Justin Jarrett’s Wapiti Ridge Outfitters
“Having been on four sheep hunts and two excellent trips to Africa plus nine other western states hunts, I can say this hunt with Justin Jarrett of Wapiti Ridge Outfitters was the best of the fifteen hunts I had. It was a long and scenic ride into camp on trails with sheer drop-offs of hundreds of feet. Upon arriving at camp the operation showed that it had all good equipment, tents, etc. The horses all appeared to be fine and healthy. After settling in we had a fine dinner.(more on that later). The next day, after a pre-dawn breakfast we left our base camp at approximately 9,200 ft. and rode up an additional 1,500 ft. I counted a total of fifteen rams that day, their location made some inaccessible, some were too young and the remainder were of no interest to me. On the second day of the hunt we spotted eleven rams that were different from those we saw the first day. It was determined after a long period of scoping that again there was none that I wanted to shoot. The rams were very young or heavily broomed back. I was looking for a mature animal that still had his lamb tips. After a day of scoping we decided to start back to camp. Even the ride back to camp was exciting, a grizzly bear was casually walking on the trail in front of us. Day three started out brisk and clear but shortly after daybreak a combination of fog and low clouds reduced visibility to yards, making hunting all but impossible. Thursday, October 26, day four, we spotted eight rams, one of which had the horns I was looking for. Fully grown and not broomed back. I prefer to have this type of ram to the broomed sheep preferred by most hunters. My ram was facing us on a different
mountain, approximately 1,000 yards away. In order to get within rifle range we would have to cross an open area of several hundred yards and lose sight of our prey. As we started I was hoping every step of the way that my ram would not move from the last sighting. After crossing the open area in two feet of snow and then down a couple of hundred feet, then back up to the elevation at which we saw the rams. As we came up over the crest Justin Jarrett said “There they are” Justin’s range finder read 485 yards. I did not want to shoot even though we had good cover and a good rest for the rifle, a rock shaped like a natural bench rest. After a brief discussion at which Justin told me, “there is no cover or rest beyond this point”, I opted to run through the snow for a 100 plus yards or so and shoot from that point. As Justin and I were moving as fast as possible to reach what I regarded as a reasonable shooting distance the rams stood up and began to trot off, just as my guide predicted. At that point I dropped down to a kneeling position and fired at the second ram as instructed. The range finder read 350 yards. Without someone of Justin’s skill it would have been impossible for me to have picked my ram out of the moving group of rams and “shoot the second one, now he is the third one, now he is the second one again.” My .270 Winchester is sighted for 200 yards using Hornady Light Magnum Ammo. I put the cross hairs at the very top of the ram’s back and at the crack of my .270 Winchester. Justin said “perfect shot”. Justin said he saw the impact in the heart area. The ram fell over immediately and continued to slide down the snow covered mountain for another 70 or so yards until it was stopped by rocks. My third sheep was the most exciting of all my hunts. We took photos and caping followed. Several friends have asked me about my hunt with the inevitable question “how do I rate Justin Jarrett as a guide for Wapiti Ridge Outfitters?” If one was to use The Michelin Food Guide scoring system, I would give Justin’s operation the maximum number of stars. Regarding food, the steaks served in the camp were on a par with Peter Luger’s in New York or Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Nor did I expect to have delicious homemade pies made in a camp located at 9,000 plus feet in Wyoming. All the meals were excellent, even the pasta was cooked “al dente” with an excellent sauce. All by a cook that would be at home in any major city restaurant. Many people wait for years to draw a Wyoming Sheep tag. I waited twelve years to draw and for this hunt it was worth the wait.