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Thread: Heimer BOG Sheep Proposal Comments 2012

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Heimer BOG Sheep Proposal Comments 2012

    I am posting this with the permission of Wayne Heimer, retired ADF&G Dall sheep biologist. It is based on research done by Joe Want and Mr. Heimer, and consists of Heimer's recommendations concerning current proposals #78-#91, which, unless withdrawn or amended, will be before the Board of Game at the upcoming meeting in Anchorage.

    While some have claimed that this information is already public, to my knowledge it has never been posted in an online venue, and the first and only public presentation of this information was at yesterday's BGCSB meeting in Anchorage.

    NOTE: The original report included additional information regarding constitutional and legal issues which Wayne asked that I not publish here. He's not being evasive about those things, it's just that the document is still in draft form and he's still working on it... but the substance of the report is here; the part that deals directly with why he believes proposals #78-#91 are flawed and should be rejected by the BOG.

    Regards,

    -Mike

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    2012 BOG Proposal comments—Wayne E. Heimer, Dall sheep biologist

    OVERALL RECOMMENDATION: I recommend the Board reject Dall sheep season length and nonresident restriction proposals #780#91. These proposals are based on an alleged legal ram availability crisis unsupported by any objective data. Recent analysis of reported harvest data and hunter effort patterns for the last 20 years indicates there is no demonstrable legal ram availability problem which can be solved by the approaches suggested in proposals #78-#91. I reason that, because no biological or harvest allocation problem actually exists, the proposed remedies go beyond the scope of regulatory repair. If there is no real problem, the proposals are contrary to constitutionally established policies and Alaska Statutes governing allocation of the state’s resources. If the Board of Game cannot reject these proposals on these grounds, I suggest the Board consider referring them to the Department of Law for rigorous review. Alternately, the Board could refer the proposals directly to the Lieutenant Governor for conceptual certification prior to passing rather than after the fact. The legislature is the sole source of state policy. Below I offer a comprehensive review.

    INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY

    For 20 years, Alaska’s regulated Dall ram harvest management system has limited harvest to full-curl, double-broomed, or eight-year-old rams to safely maximize harvests in accordance with constitutional and statutory mandates. These changes were driven by coincidence of discoveries in sheep biology with federal actions that reduced (by 25 percent) the number of Dall sheep available for hunting. When Alaska’s full-curl regulation was implemented, managers required hunters report the age of each harvested ram. Nobody paid much attention to sheep harvest management for the next two decades, during which Dall sheep populations declined across most of Alaska. These population declines were apparently due to difficult weather and increased predation. Decreased hunter interest and participation followed the declines in Dall sheep population sizes.

    Nevertheless, activist Dall ram hunters long for a return to “the good old days” when there were fewer guides, sheep hunting was spread over a wider area, and there was less anxiety over shooting an illegal ram. In spite of consistently high overall hunting success, this longing, coupled with the natural human inclination to instinctively explain “effect” by intuitively assuming “comfortable cause,” has led to the wide-spread notion that “Dall ram hunting has gone down the tube.” This canard’s corollary is that “We’re killing all the old rams.” By further extension, some resident hunters argue that “Nonresidents (who, by law, must have a guide) are killing all the old rams, and should be restricted to favor us (because we live here during winter).

    THE ISSUE TO BE ADDRESSED

    For the 2012 regulatory cycle, there are 14 different statewide proposals (authored by nine different Alaskans APPENDIX A) before the Board of Game. These proposals place Dall sheep management in Alaska at a critical juncture.

    If accepted, these proposals will radically change Dall sheep management for the foreseeable future. These proposals have in common the intuitively presumed problems that “We’re killing all the old rams.” and / or “Guides and nonresidents are killing all (or too many) of the old rams, and should be restricted to favor residents.” An objective test of this problem’s actual existence (beyond the anecdotal allegations of disappointed resident hunters) was not available until quite recently.

    Recent analysis of harvest data collected over the last 20 years indicates no support for the assertion that maximal harvest is being closely approached or that “overharvest” by nonresidents materially affects resident opportunity or success. While it is true that nonresidents have a higher cumulative success rate than residents, residents consistently take approximately “half-again” as much of the available ram harvest as nonresidents (J. Want analysis). Nevertheless, the regulatory suggestions to solve this alleged but undocumented problem (which were drafted prior to development of the relevant harvest data analysis) remain on the agenda of the Board of Game.

