With Our sheep hunt scheduled for September this year, it made for a perfect opportunity for the Luber clan to make their biennial trek south for a little deer hunting action. We had big plans this year to take a couple bucks bigger than anything we’ve killed before. I had a remote location with some amazing bucks scouted out. Unfortunately, the week of the hunt turned out to be the one week of the entire summer without any discernible stretch of clear alpine weather. We had to go to plan B.
We had a summer for the ages in SE Alaska this year. I had a buck in the freezer, but the clear mountain tops had me hitting the woods again to take advantage of the rare sunny weather. For this hunt I wanted to hit a place I’ve hunted before with great results but wanted to try a new "back door" approach. This hunt required hiking in several miles on a water-barred road, then a steep climb into some of the tallest mountains on the island. My new route turned out to be money. I cut a couple hours off my approach and my campsite on a low finger ridge coming off the peaks gave a perfect vantage into my buck bowl.
While Scott was out “scouting” and ruining our 2013 sheep hunt plans, I hit the mountains on Prince of Wales for some last minute conditioning and to see if I could put a couple bucks in the freezer. It had been a mild winter on POW and I was excited about the potential for some real quality bucks out there. For my first hunt I wanted to try someplace new. A distant peak far across a valley had been on my mind for a couple years. As I parked the truck that evening and looked at that far off ridge I wondered if I was biting off more than I could chew. It looked a long ways away. Three hours later I had descended 1000 feet, navigated the beaver slough infested valley, and battled through thick brush to camp in a subalpine muskeg at the foot of the mountain I wanted to hunt.
Steve and I were planning for a typical 10 day expedition sheep hunt in September. But with only one scouting trip under the belt this summer I was itching to get back into the mountains and decided to go check a place out over the weekend. With Saturday being the sheep season opener I’d also take the rifle. My expectations were to see if I couldn’t spot any rams that might be potentials for next year’s hunt.
In a recent blog post Scott and I talked about being reluctant to give up on the tried and true, field proven gear, especially when there is a hefty price tag that goes along with the upgrade. My rifle is an example of this. My Dad bought this rifle for me when I was around 14 years old. He made a prophetic choice going with a lightweight mountain rifle. His choice was such a perfect home run that twenty five years later it is still my only big game rifle and has accompanied me on countless adventures. There’s no way I could part with it, but I confess to being seduced by some of the svelte weights advertised in ultra high end custom rifles such as Blaser, New Ultra Light Arms, Hill Country and countless more one man shops. But The 3K+ price tags on these sub 5 lb. rifles make them a pipe dream for me. So I got to thinking about what I could do to my Remington 700 Mountain Rifle to trim some fat.