To be a sheep hunter is to endure, persevere and conquer. Now, do this with a just over 1 lb. of food per day while burning 6,000 to 10,000 calories a day. Sounds like one of those latest weight loss programs on a reality show. It is amazing what the human body can endure as long as it has water, food and rest. Our goal is for you to get up every day and be stronger than the day before.
There is usually a transition period for most hunters to acclimatize in the first three days. On average we shoot a ram within 3 days but a tough sheep hunt will require you to push through and keep going. An average person on day one feels good and feels their exercise program really paid off, your mind is on a sensual overload. Day two your muscles are sore but strong and your mind is questioning. Day three your body will want to quit but push through and you’ll realize there is nothing you could have done to physically prepare for a mountain sheep hunt. On day 4 you will feel like a million bucks and you can go anywhere. With nutritious food, plenty of water and rest you can enjoy getting into sheep country.
We will prepack all spike camps through the summer going through all gear and labeling items for each hunt. In Fairbanks, we will pack food tubs for each hunt. Meats are precooked and frozen; snacks weighed and vacuum sealed. BGBG spends a lot of time planning and packing for each hunt. On your arrival there will be an aluminum kitchen box, a Rubbermaid “A” tub of food and a feed sack with freeze dried meals all labeled for each hunter.
When one thinks of a backpack sheep hunt you instantly think of freeze dried meals eaten with a spork, granola bars and oatmeal. There is no way to get away from it but freeze dried meals have come a long way since the MRE’s of the past generation. Mountain House offers good solid meals that are easy to cook, an excellent variety and they taste great. It all comes down to weight to calorie ratio. After that, durability, variety and ease to cook.
While at your main strip, you will have bigger meals supplemented with bulkier food from out of the kitchen box (bread, bacon and eggs, bagels, peanut butter and jam). We will supplement meals with pre-cooked meats such as prime rib, ribeye, meatloaf, pork chops, fish and breakfast sausage. These will be vacuum sealed and frozen. At your spike camp, your guide will boil water in the MSR stove and place a vacuum sealed bag consisting of two portions of meat in the pot and boil until heated. Then the vacuum sealed package can be taken out and Voilà! This extra meat helps with needed calories, is high in protein and makes a big difference at meal time on the mountain.
For breakfast we usually drink something hot (coffee, hot chocolate, tea) and have an assortment of energy/granola bars. We like the Luna Bar brand and they come in a variety of flavors. For the weight they have the most calories, protein, and nutrients. There is also hot oatmeal and granola with powdered milk for variety. Throughout the day we snack at every break with trail mix, dried fruit, peperoni and Snickers. If you have a favorite snack we recommend bringing 2-4lbs. A little comfort goes a long way.
We started with dinner and finished with breakfast in this explanation which is backwards but that is alright because in the Arctic the first thing to do is to throw your personal time clock out the window. It is light 24hrs a day and a lot of times dinner will be your first meal of the day, eaten after midnight. A lot of times we will start our day in the evening around 5p.m. and hunt to 2 or 3 in the morning. Then dinner and sleep through mid-day. If you think you are confused reading this wait until you live it. With 24 hrs. of daylight, you will quickly lose track of time and dates.
The biggest meal of the day is important to eat before bed to allow your body to recuperate and eat small snacks throughout the hunting day to keep energy levels up. All the streams have excellent drinking water straight off of snow pack. Our hunting day consists of traveling an average of 5gps miles. We stop at confluencing side drainages to glass, snack and fill water bottles. This routine is continued until you reach a spike camp destination and cook dinner or when until you return to your spike camp for dinner. This arctic time change will become natural fairly quickly.