Moultrie Mobile
40 Year Quest for a Big One!
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Dec-23
deerhunter72 22-Dec-23
Stoneman 22-Dec-23
Scrappy 22-Dec-23
Rgiesey 22-Dec-23
Supernaut 22-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Dec-23
Kurt 22-Dec-23
HUNT MAN 22-Dec-23
Nick Muche 22-Dec-23
Candor 22-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Dec-23
Catscratch 22-Dec-23
Scoot 22-Dec-23
Shrewski 22-Dec-23
Bowfinatic 22-Dec-23
Gun 23-Dec-23
Oryx35 23-Dec-23
Ambush 23-Dec-23
t-roy 23-Dec-23
Treeline 23-Dec-23
hdaman 23-Dec-23
Jeff Holchin 23-Dec-23
Mad Trapper 23-Dec-23
EmbryOklahoma 23-Dec-23
TMac 23-Dec-23
Charlie Rehor 23-Dec-23
Mark Watkins 23-Dec-23
molsonarcher 23-Dec-23
q d m 23-Dec-23
Missouribreaks 23-Dec-23
Bowboy 23-Dec-23
Rackmastr 23-Dec-23
Ken 23-Dec-23
PeteO 23-Dec-23
Shrewski 23-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 23-Dec-23
Lee 23-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 23-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 23-Dec-23
Nick Muche 23-Dec-23
bowhunter24 23-Dec-23
Cazador 23-Dec-23
Insheart 23-Dec-23
Tony 23-Dec-23
Treeline 23-Dec-23
RK 23-Dec-23
fishnride 23-Dec-23
M.Pauls 24-Dec-23
ahawkeye 24-Dec-23
carcus 24-Dec-23
Dino 24-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 24-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 24-Dec-23
Nick Muche 24-Dec-23
elkmtngear 24-Dec-23
buckeye 24-Dec-23
Treeline 24-Dec-23
xtroutx 24-Dec-23
molsonarcher 24-Dec-23
Shrewski 24-Dec-23
Bou'bound 24-Dec-23
ki-ke 24-Dec-23
Ambush 24-Dec-23
Mark Watkins 24-Dec-23
SBH 24-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 24-Dec-23
ahawkeye 24-Dec-23
JohnMC 24-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 24-Dec-23
Bowboy 24-Dec-23
Supernaut 24-Dec-23
TXCO 24-Dec-23
Jim McNamara 25-Dec-23
DEMO-Bowhunter 25-Dec-23
Native Okie 25-Dec-23
Treeline 25-Dec-23
Franzen 25-Dec-23
caribou77 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
bohuntr 25-Dec-23
Bowboy 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Treeline 25-Dec-23
Paul@thefort 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Native Okie 25-Dec-23
Nick Muche 25-Dec-23
walleyes 25-Dec-23
Willieboat 25-Dec-23
Bowfinatic 25-Dec-23
xtroutx 25-Dec-23
Rackmastr 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Dec-23
Gun 25-Dec-23
Bernie Bjorklund 25-Dec-23
Hunts_with_stick 25-Dec-23
sureshot 26-Dec-23
nmwapiti 26-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Dec-23
t-roy 26-Dec-23
Catscratch 26-Dec-23
Ron Niziolek 26-Dec-23
skull 26-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Dec-23
Ambush 26-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Dec-23
caribou77 26-Dec-23
Scoot 26-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Dec-23
Bou'bound 26-Dec-23
Rackmastr 26-Dec-23
Tony 26-Dec-23
Candor 26-Dec-23
BUCKeye 26-Dec-23
Mark Watkins 26-Dec-23
Rgiesey 26-Dec-23
Tilzbow 27-Dec-23
BULELK1 27-Dec-23
labxtreme1. 27-Dec-23
njbuck 27-Dec-23
scentman 27-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 27-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 27-Dec-23
Bowboy 27-Dec-23
t-roy 27-Dec-23
Catscratch 27-Dec-23
Scoot 27-Dec-23
walleyes 27-Dec-23
Stoneman 27-Dec-23
HUNT MAN 27-Dec-23
Supernaut 27-Dec-23
Treeline 27-Dec-23
Kurt 27-Dec-23
goyt 27-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 27-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 27-Dec-23
KSBOW 28-Dec-23
Treeline 28-Dec-23
Bowfreak 28-Dec-23
grossklw 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
TMac 28-Dec-23
Catscratch 28-Dec-23
Steve Leffler 28-Dec-23
Bowboy 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
xtroutx 28-Dec-23
goelk 28-Dec-23
goyt 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Rock 28-Dec-23
ahawkeye 28-Dec-23
Jeff Holchin 28-Dec-23
pirogue 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Cazador 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 28-Dec-23
Rackmastr 29-Dec-23
Kurt 29-Dec-23
M.Pauls 29-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 29-Dec-23
sitO 29-Dec-23
ahawkeye 29-Dec-23
JB 29-Dec-23
Steve Leffler 30-Dec-23
Franzen 30-Dec-23
Treeline 30-Dec-23
Mark Watkins 30-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 30-Dec-23
Beav 30-Dec-23
CFMuley 30-Dec-23
Gun 31-Dec-23
Treeline 31-Dec-23
Beav 31-Dec-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 31-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 31-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 31-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 31-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 31-Dec-23
Mike Ukrainetz 31-Dec-23
t-roy 31-Dec-23
HUNT MAN 31-Dec-23
Bowboy 31-Dec-23
caribou77 31-Dec-23
xtroutx 31-Dec-23
Treeline 01-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 01-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 01-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 01-Jan-24
Catscratch 01-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 01-Jan-24
JohnMC 01-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 01-Jan-24
Kurt 01-Jan-24
Treeline 01-Jan-24
Shrewski 01-Jan-24
Deerdawg 02-Jan-24
Bowfreak 02-Jan-24
TXCO 02-Jan-24
APauls 02-Jan-24
Bou'bound 03-Jan-24
Earltex 03-Jan-24
iceman 03-Jan-24
Rgiesey 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Rgiesey 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Bou'bound 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Rgiesey 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
pirogue 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
t-roy 04-Jan-24
Bou'bound 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
DonVathome 04-Jan-24
passinthru 04-Jan-24
Bou'bound 04-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 04-Jan-24
Catscratch 04-Jan-24
ahawkeye 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
Bowfreak 04-Jan-24
Kurt 04-Jan-24
scentman 04-Jan-24
TXCO 04-Jan-24
bowhunt 04-Jan-24
Catscratch 04-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 04-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 04-Jan-24
Catscratch 04-Jan-24
walking buffalo 05-Jan-24
Treeline 05-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
Tony 05-Jan-24
JDM 05-Jan-24
Ambush 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
njbuck 05-Jan-24
MathewsMan 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
Treeline 05-Jan-24
Catscratch 05-Jan-24
deerhunter72 05-Jan-24
ahawkeye 05-Jan-24
Jeff Holchin 05-Jan-24
ahawkeye 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Jan-24
Treeline 05-Jan-24
Treeline 05-Jan-24
Quinn @work 06-Jan-24
Medicinemann 06-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 06-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 06-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 06-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 06-Jan-24
Treeline 06-Jan-24
Ambush 06-Jan-24
Quinn @work 07-Jan-24
Franzen 07-Jan-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 07-Jan-24
ahawkeye 07-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 07-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 07-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 07-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 08-Jan-24
Bou'bound 08-Jan-24
Beav 08-Jan-24
Jeff Holchin 08-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 08-Jan-24
MathewsMan 08-Jan-24
Charlie Rehor 08-Jan-24
Pole Mtn 08-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 08-Jan-24
Beav 08-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 08-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 08-Jan-24
Bow Bullet 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 09-Jan-24
Treeline 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 09-Jan-24
Treeline 09-Jan-24
ahawkeye 09-Jan-24
APauls 09-Jan-24
swp 09-Jan-24
fuzzy 09-Jan-24
Insheart 09-Jan-24
sitO 09-Jan-24
btnbuck 09-Jan-24
Bow Bullet 09-Jan-24
BigStriper1 09-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 10-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 10-Jan-24
Scoot 10-Jan-24
Treeline 10-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 10-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 10-Jan-24
Bou'bound 10-Jan-24
VAMtns 10-Jan-24
wooddamon1 10-Jan-24
Dutch 10-Jan-24
JohnMC 10-Jan-24
APauls 10-Jan-24
ahawkeye 10-Jan-24
Bowfreak 10-Jan-24
Taxidermy man 10-Jan-24
Tony 10-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 10-Jan-24
Bowaddict 10-Jan-24
Helgermite 10-Jan-24
Bowaddict 10-Jan-24
Insheart 10-Jan-24
Tilzbow 10-Jan-24
Arcobsessed 10-Jan-24
Z Barebow 10-Jan-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 11-Jan-24
njbuck 11-Jan-24
APauls 11-Jan-24
Bou'bound 11-Jan-24
xtroutx 11-Jan-24
brettpsu 11-Jan-24
Treeline 11-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 11-Jan-24
Treeline 11-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 11-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 11-Jan-24
Bake 11-Jan-24
Insheart 11-Jan-24
Ambush 11-Jan-24
RonP 11-Jan-24
Bou'bound 11-Jan-24
xtroutx 11-Jan-24
12yards 11-Jan-24
JB 11-Jan-24
bohuntr 11-Jan-24
Scoot 11-Jan-24
WV Mountaineer 11-Jan-24
Ambush 11-Jan-24
APauls 11-Jan-24
JohnMC 11-Jan-24
JDM 11-Jan-24
walking buffalo 11-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 11-Jan-24
Ron Niziolek 11-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 11-Jan-24
Bowfreak 11-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 11-Jan-24
Catscratch 11-Jan-24
bowhunter24 11-Jan-24
caribou77 11-Jan-24
Ambush 11-Jan-24
Paul@thefort 11-Jan-24
sitO 11-Jan-24
xtroutx 11-Jan-24
Ron Niziolek 11-Jan-24
JohnMC 11-Jan-24
Catscratch 11-Jan-24
Ambush 11-Jan-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 11-Jan-24
Stoneman 11-Jan-24
Shrewski 11-Jan-24
DEMO-Bowhunter 11-Jan-24
Treeline 11-Jan-24
Treeline 11-Jan-24
pav 12-Jan-24
ahawkeye 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Bou'bound 12-Jan-24
Scoot 12-Jan-24
APauls 12-Jan-24
TREESTANDWOLF 12-Jan-24
Tilzbow 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Treeline 12-Jan-24
ahawkeye 12-Jan-24
Ambush 12-Jan-24
ahawkeye 12-Jan-24
APauls 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
ahawkeye 12-Jan-24
TREESTANDWOLF 12-Jan-24
Catscratch 12-Jan-24
Jeff Holchin 12-Jan-24
Treeline 12-Jan-24
JohnMC 12-Jan-24
Bowaddict 12-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 12-Jan-24
TXCO 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Scoot 12-Jan-24
TMac 12-Jan-24
brettpsu 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 12-Jan-24
PeteO 12-Jan-24
KY EyeBow 12-Jan-24
HUNT MAN 12-Jan-24
Catscratch 12-Jan-24
Bigfoot 12-Jan-24
Hancock West 12-Jan-24
JohnMC 12-Jan-24
pav 12-Jan-24
wyobullshooter 12-Jan-24
Treeline 12-Jan-24
Willieboat 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
BwanaND 12-Jan-24
hdaman 12-Jan-24
W8N4RUT 12-Jan-24
Straight Shooter 12-Jan-24
Tilzbow 12-Jan-24
Kevin Speicher 12-Jan-24
Paul@thefort 12-Jan-24
caribou77 12-Jan-24
Bowaddict 12-Jan-24
goyt 12-Jan-24
Basil 12-Jan-24
Bowfreak 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
huntinelk 12-Jan-24
pirogue 12-Jan-24
pirogue 12-Jan-24
Charlie Rehor 12-Jan-24
Kurt 12-Jan-24
bowhunter24 12-Jan-24
Brian M. 12-Jan-24
Mitch 12-Jan-24
t-roy 12-Jan-24
xtroutx 12-Jan-24
swp 12-Jan-24
ahawkeye 12-Jan-24
molsonarcher 12-Jan-24
SBH 12-Jan-24
Bou'bound 12-Jan-24
JB 12-Jan-24
T.O 12-Jan-24
huntnmuleys 12-Jan-24
Lawdwaz 12-Jan-24
Jim McNamara 12-Jan-24
APauls 12-Jan-24
sitO 12-Jan-24
Native Okie 12-Jan-24
Rackmastr 12-Jan-24
Taxidermy man 12-Jan-24
Tony 12-Jan-24
TMac 12-Jan-24
Ambush 12-Jan-24
Insheart 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Jan-24
Ron Niziolek 13-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Jan-24
DEERAHOLIC 13-Jan-24
Medicinemann 13-Jan-24
bowhunt 13-Jan-24
Fuzz 13-Jan-24
Mad Trapper 13-Jan-24
JB 13-Jan-24
DonVathome 13-Jan-24
Steve Leffler 13-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Jan-24
So467 13-Jan-24
TREESTANDWOLF 13-Jan-24
Treeline 13-Jan-24
elkmtngear 13-Jan-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 13-Jan-24
Hawkeye 13-Jan-24
Shrewski 13-Jan-24
Ambush 13-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Jan-24
Paul@thefort 13-Jan-24
Nick Muche 13-Jan-24
TREESTANDWOLF 13-Jan-24
molsonarcher 13-Jan-24
Manager 13-Jan-24
M.Pauls 13-Jan-24
Oryx35 13-Jan-24
Wv hillbilly 13-Jan-24
Treeline 13-Jan-24
darktimber 13-Jan-24
Jim McNamara 13-Jan-24
Rgiesey 14-Jan-24
VAMtns 14-Jan-24
Ned mobile 14-Jan-24
Ned mobile 14-Jan-24
oldguy 14-Jan-24
Vaquero 45 14-Jan-24
Wirehair 14-Jan-24
sticksender 14-Jan-24
Marty 14-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 14-Jan-24
bearhunter 14-Jan-24
bearhunter 14-Jan-24
bearhunter 14-Jan-24
bearhunter 14-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 14-Jan-24
Beav 15-Jan-24
axle2axle 15-Jan-24
iceman 15-Jan-24
BigStriper1 15-Jan-24
be still 15-Jan-24
Ambush 15-Jan-24
DEMO-Bowhunter 15-Jan-24
Ironbow 15-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 16-Jan-24
njbuck 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
Supernaut 17-Jan-24
otcWill 17-Jan-24
wackmaster2 20-Jan-24
Tony 20-Jan-24
PeteO 20-Jan-24
xtroutx 20-Jan-24
Mike Ukrainetz 10-Feb-24
Mad Trapper 11-Feb-24
DonVathome 17-Feb-24
Bowfinatic 17-Feb-24
22-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Packing it out in my frame pack, wool army surplus pants, cotton hoody, and cotton plaid jacket. No doubt my socks were cotton in some crappy leather boots. I was loving every minute of it!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Packing it out in my frame pack, wool army surplus pants, cotton hoody, and cotton plaid jacket. No doubt my socks were cotton in some crappy leather boots. I was loving every minute of it!
This past fall I finally drew a Bighorn Sheep tag that I hoped would help me fulfill a 40 year long quest of mine. That quest was to kill a bigger ram than the one pictured above.

I shot this ram in 1983 when I was just 16 years old on a hunt by myself on Saturday, Dec 3, the last day of the season in the famed Canmore bow zone.

On that day, I was dropped off in the early morning darkness by my Dad on the side of the highway. My plan was to hike several miles to the back of a valley, and see if there were some sheep up there. I hiked all day, sometimes in deep snow, and in my hand was a state of the art, compound bow, shooting a wooden arrow at a blistering 190 ft per sec. Homemade turkey, feather fletches were on the back end and a glue on bodkin broadhead was on the front. My Dad had also glued tiny pieces of razor blades to one of my bodkin heads to make it sharper. The arrow only had one razor left because I had shot it at something else but had retrieved it, two razors had come off. I still figured it was better than the other arrows I had because they had no razor blades. Arrow tuning wasn’t my strong point back in 1983.

I ended up hiking all day, shooting the ram at 15 yards, right in the heart, it rolled way down the mountain. I climbed down to it, took a look at it and then hiked out to get help. I got back to the highway at dark and told my Dad the story. He said, “Congrats, we will go get it tomorrow.”

We did and got it scored at 175 gross and an official 173 6/8 net. I didn’t think it was that big a deal until I spent the next 40 years trying to get a bigger one!

Here’s my story. (Might take me a few days, weeks, please be patient)

From: deerhunter72
22-Dec-23
Love these sheep threads! Can’t wait to hear it all.

From: Stoneman
22-Dec-23
I’m in… thats a good mark to beat.

From: Scrappy
22-Dec-23
This story is so cool already, thank you for taking the time.

From: Rgiesey
22-Dec-23
We used the same tuning technique. Glued Schlick injecter blades to ma3 head’s with contact cement. Great start Mike and looking forward to the story.

From: Supernaut
22-Dec-23
Great thread already. I'll be awaiting further installments.

Very cool pictures.

22-Dec-23
Yeah, my Dad was a handy, frugal, school teacher who loved the outdoors. He gave me little instruction and just turned me loose, made sure I had matches just in case of an emergency was about it.

Anyway, back in 1983 The Canmore bow zone had over the counter sheep tags that went all the way to the last Saturday of the last week in November. But still not a lot of sheep were killed, I only knew of a handful of hunters that killed sheep each year. 1985 was probably the peak of it all when snow and cold hammered Canmore and I think 17 rams were killed that year, Chuck Adams was hunting that year too, camped up on the side of the mountain in 30 below temps! We thought he was nuts, not just because of the cold but because we would walk by his tent in the dark in the morning after a good nights sleep in a hotel. You just needed young legs to go up and down every day. I was 18 years old and figured an even bigger ram was soon in my future! How wrong I was, a big, long serving of humble pie was coming my way

We saw some big rams in 1985 and I missed a couple shots at a giant, low 180’s ram, range finders made any shot over 30 yds a challenge. I kept at it from 1985 to 1991, getting out at least a few days a year specifically for sheep and not shooting at anything under my estimated 175. It was hard to not be distracted by all the elk, mule deer and whitetails down in the valley though. We shot a few of those, the good ole days!

From: Kurt
22-Dec-23
Great start Mike! Dandy for your first! Anxious to see the 40 year wait ram!

From: HUNT MAN
22-Dec-23
This is going to be a good one!!!

From: Nick Muche
22-Dec-23
This is awesome!

From: Candor
22-Dec-23
My hat's off to you, seriously, that's some serious badassness doing that at 16.

22-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Thanks Candor but my Dad was a badass! I thought what I was doing was normal. “Why do you need someone with you, just go”, he would say…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Thanks Candor but my Dad was a badass! I thought what I was doing was normal. “Why do you need someone with you, just go”, he would say…

22-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Another old sheep hunting pic that a friend of mine, Gun Lemke took of me doing some sheep hiking back in Cougar Creek. A few bowsite guys have hunted this place.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Another old sheep hunting pic that a friend of mine, Gun Lemke took of me doing some sheep hiking back in Cougar Creek. A few bowsite guys have hunted this place.

From: Catscratch
22-Dec-23
Awesome thread! Keep it coming and thanks for sharing!

From: Scoot
22-Dec-23
Awesome! This is gonna be good.

From: Shrewski
22-Dec-23
I love the old ram story and pics, on the edge of my seat for the new ones!

22-Dec-23
Love those old pics Looking forward to your story

From: Gun
23-Dec-23
Fun times buddy! Your dad was the best story teller. Shooting broken arrows with bandaids holding them together. Straightening bent broad heads and sharpening with rocks. But your story Mike. Carry on!

From: Oryx35
23-Dec-23
Amazing so far. I'm looking forward to the rest.

From: Ambush
23-Dec-23
I lived in Camore and worked in Exshaw for a couple years in the mid 1970's. There were a few huge rams that came out of the park for the rut and then wintered on the little mountain behind our welding shop.

I'm really looking forward to this story! Heck, it would be fun if you retold the whole story of the first ram!

From: t-roy
23-Dec-23
This should be epic! Looking forward to following this one!

From: Treeline
23-Dec-23
Man! Saw the result already but looking so forward to the story and was hoping you would post it here! Will be following closely!

From: hdaman
23-Dec-23
I was hoping that you would share the story! Congrats Mike!

From: Jeff Holchin
23-Dec-23
I too would like more details on that first ram, great start to this story! You had a great dad! Hope you took a lot of pics…

From: Mad Trapper
23-Dec-23
Hunted Cougar Creek a few times! This is going to be good!

23-Dec-23
Tuned in. I love a good sheep thread.

From: TMac
23-Dec-23
Wow Mike what a way to spend time as a teenager…roaming the wilderness…..very impressive! You and your Dad are a true inspiration!

23-Dec-23
Love those old pics.

In 2006 Matt and I hunted mule deer with Mike as his first hunters in his new concession up in Spirit River. Mikes, Mom, Dad and brother Phil were there as well. Rock solid, big family for sure.

As good a guide as Mike is, he IS an amazing accomplished bow hunter. Mike may have more Canmore rams than any one. Thanks for posting this hunt.

From: Mark Watkins
23-Dec-23
This is one heck of a Christmas present MIke!

Keep it rolling!!!

Mark

From: molsonarcher
23-Dec-23
This is gonna be good ;)

From: q d m
23-Dec-23
When i started bow hunting in the late 50's we used pli o bond glue on razor blades. I hunted with Mike a couple times. Great guide great family.Mike you need to ask Gun about the Bear he got with us.

