Long hikes, Heavy Packs and Big Stone's Rams

By Adam Moleski
British Columbia, 2011, DIY, Public Land

Adam Moleski - Long Hikes, Heavy Packs and Big Stone's RamsJanuary/February 2012 EBJ (Issue 69) - In September of 2011, my hunting partner Rod Aspden and I decided to go on another archery Stone’s sheep hunt. Being fortunate enough to be born in British Columbia, Canada, we can hunt Stone’s sheep every year for the small price of a tag, food and gas to travel to northern British Columbia where these beautiful creatures call home.

Both Rod and I have taken a Stone’s sheep with a bow, so the pressure was off, but all summer we spoke often about how sweet it would be to have two rams on the wall. Before we knew it the summer was over and instead of talking about it we were loaded with heavy packs hiking into our favorite spot in the world – a spot where we often see big rams.

Before getting into the hunting part of the story, I have to comment on my hunting partner Rod. Rod and I have been hitting the mountains hard for the last 10 years chasing mostly sheep and goats with archery equipment. The mountains of British Columbia are some of the toughest country to hunt in the world. I am 29 years old and Rod is 58, so there’s quite a bit of age gap between us.

I consider myself an athlete and I run and play squash all summer long to get in shape to hunt the mountains. At 58, Rod is one exceptional mountain man. Sometimes we hike 12 hours with loaded packs into remote sheep country spots and I haven’t had to wait for him once. Rod lives near a steep five-kilometer hill and during the summer it’s not uncommon to see him with his Badlands pack on filled with soup cans running up and down that hill. If I am in half the shape he is in when I am his age, I will be pretty happy.

It wasn’t long before we were looking through the spotting scope at rams in the distance, some of which appeared to look pretty nice and possibly legal. It didn’t take us long to make the decision to hike the extra five to six hours to where we spotted those rams the previous day.

The next morning, Rod spotted a band of eight rams. After taking a closer look through our spotter, we could see that two of them were full curl and one was nine years old - so legal by age. One of the full curl rams was the biggest ram either of us had ever seen. He was extremely heavy and definitely over the 40-inch mark, making him a Boone and Crocket ram for sure. We waited all day for those rams to bed into a stalkable spot, but they just didn’t cooperate.

The following morning, Rod again spotted the band of rams and after we waited on them for several hours, they began to feed in a steep creek basin. We figured we might have a shot, so Rod went in on them only to be busted by a banana horn who decided to come out of the creek bed for a change of scenery. We never saw that big ram again.

Adam Moleski - Long Hikes, Heavy Packs and Big Stone's Rams

For a full account of Adam's adventure, go to page 24 in the January/February 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.