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September 6: Dave Kramer

This story began 30 years ago when his first sheep tag went unfilled so when our close friend and elk guide Tedd Jenkins drew this coveted tag again and we were unsuccessful in the elk draw, Bill and I basically invited ourselves along. Tedd was GRACIOUS enough to agree and the planning began despite the logistical nightmare it would take to get 6 guys packed into the middle of sheep country.

This was to be a three generation hunt for the Jenkins family. Tedd, his son Dillon (who turned 17 on the hunt) and his father Larry 76 as well as Paxton Wolfley (Tedd's head guide at their main deer camp) would also be there to help with the hunt. Larry is himself a sheep grand slam holder with all 4 of the North American sheep including two Rocky Mountain bighorns, and one each Dall, Desert, and a giant record setting Stone from British Columbia. Tedd wanted so badly to have them all present in the moment of truth.

The stage was set and we all met up at the trail head a week ago for the arduous pack in. As planned we rode for more than 5 hours through beautiful yet treacherous mountains to get to our home for the week. We set up camp and prepared for the hunt.

Two days of scouting would precede opening day with a few sheep sightings but plenty of elk and a HIGH mountain slope covered in grizzlys. (A story for another day) Needless to say nerves were on edge when opening day arrived.

We were up early on Tuesday and rode horses up a drainage we'd scouted a day earlier. We tied up and began glassing a huge basin that Bill named the Yukon. It didn't take long and Dillon spotted the first sheep. Not one but four rams stood in and around a small cave on the steep slope above at 400 yards. Tedd determined that one was a shooter so a plan was made and we were off. Tedd, Paxton ,Bill and I ducked back into cover and hurried up the steep slope while Larry and Dillon stayed back and kept eyes on the sheep.

We climbed about 200 yards up and set up where Tedd and Paxton felt we needed to be. Even though we couldn't see them Larry and Dillon assured us the rams were working our way. After what seemed like an eternity the first smaller ram appeared on a ridge at 185 yards, then another, and another but not the bigger ram. Finally he stepped out, turned broadside, nudged one of the small rams in front and stopped. Tedd squeezed off the shot and the Winchester 7mm hit it's mark. The ram took off up the slope and Tedd followed up the shot with two more well placed bullets, anchoring him one the third. That's when things got interesting! The sheep began to roll and tumble down the steep slope bouncing all the way. After dropping off a shear cliff he finally came to rest against a small pine and the celebration began. Fortunately the horns were mostly intact with only on tip slightly damaged.

This was the perfect way for Tedd's hunt to end and exaclty how he'pictured it happening. He dreamt of taking this sheep since his last tag went unfilled 30 years earlier. And the best part was that he did it with his father and son right there with him. As Larry's sheep hunting nears an end, Dillon's is just beginning and they/we will all remember this hunt til the end.

Congrats Tedd and thanks for allowing Bill and I to tag along and experiencing it with you all. It was our hunt of many lifetimes as well. Now we can't wait to get back out there next fall to chase screaming bulls with you all!