    METHODOLOGY

    The analytical breakthrough necessary for objectively testing the subjective impressions of hunters proposing radical changes in sheep management was driven by questions raised by commonly-alleged justifications for the proposals #78-#91. Once developed, this approach was applied to test these intuitive impressions and examine the alleged justifications for the proposals. The analysis involved use of the harvest age structures reported by hunters over the last 20 years. It allowed data-testing of these perceptions and subsequent allegations by several means. Here’s how it works:

    The minimum number of legal rams present at the beginning of any hunting season can be back-calculated from the age structure of the reported harvest. These calculations began with the obvious realization that age-legal rams (beginning at age eight-years) were alive before they were killed. Since rams become age-legal at eight years (and very few survive beyond age 13-years) it was assumed that the five-year period from age eight to 13 years of age represented a reasonable harvestable “window” for rams in Alaska. Adding the total number of legal aged-rams which had to be both age-legal and alive during the five years prior to any harvest year allowed calculation of the minimum known number of age-legal rams present prior to that harvest season.

    Dividing the reported harvest by the minimum known number of age-legal rams allowed calculation of the overall harvest rate (the percent of age-legal rams harvested). If it were true that “We’re killing all, or most, of the available legal rams,” this harvest percentage would have to approach 100%. If the harvest percentage does not approach 100%, the assertion must be rejected.

    Knowing the age distribution of the harvest also allowed testing of the assertion that “We’re killing all the old rams” by another method. If this assertion were true, the age distribution would be heavily skewed toward younger age-legal rams in the reported harvest (because older rams would have already been killed). If the age distribution is “normally distributed,” and not heavily skewed toward younger age-legal rams, the assertion must be rejected.

    A note on horn length: Use of average horn size could be used similarly, but would not allow quantitative estimation of harvest rate. If all the older rams were being harvested, the reported horn size would approach the legal minimal length, and the variation about mean horn size would decrease. If mean horn size has not decreased or variability remains consistent over time, the assertion must be rejected. Using the reported ram age structure is a better tool because it allows definition of minimal harvest rate and is less influenced by variability in horn sizes from population to population and year to year.

    RESULTS

    Percentage harvest of age-legal rams known to be present:

    These analyses indicate the assertion that “We’re killing all the legal rams” must be rejected. Ram harvest rates during the first 15 years of the 20-year full-curl harvest period have ranged from 40 percent to 60 percent (with the statewide average being about 50 percent) of the minimum number of age-legal rams known to have been present. Actual percent harvests cannot be accurately calculated for the most recent four years because of the assumed five-year harvest window. Still, typically consistent “statistically normal” age distributions reported during these most recent four years suggest no changes from the previous 15 years.

    Statistically normal age distributions:

    Analysis of age distributions of harvested rams offers no suggestion of evidence to support the allegation, “We’re killing all the legal rams.” The age distributions of harvested Dall rams over the last 20 years remains remarkably consistent. They uniformly indicate overall normal age distributions with populations.

    Interestingly, these harvested age distributions are composed of the same relative percentages of rams aged eight through 13-years as the famous “Murie” data from McKinley National Park in the late 1930s.

    Are nonresidents harvesting older rams than residents?

    The data indicate the allegation, “Nonresidents are killing all the big rams,” must also be rejected. The reported ram age distributions among both residents and nonresidents are identical, and have been remarkably consistent over the last 20 years.

    Does hunting earlier increase chances for harvesting older rams?

    The data say, “No.” Age distributions from 10-day grouped quarters of Alaska’s 42-day season show no variance within themselves over the course of the season. Surprisingly, there is no hint of difference in ram ages harvested between residents and nonresidents over the course of the last 20 hunting seasons.

    What about hunting patterns?

    Nothing has changed with respect to hunter effort or pattern-of-effort over the last 20 years. There has been no identifiable change in per capita days spent hunting for successful or unsuccessful hunters regardless of residency over the last 20 years.

    DATA SUMMARY:

    It is widely acknowledged (and borne out by trend counts) that there are fewer sheep today than 20 years ago. Even though we still have the same dominant “open hunting” policy we have had for the last 20 years, we’re only harvesting about half of the known number of age-legal rams which had to have been available prior to the opening of sheep season each year. The relative age-distribution among harvested rams still matches that typically expected in an unhunted wild sheep population. There is no apparent advantage associated with having a guide when it comes to taking an older ram, and having an earlier hunt seems to convey no advantage in selectivity either. Notably, there has been no change in hunter effort during the last 20 years. These data indicate we must reject the notions that “We’re killing all the legal rams.” If we reject this notion, blaming nonresident hunters is not rationally allowable.


