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Advice for Seeking Dall Sheep Hunt
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I am beginning the search for outfitters to schedule a dall sheep hunt and am seeking any helpful advice. I've taken my Rocky Mountain and Desert sheep so have some familiarity with sheep hunting but I've never been around the dalls. I'm just seeking a quality hunt primarily for the experience, and am not necessarily looking for a trophy book ram. I've gotten the names of the 20 or so outfitters listed in this Grand Slam web site - it seems like a large number to try to choose from. My biggest questions relate to 1)Alaska vs Yukon vs NWT - the pros and cons, 2) the possibility of getting weathered out and drop a lot of money, and 3)the ability for a 61-year old to handle it and still have an out of this world experience(I live in the CO mountains at 7500 feet and do a lot of hiking/hunting up to 12000 feet). I've seen from other forums that letting outfitters know I'd be willing to go on short notice if cancellations is a good way and I could do that. Any general advice would sure be appreciated.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: April 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi: I like you have hunted and taken two of the four, a desert and a stone. As far as a Dall, I hunted last year in the Brooks Range with Joe Hendricks. I would not recommend his area. Although it was not his fault that we were weathered in for almost the entire trip, I felt he could have been more accomodating and could have possibly planned for the weather. In other words,, we did see rams, however we could not get to them due to the high level in the stream which we had to cross. According to the guides, it was a very wet summer and maybe they should have planned to have the spike camp somewhere else, where natural obstacles such as the level in the stream would not have been a hindrance. Secondly, it appeared that Joe was not very good with the details..had some problems with charter schedules and availability of food for the first few days. I'm planning a Dall hunt this year with Urban Rahoi, who comes highly recommended from several sources, including a couple of avid sheep hunters. I personally met Urban at the Mn-WI FNAWS and he appears to be a very genuine individual...I'm looking forward towards this hunt...Infact, I'm even taking the rest of the family on this one...I guess his accomodations are great and his hunting not real hard. If you want more info on his operation, let me know and I'll get them to you. If you're looking for a good stone hunt, I would definitely recommend Fletcher Day at Tahltan Outfitters. I had a great hunt with him two years ago...saw 21 rams on the first day with several very respectable ones. He was planning on retiring and selling out to one of his staff, however, he mentioned that he may stay on for a few more seasons...I have a Grizzly hunt scheduled with him this spring and would be glad to pass on your name if you're interested. Also, I believe he's one of the more economical stone hunts, if price is a concern. If you want to discuss further, let me know how I can get ahold of you and I'll contact you direct. Good luck in your quest.
 
Posts: 29 | Location: Iowa | Registered: December 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ernie, I hunted Dall with Gana River Outfitters, Bill McKenzie runs a great outfit. He has both backpack and horseback hunts and his success is near 100%. Some tremendous rams are taken and the average is as good as anyones.The McKenzie Mountains are awesome but not inhibitive to climb. The reports I see in Grand Slam and by the number of repeat hunters he has indicate this is an outfitter worth considering.
 
Posts: 12 | Registered: December 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ernie,
I hunted the NWT for Dall sheep in 2002. I went with Arctic Red River Outfitters, owned by Kelly Hougen. I had a super hunt. If you are hiking in Colorado, with that kind of vertical elevation change, you will have no problem in the Mackenzie Mtns. You will need to carry a 50-60 lb pack around, but you can condition yourself into that. The heavy pack is in and out of your spike camp. Once you set up a spike camp, your pack and hunting gear is all you need. Your pack weight while hunting is probably 20-25 lbs with rifle--that is not too bad.

Kelly's area is adjacently north of Gana, I think.

One big plus in the NWT is that you can normally take a mountain caribou for an extra fee (much less than it would cost to hunt them separately). This is usually on a kill fee basis, so you can hunt all you want, but if you don't find one you want you don't have to pay. It is fun.

In the Yukon, you should check out Blackstone Outfitters, owned by Jim Fink. They have been doing great and you should for sure include them on your list. They have both Dall and Fannin sheep in their area.

All of these outfits offer a super hunt experience as well as great age class of rams.

I hope this narrows down your list a little.


