Mixing our world which includes hunting Dall Sheep with Social Media has proven to be a complicated trick. We are not simply a Hunting Outfitter and have no wish to be. Nor do we have any intention of allowing this website to give you that impression. We (Pioneer Outfitters and Alaska Chick’s Blog) are here online and deeply involved with Social Media to give you the opportunity to truly come to know who we are, what we do, how we do it and what we stand for. We are here online to answer your questions, to get to know you too and to share our lives and the wilderness we live in with anyone who wishes to know more or experience it with us. Both in person or online.
The Dall sheep (originally Dall’s sheep), Ovis dalli, is a species of sheep native to northwestern North America. The sheep inhabit the subarctic mountain ranges of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, the Mackenzie Mountains in the western Northwest Territories, and northern British Columbia.
Dall sheep are found in relatively dry country and try to stay in a special combination of open alpine ridges, meadows, and steep slopes with extremely rugged ground in the immediate vicinity, to allow escape from predators that cannot travel quickly through such terrain.
Social Media, Wikipedia says, “..are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialog.” I have learned, during the last 6 months, Social Media is connecting, building relationships, earning trust and forming bonds.
Dall Sheep grow to approximately 35″ at the shoulder. A Ram can weigh between 200-250 pounds while the ewes are between 110-150 pounds. They are the only wild white sheep in the world.
I have met amazing, intelligent (some scarily so), kind, compassionate, helpful….well, I’m pretty happy, folks. Each connection I make, each person I get to know better, each person I feel I want to share my day with, brings me closer to others.
~What I am trying to say to you, that I want to you to understand, is this, is where we can change the world.
Hunting Dall Sheep is physically and mentally challenging. (I’m a firm believer in the mental part of it being the biggest part.) Rams are routinely spotted from our camps or riding into the areas we know they like to be in, so we can never emphasize enough the need to use the binoculars.
The truth of the matter is, that being real here, on line for the world, once the publish button is pushed is a responsibility. Whether you are brand new or are very good and have been doing this for awhile for hundreds or thousands of visitors, it matters. It matters, because people are listening.
It matters, because you can change someone’s life, their direction. That takes strength, mental, emotional and physical (to sit there all day!). Whether at a desk or sitting on the side of a mountain, it matters.
If rams are not spotted within a reasonable amount of time, we typically will travel far enough to get a different perspective, or view of the surrounding mountains. Dall sheep that are bedded out of sight can easily appear out of seemingly nowhere, so it is important to routinely glass the same areas over and over again.
Patience and perseverance are unbelievably important to Social Media. It takes time. You have to believe in yourself, continue to try to improve your skills and share yourself. If you are unwilling to share your experiences, if you are unable or incapable of answering folk’s questions, how can you expect them to trust you?
Once a ram is spotted evaluations have to be made, and this can often be time consuming on rams that are not obviously legal. Spotting scopes are brought out, and patience is often tried as we wait for a ram to give us a better view of its’ horns, and even then, it is sometimes necessary to make a climb, just to get a better look.
There’s that responsibility again. The cost of a Dall Sheep Hunt ranges from $10,000.00 to $18,000.00 across Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories. It is my job as an Alaska Big Game Guide to guide a hunter, to hunt for game, stalk the game, tell my hunter what he or she is looking at (is he legal, how he rates, my opinion), set up a good shot for the hunter if he so chooses and quite honestly, so on and so on and so on.
The hours and effort that goes into creating a Social presence on line, the relationships begun and the ones made, are a responsibility as well. The responsibility that comes from delivering what you promise and the responsibility to be honest and to “be who you say you are“.
Dall sheep are quite unlike many big game species that the average hunter may have encountered before, since they typically express little concern over the appearance of a human out at the 500 to 600 yard mark. This isn’t always the case of course, but we often walk to within 500, even 400 yards of a ram, or group of rams, just to have them show no interest at all. Of course sheep notice you, but dependent upon the terrain that rams are found in, they often feel quite safe, even if you are close enough to take one down with the average rifle.
Social Media is similar. Most folks that find you on line, want to like you. They want to know more about what they found you for. They want to believe they can trust you…(oh wait…ok, that’s not where I’m going!)
Rams that have been pressured may react quite differently when they spot a hunter within shooting range, and without a doubt, a ram caught out in the open, with no good route of escape, well such a ram is not likely to ignore you. Our philosophy is to stay invisible as long as it is possible during a stalk, and hopefully a ram will never know we were there at all.
Alright, I lost my flow showing you how I see Social Media comparing to Sheep Hunting (!), but here is my point: Patience and focus on the goal, staying true to the good, whether you talking about legalities and ethical behavior in the field or being honest and sharing what you have (your experiences and knowledge) if you are using Social Media. Knowing without any doubts that when you are put on the line, you can stand strong and true.
- Can you tell me what things in your life, seemingly unrelated, have enhanced your ability to do both better?
~I am working on “Branding” now, in my journey of websites and blogs. I am asking folks in the comments I make on other blogs that I have been visiting and learning from, “What is Branding?” Not, what does it do, but what actually is it? Ugh. Do I have to be “Branded”? (sounds kind of painful, and I don’t mean a headache!)