23-Dec-23
Good thread !

From: Bowboy
23-Dec-23
This is going to be a great thread. Please Keep posting Mike.

From: Rackmastr
23-Dec-23
Although I've already seen the pics on FB from your hunt, I cant wait to read all of this thread and follow along. I love the history from the first ram and the story so far!!! This is going to be great!

From: Ken
23-Dec-23
Come on Mike. Let your kids wrap their own presents. I want to hear the rest of the story:).

And the story of your first big ram was great. I think most of us older bowhunters can relate to hunting with rigged, subpar equipment.

From: PeteO
23-Dec-23
Not that my youth was any comparison to yours in Canada but what a time to be a teenager in the 80s. And also waiting for the rest of the story.

From: Shrewski
23-Dec-23

23-Dec-23
Thanks so much guys for all the encouragement! The wife wants me to focus on Christmas, haha

I hesitated to do a thread on it all, didn’t want to seem too braggy about it but I love to read everyone else’s adventures too, so I figured why not?! Hopefully you enjoy me going down my own sheep hunting memory lane.

(I think Tom Hoffman has killed way more rams than me on guided hunts with the Simpsons. Maybe some other Americans have too, they like to keep it pretty low key.)

From: Lee
23-Dec-23
Looking forward to it!

23-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1992 ram with me in my army surplus itchy, wool hat and snow camo! Getting fancy now.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1992 ram with me in my army surplus itchy, wool hat and snow camo! Getting fancy now.
After a few years of me trying to get a big ram the government decided to put the November hunt on draw for Alberta residents. In September and October we could still hunt sheep on an over the counter tag, it’s still that way now. I believe they made the November draw 50 tags for Albertans, maybe more? Outfitters were kept to the same 8 tags I think.

My 1992 ram was killed in November when it was either still an over the counter tag or an easy to draw resident tag, I can’t remember. Good rams were getting harder to find and I was frustrated with several years of passing up rams and not finding many big ones. But I wasn’t hunting all over the zone either, I was kind of sticking to the easier to hunt areas that I knew well.

For the story on this sheep I decided this year I would shoot the first no-doubt legal ram that I found and hope he scored well.

I was hunting with my buddy Jeff Gaudry when we spotted this ram from the highway, hanging out with some ewes. You can’t shoot a ram within a 1/2 mile of the highway though. We hatched out a plan where Jeff would try to stalk up/walk up on the ram and I would go to the escape route. In the rut with ewes around the rams can be pretty mellow and acting like a hiker and walking up on them is probably the most effective way to get a shot opportunity. If you can stay totally hidden then a stalk out of sight is best but if they can see you, we don’t get sneaky, we just try to walk up on them. If they get nervous then we would just follow them. Sometimes they would move off into the no hunting mine property or get in the cliffs. Jeff and I would risk our lives by going in the cliffs, young and dumb.

In the end the sheep moved away from Jeff, I picked a good escape route and they came my way. I could see them coming for 100 yds and held my spot. The ram ended up walking by at 20 yds! One aluminum, 2215 arrow topped with a modern Thunderhead 125 grain broadhead did the trick. He went 80 yds and piled up. He was a great looking, almost full curl ram, much longer in horns than my first ram, 37 compared to 34, but smaller bases kept his score well under 170 at 163 6/8 net, about 165 gross. A full 10 inches less than my first ram, this was my wake up call on how big the first one was and how tough it might be to kill a bigger one.

23-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Side shot, well past the 4/5ths legal point. If you draw a line from the front of the horn base to the front of the eye then the horn needs to break that line to be legal.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Side shot, well past the 4/5ths legal point. If you draw a line from the front of the horn base to the front of the eye then the horn needs to break that line to be legal.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Legally breaks the line, there is no age requirement. Some rams will make it as young as 4-5 yrs old, others not till 9 or 10 or never on occasion.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Legally breaks the line, there is no age requirement. Some rams will make it as young as 4-5 yrs old, others not till 9 or 10 or never on occasion.

From: Nick Muche
23-Dec-23
This may end up being my new favorite thread! Sheep hunting stories, especially from years ago, are hard to beat!

From: bowhunter24
23-Dec-23
Looking forward!!!

From: Cazador
23-Dec-23
Canadians are my favorite “people’

From: Insheart
23-Dec-23
I have never hunted sheep and for sure never will (age and health issues) but this is another one of those fun to read threads.

From: Tony
23-Dec-23
I've only checked this thread about 20 times today. Maybe go appease your wife with some flowers and start typing it all out for us. Haha

From: Treeline
23-Dec-23
Oh, yeah! This is absolutely epic! Cannot wait for the next installment!

Figured out we are dang close in age, Mike! You definitely grew up with legends in legendary country! Love the story of your first big ram… I was dreaming it while you were living it!

So looking forward to the next installment!

From: RK
23-Dec-23
Nice write up Mike. Enjoying it

From: fishnride
23-Dec-23
I’m basically obsessed with sheep right now and this old stuff is great! What a time to be wild and free

From: M.Pauls
24-Dec-23
Man this is good. But I agree with others, we could really stretch this out and get some more in depth stories on these old skool bowkilled rams! This is way too cool. Take us along!

From: ahawkeye
24-Dec-23
Love these threads! Between these and the in-depth elk threads my blood gets pumping! Back when Outdoor Life and Field & Stream were actually decent material these threads would blow them out of the water!

From: carcus
24-Dec-23
Loving it Mike, thanks

From: Dino
24-Dec-23
Mike! This is awesome. Please keep it coming. I am set to draw Canmore again, this makes me want to go…this next fall. Congrats and a great write up thus far. Thanks!

24-Dec-23
Jeepers guys, thanks so much for the encouragement! I started this thinking it would be more for me to just go down memory lane after my big 2023 sheep hunt. Didn’t know too many people would care. Thanks again.

A successful Alberta sheep hunter has to miss a year of sheep hunting before he can buy another tag or enter the draw. (Non residents have to skip 2 years.) So after killing my 1992 ram I didn’t hunt them in 1993 and now I was up to my neck in my outfitting and guiding business. I was taking 20 mule deer bowhunters, 8 archery antelope and 10 rifle mule deer hunters per year, guiding as many of the hunts myself as I could, sheep hunting would have to wait till I drew another November tag. Then I would make the time to hunt them. No bighorn sheep hunting for me from 1993 till 1998.

24-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1995 Dall sheep, 36 by 34 by 13 1/8 bases, 149 1/8. Killed on the 10th day of a 9 day mostly solo hunt.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1995 Dall sheep, 36 by 34 by 13 1/8 bases, 149 1/8. Killed on the 10th day of a 9 day mostly solo hunt.
BONUS SHEEP! I was also guiding Dall sheep in the NWT for Nahanni Butte Outfitters, owner Greg Williams, each summer in the 1990’s and after 6 years Greg let me go after my own sheep.

I had a fellow guide for the first 2 days of my hunt, Cam Lancaster, but Greg dropped a note from a plane to tell Cam to go back to the air strip and get picked up, he needed him for another job. I was on my own, which was fine with me. I had enough food for 9 days and killed this ram on the 10th day, completely out of food, sheep meat was my food till I got picked up at the end of the day on the 11th day. No radios, no maps, no gps, no compass and certainly no helicopters, just bush plane airstrips. You just went back to the airstrip and waited for pickup, hopefully you had a food stash, mine had been stolen by a bear.

It was a 70-80 yd shot with an aluminum 2314 arrow and a thunderhead 125 again. No range finders yet too. It was a beyond the last day, desperation, Hail Mary shot after blowing several stalks on this same ram and missing him one other time. I dogged him for the whole hunt, moving camp 3 times. He was with four other rams but after being harassed by me he left them and started hiding in the trees. I spotted him on my way out, thinking I was done. I dumped my camp out of pack, hiked back up over the mountain and down the other side to get close to him. Huge cliffs wouldn’t allow me to sidehill to him. The closest I could get was 70-80 yards and the wind was howling. It was my last, last chance, Greg was selling the area so I shot and got lucky. I had no lightweight gear either. The pack out was a brutal day and a half with 127 lbs.

(The Lancaster family bought Nahanni Butte the next year and unfortunately Cam was killed in a plane wreck. Such a shame, he was a great guy!)

From: Nick Muche
24-Dec-23
Loving reading all this, Mike! Incredible!

From: elkmtngear
24-Dec-23
I'm hooked like a fish, Mike!

I'll be checking for updates through Christmas.

From: buckeye
24-Dec-23
Fantastic thread, thanks for sharing Mike. And merry Christmas from Ohio.

From: Treeline
24-Dec-23
Hell of a lot of work put in to call that a “bonus” ram! But, you were definitely in God’s Country up there… Great Dall ram, Congratulations !

From: xtroutx
24-Dec-23
Great thread. I look for updates every time I log on.

From: molsonarcher
24-Dec-23
Refresh Again!

Great read so far

From: Shrewski
24-Dec-23
Epic.

From: Bou'bound
24-Dec-23
Come on Mike. A sheep will add a growth ring by the time you finish this. You’re killing us here.

From: ki-ke
24-Dec-23
Just jumped on this. I LOVE the old stories, ghetto rigged equipment, garbage gear and no thinking, just doing! That was childhood in the 70’s and 80’s!!

Keep it coming. This is awesome!!

From: Ambush
24-Dec-23
Mike, you can add as much detail as you can remember from the rams leading up to the Big One. Heck, be awesome if you can make this last until spring bear season!!

From: Mark Watkins
24-Dec-23
EPIC Mike!

Christmas can wait....this is sheep hunting!!!:)

Mark

From: SBH
24-Dec-23
This is incredible! Thanks Mike,

24-Dec-23
So I didn’t hunt Bighorn sheep in 1993 through 1997 waiting to see when I would draw a tag. I was too busy in September and October guiding mule deer bowhunters to partake in the general, over the counter hunt and very sheep were killed during that time, maybe zero to 2-3 rams so it seemed like a somewhat impossible hunt anyway.

In Alberta we have a priority draw system where tags are drawn only from the highest priority draw pool and they post the results so you know when you have say a 50% chance, 75% or a 100% chance of drawing a tag. It’s a great system. In 1998 I drew a tag for the November hunt. This time I was going for a big one, 175+for sure, preferably 180+, I had high hopes and big plans!

I was going to get away from the front slope hunting along the highway. I had heard about hunting way back in Cougar Creek but I had never been right to the back end where the outfitter, Randy Babala had a camp flown in by helicopter. The guide and hunters and their weapons had to hike all the way in, no free ride for them! I decided I would go check it out for at least a couple of days. Me and my 70 lb pack went for a big hike, I was told it was 4-5 hours to the back of the valley…

From: ahawkeye
24-Dec-23
Can not wait for the next story! Hope it come on Christmas with me holding a whisky and coke after breakfast!

From: JohnMC
24-Dec-23
Dear Santa, I want Mike to finish his recap for Christmas........Good stuff Mike!

24-Dec-23
Haha, you guys are cracking me up! My wife is wondering why I’m laughing at my phone on Christmas eve…

From: Bowboy
24-Dec-23
JohnMc x2

From: Supernaut
24-Dec-23
This is awesome.

From: TXCO
24-Dec-23
Keep it coming!

From: Jim McNamara
25-Dec-23
Why is it that sheep hunts just draw you in? Never have hunted one and never will at my age. Still I am all in on your story Mike. Enjoy Christmas with your family . We can wait it out.

25-Dec-23
I feel like this thread is the Good old days...Of Bowsite posts!!

It's Christmas Morning for me right now and the bride is still scrambling with gifts.... So I'm on Bowsite!

From: Native Okie
25-Dec-23
Thanks for sharing, Mike!

I was in Mike’s camp this fall and his trophy rooms and stories to go along with them are great! I remember the him telling the Dall story from 95 in camp, it was excellent! Keep it coming!

From: Treeline
25-Dec-23
I bet even better in person!

From: Franzen
25-Dec-23
Damn good read, Mike. Always amazed how there are those within the Bowsite crowd that have these kinds of stories. Truly impressive. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

From: caribou77
25-Dec-23
Keep it up Mike, love the old pics and stories. Looking forward to the new story as well.

25-Dec-23
Now in 1998 I hadn’t updated my 1980’s backpack gear, why should I? It worked, was sturdy but heavy but I was strong back then, didn’t bother me, didn’t want to spend the money. My pack was 12 lbs, I had a big, 2 man, 4 season tent which was 10 lbs, nice comfy thermarest was 4 1/2 lbs and -30 F sleeping bag was 3 1/2, a 30 lb beginning weight, ridiculous in todays world.

As I got to about the 2 hour mark of my snowy hike I realized I had made one crucial mistake. I had forgotten matches, or a lighter or anything to start a fire, so dumb, so dangerous. When I was 16 yrs old that was the only thing my Dad made sure that I had with me and here I was without it. I figured I would get some from the outfitter Randy but I had heard that he was a grumpy bugger, not easy to deal with, hated when resident hunters showed up at the back of Cougar. Would I be in a fistfight I wondered, maybe? I kept hiking…

Now when I hit the 4 and then 5 hour mark of my hike I really started to wonder how long it was going to take?! All I knew was to take the 2nd creek on the left, no gps or map for me. I found the 2nd creek, took a left and boom right in the creek bottom was a nice ram with a couple of ewes, down low on the mountain. I looked the ram over, he was legal but not what I wanted. I walked by him and the ewes at 30 yds. A Banff park ram for sure, not too bright.

I think it took 6+ hours and the snow at the end was knee deep when I finally spotted the outfitter wall tent and my apprehension began to grow, what would this really be like?! I noticed two big sheep heads laying in front of the tent and I yelled out a greeting. Two guys came out of the tent with big smiles on their faces and we introduced ourselves. I wish I had a picture of that! They were Alberta resident hunters and man had they had some success! I can’t remember their names, dang it.

From: bohuntr
25-Dec-23
Great thread, can't wait for the next installment!

From: Bowboy
25-Dec-23
This is why people come to Bowsite for post like this one. Please keep it coming!

25-Dec-23
…but they had killed 2 rams while the sheep were squaring off to butt heads, an unreal story! One was a 160 class sheep and the other was a high 170’s full curl ram, as I remember. I was jealous, but very happy for them. They invited me right into their warm, wood stove wall tent, and told me I could sleep in it and take a whole pack of matches, whoohoo! I was in business. We spent the rest of the day visiting and they said there were more sheep up high. The outfitter had tagged out and they had flown in their own helicopter camp right after him. I offered to pay to have it flown out if they would let me stay in it because they were hiking out the next day. They agreed, what luck for me!

From: Treeline
25-Dec-23
Definitely pulled a rabbit out of the hat there! Would have really sucked if the outfitter was pulled out and nobody else back there… At least the hike out would have been downhill!

From: Paul@thefort
25-Dec-23
Just had Christmas brunch so I am ready for the next.....................................

25-Dec-23
Yeah, if no one was there I would have hunted that day till dark and then hiked back out in the dark or the next day to get a lighter and more food if there were sheep around. But the next day I hiked up as the two other guys hiked down and out. (I spoke with them later and someone else had hiked in and killed the ram in the creek bed, a just legal, 5 1/2 yr old ram.)

I hiked up higher and as I was getting out of tree line a ram walked by 100 yds in front of me, a big one! Full curl, double broomer, very heavy. He was going at a pretty good clip headed somewhere and he disappeared from sight. I got to his tracks and followed them, very excited to be tracking what appeared to be a giant!

I quickly caught up to the ram, he had been heading over to a group of ewes and now he was checking them out. The hill in front of me had a roll to it and I could only barely see his back and horns when he lifted his head. I was already convinced that he was a Booner so now I was just trying to get close, I wasn’t attempting to size him up anymore. I had a new, laser rangefinder in hand and had been practicing out to 60 yards or more. At 53 I could see enough of his body and he was focused on the feeding ewes. I took a shot with my aluminum XX78, 2314’s armed with a Thunderhead 125 once again. The arrow struck too far back on the quartering away ram hitting him in the front edge of the hip, but burying forward to the fletch. That will do the trick I thought, the ram stumbled around, tried to bed, the ewes scattered and then he fell off a 20 foot cliff, down into deep snow. He couldn’t get up and soon expired. I was thrilled and plowed through the deep snow to get at him!

25-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1998 ram. I’m still in cotton clothes though, advanced to camo jeans, actually a step backwards in warmth and safety compared to wool, army surplus but the jeans are less dang itchy and saggy crotched.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 1998 ram. I’m still in cotton clothes though, advanced to camo jeans, actually a step backwards in warmth and safety compared to wool, army surplus but the jeans are less dang itchy and saggy crotched.

From: Native Okie
25-Dec-23
Thanks for sharing, Mike!

I was in Mike’s camp this fall and his trophy rooms and stories to go along with them are great! I remember him telling the Dall story from 95 in camp, it was excellent! Keep it coming!

From: Nick Muche
25-Dec-23
This is so great, merry Christmas Mike!

From: walleyes
25-Dec-23
Great thread to stay in touch with over Christmas! Way to go

From: Willieboat
25-Dec-23
Stuck at work today and this is definitely helping pass the time !

Thanks for taking the time to share.

25-Dec-23
That's a sweet looking ram! Love these old pics. Just look so cool

From: xtroutx
25-Dec-23
Such a great thread.

From: Rackmastr
25-Dec-23
Loving this. Merry Christmas Mike and thanks for sharing. Getting a kick out of the 410 stuff and can’t wait to hear all the details in your 408 hunt!

25-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Tight curl, small bases.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Tight curl, small bases.
Well my 40 year quest for a big one should have been a 15 year quest with the taking of my 1998 ram but once I had him dead I started looking him over and he started shrinking. His curl got tighter, his bases got smaller, dang it! I realized that he was no 180 ram, probably lucky to make 170. His bases were unusually small, less than 14 inches. He was old which was fantastic, 12 yrs old, but he was no giant, just a nice ram, I was happy but not thrilled.

Then I had to get him out of there, on my own. You can’t put meat, hide or a weapon on the helicopter for the ride out. Most of my camp went in the net for the chopper to carry out but I had to get all the sheep out myself. And I decided to skin it for a life size mount to maybe sell, they are worth a lot of money. I took every scrap of meat and the life size cape, my bow, binoculars and spotting scope. My pack was just under 130 lbs and it took me all day to hike the 10 miles out of there in the snow. What a tough hike that was! I fell down at one point and slammed my bow against a rock and cracked the limb. There’s no way I could do a hike like that now with that kind of weight.

The ram gross scored 165, about the same as my last lamb tipped ram from 1992. This one just had a very different look which was kinda cool too though. Back to the drawing board, literally!

25-Dec-23
MERRY CHRISTMAS TOO!

25-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo

From: Gun
25-Dec-23
Awesome Mike! Keep the season in perspective!!

25-Dec-23
I love it! Thanks for sharing what Christmas is all about!

Bernie

25-Dec-23
Thank you!

From: sureshot
26-Dec-23
Great thread, looking forward to the rest of the story! Sheep and goat stories are the best, thanks for sharing.

From: nmwapiti
26-Dec-23
Great stuff. Keep it coming. Makes me wish I grew up in Canada.

26-Dec-23
After my successful 1998 hunt I had to sit out 1999 and then get back in the draw for 2000. There was getting to be more and more applicants for the 410 Bow zone tag and less sheep, certainly less big rams than the 80’s and early 90’s. I would have to wait my turn unless I hunted the general over the counter hunt in September and October but success is super low, I wasn’t even sure where to look at that time of the year and I was so busy guiding muley bowhunters so it wasn’t much of an option. I figured I would just wait to draw another November tag. It might take me 10 years though this time around. My quest would have to wait.

I waited for 2000, 2001, 2002 and then the government introduced the zone 408 bow only November draw tag. 408 is right beside the 410 bow zone but it’s a rifle zone with over the counter tags open all of September and October. There are no outfitter sheep tags in it. It’s a very rugged zone with big mountain peaks and lots of hidey holes for sheep.

In 2000 a big chunk of the area had been turned into a Provincial Park and the ram harvest numbers went way down. Sheep were dieing of old age in the park or in 408 but they weren’t moving into the huntable zone until November. They figured 5-10 more rams could be killed in November that were dieing of old age anyway. They could make it a rifle draw with 5-10 tags or a bow only hunt with 20 or so tags. Since the rut would be on even a bowhunt would have a pretty high harvest.

They went with 20 archery only tags with a November 1-30 season. I knew it was now a much better place to kill a big ram than 410 so I entered the original draw along with about 400-500 other bowhunters. It meant I couldn’t enter the 410 draw but I could still hunt it with an over the counter September/October tag if I didn’t get drawn in 408. I’m so glad I got in the original draw pool!

From: t-roy
26-Dec-23
This keeps getting better and better. Keep it coming, Mike!

From: Catscratch
26-Dec-23
Outstanding story telling! This has been fun!

From: Ron Niziolek
26-Dec-23
Keep it coming, Mike.

From: skull
26-Dec-23
Good thread, can’t wait for the grand finale

26-Dec-23
Yeah, the grand finale takes awhile to get there, thanks for your patience and interest!

So from 2000 through 2005 I didn’t hunt sheep while I was waiting for my 408 draw tag. It was now a random draw with 20 tags for 400-500 guys who all had the same priority. I started hearing about the November 408 bowhunts and they sounded crazy!

The main two main areas to hunt, Mount Allan and Wind Ridge or Windy are wintering grounds for the sheep. They are very steep, grassy slopes, with cliffs nearby, and hunting the areas without crampons on your boots is life threatening. A hunter actually died on Windridge when he went sliding down the open slope. A memorial plaque is on the mountain as a reminder to bring your crampons.

