I have three white rams on my wall and would like to get some color in the array. I have a Fannin so it is not about getting that leg of the Grand Slam. It is about how beautiful the really dark Stone ramS are. I'm willing to save up and spend even in light of the significant upward trend in the cost over the past five years. I am looking for a place to go for a really dark Stone ram. I would appreciate hearing of your experiences ... positive, negative and otherwise. Outfitter names, best time of year to go, etc., etc.
I am interested in hearing the good, the bad and the ugly.
Please drop me a line to OREGONCARL@AOL.COM.
have a look at Allan Larson's website www.irrhunting.com. There are numerous Stone photos there. He has a great area in NW B.C., and the rams run the gamut in color variations. Allan's price seems to fall in the lower middle echelon of the current going rates, and I believe it's to be $24,500 for 2008. I had a first class hunt there in 2006, and took a great ram on the third day from band of ten rams. There were three or four arguably larger, but I liked the color and age of the one I took. Inches and scores don't row my boat as much as does the way an animal looks to me, and it was a real bonus to be able to look them over and make comparisons before deciding on an animal. My son also hunted there in 2004 and took an exceptionally dark ram that is a beauty. There's plenty of other game too, if you'd be interested in multi-species. His camps, stock, and guides/cooks/wranglers are all top notch pros, hard working and a lot of fun to be with. I will shoot you a photo or two to your home email... Good luck in finding what you like.
There is one thing that outfitters have repeatedly told me for the past 20 years, when I've gone down this same line of questioning with them.
Hunt later in the year, not earlier.
Later coats on Stone rams apparently fill in darker, or appear to, as the cooler weather sets in and their winter coats fill out.
I would schedule a hunt no sooner than early September. On the July/August hunts you often find short hair and "pencil" necks, which, IMO, make for inferior mounts. You need to wait until closer to the rut to get the rams with fully developed necks and long hair.
I killed a 170 class Stone with Stone Mountain Safaris in mid-September during the mid-1990's (got an Hon. Men. at FNAWS). As I remember it, the hunt cost $13,500, which was on the high-end of the range at that time. The ram has a very dark chocolate brown coat and cloudy-gray face that make for impressive life-size mount.
There are some great Stone's rams coming out of the Yukon, but if I were looking for the best combination of big horns and dark capes, I would go for one of the outfitters in the Prophet/Muskwa-Toad River-Muncho Lake range of northern British Columbia.
I've seen some incredibly dark Stone sheep in Kluane National Park. Seems a good bet would be to try to hunt just outside the Park boundaries, if that is possible.
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