Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: My Sheep Management Fantasy

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default My Sheep Management Fantasy

    It's not going to happen but were I suddenly appointed Sheep Hunt Czar this is what I would impose

    1. All sheep bearing GMU's would be further divided into smaller Sheep Management Units (SMUs) along the lines of how GMU-8 (Kodiak) is subdivided for bears
    2. Each SMU would have a total harvest quota similar to how registration goat hunts are managed and once that quota was met that SMU would close. (A legal ram would count as 1 sheep and any sub-legal ram would count as two)
    3. Some SMUs would be closed a few years on a rolling basis to create sanctuaries to allow more rams to reach trophy age
    4. Total non-resident take would be limited to no more than 15% of the harvest quota for that SMU and no more than half of all open SMUs in a particular season would be open to non-residents
    5. Successful hunters would have 2 days to report their kill upon leaving the field
    6. To encourage the self-reporting of sub-legal rams, hunters would lose the horns, pay a $500 fine payable in days worked on F&G field projects similar to community service sentences BUT they would get to keep the meat
    7. Harvest ticket hunts would end and all hunts would be either a Drawing or Registration permit
    8. Season dates would remain Aug 10th to Sept 20th with stratified season openers as follows:
    Aug 10th - Aug 25th -- Resident drawing permit holders
    Aug 15th - Aug 25th -- Non-residents (guided or 2nd degree kindred)
    Aug 26th - Sep 20th -- Resident registration permit holders for all SMUs with unfilled quotas. Unsuccessful drawing permit holders would be allowed to continue to hunt under a registration permit.
    9. Tag fees increased to $100 for resident drawing permit winners and $1500 for non-residents. Registration tags would be $50
    10. A non-resident guide/outfitter's license would increase to $100,000
    11. All guide/outfitters would have to register their landing strips and preferred camping spots with ADF&G similarly to bear baiters. This information would not be released to the public but held in trust in the event of a dispute requiring ADF&G involvement for resolution.

    Individual guides would be allotted individual tags for each SMU they were authorized to guide in--generally 1 or 2 tags per guide per SMU up to the 15% of the quota. They would be free to sell these tags as part of their contracting process with clients.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Some good ideas Erik. Gave me a lot to think on. Of course there are political realities ... and fantasies <grin>.

  3. #3
    Member The German's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    265

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    It's not going to happen but were I suddenly appointed Sheep Hunt Czar this is what I would impose

    1. All sheep bearing GMU's would be further divided into smaller Sheep Management Units (SMUs) along the lines of how GMU-8 (Kodiak) is subdivided for bears
    2. Each SMU would have a total harvest quota similar to how registration goat hunts are managed and once that quota was met that SMU would close. (A legal ram would count as 1 sheep and any sub-legal ram would count as two)
    3. Some SMUs would be closed a few years on a rolling basis to create sanctuaries to allow more rams to reach trophy age
    4. Total non-resident take would be limited to no more than 15% of the harvest quota for that SMU and no more than half of all open SMUs in a particular season would be open to non-residents
    5. Successful hunters would have 2 days to report their kill upon leaving the field
    6. To encourage the self-reporting of sub-legal rams, hunters would lose the horns, pay a $500 fine payable in days worked on F&G field projects similar to community service sentences BUT they would get to keep the meat
    7. Harvest ticket hunts would end and all hunts would be either a Drawing or Registration permit
    8. Season dates would remain Aug 10th to Sept 20th with stratified season openers as follows:
    Aug 10th - Aug 25th -- Resident drawing permit holders
    Aug 15th - Aug 25th -- Non-residents (guided or 2nd degree kindred)
    Aug 26th - Sep 20th -- Resident registration permit holders for all SMUs with unfilled quotas. Unsuccessful drawing permit holders would be allowed to continue to hunt under a registration permit.
    9. Tag fees increased to $100 for resident drawing permit winners and $1500 for non-residents. Registration tags would be $50
    10. A non-resident guide/outfitter's license would increase to $100,000
    11. All guide/outfitters would have to register their landing strips and preferred camping spots with ADF&G similarly to bear baiters. This information would not be released to the public but held in trust in the event of a dispute requiring ADF&G involvement for resolution.

    Individual guides would be allotted individual tags for each SMU they were authorized to guide in--generally 1 or 2 tags per guide per SMU up to the 15% of the quota. They would be free to sell these tags as part of their contracting process with clients.


    Erik_in_AK; I like it, I like it a "LOT", I would also add Non-Resident Transporters > to #10 above as well.

    "TG"
    [ Retired and Living the "Dream" in Alaska, Semper-Fi ]

  4. #4
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,214

    Default

    I like it Erik, a lot. And if it were me, I would make one addition: the definition of a legal ram would change to the criteria used in Canada (see links). It's arguably easier to judge consistently in the field, and it definitely lends itself to consistent, objective judging by the sealing agent; no subjective eyeballing required.

    http://www.albertaregulations.ca/hun.../gameregs.html

    http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/publication...sely_sheep.pdf
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  5. #5
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Or another possible spin on #6 could be the hunter who takes a barely sub-legal ram gets to keep that ram--horns and all by paying the fine but losing the ability to hunt sheep for 5 years. My thinking behind this is rooted in my belief that a significant number of sub-legal rams are buried/hidden or otherwise disposed of in the field because currently there is zero incentive for the hunter who makes a mistake to do the right thing, outside of their own conscience, of course. I don't have any idea what the numbers might be but my hunch is the number of sub-legal rams self-reported is only about half of the total killed.

    Before this thread spins out of control I feel I need to be clear about a couple of things: I am not anti-guide but I do not like the current legal model that allows non-resident guides to potentially take every legal ram in the GMU's where they hunt. I also do not like the tendency of the BoG to acquiesce to the guide lobby as often as they do. Guides fill an important niche, and guides who live here fill it better.

