Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Dall Sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) is perhaps one of the most iconic big game animals in Alaska. It is by far the most physically demanding of all hunts but the rewards of a successful hunt are immeasurable. For the hunter who is physically and mentally prepared, fair chase hunting Dall Sheep is an experience that has no comparison. I hunt the North Eastern portion of the Brooks Range, located in world famous Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a designated wilderness area. The area I am permitted to guide in is home to some of the highest sheep population densities in the state. It has historically produced high quality rams usually in the 33 - 36 inch range, some going larger. This is also one of the most remove areas you can hunt. The sheer vastness and beauty of the Arctic will leave a lasting impression.
Your trip begins with you flying to Anchorage, and then onto Fairbanks. Once in Fairbanks you will fly on a regularly scheduled flight with Air Arctic or Wrights Air to Cold Foot. When you arrive in Cold Foot you will be met either by me or the staff of Coyote Air (they will have all of your information). Coyote Air will then fly you to the hunt area with me and my Assistant Guide, or I will already be in the hunt area waiting to meet you.
Once in the hunt area we set up a small gear cache and begin the hunt the next day after flying. My Assistant Guide the hunter and I each carry enough freeze dry food and gear for 10 full days. We do eat real meat once the animal is harvested but until then it is almost all freeze dry backpacking food. Hunting is all backpack style, spot and stalk. Our camps consist of small backpack style 2 man Kuiu or Hilleberg tents for the guides and 1 man Hilleberg tents for the hunter. This is a true expedition style hunt. The walking is surprisingly enjoyable for those who are prepared, but hunters should be ready to walk many miles with a heavy pack of up to 50 pounds. Once we set camp in a location we like, we go out on day hunts with packs that weigh far less, usually 15 – 25 pounds. We move the camp location as needed, hunting valleys as we go.
Hiking the main river valley and side tributaries enables us to cover great distances with relative ease. Because of this we are able to sort through the sheep until we find the larger old age class rams we want. We hunt as a mobile unit, moving camp as needed hunting the rugged upper valleys looking for older rams. Once we find a ram we like, we watch and wait for the right time to make a stalk on him. This may be a matter of minutes or several days. Patience is key. Grizzly Bear and Caribou may be taken at any time during the hunt on a trophy fee basis, and can be taken at any point during a hunt.
Once the sheep is harvested we pack the meat, hide and horns down the mountain and back to spike camp. We then pack up spike camp along with the sheep and head back to the landing point and gear cache. From here we generally camp and hunt bear and caribou, or the passing wolf, until pickup date. Anyone who has successfully harvested a Dall Sheep will count it as a crowning achievement in of their hunting lives!
Dates: August 7 – 19 or August 19-29
Price: $19,500 for sheep
Optional Trophy Fee (hunter may choose either species or both species):
$6,500 for grizzly
$3,500 for caribou
Not included: Round trip air charter fee, from Cold Foot to camp and back: $2000 (payable to air charter company on arrival into Cold Foot)
Dall Sheep Locking Tag: $850 (Non Resident) $1,100 (Non Resident Alien)
Brown/Grizzly Locking Tag: $1,000 (Non Resident) $1,300 (Non Resident Alien)
Caribou Locking Tag: $650 (Non Resident) $850 (Non Resident Alien)
Wolf Locking Tag: $60 (Non Resident) $100 (Non Resident Alien)
Hunting License: $160 (Non Resident) $630 (Non Resident Alien)
Other Cost: $150 Hunters Preservation Fund contribution
Wolf may be taken at no additional charge (tag fee excluded)