The snow would pile into the areas but the strong Chinook winds would blow the grassy slopes free of snow, but also polish them up and then they would freeze up when the minus 20 and -30 temps rolled in. Many guys who were in the draw were in way over their heads, not bowhunters, not sheep hunters, and definitely not used to the rugged, snowy, cold conditions they were about to face!

The winds could reach over 100 miles an hour on the top of Mount Allan. Some hunters made one hiking attempt and then quit, But if you were a seasoned November sheep bowhunter it was paradise! The sheep were there, about 50-100 of them would come into Windy and 150-200 on Mount Allan with 20% of them being rams and some big ones! Sometimes big, dumb Park rams. A 180+ ram or and even a 190 was a definite possibility. If the snow didn’t come in November though the sheep would be dispersed all over 408 and the hunting would be tougher, it’s a bigger zone than 410 if you have to start exploring everywhere in it.

26-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 2006 ram, 165 gross but an over the counter general season tag. Easy to get the tag, hard to find the sheep. Top of the line clothes now, synthetic, merino wool, properly fitting pants, all lightweight, almost felt like cheating?!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My 2006 ram, 165 gross but an over the counter general season tag. Easy to get the tag, hard to find the sheep. Top of the line clothes now, synthetic, merino wool, properly fitting pants, all lightweight, almost felt like cheating?!
In 2006 I didn’t draw 408 again and I was getting itchy to hunt sheep. I had sold my Southern Alberta mule deer operation and moved everything to Northern Alberta and it had freed up some time in October for me to try the general season hunt. I wasn’t optimistic, most years no sheep were killed in September or October in the 410 bow zone even though you could just buy a tag over the counter and go hunt. Most rams were back in the park or who knows where, in the trees, in unhikeable cliffs? I really had no idea.

I decided to give it a try with my brother Phil and if nothing else we would have some fun, busting our butts hiking all over the mountains looking for sheep. We weren’t going to be too picky on size.

Well, we got lucky and found a group of rams and I got a range found, 73 yd shot off a big cliff across a canyon. This wasn’t an old school Hail Mary, it was a more calculated shot with a modern 2006 compound. I drilled him perfect on a slight quartering away shot, and he went rolling down the mountain for Phil and I to go retrieve. Another tough pack out and I had ram number four, an 8 1/2 yr old, 165 inch ram. I was thrilled, a solidly legal ram in the general season!

From: Ambush
26-Dec-23
Great stuff Mike!! In late December, I've seen elk, mule deer and sheep all grazing together on the wind swept slopes of Windy Valley. Picked up a few beauty elk sheds in late spring too. I still have one set 45 years later.

Take your time, we got nowhere to go.

26-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brother Phil and I
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brother Phil and I
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
With both our bows. Phil flung some arrows after I shot not realizing that I had hit him perfect. The ram had stumbled behind a tree and was trying to stay on his feet while the arrows rained down.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
With both our bows. Phil flung some arrows after I shot not realizing that I had hit him perfect. The ram had stumbled behind a tree and was trying to stay on his feet while the arrows rained down.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brother Phil. None of his arrows harmed the ram but at least he got some shooting in…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brother Phil. None of his arrows harmed the ram but at least he got some shooting in…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Heavy as hell, especially as you get older and more flabby.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Heavy as hell, especially as you get older and more flabby.
My brother Phil is younger than me, more fit than me, more handsome than me and eternally optimistic and upbeat. Plus funny as hell, a great hunting partner!

From: caribou77
26-Dec-23
All these hunts, are you camping back in deep up on the mountains? How do you not freeze, you have to work up a good sweat hiking.

From: Scoot
26-Dec-23
Man... this is a really great read. I'm not a sheep guy, and never will be, but I'm enjoying the hell outta this!

26-Dec-23
Yeah, you have to really manage your clothing properly, and your hydration and eating.

We were usually backpacking in and staying for a few days. We would begin a days hike often in just long underwear but with a puffy jacket at the ready to put on as soon as you stop or if the wind picks up. If the weather is nasty you don’t feel like stopping to drink water or eat which is not good, you won’t last. A water hose to a water bladder on your pack freezes up so you have to stop and get out your water bottle. You want to start the day with hot water in the bottle or it will freeze up too. We would carry spare clothes, full rain/snow gear, ski googles, extra food, a tarp and of course matches! Haha. And a few lighters, fire starter etc.

Finding boots that are rugged enough to hike in the mountains, will take a crampon, but still keep your feet warm in -20 C/0 F or colder is a challenge. If you get the boots wet in the snow when it warms up midday then they freeze like a brick overnight.

A part of you has to somehow enjoy the adversity of it all, doing something most people just wouldn’t want to do, even if they could. It’s not enjoyable half the time, and can be very uncomfortable, maybe it’s a mental illness?

From: Bou'bound
26-Dec-23
That description reminds me of the old saying that a good day, sheep, or goat hunting has you wishing you would die and a bad day, sheep, or goat hunting has you afraid you won’t die

What you describe in is beyond grueling

From: Rackmastr
26-Dec-23
I hunted Canmore in 2010. My wife was lucky to draw Cadomin the same year so we spent a week up there before I was able to make it to Canmore for the last 10 days of the season. I still remember hiking up Pigeon Mtn one morning and the temps on the front page of the Calgary Sun was -38 celcius. I missed a chance at a good ram that day as both rangefinders were completely froze up, even after keeping them close to my body. Good lessons learned on the first day up that mountain. There was also high shin deep snow that year and make for some grueling walks! What I wouldnt give to go back and do it again though....its still top hunt on my list of hunts I wish I could do now that I've moved to BC for a number of reasons.

From: Tony
26-Dec-23
We are planning on moving to Alberta in the new year...this thread is filling my mind with delusional dreams. Hopefully some day I'll be able to take one of these amazing animals. Been super entertaining to follow along on here.

From: Candor
26-Dec-23
I love how Mike makes it sound: "I walked up the hill, shot a ram, packed it out and that was that...." Good read Mike.

From: BUCKeye
26-Dec-23
This is an all time Bowsite classic. Thanks Mike!

From: Mark Watkins
26-Dec-23
You and Phil.....a Canadian dynamic duo of EPIC proportions!!!!

Keep feeding us hungry bow hunters MIke!!!

Mark

From: Rgiesey
26-Dec-23
I’ve been checking this thread and enjoyed it. You take as long as you want and the more years the better. This is more than good.

From: Tilzbow
27-Dec-23
This thread is a great Christmas present from Mike to all of us Bowsite forum readers! Thanks Mike and keep the posts coming!!!

From: BULELK1
27-Dec-23
Great thread----->

Thanks for sharing,

Robb

From: labxtreme1.
27-Dec-23
What incredible hunts!

From: njbuck
27-Dec-23
I keep checking this thread multiple times a day, its amazing! Keep it coming!

From: scentman
27-Dec-23
Rama lamba ding dong, great thread! I could not even plan hunts like that... you can hunt, you can write, and humble yourself to acknowledge Christ! Thanks for sharing this with us Mike. scentman

27-Dec-23
Thanks again guys!

Now after killing a general season ram, which I thought was nearly impossible or just a random fluke by elk hunters it gave me hope that maybe I could find a big one in the general season? I could now get 3-5 days off in October from guiding to see if I could find a big sheep in WMU 410 or even in WMU 408 but I would be competing with over the counter rifle hunters in 408 for all of September and October.

I had to sit out 2007 and then get sheep hunting again in 2008. I did several solo hunts and some hunts with my brother hiking all over the zone from 2008 to 2015. You truly have to simply enjoy hiking in the mountains with low expectations to even see rams never mind a big one. There are quite a few other hunters and if you do find rams most times someone else is already looking at them too. They are usually in bachelor groups with the odd, loner or two buddies hanging out together.

I also fine tuned my gear into the best clothes, mostly Kuiu, the lightest pack, sleeping bag, thermarest and bought a Kifaru tipi tent and stove. Wow! What a game changer! Thrown in a laser range finder and the latest tack driving bow and it was nothing like the 1980’s. Of course there weren’t the big sheep like the 80’s either though. Dam which is better? Big sheep but little chance of hitting one past 30-40 yds unless you are a range guessing guru or great gear and the ability to easily stay out for days at a time and shoot well out to 70-80 yds or more for some guys?

Anyway, from 2008 till 2015 I hunted about 35-40 days total and I found some rams and could have probably killed just a couple of 160 class rams but only had three opportunities on big ones. One big, double broomer, full curl ram bedded on the very top of a big bare mountain peak in a pile of boulders. I just barely caught him walking across the slope and bedding down. It was a very stalkable final 100 yds if I could get there and back safely. It would involve taking a very intimidating, exposed ridge climb to get to him on a somewhat windy day though. Not too windy to shoot, but it would be tricky. It was noon and I gave myself a 5 pm turn around time so I would be completely out of the nasty stuff by 7 pm and headed back to my camp on an easy trail at last light.

27-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram bedded on the peak right above my pack.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram bedded on the peak right above my pack.
I don’t mind telling people where the ram bedded, right above my pack on the very top of that peak. Good luck getting there if you spot one on it, especially in the snow. I tried ridge walking it all the way from right to left but got cliffed out, so then I dropped into the valley, and at one point tripped on my crampon, fell down and spread eagle slid down the mountain for 20 yds into some rocks to stop me. Very fu*kin scary! I was ok and kept going.

Finally at 5:01 pm I reached the top. I couldn’t see the ram in the boulders though. The wind was blowing so I stripped my arrows from my bow quiver, so my bow didn’t act like a sail and I tried to spot the top of his horns in the rocks. I was certain I was within 50 yds of him. He spotted me first, stood up, I went to draw and he bolted off down the mountain. Game over. He won. I hiked back to camp 3 1/2 hours and ran into a grizzly at 30 yds at last light. He growled at me and I slunk away, not wanting to get mauled that day with just my bow and maybe some pepper spray on hand. Fun, fun.

From: Bowboy
27-Dec-23
This just keeps getting better every post. Mike thanks for taking the time to do this!

From: t-roy
27-Dec-23
That last pic looks like a painting!

From: Catscratch
27-Dec-23
I used to run marathons, and then when that distance lost its challenge I did quite a few ultra's. I didn't just run them I raced them, was competitive. I liked to think I could push myself and test my limits... I feel like it was child's play in comparison to the stories Mike is telling! Simple awe inspiring!

From: Scoot
27-Dec-23
Holy cow, Mike, that country looks intimidating! Musta been heart breaking to get busted up there in no man's land. I've felt that disappointment after getting myself in some nasty spots, but nothing like that!

From: walleyes
27-Dec-23
Must be some sort of redemption story coming by the look of the horn sticking out of the pack. ??. I will wait patiently like my kids on Christmas Eve.

From: Stoneman
27-Dec-23
This is like the 12 days of Christmas! Really enjoying these stories.

From: HUNT MAN
27-Dec-23
This truly is amazing.

From: Supernaut
27-Dec-23
This PA boy will never hunt a ram but this thread reminds of all the great hunting stories I would read in hunting magazines in the 70's and 80's growing up.

Thanks for taking us along, this is truly awesome.

From: Treeline
27-Dec-23
This is so awesome! Loving every installment, Mike!

It really doesn’t get any better for sheep hunting stories!

From: Kurt
27-Dec-23
Been traveling, got behind on the stories. What good reading…awesome story telling and it isn’t over yet!

From: goyt
27-Dec-23
Mike, I hunted with Nahanni Butte Outfitters the last year that Greg Williams owned it. Cam Lancaster helped me unload my stuff and shoot my bow. He thought that he might guide me, but I ended up having Kevin West as guide. My ram took the FNAWS archery gold. I am pretty sure that it is smaller than yours so you must have not entered yours. Congratulations on your ram.

27-Dec-23
So to pick up where I left off, from 2008 to 2015 I only had 3 opportunities on big 175+ sheep over 35-40 days of hunting. The bedded one on the top of the mountain and then another one where I saw a group of rams go into an unhuntable, cliffy, treed area. I waited for them to come out, waited till last light in a sort of snow fort I built.

The sheep finally came out of the trees in the last few minutes of light and the biggest ram, a solid high 170, broomed ram, gave me a 91 yd shot opportunity. It was tempting, he was perfectly broadside, I could dial my sight to the exact yardage, there was snow… I passed and hiked off the mountain, my last day that I could hunt that year. Another bummer defeat.

And then I had one other mid to high 170 “loopy” horned ram feeding at 40 yds, broadside, completely unaware of me. The problem was that I couldn’t say for certain that he was a legal sheep, he was 9 1/2 yrs old but I couldn’t be 100% sure so I passed on him too. He was in a band of 13 rams and again it was my last day to hunt, that was in 2015. By 2016 I thought I had the over the counter, general hunt, pretty figured out, where to go, how to approach places, where to glass, and to cover as much ground as possible, don’t think there is one secret spot, look everywhere, high and low from daylight till dark. Don’t be a wuss.

2016 came around and my brother Phil could come with me this time for a 3 day hunt. I told him I felt good about our chances this year. “Really?” He said, “I’ve never heard you say that before.” I do like quiet optimism better. But I was hoping we could find that same band of rams. The weather conditions were very similar to the year before, and it was about the same time of year. I felt good about finding them. So we hiked and glassed, hiked and glassed.

27-Dec-23
And goyt, Clifford, thanks for the congrats on my Dall! I did enter it with FNAWS and I only got 3rd place. I’m pretty sure about the year and score but maybe I got it slightly wrong? What did your ram score? 1995? Lancasters took over in 1996.

Kevin West, that must have been an entertaining hunt. He was quite the character! Haven’t seen him in a long time, good guy, as far as I know? How far a shot did you get, which day? Just curious

It was quite the adventure guiding those hunts, best ram I guided to was a mid 160’s, the hunter Pete Iacavazzi, killed it with a recurve at 15 yds, head on shot, very exciting!

From: KSBOW
28-Dec-23
Man I can't get enough on this thread. I am checking multiple times per day at work for updates. It is so cool to see the progression but for some reason every picture I just see that teenage kid that feel in love with hunting. Your passion for sheep hunting is unbelievable. Big fan keep at it!!!

From: Treeline
28-Dec-23
Yup. This one hooked me from the first post… Enjoying every post!

From: Bowfreak
28-Dec-23
Awesome thread! Thanks for taking us along Mike. I can't wait to read the rest.

From: grossklw
28-Dec-23
Great stuff, dialed in.

28-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My brother and I getting ready to head out sheep hunting.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My brother and I getting ready to head out sheep hunting.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Loaded up for a hunt, we often carry a heavy camp and establish a high mountain base camp and then hunt from the camp each day.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Loaded up for a hunt, we often carry a heavy camp and establish a high mountain base camp and then hunt from the camp each day.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A steep section…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A steep section…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Glassing for rams
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Glassing for rams

From: TMac
28-Dec-23
Fantastic so far Mike!

From: Catscratch
28-Dec-23
I've never been great with heights. Some of your pics give me the heebie jeebies! So cool!

28-Dec-23
Mike, Thank you for taking the time to share this. One of the best threads ever on Bowsite. That pic of the steep section with the heavy packs is crazy.

From: Bowboy
28-Dec-23
Mike what’s the average weight of your packs loaded. I suspect it’s over 80lbs by the pictures.

28-Dec-23
Bowboy, yeah we are probably 70 lbs each for a main camp but we have luxury items, beer is heavy. The rain covers for the pack with a bow underneath make the packs look huge. If we want to get weight down then we can be 50-60 lbs for a multi day hunt. I’ve done 3 day solo hunts with a 50 lb pack, bow included. The cold weather backpacking with emergency gear, crampons etc makes things way heavier than a nice, early fall hunt.

From: xtroutx
28-Dec-23
Incredible picture of you glassing. Truely God country. You have done what most can only dream of. Thanks for taking us along.

From: goelk
28-Dec-23
I agreed with xtroutx , incredible pictures and most can only dream of. Being 70 years old really enjoyed your adventures. I feel young again LOL

From: goyt
28-Dec-23

goyt's embedded Photo
goyt's embedded Photo
goyt's embedded Photo
goyt's embedded Photo
Mike, I shot my ram on 8/3/1996. He scored 143 2/8". There were only 2 archery Dall Rams entered that year. The second was guided by Jeff Gaudry also of Nahanni Butte. I am sure that you know Jeff. Surprisingly no archery category had more than 2 entries for 1996.

Kevin West was a great guy to hunt with. He was funny and always up beat. Great storyteller. He had been a bull rider. I think that he said that he took a first in Calvery one year. Lots of stories about the rodeos and interactions with biker gangs. He was quite an athlete. We were following a ridge when it topped out with steep drops on both sides. We were going around it on a ledge which was maybe 18"s wide at one point. The ledge broke under Kevin's lead foot. Instead of falling to his possible death, he pushed off of his back foot, grabbed onto something and ended up on the other side of the broken ledge facing out over the open valley. As calm as can be, he looked at me and said, "Don't come this way". Of course, I had already figured that out.

I shot my ram on the 6th day at about 25 yards. We had seen some rams on top of a rock formation. The next morning, we were waiting for them. We followed them by listening to them. When they were close enough, I drew, got to the edge, leaned over and shot one.

Have you guided moose for Pete Jensen? If so, I think that I was at their lodge on a hunt drinking wine with Pete after everyone else had retired and you walked in. Sound familiar?

28-Dec-23
Great story Clifford! And that makes sense. I killed my Dall in 1995. And yes, Kevin won the Calgary Stampede in bull riding.

I didn’t guide for Pete Jensen though.

From: Rock
28-Dec-23

Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
I was the 4th Bowhunter to kill a Dall Ram with Greg Williams back in 1983. Straight down shot off a cliff on the 4th day of the hunt after I had missed him the day before. My Guide Al tied a rope to my belt so I could lean out father if I had to but it was not necessary. The story I wrote about that hunt was printed in Bowhunter Mag in 1985. First and only article I have ever submitted even though Don Thomas tried to get me to write up my Brown Bear story in 2012.

From: ahawkeye
28-Dec-23
Some pretty cool details Rock, beautiful ram! Is there any way we could get you to tell the story of your brown bear hunt here? You obviously wouldn't be doing it for the money and if any fame came of it, it would only be here on bowsite. We would love to hear the story.

From: Jeff Holchin
28-Dec-23
Great thread. Mike, you are describing a level of grit and toughness that I can’t even imagine.

From: pirogue
28-Dec-23
Mike, thanks for sharing all this!

28-Dec-23
Awesome ram Rock!

I was so fired up to guide for Dall sheep bowhunts that I would have done it for free! Great times!!

From: Cazador
28-Dec-23
Peter Iacavazzi, now that’s a name I haven’t heard in some time. Believe it or not Mike, he used to post on Bowsite back in the day.

28-Dec-23
Back to the story: I felt good about finding them. So we hiked and glassed, hiked and glassed.

And we found them! I’ll bet it was the same band of rams that I was on the year before, with two big loopy horned, heavy based but barely legal sheep.

To make a long story short, the sheep were a long ways away and we had to really get after it to get to them before we ran out of daylight. We got busted in the last 100 yds of the stalk and the sheep blew out but hung up in some cliffs. I wasn’t sure either of the two biggest rams were the class of sheep that I was hoping for so I told Phil to go for it. He made an aggressive last stalk on them while I held their attention. He ended up getting a 40 yd shot at the 2nd biggest ram and made a beauty double lunger!

The mortally wounded ram tumbled down a rock face and Phil was soon at its side. We were both hooting and hollering like idiots, shocked that we had pulled it off. Phil’s first ram, and it was a heavy based beauty!

28-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
So thrilled!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
So thrilled!
I know we look like idiots but we were so shocked to get one! It had been 10 years of hunting since the last one, 35 to 40 days of hunting. Big, ball buster all day hikes most of them, and then when you do find sheep most stalks rarely ever even sort of get you close. You really do have to just love being in the mountains, hiking around, chatting and laughing about how physically beat up you are day after day. We treated it more as an annual get together than anything else. So happy that it worked out!

28-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
170 gross score, 168 3/8 net. 16 1/4 bases
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
170 gross score, 168 3/8 net. 16 1/4 bases
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
About 85 lbs packs each and a long, tough hike back to camp. Heavy duty hiking boots like Meindl are best, along with trekking poles.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
About 85 lbs packs each and a long, tough hike back to camp. Heavy duty hiking boots like Meindl are best, along with trekking poles.

28-Dec-23
The ram was legal by a 1/4 inch is all, we were a bit nervous. Phil thought he was shooting at the biggest ram but got them confused in the trees right before he got his shot.

The biggest one got away but I was out of time to go after him. We needed to get the ram and our camp out and Phil had to get back to work the next day at noon and I had to get back to guiding.

From: Rackmastr
29-Dec-23
Man, gotta love those loopy K Country rams!

Best Bowsite thread ever so far, and only going to get better!

From: Kurt
29-Dec-23
Giant bases! Very nice ram!

From: M.Pauls
29-Dec-23
“To make a long story short…” please don’t do that Mike! This is all so good, enjoying every minute of it. Just the experiences are all what dreams are made of, and to do it over and over and over. Tough as nails too. Wow. Those pics are insane

29-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Phil busting trail on a September 30th, 2019 snowfall that didn’t melt off all fall and winter. I couldn’t do this trail breaking, Phil is a super athlete.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Phil busting trail on a September 30th, 2019 snowfall that didn’t melt off all fall and winter. I couldn’t do this trail breaking, Phil is a super athlete.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My neck problems put a pause on my sheep hunting.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My neck problems put a pause on my sheep hunting.
Thanks again everyone!

