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How To Hunt Dall Sheep

How To Hunt Dall Sheep

How To Hunt Dall Sheep

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Are you thinking of hunting dall sheep? Do you want the challenge of Dall sheep hunting? Dall sheep hunting is hard, physically challenging, and will test your mental strength and hunting skills. They are elusive and very good at climbing rocky areas and slopes. In this article, we discuss how to hunt Dall sheep hunting to help you accomplish your goal as a sheep hunter.

Hunting Dall Sheep

Dall sheep (Ovis dalli) can often be found in rocky terrains above the treeline. Dall sheep hunters can also find them toward the head of river drainages. When scouting for dall sheep, look for them in these areas and keep on the lookout for their full curl horn.

It is easy to spot, with its white color, and this helps sheep hunters when they are scouting an area when dall sheep hunting. You will cover a lot of rugged terrain when hunting for them. Sheep country is not flat; therefore you must have the right hunting gear for hunting.

Additionally, you will have to be in the best physical condition on a Dall sheep hunt. Moreover, your hunting gear must be the right size and weight to make it as comfortable as possible. Moreover, if your hunting boots are fairly new, you must break them long before you go on a sheep hunt.

Hire An Outfitter

If you don’t have significant experience hunting sheep, it might be a good idea to hire an outfitter. An outfitter brings experience and knowledge of Dall sheep hunts and sheep hunting in general. They are very familiar with sheep country and know where the sheep are usually found, the best hunting methods, the hunting regulations, and other things related to sheep hunts.

Moreover, in the event of an accident, they have the experience to help in such a scenario. However, when hiring an outfitter, it is important that you do your due diligence to make sure you hire one that has the experience and knowledge that will make your sheep hunting a successful trip.

Hunting Method

Spot and stalk is the hunting method that is often used when hunting. It involves glassing an area with high-quality optics for legal rams and stalking them for the opportunity for a good shot. A spotting scope or binoculars is used for glassing the hunting areas for legal rams. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, stone sheep, and aoudad sheep are some of the species that sheep hunters hunt using spot and stalk.

It can sometimes be challenging to find mature bucks for hunting as in some areas, they will be less than 10% of the total sheep population. They will often be found high in the mountains, in the most accessible areas of the mountains.

It is not uncommon for hunters to return from a lengthy hunt without seeing any mature buck, despite seeing many that are not legal for hunting.

Wind Direction

When hunting sheep, it is always good to work downwind of the area you expect to find them. They have a good sense of smell and will leave for higher ground where they feel safe if they pick up any human scent.

Learn to determine the direction of the wind as it is very important when hunting. A common method to determine the direction of the wind is to throw powder in the air and watch the direction that the powder travels. This will indicate the direction of the wind.

Dall Sheep Season

Late August and September is the time to hunt them. During the early season of sheep hunts, there are only a few hours of dark and this will not allow you to hunt from dawn to dusk. They like to move high into the mountains and this is always challenging for Dall sheep hunters as the terrain and rocky areas present a real test. This is why sheep hunters have to be in good shape.

Dall Sheep Diet

The diets of Dall sheep depend largely on the season. Food is abundant in summer and it will eat a variety of plants. During the winter, it is not blessed with a wide variety of plants and is limited to dry, frozen grass and sedge stems. They also eat large amounts of lichen and moss during the winter. Additionally, during the spring, they will frequent mineral blocks.

Sedges, grasses, horsetail, the shoots and buds of willow, as well as forbs, with fescue and saxifrage, are the diet of Dall sheep.

How To Hunt Dall Sheep In Alaska

They can be found in the mountain ranges in Alaska. You can also find them in meadows, near steep slopes, and open alpine ridges. They will feed and rest in the meadows, ridges, and steep slopes.

Dall sheep in Alaska will move to higher ground, rocks, and crags to escape danger. Even though they are high-country animals, you will sometimes find them in rocky gorges below the timberline in Alaska.

Alaska hunting regulations require you to only hunt mature rams in August and September. If you are a nonresident of Alaska, then you must have a guide or an Alaska resident with you when hunting.

What To Carry On Hunt

For hunting, you want to only carry what is needed for a comfortable hunt You will spend many hours walking rough terrain. Therefore, it is important that you pack well and only take what is needed.

