Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 144

Thread: Chugach Sheep Proposals

  1. #1
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    803

    Default Chugach Sheep Proposals

    With the 2013 Board of Game meetings rapidly coming up, I wanted to get the boards comments on a couple of sheep propositions that will be considered. Specifically Props 90 and 91.

    Prop 90 would return all of 13D to harvest ticket for residents and maintained the current status quo of 12 non res draw tags. Area would be returned to full curl.

    Prop 91 would do essentially the same thing, but include 13D & 14A with non-res limited down to 5 tags total.

    Proposals and F&G comments can be found at the following link.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...rd.meetinginfo

    Official F&G stance is "No Recommendation" with commentary that basically says that there are no biological concerns and "the pros and cons of adopting these regulatory changes are associated with social values"

    What say the sheep hunters?

    Yk

  2. #2
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    803

    Default

    Text of proposal 90 below:

    What is the problem you would like the Board to address?


    Several major sheep hunting areas in the state are seeing increased pressure from both resident and non-resident hunters. This is most notable in the Central Alaska Range and Brooks Range, both areas which are well known and are served by a number of transporters. For example, during the 2005-2010 time frame, large increases in the number of resident hunters were seen in Units 20A (+28%), 26C (+93%), and 25A (+87%).

    The increase in sheep hunter numbers in these popular areas has resulted in reduced hunt quality and localized overcrowding for many users, as well as both real and perceived conflicts between resident and non-resident guided hunters. It is also likely that a high percentage of the mature rams are being harvested in these areas on an annual basis. These issues are evidenced by the numerous proposals in recent years to restrict certain user groups or convert sheep areas to draw.

    At least some of the increase in hunting pressure in these units can be attributed to the displacement of resident sheep hunters from 13D and 14A by low levels of mature rams in 2005-2007 and the subsequent implementation of the new draw areas in 2008. This reduction in hunter opportunity has caused significant hunter disatisfaction both directly through loss of hunting area, and indirectly by increasing hunter numbers in popular units.

    What will happen if this problem is not solved?

    Unless hunter opportunity is increased in other areas of the state, there will continue to be high levels of hunting pressure in the certain open areas. This will result in further hunter dissatisfaction and additional proposals to the BOG to restrict certain user groups, allow some type of resident advantage, or convert additional areas to draw.

    What solution do you prefer? In other words, if the Board adopted your solution, what would the new regulation say?

    Increase hunter opportunity by eliminating draw requirement (DS 160 and DS165) for resident sheep hunters in GMU 13D beginning in 2014. Non-resident draw tags (DS260 and DS265) to be fixed to approximately the current quota of 10 to 12 tags. Return entire area to full curl requirement.

    Although sheep numbers in 13D are still well below historic highs, the area is known for its trophy potential and is likely to attract a percentage of resident hunters away from areas of high pressure. The proposal also allows non-resident tags to be maintained at current levels for no net loss of opportunity to that user group.

    Does your proposal address improving the quality of the resource harvested or products produced? If so, how?

    I believe the elimination of the resident draw requirement for 13D will help reduce the rise in hunting pressure and the various user conflicts and hunter disatisfaction currently at issue in the Brooks Range and Central Alaska Range. In addition, I believe that it will have no significant biological impact on the sheep populations of the Chugach Range.

    The creation of the 13D draw areas were in response to a combination of heavy hunting pressure and a reduced sheep population. This had resulted in poor hunt quality and the annual harvest of a high percentage of the mature rams and was a justifiable decision at that time. However, since the elimination of over-the-counter tags in 13D the number of mature rams in the 13D appears to have since stabilized and success rates for hunters in these areas have increased to a notable degree. As examples, between 2008 and 2010 the success rate for DS165 increased from 5% to 35%, and DS265 (non-res) increased from 40% to 100%. That the success rate for all 13D tags are currently well above statewide averages indicates that some additional harvest is possible.

    Based on typical pre-2006 harvest rates for resident hunters and the current harvest rate for non-resident hunters, I estimate that harvest levels for 13D West (DS160/260) and 13D East (DS165/265) combined would be approximately 20 to 30 rams under this proposal. Although slightly higher than the current harvest under the draw program, it would still be significantly lower than the combined resident/non-resident harvest of approximately 45 to 70 rams from these areas between 2000 and 2005. It should be noted that 13D has traditionally been popular with guides, and subsequently non-resident hunters have historically taken the larger percentage of the sheep from 13D. By keeping non-resident hunters on a limited draw, the total harvest will remain well under pre-2005 levels while still having an impact on overall hunter distribution in the state.