Back to my long winded, multi year story for anyone who is still paying attention. After my brother’s successful 2016 sheep hunt I was eager to get after it in 2017 at the grand old age of 50. But, in the summer of 2017 I was struck down by a pinched nerve in my neck, it really messed me up. I spent the late summer and all of the fall in a haze of pain and drugs, unable to even draw my kids 20 lb bow by late October. I got a C6-7, spinal disc replacement surgery in November, off the drugs and on my way to healing. (I had also had hernia surgery the year before after suffering for a painful, solid month and cataract surgery where I became half blind within just a 6 month period.) My health problems continued with upper body, nerve pain on the other side of my body from my pinched nerve side and a nauseous feeling every time I exerted myself, not good when you are trying to sheep hunt. My brother Phil is an ER doc and he suggested a battery of heart tests. All came up negative.

We ended up figuring out that the problem was a tumour in my arm pit and I had to get surgery for it in the winter of 2020. Once I started healing from the tumour surgery I realized that I had been suffering from it for years and years. I only mention all this to maybe give hope to someone who is thinking they couldn’t ever do this sheep hunting stuff because of health problems, maybe they truly can’t, but maybe they could…

I did get out in 2018 to 2022 but we couldn’t find any big rams, nothing over 170. A couple of giant snow falls had come down in September and October of those years and I think most of the older rams died in the winter or were stressed out and not growing big horns. More and more hikers and hunters were also keeping the sheep in marginal, rugged country where good feed was scarce. This continues to today unfortunately, especially in the Canmore 410 bow zone.

From: sitO
29-Dec-23
That last pic is insane! Truly appreciate you sharing all these amazing hunts with us, and glad you're doing better health wise too. Looking forward to the "rest of the story"!

From: ahawkeye
29-Dec-23
"For anyone who is still paying attention" Ha! Like you don't have all of us hanging on the edge of our seats!

From: JB
29-Dec-23
I did the trail busting like Phil after the great Halloween blizzard in MN, but that was on flat ground. I can't imagine doing that in the mountains. I thought I was going to explode! You guys are beasts!!

30-Dec-23
Wow! Snow like that ended a couple elk hunts for us and it was brutal getting off the mountain. Can’t even imagine going up in that snow. You guys are amazing. Toughness and grit on a whole different level.

From: Franzen
30-Dec-23
Truly amazing. I can't imagine doing some of those things once, let alone time and again. Edmund Hillary wouldn't go after that ram on the peak. When you think of legendary, these are the kinds of things you think of in bowhunting. Yet, you portray yourself as just another guy. This isn't unheard of on Bowsite; some impressive feats through the years.

From: Treeline
30-Dec-23
That picture of you and Phil is a classic! Love that look of elation on both your faces! Congratulations Phil! You guys have definitely lived it large on the sheep mountains!

From: Mark Watkins
30-Dec-23
Mike, after having hunted elk with you I knew you were a master hunter/guide, but I had no idea you were a “crack dealer!” :)

Keep the epic stories and pics coming!!!

Mark

30-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Yeah those snowy days were nuts! You really needed 2 guys to alternate breaking trail or skis and skins on them to climb uphill. Phil did some of that too. He almost killed ram number 2 a few times, the snow had them concentrated, but no luck in the end on those snowy years. I didn’t see any big rams.

So to continue my sheep hunting saga. In 2022 I once again did not draw the coveted 408 tag and my kids wanted to be a part of the sheep hunting, they had heard all the stories, so brother Phil said he would do some solo hunting and I would go to a different area first with my son Tyler, 14 yrs old and then my daughter Brooke, 16 yrs old. It was a no snow October so it made the hiking much easier but the finding of sheep much tougher, they can be anywhere, top of the mountain or in the trees, who knows?

Tyler was up first with 3 days of hiking/hunting from a high mountain base camp. It was his first big mountain hunting adventure, no trails, and he’s not a big 14 yr old so it was tough for him.

From: Beav
30-Dec-23
Best thing I have read onBowsite in a long time! Thanks for sharing all of this with such detail!!

From: CFMuley
30-Dec-23
I check this multiple times a day for updates. Thank you for all the effort you’ve been putting into writing all this out. I know it’s appreciated by many on here.

From: Gun
31-Dec-23
I moved here from Wisconsin back in March of 1987. I'm Canadian by birth as my parents had immigrated to Canada from Germany just before I was born. Then when I was 3 they moved to SE Wisconsin because they heard there was quite a German community there.

A couple days after settling in Calgary, I went to the local Archery range and noticed a poster about the Alberta Bowhunters Association having their annual Banquet at a local Hotel that weekend. Well I went and sat at an empty table at the back near the entrance. Shortly after, in walks Mike, Phil, and Jeff Gaudry. Jeff asked if anyone was sitting there. I said, just you guys and me so far.

Well that initial meeting was very beneficial for me. Thru the course of the meal and meeting we exchanged some history and I found out more about the famous Canmore Bowzone.

I also found out that Mike and Phil were both into power lifting and that Phil had the Canadian record weight in the 18yr old class. Beast, is a good way to describe those two and yet very humble and down to earth.

After getting to know the family later I could see why. Pat, their Mom was my math tutor for both my trades. She was already retired from teaching and we learned how to use a calculator together. A lovely lady that always had a smile.

Their dad, Ehor was a natural story teller and was always the highlight around a campfire. I remember once during "math class" him telling about the close call he had w a Grizzly just days before, while hunting Elk. He managed to get his banger pen out just in time and the Bear turned to the side.

When Mike and Phil were in school they used to hike the Banff-Jasper trails during their summers off. Any where from 50-100 miles at a time.

Jeff took me out to Canmore on Monday after that weekend Banquet and explained the lay of the land in the Bowzone. He was my good luck charm for a few years after that as we hunted together quite a bit. Both Jeff and Mike took me out quite a bit for sheep in those years and I missed two easy chances at Rams. We never thought that there would ever be a draw season.

Carry on Mike. A classic to be, from a hardcore Sheep hunter.

From: Treeline
31-Dec-23
Mike, you need to write a book!

From: Beav
31-Dec-23
Treeline I agree!

31-Dec-23
I agree with treeline! This is amazing. I’ll even pay for an autographed page lol!

31-Dec-23
Thanks Guys!

Thank you Gun for the memories of the 1980’s with Jeff and my brother and the ABA! Great times!

31-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My son Tyler and I headed out for his first sheep hunting adventure in 2022.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My son Tyler and I headed out for his first sheep hunting adventure in 2022.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A downfall filled creek to hike up, no fun
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A downfall filled creek to hike up, no fun
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Made it up high after an all day hike but no sheep
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Made it up high after an all day hike but no sheep
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It’s always fun to hike back the way you came after an unsuccessful day and get to repeat all the brush, rocks and deadfall! Haha
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It’s always fun to hike back the way you came after an unsuccessful day and get to repeat all the brush, rocks and deadfall! Haha
In 2022, Tyler and I hit it hard, covering tons of ground in 3 days but no sheep, no rams at least, seen a few ewes was all. It was disappointing but not unexpected, with no snow, they can be hard to find. He did the whole hunt like a champ, I covered just as much ground as if I was solo. Made me a proud Dad and we got into conversations that we would never have sitting around home. It’s such quality time. I didn’t care that we couldn’t find sheep actually.

31-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Hanging out, chatting in the warm tent with no cell service was fantastic!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Hanging out, chatting in the warm tent with no cell service was fantastic!

31-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brooke enjoyed the nighttime hikes to get up the mountain or get into a good position for first light.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brooke enjoyed the nighttime hikes to get up the mountain or get into a good position for first light.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We had fun visiting some old stomping grounds, but no rams, again just a few ewes, nervous ones, they took off from us way down into the trees.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We had fun visiting some old stomping grounds, but no rams, again just a few ewes, nervous ones, they took off from us way down into the trees.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We got into some rough terrain, and she loved it, at least that’s what she told me.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We got into some rough terrain, and she loved it, at least that’s what she told me.
We hiked out and went straight to meet up with my wife Jen and daughter Brooke for her portion of the hunt, just 2 days but we were going to make the best of it and cover as much ground as possible! Brooke is tough and can hike!

We resupplied and headed up the mountain with me carrying too much weight. I wanted to make it comfortable for the kids and overdid some of the gear and food. Back to back hikes were wearing me out. Brooke had a good load too, and we covered the miles. But no rams were seen, which was disappointing for her especially but that’s bowhunting. Five days of adventure with my kids and the 2022 sheep season was done for me.

31-Dec-23

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brooke in the boulder field, not an easy part of the hike.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Brooke in the boulder field, not an easy part of the hike.
A couple of great shots from our father, daughter hunt. The mild weather made it fun but very tough to find any sheep.

From: t-roy
31-Dec-23
Although you guys didn’t see any rams, I’d say both trips with Brooke and Tyler were huge successes! Priceless memories for all three of you!

From: HUNT MAN
31-Dec-23
This just keeps getting better and better !! Thank you for taking the time!! Hunt

From: Bowboy
31-Dec-23
Yep agree with T-Roy 100%

From: caribou77
31-Dec-23
Keep it coming , I remember seeing pics from your kids hunt with you last fall, not sure where… fb, instagram or maybe just on here? Good stuff. Great memories

From: xtroutx
31-Dec-23
Awsome stuff.

From: Treeline
01-Jan-24
Those hunts with the kids will go down as experiences of a lifetime for them and you! Getting a ram would have been icing on the cake but not necessary… That cake was amazing without it!

01-Jan-24
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Unbelievable that it’s 2024!!

01-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My first scouting trip on Aug 11, 2023. I was very excited and felt so fortunate!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My first scouting trip on Aug 11, 2023. I was very excited and felt so fortunate!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My first day of scouting.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My first day of scouting.
So back to my story. To recap, I had continued to apply for the zone 408 sheep draw from 2003 to 2023 while I was chasing sheep in the Canmore bow only zone 410, and 408 in the general September and October season. I was in the highest draw pool for the November 1-30, bow only tag in 408. It was now down to about 20-30 applicants but they had reduced tag numbers down to just 2-5 tags per year from a high of 20 tags, I think it was? Mature ram numbers were down since then so they had greatly lowered the target harvest numbers. It was still a fantastic tag!

In July of 2023 I found out that I had drawn the tag! I was one of five lucky bowhunters!! This is an incredible opportunity to kill a big ram, definitely the best chance in Alberta for a bowhunter. There are no non resident tags for the area, no outfitter tags.

It had a very high success rate, especially if it got snowy and cold. Many 170-180+ and even 190 rams had been killed in the past 20 years, sometimes by rookie bowhunters. The toughest part to deal with I was told was the weather, deep snow, cold and it could be super windy, especially on the main rutting, wintering grounds. There is a ski hill on the main mountain that opens in November so that tells you how much snow it can get. The hunt isn’t for everyone though. Some guys quit after one day, especially if it’s cold, windy and snowy.

I reached out to everyone I knew for advice on where to hunt. I had never hunted the main rutting area. Cam Foss, son of legendary sheep bowhunter Tom Foss sent me some routes to check out and my old friend Jeff Gaudry gave me some tips on where to go too. Jeff had done the hunt in 2021, killing an old, 170 inch ram in the last hour of the last day and Cam had extensive knowledge of the whole zone.

01-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Beautiful, fun country to hike in the summer!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Beautiful, fun country to hike in the summer!
Like I mentioned some very big rams had been killed over the last 20 years but overall the ram quality, score and number of old rams had gone downhill. I don’t think Cam Foss minds me mentioning that he had guided the Alberta Ministers/Governers tag a few times and him and his Dad had even held it themselves. (There is an auctioned off tag and a resident hunter lottery tag.) Some of the biggest rams had been killed in 408 over the last 10 years and the minister tag holder could hunt in December too, so he got the whole rut and wintering sheep. Cam killed a 196 score ram with his bow in 408!

But I wanted current info on how it had been the last couple years and what I could realistically hold out for on the November hunt. Cam told me that a low 180 score ram was possible, but unlikely. A high 170 was probably a more reasonable goal if I wanted to make sure I went home with a ram.

I really wanted a 180+ ram if I thought it was possible but didn’t want to go home without one either. I often hear the same sort of thing from my hunters, “I want a big one, and I want to make sure I get one!” Being greedy can get a guy in trouble and I knew it well. But I was also going to give myself lots of scouting, camp prep and hunting days to get it done.

This is all of course assuming that I could even judge a 170 ram from a 180?! I’m not a sheep guide, outfitter and very few people in Alberta have ever even had the chance to judge and then kill multiple 170-180+ score rams. Bases are everything in the sheep scoring game. A decently heavy, double broomed ram with 15 inch bases and 37 long will score about 172, give him 16 inch bases and he is 180, 16 1/2 and he is 184. The Boone and Crockett all time minimum score is 180. It was a milestone I was really hoping to reach and solidly beat my 1983, 175 score ram.

(Of course to be politically correct it was actually all about getting the sheep meat and score doesn’t matter, as long as he is an old ram.)

From: Catscratch
01-Jan-24
Lol, in all the threads, all the pics, all the stories.... I can't ever recall anyone talking about what sheep tastes like.

Great updates! Keep them coming!

01-Jan-24
Yes of course the sheep meat....=) 180" sheep meat is significantly more tasty than 170" sheep....just sayin

From: JohnMC
01-Jan-24
Mike this is now taking years ;) Happy New Years!

Good stuff keep it coming!

01-Jan-24
Haha, good ones! We do of course take all the meat and eat it. My chef at the lodge loves to try all the different meat we get and use our hunters as tasters. They usually love it all!

And as far as sheep age, any 170+ score ram is almost always, 8 1/2+ yrs old in my Alberta hunting area. You need excellent feed and low predator pressure to grow big sheep at 6 or 7 yrs old like in the Montana Missouri Breaks.

From: Kurt
01-Jan-24
Sheep is excellent…at least the late summer Bighorns from CO were as well as summer Stone and Dall.

Won’t say the same for a November NV Desert ram though. Skinny and poor table fare.

But Mike needs to tell us about his last Alberta ram!

From: Treeline
01-Jan-24
Happy New Year!

Catscratch, sheep meat is absolutely delicious! Even old rams! One of my favorites, even though rare to get it…

Looking forward to the finale, Mike!

This has been one of the absolute best Bowsite Threads of all time! Thank you!!!

From: Shrewski
01-Jan-24
Going to have to have a 200”+ ram to top those hunts with the kids. Most excellent!

From: Deerdawg
02-Jan-24
What a lifetime of adventures! Just read them form start to finish. Your passion for Hunting Sheep in the Hi mountains is vey admirable. Thank you for sharing your with us Mike

From: Bowfreak
02-Jan-24
Tuned in this morning to get caught up. I can't wait for the rest of the story!

From: TXCO
02-Jan-24
Cant wait for the finish!

From: APauls
02-Jan-24
Dammit! I purposefully waited to get started on this thread because I can't handle the pause and I thought maybe it would have been done by now! lol What an epic thread. Congrats Mike.

Reading this I've also been fully emasculated....so that's nice.

From: Bou'bound
03-Jan-24
Mike Told us it would take 40 years.

Heck, I thought this thread was over after the opening post that looked like a big one to me

From: Earltex
03-Jan-24
And to think he’ll be baiting bears soon. This really might take forever.

From: iceman
03-Jan-24
This is awesome! Keep it coming.

From: Rgiesey
03-Jan-24
Ha Mike! I think Kurt means your most recent Alberta ram. I’m hoping for more and the write ups since you’re still a young man. Waiting patiently.

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
You can do some ridge walking which is fun in the summer but when the wind blows and it’s cold this ridge is brutally exposed!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
You can do some ridge walking which is fun in the summer but when the wind blows and it’s cold this ridge is brutally exposed!
Sorry guys, I was off on a ski, New Year’s holiday. I’m back now.

Back to my August 11, 2023 solo scouting trip. From the tips and advice I had received I went for a big hike checking out the main rutting and wintering grounds. Of course there was very sheep around in the summer but it was great to get to hike a bunch of the country. I was also looking for a camp spot that I had heard about that was hidden in a high elevation patch of trees.

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My son Tyler and I did another hike, Aug 14 again looking for the camp spot. It was supposed to be in a strategically great spot to base my hunt from.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My son Tyler and I did another hike, Aug 14 again looking for the camp spot. It was supposed to be in a strategically great spot to base my hunt from.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We found the camp! From here I could glass the main rutting cliffs where the sheep would group up.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We found the camp! From here I could glass the main rutting cliffs where the sheep would group up.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Another beautiful shot.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Another beautiful shot.

From: Rgiesey
03-Jan-24
Tyler has great taste in hats. Grew up listening to the tigers with my grandpa.

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I wanted to do much more summer scouting but I’m already away so much for guiding that I just couldn’t justify spending more time away from the family, or my wife wouldn’t let me. Can’t remember which it was? But I had to go up to my guiding camp from mid August till about mid October. No more scouting for me, bit of a bummer.

But I came back in October and was smart enough to take my wife to dinner at a fancy restaurant near the trailhead and spend a night at the hotel. Then we went sheep hunting the next day. The general rifle season was on so we packed a gun just in case we saw a ram that Jen could kill while we got in some more scouting.

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It’s some steep, sweaty hiking to get out of the valley bottom and into the hunting area.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It’s some steep, sweaty hiking to get out of the valley bottom and into the hunting area.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We made it to the camp and made sure that it was big and flat enough for my floorless Kifaru tent before the ground was all frozen and covered in snow.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We made it to the camp and made sure that it was big and flat enough for my floorless Kifaru tent before the ground was all frozen and covered in snow.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
October 12th scouting trip. We saw a few ewes was all but the weather was too nice.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
October 12th scouting trip. We saw a few ewes was all but the weather was too nice.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Jen found a heart shaped rock to take home so apparently the hike was a big success! You can see the main rutting cliffs where all the sheep come in November, I was told at least…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Jen found a heart shaped rock to take home so apparently the hike was a big success! You can see the main rutting cliffs where all the sheep come in November, I was told at least…

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The weather was very mild in the morning of the first day while we hiked up. I had a 65 lb pack and Brooke had a 30 pounder, pretty good for a 100 lb young woman.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The weather was very mild in the morning of the first day while we hiked up. I had a 65 lb pack and Brooke had a 30 pounder, pretty good for a 100 lb young woman.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And then some winter like weather set in and the wind blew! You really can’t do the hunt without ski googles when the wind blows.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And then some winter like weather set in and the wind blew! You really can’t do the hunt without ski googles when the wind blows.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The first snowfall of the year had hit the high country on Oct 17. We hiked up high through a few inches of it while the wind tried to blow us off the mountain!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The first snowfall of the year had hit the high country on Oct 17. We hiked up high through a few inches of it while the wind tried to blow us off the mountain!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our camp for two nights. I packed up an electric fence setup to keep the grizzlies out. We saw a big black one a few times. I had to chase him out of our water hole one day.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our camp for two nights. I packed up an electric fence setup to keep the grizzlies out. We saw a big black one a few times. I had to chase him out of our water hole one day.
Then a few days later my daughter Brooke and I went for another scouting/rifle hunt trip. Our plan was to get much further in the area and see more of the country over a couple of days.

This time we did spot a group of rams with what appeared to be a legal one but they were way up high, and just inside the provincial park, dang it! Brooke was very disappointed. She thought maybe a rifle sheep hunt would be a piece of cake compared to bowhunting them? It’s not, only a handful of sheep get killed each year in the two month long, over the counter, rifle hunt in 408. It gets relentless hunting pressure since it’s only an hour drive from the city of Calgary. The sheep learn to stay in the park, or down in the trees or high on the most rugged, inhospitable cliffs.

From: Bou'bound
03-Jan-24
Her taste in hats beats your son’s

03-Jan-24
Haha, on the hats!

From: Rgiesey
03-Jan-24
Tyler has great taste in hats. Grew up listening to the tigers with my grandpa.

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I did one final trip in late October to reserve my camp spot on the main mountain where I was told most of the sheep would show up in November. There were only 4 other tag holders but I didn’t know any of them or what their plans were, I didn’t want someone to take the camp spot while I was gone. I had to leave to deal with my guided hunts in Northern Alberta, a 9 hour drive from the trailhead.

I was planning on coming back November 2nd to see what sheep had showed up at the start of the season. I was advised to be patient though, the best part would be the last two weeks of November when the snow and cold really piled in. I turned on the electric fence, hiked back down the mountain and hoped for the best!

From: pirogue
03-Jan-24
Mike, can I come do your chores, to give you more time to complete this classic?

03-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And my tent after the October storm…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And my tent after the October storm…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Popped back up
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Popped back up
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The Kifaru Sawtooth tent
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The Kifaru Sawtooth tent
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The inside, the stove looks big but it is only 16 inches long and about a foot tall and a foot wide. All my gear and a stack of firewood easily fits in the tent. 10 lb total weight, tent, stove, etc
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The inside, the stove looks big but it is only 16 inches long and about a foot tall and a foot wide. All my gear and a stack of firewood easily fits in the tent. 10 lb total weight, tent, stove, etc
Haha, I’m working on it pirogue! Thanks for wanting to hear it.

