How do you justify sheep hunting?

Falcon

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
115
Location
Enumclaw Wa
The guided hunts have roughly 0% of the logistical problems to solve. That alone makes it a whole other world.

You don't have to know the area, you don't have to scout the area and spend endless hours/days/weeks out there figuring out an area.

You don't have to figure out the weather patterns of that microclimate, and on and on that the guide/outfitter takes care of for you.

And that's what you're paying for. I realize non-residents have to hire those guides, but 95% of the cost is paying for that stuff to be done. Not having to put in the time and effort. Not having to put boots on the ground even 1/4 as much time.

No, they don't carry you in a chair for 70 miles to find that sheep(or any species). But most of the time they even dress and quarter it for you. With a moose they probably have a packer show up and help pack it out so you don't have to make six 2 miles trips with 100lbs on your back.

Camping, stalking and shooting any game animal is by far the easiest part of hunting. So yes, a guided sheep hunt where 95% of what actually goes into a hunt is like showing up and writing a check, because you wrote a check to have the vast majority of it done for you.

I'm not saying this to bring others down. I'm trying to point out that you can do all kinds of hunts, including sheep, for a price that normal people can afford(if you're a resident that doesn't require that guide) But there's a LOT more to that kind of hunt.
I'm challenging the notion that a sheep hunt costs $50k. It can. But it does not have to.

I don’t disagree with anything you said. For me, living in Washington many miles away, I wanted to give myself the best chance for success. My opportunity to scout an area wasn’t practical. Even if their wasn’t a guide requirement for sheep, I would have hired an outfitter. There was a lot planning involved, I got in the best shape of my life, and I made the longest shot of my life at 420 yards.
I’ve killed 2 Mtn goats on my own in Washington, so I have some mountain experience for these critters. Thank God I had good weather on my sheep hunt. That seems to be a huge factor in success rates.
 

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MountainAddict

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
13
Location
NC
some live like hermits all year to save for sheep hunts......agreed with prior posts with other goat hunts that can scratch a similar itch and see the incredible country.... But I recommend not holding a set of horns in your hand if you don't want to get addicted to it.. Was worth every penny to me, but it hurt like hell. my fear was waking up and being physically unable to do it, as some of these guys with 25 bonus/preference points have in the states by the time they draw a tag.
 

kaboku68

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Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
347
Location
Alaska
Never show your hand on units. I used to help people all the time. I grew up down near Chitina and we used to be the only ones to use Salmon Point. We used it for years. This is 45 years ago for reference. My sister and BIL took one of their friends down getting their fish. One of the friends was an outdoor writer for ADN and wrote about her Alaskan experience at Salmon Point. The next year we had more than 400 people go out there. It has not been the same since. Jetboats get you into great open harvest tag areas in a number of parts of the state. Once upon a time that area that you are talking about would deliver 11 year old rams like clockwork. Heavy, tightly curling bruisers. I have a cousin who has one that is 46 inches from in there. These days that is less common. You are lucky to find legal rams. They get picked pretty clean. Bootleather can pay dividends and you can find areas that will pull a ram if you have enough time. You might even see a 10 year old ram from the road. However, know that if you are competing for a resource like a full curl ram that is worth 30k or more to an outfitter and they have all the toys, time and tools I am going to bet heavily that they have the advantage. Keep going though! You are the real heart and soul of sheephunting. For many years I used a beat up coffee can, carhart coat, a tarp, and a old BL 15-45X60 spotter with my beat up old push feed XTR Winchester 300 and I would go get some. Those were some of the best hunts of my life. Your left the list of all your worldly possessions in a last will and testament in the glove compartment of your beat up old ranger and crossed yourself on the way up the mountain. Tang and salmon strips were your fuel and you marched like a boss. Ten days later you would see the other young sheep hunters packing rams out of the creek drainages and would compare notes. Man a lot of people chewed copenhagen on sheep hunts and would never touch it anyplace else. Nowadays people have a year's salary in gear and optics and they e-scout, run a podcast and model for instagram. We sure lost something. Misery was part of the whole adventure and we would call present hunters candy-azzes.
 