A high-quality pair of binoculars or spotting scope, layered and camouflage clothing, a headlamp or a reliable flashlight, extra batteries, a good hunting knife, a water bottle, an eye patch, walking sticks, a sleeping tent, sleeping bag, SPOT emergency locator or a satellite phone, weapon, ammunition, and a backpack are some of the items you will need for the hunt.

Dall Sheep Hunting Tips

  1. Get in “sheep shape” and get mentally strong for hunting.

2. Spot and stalk is the hunting method used for hunting sheep.

3. Glassing is very important when hunting for sheep and high-quality optics are preferred. Binoculars and spotting scopes are the commonly used optics. You can read reviews of the best spotting scopes and the best hunting binoculars if you need high-quality optics.

4. Your patience as a hunter will be put to the test as it can be sometimes difficult to spot these elusive animals.

5. They almost always have an escape route planned. When you spot one that you want to take down, spend some time studying the area for all possible escape routes as well as to plan your course.

6. To remain undetected as long as possible, always approach from downwind and upslope of them. They have a good sense of smell and you don’t want them to pick up your scent. Moreover, they usually look downwards, so if you can get upslope of them, you will have an advantage when hunting them.

7. The right hunting gear and clothing are very important. The right backpack and other hunting gear will improve your chances of a successful sheep hunt. Additionally, if your hunt boots are new, make sure to break them before you go on the hunt in rough and rugged terrain.

8. Use an eye patch to eliminate squinting when looking through spotting scopes for a long period of time.

9. Scouting is very important for a successful hunt as you learn the landscape, possible areas they may be, their movements, habits, bedding areas, food, and water sources.

10. Most of the time, they must have a full curl on at least one side when viewed from the side, be fully bloomed on one or both sides and have at least 8 annuli rings which equates to being 8 years old.

11. Late August and September are the best time to go after Dall sheep.

12. Try to conceal yourself as much as possible when glassing and stalking sheep. If they spot you, the game is over.

13. When you are within shooting range, cover your face and hands with a head net and hand gloves, or when you are peeking over a ridge. Human skin reflects a good amount of light, especially when it is oily and sweaty. By using a head net and gloves to cover your face and hands, it will not be very obvious to it if it spots you at close range as the level of reflection will not be strong.

14. Who gets spotted first is often the loser when hunting this elusive animal. Don’t let it spot you first. If that happens, you can pack up and head back to camp because the game will be over for that day.

15. Don’t be too concerned about kicking a rock or a few. They are accustomed to falling rocks. Just stand still for a few minutes and then quietly begin your stalk once again.

16. Try as much as possible not to stalk Dall sheep from below if you can avoid it. They always look down; therefore you will be at a disadvantage if you stalk from below them.

Can you hunt Dall sheep in Alaska without a guide?
If you are a nonresident of Alaska, you must be accompanied by a guide or a resident of Alaska to hunt them.
Where is the best Dall sheep hunting area?
The Mackenzie Mountains of Canada’s Northwest Territories and the South Nahanni Concession are some of the best areas.
How much does it cost to hunt Dall sheep in Alaska?
The cost will be in the range of $16,000 and $20,000 excluding the cost of licenses, tags, and travel expenses.
Where is the best place to hunt Dall sheep in Alaska?
The best places for sheep hunts are found in the Western and Central Alaska Range and over into the mountains near Tok and Delta. Additionally, the Central and Eastern Arctic also offer good sheep hunting opportunities.

The Bottom Line

Dall sheep is a game species that sport hunters like to go after for the thrill of hunting and for the meat it provides. They are elusive and very good rock climbers. They are often around steep slopes, rocky areas, and high ground.

Additionally, they are not difficult to spot thanks to their white color. Spot and stalk is the hunting method that is often used by sheep hunters. It involves glassing for the sheep using high-quality optics and stalking them to take a good shot.

In this article, we shared information to help you be successful when on a Dall sheep hunt. Additionally, if you would like to learn how to hunt mountain goats how to hunt aoudad, how to hunt kudu in Texas, how to hunt oryx in New Mexico, or how to hunt wild sheep, then you can read these articles.

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