Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Other Big Game => Topic started by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 10:55:29 AM

Title: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 10:55:29 AM
It's FINALLY looking like my little brother is going to have the August window we need to make this hunt happen in 2021! Been diving down the dall sheep rabbit hole and there is a LOT to take in. There is a ton that goes into a hunt like this logistically and I'd love to hear from anyone who has done this, or even done a Brooks hunt with a guide. Do's and do not's, bring/don't bring, good air taxi's and bad air taxi's, etc. Probably the scariest thing is booking an air taxi and picking a spot 😬  Wish we could go this year as I just looked at flights to Fairbanks and it was $215 round trip  :chuckle:

So let's talk Dall Sheep! The good....the bad....and the ugly  :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Mtnwalker on April 20, 2020, 11:23:46 AM
Man I wish I had some intelligent input here but that is frigginí awesome!! Dream hunt for sure, quite possibly top of the list. Hope it all comes together for you guys, canít wait to watch this thing unfold!
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: whacker1 on April 20, 2020, 11:36:19 AM
I was close to putting down payment on it for 2022 in December, but decided against it.  i ended up booking caribou with some friends for August 2021 instead.  i am down to hear what all have to say about Dall.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Vek on April 20, 2020, 11:58:47 AM
Regarding your spike gear, "weigh" your decisions on gear carefully.  If your goal is one sheep per hunter, then you probably need to compromise more on needs vs. wants than a guided hunter, where two guys come out with one animal. 

Considerations:
Light shelter vs bombshelter
Hot food vs cold food
Shared glass
Shared rifle

The rokslide and mtn ops crowd, pontificating from the safety of the Rockies, will have each of you carrying separate hilleberg tents, separate 95mm straight spotters with full height tripods, separate 28oz binos, separate 10lb rifles, a packet each of daily powdered vitamins and electrolytes, a hot meal or two daily comprised of freeze dried foam, while wearing sensational matching Kuiu camo. 

The folks that actually shoot sheep DIY might pare spike items down to one 65mm angle spotter with a low lightweight tripod, one 3.5lb floorless shelter that can be well anchored, a meal or three of hot food and a small TI pot if confirmed you can locate scrub to burn down low (no stove), and a shared 7lb rifle that may or may not have a dialing scope.  They will not let themselves be put into a position where shelter failure is possible, by wisely selecting camp locations.  Hot food is a luxury that you need to carefully consider the need for.

Make a list of what you think you need, wad it up and throw it in the woodstove, and get back to the list of stuff you know you need. 

If you have weight to spare on the flights, then by all means bring a good shelter to leave at the airstrip.  I never did that, so I can't speak to whether you need to harden that against bears or not. 

You're going to have to decide where you want to go, based on what you can find out for where good genes and adequate populations are.  Negotiation with air taxi is a matter of pointing at the map and telling them where you want to go, and discussing access and logistics from there.  A Cessna can't put you where a Courier does, and a Courier can't put you where a cub does, and a cub probably can't fly you from Fairbanks or even the Haul Road.  Don't short change your air taxi budget. 

I hunted sheep in the Wrangells, not the Brooks, so feel free to take this with some salt.  Access for me was somewhat more straightforward, and there were fewer secrets where animals and taxi-accessed airstrips were.  My game was one of knowing that anytime, anywhere, Claus could drop hunters a couple miles from where I had to walk 2 days to get to!

Your only advantage vs. outfitters in the Brooks is time and willingness to walk a LONG ways. 
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: rainshadow1 on April 20, 2020, 12:14:52 PM
Had a great friend (gone now) who hunted many times out of Glennallen where he lived. He had a super cub, and scouted from the air. I remember him talking about bringing 1/4 washcloth instead of a whole washcloth, having it double as part of the first aid kit... A pillow case instead of a pillow that he'd just put his jacket in, leaving his waders hanging in a tree at the river that needed crossing.... had it down to a specified formula for that particular spot. I never got the chance to go while I lived up there, but would have loved to. Glad you're going to get to go!

