Killing a trophy Dall sheep in the scenic mountains of the last frontier is something that most hunters place high on their wish lists. In reality, only a relatively small number actually make it to Alaska; even fewer find success, and only the elite repeatedly triumph. However, only the rarest of the rare manage to accomplish what Alaskan friends Scott Luber (right in photo) and Steve Bethune (left in photo) have set out to do; harvest a ram in each of the sheep-bearing Alaskan mountain ranges.
The achievement is so rare that it doesn’t even have an official title yet. Some are calling it the “Alaska Slam,” or the “Alaska Sheep Slam,” and as of this writing, it is rumored to have only been accomplished by one other hunter, ever, although, the official documentation has yet to be found to confirm this claim.
The ranges for this quest include the Wrangells, Alaska, Brooks, Talkeetna, Kenai, Chugach and Tanana Hills/White Mountains. Luber and Bethune started their sheep quest in 1998 and as of today, Bethune has been able connect on his seven rams and Luber is only two sheep from closing out the mission for both men.
As soon as Luber scores sheep in the Talkeetna and the Chugach ranges, the two friends will stand alone as the only hunting partners to have ever pulled this off. And if you think these two friends seem a little hard-core, just wait, there’s more.
Luber and Bethune added an extra challenge to their undertaking. Unlike most sheep hunters who have to pay thousands of dollars to be flown or packed into their hunting areas, these two decided to walk into their sheep hunting areas without the aid of bush planes or pack strings. Some of their spots required humping heavy packs up to 22 miles one-way over some of the most rugged topography Alaska has to offer. This might be why Luber likes to call their slam the “Alaska Walk-in Sheep Slam.” One thing’s for sure, they deserve to call it whatever they want to.
Although they did not realize it at the beginning, Luber and Bethune ended up inspiring and encouraging other would-be sheep hunters as their goal came to the attention of other Alaskan hunters. Most hunters can’t afford to pay for bush planes or horse outfitters, but Luber and Bethune showed them it was still possible to chase sheep hunting dreams. They proved that a guy could actually drive as close to a hunting area as the roads would allow, and simply jump off into nature and make their sheep goals happen one step at a time.
To give you a better idea of the quality of individuals these two are, they came to embrace the manner in which they were encouraging other hunters so much that they decided to produce a two-part DVD covering all the details of how they prepare for and plan for a hunt. The DVD is titled, “Lace ‘Em Up,” and it can be found on their website provingtrailadventures.com. As a bonus, they also included a full accounting of one of their hunts on video to show exactly what they go through on one of their trips.