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Thread: Sheep horn judging seminars?

  1. #1
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Sheep horn judging seminars?

    I admit it, I am lousy at judging full curl/broken/8 rings for Dall Sheep. I would like to learn more - hands on if possible. Are there any sheep seminars in/near Anchorage scheduled for this winter?

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    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Bullelkklr,

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    I'd imagine there would be a large turnout for such a seminar. If there isn't one scheduled, would any of you guides or seasoned vets be interested in organizing or at least leading one?

  4. #4

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    What a greet idea. Hoping Lujonand may be the hunters that shot 7! sheep in different mountain ranges and may stud could all get to gether and give the sheep huting and aging class.
    wes
    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I admit it, I am lousy at judging full curl/broken/8 rings for Dall Sheep. I would like to learn more - hands on if possible. Are there any sheep seminars in/near Anchorage scheduled for this winter?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am the last guy you want to tell you if they are legal... Northway, Kahahawaii, Yukoner, Kotton, fullcurl and about dozen other guys here know what they are talking about with practical in the field info. I am a rookie that is probably a little above average about digging up info from the bios and devote a ton of time to pouring over every bit of scientific data on sheep that I can find. Killing them has proven elusive to me...

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    Member tekla's Avatar
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    I would be very interested in a class as well. Passed up a bunch of sheep in the last two years that were probably legal.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Sheep horn judging seminars?

    I'd be into it for educational purposes but personally, so many of the experienced sheep hunters here can't agree on a ram with curl and age; and everyone disagrees with the F&G Bio how do I know what I'm learning is legit?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    You could probably talk a biologist into doing it. A couple of them offered to set up sub-legal horns in the parking lot where you could look at them through a spotting scope and see where people have made mistakes. They'd probably be willing to do it a group setting.

    I talked to one biologist who looked at a ram on the wall in the adf&g office and he was undecided if it was full curl - from 5 feet away. Does not bode well for those of us chasing sheep for the first time.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Would be a fun class to attend.Would love to learn to judge on just age rings.I still probally would not shoot with just age in the field but would like to at least better myself than counting them once in my hands.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    That is a great idea!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Joe want does sheep hunting seminars, he has in the pass anyway.
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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Joe want does sheep hunting seminars, he has in the pass anyway.
    He would be one of the best to learn from!!Wonder if he still does them?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I'm by no means any kind of sheep aging expert. I have studied horn growth and talked to many bios and ask them all how they age sheep. I have also ask experienced sheep hunters their techniques. I will share what I believe to be true, worth what you are paying for it.

    Another key is to look at how the Ram interacts with others in a group, mature Rams act mature and will have large bodies, thick necks and roman noses.

    A couple points,, Rams on average reach puberty around age 4, this age ring is most often VERY pronounced. Horns also grow in segments with the largest growth between age 2 and 3. Member Fullcurl mentioned this in a recent thread. These two factors can be used to help in the aging process.

    The last 3 Rams I had sealed the bio used a straight ruler against the bases and used that to determine if at least ONE horn was full curl.

    So lets see some examples.

    In this photo you can see that the 4th year ring is more pronounced than the others.



    When viewed from the front in this photo you can see that the horn tips are above the bases, also notice that the horns have grown enough to extend towards the lower jaw.



    This is the Ram that member Full curl used to show the segment method.

    Not so easy to see true rings from false ones.



    Now apply the segment method, remembering that the largest segment will be between 2 and 3.



    Now look at this one.






    again I'm just a rookie, but these are the methods I use to help field judge rams. If more experienced sheep hunters find any flaws in my way please point it out.

    Steve
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  14. #14
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Sheep horn judging seminars?

    Steve,

    As always great wisdom from your experiences.

    Do you guys start from the bases or tips when aging? Logic would lead me to start at the tips.

    Also do you guys routinely take a camera along to snap a good broadside shot via spotting scope to sit and study?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Steve,

    As always great wisdom from your experiences.

    Do you guys start from the bases or tips when aging? Logic would lead me to start at the tips.

    Also do you guys routinely take a camera along to snap a good broadside shot via spotting scope to sit and study?
    I like to start from the tip and work back,, but to be honest I also rely a lot of that 4th year ring. I do when at all possible use my spotter and camera to take photos and zoom in. I also will change them to black and white to better see the rings in the photo.

    This year I got to watch the band of 4 rams that the one I killed was in and it was clear which one was dominate, does not mean he is the oldest, but just another indicator and helps to know which one to focus on.

    I have mentioned it before, but once I ID a Ram that I want that is in a group of other sub legals rams. I memorize every thing about him, each and every stain on his coat is noted. This has helped me stay on the right Ram when the shooting starts and they all run together.

    One thing that I forgot was that I really like to try to get a look at them from behind, often much easier to see growth rings from behind.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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  16. #16

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    fantastic! how old is the sheep with the reed rings/
    great info
    wes
    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I'm by no means any kind of sheep aging expert. I have studied horn growth and talked to many bios and ask them all how they age sheep. I have also ask experienced sheep hunters their techniques. I will share what I believe to be true, worth what you are paying for it.

    Another key is to look at how the Ram interacts with others in a group, mature Rams act mature and will have large bodies, thick necks and roman noses.

    A couple points,, Rams on average reach puberty around age 4, this age ring is most often VERY pronounced. Horns also grow in segments with the largest growth between age 2 and 3. Member Fullcurl mentioned this in a recent thread. These two factors can be used to help in the aging process.

    The last 3 Rams I had sealed the bio used a straight ruler against the bases and used that to determine if at least ONE horn was full curl.

    So lets see some examples.

    In this photo you can see that the 4th year ring is more pronounced than the others.



    When viewed from the front in this photo you can see that the horn tips are above the bases, also notice that the horns have grown enough to extend towards the lower jaw.



    This is the Ram that member Full curl used to show the segment method.

    Not so easy to see true rings from false ones.



    Now apply the segment method, remembering that the largest segment will be between 2 and 3.



    Now look at this one.






    again I'm just a rookie, but these are the methods I use to help field judge rams. If more experienced sheep hunters find any flaws in my way please point it out.

    Steve

  17. #17
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Sheep horn judging seminars?

    Rings = sheeps age

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Rings = sheeps age
    Yep, as LuJon notes, that sheep would be 10.5 years old. (That .5 was thrown in just for you, Jon. ) Actually, I had aged that one at 11 before Steve drew in the lines. I'm seeing another possible ring between the 4th and 5th years that he marked as counted from the tip, though it could be false annuli. Thoughts?

  19. #19
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Yep, as LuJon notes, that sheep would be 10.5 years old. (That .5 was thrown in just for you, Jon. ) Actually, I had aged that one at 11 before Steve drew in the lines. I'm seeing another possible ring between the 4th and 5th years that he marked as counted from the tip, though it could be false annuli. Thoughts?
    IMHO, that is a false annuli, and I say that because, if you apply the segment method, it would mean he grew more horn between 5 and 6 than he did between 4 and 5.

    Again, it is HARD to judge by photos alone and a view from the back is a critical step in the judging process.

    Just my nickel and there are sheep hunters here that have far more experience than I.

    I just don't see the ring wrap around the horn like the other rings do.
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  20. #20

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    I'll see if I can get some pictures together and post. Then let you guys figure out the ages.

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