By Sitka Athlete Dustin Roe
I just got back to camp with my third set of hunters: Ricco Roccabruna
and Kory Kumer from Wyoming. Stan had dropped us off at a remote airstrip in
the hopes of taking two nice Dalls. We headed out with
loaded packs and after four or five miles we set up camp, had a nice Mountain
House meal for dinner and hit the sack.
At 6 a.m. I rolled out of my bag and noticed four little white dots on
the ridge above camp. Wide awake, I ran for a scope.
"Boys, I got rams."
After looking them over, we knew one or two were shooters. A quick
breakfast, packs loaded, and we were off. By noon we were within 550 yards, and
with a closer look we decided to take only one of them, passing up the end-the-hunt-on-day-one double.
It was a hard decision, but with in-shape hunters who can shoot, we were confident
we could find some others later. Ricco won the coin flip, we put
the sneak on, and at 1:30 p.m. he was bearing down on a beauty at 340 yards
from above. One excellent shot and Ricco had him down.
After a photo shoot and
three good loads we were back at the tent by 7 p.m. for an awesome sheep feast.
On day two, we hauled loads back to the strip and headed the opposite
direction in search of fresh country. We hiked all day looking for a new band
of rams. At 12:30 a.m., when our energy and shooting light was almost gone, I
spotted six rams bedded 650 yards away. We were in the wide open with nowhere
to hide. Thank God for OPTIFADE.
Light was fading fast we decided to gain a few hundred yards via belly
crawl, but by the time we were in range we couldn’t see the crosshairs. There was
a little cut bank where we spent the night. It was cold in just our hiking
clothes, but even though the packs were only 300 yards away, we didn't want to
risk getting spotted by six weary rams. The Zeiss spotter kept an eye on them
all night from 500 yards.
By 6 the next morning, we were cold and wet, but excited for the arrival
of video light. After an hour, the rams rose to feed and gave us a chance to
close the distance. A mad dash around a small hill in the valley floor put them
at 240 yards. The two big rams were feeding side by side; one was a nice 38" with both tips and the other a tight fancy 39 x 36.
"Kory, you decide what one you want,” I said. “Both are great
Kory wanted the 38", and with one well-placed shot in the pouring rain,
we were two for two in three days.
We took photos as the rain let up and took a
well-deserved nap. We hoofed it back to the strip hoping Stan could come get us
before the weather turned worse.
We arrived at the strip at 4:15 a.m. after another all-night
affair. We were three exhausted boys with big smiles when we made it to the
main camp. The other hunters there had taken some beautiful rams, and it
seemed like we'd gone back in time, back to what the '60s were like in sheep hunting's hay day.
This is an unreal place...