Jerry’s Hardest Hunt


Got this email from Jerry Lowery this week. Jerry and I  have been friends for many years and served together on The Mule Deer Foundation Board of Directors for several years. Jerry’s a hard core big game hunter and hunts only with his muzzle loader. He has taken many big game trophies with his muzzle loader including a 202 inch typical mule deer.

For some time I’ve been thinking about adding a hardest hunt category to my blog. Jerry’s Dall sheep hunt is the first story in the “hardest hunt” category.

Here’s how Jerry described his Dall sheep hunt.

HI RICH, I DIDN’T MENTION THAT I BOUGHT A DALL SHEEP HUNT THIS YEAR, I GOT A DECENT DEAL. IT WAS A CANCELLATION HUNT.

 

I KILLED A NICE DALL SHEEP ON THE 8TH DAY. MY GUIDE AND I SPENT THE NEXT DAY PACKING IT TO THE GRAVEL RUNWAY SO THERE WASN’T ANY TIME FOR CARIBOU. I HAVE NOT BEEN ON A MORE DIFFICULT HUNT, BUT I MADE IT WITH ONLY A WRENCHED LEFT SHOLDER, FOUR BLISTERS, TIRED, AND A BANGED UP GUN. I CALL IT “MY HARDEST HUNT, THE BEST STALK AND LUCKIEST SHOT.”

 HARDEST HUNT:

NINE DAYS UNDER A BACK PACK, FOUR OF WHICH WERE LOADED TO 60LBS OR MORE.

HUNTED MOST DAYS TO MIDNIGHT AND SOMRTIMES TO 1:30 AM.

TRAVELED THROUGH SOME OF THE SOFTEST GROUND TO THE ROCKIEST DRAINAGES I HAVE EVER SEEN.

FELL DOWN ALMOST EVERY DAY, ONE DAY FOUR TIMES, THUS THE LEFT SHOLDER.

 

BEST STALK:

RUNNING OUT OF TIME, I SETTLED ON THE FACT THAT I MIGHT NOT GET A 38” RAM. WE SAW THIS RAM ONE MORNING FROM OUR CAMP.

FOLLOWED HIM INTO ANOTHER DRAINAGE ABOUT 3 MILES WHERE HE BEDDED. WATCHED HIM A LITTLE WHILE THEN MOVED.

ALWAYS UP HILL, UNTIL I HAD TO MOVE ACROSS THE  MOUNTAIN.

UP AND DOWN THROUGH CRUMBLING CLIFFS WHERE EVERY STEP WAS PLANNED AND CACULATED, I NEVER SLIPPED.

IF I SLIPPED, IT WOULD BE MY LAST. I COMTEMPLATED THAT AND HOW BAD IT WOULD HURT BEFORE I DIED.

I LITTERALY LAID ON MY BACK TO GIVE MYSELF MORE ADHESION TO MOUNTAIN TO KEEP  FROM LOOSING MY GRIP.

MY BUTT WAS SORE FROM ALL THE CRAB CRAWLING OVER CLIFFS, THROUGH ROCK SLIDES, AND ACROSS THE STEEPEST AREA I HAVE EVER BEEN ON.

I CRAWLED DOWN ONE CRACK THAT I SUPPORTED MYSELF BY PLACING ONE FOOT AND ONE HAND ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CRACK UNTIL I REACHED THE BOTTOM.

WHEN I REACHED THE BOTTOM I HAD TO CLIMB UP THE OTHER SIDE. THIS HOW I PROCEEDED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE STALK.

I FIRST RANGED HIM AT 230 YARDS. THEN AT 150YARDS I DECIDED TO TRY A SHOT. I HAD PRACTICED AT THAT RANGE, BUT I CLEANLY MISSED HIM.

I LOOKED AT MY FRONT SIGHT IT WAS SLIGHTLY BENT.

THE SOUND DIDN’T DISTURBE THE RAMS AND THEY LAID BACK DOWN IN THEIR BEDS. WHAT LUCK.

I MOVED TO 125 YARDS, BUT DECIDED THAT I STILL NEEDEDTO BE CLOSER.

THERE WAS A PENNICAL THAT I COULD USE AS COVER BUT HAD TO MANOUVER UP AND DOWN THE RIDGE AGAIN, BUT ALMOST IN FULL VIEW OF ONE SHEEP.

THANKFULLY I HAD THE SITKA GEAR.

I RANGED HIM AT 90 YARDS. THIS WOULD BE IT AS THERE WAS NO MORE COVER.

I SET UP AND WAITED FOR HIM TO GET UP AGAIN. WITHIN 10 MINUTES HE ROSE TO HIS FEET.

 

THE LUCKY SHOT:

I CARRIED MY GUN ON MY LEFT SIDE FOR MOST OF THE HUNT BECAUSE OF THE PACK.

AS I MENTIONED I FELL DOWN A LOT . AFTER THE SHOT AT 150 YARDS I LOOKED AT MY SIGHTS AND NOTICED THAT THE FRONT SIGHT HAD A NICK IN IT AND WAS BENT.

WHEN I SHOT AGAIN OT 90 YARDS I HELD LOW ON THE HEART. I HIT THE SHEEP, BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHERE. HE COULD BARELY WALK AND WANTED TO BACK UP A LOT .

I THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE HIT HIM IN THE LIVER, I WASN’T SURE. I RELOADER BEHIND THE RIDGE THEN I BOLDLY SAT ON TOP OF THE RIDGE AND WAITED.

THE YOUNGER RAM HAD MOVEE INTO THE LIN OF A MISPLACED SHOT. WHENHE HAD MOVED AND MY RAM TURNED HIS HEAD I SHOT AGAIN USING THE SAME SIGHT PLACEMENT.

HE WENT DOWN AND THE TUMBLE STARTED. I COULD NOT SEE HIM ALL THROUGH THE TUMBLE BUT I COULD SEE THE DUST RISING OUT OF THE SILDE.

HE CAME TO REST IN THE SLIDE ABOUT 300 YARDS DOWN THE HILL. I SAID MY THANKS AND STARTED DOWN.

THREE RAMS THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW WERE ON THE MOUNTAIN RAN TOWARDS ME AND STOPED AT 30 YARDS.

THEN FOUR MORE CAME OVER AND MILLED AROUND IN THE MY RAMS BED AREA. ONE WAS BETTER THAN MINE, BUT NOT BY MUCH.

WHEN I REACHED THE RAM HE WAS DEAD. I COULD NOT STAND UP AT THIS LACATION. I KICKED HIM OVER AND AWAY HE WENT AGAIN. HE LOGED ONE MORE TIME AND I HAD TO DO THE SAME

HE ROLLED AROUND 500 YARDS TOTAL. THAT IS WHERE WE TOOK THE PICTURES.

I HAD HIT HIM IN THE NECK, MY SIGHTS WERE OFF ABOUT 12” HIGH AND ABOUT 18” TO THE RIGHT. BOTH HOLES WERE 2’’ APART.

 

JERRY

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