Retracing the Steps of High, Wild, and Free

By Joe Nobles

Joe Nobles
British Columbia, 2007, Guided

Prone on the cliff ledge and looking out across the steep, shale-laden basin, I was staring at the culmination of my boyhood dream. It was surreal, and I did not think it would really come together, even now. At ten years old, I had seen a Gordon Eastman movie “High, Wild, and Free” and had thought, “I want to go!”

There is no finer animal than a Stone’s ram. Unsurpassed in beauty and magnificence, his home is both intense and spectacular. The hunt is challenging mentally as well as physically. Seemingly unattainable, it is the perfect trophy. From that day forward, I had the sheep bug.

My friend Mark Campbell also had a similar drive to hunt sheep, and it was he who convinced me that we should pursue the dream. In 2005, forty years after seeing that movie, Mark and I had a successful Dall’s sheep hunt in Alaska. The following year we had a fun but unsuccessful Stone’s sheep hunt with a lesser outfit in B.C.

We were determined to hunt Stone’s sheep one more time. With a strong recommendation, we chose Scoop Lake Outfitters, run by Darwin Cary. And now here I was, glassing the shale and remembering the words my ten-year-old son Tyler said to me as I left for Scoop Lake. “I want to go!” he said.

I was thinking about how much fun it would be to fulfill his dream with him when I suddenly heard rocks fall for a second time. Could this really be happening?

Retracing the Steps of High, Wild, and Free

For a full account of Joe's adventure, turn to page 44 in the April/May issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.