An Alaskan Dall sheep with big horns resting on fresh white snow is being observed from far for sheep hunting in Alaska. An Alaskan Dall sheep with big horns resting on fresh white snow is being observed from far for sheep hunting in Alaska.

Unveiling 5 Thrilling Insights into Alaska’s Sheep Hunting

Sheep hunting in Alaska is seen both as a means of livelihood for locals as well as a recreational activity. The Dall sheep is the most preferred species of sheep that is hunted down during sheep hunting in Alaska.

Normally, sheep hunting in Alaska is done for livelihood all year round, but recreational sheep hunting in Alaska for tourists is done in specific seasons or months.

The tourists need to compulsorily have a guide or resident to accompany them through the rugged mountain pathways while sheep hunting.

Apart from sheep hunting in Alaska, big game hunting includes Grizzly bears, rams, mountain goats, and moose.

Know 5 Facts about Sheep Hunting in Alaska

1. The Dall Sheep

A big-horned white Dall sheep resting on snow in Alaska. Dall sheep are considered the best for sheep hunting in Alaska.
by Chris Boswell on Unlimphotos

The Ovis Dalli, popularly known as the Dall sheep, is found on the mountain ranges of Alaska.

They are white-furred creatures, out of which the males have massive, curled horns, whereas the females, also known as ewes, have slightly curved, short, and slender horns.

The rams resemble ewes until the age of three; after that, the horns on the males tend to grow sturdier, longer, and curvier, helping to distinguish them from the females.

The horns grow gradually over the spring season, winter season, and early fall season, then they start to slow and then eventually cease. The growth of horns leads to the formation of rings or annuli on the horns, which help in determining the age of the sheep.

The Dall sheep are mostly found in the Tok area, the Kenai Mountains, the Chugach Mountains, Mentasta, Nutzotin, and Northern Wrangell Mountains, west of Delta River, in Tanana hills, and the north side of the Alaska Range.

They weigh up to 3,000 pounds and are herbivores. Their predators include Wolves, black bears, coyotes, golden eagles, and grizzly bears.

1.1 Why Dall Sheep?

The Dall sheep produces high-quality meat that is said to be the best meat ever tasted. The skin of the sheep also produces very good quality wool that is used to make fabrics and clothes.

The locals of Alaska sell and export Dall sheep meat and wool for very huge prices.

Sport sheep hunting in Alaska is done to attain the trophy of Dall sheep or trophy rams. Dall sheep hunting in Alaska is a major form of recreation, very popular amongst hunters who love a bit of a challenge.

Dall sheep hunts can be strenuous and challenging, given the risky mountain terrain, the cold weather, and the ability of the sheep to camouflage well.

The sport hunters find satisfaction in possessing the large dramatic horned sheep head as a price after the completion of the challenging hunt.

2. When Can You Go Sheep Hunting?

Dall sheep hunting in Alaska begins at the onset of the winter season from August to September and goes on until the end of October.

In some areas, they are also extended throughout the whole winter season. In places where the sheep populations are adequate or large, hunting can be permitted throughout the year.

A scenic view of good weather for sheep hunting in Alaska.
Photo by Kris King on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

3. A Guide to Sheep Hunting in Alaska

Sheep Hunting in Alaska is taken very seriously and is carried out with proper procedures.

  • On reaching the station of the hunting guide facility, you will be brought to the lodge of the particular facility. Here, you will be asked to repack all your hunting gear and will be given some paperwork to do.
  • After completion of the paperwork, you will be assigned a guide who will give a short training on rife shooting, and then you will be flown in a super cub on wheels or a floatplane – to the base camp.
  • Flying to the base camp depends entirely upon the weather. If the weather is bad, you can rest and wait at the lodge and fly out the next day or until the weather calms down.
  • The base camp is set up where the trophy rams are located. Here, you can find camp tents for your layover. The tents are complete with home-cooked meals and campfires.
  • You will be provided with enough amenities at the base camp to be comfortable without losing the feeling of being in the mountain, you could plan on going good grayling fishing near this camp.
  • After taking a break at the base camp, the next is a hike toward the spike camp, which is set up nearby so you have access to the sheep without coming so close that you scare them off.
  • This camp provides all the lightweight gear, frozen foods, and high-energy packaged foods, along with sleeping bags, rifles, and other necessary personal gear.
  • You may have to share a tent with your guide at the spike camp, but you can also have a private tent on special requests.

From here, your actual journey commences for the famous Dall sheep hunts.

4. What to Carry for Sheep Hunting?

A picture of hunting gear, like, a duffel bag, hat, and other hunting equipment placed on a white background for sheep hunting in Alaska
by Razihusin on Unlimphotos

Packing for sheep hunting in Alaska can be a bit challenging. Even though you can carry everything you need, you will have to drop off the unnecessary items at the lodge of the hunting reserve and get to carry only the essentials.

The guides and officials carry out screening to limit the number of things carried as a heavy backpack can cause risk and make you tired early.

It is also very necessary to be on top of your health and fitness before going hunting, as it gets strenuous out there.

You will have to repack your gear for the base and spike camps into a soft duffel bag that can easily fit in the planes. The bags should not weigh more than 100 lbs.

5. Do’s and Don’ts for Sheep Hunting

Although sheep hunting in Alaska can be a memorable experience for many, it is very important to take caution out in the wild.

  • Always listen to your guide carefully if you are new to hunting. Never go solo and ignore the guide’s warning; he knows the area well and has been here for years.
  • Make sure to carry proper hunting gear as well as proper clothing and accessories suited for the weather.
  • Plan your trip and go through all the necessary rules and regulations to have a better perspective and understanding of what you are getting yourself into.

End Note

Sheep hunting in Alaska is a must-have experience for all the hunters out there.

Imagine marveling at the beautiful, bulky ram head that can be adorned on your wall of collectibles while narrating the valiant experience from the time you went sheep hunting in Alaska.

It’s something you just can’t miss out on. So go and plan your trip today!


Ayushi Mahajan

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