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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

... Generally, not to their discredit, non-sheep-hunters have no idea.

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Joined: 10/26/2005
Posts: 19
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

You have experienced what most people experience when they pull a unit 27 tag. I have been into all the unit 27 areas and hiked extensively through your unit from 1995-2001. I have also helped many hunters in those units scouting and have come to this realization... You need one month and patience with some luck to get a sheep in that unit. As for elk and deer, they are only around in the areas that aren't as steep and contain trees and forest. Your unit doesn't have that terrain, but 27-1 has some decent elk.

One hunter I knew didn't even move around the unit (27-1), but just camped and watched an area (meadow area) that other guides and old timers had seen rams before. On about day 30, a ram came along and he shot it. It was the only sheep he saw during his hunt, and he wasn't sure if it was "real" when he saw it as his eyes were beginning to play tricks on him.

My best advise to those who want to hunt unit 27 would be to mortgage the home and hire the local guide. If that isn't feasible, you need a lot of help. There are plenty of guys that will help you if you know where to look. I found that guys in FNAWS are helpful and willing to help for free. I've also pondered the idea of having all the supplies rafted in with a camp on the river, and base out of your main camp. Seems to me that most the sheep I locate in this area are usually within 3 miles of the river, with a few exceptions. I have seen fresh sign at Ship L. before in August, but no sheep in that general area.

The bad news is you didn't get a sheep, but the good news is you can try again in 5 years...

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

PopeShawnPaul ...

Who are you?

Welcome to the forum.

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Joined: 10/26/2005
Posts: 19
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

Just a student at WSU and U of I in Moscow for 8 years until 2001 when I moved back to Seattle... :( I did a lot of hunting and hiking in Idaho those years, and bought a lifetime license before I left. I got my degree as a wildlife biologoist and worked for the Forest Service for a short time before going to law school. Now I am an attorney but have more time to get away, I am going to make it back every year for hunting.

During my resident Idaho years, I put in for the moose tag in unit 17 which is the Rhoda Creek drainage. I think I finally got the tag in 2000 or 2001, and two weeks before I was to pack in and get my 50" moose I had scouted in August...the unit burned to the ground. No moose. I have had to wait 5 years and have been bummed since.

I am going to put in for sheep here as a non-resident, which shouldn't bee too bad odd wise. Unit 50 is good, but they had a bad disease there since, so I will probably go in for a Salmon river tag. Unit 19 is easy as is some of the Challis area units. If anyone needs any help, I spent all my summers in most every sheep unit and know unit 11 like the back of my hand. I use to have all the 200 point rams named in Wash and Idaho down past Lewiston. I'm rambling, sorry... I'm just a sheep nut that gets to hunt them every year with my camera. Maybe I'll post some 180+ sheep pics on here soon.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

hmmmm ... how interesting indeed. I live in Moscow and before that, Pullman ... we probably passed each other on the streets, or were adjacent to each other at the counter of Tri-State. Cool ... let's stay in touch.

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Location: Idaho Falls
Joined: 05/25/2005
Posts: 35
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

I would agree with your assessment on the amount of time necessary to find the sheep in that area on your own. I just did not have the time to do this hunt justice on my own. There were only two viable options - one really, for me anyhow, to access this area and I tried both. The horses got me in there but the weather got me. Climbing out of the canyon was too difficult and dangerous for me. Maybe, with a light day pack only, I could have done it, but to carry in enough supplies to stay long enough to have a reasonable shot at finding a sheep - well, that was a bit beyond what I felt safe attempting. I agree that guys like me that have limited vacation time to hunt should hire an outfitter. Unfortunately, my job in education is very demanding of my time and doesn't offer the financial rewards to be able to afford that luxury. I sure got in good shape though! Thumbs up

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

Hiring an outfitter (to get an animal) is a totally different experience. If the animal is the sole goal - then, yeah, bite the bullet or don't waste your time. But if trying, and learning, and hunting, and getting exercise are your goals - you accomplished it/them. And you sure know more now if you ever try it again.

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Location: Idaho Falls
Joined: 05/25/2005
Posts: 35
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

Jeff,

You are exactly right. The whole experience was absolutely worth it! I did things I would never have attempted otherwise and learned a lot about not only sheep hunting but about myself in the process. Seeing that country, backpacking in to scout, the whole horse packing in almost 20 miles and spike camping out on my own --- man. Without that sheep tag I would have never have tried any of that. Yeah, it was worth it, and I'll probably try for another sheep tag - just not in that area! Someplace with a little better access and more reasonable terrain.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

Right on, man. Even if you had done everything `right' - it's still no guarantee. You were in a tough unit. Hunters with far more experience than you or I come out of those units skunkarood! Keep your weight down, somehow endeavor to stay in shape, and try again. I might put in for Calif Bighorn in 06.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Sheep Hunt Delayed - Again!

Hambone ... you're not alone ... looks like NO ONE took a sheep out of 27-2 last fall ...

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/ch/05/rm_bighorn_sheep_harv.cfm

For those who think taking a sheep is a slam-dunk of a thing ...

Ouch!

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