Research research research! You're on the best track! What you learn will dictate how you prepare. There are spots where Vek was talking about where you could pack your sheep out to the road whole! (Lowering it straight down with a 500' climbing rope! I met a guy who did it!) Just have to find and learn your spot.

Git 'em!
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: kselkhunter on April 20, 2020, 12:32:58 PM
I have a good friend from Fairbanks, and his family still lives there.  I've always enjoyed their stories and photos of the family history on dall sheep hunts in the Brooks.  They did quite a bit of advance aerial scouting before deciding on location, granted they're all pilots with their own planes so that helps.   From their stories/advice, scouting the location in advance is key.   But I would echo Vek's advice on sharing rifle/glass/etc. for cutting your air taxi weight allotment for room for animal(s). 


Looking forward to your stories after the trip.  As I'll never convince my wife to move to Alaska, nor my sister for that matter.  And I don't see myself ponying up the amount of cash required for an outfitter.  So will live vicariously through your trip posts. 

Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 12:40:12 PM
@Vek , I appreciate the reply  :tup:  as for weight, gear, etc., I'm not overly worried about getting wrong. I've been hardcore backpacking for almost 20 years from Kodiak to southern nevada. We are pretty well dialed in on what we need or don't need and what we are willing to do without on a hunt.  From a gear aspect, we will approach this much like our goat hunt last february but we will axe the minimalist base camp setup. It's nice to have comfort but it's never needed.

We always knew this hunt would be a possibility but honestly never put much into it as I figured it was just always gonna be something that probably wasn't going to materialize.  My knowledge of hunt options is basically zero. Are there other areas we should be looking besides the Brooks range that offer OTC seasons?

Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 12:41:09 PM
Had a great friend (gone now) who hunted many times out of Glennallen where he lived. He had a super cub, and scouted from the air. I remember him talking about bringing 1/4 washcloth instead of a whole washcloth, having it double as part of the first aid kit... A pillow case instead of a pillow that he'd just put his jacket in, leaving his waders hanging in a tree at the river that needed crossing.... had it down to a specified formula for that particular spot. I never got the chance to go while I lived up there, but would have loved to. Glad you're going to get to go!

Research research research! You're on the best track! What you learn will dictate how you prepare. There are spots where Vek was talking about where you could pack your sheep out to the road whole! (Lowering it straight down with a 500' climbing rope! I met a guy who did it!) Just have to find and learn your spot.

Git 'em!
Thanks Steve! 15 months and counting!!!!

Anyone need a kidney? I need some extra cash :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 12:42:51 PM
I have a good friend from Fairbanks, and his family still lives there.  I've always enjoyed their stories and photos of the family history on dall sheep hunts in the Brooks.  They did quite a bit of advance aerial scouting before deciding on location, granted they're all pilots with their own planes so that helps.   From their stories/advice, scouting the location in advance is key.   But I would echo Vek's advice on sharing rifle/glass/etc. for cutting your air taxi weight allotment for room for animal(s). 


Looking forward to your stories after the trip.  As I'll never convince my wife to move to Alaska, nor my sister for that matter.  And I don't see myself ponying up the amount of cash required for an outfitter.  So will live vicariously through your trip posts.
I tried to convince the wife we needed to move to fsirbanks and buy a plane but she is being selfish and said no  :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: fishngamereaper on April 20, 2020, 12:54:29 PM
Sounds like your exactly where I'm at with my Caribou planning for 2021. Ill pass on any good intel I gather about transporters and logistics. Waiting for email quotes from two transporters as we speak.

And ya, the flight prices are crazy right now. 
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: whacker1 on April 20, 2020, 12:58:04 PM
With regard to the flight arrangements.  beware of who you book with as there is a lot of uncertainty in the market as to who will be alive and who will not.

https://www.flyravn.com/  Raven filed chapter 11 recently, so good to do some due diligence.  The covid world is changing the marketplace from just a few short months ago.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 01:06:27 PM
With regard to the flight arrangements.  beware of who you book with as there is a lot of uncertainty in the market as to who will be alive and who will not.

https://www.flyravn.com/  Raven filed chapter 11 recently, so good to do some due diligence.  The covid world is changing the marketplace from just a few short months ago.
Definitely sound advice. We won't be booking anything just yet. Little brother has ANOTHER deployment to get through before we make any concrete plans.

