As an Alaskan resident I have the fortune to hunt in some of the most remote, rugged, and beautiful mountain scenery on the planet. I also get to bring along the people who I enjoy sharing these places with the most….my family. This adventure was with my brother Kenton and it was one we both will not soon forget.
For the first 9 days we averaged about 9 miles per day, hiking up, down, and through the mountains looking for a ram. The sheep numbers seemed to be down in the area we hunted as we only saw 6 rams during those 9 days. The morning of day 10 found us feeling a little defeated but we knew we had to leave the area we had been hunting the last 3 days and get closer to the air strip. Just before leaving our camp site I glassed across the valley one last time and found 2 rams. At 4 miles away we had to get the spotting scope out to get a closer look. Right away we could tell they were both rams and worth getting a closer look.
Fast forward 9 hours and we had done it….we doubled on a couple of beautiful Dall Sheep Rams. It was 8:00pm before we began our pack out and the weather decided to turn on us making the treacherous hike not only long and through tundra but wet and rainy. Twenty-nine hours later and covering 23 miles, we finally were back at the airstrip for good. It was 1:30am on day 12, our pick up day.
Performing this kind of hunt requires that you not only be in top physical condition but that you have your nutrition dialed in for fuel and recovery. During this hunt we both carried Heather’s Choice breakfast and dinner meals as well as the Packaroons. The dinners were key as they provided the nutrients required to recover at night and be ready to go the next day. Favorite dinner meal was Sockeye Salmon Chowder!! We both found ourselves hoarding the few we had because it is so good. It does have a little spice but on cold nights after a long day, it was just what we needed. We didn’t eat breakfast every morning but when we did the Buckwheat Breakfasts were spot on! I’m not sure what Buckwheat is exactly but I’m sold! Compared to the old run of the mill oatmeal, buckwheat sticks with you longer and carries that extra satiety that we both needed. Blueberry was our favorite but all the flavors are delicious!
The Packaroons were amazing. High in calories and low on weight, they are the perfect backpacking snack! Our favorites were the Orange Vanilla and Black Espresso. We both supplemented Heathers Choice with other snack foods during the day like nuts, meat sticks, nutrition bars, and the occasional snickers. For supplements we both relied on Wilderness Athlete for their daily vitamins and their electrolyte replacement drink, Hydrate and Recover. We never felt like we needed more food or fatigued from lack of nutrition, a feeling we both have felt in other backcountry hunts and adventures.
Thanks Heather and everyone involved with Heather’s Choice for making such clean and nutritious backpacking food. Kenton and I firmly believe it made a difference in our hunt and allowed us to push ourselves to the very end.