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Bambistew

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
330
Location
Alaska
Never show your hand on units. I used to help people all the time. I grew up down near Chitina and we used to be the only ones to use Salmon Point. We used it for years. This is 45 years ago for reference. My sister and BIL took one of their friends down getting their fish. One of the friends was an outdoor writer for ADN and wrote about her Alaskan experience at Salmon Point. The next year we had more than 400 people go out there. It has not been the same since. Jetboats get you into great open harvest tag areas in a number of parts of the state. Once upon a time that area that you are talking about would deliver 11 year old rams like clockwork. Heavy, tightly curling bruisers. I have a cousin who has one that is 46 inches from in there. These days that is less common. You are lucky to find legal rams. They get picked pretty clean. Bootleather can pay dividends and you can find areas that will pull a ram if you have enough time. You might even see a 10 year old ram from the road. However, know that if you are competing for a resource like a full curl ram that is worth 30k or more to an outfitter and they have all the toys, time and tools I am going to bet heavily that they have the advantage. Keep going though! You are the real heart and soul of sheephunting. For many years I used a beat up coffee can, carhart coat, a tarp, and a old BL 15-45X60 spotter with my beat up old push feed XTR Winchester 300 and I would go get some. Those were some of the best hunts of my life. Your left the list of all your worldly possessions in a last will and testament in the glove compartment of your beat up old ranger and crossed yourself on the way up the mountain. Tang and salmon strips were your fuel and you marched like a boss. Ten days later you would see the other young sheep hunters packing rams out of the creek drainages and would compare notes. Man a lot of people chewed copenhagen on sheep hunts and would never touch it anyplace else. Nowadays people have a year's salary in gear and optics and they e-scout, run a podcast and model for instagram. We sure lost something. Misery was part of the whole adventure and we would call present hunters candy-azzes.
Your comments always crack me up. You must have a wall full of big rams with all that knowledge and know-how.
 

the hack

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
264
There are many great thoughts in this thread about sheep hunting, life, and how they interface.

For me college was not about getting a high-paying after 3-5 years: it was about developing my mind, travel, and finding a profession that I loved where I could serve. I grew up lower middle class and entering the trades could have been more lucrative--those are wonderful and meaningful professions for the right folks. My path was not linear: landscaping>college>biomedical research>medical school>residency>fellowship>private practice>fellowship again>hospital employee. I did not get a real paycheck until I was in my 30s and managed to incur very little debt because my parents were poor and loans suck.

I did not start hunting until I was in my forties! My first big game hunt was a backpack Dall sheep hunt at age 48. How'd I do that? One kid, one wife, public school, drive a Ford Focus and invest in experiences. I thought I'd go big and skip a bunch of other hunts. The two years leading up to the hunt--during the pandemic--were rich and filled with dreaming of Alaska, time with family (locked-down) and scratching my head trying to understand why our society went nuts. Despite the suffering I saw in the hospital everyday I had Alaska on my brain and a heavy pack on my back

This is a libertarian website given its content. To that end, make wise decisions for yourself, keep your nose clean and let others walk their own path. Oh, and if you can swing it, do a sheep hunt, it may change your life.
 
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Liv2HntBigBullz

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Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
455
Location
Northern Colorado
I guess I can’t afford a new pickup either because I won’t spend that kind of money. My current truck I bought in 2017 and is a basic no frills model 2015 Silverado I got for $23k. I didn’t feel like I could afford that either but you kinda gotta have a reliable vehicle where we live to be able to go to work.

Everyone else’s responses seem to mostly be a mix of “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” or some remark about it not being justified financially but they did it anyway.

I guess I don’t want it bad enough. I can’t justify the $5,000 trip to hunt red stag in Argentina either.
Starts a thread, cannot justify the cost, doesn't have the desire to actually make a hunt happen, then complains about those that made it happen...classic self entitlement.

Nobody says you should or shouldn't. You title a thread "how do you justify a sheep hunt" and like minded folks are telling you how. I still replay my hunt over and over. To me, my 10 days in Alaska are worth more than any pickup I'll ever drive.
 

Cspraggins

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
118
Location
Tx
It's the american effing dream! work hard, grind for financial success, and live how you want to live.

I work my rear end off for the following reasons:

1) to provide a lifestyle for my family that make them want for very little

2) to provide an example to my children on how hard work is a necessity to achieve their goals (financial, personal, spiritual).