Sounds like your exactly where I'm at with my Caribou planning for 2021. Ill pass on any good intel I gather about transporters and logistics. Waiting for email quotes from two transporters as we speak.

And ya, the flight prices are crazy right now. 
ooooooh caribou😍
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: whacker1 on April 20, 2020, 01:27:26 PM
With regard to the flight arrangements.  beware of who you book with as there is a lot of uncertainty in the market as to who will be alive and who will not.

https://www.flyravn.com/  Raven filed chapter 11 recently, so good to do some due diligence.  The covid world is changing the marketplace from just a few short months ago.
Definitely sound advice. We won't be booking anything just yet. Little brother has ANOTHER deployment to get through before we make any concrete plans.

Sounds like your exactly where I'm at with my Caribou planning for 2021. Ill pass on any good intel I gather about transporters and logistics. Waiting for email quotes from two transporters as we speak.

And ya, the flight prices are crazy right now. 
ooooooh caribou😍

Depending on how long this COVID crap hinders the economy it may take a while before we see the additional fall out on transportation in AK.  I hope Raven is the only one, but i have been keeping a closer eye on our air transport for caribou for August.  August is right around the corner and you have an entire fish season that may not see much tourist traffic for a good chunk of the summer.  That sort of loss of revenue during the tourist and fishing season is going to hurt bad for all of those folks North of us.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Vek on April 20, 2020, 02:20:25 PM
Vek's sheep area synopsis, as of 2012:

Chugach: Decent hunting for big sheep, most is draw only.  TCUA is a bugger of a hunt, and not practical unless you've spent time learning and doing the access paths. 
Talkeetnas: OTC
East Alaska range (east of parks highway): OTC areas hunted hard, draw areas can be great
West Alaska range: OTC, more remote and might take some time and research to decode populations and access. 
North Wrangells: OTC, decent hunting for smallish rams, road access areas will be hunted hard
South Wrangells: OTC, road areas hit hard, eastern areas tough to get to, tough access and hunting either way, potential big rams.  A successful hunt here may take years off the rest of your hunting career...
Brooks: OTC, Huge area, infinite possibilities, like the west AK range will take some serious research to decode. 


Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 02:37:04 PM
Thank you sir! So probably just stick to the Brooks then :tup:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: BULLBLASTER on April 20, 2020, 02:58:05 PM
Ooh! Ooh! Do i get to be your inreach contact again? That made me feel so important last time! 😆
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 03:05:19 PM
Ooh! Ooh! Do i get to be your inreach contact again? That made me feel so important last time! 😆
yes but this time I'm charging  :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: jackelope on April 20, 2020, 03:06:23 PM
@starbailey

@ramslam

 :dunno:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Shawn Ryan on April 20, 2020, 04:00:03 PM
Last summer we flew with Arctic Backcountry Flying Service out of Kotzebue. Quality outfit. They fly the western Brooks Range.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Stein on April 20, 2020, 05:01:04 PM
Here's what I would do.  Fly up to Anchorage, pop into Chilkoot Charlie's and find yourself a pilot just like Obi Wan and Luke did.  Over a few drinks, hammer out the details and leave the next morning.  From what I hear there are sheep pretty much everywhere and it should be an easy up, down and back to town.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Houndhunter on April 20, 2020, 05:07:53 PM
Some pretty cool country, I spent my 2017 season in the Brooks
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: BULLBLASTER on April 20, 2020, 05:35:14 PM
Ooh! Ooh! Do i get to be your inreach contact again? That made me feel so important last time! 😆
yes but this time I'm charging  :chuckle:
Rain gear? 🤷‍♂️
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: actionshooter on April 20, 2020, 05:51:29 PM
My last trip up there, where I had to hire a flight service, I flew with Wright Air...  very professional. My pilot going in was actually Daniel from "The Last Alaskans" tv show...
http://www.wrightairservice.com/

