Sometimes you see something you know you'll never experience again. This is where these stories lives on beyond the campfire.
“Dad - being a fair weathered hunter - tried to talk me out of going but my persistence played off .”
It was a cold and gloomy morning. I called my dad to see if he would like to go on a day trip for sheep hunting. As usual he said yes. When we loaded the horses to begin our journey, it started to snow quite heavily.
An hour and a bit later we were in the saddle on our way in to one of my favorite sheep spots. The sun was shining and we had made it through the bad weather. As we rode for a couple of hours we arrived at the bowl that seems like heaven on earth. As I glassed with my grandfather’s binos for what seemed like forever. To my disappointment only ewes lambs and a few banana curled rams. I was amazed that there were no bigger rams.
As my dad got his pack loaded back up and was on his way back to where the horses were tied up I was left in the silence of the calm crisp evening, when out of nowhere I heard a very loud promising bang. I sat glassing trying to pin point the loud thud it happened again. There it was: five mature rams had moved in to the basin and were knocking heads. When dad was making his way out of the timber with the horses I motioned to him to stop. As I continued to watch the band of rams I noticed one was a very heavily boomed. The decision was very easily made that I had no choice but to get within shooting distance.
When I made my way towards the rams the cover got slighter. I stopped once more to put the binos on the rams and took off my pack to make sure I had extra bullets in my coat pocket. As I was setting my pack down for only a split second a win gust enters my now open pack an started tumbling it down the shale slide. I quickly ran after it. Thankfully it got hung up on a much larger bolder. With the rams unaware of my foolish mistake I gathered my things and proceeded to the next shale slide. Running out of cover and light with the rams above me I knew that I had to close the gap as quick as possible. When I looked up they were still unaware that I was there or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered as I was always below them.
Knowing that my light was running short and so was my hunting season, I made myself a perch in the shale and boulders with my pack as a solid rest. I jacked a shell in to the chamber of my husquavarna 270 and awaited the big ram to clear the others waiting for way seemed to be eternity. He stepped out away from the others. I squeezed the trigger hearing a solid smack. I saw the big ram drop in his tracks. Watching him tumble off the cliff above I started to walk towards him. After counting my paces and reaching the fallen ram I realized I had made a 575 yard (526 m) shot on an amazing ram!
When dad and the horses approached, it was getting dark and we took as many pictures as we could. Quartered and loaded the ram on my saddle horse, we stared the long journey back to the trailer. What was just about the hunt that never happened turned into the greatest hunts to date for me.