So, I came back to my high country sheep camp on November 2nd and was greeted by the sight of my tent, completely flattened. A big storm had come through about October 25th, first it rained hard, then snowed about a foot of wet snow, crushing my tent. The temps also dropped to below zero F for several days. When I got to the tent it had warmed back up, but quite a bit of snow was still around. Fortunately I had minimal gear in the tent and none of the poles were broken, no fabric torn. I shovelled off the snow, popped it back up, checked it over, took it down and set up my Kifaru tent, which I had packed down the mountain and back up again, about a 2 1/2 to 3 hr one way hike with a big load. I was in business, ready to hunt for 3 days, well 2 1/2 days once I got the tent set up.

The bad part of the storm was that it had pushed rams into the hunting territory, which might seem good except that the rifle season was still on till Oct 31! I started getting pics of all the big, old rams that got killed the last few days of the season. It was exciting to see, I was happy for the hunters, I knew several of the guys but it wasn’t good for my hunt. Oh well, nothing I could do about it and there was almost certainly another 180 class ram or two that would show up, wasn’t there I hoped?

04-Jan-24
I forgot to mention that on October 31st I first had to get a group of 6 moose hunters settled into my lodge up in Northern, Alberta, introduce them to the guides and cook and then tell them I was leaving the next morning for my once in a lifetime sheep hunt. They all graciously approved and encouraged me to go kill a big one. Then I drove for 9 hours on Nov 1st back to Canmore, met my wife for dinner and a hotel stay and then hiked up the mountain on the early morning of Nov 2nd. This whole hunt wasn’t easy to pull off and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife, my fantastic guides, my cook and my super supportive hunters! So, so grateful!!

04-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The crew of moose hunters, guides and cook back at my lodge.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The crew of moose hunters, guides and cook back at my lodge.

From: t-roy
04-Jan-24
We’re getting closer! What’s the story behind the eagle mount?? Golden?

From: Bou'bound
04-Jan-24
epic.

all time classic

depending on the ending..........but if i had to bet................... my money's on Mike.

04-Jan-24
T-roy, it’s a Bald Eagle, an immature one. We can get them mounted if we find them dead and get a permit to get it mounted and to display it. We don’t technically own them, government still retains ownership of it.

And thanks bou’bound. I know you’ve written a few great stories yourself!

04-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Crampons I use on a stretched out leather boot. I also take the insole out so I can wear a thicker wool sock or two and not freeze my feet.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Crampons I use on a stretched out leather boot. I also take the insole out so I can wear a thicker wool sock or two and not freeze my feet.
Crampons keep you from sliding down a steep grassy slope to your death but they can also cause your death, suddenly, with one trip. Your back foot can get hung up on the straps of your front foot as you are walking and if you don’t quickly unhook your foot you are going down! Hopefully it’s not in a bad spot. I love them and hate them, it doesn’t happen often but they can scare the crap out of you all of a sudden.

Slow, careful steps with trekking pole support is best in nasty terrain. You can’t be in a hurry.

04-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Half mile long cliff band I had to hike through daily to get out of camp.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Half mile long cliff band I had to hike through daily to get out of camp.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Into the backcountry!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Into the backcountry!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Searching, windy, snowy and kinda cold but having fun, I think…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Searching, windy, snowy and kinda cold but having fun, I think…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The band of rams. They like to stand around and kick each other in the nuts and occasionally butt heads. Kinda like boys in a bar with no girls.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The band of rams. They like to stand around and kick each other in the nuts and occasionally butt heads. Kinda like boys in a bar with no girls.
So I hiked and looked for sheep, the afternoon of Nov 2, 3rd and the morning of the 4th. There were quite a few sheep around because of the October storm and snow it had left behind. There was about 40 ewes and 20 rams but no good ones in the main groups near camp, just a couple of barely legal ones.

I hiked further into the back country and in a big open bowl I came across a band of four solidly legal, older rams. I looked them over from about a 1/2 mile away but it was very windy and hard to get steady. I was still pretty sure none of them were really big.

I would have been thrilled to go after these rams in the Canmore bow zone nowadays but not on this hunt. I estimated that none were 180+, that was my benchmark this early in the hunt. They weren’t in an easy to get to spot either, they would have seen me coming, and would have had to hold their ground for me to get up on them. There was no ewes with them so that might not have happened. I went back to camp.

On the morning of the 4th the wind was howling, the temps were warming up and the snow was melting off so I decided to hike out and go see my wife and kids and leave the next day for my outfitting camp, a 9 hour drive up north. That ended my first week of hunting, I had low expectations for that week anyway so I was happy.

From: DonVathome
04-Jan-24
Great story and great pics. Really rough terrain. Hiking over boulder fields is much harder then one would expect, and fear of bumping your bow is stressful too. Shifting rocks eat up your mental toughness as well as your energy.

On my best day I am a pansy compared to you! Inspirational!

From: passinthru
04-Jan-24
Amazing adventure so far!

Thank you for sharing this.

From: Bou'bound
04-Jan-24
"They like to stand around and kick each other in the nuts and occasionally butt heads."

So you're saying bighorn sheep and bowsiters have something in common.

Keep it coming. This is awesome.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
04-Jan-24
All caught up and ready for more! This thread is epic to say the least.

From: Catscratch
04-Jan-24
Amazing! I kind of hate you for making this take so long... and also love it! You've hooked me as well as any Stephen King novel! Excellent writing and story telling!

I was going to ask about the eagle also but t-roy beat me to it. Pretty cool that you can do that.

From: ahawkeye
04-Jan-24
So is there a big reaction from the offended party when they kick each other in the nuts? Like if we get kicked in the nuts it usually takes 5 minutes of controlled breathing to get back to normal.

04-Jan-24
ahawkeye, the rams have these big hanging balls, the sack looks as big as your fist and they kick each other repeatedly in them with very little reaction. It will go on for hours, over and over again without a ewe in sight. And they mount each other, kick each other out of their beds, lick the other rams horns, head and neck, and of course butt heads. They seek each other out for at least the first 2 weeks in November and do all of it, over and over. It’s interesting to watch.

From: Bowfreak
04-Jan-24
If you kick me in the nuts repeatedly I'm going to be ready to butt heads too. :)

From: Kurt
04-Jan-24
I remember stalking a ram in CO I called Nut Kicker. Big chocolate ram the used his buddies balls as a punching bag. I think their scrotum is so large because it is perpetually swelled up from being kicked. And of course their brains are scrambled from head butting so they don’t even feel the kicks to the balls!

Mike, great story! Thanks!!!

From: scentman
04-Jan-24
What a great thread, thank you.

From: TXCO
04-Jan-24
Every time I refresh this thread over the last two weeks to read and hopefully see a giant sheep without the conclusion feels like a kick in the nuts!

But seriously, what an amazing 40 year run! So many cool stories and I can wait to hear the end!

From: bowhunt
04-Jan-24
This journey could make a fantastic book

Thanks for taking the time to share all of this!

From: Catscratch
04-Jan-24
So are sheep not huntable when they are in the trees? It seems that is a common theme that they need to move into the snowy mountains to have a chance at them.

04-Jan-24
They are very huntable in the trees.....if you can find them I hunted sheep in the trees this past season and came close twice. Really liked the cover and style but they just can be hard to spot or find back from a long distance away

04-Jan-24
Catscratch, it’s more of not being able to spot them from a distance and know where to go. I’ve even tried still hunting through the top 100-200 yds of the trees where they are likely to bed, with the wind in my favour, quiet as possible and it’s very rare to sneak up on them, usually just come across an empty bed. They are very nervous, in or near trees. If there is an open boulder slide or something where they can see you from a bit of a distance they will often just stand there looking at you though. Plus the wind is often shifty in the trees. Dall Sheep were the same way, I hated when they went down into the trees, near unkillable with a bow especially. It also depends on how thick it is in the trees, ours are really crowded together as soon as you get off the grass.

From: Catscratch
04-Jan-24
Thanks for the explanation guys.

05-Jan-24
Rams in the trees.... Several years ago in late October I jumped a couple of bruiser rams in the trees right at the lower right edge of Mike's baseball cap ( in the fall pic of the fall/winter pics with his daughter). Those beasts ran through nearly three feet of snow up to the scree slope, across the near side of the cliffs then over to the north side of Wind mountain. ...

Not only is it tough to find rams in the trees, or get close to them, then there is the challenge to make sure they are legal, even when obviously Big.

Thanks for the great thread. Your story is captivating, and seeing these old stomping grounds makes me regret getting older than the average sheephunter. :)

From: Treeline
05-Jan-24
Have had similar issues in the trees with mule deer. They are stalkable in the open or willows above treeline but damn near impossible in the trees!

05-Jan-24
Don't worry Mike I only check this 10x per day so no rush

05-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Back to my story. On November 8th I got a new group of hunters settled into my lodge with my guides and cook and everyone wished me good luck again. I’m so fortunate! I left the next morning at 6 am on November 9th and drove straight to the trail head, a 9 hr drive. I had to get serious, no wifey dinner, hotel stays, they were making me weak! Haha

9 hr drive, 20 min prep in parking lot and then about a 3 hour hike up the mountain, most of it in the dark. I was bringing my crucial gear up and down the mountain in case a grizzly destroyed the camp, they can be out well into November. Camp was good when I got there, it wasn’t too bad to hike up compared to the last time because the snow was melting off. This was not good for the hunting though. It would cause the sheep to disperse all over.

05-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The brown bowl with not many sheep, not good.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The brown bowl with not many sheep, not good.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My spotting nest, good binocs and spotter with a crappy tripod. Need an upgrade on it.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My spotting nest, good binocs and spotter with a crappy tripod. Need an upgrade on it.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Some ewes through my spotter.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Some ewes through my spotter.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The maybe legal young ram.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The maybe legal young ram.
The next morning I glassed the now brown cliff face. Last week there was about 60 sheep, now there was less than 20 with one questionably legal ram in the bunch. High wind and daytime highs above freezing were forecast for the next few days. It was not looking good, if there was no rams in the main bowl, where they were supposed to be, where everyone said they would be, then I had no choice but to hike up high, onto the exposed ridges, in the stupid wind and see what I could find but not be able to shoot at in the wind.

I would need to climb to the very top of the mountain and look down the other side, into other drainages. I didn’t know if hiking to the top in the high wind was even possible. Winds of over 100 miles an hour have been recorded at the weather station on the top. Hiking through the sketchy cliffs in wind that makes you stumble around is a risky venture.

But no new sheep would show up in the protected bowl without more snow and cold like it was supposed to be, I was getting a bit frustrated but I reminded my self that the last two weeks would be the best. The big bowl in front of me should be packed full of 150-200 sheep with dozens of rams, I couldn’t wait but I would do some searching, hiking in the meantime, Nov 10, 11 and 12. I remained hopeful, soldiered on and did my best to enjoy my solo hunting adventure.

From: Tony
05-Jan-24
This has been such an awesome thread to follow. Keep it coming

From: JDM
05-Jan-24
I enjoy this write-up. Great story - but maybe it should be titled "40 year quest to read about a 40 year quest". The guy knows how to drag it out and keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

From: Ambush
05-Jan-24
I like it just the way it’s coming! Like sitting g around the fire pit after season and listening to unhurried tales.

I’ve hiked and hunted some of those areas in the 1970’s. But without Mike’s grit or success.

Mike, did you ever hunt from the Spray Lake side?

05-Jan-24
The Spray Lakes side comes into the story later but a lot of that area was lost to the newly created Provincial Park.

From: njbuck
05-Jan-24
Great write up, keep it coming!

Out of curiosity, what is the reasoning as to why Alberta has determined to make a ram legal to take based on length of horn as opposed to age. It seems to me that plenty of young but genetically gifted rams would get killed and old double broomed rams would be off limits.

From: MathewsMan
05-Jan-24
Thanks this is taking me back to the late 90’s when I probably was addicted to Bowsite and looked at it even while at work back then… I‘ve only hunted bighorn rams 3 times in Colorado and taken a small ram, but have been inside 100’s of times on sheep and Dall Rams in rifle range but just couldn’t find it in me to take one unless I poked an arrow through it.

05-Jan-24
njbuck, age would be the best way to manage sheep for sure! But it’s difficult to determine on Bighorn sheep, especially exactly to the final year. I’ve seen biologists, and guides argue the age with a set of sheep horns right in front of them. It’s much easier on thin horn sheep, Dall’s and Stone’s.

From: Treeline
05-Jan-24
Have had similar issues in the trees with mule deer. They are stalkable in the open or willows above treeline but damn near impossible in the trees!

From: Catscratch
05-Jan-24

Catscratch's embedded Photo
Catscratch's embedded Photo
My boys suited up and hiked the half mile to the neighbors house earlier today. I'm feeling like they've got "grit" like demonstrated on this thread... lol, NOT! I think most people couldn't survive the grit demonstrated on this thread! Keep it coming!

From: deerhunter72
05-Jan-24
I keep checking this thread thinking we have gotten to the end, but still not there! Anticipation is a great thing;)

From: ahawkeye
05-Jan-24
Love this thread, love the pace as well.

From: Jeff Holchin
05-Jan-24
Re: nutsack kicking……I got to spend a week in the Missouri Breaks of MT during the sheep rut with a ewe tag and my recurve. The highlight was spending an afternoon very close to a group of rams with several big boys in the group. I couldn’t stop laughing every time another ram would wait until two combatants had rammed/dazed each other for a few seconds, then come up from behind and bust a nutsack……

From: ahawkeye
05-Jan-24
Sounds like a bunch of teenagers!

05-Jan-24
Back to the story:

On my November 10 to 12 sheep hunting adventure I ran into the local outfitter Jonas Guinn and one of the lucky 408 tag holders, Cal. They had a wall tent camp flown in by helicopter. Hiking along with them was another tag holder Travis who was after a ram with his longbow! An admirable pursuit. He had hiked up in the early morning from the trailhead and ran into Jonas and crew and joined them for the hike to top of the big bowl.

We all chatted on the mountain in the wind and cold but it was great to get to find out who at least two of the other sheep hunters were. Travis said he was a just after a legal ram and Cal said he would shoot whatever Jonas told him to shoot. (Jonas runs sheep hunts in the Canmore bow zone with his dad, famed outfitter Rick Guinn so Jonas really knows his stuff, he’s an expert sheep guide.)

We finally parted ways and I made a failed attempt to the peak of Mt Allan, it was just too damn windy! None of us had seen any big rams other than the group of four I had seen the week before, which I forgot to mention. I agreed to help them fill their tags if I spotted any rams I didn’t want to kill. We traded phone numbers. My 3 day adventure ended and I hiked off the mountain and the next day after a night at home with the wife and kids I drove the 9 hours back to my lodge.

05-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Cal’s ram
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Cal’s ram
On Nov 16th I got a text from Jonas saying Cal had tagged out a great ram in the cliffs across from my camp while I was gone. A 177-179 gross score beast. I was a bit jealous and hoped it wasn’t bigger than any ram I would see. I probably would have shot it if given the chance. But I had lots of days left to get it done, I wasn’t too concerned.

From: Treeline
05-Jan-24
Hell of a ram for sure! Congratulations, Cal!

From: Treeline
05-Jan-24
Although, I gotta root hard for Travis… Might be a kindred soul with that longbow in hand…

From: Quinn @work
06-Jan-24
Thanks for sharing your hunts. It takes a special kind of person to do all that vertical, in snow, cold and wind to bow hunt a sheep or any other animal. My hats off to you.

Not sure I'd have that in me year after year. Your persistence is amazing.

From: Medicinemann
06-Jan-24
Mike, As I sit here looking at the great ram that Cal shot, I was wondering if they told you how old it was ?

06-Jan-24
He didn’t say how old it was. I think it’s 9 1/2 though

06-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Tent was all good!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Tent was all good!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Glassing the cliffs
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Glassing the cliffs
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Hiking for the peak! Well, not that peak, the one beside it to the right just out of the picture frame…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Hiking for the peak! Well, not that peak, the one beside it to the right just out of the picture frame…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Made it to the top! This should all be snow covered at this time of the year but it wasn’t so there were small groups of sheep scattered around but still no big rams.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Made it to the top! This should all be snow covered at this time of the year but it wasn’t so there were small groups of sheep scattered around but still no big rams.
And back to the story:

And I know this damn story is taking a long time but just be thankful you weren’t dragged along for the whole thing! Haha.

I knew it was probably my once in a lifetime chance for a big ram and I wasn’t going to leave anything on the table. I wanted to know I had done everything I could do get my big ole sheep!

So on Nov 16 I welcomed my new group of hunters into my lodge up north and then the next day headed back south for my 9 hour drive to the trail head. I headed up the mountain in the last hour of light on Nov 17th and made it up to camp in about 2 1/2 hours and camp was all in order. Yippee!

It was a nice, calm night so I was able to get a good nights sleep and be glassing the cliffs first thing in the morning on the 18th. At this point in November there was supposed to be tons of sheep, some guys who had done the hunt before me said they had 150-170 sheep in the main bowl with 40-50 rams. They would be just trying to figure out which was the biggest one to go after, but they would also be dealing with 2-3 feet of snow and sub zero F temps, along with high winds. I was ready for it, an Epic Adventure Hunt!

I had all of my cold weather gear ready to go, Arctic Sport Winter Muck boots I had packed up the mountain, extra socks, foot warmers, hand warmers, heavy duty face mask, Super Duper Pro Down jacket, two 0 F sleeping bags, everything!

But it definitely wasn’t that way for me. The weather was very mild for November 18th and there was only about a dozen sheep in the cliffs with the same barely legal ram from 2 weeks ago. It was finally a nice enough day though to go “bag the peak” as climbers like to say and take a look around from the top of Mt Allan at 10,000 ft elevation. It would give me a good look into some other drainages that the sheep had possibly dispersed into. At this point on the 18th I was getting concerned about my chance for success on a big ram.

06-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Fellow bowhunter Travis with his ram!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Fellow bowhunter Travis with his ram!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our text messages
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our text messages
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
His sheep was MASSIVE!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
His sheep was MASSIVE!
Treeline and the other stick and string enthusiasts will like this next part of the story.

On my way to the peak I ran into my longbow hunter buddy, Travis and a friend of his who I also knew, experienced sheep hunter Dan Jackson. They were scoping out a group of sheep with a good ram right below the peak. Travis said he had already got up on the ram but missed it, so the sheep spooked off into some rugged cliffs. He didn’t have his crampons on, or his trekking poles with him and it really was a sketchy area, so he backed out and they were hatching out a new plan. I took a quick look at the ram, a good one for sure, heavy but short and asked if they minded if I headed for the peak to have a look around. None of us thought it would bother the sheep so away I went and Travis committed to doing another stalk with crampons on his boots and armed with his long bow.

I got a good look around at the top and spotted three rams with some ewes way down in the valley to the north. It was too far to get to that evening and really too far to get to and back to my camp in one day. None of them looked huge but maybe big enough? A 35 inch long ram with 16 1/2 inch bases can be 180+ so it’s never good to quickly write off a sheep because he isn’t the classic full curl and 38 inches long. The rams were in some rocky, rugged terrain but I needed to find a big ram somewhere!

I was hiking back back down the mountain towards my camp in the last hour of light when my phone buzzed and I got a text, Ram down! I was super happy for him, he had busted his ass too and he did it with the added uncertainty of a longbow! Imagine a 190 ram at 50 yds and your longbow in hand, I couldn’t do it. Good for him, he earned it!!

06-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The peak I had just climbed on the right and Travis and Dan with headlamps, caping out the ram in the dark. A nasty hike back to camp for them.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The peak I had just climbed on the right and Travis and Dan with headlamps, caping out the ram in the dark. A nasty hike back to camp for them.
I ran into Dan on the way down and he was bringing their packs down to get the sheep. I wanted to help pack it out but I didn’t want to kill my legs for the next two days of hunting I had in front of me too. I felt bad but Dan was good about it and said they had all night and Travis had the next day or two to get it out too. He was all done and super happy, they didn’t want me to compromise my hunt. I sheepishly agreed and hiked back to my camp in the dark, through the cliffs. It was actually a very dark night and not easy to get back. Now imagine it with sheep meat on your back! Sorry Travis.

From: Treeline
06-Jan-24
Awesome! Glad Travis was able to connect on a great ram!

This is beyond epic!

From: Ambush
06-Jan-24
Maybe Mike won't mind me telling a Canmore story that has nothing to do with hunting, while he types up his next installment.

At twenty two years old, in 1976, I moved to Canmore from southern Ontario. It was way different then and just starting to develop into a bit more than an old coal mine town. The big cement mine plant that I worked at was fairly recent. There was still lots of old and older guys around from "the old days". A ton of fun for a guy like me to sit in the old bar in town and listen to their stories.

On summer evening, a friend of mine from work had just stepped out of the bar for some air. There was an older cowboy had just walked out with a sack of beer and he was a bit tipsy already. His name was Wampus Guint (I think) and a good story teller. There was a big wooden hydro pole right on the corner and it had lots of nails and stuff sticking out of it. Wampus had set his paper sack off beer down and had one out trying hard to rake the cap off on one the big nail heads while a young RCMP officer watched from the across the street. He was about my age and likely on his first posting.

When Wampus finally got the cap off and took a well earned drink, the officer walked quickly across the street and right up to Wampus. Drinking in public was not allowed.

The young cop stuck his hand out toward Wampus and said 'I'll take that". Wampus looked at him for about a second then reached into the sack, grabbed out a beer and thrust it toward him, while saying "To hell you will, you open your own goddam beer". When he didn't take it, Wampus just put it back in the sack and walked off. Unsure how to handle it, he just let him go. I got to know that officer a bit and he was a nice guy and likely became a pretty good cop.

There were some characters there then and I heard some great stories.

From: Quinn @work
07-Jan-24
Wow. Incredible ram for Travis with a stick bow and in those conditions! Did he really shoot it at 50 yards? Amazing.