I have heard really good things about these folks but have never gone with them.
https://flycoyote.com/



This is some very good info from a trusted (by me anyway) source on Air Taxis out of Fairbanks..
https://60inchclub.com/air-taxi-services

feel free to PM me
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: huntnphool on April 20, 2020, 05:54:44 PM
 @popeshawnpaul @ramslam
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 20, 2020, 06:04:02 PM
Thank you guys  :tup:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: idaho guy on April 21, 2020, 04:18:57 PM
Last summer we flew with Arctic Backcountry Flying Service out of Kotzebue. Quality outfit. They fly the western Brooks Range.


I flew with them on a diy caribou hunt I thought they were good also
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: idaho guy on April 21, 2020, 04:20:14 PM
How do I convince my brother to move to Alaska? Whatís your secret  :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on April 21, 2020, 08:16:26 PM
How do I convince my brother to move to Alaska? Whatís your secret  :chuckle:
it's really pretty simple. All we need is a catastrophic terrorist attack which will motivate him to join the Army. Quick zip through basic, jump school, ranger school, and learn Pashtun.  Then he can get stationed at Fort Richardson in Anchorage.  Wham bam resident  :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: cem3434 on April 21, 2020, 08:28:56 PM
Tag, PM sent.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: idaho guy on April 22, 2020, 06:40:32 PM
How do I convince my brother to move to Alaska? Whatís your secret  :chuckle:
it's really pretty simple. All we need is a catastrophic terrorist attack which will motivate him to join the Army. Quick zip through basic, jump school, ranger school, and learn Pashtun.  Then he can get stationed at Fort Richardson in Anchorage.  Wham bam resident  :chuckle:
 

Sounds simple enough I will call him tonight  :chuckle: have a great hunt :tup:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: LDennis24 on April 30, 2020, 12:34:26 PM
How do I convince my brother to move to Alaska? Whatís your secret  :chuckle:
it's really pretty simple. All we need is a catastrophic terrorist attack which will motivate him to join the Army. Quick zip through basic, jump school, ranger school, and learn Pashtun.  Then he can get stationed at Fort Richardson in Anchorage.  Wham bam resident  :chuckle:

Well if you have all that why not go hunt for these guys!?
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: OutHouse on May 05, 2020, 11:13:39 AM
You're in for an epic adventure! Good luck and maybe even check out that Alaska show with the guy who lives in the Brooks range. Think he got a dahl sheep on one of the episodes. At least get you pumped up a little bit if nothing else.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on July 30, 2020, 08:20:57 PM
Been meaning to update this so here we go. I feel like I've called or emailed every air taxi service in alaska and I have either gotten, sorry we bumped all of 2020 hunts to 2021 due to covid or just no response at all  :bash: still have feelers out and I'll continue to pound the phone lines but at this point it's not looking promising that we will be flying in.

Sp plan B is to hike into sheep country. That should be fun  :chuckle: thanks rona's!!!
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: fishngamereaper on July 30, 2020, 08:49:51 PM
You could probably squeeze into our float plane for Caribou but you'll need a parachute. :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on July 30, 2020, 09:03:47 PM
You could probably squeeze into our float plane for Caribou but you'll need a parachute. :chuckle:
michael would be up for that! Me......not so much  :yike:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Maybach Outdoors on July 30, 2020, 09:44:16 PM
Been meaning to update this so here we go. I feel like I've called or emailed every air taxi service in alaska and I have either gotten, sorry we bumped all of 2020 hunts to 2021 due to covid or just no response at all  :bash: still have feelers out and I'll continue to pound the phone lines but at this point it's not looking promising that we will be flying in.

