By: Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
I’m elated. I drew my Big Horn Sheep tag for Colorado after 14 years. I still can’t believe I actually get to hunt one of these magnificent creatures.
Now the work has begun. It is, however, a labor of love. In preparation, there have been a number of measures we have been taking to prepare. Well, constructive measures that extend beyond my constant babble about how excited I am.
- Getting into optimal physical fitness for sheep season is paramount. I’m not saying you need to pack 50 pounds of rocks in your pack and grunt up every mountain within range. I am saying, however, spending time exerting oneself at altitude is extremely important. Even though we reside around 8,000 feet here in Gunnison, the peaks we will be hunting extend to 11,000+ feet. There is indeed a difference in exertion at the higher altitudes that even affect those of us who reside at high altitude. Personally, I have switched my workout routines from running to higher intensity hiking during the week, then altitude hiking while scouting on the weekends. Core and arm training are equally important.
- We’ve spent every available weekend scouting various vantage points, ascents and access points. It is key to have a good perspective of the entire region and the best routes to accommodate animal movement and patterns. This takes accessing the region from different points, identifying possible re-routing and identifying alternative camp positions. We have several more weekends to get additional information.
- Oh mercy is this ever important. While I feel I am a good shot to a general distance of 350-400 yards, I need to practice to longer reaches. I will be using my husband’s 300 ultra mag for this hunt and I want to ensure I have complete confidence in myself and the firearm. We will be setting up a practice range that affords me the opportunity to practice at longer distances as well as elevation shots. Stay tuned.
Gearing up. As this hunt is definitely remote, we are starting to rummage through all of our gear to ensure water filters are working, sleeping pads are intact, JetBoil’s work and tent is in good condition. We also spend this time stocking up on Mountain House meals, fuel canisters and replaceable items from our packs. We also start thinking about accumulating ammo for the hunt and target practice.
So this is where we are so far. Working forward to this amazing hunt! Stay tuned.