Brendan Burns

Here are some pics of my 10-1/2-year-old stone ram I took with Jarrett Deuling at Deuling Stone Outfitters. It was a very tough backpack hunt; we hiked over 100 miles in 15 days of hunting. I killed my ram on the 10th day with one shot from 361 yards (steep angle, shot him for 300). My Red Rock Precision rifle is a dream to carry at only 6.4 pounds with 3 rounds in it. Also seen below are my last range shots at 4-5-600 yards during practice. I shot each off a pack just like hunting situation. Honestly, the gun shoots way better than I can shoot it.

I talked to a lot of gun makers when I was looking for the right rifle to take on this hunt. Everyone makes a 9-1/2 to 12-pound 1000-yard gun. They are basically all the same – big scope, long barrel and heavy. I’m sure they are great for long-range shooting, but it is not that practical for a backpack sheep hunt like mine was. I am not a long-range shooter. I’m a backpack sheep hunter. A rifle is a paperweight until I need it. An extra 4 pounds of food or a good spotting scope does me more good over a 12-day hunt than a giant rifle. Our focus at KUIU is always cutting weight off our system clothing, pack, etc. To kill the curve with a big heavy rifle makes no sense.

Todd and I met at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City. We were talking rifles, and he asked me what I was going to take on my Stone hunt. I told him didn’t know. Basically, I wanted a rifle as light as possible, yet still very accurate and shootable at practical distances (sub 500). Todd said he could build that rifle. My wish list was a 6-pound, 500-yard gun. I left the details in Red Rock’s hands. What I ended up with was a 6.4-pound 710-yard gun (710 is the max range on my turret).

Todd and Curt did an awesome job on the rifle, the ammo and, most importantly, the information to help me shoot it well. When it came time to kill the ram, there was no doubt in my mind he was not leaving that basin except in my pack. I’ve never been so confident making a difficult shot.

Find Brendan at Kuiu Ultralight Hunting.