    DISCUSSION

    DATA ISSUES: The alleged problem does not actually exist

    The available data apparently belie much of the lore and mystique associated with presumed ram availability and the size/age advantages assumed for nonresident (guided) hunters. The data also bring the presumption of hunter selectivity for more mature rams into question. There is no evidence to support the anecdotal claims that overhunting (by either residents or nonresidents) is severe enough to demand a statewide remedy.

    The data also suggest that limiting nonresidents to favor resident hunters is unnecessary based on resource abundance or the impact of hunting on ram social biology. Given relatively low harvest rates (~50 percent), restrictions on nonresident participation will be more cosmetic than inherently management-effective in increasing the quality or quantity of resident hunter experiences.

    Furthermore, if there is no biological problem or demonstrably resource-driven allocation disparity, the proposed remedies fall into a “forbidden zone” with respect to Alaska Constitutional directives and the Alaska Statutes.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 12-08-2011 at 05:45.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff, Mike. Thanks for posting that. I'll be interested to see what the Board of Game does with this. If they follow Heimer's line of thinking, then I think it would be a reasonable move to propose eliminating the drawing permit requirement in Units 14A and 13 during the next round of meetings. The justification for those moves was that we were killing too many of the old rams, and apparently that's not the case by Heimer's line of reasoning. Interesting stuff, indeed.

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    You have to hate facts or at least one side does. I would bet that if the locals that want out of staters gone then had to be told anyone not born here is considered a out of stater things would be much different. To go farther I bet they would claim that at least game on federal land belonged to all Americans
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Interesting stuff, Mike. Thanks for posting that. I'll be interested to see what the Board of Game does with this. If they follow Heimer's line of thinking, then I think it would be a reasonable move to propose eliminating the drawing permit requirement in Units 14A and 13 during the next round of meetings. The justification for those moves was that we were killing too many of the old rams, and apparently that's not the case by Heimer's line of reasoning. Interesting stuff, indeed.
    Brian,

    Heimer and Want are not saying that there is no problem with sheep numbers in a particular area (such as 14A and such); they are saying that the cause is not hunting, as was previously asserted. In his second section, "Introduction and History", Heimer notes that "these population declines [across most of Alaska] were apparently due to difficult weather and increased predation", a point that may be supported by decreased hunter interest. While the cause may be a question, one would be at a loss to explain reduced hunter effort without at least considering that there were simply less sheep to hunt. One thing that seems to bear out; we have less hunters. Not more, as the urgency of these proposals seems to assert.

    At any rate, there may well be good reasons to go draw on some of these areas, but the reasons for doing so would need to be resource-based and (one would assume) would differ from one sheep population to another. And note that this report is speaking on a state-wide basis. No doubt some will point to this or that area's extremes as evidence to support the current round of proposals, however my personal belief is that these areas need to be looked at individually. I question the reasoning that says we need statewide regulatory intervention, especially to the degree promoted by these proposals.

    Interesting that we're not hearing anything from anyone else on this stuff I posted. Perhaps our community has not found it yet? Maybe I will post another link in the other thread...

    -Mike

    -Mike
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    I have read it, don’t really 100% understanding how their new analytical breakthrough data works tho. I’m skeptical of it, but that’s just me and my opinion.

    But I do know one thing Heimer sure threw us Alaska residents (who are not in it for a buck) under the bus! His statements: “because we live here during winter”, “nonresidents should be restricted to favor resident”, “beyond the anecdotal allegations of disappointed resident hunters” clearly show which side of the line he stands on!

    But I already knew this, I stated this a few years ago on this site, I’ve talked with Heimer many times in the past, and in my opinion he was ok till he got in with the big money boys and FNAWS, it’s amazing that folks will do for a buck or prestige!

    I’ve talked with Want a few times too, there is no body on the site I have for respect for than Joe, but Joe made his living as a guide too!

    I have made 18 DIY sheep hunts in Alaska, in all the major mountain ranges the out the state and most the draw areas, I know what I have seen and a very good guide friend of mind whom has been guiding sheep hunters for the last 15 years says the same as me, we have problems!

