No, I did not take a sheep on my first outing. Yes, I am totally trashed after the first 4 days of the hunt.
My son, the human pack mule, arrived last Wednesday to assist me in round 1 of my hunt. Early Thursday we packed into an area that I had previously scouted. We hiked in for about 7 hours. It was either side hill, cliffs, rocks or uphill the entire way. We found a small flat spot to pitch our tent. I had previously packed in 2 1/2 gallons of water to the area. The only other water was 3,000 ft. below us. We started glassing the night before the opener. Just west of our camp, I glassed up a giant group of goats. The large group totaled 31 goats. In the surrounding area I glassed up another 20-25 goats on various peaks. I am obviously looking for sheep and not goats. If anyone wants to know where these goats are send me a PM.
On the opener, we got up before legal shooting light and started moving back into the basin. While glassing, we located the same groups of goats. We also located a small group of ewes (about 8) just under the large goat group. Across the canyon from our position, I glassed up some additional ewes that crossed over between two drainages all day. On the opener, I did not see a single ram. The next day was much the same as the first. However, we did have a nice billy goat walk within a 100 yards of us while we glassed for sheep. We decided to pull out of the area the next morning.
On the third day of our hunt, it was extremely hot and smoky from all the fires in Montana. It was out intent to hike into another drainage to hunt for a couple of days. This spot was trailed and a little easier to get into. On the way in, we glassed the north facing slopes of the drainage. Almost simultaneously, my son and I glassed up a lone sheep near the top of the ridge. I pulled the spotting scope out and soon realized it was a good ram hanging out in an avalanche chute. We got a long look at him and decided to go for it. My Leica showed the distance at over 1,200 yards. We hiked for 4 straight hours over some of the worst terrain I have been on. Because of the steepness and trees, we could not maintain sight contact with this ram while hiking. We arrived below his location and waited for him to show. Again, the temperatures were extremely high. We sat and glassed for almost 7 hours to see if he would come out. He didn't show. We debated staying up the hill overnight but decided not to. At 6:45 PM we started our descent. The bulk of that walk out consisted of cliffs, loose rock, junipers with few hand holds. Thank goodness I had my trekking poles. we reached the bottom of the drainage around 10:30 PM. I have never been so sore in my life.
The next day was unremarkable. My son pulled out this morning to return to his home in Colorado. My body is trashed and I am trying to recuperate before going out again. Not much else to report and I am laying low today.