- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Northern Pub; 2nd edition (April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0963986961
- ISBN-13: 978-0963986962
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sheep Hunting in Alaska (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
A native Alaskan, Tony Russ was hooked on sheep hunting after taking his first Dall ram in 1978. He took several rams with a rifle, then started bowhunting for sheep in 1988. Since taking the World Record Pope & Young Dall sheep in 1988, he has taken four more Pope & Young Dall rams. Tony also works as a guide--spending up to six weeks each fall hunting for sheep. He spends additional time each summer hiking through sheep country with binoculars and a camera. His fascination with sheep is equaled by his knowledge of their habits and habitat.
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I read this book three or four times before my most recent alpine hunt. I combined its information with that from a DVD on preparing to climb Mt. Ranier as well as with a few books on alpine mountaineering. I obtained much of my equipment from Barney's Outdoor Chalet in Anchorage (Barney's specializes in outfitting sheep hunters and they do ship worldwide), but also ordered from high-end military tactical suppliers (Crye Precision was my supplier for an outstanding tactical vest) and mountaineering stores, both local and on line. I used Russ' advice as a starting point, and then questioned retailers on what they stocked that fit those recommendations. In doing so, I was not disappointed. On an earlier hunt, I had not taken this sort of time, nor made this sort of effort, and I had a very rough 10 days. The second time around, that much wiser, I left prepared.
My one caveat regarding Russ' recommendations would be to consider the plastic boots he discusses only if you cannot find a pair of Lowa or similar leather boots that fit well. The plastic boots can place extreme strain on knees and hips over days and weeks, as they lack the "give" that even stiff leather boots offer. For me, Lowa boots combined with a Gortex liner sock for use when the boot became wet worked very well. With a sheep hunt costing as much as it did, having a pair of Lowa boots wear out before a pair of plastic boots would have worn out was of little consequence.
I also recommend training on a rock wall, and pushing the aerobic conditioning in combination with circuit training on weights if you are not living and exercising in the mountains. It takes me at least a week to adapt to the thinner air and the terrain, and that first week is a rough one! Also, I learned that it is best to SHIP YOUR GEAR A MONTH BEFORE THE HUNT. On my first hunt, First Air lost my bags and made little effort to find them. I had to borrow gear, as very little could be bought near camp. I won't leave for a remote hunt unless my gear is shipped and waiting for me.
Finally, you had better be mentally prepared to suffer. Tents are tiny, drinking water can be in short supply, bugs can be terrible, etc. But, then, that's why it's sheep hunting.
A hunter of Dall sheep can easily refer to this book to avoid dangerous and costly mistakes made from relying on improper equipment. Just follow the easy-to-read gear guidelines and make note of Tony's favorites when making your own purchasing/packing list.
This book is packed with information on sheep habitat and habits, giving you the knowledge necessary to be successful in pursuit of the most sought-after trophy in Alaska -- The Dall sheep!
If you have ever hunted these amazing sheep, or even thought about it, I would urge you to read this book.