    Mr. Strahan you and the rest of the money grubbers can fool the fans, but you’re not fooling the players! You and they try to discredit us residents that we base our facts on emotions, tall story tellers and that we are just a bunch of idiot lousy hunters.

    We have been sold down the river for a long time by you people and money, and you all know it and so some of do us!

    I’ll keep my pride and emotions, you all can keep the fluffed data and money.

    Yea, and am sure the forum cops will be on me for disagreeing with one of their “pet boys”, like that’s never not funny!


  6. #6

    Default Kind of skimmed through this...

    and where does it state they have done "specific" ram/ewe counts that were worth a crap? Talking with F&G themselves, I have heard that F&G spends VERY little $$ for such costly surveys. They do fly overs and see white spots and that is about it. Nothing like doing a report on "what we think there is" in the mountains. Someone show me specific ram counts every year for specific mountains, and I will believe some of what they are saying, but my in the field time over the past 20 years says much different than what they have to say.

    (edited)
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 12-08-2011 at 18:34. Reason: personal comment

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramhunter View Post
    Mr. Strahan you and the rest of the money grubbers can fool the fans, but you’re not fooling the players! You and they try to discredit us residents that we base our facts on emotions, tall story tellers and that we are just a bunch of idiot lousy hunters.
    Come on, man, such invective is not necessary or helpful. I know Mr. Strahan reasonably well and the man is most certainly not a money grubber, nor is he trying to discredit anyone. He has a different take on the situation and is trying to engage folks based on reason and the statistics that he has on hand. Let's leave the personal crap out of it.

    As for the forum cops getting on you for disagreeing with Mike, that's darn near laughable given the other sheep thread going on in the hunting forum. Four moderators have very publicly disagreed with Mike on various aspects of sheep management in that thread along (myself, Alaska_Lanche, LuJon, and stid2677). Nobody is going to get on you for disagreeing with Mike or anyone else.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Brian,

    Heimer and Want are not saying that there is no problem with sheep numbers in a particular area (such as 14A and such); they are saying that the cause is not hunting, as was previously asserted.

    .................


    At any rate, there may well be good reasons to go draw on some of these areas, but the reasons for doing so would need to be resource-based and (one would assume) would differ from one sheep population to another.
    Mike - If Heimer's assertions that we're consistently leaving 50% of legal rams on the mountain and that full curl regulations are adequate to prevent overharvest, then there can be no resource-based reason to change an area to draw-only. Perhaps if the goal is better hunt quality or trophy quality (a reason sometimes cited in the Unit 13 discussion four years ago), then there might be a reason to do so. But based on resource health? If there are fewer sheep, then fewer hunters will be successful, but killing a handful of those fewer rams won't hurt a thing based on their line of thinking.

    For what it's worth, I don't disagree. I buy in to the notion that restricting harvest to full curl rams only will in turn prevent significant overharvest in most cases. That being said, I still see increasing crowding in a number of areas of the state (which is borne out by ADF&G harvest statistics), and I see that being directly tied to recent changes to the status of 14A and 13. I also see the writing on the wall with regards to what the future of sheep hunting looks like in areas that are currently open to general season harvest, and it concerns me.

    A couple of questions, Mike: Do you think that there is ever an appropriate time to restrict non-resident access to a certain percentage of available harvest when the health of the resource is not a major driving force? We already restrict non-residents to between 10-33% of available tags in 14C - why would this approach not be a reasonable compromise in other areas of the state?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    This prompted me to take a look at the years leading up to the Chugach Mts in 14A going to draw.

    22 sheep harvested 2007
    10 sheep 8 or under

    24 sheep harvested 2006
    14 Rams 8 or under

    27 sheep harvested 2005
    14 rams were 8 or under

    32 sheep harvested 2004
    17 rams were 8 or under

    22 sheep harvested 2003
    9 rams 8 or under

    20 sheep harvested 2002
    12 rams 8 or under

    19 Sheep harvested 2001
    11 rams 8 or under

    Totals:
    166 rams harvested
    87 rams were 8 or under

    52%; of harvestable surplus taken on average. This begs the question. Do we NEED a draw in unit 14A?

