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Thread: Local Weather as it relates to our sheep populations

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    Default Local Weather as it relates to our sheep populations

    I'm curious to hear what you think about how this weather is going to impact the sheep and goat populations in the state. With freezing rain in most of the state for the last two weeks, i'm wondering if this is going to be a BAD year for winter kill or if the excessive warm conditions might end up helping with survival by melting more snow and allowing for more grass and shrubs to be available for grazing.

    What are your thoughts and observations?

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Have been wondering the same thing.From what I've seen/heard the last year was bad for them.Heck they dropped the mills creek goat tag to 5 this draw cycle.Haven't heard the reason yet but my guess was the last late spring weather we had last year,Something must have hurt that herd to drop the numbers.A good cold snap and snow,no biologist here but pretty sure this year will be worse if this weather keeps happening and it goes back to normal ak weather.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Any good this warm weather does I think will be trumped by the negative. Ice is a killer in the mtns. We even got rain on the north slope a month or two back.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, any ice that builds up makes it even harder for them poor critters to dig thru and get their grub on. Down here we haven't gotten much snow at all, even up high, looks like May already, without the green up tho. I have noticed teh difference in daylights hours tho, we're on our way gentlemen

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    Donnelly Dome is bare of snow and the North side of the Alaska Range was 50% snow free yesterday......rained all night!.......does not bode well as this freezes I would think.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Ice kills, sheep and people. These events kill folks well into the spring. The ice that builds up on the roads a few years ago caused fatal accidents on Badger and Nordale roads. Snow can be pawed away, ice not so much.
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    This is going to be awful for sheep. The TMA alone has seen a big loss of sheep and with two days of rain here, it looks like it could be pretty dismal for this fall.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Brooks range got hit with rain earlier....right after rut if I recal right. I think we will see a decline.
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    ice in the mtns make for bad avvy conditions as well when the next round of snow comes
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    ice in the mtns make for bad avvy conditions as well when the next round of snow comes
    Absolutely,, the sheep survey in GMU 13 recorded several deaths from avalanches.
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    This is going to be awful for sheep. The TMA alone has seen a big loss of sheep and with two days of rain here, it looks like it could be pretty dismal for this fall.
    Northway, I don't know what to say, I know the TMA is dear to you....But come the 21st of Feb, they are about to give out 80 total tags for this area, and another 150 tags for DCUA. I've been saying for the last 4-5 years they give out too many tags for this area period !!!! even if you factor in say a percentage that actually hunt/ and or successful, then factor in weather disasters like this, possibly equate to more younger /legal rams taken.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Not good news at all.....gonna be a tough year for sheep hunting for sure.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I don't know that it'll affect this year's sheep hunting all that much - some, perhaps - but the majority of the harm will be done to the lamb recruitment rates. Again.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    If they got any ice right after the rut when the big rams are drained we will probably notice a loss. But
    If it's later in the season most mature rams will be more at risk for avalanches or falls I would suspect than starvation.
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    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but on a similar subject I've heard that freezing rain on snow is a really bad situation for caribou. It looks like the western arctic and other northern herds might be effected too.

  16. #16

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    I went flying around the front range of the Chugach today and was surprised with how little snow there is on the ridges behind Anchorage and along Turanagain Arm. If that is similar to other areas, the sheep might be ok. It was pretty amazing how low the snow pack was in some places from the wind and warm temps.

    I know this is just a localized observation, so there is not way to know what is going on in the more northern mountains.

    On the other hand, I'm sure the Moose are doing great this year in South Central.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Northway, I don't know what to say, I know the TMA is dear to you....But come the 21st of Feb, they are about to give out 80 total tags for this area, and another 150 tags for DCUA. I've been saying for the last 4-5 years they give out too many tags for this area period !!!! even if you factor in say a percentage that actually hunt/ and or successful, then factor in weather disasters like this, possibly equate to more younger /legal rams taken.
    Any reason why they are giving out additional tags for the DCUA area? Was this posted on F&G website?

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    IMO it's disastrous. can't stop thinking about the desimation that will ensue this spring on our beloved sheep. terrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Any reason why they are giving out additional tags for the DCUA area? Was this posted on F&G website?
    75ea for 203 and 204 like always.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Well, what this weather is actually doing to the sheep remains to be seen. In some areas it could be good for them, and in others not so good. All we can really hope for, like always, is a warm dry spring for the newborns......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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