From: Franzen
07-Jan-24
According to the text it was 25... don't want Mike to waste any of his energy that he doesn't have to. ;>)

07-Jan-24
Wow what a ram with a stick and string….

From: ahawkeye
07-Jan-24
What a ram gor any weapon, the things dreams are made of! This is all awesome, I love checking in and seeing new info on this hunt!

07-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My November 19 evening hike view. No sheep spotted but it was windy and hard to get steady and last light.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
My November 19 evening hike view. No sheep spotted but it was windy and hard to get steady and last light.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
November 20 hike start
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
November 20 hike start
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
3 hours of head down hoofing it to get out of the trees and into the crusted 2 feet of snow
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
3 hours of head down hoofing it to get out of the trees and into the crusted 2 feet of snow
Yes, 25 yd shot on Travis’s ram. I was just saying imagine having a 190 ram at 50 yds and all you have is a longbow in hand. I couldn’t do it, would want my compound but good for him. He got it done! His ram gross scored 175, netted 170ish. 34 by 31, with 16 3/8 and 16 bases. A great ram, I didn’t think it was that big from a distance.

Now back to my saga. After my big Nov 18 hike I had no good rams near my camp, few sheep actually which was very unusual for this time of the year. It didn’t help that at this point with the two archery kills of Cal and Travis, several rams had been killed in my area. Was there many left, especially with the low snow levels? Some sheep could easily still be in the high elevation park area? The sheep were so, so dispersed, it was really tough to locate them.

I decided that I needed to hike off the mountain and check out those three other rams I saw way north but come in from the south end. Cam Foss gave me the details on how best to get into that area and Jonas and Dan gave me a couple of other tips on places to check along the way. On November 19 I glassed the cliffs near camp in the morning, saw few sheep, cut some more firewood and hiked out to the truck. I drove for an hour, hoofed it up the mountain for two hours round trip to check out a spot, saw no sheep, hiked out and stayed at a hotel in Canmore. I avoided the bar so I didn’t run into Wampus Guint. Haha, but I was up early the next day for a big hike up to where I saw those three rams from a distance.

I was feeling fit so off I went at a good clip with my daily gear, including emergency stuff in case I had to stay overnight, about a 30 lb pack with my bow strapped on it. It was a well marked hiking trail but a long one that took me way in, a solid 3 hour nonstop hike to get out of treeline.

07-Jan-24
At about the 2 hour mark of the hike I heard some noise behind me on the trail, and I thought what the heck, who could catch up to me? I turned around and here was two climbers going to “bag the peak”, young guys with minimal gear for the day. We chatted, they thought it was cool what I was doing and off they went past me to climb the adjacent peak. I was headed for the back bowl and a different peak.

Then like I said, at the 3 hour mark I cleared out of the trees and got a good view around me. I could see them climbing the peak and I headed off a different way for another hour to check out a somewhat hidden ridge line with good grass where I was told I may find some sheep. Another hour got me over there with a better view of the back bowl below the climbers peak.

There wasn’t any sheep on the nearby grassy slopes but I spotted the three rams from the day before in the back bowl and one looked pretty big. I needed a closer look though. It was early afternoon and my legs were feeling pretty beat up at this point. I had to fight through 2-3 feet of wind crusted snow in the valley and then I lost the hiking trail on a steep sided slope in the trees, fell down a couple times, slid down the slope but I headed over to the rams anyway.

07-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I got close to the rams and took this crappy pic
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I got close to the rams and took this crappy pic
As I was moving towards the rams I would check on them every so often with my binoculars. They were about a mile away. I picked up my binocs once again and what the heck there was a person in the view and one of the rams?! A hunter?! Who? Where did he come from? Then another person appeared and I realized that it was the climbers. They had gone to the top and were now taking the ridge down into the back bowl, right on top of my sheep! The guys were hooting and hollering running down the scree slopes. The sheep scattered and ran into the nearby cliffs to watch them go by. I couldn’t believe it!

After the climbers hiked out the valley bottom I watched the sheep and I could see one of the rams just standing in the small cliffs looking around. He didn’t seem too bothered by it all. I figured the rest of the sheep, 2 more rams and some ewes were just hidden in the folds of the mountain. I continued my hike towards the sheep, shaking my head in disbelief, middle of nowhere and this happens!

08-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The biggest of the two rams finally had enough of me and moved away across the valley.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The biggest of the two rams finally had enough of me and moved away across the valley.
It took me about another hour to get close to the sheep. Once I got a clear view of them all I could see that there was only two rams, the biggest one had left the valley without me seeing him. I guess he didn’t like the climbers. The other two rams were legal, a smaller based tight curl ram, probably a 160 and then a high on the head, loopy curl one, very big bases but just barely legal. He might have been 170 if he had 16 1/2 inch bases, which he appeared to have.

I still didn’t want to shoot either one but I did want to test their tolerance to me in the open bowl, the dozen ewes didn’t care about me, they barely moved away when I approached but both rams wouldn’t let me get within 100 yds. The smaller one just walked in big circles avoiding me and the big base one left, walking up higher, out of the valley bottom. It was 4 pm by this time and it was dark by 5:30. I was a long ways from the truck and needed to get going.

I turned and hoofed it for the trail head. I didn’t have much water left though and the water I had was freezing up in my bottle, not good. It took me 3 hours of fast hiking to get back to the truck and my legs started cramping at the 2 hour mark, soon after I ran out of water. It sucked but I made it and told myself to bring more damn water next time! Quit trying to do all day hikes on a quart and half.

That was the end of my third, three day hunting stint. I headed for my southern Alberta home, visited the wife and kids for one night and drove back the next day to my lodge, another 9 hour drive. I would be back the next week for the final five days of the season. I was really, really hoping for some snow and cold to push the sheep down to the big cliffy bowl at my camp on the main mountain.

My sheep outfitter buddy Andre Van Hilten was going to help me out for the last 5 days. I enjoy the solo hunting but I knew he would be a real asset on my hunt. I couldn’t wait to be back!

From: Bou'bound
08-Jan-24
This is so excellent. Compelling. Riveting. Thanks for this thread.

From: Beav
08-Jan-24
I can't wait for this continue but will hate it when it ends!

From: Jeff Holchin
08-Jan-24
What an epic bowhunt! Take your time, we love the details and good pics. Good build-up to a great finish!

08-Jan-24
Mike is like my high school girlfriend...such a tease =) Totally agree Bou'bound

From: MathewsMan
08-Jan-24
I’ve had hikers, they had a dog that chased and busted rams out in extreme remote spots. My dad and I were in plain sight and I don’t think they were even aware of the sheep or us.

08-Jan-24
Beav: Not to worry, when this thread ends maybe we can get Mike to chronicle his goat hunts over the years and when he finishes that perhaps he’ll move on to his amazing Mulies. The only thing that slowed down his personal archery success was being a top shelf Outfitter. Carry on.

From: Pole Mtn
08-Jan-24
It's like back in the day when you had to wait for the next week to see your favorite TV show, but way better than any TV show.

08-Jan-24

Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo
Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo

From: Beav
08-Jan-24
I like your thinking Charlie!

08-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Me, Marc and Andre getting up the steep part. I had crampons for everyone.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Me, Marc and Andre getting up the steep part. I had crampons for everyone.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A cold, beautiful, calm day. One of the very few with no wind.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A cold, beautiful, calm day. One of the very few with no wind.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Camp was looking good with a few inches of snow on the tent.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Camp was looking good with a few inches of snow on the tent.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Marc had carefully packed up a delicious breakfast treat!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Marc had carefully packed up a delicious breakfast treat!
Haha guys, sorry, been busy, 3D shoot on the weekend and then collecting bear bait and driving it north!

Back to the story. So on November 25th I once again made the 9 hour drive south from my outfitting lodge to Canmore. One night in a hotel and I was back at the trailhead meeting not just Andre but also my other buddy Marc Nyrose. He too was in the top draw pool for the 408 tag so he wanted to come along and check things out for when he draws the tag, hopefully soon.

It had snowed a few inches since I was gone so I was hopeful that some more sheep had moved into the area near my main camp. I was told that at this time the last few years there has been 150-170 sheep with 40-50 rams, all stacked up in the basin, rutting away. We hiked up the mountain in the morning of November 26th excited to hopefully see the show of sheep. It was an absolutely beautiful day, calm, sunny but a bit cold, about -14 C/6 F. We made it to the camp in an unhurried 3 hrs. We had several days ahead of us and I didn’t want to kill our legs.

08-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
So pretty with all the snow! 6 F/-14 C
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
So pretty with all the snow! 6 F/-14 C
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The moonlit night! I took this picture 3 hours after sunset with my phone, no filter. An amazing scene
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The moonlit night! I took this picture 3 hours after sunset with my phone, no filter. An amazing scene
Once we made it to camp and had some of Marc’s sweet breakfast we had a look around at the rutting cliffs and above on the open slopes. The best part was the croissant breakfast because there wasn’t too many sheep around, it just wasn’t enough snow to push them in, just the one barely legal ram in the cliffs and two other borderline legal ones above it.

I was bummed but Andre couldn’t believe how mellow they were. He’s used to hunting sheep in the Wilmore Wilderness and he said that you don’t dare skyline yourself like we were doing or they are gone! Not like these sheep, they didn’t care, but with no good rams around it didn’t matter.

We spent the afternoon hiking to the top of the bowl and having a good look around. No rams up higher either, just a few ewes. It was a truly a beautiful, calm day but disappointing for sure. We hiked back to camp, Marc thanked me for showing him around and he hiked out on his own, leaving Andre and I with some of his extra down clothes in case it got even colder. We weren’t sure we had enough and we could always leave them in camp.

That evening on the bright moonlit night in the Kifaru tent, with a wood stove keeping us warm I reached out to several of my other sheep hunter friends on advice on where else to go? Low percentage areas or anything? Lucky we had good cell service. Cam Foss told me that he had hiked into Windridge, the secondary rutting area, the day before, right after the snow storm and he had seen about 75 sheep and 3 good rams, with one that he figured was close to 170, maybe bigger.

I know I was being greedy but I really wanted something for sure bigger than 170, something close to 180 preferably and told him so. He understood and gave me a couple tips on where else to possibly look. I wouldn’t see many sheep concentrated in any other area though, I knew that. The sheep on Windridge were probably already dispersing too.

I even found out who the two other guys were that had also drawn the 408 tag. They had been day hunting Windridge for all of November off and on, the same general area where Cam had seen the sheep. I got one of the guys phone numbers and chatted to him about it. Told him I didn’t want to interfere in his hunt in that area. He said it was no problem, he hadn’t seen any good rams anyway if I was after a big one, but he admitted he wasn’t an experienced sheep hunter either. He said he had 15 days of hunting under his belt, he was worn out and ready to call it quits. One more day of hunting Windridge and he was heading home with no ram kill. He had also seen the other hunter a couple of times struggling to make it up the mountain, falling quite a few times, so probably not an experienced, fit hunter either.

It didn’t make me want to run over to Windy and check it out, maybe I should just stay put and wait for the sheep to come to me, I thought? I was camped in the Golden Ticket area. At least that’s what everyone had told me. They will be there, 100 or more sheep, right in front of your camp! They weren’t.

I decided Andre and I would do a big hike the next day, glass the cliffs at first light then hike way north, all the way to the peak of Mt Allan at 10,000 ft elevation and go further north, dropping way down the other side, really do a big search day. Andre was up for whatever. I was so glad I had him along for the hunt!

From: Bow Bullet
09-Jan-24
Mike, I'm curious, what is the distance and elevation gain from the trailhead to your main camp?

09-Jan-24
Bow Bullet, thanks for asking. I had no clue but figured it out from my waypoints, 2119 m/6952 ft at the camp, 1440 m/4724 ft at the trailhead. So a 2228 foot elevation gain. 5.42 km/3.67 miles.

I have no idea if that’s a lot? I never watch this kind of thing. I could do it in 2 hours with a small day pack with no snow. 3 hours with a 65 lb pack in 10 inches of snow, 2/3rds of it was a steep uphill with no trail. But I’m getting to be an old man, 56 yrs old so cut me some slack if those are some wimpy numbers

09-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our view on Nov 27th, 8:00 am, very little snow, not a lot of sheep, no big ones.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Our view on Nov 27th, 8:00 am, very little snow, not a lot of sheep, no big ones.
On November 27th with 4 days left in the season, we glassed the main rutting cliffs. There was only about 30-40 sheep with 3-4 legal rams, the best one being a double broomed, probably 33 inch long, average bases, so 160 class we were guessing? 170+ if big based, it’s always hard to tell. Not what I wanted so we went back to camp, put together our stuff for a big day hike, extra clothes, food, 2 quarts of water this time, along with salted Gatorade to prevent leg cramps and off we went for a big hike. The wind was blowing a bit but not too bad, I could still shoot my bow in it.

From: Treeline
09-Jan-24
Double post

09-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It was laughable how windy it got! Impossible to shoot a bow. I couldn’t have shot a sheep at 10 feet.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It was laughable how windy it got! Impossible to shoot a bow. I couldn’t have shot a sheep at 10 feet.
The light wind didn’t last long and we had to pile on the clothes while we headed for the peak. We could see a few scattered groups of sheep on our way up but no legal rams. The wind picked up and was probably blowing 50-60 miles an hour when we got to the top. It would be impossible to shoot my bow but we wanted to see what was on the other side, check the back basins and bit of grassy slopes.

09-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Andre on top. He looks like a moon explorer, not a sheep guide.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Andre on top. He looks like a moon explorer, not a sheep guide.
We hiked way down the other side, dropping probably 1000 feet in elevation, but no more sheep were to be seen. The wind really was ridiculously strong, we turned around and headed back to the camp in the fading daylight. We had to climb back over the peak, and down the other side, lots of terrain to negotiate before we got back to our tent.

09-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We ran into a decent ram, I maybe should have shot him?
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
We ran into a decent ram, I maybe should have shot him?
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Walking out of my life…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Walking out of my life…
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Bye, bye…unless you have time to really look a ram over, compare his body size to other rams, it is tough to figure out how big he really is too. I didn’t want to make a mistake.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Bye, bye…unless you have time to really look a ram over, compare his body size to other rams, it is tough to figure out how big he really is too. I didn’t want to make a mistake.
The wind slowed down a bit once we were going down the other side and I looked up to see a ram headed our way right up the same trail we were on! It appeared to be the same double broomer from the cliffs. He was on a mission to get to the top, and walk right past us. I looked him over and just couldn’t commit to killing him. The wind was calm enough in that spot to possibly make the shot, but he didn’t excite me so I let him pass at 40 yds. (He went behind some rocks at one point and I tried trotting down the hill to close the distance, caught my crampon on my other foot and almost went tumbling down the mountain! That would have hurt. I barely caught myself while Andre was filming and laughing at me. That’s what buddies are for! Haha)

We kept hiking and the wind picked up as it got dark. Andre lost his glassing butt pad and his warm winter glove in the wind. We stumbled back, through the shale slopes and cliffs to our camp arriving two hours after dark. I was a bit deflated, not knowing what the heck our next move was going to be? Stay or go…my 11th day of hunting was over, three days left to hunt.

From: Treeline
09-Jan-24
You’re sure taking it to the wire on this hunt! Definitely showing fortitude, commitment, and persistence!

From: ahawkeye
09-Jan-24
Very true that you don't have anything to compare it to but it would be hard to pass up that ram. He looks pretty nice from where I'm sitting and I'm not on a mountain with freezing temps and 100 MPH winds! This is gonna be good!

From: APauls
09-Jan-24
Dang Mike - you write at the speed of Canada Post!! Let's Fedex this Baby!!!

From: swp
09-Jan-24
Down to the wire now. It's been a great read so far.

From: fuzzy
09-Jan-24
Following in awe

From: Insheart
09-Jan-24
Wow, just flippen WOW! Keep it coming.

From: sitO
09-Jan-24
Books get written about experiences like these, appreciate you sharing it here first!

From: btnbuck
09-Jan-24
I have no intention of ever hunting sheep, but this story is awesome to read and see! (the pictures are great) Talk about cliff hangars. LOL Waiting to see how this ends. What an adventure. Anyone looking for a hunt with your operation is lucky as you "walk the walk, as well as talk the talk" (Typing seems a little bit slow though. ;-)

From: Bow Bullet
09-Jan-24
That's making good time for doing that hike with a 65 lb pack, off trail, and through the snow, Mike. Great story, looking forward to the rest of the adventure.

From: BigStriper1
09-Jan-24
Mike, I’m loving the story of your years of adventures. It would be a dream hunt, something I never could afford or would attempt. Really loved the part of Travis getting his Ram with a Longbow as that’s what I shoot, got to be a lot tougher than a compound. Anyway it’s been a great read and you can take all the time you need. Because when it’s over, it’s over. Thanks for you taking your time to recap this for us. Kurt

10-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Andre and I pulling out the camp.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Andre and I pulling out the camp.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Head pack mule!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Head pack mule!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Snow free slopes on the way out
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Snow free slopes on the way out
Thanks for everyone’s interest and patience!

Back to the story.

After we arrived in camp in the evening of Nov 27th I once again reached out to my sheep friends on where to look. They couldn’t believe I didn’t have the sheep and rams right in front of my camp. Jonas Guinn said last year he had about 170 sheep and 45 rams in the big bowl but 28 inches of snow had fallen in one night on top of a foot of snow and temps were hitting O F or colder.

We mulled over the suggestions and decided that we would glass the cliffs in the morning and then if nothing was there we would pull out the camp and hike back to the trailhead, get in our truck and check out some oddball spots, see if we could find sheep somewhere else.

In the morning there was certainly less snow from the sun and wind the last couple of days and there was even less sheep. There was about 40 sheep in total but all ewes, lambs and young rams, only one squeaker legal one. We packed up camp and because of all the trips up and down, bringing stuff up, we could barely fit it all in our packs to bring back down! Thank goodness I had Andre as a fellow pack mule. With our 80+ lb packs we headed off the mountain. It was hard to take down that camp and give up on what was supposed to be the best spot but I wasn’t going to sit around and hope rams came to me. You would think even with just 20+ ewes that would be enough to draw in some older rams but it wasn’t, it was very disappointing.

10-Jan-24
We got back to the truck and went for a drive. We went to the Spray Lakes side and searched from the truck for the afternoon and evening, glassing and glassing, searching for sheep of course but also just for sheep tracks. There was enough snow in this higher elevation area to show where sheep had been. We found just two small rams cruising on their own and a few sets of tracks. Nothing looked good enough to get us to do a hike. We could hike back into a valley but we had been given about five different choices by friends, all possibilities but we were really running out of time. I told Andre I would go after any solidly legal older ram. I really didn’t want to go home without one.

The day ended with nothing to go after and me losing hope. We stayed the night in Canmore and planned to get up early and glass the Spray Lakes road again in the morning and then maybe do a hike to get a long range look at the slopes of Windridge. It seemed like our best choice. We had two hunting days left. I went to bed but didn’t sleep much mulling over what the heck we should do, where should we go?!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-24
I was betting you'd sit tight and be patient. If I were in your shoes, I'd have pulled camp and gone a-lookin' too! But, I figured you were older and wiser than me, so you'd just be patient. Now it sounds like you are in a hurried effort to find a needle in a haystack! Hoping you'll find "the one" to chase in the 11th hour of the hunt.

From: Treeline
10-Jan-24
Man! If this doesn’t grab you with the highs and lows, nothing will! Love that commitment and persistence!

10-Jan-24
In the morning of November 29th with our two days of hunting left and no good prospects on where to go we glassed from the highway. We saw one ewe and a lamb licking salt in the parking lot of one of the hiking trailheads, that was it! We were still planning on doing a hike to get a long range look at the grassy slopes of Windridge.

Just before we went on the hike, I thought about Windridge some more. It of course is a well known, rutting and wintering area and some 408 archery rams have been killed there. Cam had seen about 75 sheep on Windy with three good, but not huge, rams but that was right after the small snow storm on Nov 24th. Surely the sheep had spread out to who knows where? Plus the other two hunters had been hunting Windy almost daily all month and they hadn’t found a legal ram.

Now that didn’t make sense, how could Cam have seen three older rams and them none? Another friend of mine had the 408 tag a few years ago and he said that he checked out Windy one day the last week of the season and he only saw 30 sheep and a couple small rams too though.

It all didn’t add up, screw doing a long range look, let’s just hike the whole thing in one big 10 mile, all day hiking loop, I told Andre, put it to rest as a possibility. Get a close up look at everything, then if it didn’t pan out I had a huge 12 mile hike in mind for the last day. It was going to be a do or die hike!

10-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The slopes of Windridge.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The slopes of Windridge.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A happy Andre with his million dollar tripod!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
A happy Andre with his million dollar tripod!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It was such a beautiful, calm day. Maybe meant to be…?
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
It was such a beautiful, calm day. Maybe meant to be…?
Beginning at 11 am on November 29th we did a brutal 45 minute hike to get our first look at the grassy slopes of Windy. Just kidding, it was a fast paced, but easy hike on a cold beautiful, calm morning. We threw up our binocs and, “sheep, rams too, two good ones!” Andre busted out his tripod, because mine is a piece of crap apparently, at least that’s what Andre told me. Sheep outfitters have all the money to buy the good gear.

He got out his spotter and they were certainly two big rams, with about a dozen ewes and lambs. The one ram was only an inch past legal but broomed off heavy. The other one was a full curl beauty! Maybe not as heavy, but broomed off too and so majestically, classic full curl. He was hot on a ewe and seemed like the dominant ram, the other one was keeping his distance.