    During discussion and comment on numerous sheep proposals in the last BOG cycle, the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game (ADF&G) stated a number of times that full curl regulations are an adequate guard against biological damage to the resource. If this is the case, then there should be no major biological concerns with allowing a measured amount of additional harvest in 13D. In exchange for this additional harvest in 13D, hunt quality and available rams will be increased for hunters in other areas of the state.

    Who will benefit if your proposal is adopted?

    Resident hunters will benefit by having increased hunting opportunity in a high quality trophy area and decreased competition in other areas.
    Non-resident guided hunters in other areas of the state will benefit from a decrease in competition from residents.

    Who is likely to suffer if your proposal is adopted?

    Non-resident guided hunters in 13D will see increased competition for available rams from resident hunters.
    F&G will no longer be able to tightly control harvest in these areas. Given the typical low success rate (~20%) for resident hunters in open areas, this is unlikely to be a significantly issue.

    List any other solutions you considered and why you rejected them.

    1. I considered the inclusion of portions of 14A in this proposal, which would create additional high quality opportunity for hunters. However 14A is more easily accessible and may not be able to sustain the amount of pressure at this time. If the AKF&G believes that portions of 14A could again handle harvest ticket/full curl regulations, this would be a preferred option.

    2. I considered the effect of also eliminating the draw requirement for non-resident hunters. However with the significantly higher success rates of non-resident guided hunters and the currently low sheep populations, I believe that this would again result in unsustainable harvest levels. If the guide concession program currently under consideration goes in to effect, this may be an acceptable option.

  3. #3
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, Washington
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Sounds very good! Your proposals seems well written and looks at thing from more than one side. It would be good to see more opportunities available.

  4. #4
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    401

    Default

    I think this could be a viable option! I've hunted the central Alaska Range and can attest to the amount of people in that area. What do others think?
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  5. #5
    Member sheep man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    wasilla, gods country
    Posts
    527

    Default

    I wish this plan would work, i just think were moving pressure from one range to the next, even with keeping the guide numbers at bay were still having to much pressure, look at 14C as our example...since the 70s its been a permit system, why haven't we gone back to the good old days with that one????? to much pressure, too close to anchorge....etc... guiding numbers really have not had the inpact on the overall numbers in our back yard.....anyhow i could go on and on option #1 permit system state wide with a point system...Option #2 align moose and sheep season together, make a choice. # 3 residents can only harvest sheep every other year..... bottom line is we need to reduce effort....too many people liking the same things we like....my 2 cents.......
    I ♥ Big Sheep

  6. #6
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default Chugach Sheep Proposals

    Considering that prior to the area going draw the annual harvest was about 50% eight yo rams and 50% nine or older it is logical to open both 14C and 13D back up. It is still some of the most rugged terrain in the state with some if the worst weather and I doubt that we will ever see biologically significant harvest numbers of mature rams.

    In the end this really comes down to hunt aesthetics. There will be a whole bunch of people up there on top of each other and then there will be a core group of dedicated sheep nuts that out hike em and kill sheep every year. In the past the guys that poked their nose into tough terrain and not immediately found a ram have come back and complained that the area is "over hunted". I know other guys who routinely passed on sheep to let em grow another year despite already being legal.

    In my view we need the south east Talkeetnas and 13D/14A region to spread hunters out. Between those areas, the AK range and the brooks there are a bunch of great OTC areas to hunt. Leave 14C, DCUA, and TMA for trophy hunts and the CCUA for the uber tough walk in crowd.

  7. #7
    Member CtP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sitka
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    It is still some of the most rugged terrain in the state with some if the worst weather and I doubt that we will ever see biologically significant harvest numbers of mature rams.
    Agreed. It is a large unit, with very difficult access to most parts.

    Having just hunted 13D East, DS256 there is a healthy number of sheep/rams in the unit. I haven't heard the same for 13D West after talking to several folks who live,fly, and have hunted there.

    After peeking at the books, while we were sealing rams, the guides were definitely working the unit, pulling the big boys out. I do understand that they work hard, employ local air taxi's in the process, have a business to run, and there is allot of money involved.

    Talking with bio's in Glennallen who have been studying the sheep in the that unit, there intention is to turn it into one of Ak's best trophy sheep units. The genetics ( thick, deep dropping, lots of mass) of the Chugach sheep provide the potential, it's just a matter of proper management.