Sp plan B is to hike into sheep country. That should be fun  :chuckle: thanks rona's!!!

Whatís the hike in look like? The drive up has to be pretty gnarly too...
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on July 31, 2020, 09:05:18 AM
Been meaning to update this so here we go. I feel like I've called or emailed every air taxi service in alaska and I have either gotten, sorry we bumped all of 2020 hunts to 2021 due to covid or just no response at all  :bash: still have feelers out and I'll continue to pound the phone lines but at this point it's not looking promising that we will be flying in.

Sp plan B is to hike into sheep country. That should be fun  :chuckle: thanks rona's!!!

Whatís the hike in look like? The drive up has to be pretty gnarly too...
hard saying. Could be 10 miles or it could be 40  :chuckle: just start walking I guess. Stop when you've shot a legal ram then turn around and walk back
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: elkrack on July 31, 2020, 09:21:01 AM
There was a solo hunter episode where Tim hiked in and I believe it was 3 days in :yike: would be quite an adventure good luck if you end up going. Itís hard to beat time in the mountains  :tup:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: idaho guy on July 31, 2020, 01:38:21 PM
Been meaning to update this so here we go. I feel like I've called or emailed every air taxi service in alaska and I have either gotten, sorry we bumped all of 2020 hunts to 2021 due to covid or just no response at all  :bash: still have feelers out and I'll continue to pound the phone lines but at this point it's not looking promising that we will be flying in.

Sp plan B is to hike into sheep country. That should be fun  :chuckle: thanks rona's!!!

Whatís the hike in look like? The drive up has to be pretty gnarly too...
hard saying. Could be 10 miles or it could be 40  :chuckle: just start walking I guess. Stop when you've shot a legal ram then turn around and walk back
   

I like your plan ! Hike till you see a legal ram, shoot ram, hike out  :tup: :tup: I love a plan that doesnít over complicate things. good luck your knocking out a couple of my bucket list hunts in a few years mountain goat and Dall sheep. Go get em you already solved the biggest hurdle and thatís getting your brother in ak and bypassing the guide requirements.
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on July 31, 2020, 04:28:00 PM
Absolutely!!!!! We are going regardless. Worst case scenario we get a lot of exercise  :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: fishngamereaper on July 31, 2020, 04:31:22 PM
You could probably squeeze into our float plane for Caribou but you'll need a parachute. :chuckle:
michael would be up for that! Me......not so much  :yike:

It's not that bad...close your eyes, jump, and make sure you deploy your shoot before you hit the ground. Preferably at least 5-10 seconds to give it time to open. :chuckle:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: actionshooter on August 02, 2020, 05:15:52 PM
Karl, How are you going to handle the 72hr negative test and all the quarantine BS they have going on?? I'm supposed to fly up on the 10th and am starting to get nervous...
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: jackelope on August 02, 2020, 06:47:47 PM
Karl, How are you going to handle the 72hr negative test and all the quarantine BS they have going on?? I'm supposed to fly up on the 10th and am starting to get nervous...
PM sent
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Karl Blanchard on August 02, 2020, 09:14:34 PM
Karl, How are you going to handle the 72hr negative test and all the quarantine BS they have going on?? I'm supposed to fly up on the 10th and am starting to get nervous...
not going till next summer so hopefully things have eased up!

Hope you can navigate it all and have a successful trip  :tup:
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Pinetar on August 02, 2020, 09:43:25 PM
Karl, How are you going to handle the 72hr negative test and all the quarantine BS they have going on?? I'm supposed to fly up on the 10th and am starting to get nervous...

PM sent
Title: Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
Post by: Jonathan_S on August 02, 2020, 09:48:47 PM
You could probably squeeze into our float plane for Caribou but you'll need a parachute. :chuckle:
michael would be up for that! Me......not so much  :yike:

It's not that bad...close your eyes, jump, and make sure you deploy your shoot before you hit the ground. Preferably at least 5-10 seconds to give it time to open. :chuckle:

HALO jump to avoid giving away your spots.
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