Howard J. Spradlin
Dear Jim, Bob and Scott,
I wanted to say thank you for a great hunt in the Brooks Range. My Dall sheep and Caribou were beautiful trophies. This was a hunt I will remember for the rest of my life.
I enjoyed my time with Guide Bob Summers and Packer Scott Newman so much I booked a spring brown bear hunt for my son and I to the Alaskan Peninsula and once again, Bob and Scott will be our guides.
I am 71 years of age and was concerned regarding my stamina for the sheep and caribou hunts. I was surprised and pleased that Bob and Scott made me feel I was pushing them instead of holding them back. This is a rare talent for young professional guides.
Thank you for a great hunt. I look forward to spring 2014!
Howard J. Spradlin
I would like to say THANK YOU to my guide Mike and all
the Deltana crew who made this once in a lifetime hunt possible.
I was really impressed with all your knowledge. I felt safe flying with your crew and safe hunting with them. Hopefully someday i can make it back there to your great facility and hunt in the great wilderness of the Brooks Range .
Thank you for everything,
Alaskan Adventures with Deltana Outfitters
A Testimonial by John Madok
To The Deltana Outfit:
Alaska is a special place found in boyhood dreams of action and adventure. Dreams filled with rugged, remote country, majestic big game animals roaming free and where self-reliance is a virtuous requirement. A land truly larger than life. I spent hours as a boy with books and magazines of Alaska imagining myself as a bearded mountain man deep in the Alaskan bush with rifle and pack heavy with my latest load of meat. While most boys grow up to be something in everyday life different from a mountain man exploring deepest Alaska, there fortunately is a way to make these youthful dreams come true in the Land of The Midnight Sun. That way is Deltana Outfitters.
While action and adventure are what most every outdoorsman wants, the reality is the Alaskan wilderness is not to be taken lightly. Beautiful and powerful, yet it is like a T-shirt in the Anchorage airport which states something to the effect of “Alaska: No B.S.” You simply must be in the hands of professionals who know what they are doing. At Deltana the entire operation is run to ensure safety, comfort and success. Pre hunt information is clear and complete. Long standing relationships with a travel agency, meat processor, and taxidermist take care of pre- and post-hunt logistics. Base camp accommodations and food are superb, with extremely high attention to detail given to your comfort and while try anything in their power to meet your needs. There is even a taxidermist who is hands-on in ensuring proper care of your trophies and meat. The pilots and guides are simply the best. Period.
If you have the will to not let your dreams slowly slip away, then you can come to Alaska and experience the backcountry bush, action, and adventure just as you imagined. Do your part and get in shape well before your hunt, practice with your rifle, and don’t forget to set aside time to dream about what you will be doing a few short months ahead on your hunt….it is part of the fun….and Deltana Outfitters will take care of the rest to see that you will be heading back to hunting camp with a week-old beard, rifle in hand, and a pack loaded with success. There is no higher testimonial that I can provide than entrusting my boyhood dreams, and adult memories of successful Alaskan hunts, to Deltana Outfitters.
My Most Sincere Thanks.
“Yukon” John Madok
Full Time Dreamer and Part Time Alaskan Mountain Man
I have hunted all over the world for all types of animals. I chose Deltana Outfitters for my brown bear hunt due to the easy going and cheerful demeanors of the staff I met at the SCI show.
Of the 105 (and counting) guided hunts I have been on, this operation ranks at the top of my list.
The organization by Jim Weidner is second to none. I had the most amazing hunt I have ever been on. The number and quality of the bears I saw during my brown bear hunt was far more than I expected.
From the minute I arrived at the airport to the moment I left, I felt like I was being taken care of by friends.
Not only does Deltana provide an exceptional hunt, they provide the accommodating service that makes you feel at home.
I would recommend Deltana for anyone looking to harvest a quality brown bear with my highest accolades.
Jim and Bob –
I want to extend a personal thanks for giving me the opportunity of achieving a dream I have had for over 30 years – harvesting a Dall sheep in the Brooks Range of Alaska. For my 50th birthday, with two close friends recently being told they had cancer, I was encouraged by my wife to please stop talking about this dream and finally “do it”.
I was impressed immediately by Jim’s demeanor over the phone and the fact that he held a late opening for me on just my word ! Not many people like that left in this world. Since that time, Deltana fulfilled its word in every way, and your staff surpassed any expectations I ever had about about hunting in Alaska. As a Registered Maine Guide, I know the effort it takes to pull off a hunt and its preparation, but you made it seamless. Every single aspect of my hunt was anticipated, covered, and addressed to make my experience simply remarkable.
I have hunted all across North America, but this hunt will be forever special. My guide Mikey was professional, safe, and enthusiastic. We had a blast, and pushed each other hard. He supported my plan in what turned out to be a slow 8 hour stalk in cold misty rain up a steep face in an attempt to take an “unreachable” ram we had glassed for 4 hours the previous day in the next saddle over. We crested that peak after a blind stalk, not knowing if he was even there, and harvested that monarch in his bed at 170 yds. Awesome !!! Needless to say, the trophy caribou in velvet and the opportunity to stay in the field and hunt wolves for my last 3 days was spectacular. Sorry I missed the hat-trick when we walked into the bedded wolf pack at under 75 yds – I was too flustered to hit anything, and man there were surprised wolves running everywhere !
