I have been very fortunate to interview our sports best in preparation for my Stone’s Sheep hunt this August. I hope you have enjoyed the insight and information they have shared.
I will take all the information from the interviews and compress it into a game plan for my hunt, including gear lists, exercise programs, shooting regimen and mental preparation that I will post on this blog.
In addition, this process it will assist in spawning new ideas for gear that will be developed for KUIU.
Rick’s interview is special, his accomplishment of harvesting all 28 North American big game animals with a recurve is an incredible feat. Ricks positive attitude has everything to do with his success in all aspects of life. Something to remember when times get tough at home, work or on the mountain.
I moved to Colorado in 1977 from Wisconsin. I am 55 years old, married with 3 children, Michelle 22, Stephanie 19, & Hunter 8. Michelle is living on her own working & going to school to become a nurse, Stephanie is a sophomore in college living about 4 hours away, and all Hunter wants to do is hunt, fish, & play sports. Hunter did harvest is first big game animal this year with a .243 rifle. (Corsican sheep) My wife & daughters don’t do any hunting, but Hunter is going to make up for them. When I first moved to Colorado I was a sub-contractor siding residential homes with steel/vinyl siding. I then started my own company 25 years ago & today my company does residential steel/vinyl siding, vinyl windows, & I also own a franchise of Owens Corning that installs a complete basement finishing system. When not working & hunting I spend a lot of time with the family. Snow skiing, boating, golfing, & vacationing.
As far as hunting goes I have had the good fortune to have had good health & the resources to be able to hunt and harvest all 28 North American big game animals with my recurve. Now that P&Y has recognized the Tule elk as the 29th big game animal my goal is to try and harvest the Tule elk. I have been on 2 Tule elk hunts over the last 2 years with no success, but I am very persistent. I sure am making those Tule elk nervous.
Sheep Hunting Interview
How long have you been hunting?
I have been hunting for 45 years (Wow, I am old) Ha! Been strictly bow hunting for the last 35 years.
What is your favorite species to hunt?
Sheep, because of the scenery, the rough terrain, and the views are second to none. I was on a stone sheep hunt in B.C. the first of Aug. and we got about 18 inches of snow the day before we trailed in 7 hours on horse back. Three or four days later the weather really warmed up and when all that snow started melting there where 100 to 800 feet water falls coming off the mountain sides everywhere, the views where unbelievable. That in its self made the hunt!
How many sheep hunts have you been on?
Total of 19 sheep hunts with my recurve, I have harvested a total of 7 sheep (2 desert, 2 bighorn, 2 stone, & 1 Dall).
Where were your sheep hunts?
7 self-guided sheep hunts for bighorn in Colorado. When I started hunting sheep in Colorado in the Sand De Crisco mountain range they gave out 20 rifle tags & 20 archery tags & they had all 40 hunters hunt at the same time. I would back pack in from 6 to 12 hours & never see another hunter. The reason for this was because this unit was by far the roughest & hardest to access, along with very little success with gun and only had one successful archery harvest. That’s why in the early years they never had enough hunters apply for the 20 archery tags, they had left over sheep tags, because not enough people applied, I did finally harvest two rams in this unit. 1 bighorn sheep hunt in Canmore, Alberta, 4 desert sheep hunts (2 in Mexico, 1 in Texas, 1 in Nevada), 2 Fannin/Dall sheep hunts in the Yukon, 2 Dall sheep hunts in the Northwest Territories, & 3 Stone Sheep hunts in B.C.
Which outfitter did you hunt with?
In Canmore, Alberta I used Flint & Frank Simpson, in Texas I bought a land owner permit through outfitter/guide Larry Altimus & Bo Morgan, In Mexico I hunted both times with outfitter Ivan Flores & guide Brent Sinclair who set up those two desert sheep hunts, in Nevada I hunted with Nevada High Ridge Outfitters (Keith Montes & Gary Coleman owners), in the Yukon I hunted both times with Jim & Adrienne Fink owner of Blackstone Outfitters, My first Dall sheep hunt was with Cam & Clay Lancaster of Nahanni Butte Outfitters , the other Dall sheep hunt was with Stan Simpson of Ram head Outfitters, my first stone sheep hunt was with Lenoard Creyke of Kinaskan Outfitters and my other 2 stone sheep hunts where with Barry Tompkins of High & Wild Outfitters.
Why did you choose this outfitter?