---------------------------
"Take what the gods offer today and leave your heart's desire until tomorrow."
-- Elgin T. Gates, Trophy Hunter in Asia
 
Posts: 36 | Location: Alabama, USA | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ernie,

I hunted with Jim and Adrienne Fink (Blackstone Outfitters) two years ago and had a great trip. I saw 21 different rams from the ground while hunting and took a good one. Jim has a huge area (12,000 square miles) and really manages it well. Spike camps are comfortable and I saw absolutely no resident hunting pressure. His prices are in line with all of the good Dall's outfitters.

My buddy went along with me and he also saw more rams than he had ever seen while on a hunt. Jim has Dall's and fannins in his area, and as you probably know, the fannin would count as a Stone's. Jim does not charge more if you take a fannin! He has excellent guides and a multitude of different species available in his area. We (my buddy and I) each took a good caribou as a second animal and I passed on a pretty darn good moose. Saw grizzly, but could not close the distance. Heck, I even sent my Dad there on Jim's late season caribou hunt.

The nice thing about hunting in the Yukon is the price for tags. You can get a tag for every species for a very reasonable cost, so if you happen on a really exceptional trophy, you can take it and then just pay a small trophy fee to the government, and Jim's trophy fee for a second species.

Weather can never be counted on, or out. Jim uses planes, jet boats, and horses, so the chance of not being able to hunt because of weather is small.

One hunter that was in camp while I was there was 68 years old and took one of the biggest rams of the season on his first hunting day. He went on to take a nice moose.

How satisfied am I? I am rebooked! First class outfitter.

HM
 
Posts: 10 | Registered: December 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IowaRamHunter, Brian, and Fixed Power - thanks to all 3 of you for the feedback. My email is elbradl@earthlink.net if you can send me anything further.

IowaRamHunter - thanks for info on Urban - I see he's out of the Ptarmigan Lake Lodge but I can't find a web site so anything you could send me via email on him would be helpful. The same is true for Fletcher Day (Tahitan Outfitters) - I can't find a web site on them.

Brian Hauck - I'll check out Gana River - thanks.

Fixed Power - I've had a couple discussions this past week with Kelly Hougen with Arctic Red - it sounds like a very good operation - unfortunately, he's booked for 2004 and 2005 already. I like backpacking so I'll continue talking with Kelly in case something opens up. Also, I'll check out Blackstone Outfitters - thanks for the leads.
Ernie
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: April 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hugh,
Gee, thanks for your input on Blackstone, sounds like you had a dream hunt - see my earlier post today to FixedPower who also had good words about this outfitter (do you two know each other?) I'll definitely check out Jim Fink's operation - I assume that Blackstone has a web site; will find out shortly.
Ernie
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: April 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ernie,
Actually, Hugh and I recommended Blackstone separately.

Blackstone's web site is:
www.wildsheep.org/blackstone

Lots of pictures on the site that prove their success. Good luck with your hunt research!


---------------------------
"Take what the gods offer today and leave your heart's desire until tomorrow."
-- Elgin T. Gates, Trophy Hunter in Asia
 
Posts: 36 | Location: Alabama, USA | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ernie,

Talk with Jim at Blackstone. He is a great guy and will put you where you can physically go. He put me in an area another hunter was unable to go fully into and ended up with my ram out of a group of 7 (if you click my name, there is a picture of the ram). He has different areas for different physical abilities, even special spots for bowhunters. Horses and rafts can also be used, it isn't strictly a backpack hunt. I guarantee if you talk with him, you will be impressed. I went in 2002 and am saving to go back in 2007.


"The tougher the journey, the sweeter the reward"
 
Posts: 37 | Location: Swartz Creek, Mi U.S. | Registered: December 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ernie: Unfortunately, I don't think either Fletcher or Urban have websites...they're from the old school, however I'll get their phone numbers and email them to you. I too have heard nothing but good things about Blackstone and Jim, and Artic Red, however as you found out both are booked pretty solid. I'm going on a caribou hunt with Blackstone this fall and one of the reasons is because he was booked on sheep...he did however call me a month or so ago regarding a cancellation, but I had already booked with Urban. Good Luck on your search.
 
Posts: 29 | Location: Iowa | Registered: December 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wanted to close out this subject on the message board by thanking everyone that responded and gave me much needed advice, and to encourage others to use this board if they, like me, need helpful info from experts out there. It looks like the feedback from my original inquiry here plus other sites and contacts really helped me to land on a great hunt for this fall.
Ernie
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: April 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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