    ADF&G turning 13D into a draw has definitely produced. I'm not an expert, but the question should be asked to biologists who have been watching that area.
    Can the unit sustain it's #'s of Rams if turned into a OTC unit with limited non-resident tags ?

    I would support Prop 1, if it got support from the biologists. I'm definitely new to sheep hunting and have a relatively fresh perspective. I met a few bio's/sheep hunters this year who are closely watching and collecting data on the growth of rams in 13D, and in my book,they have all the credentials to make important decisions on the unit.

    Sheep hunters in Alaska are a special breed, but were not experts by any means.



  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    I think we need to take a hard look at sheep densities and try to figure out where to lay new boundaries. We need more general harvest areas. We keep packing hunters into smaller and smaller areas in the hopes that there will be record sheep in every range pretty soon and we will one day get a chance to harvest one. Tok was set aside for trophy quality, much of the wrangles were turned into a park full of trophy sheep, now 13D/14A were set aside to insure that residents got 90% of the tags because "non-res were killing all the legal rams" according to the props that got us here.

    If there is truly a desire for a trophy area in the Chugach then we need define it and then work diligently to open up some other areas. I mostly care about being able to hunt every year without having to draw a tag. If we keep forcing all the hunters who don't draw into smaller and smaller areas they will eventually go to draw and our ability to hunt every year will go away. How many draw areas do we really need? My buddy killed 10+ yo 39" rams when it was open season. There was a 45" ram killed in the brooks under open tag. Is the goal to insure that more rams die of old age? Our existing full curl regs are designed to target the sheep most likely to die of natural causes after all.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    YK you know some of my thoughts but I chime in here too.. First and formost I really like your prop. I think you covered all the bases very well. Like we chatted about I think one of the biggest hurdles will be the resident preference,right or wrong I think it will be a hurdle. What I see happening if a proposal like this does not go through is,for the reasons you pointed out, is that the pressure put on other areas in the state will eventually lead those units to a draw too and then so on and so forth(again I think you pointed that out very well in the prop). One thing I dont get is how on one hand we are told about the amount of legal sheep left in the field each year then on the other they shut a unit down due to over harvest just me thinkin out loud..

    I dont for one minute buy into this area being made a "trophy" I just dont.. To be a trophy area people have to pass up legal sheep and good legal sheep...how do I know..I used to have to do it in one of the trophy areas.. We considered 38,39 inch 9 and 10 yo sheep sub par sheep.. How many
    residents are pulling trophy tags in Kodiak and shooting 9'6 + bears... What is the avarage horn length for a non guided hunt in the tma or 14C..
    Just cause and area is a permit it will not automatically be a trophy area. Does this area have potential...heck yes...its the Chugach.. I know an open area where just about every year a 160 plus sheep comes out every year and I have seen more then one 170+ sheep taken out too...

    I think what a proposal like this does is gives the avarage Alaskan a shake at a good sheep hunt. Most hunters are lazy(sorry but its reality) so maybe some of the easier areas will get hit a little more but if you are willing to do a little work this will be a great chance to hunt sheep..

  10. #10
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    699

    Default

    This has all been debated many, many times over and over on this site and at the end of the day nothing will change other than many hard feeling made between site members!

    I’ve said it many, many times, the APHA is way to powerful and they will fight this and win, not letting this go to OTC tags for residents.
    I’m with ya Yellowknife, I wish they would just add more res draws tags, but that just me! mean while I’m got my fingers crossed hoping to put a of them tags!



    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

  11. #11
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    YK you know some of my thoughts but I chime in here too.. First and formost I really like your prop. I think you covered all the bases very well. Like we chatted about I think one of the biggest hurdles will be the resident preference,right or wrong I think it will be a hurdle. What I see happening if a proposal like this does not go through is,for the reasons you pointed out, is that the pressure put on other areas in the state will eventually lead those units to a draw too and then so on and so forth(again I think you pointed that out very well in the prop). One thing I dont get is how on one hand we are told about the amount of legal sheep left in the field each year then on the other they shut a unit down due to over harvest just me thinkin out loud..

