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Thread: MT Unlimited

  1. #401
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Hickory NC
    Posts
    108

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    My first trip was to scout and explore and try equipment my second trip was to hunt. Was a butt kicking. This year I have decided to make some changes to my equipment and go in another route. I enjoyed the read about Butner for me a great book
    Last edited by C Bow; 02-17-2018 at 11:46 PM.

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    THANKS Southern Elk and C Bow

    I appreciate the insights.

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    I'm a little late to the party on shines picture but I gotta saw that's one of the most badass pack out pictures I have ever seen. Absolutely awesome photo.... the snow shoes make it
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    I'm a little late to the party on shines picture but I gotta saw that's one of the most badass pack out pictures I have ever seen. Absolutely awesome photo.... the snow shoes make it
    Thanks EYJONAS!,

    The Sherpa snowshoes have some pretty aggressive teeth on the "Snow Claw" bindings; and they were absolutely essential to the success of the hunt. That said, upon the windswept plateau portions of the hunt a typical day would find me removing and putting the snowshoes back on again several times. Where snow was hard-crusted the teeth would drag and actually slow me down. I'd then walk gingerly on the crust in boots until I started breaking through into "post-hole" depths, when I'd again don the Sherpas. Another situation that required removal was encountering very soft or fluffy snow in chunk rock and boulder fields--where the safest option was then to slowly pick my was across from rock-to-rock and hope my boots didn't slip.

    Those boots are Koflach Ultra, an 80's vintage ice climbing double boot (just slivers of white toe and heel are visible behind my rifle case in the photo). While stiff as hell and aggravating to walk across normal surfaces, necessitating a clunky heel-toe stride, I feel the boots were just as critical as the snowshoes. Indeed, I'm fairly certain that they saved my ankles at least once.

    By the way, I noticed your earlier posting of a photo showing "I [heart] sheep hunting" scratched into a lightly snow covered, sandy patch. Don't know if you caught it, but I commented that it was first "graffiti" I've ever found inspiring. I have a hunch of where you drew it--email me if you'd like to know my theory.

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    Pm sent shines
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  6. #406
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Land of Giant Rams"
    Posts
    4,750

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    Quote Originally Posted by shines@times View Post
    Poignantly, it calls to mind the Jack London short story "To Build a Fire."
    I read that story in grade school. Taught me to respect nature. Also when I was in about 6th grade, my class visited Jack London's remains of his burnt down home.

    Killer pack out photo and looking forward to seeing some of your slides from back in the day!
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  7. #407

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    This has always been one of my favorite threads, but it just keeps getting better!

  8. #408

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    Email sent, Shines. I somehow missed the "underscore" the first time.
    'Hunt a little harder Gomer' - u1299

  9. #409
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    699

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    Quote Originally Posted by shines@times View Post
    Another situation that required removal was encountering very soft or fluffy snow in chunk rock and boulder fields--where the safest option was then to slowly pick my was across from rock-to-rock and hope my boots didn't slip.
    So many memories in two words. The boulder fields alone can drive a fellow insane even when dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTGomer View Post
    Email sent, Shines. I somehow missed the "underscore" the first time.
    I got it Gomer--enjoyed the heck out of both videos! I'll write more tonight.

    By the way, did you watch the "Solo Dall Sheep Hunt" video on YouTube? I know you'll both appreciate it and be impressed.

    Nice shot on your Dall ram. Not knowing what focal length lens was on the camera, it's difficult to estimate distance--I'll SWAG it at about 300yds. Am I even in the ballpark?

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    MORE THAN ONE WAY TO MISS A RAM:


    MTGomer posted a photo (see # 166 posting to this thread) of a great ram “in DEEP” that he missed during the 2016 unlimited season. Riley stated “...blowing my chance at this guy will haunt me."

    Speaking from experience, I have to agree. Over the years I’ve been blessed to make a few shots that were brag worthy (if we’d only had something like GoPro or Tactacam back then to prove it). Conversely, I thank Diana (Roman goddess of the hunt) that no such technology existed which might have documented some of my greater flubs--especially those where I could claim no alibi; where, desperately, I could only point to nerves as fey excuse.

    I’ve only sent two rounds at wild sheep during my lifetime (so far ). One killed the ram I have posted pictures of on this forum. The other shot makes me chuckle today, though I am only appreciative of the humor given the perspective of time.

    I’d been scouring high, windswept (a recurring theme in my postings that you might have noticed) plateaus for several days. I’d seen rams, even a couple that appeared legal or borderline legal. I’d also focused my binoculars on so many ram-shaped or ram-colored rocks that I had grown blasé.

    Traversing the swale at the extreme head of a basin I’d already glassed, and moving too determinedly against the buffeting wind, I paused for breath and glanced at the horizon. “What’s that odd T-shaped rock?” I wondered. I leaned my still-cased rifle against my belly to free my hands; swiveled binoculars up to my eyes; and cursed my incaution!

    I didn’t need to see a profile view of the ram staring at me to know that he was more than legal--I needed to get my rile into play with a chambered round before the ram bolted!