This was the hunt of a lifetime. I can’t believe it all happened, and you truly made a dream come true. You and your operation define high class, ethical outfitting. I arrived at Deltana a hunter and left as a friend. I will be forever grateful.
Dr. Jim Wilson, Maine
If you are looking for a giant coastal Brown Bear this is the outfitter to go with. Deltana has a tremendous concession in unit 9 on the AK Peninsula. The weather is down right nasty there but the Penisula grows the largest brown bears in the world.
The base camp is located in Sand Point and is very comfortable and has all of the conveniences of home. From there you will fly approximately 30 minutes to your spike camp. The spike camps are smack in the middle of some of the best brown bear country you will find.
The guides are knowlegeable, experienced & do everything they can to get you a 9 foot bear or larger. The spike camps are well equiped and each camp has a satilite phone. Curt Bedingfield, who is a retired AK trooper, is the bush pilot and is the best in the business. There were 10 hunters this spring and 9 out of 10 killed huge bears. The one hunter who was not successful decided to pack it in early because of bad weather.
Howdy Ralph & Jim,
Hope everything is going well. Appreciated the info on your outfitter in Namibia. We leave in two weeks and will spend the rest of May in South Africa and Namibia.
Hunting in the Artic is a unique experience. The wide open country, the colors after a frost, and the shear numbers and variety of the wildlife is one of life’s great experiences. The keys to a happy and successful hunt are results, organization and safety. Deltana is top notch in all areas. With a near 100% record in providing top quality trophies, an organization that has top quality guides, camp managers, cooks and pilots and careful attention to safety (camps with satellite phones, multiple aircraft and pilots with long experience in the artic) I could really concentrate on what I came for — to hunt
Thanks for the experience,
After meeting Ralph and Jim and seeing their operation, I knew they were honorable Christian men that could be trusted with my hard-earned hunting budget.
In 2011, I gave no second thoughts to who I would select to hunt with for Dall Sheep and Grizzly Bear. Once again, it was Deltana Outfitters in the Brooks Range. Once again, I was completely satisfied with the hard work, safety, organization and professionalism of the Deltana operation.
I was successful with a nearly B&C record sheep and very nice blonde Griz, but even without these trophies, Deltana is top notch and I will be booking next Alaska adventure with them without question.
Dear Ralph and Jim,
I hope this letter somehow expresses my appreciation for the wonderful way I was taken care of during my hunt with Deltana.
From the very first contact I made to Deltana by phone, to the last minute I spent in Sand Point to return home was by far the best planned hunting trip I have ever been on. I also felt like I was among old friends the entire time.
From the transportation, safety, food preparation, equipment, finding game the hunter wants to harvest, providing a qualified guide, pilots and support people, Deltana has the experience and knowledge to put together the hunt of a lifetime. Handling all the issues expertly puts Deltana in a different class of outfitters among a list of experienced and qualified Alaskan Outfitters.
This letter would not be complete without mentioning my guide, Billy Molls. He was not only experienced and qualified but was a pleasure to spend my hunting trip with. He saw to my every need and treated me as well as one of my sons. To this day, we continue to talk over the phone as any truly good friends would.
To you, Ralph and Jim, thank you for making it possible for me to have the adventure of a lifetime and harvest the bear of a lifetime.
I left Sand Point, Alaska having made many life long friends and I will spend the next 125 days dreaming of my next hunt back to Alaska, with Deltana, where dreams do come true.
Thank you so much! God Bless,
Barry C Barton
To Whom It May Concern:
Honesty and integrity are hard to find in this world today, whether it be in personal relationships and/or oth-ers in the world of any business endeavor. Honesty and integrity is a top priority of mine, and I found this to be an absolute truth with Ralph and Jim. Do to physical issues, in regard to my person, my bear hunt having to be rearranged, the two words, “honesty and integrity” stood tall.
Safety for the airplane pilot, the guides, and the hunter are of the highest priorities of Deltana Outfitters.
Every inch of their airplanes are scrutinized before hunts, and nothing is left to question in regard to safety here, and it is the same with their equipment, all is “first class”! If the weather is “in question”, absolute safe-ty is the standard bearer. Their guides are superb, and they are of a proven expertise, under Deltana’s guid-ance, before they are left to guide the clients. These guys “know what they are doing”!
As for the “quality” of the hunt, from the time you talk to them, until the time you leave, it is like being with family, and whether one is successful or not, your hunt is totally and completely wonderful with no regrets. Hunt with them again, absolutely! And the bear I shot, what a mount! A fall bear with spring type fur.
Ralph and Jim,
I want to share what a great experience it has been to hunt with you and Deltana Outfitters. As you remember, I did a moose hunt with you in 2009. After calling and glassing from a hillside, my guide and I made a stalk on an approaching moose. After losing sight of him briefly we continued our advance and found him in a river below a steep bank directly in front of us. We (moose and humans)saw each other at the same time and the bull charged up the opposite bank. My only thought as I saw the spread of his antlers was “He is HUGE!” The first shot at a mere 25 yards hit his shoulder and turned him, and the follow-up shot dropped him in his tracks. When we laid the tape to him I found that my first impression was right. The big bull had an antler spread of just over 62 inches. His mount is now the center piece of the wall in my “trophy room,” and it brings back great memories of that adrenaline-filled encounter. I still can’t believe I was so fortunate to bag such a trophy, exactly what I had dreamed of when I booked the hunt.
