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Author Topic: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.  (Read 6006 times)

Offline Karl Blanchard

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OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« 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:
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline Mtnwalker

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #1 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!

Offline whacker1

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Vek

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #3 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. 

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #4 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.

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Offline kselkhunter

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #5 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. 


Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #6 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?

It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #7 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:
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #8 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:
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Online fishngamereaper

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #9 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. 

Offline whacker1

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #11 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😍
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Offline whacker1

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Vek

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #13 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. 



Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: OTC Brooks Range Dall sheep info.
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2020, 02:37:04 PM »
Thank you sir! So probably just stick to the Brooks then :tup:
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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