    I dont for one minute buy into this area being made a "trophy" I just dont.. To be a trophy area people have to pass up legal sheep and good legal sheep...how do I know..I used to have to do it in one of the trophy areas.. We considered 38,39 inch 9 and 10 yo sheep sub par sheep.. How many
    residents are pulling trophy tags in Kodiak and shooting 9'6 + bears... What is the avarage horn length for a non guided hunt in the tma or 14C..
    Just cause and area is a permit it will not automatically be a trophy area. Does this area have potential...heck yes...its the Chugach.. I know an open area where just about every year a 160 plus sheep comes out every year and I have seen more then one 170+ sheep taken out too...

    I think what a proposal like this does is gives the avarage Alaskan a shake at a good sheep hunt. Most hunters are lazy(sorry but its reality) so maybe some of the easier areas will get hit a little more but if you are willing to do a little work this will be a great chance to hunt sheep..
    The main guide is having a super hay day taking the cream of the top in these 13 draw units, he has seen/killed more monster rams than 90% of all residents put together! Has a cub which he flies the units almost every day, My buddy hunted DS165 this year and said this guide flew over them VERY day and some days twice, morning and night!...I hear that he took 6 rams over 40” this year, one it on the Boone and Crockett web site under “trophy watch” named “Chugach Dall’s Ram” score is 169 6/8….IMHO he will turn these units into what happened with 14C, he and another guide hammered all the big rams every year that the DIY res could hardly find a decent ram!....now he’s moved onto 13, what a shameL

    I believe this was made a “trophy unit” for them hard core hunters!
    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

  12. #12
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, Washington
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Like Bear said, just because an area is by permit only, doesn't mean it will be a trophy area. When I looked at the harvest stats for the Delta hunts, the rams were small when compared to most harvest ticket areas.

    I agree with Lujon as well. I think that things need to go the other way, away from more permit areas if everyone wants to continue hunting sheep every year. More open areas would help thin hunter density.

    Also, like Lujon said, there are exceptional rams taken from harvest areas every year. There are more than a few places that you can take just as good of a ram as you could in some of these "trophy" areas if you work hard at it.

  13. #13
    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, Washington
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhunter View Post
    The main guide is having a super hay day taking the cream of the top in these 13 draw units, he has seen/killed more monster rams than 90% of all residents put together! Has a cub which he flies the units almost every day, My buddy hunted DS165 this year and said this guide flew over them VERY day and some days twice, morning and night!...I hear that he took 6 rams over 40” this year, one it on the Boone and Crockett web site under “trophy watch” named “Chugach Dall’s Ram” score is 169 6/8….IMHO he will turn these units into what happened with 14C, he and another guide hammered all the big rams every year that the DIY res could hardly find a decent ram!....now he’s moved onto 13, what a shameL

    I believe this was made a “trophy” for them hard core hunters!
    This is a problem, as I see it. When you look at the harvest stats for this hunt and compare guided vs non-guided, there is a very marked difference in the size of ram harvested. There were several years, if I remember right where there wasn't a single 40 inch ram killed by a resident hunter, yet there were multiple 40+ inch rams killed by guided hunters. If a guide is doing what you say he is and flying spot rams and guiding his hunters to them, then that's messed up. ADFG isn't going to get their diamond in the rough trophy unit if the guides take that big of a chunk out of the mature rams every year. The average resident hunter doesn't have the resources to do that kind of scouting and recon work to put that dent in the population, that's proven by the harvest stats.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhunter View Post
    The main guide is having a super hay day taking the cream of the top in these 13 draw units, he has seen/killed more monster rams than 90% of all residents put together! Has a cub which he flies the units almost every day, My buddy hunted DS165 this year and said this guide flew over them VERY day and some days twice, morning and night!...I hear that he took 6 rams over 40” this year, one it on the Boone and Crockett web site under “trophy watch” named “Chugach Dall’s Ram” score is 169 6/8….IMHO he will turn these units into what happened with 14C, he and another guide hammered all the big rams every year that the DIY res could hardly find a decent ram!....now he’s moved onto 13, what a shameL

    I believe this was made a “trophy” for them hard core hunters!
    I hear ya ramhunter and I have read some of your other post round here and believe you are a great trophy hunter cause you know what it takes and you are willing to do what it takes but you sir are an exception to the average hunter.Please dont take this wrong as I am by no means trying to put resident hunters down in any way. I know the which guide you are talking about and also probably know more about 14c then most. I'd hate to see this just turn into another guide vs non guide thread so I wont go there too much.. I do like how YK is not necessarily trying to eliminate guides but just limit them but again I suppose that is always the argument that gets to the guide vs non guide thread.