And then there was the sheep hunt of 2011. At nearly 51 years old and having had a “cancer scare” in 2010, I was a little apprehensive about whether I was up tp the physical challenge of a sheep hunt. But this was something I had dreamed of since reading stories in Outdoor Life magazine as a boy. I had put my time in at the gym and at the practice range though, and was determined to give it my best shot. After flying to base camp and a quick supper, it was into the tent for a few hours of sleep before getting up at 2AM to get started. As we headed off in the semi-darkness of the middle of the night, I was really kind of wondering what I had gotten myself into, but my guide Sean was great about giving the “old guy” time to catch up when needed. After several hours of walking, we were making a move to get a better view of an area Sean thought would contain some rams when we suddenly spotted a legal ram at a distance of 450-500 yards. A close look though the spotting scope confirmed the ram was legal and when he fed uphill and out of sight, we quickly made a move to get closer. However a young sheep soon appeared and we were “pinned down” on the mountainside. As we crouched there, the legal ram fed back down into view and bedded down facing directly at us at a distance of about 365 yards. That was as close as we were going to get. I am not one who believes in “sniping at animals” at ridiculously long ranges, but I had practiced regularly at distances of 400 yards, and was confident that I could make a good shot at this distance. However, in my mind I had prepared for a broadside shot, not one into the chest of a bedded animal facing directly at me (at what I consider at least relatively long range). Still, his chest was the same size as the targets on which I had practiced and I had a very steady rest and a near complete absence of any wind. We confirmed again that he was legal and I took a deep breath and squeeeezed the trigger. The recoil of the rifle moved the scope enough that I lost sight of the ram, but Sean was watching through the spotting scope and announced, “You got your Dall ram!” All that practice had paid off. The bullet struck just inside the right shoulder and the ram rolled over and died where he lay. Oh what a feeling! In my mind this is the true essence of hunting. You challenge yourself to test your skills against the quarry and the elements, and in the process discover something about your inner self. When the guide has done his job and you are in position, it is now just you vs. nature, and the outcome is solely up to you. And there is nothing like that inner feeling of pride when the task is done. If only everyone could experience that kind on “inner high” at some time in their life.
It should be evident that my hunts with you were great experiences. The memories generated are some of my most treasured from my time in the outdoors. I want to commend you on your operation and your ability to provide sportsmen like myself with this type of experience. Deltana Outfitters is a “first class outfit” and I would recommend you to anyone without reservation. I am planning on making a call one of these days to arrange a brown bear hunt, and I have every confidence that it will be a great experience also.
Thanks again for everything.
Good Morning Ralph & Jim,
I have always thought that Dall Sheep would be the ultimate hunt for a North American big game hunter. I did some reading and research on the internet and came across a magazine article about Deltanna’s hunts. I gave you a call and made a commitment to you and the hunt was booked.
I arrived in Deadhorse very excited, I was met by Jim and your staff, the ride to Happy Valley was full of great stories by hunters and guides, we arrived in base camp and were fed a great meal, briefed, your guides helped me pack just the bare essentials needed for a sheep spike camp and then into a super cub and dropped in the majestic Brooks Range.
I met my Guide Aaron when dropped off and we spoke about life, family and hunting, we were off the next morning with great anticipation, well 4 days later after seeing many sheep and a true test of my will and desire we came upon a great sheep and I was very fortunate to connect with the Trophy of a Lifetime.
Ralph I cannot Thank you and Jim and your staff enough for this spectacular experience, your knowledge of these animals and effort by my guide Aaron and your entire staff exceeded my expectations. I truly experienced the hunt of a lifetime and made some great new friends. I can’t wait to come back for a Brown Bear Hunt.
Ralph & Jim,
I can’t tell you enough how I respect all the effort and hard work you, Jim and the rest of your crew put in to make these experiences unforgettable !
I think back about the past 2 seasons with your outfit and a wide smile comes across my face… the reaction isn’t just about the wonderful trophies taken but for the tremendous opportunity to visit and experience an ecosystem that most don’t understand.
I thank you for that because in today’s world, most fall short of what is outlined and expected… You my friend, don’t !!!!!!!! What a great hunt!!!
Yours in hunting Pat DeRico
Family’s First Big Game Caribou Hunt
We actually saw some more impressive trophies while we waited for the snowstorm to lift but were glad to have our meat already down, prepped, and ready to go the moment you were able to fly us out. Delta Meats did a beautiful job and we’ve been eating really well for several months now.
You gave us pretty much the full Alaska experience (safe version), from 85 degrees and bugs, to rain and wind, to snow, and the kids held up like troupers. The Supercub flights were spectacular – thanks for relocating us when the caribou changed their minds about a migration. Jim turned out to be the perfect guide to take a couple of novices in hand for their first hunts, and Dad got to sit back and watch the whole thing. I don’t think any of us will ever forget the trip.
