Dall sheep hunting offers sportsmen a challenging quarry and an excellent trophy. With their thick, magnificently curled horns, Dall sheep make for a top-notch alpine prize.
Dall sheep, sometimes called Dall’s sheep and including the subspecies Fannin sheep, live in the subarctic regions of North America, including northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska. They live in steep mountains where they can quickly escape less agile predators. They have white coats, black noses, and yellow horns and eyes.
Prize rams can weigh nearly 300 lb—twice as much as the largest ewes. They yield about one-third of their weight in meat, which many consider to be excellent. However, since they’re so hard to reach, few Dall sheep hunts are performed for the sake of the meat alone, but rather for the experience and the trophy. Both sexes usually stand about three feet tall at the shoulder.
Both males and females grow horns. During the first three years of their lives, the horns of males and females are very similar in size and shape, curving backwards and outwards. The horns of ewes then reach their largest size, but those of a ram continue to grow, curling forwards again. By the time they reach eight years of age, a ram’s horns form a full circle, known as a full curl. These typically reach 35 inches in length. Most Dall sheep hunting is done in the hopes of bagging one of these full-curl rams, especially those with exceptional horns that are 38 inches long or longer.
Rams and ewes tend to form separate groups and approach the opposite sex only during mating season. Both sexes fight amongst themselves for dominance within their groups, and battles between rams can be spectacular.
Dall sheep hunts are done during August and occasionally September. Most outfitters offer 10-day hunts.
Our outfitters often take clients out in bush planes in order to reach the hunting grounds. Hunters then proceed into promising territory. Most hunts are performed at altitudes of 5,000-7,000 feet, where the largest rams can be found.
Most of the time, a hunter can get the opportunity to bag a ram without an excessively grueling hike, but it’s important to be prepared for one just in case. It may become necessary to pursue your quarry for a considerable distance over very rough terrain.
The most commonly recommended calibers for Dall sheep hunts are .243 and .300. It’s recommended that you be practiced at hitting targets 300 yards away with your chosen rifle in order to have the highest possible chances of success.
Call Global Sporting Safaris today at 888-850-4868, Extension 705 and let us know what type of Dall sheep hunting experience you are looking for. We’ll send you information on opportunities that match your goals. Our experienced outfitters are second to none and we’re happy to share personal experiences with you.