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Author Topic: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos  (Read 4337 times)

Offline Deepinthetrees

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Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« on: September 27, 2020, 10:15:44 PM »
I made my first scouting trip in June and another one in August and had some really good pictures of most of the rams on the Butte.  I had a short hit list but I knew things would likely change after the raffle tag holders had their say starting September 1st.  Sure thing, as expected, they shot two very nice rams, one with a bow and one with a rifle.  Iím not going to lie, I was a little disappointed but I knew there were still some very nice rams out there, and you never know what turns up come opening day.

I had decided to leave my bow at home.  It was a tough decision but ultimately I felt like if I want to take a specific ram and with another tag holder there, that the gun was the way to do it.  So I left my bow hanging on the hook.

With the season opening on Tuesday the 15th, I headed up there (Iím about 5 Ĺ hours away) on Wednesday the 9th to put some time behind glass and see what things were looking like. Thursday morning driving up the backside of the Butte I see signs saying itís closed due to fire danger!  What? Youíve got to be kidding me!  The land ownership says WDFW on OnX but the sign is from DNR.  Iím confused and worried. I call and talk to a WDFW officer and he confirms that it is open. Whew! Dodged that bullet for now at least.

After glassing for a few days I decided on Saturday to move in close to a group of rams to see if I could decide what I might want to do come opening day.  Itís so cool just watching these animals up close.  They get up and re-bed pretty often.  Then theyíll get up and start feeding, messing around with each other, butting heads and whatnot.  They remind me of a bunch of brothers pushing each othersí buttons and scrapping off and on. In the evening just before dark we found a ram that was a potential shooter.  I wanted to get a closer look at him.  So that was the plan for tomorrow.

Sunday ended up being so smokey, glassing almost felt useless.  We still kept at it though.  Monday was almost worse. It was frustrating trying to see through the smoke.  I glassed up a lone ram that was decent.  Then finally late in the day, I found that group of rams that had the potential shooter in it, just on the edge of visible range.  Now at least we could lay a plan for the morning.  We were going to drop in off the top and work our way towards the group of rams that we put to bed the night before above the river and see what we could make of it.

Opening morning; the highly anticipated day was here! It felt kind of surreal.  I was actually going to be hunting sheep.  We were at the top at first light, and ready to drop in.  Good friends of mine Sam and Lars were there along with Steve (BKMFR) who I met through this forum. Iím really grateful to have met Steve.  Early on in this process I wasnít sure how much help I should take; I didnít know if I should just do it all myself or what.  I met Steve on my first trip up there.  Heís a very busy guy but he gave so much of his time to help me on each scouting trip, the days before season and the day of the hunt. He really helped make this once in a lifetime hunt something special. 

We decided to split up so we didnít miss any rams as we moved down the mountain.  Steve and I ran into some rams pretty quick. We first saw a group of four or five with one pretty nice ram.  After glassing those hard we moved our attention further down the mountain to a group of rams spilling up over some rocks lower down on the ridge we were on.  After not seeing anything too interesting in that group I then turned up another group lower and down to our left.  This was a group of about 9 rams and 3 of them were really good.  One of them was a ram I saw on my first day on the mountain and loved the look of him, we started calling him Flare for obvious reasons. He seemed like a showman, and was always out front and man, did he stand out in a crowd.  He was super wide, long and looked impressive amongst mature rams.  But, he looked like he might be a little younger ram and didnít seem super heavy but man he was hard to judge. We felt like he could surprise us either way from an inches perspective.  By the only real judging that matters to me, he was a beauty of a ram.  The problem was I had made a decision to go after that other ram.  I had decided that I had really good pictures of Flare for the memory bank and I was set on going after what we thought might be a heavier ram.  So we decided to get in for a closer look.  We moved down the mountain and snuck to within about 170 yards.  Now I was being put to the test.  There he was, this showman, bedded down there just below me on opening morning. After mulling things over for a while I decided that thereís no way I couldnít shoot Flare.  Heís the ram I loved the most on this mountain right from the start and heís always the ram I looked for when scouting and if felt like we had some history. I loved looking at a group of rams from a long ways away and you could immediately tell if he was in the group.

So I decided I was going to try to take him but I wanted to get Sam and Lars over to us so we could be together when it happened.  I sent them a pin for our location and they were heading our way.  I was just sitting there enjoying the moment, taking for granted that they were going to stay bedded.  Well, pretty soon Flare decided to get up and go for a walk with a younger ram following him.  We started to get worried he might take off up and over the ridge.  Now I was starting to look for a place to set up and take a shot.  The adrenaline was starting to roll at this point!  He was almost straight away from us, kind of quartering up the hill to the ridge.  I couldnít find a spot to shoot from! Let me just say at this point, that I spend a lot more time with my bow in hand.  This was a new gun that I had set up and with all the parts and pieces and ammo coming together, I didnít get to shoot it nearly as much as I would have liked, especially in realistic hunting scenarios. I mean I had it dialed in out to 600 yards, but prone with a bag on the stock which is nice but doesnít always happen in a hunting scenario. With him moving and the long grass on a steep hill, I couldnít find a spot I felt comfortable taking the shot.  He topped out on the ridge and was gone.

