By: Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women
It’s crazy, but time is flying by but is also standing still as I am getting ready for my upcoming sheep hunt! Is it weird that I stare at the calendar and mouth breathe?
28 days left. Four weeks to be exact. 40,320 minutes to be more precise.
Preparation for this hunt has by far been the most work yet the most fun. We have been working hard to prepare and I am really thankful to have this time as we have had great opportunity to evaluate our plans and make changes accordingly prior to the hunt.
Scouting. We have spent every available weekend scouting the high country. We are glassing and watching. Glassing and watching. Oh…and hiking. Holy Mother of God are we hiking! While this is country I have been in many different times, it has been a great experience looking at it from entirely different perspectives. There really is a much different level of interest and excitement than I experience with elk and even deer hunting. This is awesome.
Access Points. Undoubtedly, sheep hunting is strenuous and intense. The vertical climbs and terrain changes can be difficult and sometimes downright dangerous. We have spent many hours identifying prospective access points for ascent. While some vantage points may appear to be good routes, often times they are not as easy as they would seem. After scouting numerous peaks, we are finally feeling good about our best ascent routes and options. But then again, at 12,000 feet, nothing feels terrific and guppy breathing is pretty common.
Camp Sites. We almost always choose to pack into remote camps via horseback for most of our hunting ventures. We will be doing this again with this hunt as we are packing in eight miles deep. However, for this particular hunt we have opted to have someone take the horses out for us as soon as we drop the packs. The horses become a distraction we don’t particularly want to deal with during this hunt. We will be hitting the ridges at 4:30 in the morning and most likely not returning until after dark. While it doesn’t particularly excite me not to have a “get away car”, it will be much easier for us to concentrate on hunting. We have identified a well-protected site with plenty of water that gets us a bit further up the peak. Interestingly, last weekend we packed in and stayed where we had originally thought to place our camp. While initially this camp seemed perfect, the access was much, much further and steeper than we had predicted. Thankfully we spent that time in the camp prior to the hunt so we could really look at our options before we were committed on the hunt.
Gear Preparation. We keep a very condensed collection of gear we use when we pack into the high country. It has been very good to get out and spend time using all of it. Through our camping excursions we have been able to discuss how to make our gear as minimal and efficient as possible. While I thought we kept it all pretty minimal, we have found some great ways to make it even more so. I have also had time to really evaluate what clothing I need to take. I can truly reduce my needs by about half of what I had previously planned. This is a huge space and weight savings. By dialing down the optimal clothing systems, I have planned on the following for a week in the high country:
- Galleann Rain Pants
- Gallean Rain Jacket
- Archtach Down Jacket
- 1 x Ultra Pants
- 1 x Adventure Pants
- 2 x Merino long underwear
- 2 Merino long sleeve shirts
- 2 Merino tank tops
- 2 Merino sports bras/underwear
- Beanie/Neck Gaitor
- 3 x Incredisocks
- Kennetrek gaiters
- Zamberlan Vioz boots
So…as we get closer you will hear more of my incessant ramblings about counting days and counting sheep! Have I mentioned it’s only 28 days away?