Katrina & Chris
Ralph & Jim,
I cannot tell you how satisfied I was with the hunt we had with you this fall. It is not very often that I can say that the experience exceeded our expectations in every way….but you did it. The attention to detail from the packing list to time in camp to the quality of the guides and equipment everything was great.
|I am sure that you know this, but the effort of guides Mike and Max in making the trip a ‘life long experience’ for my daughter Laura should not go unnoticed.
They were knowledgeable, caring, kind, respectfull and great fun to be with.
Thank you again for providing what you do……
We arrived home from our Alaska hunt/vacation a few days ago, and just had to write. We all had a great time! We loved every aspect of our caribou hunt! It was a blast!
Thank you for all you did to make our time with Deltana Outfitters a quality experience. Everyone there is knowledgeable, experienced, friendly, and helpful.
The four of us arrived to a great meal before flying out to spike camp. And the great food just kept coming! Even in spike camp, it was awesome and never-ending! I think we all gained weight during our time with Deltana!
Our guides, Zack and Steve were great guys. They worked their butts off for us! The ease with which they carried the heavy packs of our meat was amazing! Not rain, or cold, or deep rivers, or bugs can slow these guys down! We want to send our deepest thanks to them for all they did for us. They found us great caribou, then took excellent care of our meat and capes.
Ralph, thanks for going above and beyond, and providing us with a “ladies room” in spike camp. What a blessing that was!
Our husbands have been hunting before, but us girls had never been. We didn’t really know what to expect. We had such fun! We would do it again in a heartbeat! So guys, grab your girl. And girls, grab a gun, and go hunting with Deltana Outfitters!
We would also like to send a thank you to John, the base camp cook. Every meal he prepared was the best! Better than any restaurant meal we had in Anchorage!
Also, thanks to Kurt, our pilot, for those wonderful scenic flights, and smooth landings!
Ralph and Jim, I cant imagine any outfitter doing a better job than you.
You are top quality all the way. We highly recommend you to anyone looking for an outfitter. Thank you all for a great hunt.
Bob and Dee Youker
Dan and SueAnne Elenbaas
My sheep hunting trips with Deltana were two of the best experiences I have ever had with my clothes on.
Thanks again Ralph.
Tom Roland with his Trophy Ram.
I made the trip back to civilization with no glitches, and I had a few days to recuperate before the onslaught at the office began on the following Monday. I just wanted to reiterate just how much I enjoyed my trip “up north.” For a Mississippi boy, of course, it is quite a change.
As far as your operation, I agree with what I heard several others say. Your logistical preparation is second to none, and even with some leeway thrown in for contingencies, there was no excessive down time. To a person, all who work for you and who handled my hunt in any way were smiling, friendly, knowledgeable, and open people. Everyone seemed genuinely ready to make this the time of my life, and successful you were! from the moment that I left Happy Valley until my return, I was enthralled with the experience. Sean was a very good guide, and his knowledge of the area in which my hunt took place was thorough. He appreciated any assistance that I gave to him, but never made it seem that he demanded it from me.
I will always remember the moment that I shot the ram and the experience that you and your friends provided me.
I just wanted to take a little time and tell you all how much I enjoyed my hunt! It was really more exciting than I ever expected it to be! Most outfitters don’t plan as needed; they only expect payment without putting their clients first priority ! This is probably the first I have been on that I can honestly say that everybody associated with Deltana did everything possible to accommodate their client. Good operation? Excellent, Proper planning, Good people Create Good Results !!! Satisfaction ! Thanks again for a trip of a Lifetime !!! I know it will be a while before you get time to read this, so I also sent some pictures on a CD.
I hunted moose with Deltana Outfitters in 2004. I had a wonderful time on the hunt and took a great trophy bull moose on the trip. I then scheduled a caribou hunt for August 2006. 2006 was a hard year for me!! My wife passed away in March, and then on June 2nd I hit a deer on the freeway at 75 MPH. Killed the deer and totaled the Harley, and only God knows why I am not dead!!
I spent my summer as an invalid in a wheel chair and eating through a straw, My goal was to still make it to Alaska. I had my jaw unwired, cast off, and most of my bandages off, did 2 1/2 weeks of physical therapy when I showed up at Ralph & Jim’s camp. I questioned my sanity and I am sure they did too!
When they flew me out, Ralph put his hand on my shoulder and said “Dan I’m sending you to Zack, he is young & strong. Good Luck!” Ralph was right! Zack was expecting 2 hunters, but he got one cripple who ate pills just so he could walk. He was an excellent guide and hunter and companion. He immediately adapted, and we did the best we could. It was a success for me to just be there, but Zack helped me get 2 very good caribou too! “Life is Good.” I am now scheduled to be hunting brown bear with Ralph & Jim in October . I have read a lot of other testimonials that say the Deltana Outfitter folks are like family. “That is True!!” Everyone of Deltana crew is great !
Thanks Guys. God willing, I will see you at Bear Camp in 2007.
Thanks Dan Bennett
Ralph and Jim, words can’t explain what your hunt did for my dreams. This dream started 15 years ago, never expecting to fill it. After securing money through many unexpected blessings, I started the search for a hunt package. With the first conversations I had with Ralph, I felt like this was the Alaska Dream Hunt!
