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- Epilogue to 2010 Sheep Hunt
- Stone’s Sheep Hunt – August 2010
- Sheep Hunt 2010
August 31st, 2010
Following the successful harvest of a great ram with scenery to match…let me tell you about what is involved after the harvest. Lots of work. Albiet work that is easily done when you’re smiling after a successful hunt!!
Deboning all the meat and looking after the cape is an important part of the hunt. We deboned the entire ram. All 4 quarters, backstraps, tenderloins and even the ribs. Given how late in the hunt it was, we knew we had a lot of ground to make up and it was without delay that we would start out right away and go as long as we could before setting up camp for the first night.
Fully loaded and ready to go. Pack weight is well in excess of 100 lbs with meat, and head (which still wasn’t caped out at that point). We would hike hard with no break until we were well into the timbered valley again that was familiar to us. Its much easier and quicker covering ground when you know what to expect and what lays ahead!! It was still a big grunt effort.
That night rain moved in and we were tired, so we figured to spend a few hours resting while I looked after the caping of the ram. Chef extraordinaire, Brent, took that time while I was caping out the head, to gather wood and build a fire in order to cook what has to be the highlight of the trip. Sheep ribs sprinkled with seasoning and slow cooked over the coals of the fire. Absolutly scrumptious. Many sheep hunters don’t bother with the ribs when packing out a sheep. They are missing out the best part of the sheep hunt, and that is ribs over a fire. It is delicious.
After a great feast of greasy ribs! I set about the task of turning the ears, eyes, lips and nose. Brent tackled the skull to clean off the flesh and remove the lower jaw.
Brent working away.
Soon after … we packed and loaded up our packs!! With full stomachs and renewed energy we struck off. Another long day of hiking with heavy loads. Not much was said as we knew we had a long ways to go. Pretty much the only conversation centered around, “Lets take a break for a few minutes.” At this point we were hitting all those streams (I prefer to call them small rivers) and fast water crossings. This time, instead of taking our packs off to put our crocs on, we just taped the bottoms of our boots and trudged on through. This saved a lot of time. We each took turns standing by in case one of us fell into the water. Heavy loads combined with fast water can make for tricky crossings. One important thing to do is to undo all the buckles on your pack, and take your hands out of the hiking pole straps. Should you fall, you want to be able to get out of your pack as fast as you can. This is just one crossing I decided to snap a couple photos of Brent. We would yet make another camp that night. Our 2nd day enroute with loaded packs. We were exhausted to say the least and we didn’t even bother cooking dinner but downed a protein bar and turned into bed to sleep. This is what happens when you push yourself deep into sheep country. Like the old saying, what goes up must come down …. can apply to how far one hikes into the mountains.
Brent making one of the many crossings we would do.
We woke up early on our third day to start our backpacking the rest of the way to make it out. We were 2 very very tired hunters at this point but we would make it. Looking back, we pushed quite hard to cover ground and consequently our cameras never came out of their pouches. I will have to remind myself to do so next time. We were both happy and tired and just wanted to start the road home.
Exhausted on the 3rd day of backpacking … but still grinning!!
Quickly loaded up for the drive home!! The salted cape and all the meat was stored in the cooler we brought. Back at the lodge at Muncho Lake, we were able to get ice to keep the meat cold for the drive home. We thanked Marianne and Urs for their wonderful service and flying once again on a great sheep hunting adventure.
I hope you all enjoyed reading about this Stone’s sheep hunting adventure and this inspires new and aspiring sheep hunters to make your dreams a reality and one day pursuing mountain monarchs…and to those with sheep hunting experiences under their belt, a renewed thirst to pursue sheep as well as rekindle your own past and future adventures in the mountains.Hunting News | Comment (0)
July 28th, 2010
Things sure have been busy the last couple months and here I am thinking it would be a great idea to get an entry in before departing on what should be a great adventure for Stone’s Sheep in what is known as the Muskwa-Kechika Wilderness Area.