3) To gain self fulfillment in my profession/career and to develop meaningful relationships with clients and ultimately turn into friendships. These friendships/relationships having meaning beyond money is important, as there has to be a why beyond what we do for a living. For me, as a consultant, it is helping my clients solve problems that have been troubling them, and taking a vested interest in their success (Service role). That said, the deep personal connection points create a revolving door of repeat business, which becomes easier money, and in turn, a more relaxed living as I age.

4) So I can afford to do the many hobbies that make me happy, which includes supporting my wife and kid's endeavors (vacations, sports college funds), enhancing my personal investments while minimizing any debt, and hunting/fishing (in that order). If I can fill up the bucket on taking care of my family and putting enough away to make sure we are comfortable in the future, spending whatever I want on hunting/fishing does not take justification. Work hard, play hard.
 
OP
Northpark

Northpark

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Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
1,035
Starts a thread, cannot justify the cost, doesn't have the desire to actually make a hunt happen, then complains about those that made it happen...classic self entitlement.

Nobody says you should or shouldn't. You title a thread "how do you justify a sheep hunt" and like minded folks are telling you how. I still replay my hunt over and over. To me, my 10 days in Alaska are worth more than any pickup I'll ever drive.
No not self entitlement. Or complaining. The internet is a hard place to convey thoughts sometimes. I think the answers in this thread just made me realize I get more enjoyment out of some other things in life. Things like spending time with my kids. Like you said work hard play hard and for those that choose to work a lot to pay for things then great. I work in a career field (land management) that doesn’t exactly pay alot. It’s enough for a nice house for my family and for us to have a reliable vehicle for my wife and I. The kids get to do extracurricular activities and such. But it’s not enough pay to do extravagant trips heck we already don’t eat out at restaurants, or get coffee at Starbucks, etc. all the things “they” say to do to save money. Again just trying to explain my thoughts not complaining. I picked a career where I could enjoy my work and live in small town America. Sure I could switch careers and make more money but at what expense? I already work mon-fri from 7-5 (plus OT, fire assignments etc.). And once you factor in sleeping that’s not a ton of time to spend with the kids and wife during the week. So no I’m not willing to abandon my kids to get another job to pay for a hunting trip. Like I said just don’t want it bad enough to do that. When I started the thread I was simply curious as to what peoples thoughts were. It was never intended to be a poor me thing. And for folks that make it happen I say good for you.
 

Iceman82

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
37
Location
MN
So I will start by saying I have always dreamed of sheep hunting. I’ve spent time watching sheep. Sneaking up on them for pictures etc. my odds of drawing a tag in my lifetime are nearly 0. Doesn’t stop me from applying every year in several states. The only “sheep” hunt I’ve ever paid for was a $2750 Aoudad hunt in west Texas. It was awesome and very much what I thought it would be. I also did it before it got any pricier. Same hunt with same outfitter is now $5k. Still a relative bargain in the sheep world.

I have often thought of going on a guided sheep hunt. The price of admission keeps me out of it. Could I save for several years and then go? Sure. No way would I consider it responsible. I don’t even own my home technically since I have a mortgage so the 30k would be responsibly put towards that or paying for a new vehicle when mine inevitably dies. My point being I’m really happy for folks that get to do this but how do you justify spending 30k on the cheap end?
Where to start?
I have always had the dream of connecting on a Dall Sheep. I didn't have a plan, just lived my life. I started my own business 23 yrs ago. I was fortunate enough to always live with in my means, took care of my family and lived responsibly.
My kids grew up, moved out on their own and are very independent and responsible. We paid off our home and the business is debt free.
$30,000 is a lot of money, but I didn't need to take it from something I should be paying. It was a dream of mine and I was able to fulfill that dream last August. I am grateful and very blessed. In the end, they will throw dirt on all of us. We each need to decide what is most important to us and prioritize.
 

JBrown1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
138
Having done both, you don’t know what the **** you are taking about.
I'm just curious, what are the sheep hunts that you have done guided and non-guided? I'm mostly asking if you have done comparable wilderness sheep hunts guided and unguided.

I don't agree that a guided sheep hunt is "just writing a check and showing up". But anyone who has done a self guided sheep hunt in wilderness Alaska could be forgiven for believing that because of the mountain of logistics that the self guided hunter has to deal with.
 

