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Thread: The "Full Curl" Ram Law.......

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default The "Full Curl" Ram Law.......

    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    The next three hours crawl by as we determine if any are legal and wait for them to get up and feed.
    First off I want to say that I totally respect and appreciate the statement above. But at the same time I'm thinking this is total BS...!!! Why? Not at all that it took them so long to determine legality, but the fact that they had to.....

    I realize that we've gone over this topic a lot since I've been here, but I just have to wonder if we, as sheep hunters, should try and put an end to it by demanding that the F&G reevaluate this ancient means of determining "full curl" status. If a group of LEOs and biologists sitting around a table looking at a particular set of sheep horns, end up coming up with a group of different answers, then something's wrong. There is too much at stake (for us) for them to not have a full proof system in place to easily determine a full curl ram.

    This "idea" that a ram isn't full curl until the tips extend beyond a horizontal line across the bases is total BS. It has been proven over and over again that this just does not hold up. Why?.....because a ram's horns can drop quite low and then start back up again, then eventually tip out and grow past 360 degrees BEFORE they cross a plane inline with the bases. I've seen it time and time again. Go back and look at pictures of what was determined full curl rams here on this form, get a straight edge out and you'll see for yourself as well. There must be a reason why other states and countries have different ways of determining a full curl ram.

    All I'm getting at is that there needs to be a more definitive way, or should I say an EXACT way, to determine a full curl ram without a person, or persons, having to take half a day to do so. I mean really, it shouldn't be that hard. But with the F&G putting the fear of God into sheep hunters that they better not screw up, and this idiotic way that THEY try and tell us to go about determining a full curl ram.....well let's just say that a first time, or even a more seasoned sheep hunter, needn't be required to put this unnecessary stress level upon themselves just to want to put some sheep meat in the freezer. Again....too much goes into a sheep hunt to have to deal with this....imo.

    And please don't come on here and say that if it's too close to tell then move on. Some people live by the idea that "you can't eat the horns". Yes, we all like the horns, but a lot of us aren't trophy hunters. But I'd have to say that most of us do salivate at just the thought of grilled sheep back strap on their dinner plate. All these folks want is a great time in the mountains, a legal ram, and the gift of being able to enjoy it's fine table fare. And I can't blame anybody for wanting to take home the first legal ram they see.

    So what say you guys? Should we start the process that needs to be set in place to get the powers that be to start thinking about this? Or are most of you satisfied with the F&G's full curl determination as it stands...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Yukon- Broom Stick accross the nose. Nuff said.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter what the standard is because wherever the line is drawn there will always be marginally legal/illegal rams and guys willing to gamble on taking them. This will raise hackles BUT if more sheep hunters had better personal ethics there wouldn't be a problem.

    Every year there are hunters who let probably legal rams walk because they are not 100% confident in their estimate. We need more of that kind of hunter.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    It doesn't matter what the standard is because wherever the line is drawn there will always be marginally legal/illegal rams and guys willing to gamble on taking them. This will raise hackles BUT if more sheep hunters had better personal ethics there wouldn't be a problem.

    Every year there are hunters who let probably legal rams walk because they are not 100% confident in their estimate. We need more of that kind of hunter.
    +1!!! This is the bottom line. What ways do other states do it 4mer?

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    i think no matter what method (broomstick,looking through a cylinder, straight line, god knows what) there will always be grey area and you will have marginal calls that a panel of people may disagree on. i agree that it probably takes the fun out of hunting when you have to wait half a day to make sure its 1/16 th of an inch long enough to shoot. i think the only foolproof method would be do away with the full curl rule and basically Harvest ticket hunts and go to permits for "any ram". it would be a bad idea and would severly limit hunters to where they could hunt and how many could hunt but that would be the only way to eliminate the stress of "is it big enough?" like i said this idea sucks and i wouldn't support it but "any ram" leaves little to interpretation and a panel hee hawing around. i guess you could impose a quota system (ie. X amount of rams taken and the season closes). as is i think the rules are fine its just the people walking the line causing the problems. its kind of like the moose rule it seems silly that a 49.5 incher is off limits but 50 is okay....