August sheep hunting to me is the gateway to the entire hunting season unfolding from September through November. That also means you will also be able to log onto the BC Outdoors blog and follow my continuous updates and adventures throughout the fall.
My hunting partner, Brent Tingstad and I depart tomorrow for the long drive north to Muncho Lake where we will depart for our destination via float plane.
My gear is packed and ready! Some of you may have read the latest issue of BC Outdoors Magazine, ”Gearing for Sheep”. Nothing in that list has changed for this years hunt except one thing. That is the changing of my breakfast routine of oatmeal. I like oatmeal on my sheep hunts and its a pretty standard fare for most others I know who also hunt sheep. Some energy bars on the market today now weigh less than 2 packs of Oatmeal with way more nutritious content which is invaluable on a sheep hunt. We’ll see how I like it with this years breakfast change up!
We have planned our gear / food for 14 days. Two whole weeks living in the mountains!! This is where all the training and all the preparation (equipment, physical and mental) finally comes together. I’m sure interested to know what kind of mountain weather will be thrown our way this year whether its being stuck in a tent for a few days or laying awake all night on a mountain ridge in a severe wind storm.
For all you readers, check back in a couple weeks and I will have the story and photo’s of our sheep trip (whether successful or not) on line.
Greg BlackburnFiled under Hunting News | Comments (3)
May 4th, 2010
The proposed White-tailed deer season has been a bit of a news generator over the last few weeks in the newspapers and on the radio, particularly last week on the radio about the “hunters and environmentalists” teaming up to protest against the proposed White-tailed deer seasons in British Columbia, most notably in the Region 8 Okanogan – Boundary area of British Columbia as ……… not being sustainable.
A white-tailed deer GOS is not sustainable??
Not only do I disagree, but I know it is sustainable.
White-tailed deer have proven to be very resilient to harvest throughout North America and I do not forsee the proposed GOS to have any detrimental effect on BC’s growing white-tailed deer population, which, incidentally has risen to an estimated 81,000 to approximately 128, 500 white-tailed deer.
The area where contentious issues have arisen within the Okanogan – Boundary area has an estimated 31,000 to 44, 000 white-tailed deer. A high white-tailed deer population can have a negative impact on other species, in particular mule deer. Especially when you’re dealing with predators such as cougar.
In a recent Times Colonist article, BC Guides Balk at plan to open season on white-tailed deer, an outfitter was quoted as saying the following:
“Clear-cuts bring in the wolves, the wolves prey on the mule deer, the mule deer is in trouble and now the whitetail have become prey.”
………. believes a general open season on whitetails is not sustainable and that irreparable harm could occur.
This is a wrong and misleading statement. To quickly sum up research in the north Washington / Boundary – Okanogan area into laymans terms: mule deer populations were on the decline when no predator harvests were conducted (cougar) and the white-tailed population remained the same. Once cougar harvests were increased, both white-tailed deer and mule deer populations increased. Essentially showing cougars to be density dependant on white-tailed deer populations!!
This now brings us to the whole GOS scenario for white-tailed deer. In many areas, we stand to benefit with the proposed GOS. I personally feel with the hunter demographic and hunter mindset in BC….its nearly impossible to impact white-tailed deer given the resiliency and the habitat they tend to utilize as compared to a species like mule deer.
White-tailed deer by their very nature, are one of North America’s most prolific ungulates with the highest growth rate of all large game species. They are highly adaptable and resilient and take up residence in a wide variety of habitat types, be it within town / city limits, agricultural areas, vineyards, river / creek bottom lowlands and through to high elevation alpine areas.
One only needs to look at other jurisdictions with long and successful GOS on white-tailed deer populations for ‘antlerless’ and ‘either sex’ seasons. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Idaho and Montana all have ‘antlerless’ GOS as well as ‘either sex’ seasons with the exception of Idaho. BC’s proposed GOS is also in part, based on the sound management principles from these jurisdictions.
