Not the Way to Start

By Dave Clark

Dave Clark
Alaska, 2007, Guided

I love to get any new issue of Eastmans’ Hunting Journal, but I really anticipate the annual Sheep Section. I contracted “sheep sickness” about five years ago. While out exploring the desert with some friends, I found a dead California bighorn ram. That chance find spiked my interest with sheep. After years of applying in several states, I decided to sell my snowmobile, .300 Win. Mag., Colt pistol, and a horse in order to fund an Alaska Dall’s sheep hunt.

A good friend, Brent Hall of Eagle River, Alaska, set me up with Jim Bickman of Magnum Alaska Outfitters, who is also an awesome Super Cub pilot. The plan was to carry our camp and food on our backs in order to stay mobile and go after some old bruiser rams Jim had watched for several years.

Jim landed the Super Cub on a river bar in the Alaska Range. He had already dropped off my guide, Chris Wood, who is an animal and a mountain marathon runner.

As is the often the case, the only place to land was on one side of the river and the sheep we were after were on the other. From where we landed the plane, we could see white dots on the mountainsides. Within a mile there were seven rams, one of which was unquestionably legal and broomed on both sides. My hunt had just started, though, and we wanted to scout out the entire area.

Wasting no time – because we had about ten miles cross-country to cover with heavy packs – we shouldered our loads, locked arms and used trekking poles to wade the many tributaries of the river. Once across, we fought the dwarf birch and alders in a steady rain. After about two miles of bushwhacking, with daylight fading, we set up camp.

Not the Way to Start

For a full account of Dave's adventure, turn to page 38 in the April/May issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.