Cactus kid

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Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
452
I'm just curious, what are the sheep hunts that you have done guided and non-guided? I'm mostly asking if you have done comparable wilderness sheep hunts guided and unguided.

I don't agree that a guided sheep hunt is "just writing a check and showing up". But anyone who has done a self guided sheep hunt in wilderness Alaska could be forgiven for believing that because of the mountain of logistics that the self guided hunter has to deal with.
Unguided, diy “sheep” hunts are mostly limited to aoudad hunts in my home state if Texas. I have a half dozen or so to my credit. Similar hunting to desert bighorn, but should not be compared to thinhorn backpack hunting. It does come with its own set of unique problems, most of which is figuring out land access.

Like most guys on rokslide, I’ve done many unguided, self supported hunts in multiple states. Deer, elk, bear, antelope. Often multiple states a year. Some of them backpack, some of them not. I have, at this time, only hunted the Alaska wilderness DIY one time.

I’m not a resident of Alaska so going on a true backpack sheep hunt will always require a guide. In my option one of the finest hunts there is. Ive done it once. I have also done guided Ibex in Kyrgyzstan (not a sheep but similar hunting), and just returned from hunting Blue Sheep in Nepal. The logistics involved in Nepal, even guided, was monumental. All these hunts were some of my best experiences in the field.

I’ve worked hard for all the opportunities I’ve had. I’m not the most seasoned hunter in the world, but I’m also not a greenhorn.

The holier than thou attitude I sometimes see with the 100% DIY crowd makes me roll my eyes.
 

Raypo

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Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
102
Location
St. Louis, MO
Like many have said, it’s all relative. $25k-$90k for sheep is a lot of money no matter how much is stuffed in the mattress. For me and in my early adulthood, $90k was not even a possibility. I‘m most certainly blessed now in where $90k on a sheep hunt would not be considered irresponsible. That does not take away the sticker shock, but does make it a possibility. Good luck to you, I hope one day it becomes reality for you.
 

buckpro

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
23
Location
SC
This thread has been a good read. As others have said, it's all what you can justify and your priorities. That may be financially for some, mentally for others, or both. Everyone has a spark that starts them. The world of hunting is full of stories of guys that waited to long or "should of", don't be that guy. Write you down a goal lists, then write down what it will take to meet that goal. Then do it.
 

WCB

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Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
2,535
Personally I don't understand why it has to be justified at all....now if you have a wife and kids and money is tight that is a different story. But in general you either have the money or not. I know a couple guys that are just plain old cheap have the money in the bank but won't spend it. Some will say "well that is why they have a bunch of money" and my response then is "why do they have a bunch of money then".

IMO just don't complain or talk about maybe one day doing it. Shit or get off the pot.
 

cbeard64

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Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
173
Location
Corsicana, Texas
I agree that the only justification needed is to oneself and one’s family. Not others.

What is common on these threads is for posters to assume their circumstances are like everyone else’s when everyone is different.

Obviously, if you have a family and are struggling to make ends meet, it would be monumentally irresponsible to spend 50K on a sheep hunt (assuming you could get it or borrow it).

Just as obviously, a guy that’s worth many millions of dollars can go on any sheep hunt he wants without worry or concern. So guys who blast others as irresponsible, stupid, or whatever for spending big $$ are just showcasing their, let’s say, lack of understanding that not everyone is in the same boat.
 

HornPorn

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Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
142

The Fox & the Grapes​


A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox's mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.

The bunch hung from a high branch, and the Fox had to jump for it. The first time he jumped he missed it by a long way. So he walked off a short distance and took a running leap at it, only to fall short once more. Again and again he tried, but in vain.

Now he sat down and looked at the grapes in disgust.

"What a fool I am," he said. "Here I am wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes that are not worth gaping for."

And off he walked very, very scornfully.
________

There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.
 

Dkuczek

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
92
I am in the justification side as you. My problem is i delayed a few years before covid...then covid happened and now i'm sitting here trying to figure out if i should pay 35k USD (I am Canadian so this is going to equate close to 48k + all the other fees added on so just say 50k). This is a bucket list experience i want to have before i cannot anymore...my issue is in fact the crazy conversion rate itself to do a hunt like this
 

MBN

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Nov 25, 2022
Messages
16
Location
AK
For those that can't afford it, Mountain goat hunts are a fraction of the price and a great hunt
 
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