I was wrong; this was the hunt of a lifetime. With high hopes and the normal expectations everything on my hunt was twice what I could imagine.
Ralph and Jim treated everything in a professional manor, especially when it came to safety. Their goal to make my hunt a success was nothing less then impressive.
It started with their outstanding guides. Cort and Shane worked their tails off for me while out in the field scouting, the stalk, the field-dressing/caping, and especially packing the sheep back to camp. Cort’s cooking was an unexpected surprise. All my reading of these hunts meant meals in a bag, but don’t tell Cort. He cooked as thought he had a chuck wagon, but some how did it on a back-packer stove.
When back at base camp, all the staff were very friendly. They made me feel like I was part of the family. Even the pilots, Les and Dan added a little color to the group. I hope Les can survive six months without Ben’s cooking. PS – You’ve got to figure out a way to can Ben’s halibut chowder, I’m still hungry for more.
Again guys, I can’t thank you enough for my experience. Your service and honesty from booking to a double harvest is greatly appreciated. If any hunter is looking for a hunt of a lifetime, I would highly recommend Deltana Outfitters!
I hope to be back soon, Shane has sold me on a Moose or Grizzly hunt!
You guys are 2nd to none. For me you guys made me feel like an old family friend from the start. What a great trip; besides I got to kill a brown bear. Thanks again for a great experience, great hunt and trip.
Thank you for a great hunt this august. Great guide great experience.
Excellent area, outstanding quantity and quality of game. Very knowledgeable and competent guide made for a great hunt.
I enjoyed the hunt tremendously, felt like family, not only with Deltana’s staff & guides but with the other clients in base camp. Never saw another hunter during my hunt. I will definitely be back to hunt with you again.
A DREAM COME TRUE
After dreaming of hunting white sheep for 35 years, I realized at age 50 that I had better do it. I talked to every outfitter and hunter I could about sheep hunting in Alaska. I finally booked a hunt for myself and good friend, Chuck Hedin, with Ralph Miller from Deltana Outfitters. Ralph assured me he and his crew would do everything possible to find us good rams and that as long as God didn’t hate us, we should do alright.
We set about getting ready; packing, weighing our gear, shooting our rifles and getting in shape, trying to pass the time until August. The departure day finally came and we were on our way. Ralph picked us up at the airport in Dead Horse and we drove to base camp about 40 miles south. The Brooks Range had just received a few inches of fresh snow and they were awesome. Ralph was kind of secretive about how his first group of hunters had done so we were very surprised to see three 37″ to 39″ rams when we drove up. All four of his first group had killed nice rams but one hunter had taken his home with him, the others left theirs for Deltana Outfitters to take care of. We drooled over those horns while we got our license, tags and gear ready. Ralph had sheep on the barbecue and we were right at home
while visiting with our guides, Jim and Billy.
Matt, the pilot, flew in with the Super Cub and said we had time to get one of us flown out to a spike camp so my partner, Chuck, climbed in and was gone just like that. Matt came back about 2-1/2 hours later to get Jim, Chuck’s guide, and give us the report that Chuck became somewhat excited when they saw some rams on the way in; actually I think he said Chuck tried to jump!
Chuck and I were to be hunting several drainages apart so by the time he and Jim were flown in it was too late for me to go so I ate sheep meat and waited until the next morning, which on the North Slope in August is only a few hours away. I climbed out of the sack, ready to go, only to find thick fog – that’s hunting. We finally flew out and Matt dropped us off at a base spike camp where we stored some extra stuff and loaded our packs for a two-hour hike up to our spike camp.
On the way hiking in, on a ridge 200 yards above us, I had my first look at a full curl Dall ram. He was a beauty and we watched him as he climbed the rocks up and out of our canyon (as you know, you can’t hunt and fly the same day). After another restless night it was finally time to hunt. That first day was long and exciting as you can cover a lot of ground when you leave camp at 3 a.m. and get back at 9:30 p.m. and all in the daylight.
That first day we saw one full curl ram but he was surrounded by ewes and smaller rams and was in an open basin that made a sneak pretty much impossible. We decided to ease on out of there without spooking them and look elsewhere, thinking that if we didn’t find anything he might be better positioned tomorrow.
We glassed a lot of sheep throughout the day but no legal rams until right at the end, probably about 8 p.m.. The snow had mostly melted off by now but there were still some big patches. It was at the bottom of one of these patches, about two air miles away, that I spotted a lone ram. He was coming down off an 8,000 foot peak at a fast clip. We could see through the spotting scope that he had heavy dark bases but he was just too far to see length. He was, however, heading into the basin we had seen the ram in that morning.
We went back to camp planning on sneaking back into that basin and having two rams to choose from in the morning. It was about a 1-1/2 hour hike from camp to where we could first look off into the basin with the two rams so we left at daylight (3 a.m.). When we peeked over we saw nothing; we looked from every angle but the sheep were gone. We couldn’t see into the very bottom of the creek so we worked our way down until we were about 100 yards from the creek when Billy spotted a lone ram bedded in the very bottom, about 500 yards down stream. We saw that he was probably the same ram I had seen the evening before and that he was at least full curl.
