By Fran Diepstraten

Chipper. We had named him when we saw him on the mine. We actually thought he was not all that big. But we found him outside the mine this morning. And it felt like a good day to kill a ram. As I was walking up a sheep trail, I was enjoying every step, being conscious about where I put my feet, feeling good that I was here, on a high windy ridge, and thinking "I don't care if this is going to take ten days; I'm ready to take on whatever the mountain throws at me"

And it's almost like the hunting gods were waiting for that relevation. I wasn't going to quit. So they sent a group of rams our way, and Chipper was in it. And it felt like I needed to shoot him. The stalk was easy, the shots too. He was dead on his feet at the first shot, but with mine boundaries poorly defined and likely close, I was taking no chances, and put two more in him. He turned out a lot heavier than we had thought, a beautiful, beautiful ram.

As we were admiring our ram, the wind stopped blowing, and the sun came out. Someone was telling us we did good, and granted us gorgeous stable weather to cape and butcher and carry the heavy load down the mountain. It was a good day to kill a ram.

Frans Diepstraten lives in Alberta. He is an outdoors writer, a nature photographer, and has a website displaying his work, as well as writing A Blog on Everything Outdoors.