Editor's note: Sgt. Maj. Kyle E. Lamb recently put the following gear to use on a Dall sheep hunt. You can catch up on that story here.
If you have the means to hunt Dall sheep, I highly recommend the high-country adventure. I am far from a sheep-hunting expert, but I will advise you that getting to the range is a must before any hunt—especially a sheep hunt. Building your skills and confidence is priceless when such an excursion—and its expense—is on the line. Take the time to dial in your gear, because you never know when you might have one long shot that separates triumph from failure.
As gear goes I have plenty; there’s no shortage of lightweight gadgetry and innovation in my hunting shed. Most of my gear in sheep camp was my standard stuff, but I did upgrade from my normal hunting boots to Kenetreks for their added height and ankle support.
I used a Stone Glacier pack because it is exceptionally light and allows for separation of the frame and bag to easily transport meat if needed. For clothing, I used a mix of Kryptek, Kuiu, Patagonia and Smart Wool. Never a slave to fashion, I didn’t worry that the camo didn’t match. Where we climbed, the style Nazis wouldn’t be able to find us anyway.
From the arsenal, I prudently selected a Christensen Arms Summit Titanium chambered in the flat-shooting 6.5 Creedmoor. I have never hunted with any of the 6.5s on the market up until now. As the proud owner of a 1902 Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 Swedish, I am an old fan of 6.5mm cartridges. But the old Mauser from the Carl Gustav factory just doesn’t scream “sheep rifle,” so it had to stay swaddled in the safe during this trip. I wasn’t sure of the engagement distance that would be required to bring down a sheep, but I wanted to have some long-range capability just in case.
The glass for this trip was stamped Leupold all around: VX-6 2X-12X scope screwed on with aluminum Mark 4 rings; BX-3 Mojave 12X binocular; RX-1200 TBR rangefinder; and, lastly, SX-2 Kenai spotting scope.
I fired Prime Ammunition’s 130-grain BTHP offering, the company’s only load in 6.5 Creedmoor. Prime is a relatively new company out of Las Vegas, and it sells no-nonsense, straight-up, beautifully manufactured fodder. Soon after stepping on the range to dial in the Summit, I realized this was the perfect choice. Groups were tight and recoil was minimal, and this in turn increased my confidence in the load.
After shooting a few rounds over a ProChrono to figure out the velocity of the ammo and entering the data into an app I use almost daily, I was ready. This program, Ballistic AE (buy it at the App Store for $19.99), works great to get good data in a format any shooter can understand and apply in the field.