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    F&G needs to remove their misleading drawings from their regulation book/page and stick to their photographs that show the curl on the axis through the spiral of the horn. Some of their full curl example photos do not meet the requirements in those drawings. F&G can't have it both ways.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    I say we stop this nonsense and do something about it. Every sheep hunter should wear a hidden camera and take horns to different places and record all the clueless "experts" come up with different ages. At least record audio/video with cell phones. This subject is a joke and a band of citizen journalists can make a difference and initiate a change. Youtube has changed the world and it is our responsibility to change what we don't like in our government and its practices. Oregon has the easiest most indisputable curl standards that we should look at.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    That's be great PacWest, but if it's too small it is getting seized..then you can't take it to someone else. What ADF&G needs is a three person appeals committee that has the final say. A senior wildlife trooper, a ADF&G sheep biologist, and a general public sheep hunter. Their answer is final, but at least you have the chance to get a second opinion away from inexperience biologists or troopers.
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    Well, if a guy wants to spend hours staring at a marginal ram its his choice. Personally, my last ram I glanced at his horns and let it fly. Look at some of the large rams harvested and they don't take much studying to notice they are legal. I see many rams on the fence harvested that would be spectacular trophies if left to grow for a year. I don't intent to shoot anything that isn't a no doubt about it ram and I wish there was a way to make this the standard. Its not hard to tell when a large ram is legal.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    That's be great PacWest, but if it's too small it is getting seized..then you can't take it to someone else. What ADF&G needs is a three person appeals committee that has the final say. A senior wildlife trooper, a ADF&G sheep biologist, and a general public sheep hunter. Their answer is final, but at least you have the chance to get a second opinion away from inexperience biologists or troopers.
    This is a brilliant idea, Doug.

    If I may suggest two refinements?
    1) Bio must have a minimum of 5 years experience with Dall sheep
    2) Public member must be a resident and have harvested a legal ram in Alaska
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    That's be great PacWest, but if it's too small it is getting seized..then you can't take it to someone else. What ADF&G needs is a three person appeals committee that has the final say. A senior wildlife trooper, a ADF&G sheep biologist, and a general public sheep hunter. Their answer is final, but at least you have the chance to get a second opinion away from inexperience biologists or troopers.

    First off, if its too small, it doesn't matter. You screwed up and if you are honest, you have to take it in and report your harvest anyway. I disagree about the panel of dummies. I think they need to adopt different standards that are universally successful, not re-arrange the same deckchairs on the Titanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    It doesn't matter what the standard is because wherever the line is drawn there will always be marginally legal/illegal rams and guys willing to gamble on taking them. This will raise hackles BUT if more sheep hunters had better personal ethics there wouldn't be a problem.

    Every year there are hunters who let probably legal rams walk because they are not 100% confident in their estimate. We need more of that kind of hunter.
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Erik in AK again."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    It doesn't matter what the standard is because wherever the line is drawn there will always be marginally legal/illegal rams and guys willing to gamble on taking them. This will raise hackles BUT if more sheep hunters had better personal ethics there wouldn't be a problem.

    Every year there are hunters who let probably legal rams walk because they are not 100% confident in their estimate. We need more of that kind of hunter.
    I agree that good ethics will always play a part, and there will always be the slob hunters that just don't give a da*n.....we're not talking about them. This IS for ethical hunters....people that actually care about killing only a legal ram. So I believe, if there was a better way of looking at a ram to determine full curl,(and I believe there is), less legal rams would walk, as well as the opposite.....less illegal rams would be killed.

    Personally I feel the current full curl determination is more for the F&G and less for the average hunter. Reason being is that I've run into one too many officials that have more of an attitude that they would rather see a guy go home unsuccessful than have them kill a "barely" full curl ram.....even if that ram is indeed full curl.....or should I say "legal." I won't go into it here....but I have my reasons for saying that.

    Understand that probably most of my sheep hunting days are pretty limited if not over.....I'll find out soon enough. No, I thought of this not for myself, but for new and upcoming sheep hunters. If everybody is fine the way things are then so be it. I just thought I would put it out there, and if people wanted to pursue it, then I would be glad to help out.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I think a key to getting a proposal approved is to ID the issue and then ID a proposed better way.

    My issue with our current system is that it is subjective and open for debate.

    An appear panel of either 3 to 5 people would be my choice. Any Ram that is deemed sub legal would be submitted to the panel for review and that decision would be the final verdict. Odd number will ensure that there would be a verdict one way or the other.

    Legal is legal is legal....

    Last fall I took a smaller Ram, tight full curl 8yo.... That Ram was taken with my Son and will always be special to me.

    Poo pooing any legal harvest is a pet peeve of mine. Trophies are in the eye of the beholder and are unique to each individual. All legal harvest should be checked with a smile and handshake.

    Just my 2 cents and worth what you paid for it.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    A friend of mine lost his sons first sheep because it was 1/16 of an inch short. He ended up buying the horns back at the auction for somewhere around $600.
    Another friend had (as reported on here) a moose that was 3 browtines but only 30 some inches on the Kenai Peninsula a couple of years ago.
    Larry lewis of Soldotna F&G said he did not see any browtines as he didn't believe people should shoot moose like his.Larry was wrong.
    The troopers show up and one says 1 and 1 and the other says one and two.
    Long story short they eventually ripped up the ticket as his moose was 100% legal. But he had a rough week or two uintil their boss made his ruling.
    Similiar to many sheep stories each person had a different opinion. And these were the guys responsible for sealing horns and writing violation tickets.
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Well, for starters:
    http://www.fullcurl.net/

    Tis true that the same horns can come up legal or sublegal, from differing bios or wildlife troopers, as per the example in the link above. And I do believe that is an issue worth considering further, as per posts that we could use some kind of appeal process.

    To late now for 2014 BOG proposals, but if this is an issue that concerns folks, I suggest you consider putting in a statewide proposal on it next go-around. I doubt our scoring method would change, but I could see the Board considering some kind of appeal process.

    Erik is absolutely correct though, if the methods used to determine full curl is changed, not much changes. You think guides and sheep hunters in the Yukon don't have similar issues in determining full curl just because they use the stick method?

    And Dave, not sure about your comment that some troopers or bios would rather see a sheep hunter be unsuccessful, but based on talking with those folks I do believe that there are some who firmly believe that it could be best if we left more near full-curl (or FC) rams on the mountain each season to breed and pass on genetics and better conserve overall populations. Meaning, I believe there are still valid biological questions about whether or not the full-curl ram only mgmt strategy works all the time in all places where we have open season hunts for all. But that is a whole nuther can of beans <grin>.

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    Long story to illustrate that something should be done,

    On a sheep hunt a few years ago my partner and I looked up this valley a couple miles and saw horns on a sheep from at far and we could see that they were defiantly not a little banana horn ram. With that thought in mind we took off. An hour or so later found us jogging up the valley after some significant elevation change, as I turned to look at my friend I noticed sheep 305 yards above us. Both rams, one obviously small and the other larger. Upon setting up the spotting scope I determined he was definitely not groomed on both sides, nor did he have full curl horns, but upon very close examination I could clearly count 9 rings. Boom and down went Mat's first ram. We waited for it to stop rolling then continued up the valley toward the original ram. When he was repotted it was decided that with horns 1.5" over the bridge of the nose on both sides he was legal as well and a couple of shots later we had ram number 2 down. All of the commotion attracted the attention of 2 of e other members of our group of 5 hunters, one had several years experience hunting sheep. As we retold the events of the hunt to them, the seasoned hunter responded that they had seen Mats ram and passed on it because it was definitely not legal. My bro was hunting with us on his very first sheep hunt and opted to stay up high and not come down to see the commotion. He spotted a ram and decided it was a legal ram as well and boom down went ram #3 in less than 1.5 hours. When we all got back together he told us he had shot one too I asked if it was legal and he responded that he thought so.. It's horns extend nearly 3" above the bridge of the nose so it should be. Hunter #4 never harvested his sheep, not due to lack of opportunity though. Upon sealing the outcome as expected of my sheep was "full curl and 9 years" my brothers " full curl and 12years". Mats on the other hand was "9 years, full curl, and broomed on both sides!" There doesnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to the "experts" who seal our horns. Mats horns were "rubbed" off some but still pointy on the ends and they would pass the broomstick test only once the hide was removed From the skull, even at angle I looked at them though they weren't full curl by F&G's pics in the regs. I'd post some pics but I can't seem to figure out how from my iPhone or iPad.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The stick test and other history of the current system is discussed in this document. They discuss why the stick test will most likely never be used in Alaska.

    http://www.wildsheepalaska.org/docs/...ions_nov12.pdf
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Poo pooing any legal harvest is a pet peeve of mine. Trophies are in the eye of the beholder and are unique to each individual. All legal harvest should be checked with a smile and handshake.
    Then you know exactly what I'm talking about.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post

    And Dave, not sure about your comment that some troopers or bios would rather see a sheep hunter be unsuccessful, but based on talking with those folks I do believe that there are some who firmly believe that it could be best if we left more near full-curl (or FC) rams on the mountain each season to breed and pass on genetics and better conserve overall populations.
    Well this has a little something to do with it. And in that same note.....it's not for those that have that opinion to say. Meaning, a legal ram is a legal ram, and if they want us to kill them then let us kill "barely" legal rams as well. I mean, they allow it, so stand by it and NOT have an attitude about it when somebody does. Like Steve said.... a simple, "congratulations you were successful...!!!" should be the rule, NOT "oh...you killed another barely legal ram..."

    Screw that...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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