    It is worth noting that Deeveys survivorship curve for sheep shows that in an age balanced dall sheep herd that dominance related mortality starts at age 8. Winter kill studies are challenging to do but given the information we have it is reasonable to assume that not all sheep are harvested and that the majority of winter kill rams would be on 8 year or older rams so it is likely that we were actually harvesting less than 1/2 of all age legal sheep without a draw of any kind.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    ...A couple of questions, Mike: Do you think that there is ever an appropriate time to restrict non-resident access to a certain percentage of available harvest when the health of the resource is not a major driving force? We already restrict non-residents to between 10-33% of available tags in 14C - why would this approach not be a reasonable compromise in other areas of the state?
    Brian,

    Well I certainly support local preference when resources are thin. Haven't thought much about it when an area goes permit for other reasons. I would want to know why the area was permit only, before coming to terms with allocations. I'm sure some residents feel that they should get first crack at the permits and nonresidents get what's left (if any) after the draw. I'm not comfortable with that I guess.

    Not much of an answer, I'm afraid... I need to give it some thought.

    Mike
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Come on, man, such invective is not necessary or helpful. I know Mr. Strahan reasonably well and the man is most certainly not a money grubber, nor is he trying to discredit anyone. He has a different take on the situation and is trying to engage folks based on reason and the statistics that he has on hand. Let's leave the personal crap out of it.

    As for the forum cops getting on you for disagreeing with Mike, that's darn near laughable given the other sheep thread going on in the hunting forum. Four moderators have very publicly disagreed with Mike on various aspects of sheep management in that thread along (myself, Alaska_Lanche, LuJon, and stid2677). Nobody is going to get on you for disagreeing with Mike or anyone else.
    Thanks, Brian. I read that "pet boy" comment and realized that he probably doesn't realize that I own this site. And his remark about not understanding Heimer's and Want's data, yet formulating a position on it anyway, well... What can you do?

    Mike
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    Not much time to comment as of yet on this, but I will say this: These Heimer comments are really disingenuous and don't at all match the reality of what has been going on, and is still going on in some places.

    Again, is the guide industry lobby itself wrong in claiming that there have been overharvests ("biological harm"), that there is crowding and conflicts, that more and more hunts will go to draw only if nothing changes? And is the Dept wrong too when they say publicly in the management report that part of the reason 13D and 14A went to draw was specifically because there are no limits on guides and nonresidents and that user group had such significant impacts?

    I am not surprised by these comments from Heimer, but I am surprised at the lengths they go to skew what so many of the proposals are about (conflicts, nonresidents taking so much of the harvest of declining populations etc). And my God, he even mentions the state constitution, and knowing Wayne is somewhat of a constitutional scholar, to see him completely misrepresent what our constitution demands (a clear resident preference) is more than disappointing.

    I can't believe the Boards would really buy into this. Or resident sheep hunters. These comments are akin to sticking ones head in the sand and saying "what problems? I don't see any problems."

    Really disappointing on so many levels.

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    Mark what scientific information do you have to support your stance? Do you have any data to back up the assertion that there is biological damage happening now?

    It's not like those in political positions don't misrepresent things based on false data or just flat out make mistakes. Heck the POTUS once stated he had visited 57 states on the campaign trail. If simply being claimed by someone in a political position makes something fact do we now have 57 states?
    Last edited by LuJon; 12-08-2011 at 13:54.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    On a related note, in one of my conversations with Mr. Heimer, he addressed the difference between his former position and the new information he now has, by saying that his former understanding was incorrect. Just saying... in case someone asks why he changed his view. To me this is evidence of his honesty, that he admits he was wrong, when faced with information contradictory to his position.

    Mike
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Mike - If Heimer's assertions that we're consistently leaving 50% of legal rams on the mountain and that full curl regulations are adequate to prevent overharvest, then there can be no resource-based reason to change an area to draw-only. Perhaps if the goal is better hunt quality or trophy quality (a reason sometimes cited in the Unit 13 discussion four years ago), then there might be a reason to do so. But based on resource health? If there are fewer sheep, then fewer hunters will be successful, but killing a handful of those fewer rams won't hurt a thing based on their line of thinking.

    For what it's worth, I don't disagree. I buy in to the notion that restricting harvest to full curl rams only will in turn prevent significant overharvest in most cases. That being said, I still see increasing crowding in a number of areas of the state (which is borne out by ADF&G harvest statistics), and I see that being directly tied to recent changes to the status of 14A and 13. I also see the writing on the wall with regards to what the future of sheep hunting looks like in areas that are currently open to general season harvest, and it concerns me.

    A couple of questions, Mike: Do you think that there is ever an appropriate time to restrict non-resident access to a certain percentage of available harvest when the health of the resource is not a major driving force? We already restrict non-residents to between 10-33% of available tags in 14C - why would this approach not be a reasonable compromise in other areas of the state?
    Brian,

    I thought of a few other things worth mentioning on your post here.

    First, you make an excellent point concerning the GMU 13 permits, and I am sure that this data will call that into question, assuming the Department was indeed basing that decision on resource concerns that may not be valid. You also have to factor in what may be an imperfect method of counting sheep: aerial spotting. The fact is that many sheep go unobserved in such efforts. Just how good was the survey done in that area? I don't know the answer, but if Want's data is indeed valid (and it's really hard to dispute it), then a bunch of legal rams were missed. That's not an indictment on the good folks doing the survey work, but it does express the potential limitations of that method of counting sheep.

    Second, concerning preference to Alaska residents, Heimer makes some excellent points, which were expressed at the BGCSB meeting and in some written notes I have. He says:

    1. Alaska residents can hunt an almost embarrassing number of big-game animals for free, in terms of license and tag fees, with the one exception of B/G bear, which is $25. He says there has been no resident license fee increase in 30 years.

    2. Nonresidents have to hire a guide to hunt sheep, at a cost well in excess of $10,000, depending on the operator. Residents are not obligated to use the services of a guide.

    3. Residents can hunt Dall sheep for 42 days a year, compared to the typical nonresident hunt which is booked at ten days.

    4. Residents can hunt any open area in the state, however nonresidents are limited to the area assigned to their guide (which is much smaller than a sub-unit).

    5. Residents could, if they desired, subsidize their sheep hunt with the permanent fund dividend check they receive every year.

    6. Residents have the advantage of direct access to biologists, and local knowledge of the area if they choose to go there, but most nonresidents have never laid eyes on the mountain until they step out of the airplane or off the horse.
    Seems to me that residents already enjoy considerable benefits and advantages over nonresidents. Do we really need to take more for ourselves?

    -Mike
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  16. #16
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    Without Resident Hunters=There are no roads and airports or cities or towns or state agencies, etc, etc, etc
    Without Non-Res Hunters=A bunch of overpaid people would have to scramble to compensate for budget shortfalls.

  17. #17

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    "Do we really need to take more for ourselves?"
    YOU BET, If GMUs are going to draw only for residents due to overharvest, crowding, heck, because the sky is blue, then the FIRST thing that should be done is to limit NONRESIDENT participation in that particular hunt. Why - because AK residents should have priority over nonresidents when it comes to hunting opportunities and resources. As others have said, every other state limits nonresident to say 10% of the tag allocation, specifically in sought after species like sheep. The time has come for AK to change the rules because the resource (sheep) is no longer sustainale that change.

    "1. Alaska residents can hunt an almost embarrassing number of big-game animals for free, in terms of license and tag fees, with the one exception of B/G bear, which is $25. He says there has been no resident license fee increase in 30 years."
    I agree, the cost of tags is abnormally low here - so raise the fees!! I've been in AK for 8 years and I don't recall ADFG unsuccessfully trying to raise the fees because of public outcry from resident hunters - raise the fees to a reasonable amount already.


    "2. Nonresidents have to hire a guide to hunt sheep, at a cost well in excess of $10,000, depending on the operator. Residents are not obligated to use the services of a guide."
    Maybe the state should stop catering to the guide industry by imposing silly requirements that result in big $$ to guides.


    "3. Residents can hunt Dall sheep for 42 days a year, compared to the typical nonresident hunt which is booked at ten days."
    So what does that mean, AK residents are all unemployed giving them the freedom to hunt for 42 days, I think not. Is there a limit that I'm not aware of on the number of days a non-resident can hunt sheep?


    "4. Residents can hunt any open area in the state, however nonresidents are limited to the area assigned to their guide (which is much smaller than a sub-unit)."
    Ridiculous, we are all in the same boat, we can all choose where we want to hunt sheep. Again, it's not like residents have the entire season off from work or the $$ to bounce from Mt range to Mt range chasing sheep. We usually have the time and $$ to put together 1 sheep hunt per season - no different than nonresidents.


    "5. Residents could, if they desired, subsidize their sheep hunt with the permanent fund dividend check they receive every year."
    The more I read, is this Heimer guy anti-alaskan or what? Gee whiz, how does the cost of living in AK compare to most places in the lower 48? Give me a break.