He was a goofy bugger though and by the time we made a plan he jumped up and took off. We couldn’t figure what had happened but he headed up the other side like something was chasing him. We knew he hadn’t seen us but he was moving out. The ram went about 1/4 mile up and just flopped down into a new bed. He had a view of the entire drainage and we were trapped. We had no choice but to wait, hoping he would move that evening and we might get a chance. He didn’t wait that long. About an hour later he jumped up and took off again, this time side hilling away from us down the creek about 300 yards, to a new bed. We were still trapped. Then, like before, he jumped up and ran up and around the hill away from us, but this time he went into a little side draw out of sight. We took the opportunity to run down our side of the main draw and to try to get up his side and out of sight before he came out and into view. We were sucking air but we made it.
Now we could follow him on his side of the canyon and close the gap. Our stalk took most of the day, but we finally caught him feeding in the open. The first shot from my 270 went clear through high and behind the shoulder. He stood but didn’t fall so I dropped him with a second shot.
We both said, “Wow, what a hunt!”, shook hands and looked up to see what every sheep hunter probably dreads. The ram gave a kick and started rolling and he rolled and he tumbled end over end getting redder and redder with every roll.
I had to sit there helplessly and watch my dream of a lifetime tumble for 300 yards through the rocks and boulders. We watched that pure white hide turn into a bloody mess and heard those full curl horns cracking into the rocks time after time. All I could do was say, “No, no, no.”
When we got to him he was a mess but the horns were in one piece. We used all of our water to get as much blood out of the cape as possible before it dried; he actually cleaned up real nice with only small cuts on his face. Lucky!
We got back to our main spike camp in time to see Matt coming back in the Cub from Chuck’s direction. A little later he came back with the news that Chuck had also taken a nice ram. Chuck and I were flown to a remove relay strip and were able to sit there alone in the yellow glow of the sunset in the middle of the Brooks Range with our two beautiful rams. What utter contentment, a dream come true!
Ralph Miller and Jim Weidner, owners of Deltana Outfitters, are real A #1 guys. They will take you to the rams and if the rams move, they will move you. They will do whatever is ethically and legally within their power to make sure you go home with a trophy white ram.
I am going back but my wife wants a moose first so I will hunt with Deltana for moose next year and then save up for another sheep hunt with them in the Brooks. By the way, I also killed a 375 B&C caribou – but that is another story. Suffice to say you can’t get any better than Deltana Outfitters.
To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the distinct pleasure of sheep hunting with Ralph Miller in the Brooks Range in August of and August of 2002. After spending 20 days observing Deltana Outfitters sheep operation, I can unequivocally recommend them as an outfitter. Their equipment is first rate and in good repair, Ralph’s knowledge of game is noteworthy, he spares no expense to insure the successful outcome of the client’s hunt and his relationship with the assistant guides is more accurately described as family as opposed to employer/employee. While laudable, these attributes are not unique to Deltana Outfitters. What sets Deltana Outfitters apart from most other outfitters I have encountered is Ralph’s commitment to insure that his clients truly enjoy their Alaskan Experience. This goes much further beyond than merely successfully collecting the targeted species of game.
The sheep season was Ralph’s first operating in the demanding environment of the Brooks Range. Although his permit allowed a much larger number of hunters, Ralph only took 4 hunters the first year to allow the individual attention required by the demands of an inaugural operation. By August 2002, I was amazed at the progression up the learning curve. After queering my assistant guide, I learned that following every season; Ralph has a meeting with his entire staff to critique the operation. His drive for continuing refinement of his operation is evident by the fact that all 8 of the hunters where successful at collecting a dall ram in 2002. I consider 100% success after only 2 seasons a remarkable accomplishment on sheep anywhere, let alone the vast wilderness of the Brooks Range.
Ralph’s personality makes him very well suited for his chosen profession. He is very outgoing and his willingness to find out about his clients and structure their hunt to insure an unforgettable experience is very unique. He is a very patient man. I personally observed this while I watched him deal with a particularly difficult client. While eating a meal at the
surprisingly comfortable accommodations at the base camp prior to departing for the spikes camps, Ralph, observing the downward progression of the snowline on the Smith Mountains, stated that we would be needing our long underwear. This difficult client than stated that “he did not believe in long underwear and that he had not brought any”. Ralph calmly explained the necessity of this equipment and proceeded to procure not only the underwear
but also adequate rainwear instead of the poncho the client had brought instead of the appropriate items Ralph had recommended on his extensive and well thought out equipment list provided to every client.
Deltana Outfitters is a first rate operation and Ralph Miller is a very ethical man. He insists on strict adherence to the principles of fair chase. Hal Waugh would be pleased to know that men such as Ralph continue to carry on the tradition in Alaska.
Robert J. Gold
You guys are great in every aspect: you made us feel like your only clients, even though you had a number of clients in base camp. My guide could not have been better, and would not trade the experience for anything. Great work, great organization, excellent people. You deserve a lot of credit. I will be back for maybe Dall Sheep in a year or so.
August Dall Sheep Hunt
Dear Ralph, Jim & the boys;
I just wanted to let you know again what a great time I had with you guys. I ‘ve been dreaming of hunting white sheep since I was about 12 years old a very long time you see. So you not only took me hunting but you fulfilled a dream.