    I eased my knees to the ground; lowered myself to prone with the cased rifle beside me; unzipped the case; slid the rifle forward into position and chambered a round. Square-on to me, the ram was standing stock-still, staring, as I rotated the power ring on my scope to maximum. The sheep’s legal quality confirmed, my concentration was focused on settling the crosshairs on the center of his chest. I knew I was made--there was no question of waiting for a standing broadside target. I actually got my breathing under control while trying to gauge the wind gusts the way a surfer might time wave sets. The rifle’s muzzle orbits tightened into a small circle on the ram’s brisket as the wind gusts settled into a trough. Between breaths, I squeezed the trigger.

    Even when shooting from prone position, a .300 magnum bucks. I must have seen the ram swap ends through my open left eye--I doubt that I observed it through the recoiling rifle scope. He’d disappeared over the same horizon he had recently materialized upon. He could be dead just beyond; but something did not seem right, even though I felt the crosshairs were placed where I’d intended at the breaking of the shot.

    I advanced to where the ram had been standing. Sure enough, there, his tracks. No blood, no hair, to indicate a hit. The signs of his U-turn didn’t reveal a stagger, let alone a stumble.

    Clinging to rapidly fading hope, I followed the determined tracks while frequently scanning ahead with the binoculars. I lost the track in a snow and frost-free region of the plateau; diverted onto the crossing track of a Mountain goat for a fair distance before I realized my mistake.

    Dejected, I sat down on a rock slab to ruminate. Thirty-plus years later I can’t recall for sure; but I think I ate a snack while contemplating what might have happened.

    While I sat there, a younger ram climbed toward the plateau along a finger ridge ascending from the very basin into which the goat tracks had disappeared. Grazing along unconcernedly, and apparently unaware of my presence, the ram progressed up the slope.

    Initially dismissive, I nevertheless studied him in the binoculars as he approached closer. Gradually deciding the ram was legal, I placed the crosshairs of the rifle scope on his head when he presented a perfect profile view. Sure enough, I could trace a line from the forward base of his left horn across his eye which definitely intersected the same horn before its terminus.

    The young ram was then about 125 yards away. Realization smacked me in the forehead at that point--I knew what I’d done wrong!

    For years I had been shooting 3-9x variable power scopes. I normally zeroed my rifles at 200 yards with the scope turned up to full magnification. Compromising in favor of reduced pack weight for solo hunting, I had mounted a 6.5-20x Leupold on the rifle in lieu of carrying a spotting scope and tripod. While easily quartering the young ram’s eyeball with the reticle at more than a hundred yards under 20x magnification, I realized that the sight picture I’d viewed of the big ram, which looked like a 200-250 yard viewed through 9x, had actually been over 400 yards!

    No wonder the ram had swapped ends--I’d turn and run too if someone sent a supersonic round to crack between my legs!
    Last edited by shines@times; Yesterday at 02:03 PM.

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    What a story shines, sounds like you have relived that one maybe more then once. I hate to say it because I haven't missed a ram myself (and hope I never do) but this story to me though is right down to the nats ass on the highs and lows of this hunt. Let alone any sheep or high country hunt. Thanks for sharing! I am headed to the range now!
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  13. #413
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Hickory NC
    Posts
    108

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    Great story. Thanks for sharing

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    Thanks guys,

    In my experience most hunters possess a sense of humor whether they are kidding a buddy or are the butt of a joke themselves.

    Beyond poking fun at myself, I was commiserating with MTGomer. I was also hoping to illustrate that any of us can occasionally lose focus during a hunt, then get flustered when faced with unexpected circumstances. Had I been moving more slowly, planting my butt more frequently and scanning the route ahead with binoculars, I might have caught the ram unaware (as the younger one appeared to be). Without the temporal pressure imposed by my concern that the ram would imminently bolt, I likely would have become aware of the expanse of ground between us. Indeed, I could have waited for the ram to approach much closer. Additionally, my hope is that the anecdote provides a lesson about being familiar with one’s gear.

  15. #415

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    Quote Originally Posted by shines@times View Post
    Thanks guys,

    In my experience most hunters possess a sense of humor whether they are kidding a buddy or are the butt of a joke themselves.

    Beyond poking fun at myself, I was commiserating with MTGomer. I was also hoping to illustrate that any of us can occasionally lose focus during a hunt, then get flustered when faced with unexpected circumstances. Had I been moving more slowly, planting my butt more frequently and scanning the route ahead with binoculars, I might have caught the ram unaware (as the younger one appeared to be). Without the temporal pressure imposed by my concern that the ram would imminently bolt, I likely would have become aware of the expanse of ground between us. Indeed, I could have waited for the ram to approach much closer. Additionally, my hope is that the anecdote provides a lesson about being familiar with one’s gear.
    I've found that it takes a great deal of mental focus day after day up there to continue being sneaky and thorough. Sheep sightings are so rare and few and far between, without discipline its easy to get careless, because theres usually no consequence, because there's usually no sheep. I try not to be like that because the moment you are, you can screw yourself.
    A few weeks before opener last year I went scouting, saw nothing the first couple days, got up in the morning, as it was barely light walked the couple hundred yards to a spring to get water, and there were 5 rams standing in it. I dropped to the ground before they saw me, but it was a very close call of blowing them out of the country.
    'Hunt a little harder Gomer' - u1299

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    I don't know why gomer but when i was reading shines' story the image of the rams you saw at the spring popped into my head. For some reason sheep seems to be about the only thing on my mind...... bad sickness to have
    Last edited by EYJONAS!; Today at 09:17 AM.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

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