Benefits of the proposed white-tailed deer season are many, such as:
- simplifying the provincial framework for regulating white-tailed deer hunting
- increase the recruitment and retention of hunters (which is further enhanced by the removal of LEH to a GOS antlerless season)
- increased hunter opportunity
- helps maintain a healthy and viable population (especially if combined with sound habitat management)
The proposed white-tailed deer GOS season is a step in the right direction and I look forward to seeing people out there to take advantage of the added opportunity.Filed under Hunting News | Comment (0)
March 26th, 2010
The 2010 BC LEH Synopsis is now available on line for viewing!
The deadline has been moved up and LEH cards must be received in Victoria by 4:30 pm, May 21, 2010.
The hard copy versions of the LEH Synopsis will be available to the public the week of April 19, 2010.Filed under Hunting News | Comment (0)
March 24th, 2010
Great news from the MOE with the latest proposal to introduce the LEH Synopsis for resident hunters early than in years past.
This is a step in the right direction to get the draws results out to resident hunters earlier. Although I would like to see all LEH draws to co-incide with the earlier grizzly / sheep draws. Earlier drawings enhance participation by many hunters who must otherwise plan and book their holidays in advance.
The following schedule as follows is subject to change. Make sure you have your cards filled out correctly and sent in early this year!!
The proposed LEH schedule for 2010/11:
Posting of the synopsis on the F&W Branch Website: by March 26, 2009 (this Friday).
Distribution of paper synopsis: initiated by April 13th, with full distribution completed by April 19th.
Closing Date for Applications: May 21st, 2010.
Notification of drawresults is anticipated to be by June 18, 2010.
For comparison, last year (2009/10), the dates were:
Posting of the synopsis on the F&W Branch Website: last week of April.
Distribution of paper synopsis: 1st week of May.
Closing Date for Applications: June 12th
Notification of drawresults was mid July.
The 2010/11 schedule will provide hunters with about 4 wks to review the synopsis and submit their LEH applications, (but considerably longer if they check the website). In addition we anticipate hunters will be notified of the draw results almost a month earlier than last year.Filed under Hunting News | Comment (0)
February 18th, 2010
I have been in touch with the editor, Mike Mitchell off and on for close to 2 years now and when Mike asked me if I would like to contribute to the BC Outdoors on line blog team, I gladly accepted!! British Columbia is incredibly rich in fish and wildlife resources with great angling, hunting and outdoor opportunities and I look forward to adding my own adventures.
Readers will find themselves reading not only about hunting but from an assortment of outdoor activities I actively partake in. Like the seasons, I often change my activities accordingly. Whether, it is ice fishing /skiing adventures in the winter, fly fishing trips to small lakes in the spring, canoe trips / hiking in the summer right into fall hunting. I’ll have a bit of everything!!
One prevalent thought on my mind at this moment as I type this blog, is I am anxiously awaiting the results of the LEH draws for Dall sheep in the extreme northwest corner of British Columbia known as the Tatshenshini. I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up too high this time around as my sheep hunting partner Brent Tingstad and I have both been very fortunate to have drawn the Dall sheep tags the past two years in a row. What an adventure those 2 sheep hunts were!! We did not harvest sheep but it wasn’t without opportunity to do so on legal rams!
Now before some of you start wondering why I am talking about LEH draws at this time of year when they normally come out in the spring, this year was the first year the Skeena (Region 6) decided to move all sheep draws early for 2010 with a February 5thdeadline. Pending draw results will be out by February 20th!! This move is to allow person’s who draw tags the ability to perhaps plan their trips better with advanced notice. This greatly avoids the conflicts experienced by many hunters (myself included) during the 2009 sheep season when most of us did not get the draw results until 2 weeks before August 1st sheep season started. It is a step in the right direction.
GregFiled under Hunting News | Comment (0)