Sheep hunting Alaska is seen both as a means of livelihood for locals as well as a recreation. The Dall sheep is the most preferred species of sheep that are hunted down during sheep hunting in Alaska.
Normally sheep hunting Alaska is done for livelihood and is done 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 local resident to accompany them through the rugged mountain pathways while sheep hunting in Alaska.
Apart from sheep hunting, Alaska big game hunting includes Grizzly bears, rams, mountain goats, and moose.
The Dall Sheep
The Ovis Dalli 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 from the females.
The horns grow gradually over the spring season, winter season, and the early fall season. After that they start to slow and then eventually cease. The start and stop of the growth of horns lead 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 3000 pounds and are herbivores. Their predators include Wolves, the black bear, coyotes, golden eagles, and the grizzly bear.
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 sheepmeat and wool for very huge prices.
Sport sheep hunting Alaska is done to attain the trophy Dall sheep or trophy rams. Dall sheep hunting 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.
When Can You Go Sheep Hunting Alaska?
Dall sheep hunting in Alaska begins at the onset of the winter season from August and 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 Guide to Sheep Hunting Alaska
Sheep Hunting 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 mountains. You could plan on going good grayling fishing near this camp.
After taking a break at the base camp, the next is a hike towards the spike camp. The spike camps are set up in close proximity 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 of your necessary personal gear.
You may have to share a tent with your guide at the spike camp but can also have a private tent on special requests.
From here commences your actual journey for the famous Dall sheep hunts.
What to Carry for Sheep Hunting Alaska?
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 in order 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.
Do’s and Don’ts For Sheep Hunting Alaska
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 at 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 beforehand and go through all the necessary rules and regulations to have a better perspective and understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
Sheep Hunting Alaska
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 Alaska. It’s something you just can’t miss out on. So go and plan your trip today!
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