Alaska Dall Sheep Day 3—Eve of the Opener
The rains poured down hard during the night. At one point, Nate woke me up to tell me that we...
The rains poured down hard during the night. At one point, Nate woke me up to tell me that we needed to move our gear from against the tent walls to keep from getting everything wet. I was still in a daze thanks to the comfortable night’s sleep I was getting while sleeping on “the Badass Bobcats” sleeping pad, that we stole from Willie just in case we needed an extra. Turns out I grabbed the wrong pad from my mountain of sleeping pads in the closet at home…the one I brought had a hole and I failed to realize it until the first night out. Good thing Nate brought extras of everything!
Our worries were unwarranted however; as we woke to blue skies and another fabulous Alaskan day. We’re feeling really lucky. On one hand we’re wishing for a continuation of the great weather, on the other we’re hoping for some serious snow in the high mountains around us to push the band of seven rams that are living with “Doyle” down into some hunt-able country. For now we’ll be just fine with the blue skies and sunshine.
This is the day before the opener so our job is simple…find the rams and put them to bed. We did just that. The two rams we’ve been watching closely above camp followed their same pattern as yesterday. And with Jake stationed to watch them all day, Nate and I strapped on our packs and headed further down the valley to try to relocate another band of rams we spotted yesterday.
The rams had eluded our glassing last night and we wanted to increase our options and get better video for when Lance arrived. We walked the river bed for a few miles and set up our scope. We hadn’t been there for over five minutes when we spotted the rams. Sometime since we had last watched them another ram joined the band. This one was clearly larger than the other two and we excitedly glassed and filmed the rams for four hours. In the meantime we glassed the adjacent ridges across the canyon from where we were concentrating our efforts. Bam!! Just like that… more rams. Three more, including two shooters. Finding these rams has brought our two-day total to 15 rams, of which three are absolute monsters with a bow. Nate couldn’t be happier. If I was in his shoes, I’d be racing around like crazy in anticipation for tomorrow…much like I used to do on Christmas Eve.
Nate took the time to shot his bow and get his gear dialed for the morning. He brought along an 8-inch disc target that looked awful small to me at 70 yards. But you wouldn’t know it was small to him as he absolutely centered the target with his first arrow. “That’s enough. I’m dialed. No more excuses now” he said after the shot.
Lance arrived about 45 minutes ago and confirmed our suspicions about the rams we spotted. The Leica Delux 4 set-up with the digi-scoping adapter for my Televid 82 proved invaluable as Lance looked at the videos of all the rams we’d spotted. He instantly told us which ram was the best so we set our sights on one of the large rams Jake had been watching all day. We’ll be putting a stalk on him first thing in the morning. We’ve done the homework and with the help of Willie we were able to pinpoint the location of this band of rams right away.
Hopefully now all of the hard work will pay off and we’ll be able to get Nate in close. If he gets the opportunity he’ll no doubt make the best of it.–Mark Seacat, Live from Alaska