2014 STONE SHEEP ADVENTURE
One animal that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list is the Stone Sheep. That was the case for Don Parks from Arizona. Last fall, he and his son, Austin headed to British Columbia to turn their dream into a reality.
“One of the biggest concerns was my age. I am 57 years old. My guides were 42 and 25 and my son is 32. I knew I was going to have to work hard to get into shape so I could keep up with them. I logged over 160 miles on a mountain trail behind my house that was just over six miles carrying 40 pounds in my pack. I worked out with a Nazi trainer once a week (Sorry, Rhonda!) for an hour and lifted weights twice a week. This was done over a period of around 14 months. I wasn’t prepared for the altitude, but in due time, it improved. I just kept saying to myself daily, “Just one more step!” Packs ranged in weight from 35-65 pounds for me. The other guys carried more by a long shot,” Parks explained.
The hunt took place with Sugar Valley Outfitters. According to Parks, it was a wonderful trip. “There is no question, sheep hunting is a lot of work, but the outfitter did a great job. Thank goodness I got into shape or I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” Parks added.
Parks did a couple things to ensure the trip was physically a success. “Floyd Green from the Outdoorsmans suggested I drink Energy & Focus and Hydrate & Recover from Wilderness Athlete on the hunt. The drinks helped keep me going when the hunting was tough. I learned that my guides were using the product as well,” Parks noted.
The Outdoorsmans backpack also helped Parks get where he was going. Many backpacks can make 50 pounds feel like 75 pounds. A great pack that fits well can make a heavy load feel much lighter. “I was using an Outdoorsmans pack which fit me well. I am extremely tall, so finding a pack that fits me can be difficult. The Outdoorsmans pack fit me very well. It can accommodate a bow or gun so you don’t have to carry a weapon in your hand all day which really comes in handy when hunting in rugged terrain,” Parks said.
“My guide said the Ram wouldn’t likely make it through the winter. He would have been eaten by wolves so even though he wasn’t a monster ram, I felt good about shooting him. I was using a 300WSM Magnum Mikes Custom Mountain Rifle with a Swarovski scope that was fitted with a Outdoorsmans custom turret. It was a great combination. I shot the bull at 467 yards,” Parks noted.
Parks said he couldn’t have killed the Ram without the help of family and friends. “It truly was a group effort,” Parks said. “It was a hunt I will never forget.”