“Peanut, I think you can shoot him from right here!” I whispered to Trina as the stunning ram gave us the stink-eye from 300-400 yards out. “He’s not going anywhere, but you have to shoot from this pile of rocks. He’s legal. I think he’s about 34”, definitely 7 but likely 8 years old and broomed on both sides. Not a stud by any stretch, but any legal ram is a good ram.” Silence and an unconvinced look from Trina confirmed that the set- up was far from perfect. “How far is he?” she asked grudgingly, as both our Leica Geovid Binocular/Rangefinders were 50 miles away in McCarthy, AK underneath the back seat of the Cessna 185 we flew out in 3 days earlier.
We were doing the hunt with one tiny pair of Leica 8x binos that we traded back and forth, but did have the Swarovski spotting scope. The good news was our packs were lighter, the bad news was we had to guesstimate the range which didn’t seem like a big deal, until all the cards were all on the table and our ram had us pinned down and was one step from disappearing around the rocky ridge. “Just put the crosshairs right on it and let the .300 RUM do the rest.” A long silence filled the air and after about 10 more minutes of studying the ram in the scope and Trina trying to wriggle into a good shooting spot we both agreed to shoot the ram. “Are you ready?” “Yup.”
Click, click, click, click! “Good one. Here check this one out. It came out great.”
We opted to shoot the ram with our cameras instead and have a lighter pack out, but the deciding factor was the awesome set of winter-kill sheep horns that Trina found on the way up the mountain. They are heavy with 14” bases, heavily-broomed on both sides and he was old at 10 1/2 years. What a find! We were ecstatic and thrilled to be walking off the mountain with a massive set of horns without firing a shot. We would’ve liked to eat sheep meat though! The incredible views of the rugged Wrangell Mountains and all its glaciers, lynx, black bear and sheep we saw will forever be etched in our memory banks!
Other highlights include touring the restored Kennicott Copper Mine, two other gold mines in the area and a great visit with our friends Barb, Bobby and all their Yaks at the Circle F Ranch. We puttered our way back to Sitka and enjoyed all the interesting stops on the way between McCarthy and Haines…and there were a lot! Alaska is a such a cool place! We are all excited to chase some sheep again next year!
Kurt and Trina aboard the “Glacier” in Sitka, AK.