We both couldn’t believe it, after all the tromping around the country and here are two great rams in our spotter less than an hour from the trail head. We were probably the only ones checking them out too. It was very exciting!

From: Bou'bound
10-Jan-24
You ain’t dyin’

From: VAMtns
10-Jan-24
It's ON , Fantastic

From: wooddamon1
10-Jan-24
Incredible stories, thanks for sharing!

From: Dutch
10-Jan-24
Mike I understand we're getting to crunch time but when you get a chance could you elaborate a bit on gear you used, boots, sleeping bag, cot perhaps etc.... would be much appreciated , as I am one of the guys in the top pool, 21 yrs next draw period. Thanks a bunch, fabulous story !!!

From: JohnMC
10-Jan-24
Mike you're grounded. You are not to get up from your computer until you finish the story :)

From: APauls
10-Jan-24
"It was very exciting!" Understatement of this century.... LOVE IT!

From: ahawkeye
10-Jan-24
I'm chuckling right now because my wife got mad at how often I was checking on this thread over the weekend. She'll be glad when this story wraps up but I'll be wishing for more adventures to read about!

From: Bowfreak
10-Jan-24

Bowfreak's embedded Photo
Bowfreak's embedded Photo
This is Bowsite collectively. :)

10-Jan-24
Oh boy!!!

From: Tony
10-Jan-24
You seriously going to walk away right now and go about your day? Your killing all of us. Love these updates

10-Jan-24
Pat saw the traffic and click spikes so instead of ads he's paying Mike to slow play it =) Well played sir

From: Bowaddict
10-Jan-24
This could get us to spring turkey!! Love the thread Mike!

From: Helgermite
10-Jan-24
Outstanding thread! The beauty of this country is absolutely breath taking! Mike your photos are fantastic. When you're ready, I would like to hear about your camera gear. And you certainly seem to take the time for photos when appropriate. This is something I find difficult. Either I'm wasting too much time taking photos that are rarely viewed again or I miss taking the one's I should have. I would also like to hear your thoughts on taking the time for all the photos during your hunt.

From: Bowaddict
10-Jan-24
This could get us to spring turkey!! Love the thread Mike!

From: Insheart
10-Jan-24
That old saying, "press as hard on the last day as the first" sure rings true on this (these) past hunts of yours!

From: Tilzbow
10-Jan-24
Best Bowsite thread in years, top five ever for sure, but the title should be changed to

“ 40 Year Quest for a Big One! That’ll take 40 days to tell!!! “ LOL!

From: Arcobsessed
10-Jan-24
You are an excellent writer, my friend.

From: Z Barebow
10-Jan-24
An epic hunt, epic story and epic story teller!

Thank god November doesn’t have 31 days. I am not sure I could wait that long to find out the ending.

11-Jan-24
^^^ x2!!! The suspense is killing me!

From: njbuck
11-Jan-24
Amazing thread! Thos mis 160's rams will be 180 class rams by the time this story is told!!

From: APauls
11-Jan-24
I've heard that when you attend Mike's mule deer camps he starts a story on day one and if you kill and leave early you won't hear the end of it! lol

From: Bou'bound
11-Jan-24
I’m on a 40 Year Quest for a Big One story conclusion

From: xtroutx
11-Jan-24
Still checking.

From: brettpsu
11-Jan-24
I think Mike needs his nuts kicked for this torture

From: Treeline
11-Jan-24
Well dang! Was hoping for at least a few more posts!

Looking forward to the finale, Mike!

11-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The 2nd group of sheep in the back of valley, with a couple of good rams!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The 2nd group of sheep in the back of valley, with a couple of good rams!
Hahahaha, love the comments! Bowsite comedy

Back to the story.

So what do you do after you finally find two big rams on the 13th day of hunting? Run up there and shoot one? Heck no!

You see if there are any bigger ones around of course. We looked way further into the valley and spotted some more sheep, Andre looked them over with a spotter and could only see a couple of non legal rams in the group but it seemed like some were hidden behind a hill. We decided that we would go check them out which would put us toward the back end of the valley and the end of the grass slopes. We would also get a look at the rocky back bowl, see if there was anything over there too. Why not? We had an afternoon to hunt and even one more day, lots of time. Then we could work our way back towards the beginning of the valley and intercept the two big rams if there was nothing bigger in this other group. The two big rams looked pretty intent on the ewes and seemed like they would stay put. Just like a whitetail if a ram can isolate a hot ewe away from other rams he will or a ewe will go into cliffs to escape harassment until she is ready. You never know where you will see more sheep.

We hiked the treed valley bottom till we got to a small, open meadow, 1000+ yards directly below the other group of sheep. Andre looked them over some more while I got my bow off my pack and shot a judo point a few times at a stump. It hits almost exactly the same spot as my broadheads at 40 yards. I was bang on and ready to go!

Andre still couldn’t see a legal ram in this group though. We would climb higher towards them, get a look at the back end of the valley and a closer look at these sheep. We hiked up through the trees and finally broke out into the open with a view of the sheep, 400 yds away.

I said to Andre, “no matter what’s in the group let’s test their tolerance to us.” Unless you can stay completely hidden there is no point in being sneaky around sheep, at any time of the year. They have such good eyesight and something hiding behind trees, sneaking around, could be a hungry cougar, wolf or grizzly bear. If you can’t stay hidden, get out in the open. Some sheep though, even just ewes can be very spooky and won’t let you get close, especially if they’ve been recently shot at or stalked up on too many times. (Two of the other rams on November 20th that I posted about on Jan 8 would not let me get within 100 yards.) Other sheep are very tolerant to people, especially if they’ve been conditioned by harmless hikers. We had seen some hikers on the top of the mountain in their bright colors, walking the ridgeline and with the almost snow free November and warmer than normal temperatures there were more non-hunting hikers and climbers out the past month than normal.

We were betting these sheep were not going to be spooky. I was really hoping I could keep my shot distance under 50 yds, hopefully under 40. I couldn’t believe that I was even thinking about actually getting a shot after almost 2 weeks of hunting, never taking my bow off my pack. We moved towards the sheep and they spotted us so we just stood there in plain sight, they didn’t seem to care so we slowly moved closer and closer. At 150 yds we could see there was two solidly legal rams in the group! But how big, big enough? We moved closer, to less than 100 yds and both rams looked good! We kept glancing back and forth at each other grinning like idiots. 100, then 80, 70, 60, they didn’t care! Andre and I got side by side to discuss the size of the two rams, an 8 1/2 yr old and a 9 1/2 yr old was Andre’s expert age evaluation, plenty old enough, at least. Incredible, we both thought and said out loud about 50 times.

From: Treeline
11-Jan-24
Refresh, refresh, refresh!

Certainly keeping me from getting anything done!

11-Jan-24

Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo
Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
11-Jan-24
Personally I'm glad to see this thread is still going strong. Bow season wrapped up in Iowa yesterday so I just got caught back up today. Leaving for Coues deer next Friday, will I know the ending before or have something to look forward to after?! Either way is going to be fine with me!!

From: Bake
11-Jan-24
This is awesome and I am enjoying it! I appreciate the fact that you're taking the time to do this writeup. I know it takes some time to put the story together with pictures and I appreciate it.

From: Insheart
11-Jan-24
Holy crap Mike, you are so nonchalant about only having 1 day left - and with a bow non-the-less. Man I would be a jumble of nervous jelly.

From: Ambush
11-Jan-24
I was going to tell another "Old Days" Canmore story, but with only a day and a half left to hunt, I'm sure Mike will have this wrapped up in a week or two anyway.

From: RonP
11-Jan-24
i'm getting out ahead of this and guessing 183 1/8

From: Bou'bound
11-Jan-24
“Holy crap Mike, you are so nonchalant about only having 1 day left - and with a bow non-the-less. Man I would be a jumble of nervous jelly.”

Remember he knows how the movie ends why be nervous.

From: xtroutx
11-Jan-24
182 even

From: 12yards
11-Jan-24

12yards's Link

From: JB
11-Jan-24
This has been and continues to be at the top of all Bowsite threads! Great storytelling and pictures!! I want to see the finale but don't want it to end!!!

From: bohuntr
11-Jan-24
Absolutely incredible thread! Like everyone else I can't wait for the conclusion.

From: Scoot
11-Jan-24
Mike U. = Devil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C'mon Devil-boy, spill the tea! I'm thinking the 9 YO is 181 3/8, but Mike sails five consecutive arrows over its back at 25 yards. Well, it would serve him right for keeping us in suspense like this! :)

11-Jan-24
I love it!!

From: Ambush
11-Jan-24

Ambush's embedded Photo
Ambush's embedded Photo
Mike, is Deadman’s Flats just out of sight behind and below the lowest grassy knob in this pic?

From: APauls
11-Jan-24
What's the over/under on whether the hunt or the writeup takes longer? I'm curious as to how many more days before he threads an arrow through a giant?!

From: JohnMC
11-Jan-24
I am just hoping longevity runs in Mike's family. I'd be sad if Mike kicks the bucket and I don't get the ending. ;)

From: JDM
11-Jan-24
I enjoy this write-up. Great story - but maybe it should be titled "40 year quest to read about a 40 year quest". The guy knows how to drag it out and keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

11-Jan-24
"is Deadman’s Flats just out of sight behind and below the lowest grassy knob in this pic?"

To prevent you from seeing a groundhog's shadow before an answer.

The sheephunter in me will just say, No. If 40 means anything to you, that is the answer.

He did post photos on Jan 9 that shows Deadman's Flats in the distance.

I've been to all the bowls and ridges shown in the photos, looking for rams. I wonder if this awesome thread and photos will blown up the area to increased hunting pressure in coming years.... Lots of hard earned and sparsely shared "secrets" have been given out. I remember spending time with a terminally ill sheep hunter, driving around these mountains, taking him here for one last look at a place he loved, one last cast in Spray. He had killed four big rams in this area, and despite literally being on his death bed, would choke and mumble while telling me exactly how and when to be where. It killed him to give out any info. :)

11-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Here is both rams.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Here is both rams.
How big? Score? Length? Bases?

Walking buffalo, you have to draw the 408 tag to hunt these places in November when there is actually sheep in them. There is only 2-5 tags and I’ll gladly help those guys get a once in a lifetime archery ram. Or you can go with a rifle in September or October when there is virtually no rams, they are all back in the park, or very few at least, scattered around in odd spots. The area already has endless rifle hunting pressure from Calgary. I really don’t think I’m giving up any big secrets. It’s not like the old days were you had to figure out the trails. Now, these are all major hiking trails, very detailed out, on an app for Kananaskis country.

From: Ron Niziolek
11-Jan-24
I think here in Wyoming, with 15” bases, I’m guessing 165 and 175

11-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram on the left
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram on the left
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram on the right
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
The ram on the right

From: Bowfreak
11-Jan-24
I know so little about sheep that I wouldn't have a clue which ram is larger. The one on the right would have been my original guess but I have no clue. He seems to have longer horns but maybe it is only because his curl seems much tighter. I have no idea. Interested to see how this plays out and hoping to learn a little something about trophy rams too.

11-Jan-24
What the !!!!

From: Grey Ghost
11-Jan-24
I'm no expert, but the ram on the left, in your first pic with all the other sheep, doesn't look legal to me, but maybe it's the angle of the pic. I have no clue about scores.

Amazing thread, Mike. I'm 0-3 on Bighorns in Colorado, DIY, so I'm familiar with the highs and lows (mostly lows for me). I can't wait for your final chapter.

Matt

From: Catscratch
11-Jan-24
I don't know s$#t about sheep, but the one on the right looks MASSIVE to me! Even his face looks massive. That one would get me major excited, then I'd likely fall off the mountain.

From: bowhunter24
11-Jan-24
113"

From: caribou77
11-Jan-24
Crap, thanks for the post below Ambush. You’re correct. Now if shoot either

From: Ambush
11-Jan-24
The one on the right has another ram’s horn imposed behind him, making it look way more massive. Tough to call the mass on either, but I think the left ram has more mass and more length.

11-Jan-24
What a tank, are bighorns bodies larger in the Canmore region. Or is it just winter fat and hair

From: Paul@thefort
11-Jan-24
There has been numerous comments about all of the great photo of this quest. The great thing about taking a lot of photos is that they give one the ability to look back in chronological order and remember the times, places, dates and actions during the hunt regardless of a one day hunt or a quest that take many years. Yep, take a camera along and use it often and then tell your story. Nicely done Mike. My best, Paul

From: sitO
11-Jan-24
Gotta be right, what amazing pics!

From: xtroutx
11-Jan-24
I will wait for the expert to tell me. What great pictures.

From: Ron Niziolek
11-Jan-24
With the new photos and guessing 16” bases, 168 and 179

From: JohnMC
11-Jan-24

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
What is going on picture of the bigger one? It looks like part of the horn disappeared behind his should. The part circled in red.

From: Catscratch
11-Jan-24
^^^ I believe that is the horrn from the ram behind him.

From: Ambush
11-Jan-24
John, that’s a ram standing behind him. What you circled is not his.

11-Jan-24
I think it’s the picture and shadows….there’s only two good rams in that group according to Mike….i don’t think that’s another rams horn…I could be wrong tho.

From: Stoneman
11-Jan-24
I believe the ram on the left is longer (not as tight of curl as the ram on the right) and might have larger bases. It appears they both still have their lamb tips. Right ram might be slightly broomed and appears to carry his mass a little better. I don’t think Mike shoots either of these Rams.

It’s clearly the left ram standing behind the one on the right.

Might not be 180 but I would kill the one on the right in a heartbeat.

From: Shrewski
11-Jan-24
Take the one on the right! Quickly…

11-Jan-24
I'm gonna go right ram, 16 4/8 bases, ~37-38" long and score 175-178"

From: Treeline
11-Jan-24
Heck! Either one is legal! Take the one that gives you the best shot opportunity!

From: Treeline
11-Jan-24
Heck! Either one is legal! Take the one that gives you the best shot opportunity!

From: pav
12-Jan-24
OK...I'll play...ram on the right looks bigger to me.

From: ahawkeye
12-Jan-24
Ram on the right unless..............

There is no shot taken and a mind bending hike/quest for an even larger ram! Or even the ol' biblical gift from God of a gigantic ram with his horns caught in a bush. At this point anything is possible!

12-Jan-24
And…

I decided to not shoot either ram, at least not then. I really wanted to see how big the other two rams were from earlier in the day. It had been too far to get a good size comparison to these two. Andre couldn’t believe I was going to pass both of these rams up. My choice would have been the 9 1/2 year old full curl ram but he might not have actually scored as good as the other, shorter ram. The shorter ram has big bases and a more open curl, he probably scores better? But maybe the ram from earlier in the day was even bigger? This all might seem crazy greedy but I would not get another chance on sheep like this in my life. I had one more day too.

It was getting late in the afternoon and the other two rams were last seen way at the beginning of the valley near the top of the ridge. We went hiking over to them, angling upwards to get up to their last elevation. We got just over into the next valley and here comes the heavy but only about one inch past legal ram, across the slope headed our way but way up high. What the heck? Where’s he going? We thought.

Then along came more sheep, a group of ewes and the full curl, big one, taking up the rear. They were moving faster than they should, they should have been just screwing around feeding and rutting. Something must have spooked them, maybe the hikers got too close or a predator?

We needed to get out in front of them, cut them off. Andre got out his spotter and took a quick look and said the full curl was probably a better ram than the one in the pictures. We stayed hidden from the sheep and pushed ourselves to get out in front. We were both breathing hard and busting a sweat. This wasn’t part of the plan.

From: Bou'bound
12-Jan-24
next update coming Tuesday?

From: Scoot
12-Jan-24
Bou, which Tuesday are you referring to? :)

From: APauls
12-Jan-24
Mike - I know you had one more day after this. Assuming you had some kind of a weather forecast that it was a decent day for hunting and not a "write-off?"

12-Jan-24
Enjoying this story immensely.

Thank you for taking the time Mike.

I can almost hear the release, and then thud!!!!!

From: Tilzbow
12-Jan-24
It’s obvious he’s going to let the thread get to 400 posts (10 for every year) before concluding the story. So with that here’s one closer to that goal!

12-Jan-24
We got some glances at the sheep while we got out in front of them. They kept moving but we were moving faster, getting higher on the mountain, and towards the same elevation. We couldn’t see them anymore but we really didn’t think they had gotten past us, into the trees or back in the rocky bowl. We got slightly higher than we thought they were and moved back towards them. We slowly came over the ridge, sheep!

It was the same group, the heavy, shorter ram was nowhere in sight but the big, full curl ram was with the group. They had mellowed out from whatever had spooked them and were feeding in the small bowl, less than 100 yds in front of us. We looked them over, they spotted us and started to get nervous. Something had been messing with them for sure. We decided that this ram was bigger than the tight full curl one, how big? Big enough. He didn’t strike me as having big bases which he would need to break 180 though, considering his horn length and mass, but I was beyond caring at this point.

From: Treeline
12-Jan-24
Definitely gonna make 400 posts! This is so epic!

From: ahawkeye
12-Jan-24
I called it first!

From: Ambush
12-Jan-24
How many hunters here would have walked away from those last two rams?

I'll start with; "Are you friggin NUTS?!?!?" I'd still be laying on the mountain fondling the horns!

From: ahawkeye
12-Jan-24
I'm with Ambush, I'd have shot the one on the right, can't wait to see how this turns out!

From: APauls
12-Jan-24
It ain't the last hour of the last day yet. Mike's got a few rams to pass before then yet.

12-Jan-24
We let the sheep see us better to gauge their reaction and they slowly moved away from us, over a small ridge. The ram was the last in line and he hung up on the ridge, visible to us but looking at the ewes. He was focused on them while we moved in closer. We were both still a bit out of breath from the forced march to get in front of the sheep but I was nervous that they would leave and I wanted to get it done! I quickly asked Andre would you shoot this one or the other one, he said this one, he’s bigger. Kill mode. We moved in to 34 yds with the ram staring in the other direction down at the ewes.

12-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
And now for a commercial break to feature our sponsors, Pat?…

From: ahawkeye
12-Jan-24
C'mon Mike I gotta go back to work in 10 minutes. I wanna see this ram! Love the story though!

12-Jan-24
Enjoying this story immensely.

Thank you for taking the time Mike.

I can almost hear the release, and then thud!!!!!

From: Catscratch
12-Jan-24
"And now for a commercial break to feature our sponsors, Pat?…"

You suck!

(meant in the nicest way possible)

From: Jeff Holchin
12-Jan-24
It’s gonna happen today, boys! No way Mike will miss THAT shot!

From: Treeline
12-Jan-24
Mike is enjoying this teasing way too much! Let er rip tater chip!

From: JohnMC
12-Jan-24
Some one start a pool on when this will get wrapped up. We can do some betting.

From: Bowaddict
12-Jan-24
Safe bet would be to take the over

From: Grey Ghost
12-Jan-24
Mike must type with boxing gloves on. ;-)

12-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Got him!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Got him!
Haha guys! I’m actually running in and out of the house helping dealing with some animals and a frozen, tractor, trucks etc. -44 F this morning.

Back to the story.

Andre range found the ram and tried to film it with his phone. At 34 yds I drew back and tried to settle my pin, I couldn’t get it steady, my 30 pin went from over his back to his belly, everywhere. I knew I needed to keep the shot back for the quartering away position. I let the bow down.

I looked at Andre and took a minute to catch my breath, the ram didn’t move. I moved a couple steps uphill to give me better clearance on the cliff below him. Andre moved up too, ranged it and said 32. I drew again, steadied my shot, felt good about my pin position and touched off my thumb button. I didn’t do a nice pull through, squeeze shot, even though Andre went into guide mode and was coaching me to do it.

The arrow hit perfect and the ram bolted off the ridge. I looked at Andre and said, “good shot right?!” He said, “yes, perfect!” I ran across the shale and Andre followed. I crested the ridgeline and the sheep lay dead just 47 yards away. We hooted, and hollered and hugged. The only time buddies should be hugging! Haha.

We did a quick video and we both went down to the ram, with Andre filming and checked him out. He was an average body size sheep, but had a split nose and a big chip out of his horn. I’m guessing it was from butting heads with the other ram that was keeping his distance and had fled the area. So hopefully he was smaller but who knows? As for score, MY ram went from 170-180 every few seconds in my head. Andre filmed and let me jibber, jabber for the camera, very cool video to get.

12-Jan-24
Time to pull the thread Pat Clearly no interest or excitement and Mike is just messing with all of us =)

From: TXCO
12-Jan-24
Alright! Congrats!!

12-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I was in awe. So beautiful, so majestic.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
I was in awe. So beautiful, so majestic.

From: Scoot
12-Jan-24
That's awesome! Many congrats on an ending nobody is surprised by! Seriously, this ending was as predictable as watching "Titanic" for the first time! :) However, the ship doesn't sink here- huge success! WTG Mike.

If you want to post your video and need help doing so, LMK and I'll do my best to help you.

From: TMac
12-Jan-24
I don’t know why but I thought this thread was done after Mike hiked with the kids……I came back to it last night after 10 days or so and perfect timing…..now for the finish……Mike you out there???

From: brettpsu
12-Jan-24
Epic! Congrats Mike. Best story ever on bowsite!

12-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo

12-Jan-24
Such a cool recounting, hunt and willpower. Congrats on a stud ram. How a tag of a lifetime turns into a hunt of a lifetime.

From: PeteO
12-Jan-24
wow! Awesome story, story telling, ram, adventure..... Congratulations and thanks for sharing

From: KY EyeBow
12-Jan-24
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: HUNT MAN
12-Jan-24
This is why Bowsite is the best!!