The whole trip was better than I had dared to hope it could be. >From the start I was impressed with how well all the guides and camp personal worked together, and how organized everything is. Everything you did was focused towards us getting an opportunity at a ram and latter a good caribou. It really put me at ease after I arrived and saw that all of you were really serious about doing whatever you could to make sure we found game.
For me this was my first time ever to hire a guide, so I was worried about trusting someone else with my dream. Also for me I didn’t want to have someone just lead me by the nose and point out the game and tell me to shoot etc.
I wanted to hunt and I really appreciated how my guide made it like we were two friends just out hunting together, like we were partners. It was real hunting, fair chase and not just shooting an animal. I really appreciated that!!!
And then there is Matt. What a nice guy and good pilot. I grew up in a super cub on our ranch, my brother flies helicopters, and I worked helicopters logging for years flying in & out of bad places with a number of different pilots. I crashed with one of them and was lucky to live so I know what I’m talking about. Matt is good!
I also was very impressed with the way our capes were taken care of, washed fleshed, and salted. Most of all though I can’t wait to get back up there and hunt with you again. I want to sheep hunt again in the worst way but my wife wants me to get a moose first so I’ll be up in Sept to hunt moose in the Yukon camp, and then I’ll book another sheep hunt in the Brooks Range so save my spot. Lucky ole Chuck is coming back this year to hunt sheep
again and also coming with me in 2003 to hunt moose so you are stuck with us for at least a couple more years.
I just want to thank you again for providing me with such a lasting experience; I’m still not back to earth. If you would like a great hunting trip with great guys call Ralph toll free at 1 (907) 750-48826 or call 1 907-895-5006, or check out the web site at www.deltana.com
Thank you very much:
As Good as it gets:
After years of dreaming and planning to hunt the great white sheep of Alaska Tom & I started looking for the best guide/outfitter we could find. After lots of reading & calling around checking references we found Deltana Outfitters in Delta Junction Alaska. We called and talked with Ralph about the type hunts he has and checked more references. In January we booked a Dall sheep hunt in the Brooks Range with Deltana Outfitters for august .
Now the worry started, did we pick the best outfit, will we have a good hunt, will we see sheep, etc.
Ralph had said that he was coming to the FNAWS show in Reno NV, in a few weeks so we decided to go and meet Ralph and see just who we would be hunting with. My partner Tom and I met Ralph and his partner Jim along with some of their crew in Reno a few weeks later. We were very impressed with this group from the hills in Alaska, what a great bunch of guys. This meeting really put us at ease and we began looking forward to up coming trip.
When we arrived in Deadhorse, Ralph was waiting and after a short tour for this small town we were off to base camp, about a two hour trip. After a quick lunch and Ralph issuing our hunting license & tags, I was soon flying with his pilot, Matt what a great person & pilot he is to. On my trip into my sheep camp we saw lots of sheep and a couple of grizzly bears what a way to start a hunting trip, I was jacked up and ready to go now.
We soon had my sheep camp spotted and landed. Jim my guide already had everything in order in camp and was ready to show me some sheep. That evening, we spotted Mature rams right from camp, but decided to scout more in the morning. Next morning after breakfast we started hunting, we spotted even more rams, but continued to scout, soon we spotted even another very large ram, which I decided to try taking. But as luck would have it even before we could start our stalk this ram decided to change his feeding area and moved over a ridge and out of sight. After trying all day to get on this very large ram with no results, we returned to camp, tired, but very enthused with the number and size of rams spotted in just one day.
The next morning, while spotting from camp during breakfast, we spotted a very large ram approximately 1-½ miles from camp. A stalk was planed and away we went, on arrival at our per-determined shooting spot, guess what the ram was gone! We looked all day, as this was truly a very large ram, but could not locate him. Back to camp, tired, but very enthused as even more rams were spotted on distant mountains.
Next morning, it was decided to make an attempt at the ran, we had tried for on the first day as this was truly a great ram, on the way there another very good flared horned ran was spotted, but I still wanted to try for the first day ram. This ram was soon spotted, we made a stalk, and I had my dream trophy of a lifetime. Shortly after we arrived back at spike camp with my trophy and meat, Matt the pilot arrived to check on us. Having gotten my ram early we decided to retune to base camp. Arriving are base camp my partner Tom was waiting with a big smile, he also had taken a beautiful ram (on his second day) what a trip, two very happy hunters with two great trophies.
Now with our rams taken care of in very short order, Tom decided he wanted to attempt to take a caribou, and with very little persuasion, I soon joined him in this idea. Ralph said no problem all things are possible. Ralph and Matt went scouting for us and soon returned with good news, lots of big caribou bulls. In short order Ralph and Matt moved the guides and camp into the caribou area. The next day Tom and I were flown into join our guides and were greeted with smiles and lots of caribou. The next morning, we both took a large bull caribou in the 380’s.
In short, Deltana Outfitters is a class act operation, very professional, top-notch guides and pilot. I had so much fun hunting with them in that I am going back and hunt sheep with them again in 2002, and Tom and I are both going to their world class Moose camp in 2003. All in all, I don’t think a person could take a better hunting trip, the wilderness of the Brooks Range and the Artic are unmatched, the amount of game in this area is unreal.