    I am not anti-nonresident hunter, but I do believe Alaska's residents and their ability to access F&G resources should take precedence over all other user groups. I also feel that Alaska's premier big-game species are sold cheap by the BoG. $400 for a tag in the only state will Dall Sheep is, as the cool kids say, redonkulous.

    Ultimately, I want to see healthy populations of big game animals (not just sheep) in every habitat niche that could support them and I will endorse/promote/support any management scheme, no matter its source, that stands to accomplish that goal even it it means my opportunities are curbed for a while.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    186

    Default

    I am still learning the hunting way fo life,I just went for the first time this last fall, and I am trying to read up and grasp all these new things. But, as I read more and more on this forum of the passion and concern for these animals, it just amazes me.

    I really like your ideas and wonder if BoG or F&G ever look to places like this for some ideas outside the box. I do think that #6 should be a little bit of a harsher fine to prevent future mistakes from happening. #8 is also a really good idea as well.

    I do hope that one day I can complete one of a many a dreams and be blessed to take one of these majestic creatures.

  7. #7

    Default

    Erik:

    It would be helpful to understand the assumptions behind your dream list. Some things in your list are good ideas. The following are ones on which I think information available out there might help us look at some things from a different angle.

    #3 Rolling SMU Closures to Allow Rams to Reach Trophy Size
    Given the Dall Sheep Management Plans with their management objectives and full curl harvest regime, why would this be necessary? The only circumstance I could see where one might need to alter harvest is if the regime was anything but full curl. "Any ram" is not proven scientifically, but is a very successful regime to keep rams from reaching maturity. If trophy sheep are your goal, "any ram" will not get you there.

    Full curl is THE way to ensure you have larger sheep to harvest every year and the population does best under full curl, all else equal. The second reason off years are not necessary is that we are harvesting only around 50% of the available rams in any given GMU statewide, so the notion that all the sheep, or even all the big sheep, are being harvested is a fallacy not supported by the harvest data. Every year half the rams get another year to grow more horns, and only half of them will be taken the next year.

    #7 Do Away With Open Hunting
    Is there some benefit to give up open hunting? Montana is the only other state that has open hunt areas. Open hunting is the ultimate freedom to go where you want opportunity. Why would a hunter, especially a mountain hunter, willingly give up the opportunity to go hunting every year if he wants and trade that for sitting around waiting to see if he got drawn in subsequent years? What is the advantage of registration hunts or draw hunts over open hunting, especially given there is no biological problem now?

    #8 Stratified Seasons
    Why? Again, is the issue crowding, a need to discriminate against nonresidents, or a belief that there aren't enough rams to go around?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Sherpa,
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    The basis of my entire view of sheep hunting in Alaska is that these are the most highly desired animals and therefore are the most susceptible to human predation either by over-hunting and/or poorly designed allocation schemes, accidental/illegal take or outright poaching.

    I will address your questions in order
    #3) Rolling closures
    Couple of things here: First, I AM NOT ADVOCATING ANY-RAM SEASONS. Second, there are many un-broomed 8.5 year old rams who are not yet full curl, and most illegally taken and reported sub-full curl rams are only marginally sub-legal. Given that most rams live to be 10 or 11, rolling closures (I'm thinking along the lines of a two year closure every 4 or 5 years) would allow an entire mini-population to age into more easily discernible horn configurations--the 6-7 year olds make it to 8/9 and the 8/9 years olds make it to 10/11. There would likely be a small increase in the number of old rams who die naturally but I believe there would be a net increase in legal rams and more importantly an increase in full curl+ rams.

    #7 End harvest ticket sheep hunting
    I thought my explanation was adequate but I'll try again.
    A management scheme of this sort requires tighter control of harvests. The SMU model I'm proposing (spit-balling, actually) would be more intensive than what is currently done. As of right now it is entirely possible to remove every mature ram from a given drainage prior to the sheep rut (November). Under my idea each SMU is managed similarly to a registration hunt--there is a finite harvest quota, that triggers an emergency closure once reached. It would be possible that in some SMUs on some years the sheep season would close after 3 or 4 days. Referring back to #3 above, SMUs could be over-harvested due to the natural lag created by hunters returning from the field and reporting their kills. In such cases those SMUs would automatically be closed the following two seasons to allow the ram population to recover.

    I am suggesting, within the context of my idea, that harvest ticket hunting for sheep end because it's incompatible with the model I'm suggesting. Under my idea those hunters who would hunt sheep with a harvest ticket are free to hunt with the registration tag I'm proposing. As to your question of why? Simple: I'm willing to trade quantity of opportunity for quality

    #8 Stratified seasons
    This is pretty simple actually. The ADF&G has a constitutionally enumerated duty to manage Alaska's fish and game resources for the benefit of Alaskans. This includes providing opportunity to take. The current allocation scheme, combined with market forces and the internal politics of access all serve to disenfranchise resident opportunity to take mature sheep. If we accept that sheep are the most sought after animal in terms of per capita hunter effort relative to species availability, then residents should have first crack at them. As it is now, significant portions of Alaska's various sheep ranges are essentially off limits to residents dependent on air taxis for access, and THAT is the crux of this entire issue.

    Giving residents a 5 day head start does not reduce non-resident opportunity, it merely codifies residents as first priority users AND it stands to alter the current economic incest between air taxis and guides. If the guides can't be out there, I believe there WILL be sufficient resident demand to open previously off limit drainages to resident DIYers.

    Let me be absolutely clear: Maybe my idea sucks but please understand that its inspiration is rooted in two things: Seeing more, and bigger rams on the mountain, and improving resident opportunity to take them. Nothing else.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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
  •