Congrats Mike on a trophy of a lifetime . Can’t wait to see it this fall. Hunt

From: Catscratch
12-Jan-24
Wow, it was -44 this morning? That's awfully cold!

From: Bigfoot
12-Jan-24
Mike, Epic story and story telling...although it was hard to wait for each installment! I worked in Russell's in the 90's and remember you, and others, coming in with stories of sheep in Canmore and other areas. Some of those sounded pretty intense, in terms of places you went. Not being a great fan of heights, it wasn't something that appealed to me at the time. Always enjoyed talking to you in the store. Would be nice to run into a bunch of guys from those days.... Really enjoyed the entire story and huge congrads on taking a gorgeous big ram. Hoping Mark gets drawn next year and has a hunt as memorable as yours! Darren

From: Hancock West
12-Jan-24
Im not a sheep hunter but that one looks perfect to me. Congrats.

From: JohnMC
12-Jan-24
Gorgeous animal. Worth the 40 year weight or would it be 39 years 364 days? Thanks for sharing story

From: pav
12-Jan-24
Awesome recap and awesome ram Mike!!! Congrats and thanks for taking us along on a 40 year quest...with loads of adventures and success in between!!!

12-Jan-24
I don’t know which is more incredible…the epic recap, the fantastic photos, the majestic ram, or your unbelievable determination. Amazing, truly amazing. Thanks for taking us along!

From: Treeline
12-Jan-24
Spectacular ram! Way to hang in there and get er done! Congratulations!

Awesome thread from start to finish!

From: Willieboat
12-Jan-24
Congrats thanks for taking the time to write this up.

12-Jan-24
Thanks guys! It was fun, lots of work to 2 thumb type it all and load and reload all the pics, glad it’s over too.

The ram was 8 1/2 yrs old, aged by a biologist at registration. Relatively small bases at 15 0/8, 37 by 36 1/2. My gross rough score was 172 4/8, 172 net so admittedly not as big as I had hoped. But I did all I could, one more day to go, so maybe not I guess? But I’m very happy even though my 1983 ram was bigger. My 16 year old self would be happy, I beat you, old man! Haha

I guess it might take me awhile longer to finish this 40 year quest…

From: BwanaND
12-Jan-24
You sir are one hard-hunting, great story telling, big sheep shooting son-of-a-gun!!

THANK YOU for taking us along on a truly epic adventure!

From: hdaman
12-Jan-24
Incredible story Mike! Not sure if anyone has ever been more deserving of their intended animal. Well done!

From: W8N4RUT
12-Jan-24
that was really great--wore out the refresh button on this one, but glad you took your time. Congrats on the experience of many lifetimes! I know we would all enjoy those video clips too...

Scott

12-Jan-24
Congrats just awesome!

From: Tilzbow
12-Jan-24
If this doesn’t get the Bowsite crew jacked up for next week’s sheep show in Reno nothing will! Definitely an all time Bowsite classic. Mike, thanks for taking us along and taking the time to share a great story!

12-Jan-24
Absolutely epic story telling! Loved following along, felt like I was on the mountain with you. Congratulations on a beautiful ram. I agree this is one of the best ever bowsite stories. Congrats again Mike, thanks for sharing.

From: Paul@thefort
12-Jan-24
Mike, WOW x 10. Great all around. Much deserved equals "Putting in the work, time and effort" comes to my mind. My very best, Paul

From: caribou77
12-Jan-24
The fact that the sheep were so “easy” to get close to amazes me. I realize there’s tons of work there but compared to every other sheep hunt I read where you can’t get within 5 miles and have to remain hidden all the time…. This is pretty cool.

From: Bowaddict
12-Jan-24
Great ram and story Mike!!

From: goyt
12-Jan-24
Congratulation! Great story and a great ram.

From: Basil
12-Jan-24
Congrats & thanks for taking us along for the ride. Captivating read. Now what will I check 25 times a day?????

From: Bowfreak
12-Jan-24
Great story, great ram! Thanks for sharing.

You have posted a lot of awesome pictures. The one of the guys butchering their ram on the opposite mountain is one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time. Seeing that little glimmer of light on that vast landscape is so cool!

12-Jan-24
Yeah, Luke (caribou77) 99% of the rams in 408 in November come from the Provincial Park or Banff National Park. Virtually no rams live in 408 in the general September and October rifle season anymore, there is just too much rifle hunting, hiking and mountain climbing pressure along with lots of predators. The rams I hunted may have not have even been in the huntable area until the end of November, maybe not till the last 3-4 days. The challenge is the weather, a huge challenge that is, being fit enough and mentally tough and going for a big one. Well, I guess some bowhunters don’t get one at all too,

From: huntinelk
12-Jan-24
Congratulations. Great story.

From: pirogue
12-Jan-24
Congratulations and thanks for sharing in such a captivating manner, that we felt like we were on the mountain with you.

From: pirogue
12-Jan-24
Congratulations and thanks for sharing in such a captivating manner, that we felt like we were on the mountain with you.

12-Jan-24
Love the reflection on the younger Mike and the current Mike. 40 years apart, different path, same result. Ain’t life grand? Best always.

From: Kurt
12-Jan-24
Beauty Mike!! Congratulations and thanks for the story and photos! Great reading!

From: bowhunter24
12-Jan-24
Thank you very much for sharing this great adventure with us! Take care and keep it up, I would love to read more of your stories!

From: Brian M.
12-Jan-24
Any one of your rams would fill my bucket. My back, legs and lungs hurt just from reading your adventures, I can't imagine being there. Great story, beautiful scenery, awesome animals. Congrats and thanks for taking us along.

From: Mitch
12-Jan-24
Congratulations Mike and thank you for taking the time to share your story. Well deserved for sure.

From: t-roy
12-Jan-24
Terrific story from start to finish, Mike! Thanks for taking us all along for the ride! Congrats on a beautiful ram, too.

From: xtroutx
12-Jan-24
Thank you, Mike, for taking me along. Fascinating write up, beautiful pictures, unmatched grit and determination, and some beautiful rams were rewarded for your effort. You are the definition of a "sheep hunter". From 16yrs old and through the next 40 years. Maybe more?

From: swp
12-Jan-24
Excellent story Mike and congrats!!! Well damn fellas what are we going to do now that we are done with this one???

From: ahawkeye
12-Jan-24
Mike, fantastic story and even better ram. Thank you very much for sharing your story, I see the scar on the bridge of the nose, if you get a chance can you show a close up of the split nose? I will probably never hunt sheep unless I win the lottery and find an outfitter with a helicopter but I love the idea of hunting something so majestic! Congratulations!

From: molsonarcher
12-Jan-24
Congrats on a great ram! Hopefully we can see it this fall in camp.

12-Jan-24
What a hunt

From: SBH
12-Jan-24
Mike U may be the baddest dude of them all. HOLY WOW. Super pumped to see your goal accomplished. You earned it. Thanks so much for taking the time to post this up.

From: Bou'bound
12-Jan-24
It’s all been said

Epic

Thank you

Great job

Learned a lot

From: JB
12-Jan-24
I followed this thread religiously on my phone. Had a sudden "oh I bet the finale is there" while at work. Jumped on with a big screen and what a great way to view. Story was awesome. Pictures are amazing and your ram is a beast! Thank you so much for dragging us along!!! You are definitely a tough individual!!!

From: T.O
12-Jan-24
Thank you for sharing your story I enjoyed the read.

From: huntnmuleys
12-Jan-24
Great story and great ram.

From: Lawdwaz
12-Jan-24
Thanks for the ride.....outstanding.

From: Jim McNamara
12-Jan-24
What a hunt! Mike you gave us a wonderfully entertaining story and shared a look at a sheep hunt and it's struggles and challenges so many of us will never experience. Congratulations. Thank you sir!! Jim

From: APauls
12-Jan-24
Congrats on the ram and one hell of a ride Mike. Immense thanks for taking us along afterwards. You’ll find the link to this story very useful for sharing with friends. It’s epic

From: sitO
12-Jan-24
You got 20 days out of us, and 40 years, not many could keep up. Thanks again for sharing it Mike

From: Native Okie
12-Jan-24
As good as it gets. Congrats and thank you for sharing!

From: Rackmastr
12-Jan-24
Amazing ram, amazing story, and an amazing list of accomplishments over years and years in the mountains.

12-Jan-24
Great story Mike! I noticed you have quivalizer on your bow, we’re you using at as a stabilizer when you shot the ram? Just curious how it works in windy conditions like you were dealing with a lot of the time. Thanks!

From: Tony
12-Jan-24
Congratulations on a amazing animal. Such a cool story to follow along with.

From: TMac
12-Jan-24
Wow thanks for taking us along with a great recap! Congrats on a beautiful ram!

From: Ambush
12-Jan-24
Well that was just a heck of a fun ride!! Thanks Mike and a huge congratulations, for this ram and all the others! You're a bit of a gambler for sure and this time you played your cards right, right to the end. It's been forty five or so years since I hiked, hunted and camped in that specific area, so some places I recognize, others just look like the horrible steep rocks and shale that I remember hating.

Do you think you saw or passed stalks at rams bigger than this one , earlier in the hunt?

From: Insheart
12-Jan-24
Agree with all that's been said.

Great read, great pics, simply GREAT all around!

12-Jan-24
Ambush, I may have seen the ram Cal killed the first week in November in the group of four rams, a 177-179 ram, so he would have scored better but I’m really just guessing. It was a tight packed group at a long distance. I didn’t think they would stand around and let me shoot them and I didn’t think any of them were 180+ so I was happy to walk away. Otherwise I did not see a bigger ram. The tight, full curl 9 1/2 year old ram looks very impressive, a beautiful sheep, but I don’t think he broke 170. If anything the other ram in the group scored better, maybe even better than my ram especially if he had 16 inch bases?! Who knows?

It was a very tough year. Sheep were not concentrated. I love the long grind though, I didn’t want it to end.

13-Jan-24
I did want the pack out to end though! It was a very tough 3 hr hike with 90 lbs. It felt like 120 lbs when I was 30 years old. My hips were hurting, my shoulders were killing me from the pack straps, it sucked. And Andre was suffering too, he had an injury he was nursing so he was just hiking fast to get it over with. I couldn’t keep up in the dark and cold, sweating and freezing. It was such a relief to see the truck. The last hour was the worst. Haha

I always say I do these hunts because I have a bad memory. I forget how bad it was and I fondly remember the good, exciting parts. Like I said, maybe a mental illness. I’m trying to pass it on to my kids, my wife ain’t buying it, she likes the nice, daisy sniffer hikes.

13-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Taxidermy man, yes I have the quivalizer on my bow but I never put it out front. I just like how it tucks in tight to my bow, even better than a tight spot I think. I didn’t even have a stabilizer on my bow. I can shoot good out to 60 with no stabilizer. It weighs too much.

From: Ron Niziolek
13-Jan-24
Thanks for bringing us along on your adventures, Mike. I’d say well done all around! Congratulations on all of your successes!

13-Jan-24
Thanks so much to all of you guys for following along! I did the thread because Cam Foss told me that I should do one and I thought it would be neat to go down sheep hunting, memory lane. I didn’t expect everyone to enjoy it so much. I love adventure stories like this myself though. I wish we saw more of them on bowsite with all the pictures and details. Everyone has a story to tell.

From: DEERAHOLIC
13-Jan-24
Awesome ram and story to go along with-it Mike. Thanks for sharing and one heck of a ride.

From: Medicinemann
13-Jan-24
Was the leaf put there to cover up his split nose?

From: bowhunt
13-Jan-24
WOW

THANK YOU MUCH FOR SHARING THIS!

What an amazing story.

Truly inspirational!

From: Fuzz
13-Jan-24
Thank you so much for the write up! Congratulations on a great adventure and a great ram!

From: Mad Trapper
13-Jan-24
Congrats Mike!! Outstanding recap. Canmore is special. It sounds like there are a lot more sheep running around there than there has been in recent years? You made it sound easy!! Well done.

From: JB
13-Jan-24
Jake I was thinking the same thing but if you zoom in I think that's the tag.

From: DonVathome
13-Jan-24
Awesome story and pics thanks for sharing! Congratulation's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13-Jan-24
Incredible. Congrats Mike.

13-Jan-24
Mad Trapper, no there is much less sheep in Canmore. Especially less good rams. Mine was a special draw tag for 2-5 guys per year bowhunting in November in the neighbouring zone. And I saw less rams than they normally do. Thanks for checking out the story though.

From: So467
13-Jan-24
Amazing story thank you

13-Jan-24
Really enjoyed it Mike!

Congrats

From: Treeline
13-Jan-24
Thank you for all your effort to write all these sheep hunts up and share the fabulous photos to go along with them! Awesomeness!

From: elkmtngear
13-Jan-24
Thank You, Mike...fantastic ride !

Great story and pics...I'm glad you sat on this, for 40 years ;^)

13-Jan-24
Absolutely epic! Thanks for taking us along Mike!

From: Hawkeye
13-Jan-24
What an incredible post and accomplishment! Congratulations, Mike! Wow.

From: Shrewski
13-Jan-24
Perfection.

Congratulations on a great hunt and beautiful ram.

From: Ambush
13-Jan-24
Ok, Mike should make the next post so he can be #500.

A forty year effort should be worth that.

13-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Bighorn Ram #5, after about 160 days of hunting sheep, spread out over 40 years! Lots of Adventures!!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Bighorn Ram #5, after about 160 days of hunting sheep, spread out over 40 years! Lots of Adventures!!

From: Paul@thefort
13-Jan-24
Mike, not really a story but a masterpiece!

From: Nick Muche
13-Jan-24
Well worth the wait!

13-Jan-24
Really enjoyed it Mike!

Congrats

From: molsonarcher
13-Jan-24
Jake, I think its a tag, not a leaf in his nose?

From: Manager
13-Jan-24
Absolutely outstanding journey YOU brought us thru !!!! Congratulations many many many times !!!

From: M.Pauls
13-Jan-24
TRULY OUTSTANDING!!!! Congrats, results earned

From: Oryx35
13-Jan-24
Epic! I may need to book a moose hunt just to hear more stories.

13-Jan-24
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to tell your story.

From: Treeline
13-Jan-24
Thank you for all your effort to write all these sheep hunts up and share the fabulous photos to go along with them! Awesomeness!

From: darktimber
13-Jan-24
Enjoyed the ride. Thanks for taking us along. Congratulations!

From: Jim McNamara
13-Jan-24
What a hunt! Mike you gave us a wonderfully entertaining story and shared a look at a sheep hunt and it's struggles and challenges so many of us will never experience. Congratulations. Thank you sir!! Jim

From: Rgiesey
14-Jan-24
Thanks Mike, Some of my buddies have shot two rams in Colorado and at least one got 3. I got two tags and was pretty happy with the adventure I got. Man I’m envious of your experience and success. Thanks for writing it up for us!

From: VAMtns
14-Jan-24
Congrats ! As said epic !

14-Jan-24
Congrats!! Enjoyed the story!

14-Jan-24
Congrats!! Enjoyed the story!

From: oldguy
14-Jan-24
THANK YOU !!!! Mike. What an incredible story. The story telling and photos are truly remarkable. Thank you again for sharing this. Absolute nail biter! I know this will be a post I will read again and again in the future.

From: Vaquero 45
14-Jan-24
Yes thank you also Mr Mike for starting and shareing this thread with us . From sw Fla edge of the Fla Everglades 34117 . God bless ! ..........

From: Wirehair
14-Jan-24
Absolutely awesome read! Thanks for sharing.

From: sticksender
14-Jan-24
Nice job on the archery ram and the story-telling....enjoyed it.

IME it's almost impossible to field-judge bases when you're looking for 16 vs 15...but either way, that's a great archery ram.

From: Marty
14-Jan-24
Man, I'm so glad I got busy for like 3 days and finally got back and the story was done! lol Thanks for sharing and Congrats!

14-Jan-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Getting it registered in Cochrane. Makes the full curl measurement, pretty cool
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Getting it registered in Cochrane. Makes the full curl measurement, pretty cool
Thanks again guys for all the congrats! I know you don’t have to say anything. Really appreciate it!

I got the sheep registered in Cochrane with biologist Grant Chapman. We had a great conversation. He’s registered hundreds of sheep and in some areas a ram has to make a “full curl” requirement so they like to check that too to see how many will make it from other areas. I think it’s the bottom of the horn, through the middle of the nostril or the bottom of eye socket gives it some more leeway.

Full curl is an especially dumb way to manage bighorns. You could shoot my 8 yr old 172 score ram but not the 180 inch, 10 year old, 4/5 curl ram standing beside it?!

From: bearhunter
14-Jan-24

bearhunter's embedded Photo
bearhunter's embedded Photo
Hi Mike. Congrats on another great sheep. I’m one of the guys from your 1998 hunt. Jim. My buddy was Darrin. I lost my sheep along with 50 more mounts in the wild fire in ft mcmurray in 2016. Shed many a tear over that. My sheep was 175 6/8. Darrin’s over 160. I haven’t been on this site in years. Darrin forwarded it to me.

From: bearhunter
14-Jan-24

bearhunter's embedded Photo
Darrin’s sheep
bearhunter's embedded Photo
Darrin’s sheep

From: bearhunter
14-Jan-24

bearhunter's embedded Photo
bearhunter's embedded Photo
Darrin’s shhep

From: bearhunter
14-Jan-24

bearhunter's embedded Photo
bearhunter's embedded Photo
Camp

14-Jan-24
That’s awesome Jim! The pics at least, even has the 2 sheep heads out front. Horrible about the fire taking it though. Thanks for posting!

From: Beav
15-Jan-24
Congratulations Mike! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your adventures!!

From: axle2axle
15-Jan-24
Congrats Mike...and thanks for bringing us along. Really enjoyed this one...a great read day after day! Kevin

From: iceman
15-Jan-24
Congratulations, Mike! Thanks for sharing the journey with us

From: BigStriper1
15-Jan-24
Congratulations again Mike, beautiful Bighorn Sheep, really enjoyed the recap of all the years of your sheep hunt’s. Beautiful country also, I hope you can keep after them. Kurt

From: be still
15-Jan-24
When I start reading I don’t like to stop so I was patient and waited till you got finished before reading it earlier:?)

I’ve never really have had the desire to go after many different animals. Years ago I think I caught the drift of news that people getting excited over sheep. Thinking I remembered telling someone…who would want to shoot a dang sheep?

Well now I know. Probably never get the chance but I would love to go now. Seems like an excitement filled hunt for sure and thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I love the coloration and the look of these animals now. I agree with everybody else…great storytelling, beautiful pics, great family with good morals, and an awesome thread.

From: Ambush
15-Jan-24
This is super cool that Jim and Darrin from your 1998 hunt showed up here!! Small world in sheep circles.

Maybe Jim and Darrin could do a thread about their sheep hunt together in one story. One of you start the thread and then you both just keep adding as you remember it. Lots of us would love another sheep tale from the past!!

15-Jan-24
Congrats Mike!! Heck of a story from start to finish!!

It's funny reading the part of the story where you ran into Jonas, Cal and Travis as I was hunting with Jonas's guide over in 410 at the same time. I had heard the updates of how they and you (Didn't know it was you) were doing while we were chasing sheep a few miles away.

Reading your story felt like I was right back on the mountain, minus the death hikes...

From: Ironbow
15-Jan-24
Nothing I can add that hasn’t already been said, other than thanks for taking us on the ride! It was great!

16-Jan-24
DEMO-Bowhunter, yes it was me! Jonas was very helpful, great guy. If any Alberta resident draws the 408, or a 410 tag too, I wouldn’t hesitate to hire him. He can certainly help you get the ram of a lifetime! Just judging what size of ram you are looking at is huge, never mind stalking techniques and having a comfy camp to go back to. It’s really tough to do on your own without years of experience. No resident hunter, me included, gets to judge size and then kill dozens of sheep.

From: njbuck
16-Jan-24
What an amazing write up and hunt. congrats on a well earned ram! I am amazed how the rams allow you to walk up to them.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24
This has been worth coming back to check on every time! I would much rather read a 40 year re-cap over 20 days vs 20 minutes!! Epic in every way. Thank you.

From: Supernaut
17-Jan-24
A truly epic quest!

Thanks again for sharing it with us, great reading and pictures!

From: otcWill
17-Jan-24
Spectacular! Thanks for taking the time. Sheep hunting is the bowhunting holy grail imo.

From: wackmaster2
20-Jan-24
Probably the best story I have read here. Thank you fur taking me along .

From: Tony
20-Jan-24

From: PeteO
20-Jan-24
Wow definetely the best story and yes keep coming back hoping for more.

From: xtroutx
20-Jan-24
I still come back and re-read and look at the pictures. Fantastic write up on some epic hunts. Now bring on the moose camp stories. :)

10-Feb-24

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Longbow hunter Travis Bower ram score
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Longbow hunter Travis Bower ram score
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Update: Longbow Hunter Travis Bower’s ram scored big! It just show how big bases are so important for score. 179 6/8! Wow!! Just shy of being an all time Booner. I haven’t had my ram officially scored yet but it ain’t that big and mine’s a full curl, but only about 15 inch bases.

Big congrats to Travis!!

From: Mad Trapper
11-Feb-24
Outstanding ram. Congrats!

From: DonVathome
17-Feb-24
Mike thanks again for stories and pics. IMO this is the best bowsite thread in the 25 years I have been on here. No doubt. Amazing stuff!

17-Feb-24
Couple of studs rams!

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