Any hunter looking for a great hunt, honesty, professionalism and guides that know what they are doing, Call Deltana Outfitters and go with the best, 907-895-5006 and talk with Ralph he will get the job done for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write or call me. These guys are the best.Chuck Hedin
Sept Moose Hunt
The friendship, aptitude and skill of the guides made this truly A Dream HUNT.
Sept caribou hunt
Great Hunt nice setup, first rate guides excellent food and good atmosphere.
I had a great hut everything was perfect. Better than I expected. I plan on returning in a year or so and trying for a larger caribou. Great food, guides, tents, fishing, and plenty of wonderful memories.
Kurt A. Black
My father and I enjoyed our hunt greatly. It was the most enjoyable and professional hunt we have ever been on. Thank you for providing such a quality hunt.
It was a real privilege to have Gary as my guide . I was very impressed with his skill & expertise. Great outfit! Strongly recommend this hunt.
One of the best trips I’ve been on in 45 years of hunting. The camps, personnel, food and game were A+
James E. Egger
I just wanted to thank you all for the great hunt and experience. It was my first game hunt and I don’t think it could have been any better. Tell Kent and the rest of the guys thanks and that the Brown family hopes they have a great year, and thank you for the Christmas card. I hope to be back for another caribou or a black bear. Myself and Garry Benner had a great time. You run an outstanding camp.
Ralph; excellent hunt, facilities and guides. This was a very ethical camp and hunt. I do not believe you can say this about your competitors.
Best camp I’ve been in. Great people, great camp, great time!
[The] owner, Ralph was very friendly. He and all his guides treated us like we were part of their family. Top-notch facilities.
Deltana Outfitters camp and accommodations are first rate which made our hunting trip very comfortable and most enjoyable. This was Sharon’s first time in hunting camp and will be an unforgettable experience!
Greg and Sharon Michel
Great outfit. Good personnel. Good cooking. It was like going hunting with your friends. Excellent camp. [Your guide] worked his butt off for me. Great attitude. Excellent camp. 1st class. One of the best hunts I’ve been on. If I go back to Alaska, I’ll be looking you up.
The best food and accommodations I have ever experienced in a guided camp. Loved the shower. Kent did a great job, and more importantly was a real pleasure to be with.
All in all the best hunt I have ever been on. Great guides, good accommodations, well planned, successful hunt.
I thought I would just take a minute and thank you for the great hunt in September of 1998. Both my customer and I were totally satisfied with our trophies and made it a trip of a lifetime that we’ll always remember!
We arrived on Sept. 7th by plane on a beautiful river 150 miles [from] Iliamna, AK at a base camp and were greeted by outfitters Ralph and Jim, owners of Deltana Outfitters. From there we went by jet boats 20 miles up river to a spike camp that was surrounded by herds of caribou, moose and brown bear. The first thing we did was get everything unpacked into camp and so we could set some hooks into those great fighting silver salmon that were stacked in the river waiting to give us a fight of our life. After testing equipment, we caught trophy size salmon, arctic char, grayling and beautiful rainbow trout that fisherman from all over the world would die to catch.
We woke up every day of our hunt to a great breakfast and hiked up to the top of a mountain to glass caribou feeding in the valley below us and working their way towards us. That first day we passed up some larger bulls that most hunters would have been very happy with but we decided to pass because the hunt was just beginning. That day I put a stalk on a 60 inch bull moose with my bow and lost him in the heavy brush at about 75 yards. With a rifle it would had been an easy task and a great trophy.
Day three was a little slower with nothing but small bulls and cows moving past us because all the large herds were moving into a strong wind moving from left to right in the valley which did not help them come in our direction. Another great day on the mountain watching brown bears feeding and wolves putting stalks on caribou. The fishing was even better this day with silvers moving up stream and grayling were beginning to be a pain because you couldn’t keep them off the hook.
The fourth day was one of the greatest hunting days of my life which began with my hunting partner and I spotting many bull moose and two large bulls about two miles away fighting. Several minutes later my guide and I decided to go after them which was only down a mountain across a river, and through some thick timber. From there we moved about 50 yards further and called once again. A response and my heart started racing as here came a bull of a lifetime that I took with shots from my bow at 45 and 57 yards. He measured 58 inches and made the Pope & Young record books easily. What a great bull! Oh, did I forget to mention the 70 inch bull that came out of the bush behind him after I had shot. It took us from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to pack everything out and thanks to all that joined in to help.
The 5th day was a little slow once again with a bad wind pushing the animals in the wrong direction but what a great day we had on the 6th day with everything working in our favor. It started with myself taking an average 325 class bull and ending with my hunting partner taking a great bull after passing on any smaller 330 class bulls. It’s amazing how fast things can happen when you’re spotting these animals 5 miles away and all of a sudden they’re all over you and you’re trying to figure out which bull is the one to shoot. Great bull Mark scoring around 370!
The last few days we spent relaxing breaking down camp and catching all the fish we dreamed of to put on our walls back home. What a trip!
Please call us or send us an e-mail if you would like a list of past clients so you can contact them for recommendations.