that Ram as my motivation. I started feeling light headed and dizzy but I kept thinking I was just tired. 4 hours later we break out of timberline and drop our packs. Seth crests a small rise and spots him 250 yards away bedded
Game on. We scramble and get slightly hire than him. There’s one dip that we have to get across and we cross that and take our shoes off. Everything was so crunchy and loud. We picked a knob as our reference point. It had a yellow bush on it. We ease over and peak out .........
There he is bedded looking away with the wind blowing from him up to us. The sight I have only dreamt about. I can vividly remember the sun hitting his broomed horn and my heart started pounding. I expose myself slightly to range him. 61 yards is what my angle compensated range finder calls out.
It’s decision time. I have 2 choices. Shoot here or roll the dice and creep in. If I creep in my next shot opportunity would be at 15 yards.
I make the call to try from here I’m confident and have been shooting well all summer. I draw from a crouching position and side step to right. Now his whole body is in view. I settle my pin and he turns his head and spots me.......
To late arrow is on its way and crashes through his chest. He takes off. I know it’s a solid hit and that’s when it hits me. I did it. Over come with emotion I have to sit.
Seth runs over to the rockslide and spots him laying dead 40 yards from the shot.
Nicely done, congrats on a beautiful ram!
Spectacular! Congratulations! Great RAM!
Awesome hunt and summary. I’d trade a bear hunt for that anytime!
As the adrenaline subsided I started feeling nauseas. I take off my pants and realize that I’m having a pretty serious allergic reaction and I immediately have to inject myself with the Epipen. Thank goodness it was with me. The guys broke down my sheep while the medicine took effect. I can’t thank Justin and Seth enough.
Awesome write up! Congrats on a great sheep.
He’s 9 years old and I want to thank Jonah and his crew for an amazing adventure
Congratulations my friend! Nice to meet you in camp and super excited for your success.
Great meeting you Jim. Hope we cross paths again. Congratulations on your Ram as well Buddy. Thanks for the Help Nick. Thanks Bou
How I kept my meat cool in Fairbanks at my hotel. The bathtub worked perfectly.
Great story and pics...nice shot !!
I had no idea how delicious sheep are. One of the best wild meats I have ever eaten. Jonahs wife Cooked some up for me and the guys and it blew me away. Special thanks to her and the ladies running camp. Its a lot of work and it is not an easy job, although they make it look easy. By the time we flew out and got situated back at Camp it was midnight and she went out of her way to cook us up from scratch, sheep philly cheese steak sandwiches.
Congrats! I guess there is another story.....Jim?
From the Brooks to Da Bronx thats gonna be the final resting spot for this awesome animal. They are amazing creatures and I feel blessed to have been successful.
Great story, and great ram! A big congrats to you.
Congrats Leo you did really good.
And I agree....Skylar is a saint!
Congrats on your ram, Leo! Fortunate that you brought your epi pen along with you as well!
Thanks guys. I’ll be posting pictures over the next few days as I download them.
Many congrats! If you said I missed it- what was the allergic reaction to?
Congrats on a great ram. Thanks for posting!
Nice Job Leo!!! That looks like a great hunt and very nice ram! Thanks for sharing your trip. Congrats!
Congratulations Leo! Nice ram, very well done!
Sheep stories are always good and yours was great! Way to get er done!!!!
My hat is off to you Leo, way to get it done! Congratulations on your ram!
Congratulations! Job well done, thank you for taking us along.
Very cool! Congratulations!
Congrats - great write up!
Congrats! Thanks for the write up.
Fantastic! Congrats on a great adventure.
Thanks for the story, it gave me a lift and some hope. Congrats
Congratulations, thanks for the write up an pictures
Way to get it done! Congrats!!
Scoot - he got stung by a couple bees and is allergic to them.
Holy crap Leo, that is just outstanding!!!!!!! Congratulations.
So cool. You did it! Thanks for the ride!
You are an upbeat and positive bow hunter. Enjoy your success.
Thanks so much Guys. I appreciate it. Over the next couple days I’ll share the rest of my picture from my canon camera once I download them.
Congrats thanks for sharing.
Sheep philly cheese steak sandwiches.....what I would give for one of those!!
Awesome hunt! Congrats on your success
Congratulations! Thank you for keeping us in the loop
Outstanding...congrats! Thanks for the story and looking forward to more pics!
Congrats - awesome story!
What a great adventure! Congrats on a beautiful ram.
Leo! Great write up and an amazing story! I appreciate your demeanor and outlook a D the way you presented it!
East Coast!! I can almost see the Bronx from some of my tree stands, but the Enpire State Building blocks the view...lol
Amazing! A huge congrats on an awesome hunt! Thank you for sharing.
Big congratulations Leo. Keep sharing some more pics please. Way to get it done.
Well that is just one fine sheep and adventure! Congratulations!! You sure turned that lemon into some top quality lemonade and with a taste you’ll never forget!
Fantastic Leo! Congratulations bud! Just awesome.
Ps - you lost a lot of weight! See you in Kansas.
Thanks Pat. I kicked my own ass these last few months hiking and lifting weights. No more Mountain Dew and Doritos for me lol. I cant wait for Kansas.
Very cool! Congrats on an awesome ram!
Congratulations on a real nice thin horn!
Spectacular! Congrats on a great ram
A big congrats to Leo and his guides!! Thank you for taking the time to tell the story and post up the pics!