Third Time's the Charm
By Joan Fuhse
On the morning of September 14, 2010, after a four-day drive from Pennsylvania to British Columbia, we boarded the bush plane and flew into the base camp at Tuchodi River Outfitters. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts Larry and Lori Warren, our guide Lawson, and wrangler Brome. After a hearty lunch we put on our hunting clothes and boots, readied our gear for the pack horses, and saddled up. We traveled till sunset, leaving enough time to setup camp, eat, and glass the area. Lawson spotted a ram, but darkness and distance hindered us from determining whether it was legal or not. Day One – We awoke to a few inches of snow and fog which hung around all day. Day Two – The weather was better today, so we broke down camp and moved to a better campsite. The only glassing we did was from camp. Day Three – Shortly after we left camp, Lawson spotted some sheep way back in one of the canyons. We climbed up a nearby mountain to get a better view. We were ecstatic to find three legal rams, but they weren't going to be easy to get to. We spent the rest of the day formulating our game plan for the following day. Day Four – The stalk was unsuccessful. We only saw the smaller ram, but he didn't present us an opportunity. Day Five – Mother Nature didn't want to cooperate. We woke up to fresh snow and fog. Day Six – We spent the day looking for the two larger rams, which seemed to have made an exit. Day Seven – The decision was made to go after the last remaining legal one – the smaller of the bunch. Once again, our stalk was unsuccessful. Day Eight – Halfway through the hunt and we didn't have any rams spotted. Day Nine – Still nothing.. Day Ten – The three of us packed up part of camp, leaving Brome behind to care for the horses seeing how there wouldn't be sufficient feed at the new camp. Day Eleven – The wind was harsh, but we still hiked to a better glassing spot. We did find a ram, only to discover he wasn't legal after a long, hard day of hunting. Day Twelve – Thanks to a delayed flight by the next group of hunters, we had an extra day to hunt. We disassembled our little camp and headed back to the other camp. On the way back we spotted a ram. To our surprise it was from the same group we had seen the first day. With darkness setting in, we made our way back to camp. Day Thirteen – With high hopes we set out. We glassed a bit and concluded the two legal rams were still there. The rain helped keep our scent down as the wind continued to blow. About noon the rain stopped, meaning we had to stop also or risk them smelling us. We waited till evening when the wind died down and stalked closer. A hour from dark we were within 250 yards of them. Only one problem – we couldn't see them. One by one they started to feed toward us. Fifteen minutes from dark, one of the legal rams stepped out. He was legal by age, but not exactly the one we wanted. Being so close to the end of the hunt, we quickly decided we would take him. Just as I put tension on the trigger, Lawson whispered, “Wait.” I looked up as he pointed toward the larger ram which had just stepped out. I put the crosshairs high on his shoulder and squeezed the trigger of the .270 Weatherby and he dropped. It took us about an hour to get to him, which meant all the pictures are in the dark. Day Fourteen – We worked on fleshing out the cape and whatever else needed to be done to preserve the sheep. We also aged and measured him. He turned out to be 10 years old, 38 ½ inches, and scored 158 3/8. Day Fifteen – Camp was broken down for the last time, and everything was packed as we headed for base camp. I would like to thank Larry and Lori for a great youth hunt. Lawson, and Brome … thanks, your skill, hard work and efforts made for an awesome hunt. I would also like to thank my Dad for providing me with this opportunity, and my family for supporting me. I'm so blessed to be able to do this. So after 43 days of hunting, and three different hunts, the third time really was the charm!