Some areas where archery only units, but the best way that I have found is by networking with other bow hunters that had good success with certain outfitters and those outfitters really understand bow hunters & have really good bow hunting guides.
Did the outfitter offer you the proper gear list and preparation information?
Most outfitters give you a gear list, but not always an in-depth list for bow hunting. I have been fortunate to have gone on a lot of different hunts & have come up with a list for different species that I hunt. When I get back from a hunt I re-visit my gear list & add or delete from the list, so if I ever go again on that hunt I will have a better list of gear to take. I am a firm believer in that my list may not work for the next guy, we all have a little different need & we need to know our own needs.
What were the weather conditions throughout your hunt?
You can expect fog, rain, high winds, snow, cold, & sometimes a little sun all in a matter of a day or two. On the bighorn sheep hunt in Canmore, Alberta it was a Nov. hunt & it was extremely cold, (Below 0) & over 3 feet of snow, lots of wind, & blizzard conditions. Then on desert sheep hunts I have been in temperatures as high as 110 degrees.
What was the hardest part of your hunt?
I am scared of heights; so hiking on steep grades or near cliffs with huge vertical drops is a real problem for me.
What were you not prepared for?
I learned early on that you have to be very, very patient, because there is a lot of hurry up & waiting going on. (Missed flights, can’t fly because of weather, horses get loose & run away, fog & rain so you can’t see to hunt, etc.) So bring your very patient good attitude.
What is your gear list for a Stone or Dall Sheep Hunt?
Rick Duggan Gear List
What would you change on this list?
I always seem to take some clothes that I never wear.
What was your loaded pack weight?
On a 10-day backpack hunt, I try to keep it around 55 to 60 pounds.
What size pack & brand of pack did you carry?
I have always used an external frame pack, I have used some that I got from Cabela’s years ago & the one I use now is from Alaska Range Outdoor Gear. Size can be expandable from 5,000 to 8,000.
Would you take this pack again?
I am always looking for a better pack, because after hauling a loaded pack around they feel like they get heavier each day and I feel there has to be a better one out there.
Do you have any recommendations of gear not typically on a gear list?
I take a periscope. It is very lightweight & has a 4 to 9 power zoom. It extends upward about 2 feet. The real use of this periscope is for people that go to pro golf tournaments so they can see over the crowd in front of them when they want see the professional golfer putting. It works great for when you get close to sheep & don’t want to get caught peeking your head up over a rock to see what & where the sheep are. I have had a lot of guides laugh when I pull it out, but the next thing you know they are using it & want to know where to get one. They cost about $75.00 plus shipping & you can get them from some pro golf shops or I got mine from www.mickelsongroup.com Also I take a small umbrella a lot of times for my day pack instead of rain gear, it works great.
What physical conditioning program did you do to get ready for your hunt(s)?
- Cardio; I try to work out for about 3 months before my hunts on a stair stepper & bike to work my legs. I don’t do enough, but I make up for it in attitude!!!!!! Mind over matter, if you don’t mind it won’t matter! You have got to have the right mindset!
- Strength training
- Any other training you would recommend? I do a lot of mental visualizing & actualizing of the hunt months before I ever go. I have already harvested the animal in my mind before I ever leave for the hunt. ATTITUDE!!!!!!
How did you prepare?
I shoot pretty much once a week year round. I have a 3-D target at home. I try & shoot at least 5 times a week for at least 3 months before my hunts. A lot of times I will just shoot one arrow in the morning before I leave for work and really focus on that only shot. I also go to a 3-D range once a week during the summer.
I really need to be 25 yards or less, I don’t like taking real long shots. To get close you have to have more patients & luck really helps!
Any changes you would make?
Yes, while on my hunts I don’t do enough stump shooting to stay sharp. For me that is huge.
What advise do you have for a first time sheep hunter?
Keep a positive attitude; like I tell my kids if you have a good attitude good things will happen, if you have a bad attitude bad things will happen. The mind can be a very powerful thing!!!! Remember you don’t have to harvest an animal to have a great & successful hunt, because if you feel you need to harvest an animal to have a successful hunt you are using the wrong weapon & hunting for all the wrong reasons. It’s all about making memories of a lifetime; for a lifetime!
Anything else you would recommend or we are missing?
Life is short, write the check!
On one of my trips to Mexico hunting for desert sheep the federales came on to the ranch to visit the rancher, so I told my interpreter to tell the federales I wanted to stage this photo & send it home for ransom.