  15. #15
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    This is a problem, as I see it. When you look at the harvest stats for this hunt and compare guided vs non-guided, there is a very marked difference in the size of ram harvested. There were several years, if I remember right where there wasn't a single 40 inch ram killed by a resident hunter, yet there were multiple 40+ inch rams killed by guided hunters. If a guide is doing what you say he is and flying spot rams and guiding his hunters to them, then that's messed up. ADFG isn't going to get their diamond in the rough trophy unit if the guides take that big of a chunk out of the mature rams every year. The average resident hunter doesn't have the resources to do that kind of scouting and recon work to put that dent in the population, that's proven by the harvest stats.
    Yep, I agree 100% with you, this year another super hard core guide took a hunter into DS165 late in the year and hunted their ***** off, and only could find a decent ram! This guide told a good friend of mine that the “main” guide with the cub slicked up most all the hog ram earlier in the unit! The average DIY resident hunter has a very low chance of killing a monster ram with this kind of guiding going on in these draw units….It’s just tick’s me off to no end, seeing most all the huge ram leaving this state, I want to see more residents getting them!...
    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

  16. #16
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    I hear ya ramhunter and I have read some of your other post round here and believe you are a great trophy hunter cause you know what it takes and you are willing to do what it takes but you sir are an exception to the average hunter.Please dont take this wrong as I am by no means trying to put resident hunters down in any way. I know the which guide you are talking about and also probably know more about 14c then most. I'd hate to see this just turn into another guide vs non guide thread so I wont go there too much.. I do like how YK is not necessarily trying to eliminate guides but just limit them but again I suppose that is always the argument that gets to the guide vs non guide thread.
    I agree with you on the average res hunter, you are 100% right, and I think YK did a great job with the proposal, I wish it would happen!....I just know the opposition we are faced with….I’ll say it again, we need to get a Alaska Sheep org for us Alaska residents, it’s the only chance we have, all banding together
    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

  17. #17
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    803

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    I do like how YK is not necessarily trying to eliminate guides but just limit them

    Just to be clear here, proposal 90 as written wouldn't "limit" the 13D guides more than they already are. The 12 non-res permits that are currently out there would stay. The only change would be that they would now have to compete with an "unlimited" number of residents rather than just the 50 that they have to compete with now. These additional sheep hunters would almost certainly come from other areas of the state, where they are currently competing with other guides, making it a net wash for the industry.

    Too be clear: NO new non-resident restrictions. Just an increase in opportunity for the existing resident sheep hunters.



    Prop 91 WOULD restrict non-res tags to a significant degree. That's a different story.

    Yk

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Just to be clear here, proposal 90 as written wouldn't "limit" the 13D guides more than they already are. The 12 non-res permits that are currently out there would stay. The only change would be that they would now have to compete with an "unlimited" number of residents rather than just the 50 that they have to compete with now. These additional sheep hunters would almost certainly come from other areas of the state, where they are currently competing with other guides, making it a net wash for the industry.

    Too be clear: NO new non-resident restrictions. Just an increase in opportunity for the existing resident sheep hunters.



    Prop 91 WOULD restrict non-res tags to a significant degree. That's a different story.

    Yk
    Sorry YK wasnt meaning to word the wrong way and should of been more clear..I just meant that if it went to a HT for residents it would still limit the guides take to the existing permits..

  19. #19
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    I was witness to guide scouting of rams via Supercub in DS165. Lily and I scrambled into to cliffs after an exceptional specimen that CtP and I saw pushed way into the cliffs by a buzzing plane. Then that same plane buzzed a group CtP had been hunting for three days!!! Imagine having your ram scared away after waiting and climbing that long. He tried getting tail numbers but didn't see them. I was too far myself.

    My $.02, keep it draw and really enjoy the day you get lucky. I've never had such a high quality hunt and I'd support others being able to experience that too.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    I was witness to guide scouting of rams via Supercub in DS165. Lily and I scrambled into to cliffs after an exceptional specimen that CtP and I saw pushed way into the cliffs by a buzzing plane. Then that same plane buzzed a group CtP had been hunting for three days!!! Imagine having your ram scared away after waiting and climbing that long. He tried getting tail numbers but didn't see them. I was too far myself.

    My $.02, keep it draw and really enjoy the day you get lucky. I've never had such a high quality hunt and I'd support others being able to experience that too.
    If there are airplanes buzzin' ya while you are hunting, can't see how that aids to the quality of a hunt....

Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •