The Holy Grail of Big Game Hunting, Alaska Dall Sheep

Big Game hunters all over the world face the fickle and funny forces of nature head-on, improve upon their skills in the Earth’s wild places deep inside the wilderness and over tundra and practice with a dedicated intensity to improve their marksmanship. All of this with one distant dream held close: the Holy Grail, Alaska Dall Sheep.

Alert and always watching, the Dall sheep is the silent white sentry is aware of the smallest movement and the slightest change in the winds.

The Dall ram is known for his heavy, curling horns and classic beauty. He appears to be white, except when he lays in a bed of snow. His horns are heavy and typically a golden brown in color.

Alaska Dall Sheep

Alaska Dall Sheep

Hunting for Dall sheep means hunting in the mountains. Dall sheep is a sedentary (relatively non-migratory) resident of alpine areas, a potential indicator of environmental change, and are one of the six keystone large mammal species (moose, caribou, sheep, black bear, brown bear, wolf) of interior Alaska.

While dedicated hunters understand that hunting is never an easy way to pass the time, hunting for Dall sheep is a whole separate and higher level of difficulty and challenge to meet and overcome.

“It is an incredibly humbling experience to stand where these rams live and travel effortlessly and to look around for as far as I can see only to see not one sign of man or man’s mark upon this part of the Last Frontier.”

Alaska Dall Sheep

There are never any guarantees when it comes to hunting. Indeed, for us Alaska Outfitters and Guides, it is against every law and Professional Ethic we uphold. As the years pass, we have already begun to bare witness to the downward cycle of the Dall sheep numbers in Alaska.

Approximately 20% of the world’s Dall sheep population occurs in the Central Alaska Network and the Wrangell-St. Elias contains one of the largest concentrations of Dall sheep in North America.

Watching closely to studies being performed and our own Dall ram populations that surround us here in the Interior of Alaska in the Wrangell Mountains, we can clearly see and understand that it is not hunting that is reducing the numbers of sheep on the mountainsides nor is it predation as the studies have proven.

Here are a couple of posts that may interest you in regards to what is being looked at, studied and considered.

What does this mean for Pioneer Outfitters Dall Sheep Hunts?

This decrease in the overall Dall sheep population has led to a decrease in the Dall Sheep Hunts that we offer. At this time we only offer 6 (six) Dall Sheep Hunts. This of course does not, as it never has, guarantee success, but it is for us as protectors of our wildlife species and wild lands to also do our part in withstanding this cycle of life.

Hunting for Dall sheep is hard. It always has been. (Seriously people, they live on the tops of the mountains!) The difference today in reference to 10, 20 and even 50 years ago is that now, you may be climbing without a clear target insight to help motivate you as you struggle to conquer the climb, again.

Changes in the Dall sheep regulations and what is considered a legal ram has also made things a little harder for those who may be just a bit faint of heart when it comes to the whole concept of hunting a free and wild critter in one of the largest areas in North America with not one fence.

Alaska Dall Sheep

The rewards of hunting this Holy Grail of Big Game are amazing. Whether your climb was up a sheer rock face or climbing over boulders and scaling crevices looking for handholds or even walking up gentle slopes covered in alpine grasses; it is hard. Once you reach the peak, each time a new one, it is a very personal and almost intimate accomplishment and success. It is a personal feat and best that will always be yours.

Spotting, climbing, judging and stalking a Dall ram, a wild and expert watcher is another amazing accomplishment and reward for the outrageously hard challenge of besting this animal.

Experiencing a world that is populated by such animals as the Dall sheep, Alaska-Yukon Moose, Grizzly Bears, Timber Wolves, eagles, coyotes, fox, wolverine and so many more is another part of this Holy Grail. To experience it, to accept it as part of who you are becoming with its existence deeply inside of you is another part of the glory of hunting this amazing animal in this wild and untamed land.

The Holy Grail. You did it. He is yours. There is no question of his magnificence. There is not any doubt how hard you have worked for this incredible trophy. You may very possibly never hunt this hard again, physically as well as mentally.

Alaska Dall Sheep

Dall sheep hunting is not for everyone. Some people will never dream of what others dream of. Some will always remain a prisoner to their fears.

If hunting for Dall Sheep is a dream for you or the Holy Grail itself in hunting, be sure to reach out. Contact Us and chat with Master Guide Terry Overly. Leave me a comment or question below and I will do my best to get to you the information you seek.

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Dall Sheep

Innocence Lost, Alaska You Have A Problem

Alaska Big Game Hunting Resource

My First Sheep Hunt

Dall Sheep are Not Out of Your Reach

Let’s Talk About Dall Sheep

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2 Responses to The Holy Grail of Big Game Hunting, Alaska Dall Sheep

  1. I learn so much from you! I had no idea about any of this. When I heard you use the term Dall sheep yesterday, I pictured a curly haired lamb 100 pounds soaking wet. I never envisioned scaling a mountain, slick faced or tree covered. You mean to tell my you don’t have lift chairs out there? I can see why skilled hunters would step up to the challenge. It’s got all the components of adventure hooked to a potential prize.

    • Dang, I wish there was a lift chair! Sheesh.
      Yes, it truly is, Dall Sheep hunting, a hunting highlight of any big game hunter. There is absolutely nothing simple or easy about a Dall Sheep Hunt- they are absolute pros at keeping watch, always, what movement and scents are shifting, what could be a danger. They are tricky with it too- as you glass and search, eventually you will see the lone ram, laying on an outcropping, almost hidden and away from the band of rams you are watching, ready to alert the others to run for safety.
      An adventure indeed, but also one of the toughest challenges to all of an individual’s skills.
      ~ Amber-Lee

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