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Apr/May 2012 Issue of EHJ

Making the Good Days Count by Marty Anderson

Making the Good Days Count

Marty Anderson

April/May 2012 EHJ (Issue 130) - Get some good raingear.” That bit of advice was a reoccurring theme from numerous sources I heard while preparing for my 2011 Stone sheep hunt with Gundahoo River Outfitters. Thankfully, I paid attention. I was hunting in northern British Columbia and all of the predictions about wet, windy weather in the northlands were certainly coming true on my 14-day hunt.

Day nine found me and my tireless guide, Trusty Rusty, spending another cold, wet day in the saddle trudging through another wind-scoured rocky pass to head for a new valley searching for the ram of my dreams. The nearly constant barrage of storms for the previous week and a half had driven the sheep off the ridges and into the timber making them all but impossible to spot. We had spotted only one band of rams with a potential shooter in the previous eight days. While I was trying to remain upbeat, despair and doubt were slowly setting in amidst the swirling snow and ice that afternoon.

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Desert Sheep Crash Course by Parrey Cremeans

Desert Sheep Crash Course

Parrey Cremeans

With a good rest, I whispered to Colin and asked if he was a shooter. He told me it was. At that moment I realized 25 years of applying and six months of preparation were about to conclude. This was likely the first and quite possibly the only opportunity I’d ever have to harvest a desert bighorn sheep. After six days of searching for this guy, my emotions were high, but my focus remained intact. 

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Fire Then Water by Nick Best

Fire Then Water

Nick Best

As soon as I found out I’d drawn one of Oregon’s most sought after tags, I reached for my cell phone and started calling everyone I knew. I quickly ran into a problem though; nobody believed me! I quickly changed strategy and started sending out picture messages of the draw results to clear up any doubts my friends might have. In no time, I had gathered up a group of friends that offered to give up part of their archery season to help me during the sheep hunt. As the news of this once-in-a-lifetime tag started to sink in, I knew I needed to start gathering any information about the unit that I could find.

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From Last to First by Doug Rodgers

From Last to First

Doug Rodgers

Flash back to Eastman’s Hunting Journal October/ November issue 2002 and you’ll see Yours Truly holding a giant 31-inch wide, 200-inch-class Mexico mule deer that I took after six long, tough days in the Sonora desert. On the seventh morning following my scheduled six-day hunt, my group and I were supposed to be heading toward the airport in Hermosillo.

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Time Changes Things by Mariah Schmidt

Time Changes Things

Mariah Schmidt

I did it Dad! I did it!” I looked at my 19-year old-daughter running toward me with her arms outstretched and then glanced toward her magnificent ram down in the snow. When I looked back at her, as if by some Hollywood flashback, she was transformed into a 5-year-old blonde cutie mastering her bike. Then a happy 8-year-old with a mountain cutthroat; then a smiling 10-year-old finishing a 300-mile backpack; and then a high-school runner with a state trophy.

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Jumping the Gun by Kirby Edens

Jumping the Gun

Kirby Edens

"Which one is my ram? Bill!!!” Those were my frantic words as the dream of shooting a bighorn sheep came down to a three-second decision. I was bitten by the "sheep bug” a few years ago when I hunted the Brooks Range in Alaska for Dall’s sheep. Just a short time later, I was able to take a Stone’s sheep in the Yukon. It was about that time when I decided to pursue a Grand Slam. So next on my list was my favorite, the Rocky Mountain bighorn. This was when I was introduced to the relentless perplexity of the draw system.

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So Close, Yet So Far by Michelle Podborny

So Close, Yet So Far

Michelle Podborny

"Did you remember your sheep tag?" my dad, Paul, asked me as I was leaving Las Vegas for my desert bighorn sheep hunt. "No!” I yelled over the phone. "It’s on my desk at home!” I turned around and drove 30 miles back home to grab my tag. An hour later, I was back on my way to begin the hunt of my lifetime. 

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King of the Mountain by Alan Klassen

King of the Mountain

Alan Klassen

I have been at this game a while now. It can sure have its ups and downs and not just the physical ones. This day was definitely one of those moments in sheep hunting which you lay awake at night dreaming about. In the bottom of this big open green basin were five snow white Dall’s rams. The lead ram, well, you didn’t need a spotting scope or binoculars to see that this is the kind of ram sheep hunters drool over and climb to the ends of the mountains for. Rams like this rarely come along in a lifetime.

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Like Father, Like Son by Wyatt Gremaux

Like Father, Like Son

Wyatt Gremaux

From riding in a baby backpack to standing next to him in the forest, I’ve watched my dad take some amazing animals. Every year, I’d explain to my dad how much I couldn’t wait for the day I’d be able to hunt with him. Growing up watching him and uncles take deer, elk and antelope only helped deepen my passion for the outdoors. 

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