We threw our packs back together and started moving fast up the hill.  We were moving around the other side of the knob to see if we could cut them off.  We met Lars and Sam at the little saddle and told them what was going on as we came huffing by.  We got to a spot we could see and I spotted them about 300 yards down and across the draw.  This was a really steep hill we were on and of course there was long grass, so laying prone to shoot was impossible.  So I set up with my bipod on my backpack kind of sitting into the hill but man it  felt like an awkward position but it was the best I could do. Steve was calling out which ram he was just to make sure I didnít shoot the wrong ram.  Fortunately Flare stands out pretty good from the group, so thatís easier than it typically is.  I dialed up for the yardage and settled in, held my breath and squeezed.  Clean miss.  Ahh, frustration!  I hate not being on top of my game and I was feeling the pressure of making it happen.  I readjusted, grabbed Steveís backpack to kind of lean my back into to try and steady myself.  Second shot, Sam was calling out the yardage and dial up.  I adjust, settle in, hold breath, squeeze.  Flare separates from the group of rams and starts angling down hill but still appears unhit!  Frustrating!  I need to make this happen. New range, reset things.  ďBreathe, just breathe, make the shot countĒ Iím telling myself.  Heís quartering away and weíre shooting down on top of him it seems. I settle in again, just trying to hit center of mass.  Hold breath, squeeze. Boom.  Finally I connect.  Not the cleanest hit but he goes down and takes some time to expire. Relief.  After a bit we worked our way down towards him, through a couple of brushy draws and over hill.  There he is. I walk up and lay my hands on him.  Wow, what a beautiful animal.  These things are so cool.  I was just soaking it up and thinking how fortunate I was to be experiencing this moment. Over 15Ē bases and 40+Ē long, this guy is better than we hoped.  Wow, he did not disappoint in any way.  We got some photos taken (thanks Lars for packing that camera and taking some photos).  Then broke him down, got him in our packs and headed up out of this steep draw and then after a break for some water and cool down we headed down. Two miles later we hit the river.  Steve had a friend of his meet us with a boat and off we went.  Ahh, what a great feeling idling up the river looking up at that beautiful ram.  What a great way to finish the day.  Thanks Mike for the boat ride, Steve for everything, man you rock.  Thanks to Sam for the help scouting and Lars for coming along and taking some photos.  It was a good time all around and something weíll remember forever.

See photos here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/Lnj3jWiDwHHCE4W66

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2020, 10:26:08 PM »
What a terrific looking ram!!!!!!
Looks like an amazing hunt.
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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Online Caseyd

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2020, 10:37:35 PM »
Nice job. Thank you for sharing

Offline HAGEMANIAC

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2020, 10:43:31 PM »
Beautiful animal!! Got to know, how did he taste!?
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Offline X-Force

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2020, 10:46:24 PM »
Congrats on a dream hunt and dream ram. Thank you for putting in the time and writing the story.
People get offended at nothing at all. So, speak your mind and be unapologetic.

Offline Deepinthetrees

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2020, 10:52:43 PM »
Beautiful animal!! Got to know, how did he taste!?
Thanks!

The meat is spectacular. I'd put this up against any meat. Absolutely delicious.


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Offline shootem

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2020, 10:57:07 PM »
Great ram, story, and pics. Congrats.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2020, 11:10:04 PM »
The pic of just you, with the ram facing the camera......................................   WOW!!!
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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline elkrack

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2020, 11:11:21 PM »
Great ram!  :tup:
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Offline L8NITE

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2020, 11:27:45 PM »
Congrats and thank you for sharing! Thats a beautiful ram...what an exciting hunt makes you feel that we were right with you guys :tup:
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Offline Katmai Guy

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2020, 12:08:27 AM »
The pic of just you, with the ram facing the camera......................................   WOW!!!

 :yeah:
That is one fantastic ram!
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2020, 12:16:06 AM »
Great job and thanks for sharing. Iíve been drooling over pics of that ram for a couple years now. Such a cool ram. Any chance you scored him?
:fire.:

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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2020, 12:51:36 AM »
Excellent story and ram!  :tup:
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Offline HUNTNORTHWEST

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2020, 01:28:29 AM »
Everything about this is amazing.
A remarkable experience is one where the pain is forgotten so quickly, the frustrations and struggles are forgotten the minute youíre done.

I canít wait to do it the next time.

Offline Onewhohikes

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Re: Chelan Butte Success - Story and Photos
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2020, 05:48:17 AM »
few pics

 


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