Author Topic: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase  (Read 5249 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Andrea S

  • Member
  • Posts: 192
Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« on: September 18, 2015, 03:20:01 pm »
This hunt was an indescribably amazing experience in some jaw-droppingly beautiful country that was as rugged and challenging as it was breathtaking and gorgeous. If you ever have a chance to see or hunt the Missouri River Breaks, or fish on Fort Peck Reservoir, do it - if you have the grit, you won't regret it.



I'll spoil it now by telling you that I ended up filling my ewe tag with the rifle - my hunt was cut short by two days (the first was due to vehicle issues, the last was a gnarly rain forecast which wouldn't matter in most other places, but in the Breaks, the "roads" [read: two-tracks across the prairie] are made of pure clay, so if it rains more than a sprinkle, you're stuck 40 miles back there until it dries out). I planned my hunt so that it overlapped the transition from archery to rifle season, so the first two days I hunted with my bow, then put on two more incredible bow stalks on rifle opening day, then made the decision to break out the boom stick as the weather started to move in. Filling the freezer is my number one goal, and this was going to be my only opportunity to hunt the area and fill the tag, so it's a decision I don't regret.

But from an archery standpoint, I just can't tell you what an awesome opportunity this hunt was. It felt like boot camp for spot-and-stalk. Sheep aren't crepuscular like deer or elk, so they're out and visible all day. The trouble is, they're usually out and visible at the top of some steep cliff, or grazing at the slope where a crumbling cliff face has provided enough foothold for scrub grass and juniper to take hold. The place where most of the sheep were living was called Iron Stake Ridge, and it was a five mile hike in from camp each day before the hunting even started. I put in over 30 miles just getting to the sheep, not counting all the scrambling, traversing, backtracking, and sneaking I did through coulees and around cliff faces. There were many places I stalked to where I was literally placing my feet in sheep tracks, trying not to look down to the bottom of the steep draw below me and think about what one slip would do - bow in one hand, steadying myself with the other. I gained so much knowledge on reading terrain, predicting movements (though sheep are a bit ADD, and don't ever seem to go where you think they're planning to) and got to compound bow range (sub 40yd) on at least 6 different sheep. Please note, that achievement is more of a "nana nana boo boo" to my wheelie-bow friends - I have no desire whatsoever to shoot anything other than my own built stick and string.

So much emphasis is put on trying to draw ram tags, but with the infinitesimal possibility of that ever happening, I would much rather draw a ewe tag every 2-3 years and enjoy the heck out of it. Not to mention, the venison from a bighorn sheep is, hands down and without question, the most delicious meat you will ever put on your plate.

But enough of my yammering. Here's what everyone wants - the pictures! I put the grip-n-grin with the rifle in the off-topic forum if anyone wants to see it.












Look close for the sheep in this one.

A good hunting buddy is indispensable.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 04:58:50 pm by Andrea S »
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline Andrea S

  • Member
  • Posts: 192
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 03:22:38 pm »
Oh, and a tremendous thanks to Osage Outlaw who was generous enough to provide the billets for my trusty takedown. You've got a pack of steaks with your name on it, brother.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline PEARL DRUMS

  • Member
  • Posts: 13,949
  • }}}--CK-->
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 04:28:28 pm »
Fantastic pics Andrea! And yup, ol' Clints a good guy.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

Offline Pat B

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 36,841
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 04:37:46 pm »
Thanks for sharing your hunt with us, Andrea. A great hunt, beautiful country and a good hunting buddy, what more could you ask for.
 I bet PA Magazine would love to print some of your archery adventures...and they pay!  ;)
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bubbles

  • Member
  • Posts: 932
  • PM110769
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 04:49:23 pm »
Looks amazing. Awesome that you were stalking those hills with a stick bow. 

Offline TimBo

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,003
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2015, 04:56:18 pm »
Wow, what beautiful country!  Congrats on filling the freezer.  Did you post that takedown in the Bows area?  If so, I missed it.

Offline Andrea S

  • Member
  • Posts: 192
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2015, 05:05:26 pm »
Thanks guys!  I put the grip-n-grin in the Campfire forum and updated the original post with the link if anyone wants to see.

Timbo, no, I didn't get a write up of the bow in there yet - I finished it right at the beginning of antelope season here so I've been too busy hunting! Off to chase elk this weekend and maybe give the deer stand a sit on Sunday. No stopping till January!
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline Badly Bent

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,750
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 06:09:34 pm »
Wow, what an adventure in some beautiful hunting grounds. From the pics it looks like you got yourselves in among the game real close. Considering the terrain and cover I'd say getting spitting distance has got to be awfully tough. I'd have to bet there is one of those ewes in danger next time that you head out after it with a bow. Nothing wrong with getting that meat with the rifle either, enjoy the feast. :) 
I ain't broke but I'm badly bent.

Offline JW_Halverson

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,663
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 09:45:49 pm »
Having dallied in that country once, I have HUGE respect for you and your drive to do this hunt right!  It's not easy stalking in the best of times, but choosing to set a side a large bite of that opportunity to dedicate it to hunting with stick and string is simply amazing.  People like you look at hunting much like someone of deep faith looks at a pilgrimage.  It mixes and muddles the boundaries between physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological. 

Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline Ranasp

  • Member
  • Posts: 209
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 10:08:30 pm »
Sounds like you had a blast out there and did the sensible thing for your goals.  Congratulations on that ewe! 

Offline osage outlaw

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,934
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2015, 11:52:31 pm »
Glad to see those billets put to use.  Your pictures were amazing.  Looks like quite the adventure.  I agree with Pat on the Primitive Archer magazine article.
I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left

Offline kleinpm

  • Member
  • Posts: 218
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2015, 11:53:45 pm »
I need to start putting in for ewe tags!

Sounds like a great experience.

Patrick

Offline mullet

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 22,823
  • Eddie Parker
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2015, 12:23:31 am »
Andrea, a hunt of a life time. I love reading stories of someone that hunts for the adventure and meat, and not just for the horns. If I had made that trip from Florida and gone that many days without a shot I'm not sure if I would have stuck with the bow that long. Congratulations on a successful hunt and some good meat in the freezer.
Lakeland, Florida
 If you have to pull the trigger, is it really archery?

Offline Pappy

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 30,909
  • if you have to ask you wouldn't understand ,Tenn.
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2015, 04:09:18 am »
Congrats on a great hunt and loved the story. Very well done. :)
 Pappy
Clarksville,Tennessee
TwinOaks Bowhunters
Life is Good

Offline Aaron H

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,437
Re: Missouri Breaks Bighorn Ewe Chase
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2015, 12:37:19 pm »
Awesome story Andrea, thanks for sharing, and congrats