    "6. Residents have the advantage of direct access to biologists, and local knowledge of the area if they choose to go there, but most nonresidents have never laid eyes on the mountain until they step out of the airplane or off the horse."
    What on earth does that have to do with the topic? First off, have nonresidents heard of telephones, email, and internet - there's your easy access to local biologists. Geez, they don't need to know DIDLEY SQUAT about the area becasue they hired a professional guide to do everything remember!!!!

    What a bunch of puckey, it clearly shows where some peoples interests lie after reading that nonsense.

    Yes, I need to figure how to use the "reply to quote" tool.

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Second, concerning preference to Alaska residents, Heimer makes some excellent points, which were expressed at the BGCSB meeting and in some written notes I have. He says:

    1. Alaska residents can hunt an almost embarrassing number of big-game animals for free, in terms of license and tag fees, with the one exception of B/G bear, which is $25. He says there has been no resident license fee increase in 30 years.

    2. Nonresidents have to hire a guide to hunt sheep, at a cost well in excess of $10,000, depending on the operator. Residents are not obligated to use the services of a guide.

    3. Residents can hunt Dall sheep for 42 days a year, compared to the typical nonresident hunt which is booked at ten days.

    4. Residents can hunt any open area in the state, however nonresidents are limited to the area assigned to their guide (which is much smaller than a sub-unit).

    5. Residents could, if they desired, subsidize their sheep hunt with the permanent fund dividend check they receive every year.

    6. Residents have the advantage of direct access to biologists, and local knowledge of the area if they choose to go there, but most nonresidents have never laid eyes on the mountain until they step out of the airplane or off the horse.
    Seems to me that residents already enjoy considerable benefits and advantages over nonresidents. Do we really need to take more for ourselves?

    -Mike
    Mike - At the risk of being repetitive, I think some of those points made by Heimer don't hold the first ounce of water.

    1 - Totally a fair point. I've mentioned before that I'd be willing to pay a tag fee for all big game and would support an increased license fee. Apart from any non-resident issues, I'd love to see our department be better funded.

    2 - Fair point.

    3 - Non-residents can hunt sheep for 42 days as well. If you want to compare apples to apples, look at the average # of days hunted. I would bet any amount of money that non-resident sheep hunters spend more time in the field. Many residents choose to only hunt a weekend or two. The amount of time open for hunting is equal to both.

    4 - Non-residents can also hunt any open area of the state. They can simply choose a different guide if they want to hunt a different area. If I as a resident want to hunt the Wrangells, I need to book an air charter that works there. If I want to hunt the Brooks, the same applies.

    5 - The permanent fund dividend has absolutely nothing to do with this. If it does, then let's also factor in the higher cost of living in Alaska. Should I have more right to sheep hunting than a teacher from Connecticut because teachers there make more money? Income has zero to do with this issue.

    6 - Non-residents have access to the biologists via phone and e-mail and also can have local knowledge of the area they choose to go if they choose to go there prior to the season. Additionally, their paid guide likely has more knowledge of the area than most locals.

    Points 1 & 2 are valid, but 3-6 are complete non sequiturs that have no place in the discussion from my perspective. I've been reading what you've posted of Heimer's conclusions with an open mind and have found his numbers to be informative, but I've got to admit that if he's making arguments 3-6 with a straight face and suggesting that it has something to do with how these proposals should be decided, then I have to start considering what those who question his motives are saying. Those points have nothing to do with the resource and are not defensible.

  19. #19
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    It is painful to watch intelligent people making completely illogical arguments. The co-chair of an org that constantly preaches science based management is tossing out all the real data based information in this thread and instead leaning on old sound bytes from board members to substantiate claims that there is a crisis. Add in a giant heaping of another org chairman telling me that my cup runneth over and I should smile and ignore the wolves just outside the reach of the firelight.

  20. #20
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Brian,


    Second, concerning preference to Alaska residents, Heimer makes some excellent points, which were expressed at the BGCSB meeting and in some written notes I have. He says:....

    .....Seems to me that residents already enjoy considerable benefits and advantages over nonresidents. Do we really need to take more for ourselves?

    -Mike
    I gotta agree with these other guys, his science might be good, but his comments are either irrelevant or insulting. Surprised you put those up.

    Yk

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