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Thread: The Sheep "problem" and observations from the BOG meeting in FBX

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default The Sheep "problem" and observations from the BOG meeting in FBX

    After listening to the BOG for the last few days a few things have become clear. The commercial harvest industry (guides) want the status quo. Fish and Game has not stated that there is a biologic concern for the sheep. Therefore the BOG does not need to do anything to restrict any user group. Fish and Game has no sheep management plan (One was done in the 70's but they are working on a new one) The Sheep Working Group was a disaster and just added expense at a time of limited budgets. (If the BOG would listen to the public and the Advisory Committees they would not need working groups)

    Most would agree that sheep numbers are down. Fish and game can't even tell you at what level they would state that there is a biologic concern then leading to restrictions for various user groups.

    It also appears that the guide industry does not want next of kin non residents to be placed in any nonresident pool. That they should be in the resident pool for any drawings. I personally do not want to see three separate categories for draw hunts now (resident, nonresident guided, and nonresident second degree of kindred).

    So not to be a doom and gloom but it looks like the BOG will again kick the can down the road and do nothing to help the resource. (I don't know what the answers are either) I know we can't help weather. Apparently we can do something to help with the spread of disease from privately owned sheep and goats(they are no longer called domestic) but that has all the sheep and goat herders up in arms (and tears).

    Lastly I wish there were more legislators like Tammie Wilson from Northpole. She spoke and took the BOG to task.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Of course all of our game populations fluctuate. ADFG's job is to keep an eye on it to make sure we're not pushing anything below the level of sustainability (that's why we pay them "the big bucks" :-). If there's no evidence that we are in that situation with a game population, it follows that no harvest reduction will be imposed. It sounds like that's where we are with sheep; in that zone in-between lower numbers and the sustainability threshold.

    The alternative is to make harvest decisions on some other criteria, correct? On something that isn't based on sustainable yield?
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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Mr. Strahan,

    What I was trying to get across was that Fish and Game does not have a threshold for when they would say there was a biological concern. So then how can they ever say there is a concern if they don't have a threshold? Or at least some parameters that would indicate there is a decline that could be helped by human management.

    All I am saying is I don't want Fish and Game to stick their heads in the sand until there is a problem that is not fixable.

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    I just got done listening to the rep from the Wiseman AC testify that he has lived and hunted the central Brooks his entire life and has never sen sheep number as low as they are now and he testified that legal rams are also the lowest he has ever seen.

    If there is resource shortage,, then why did F&G make areas 13 and 1 draw only???

    Why did F&G cut by half the number of permits for TMA and DCUA???

    Why did F&G shut down by EO sheep hunting in the western Brooks last fall???

    Why did F&G eliminate the permit hunts in the Western Brooks DeLong Mountains???


    Please listen in to the testimony from the many sheep hunters that are currently testifying that they are seeing less sheep than ever before.

    The lack of official surveys does not mean that local observations are not true.

    Steve
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    Mr. Strahan,

    What I was trying to get across was that Fish and Game does not have a threshold for when they would say there was a biological concern. So then how can they ever say there is a concern if they don't have a threshold? Or at least some parameters that would indicate there is a decline that could be helped by human management.

    All I am saying is I don't want Fish and Game to stick their heads in the sand until there is a problem that is not fixable.
    I disagree. In looking through the most recent Dall Sheep Management and Harvest Report, a number of very precise metrics are laid out as management objectives. Some of these are specific numbers of sheep, some are very specific annual harvest numbers, some are specific sheep age thresholds, and so forth. Though there are some fuzzy lines here (like maintaining an aesthetically pleasing sheep hunting experience), others are very tangible and clear.

    Unless these objectives have changed since this most recent report was published, and I am sure some have, the Department has very clear and measurable objectives with respect to Dall sheep. These are exactly the sort of data that are used to determine whether or not there is a biological concern. Granted, some interpretation of the data might be necessary, for example if a "sustainable annual harvest of 60 rams" is not met, it's incumbent on the area biologist to try to figure out why. Possible answers could be hunter access due to weather issues, sheep movement patterns, and of course a reduced sheep population due to predation, disease, other biological factors, predation, and hunting. This is what biologists do.

    In order to avoid a massive "text blast" like I did when proving resident preference in our hunting regulations, I cut my notes short in the following list of specific management objectives. You could look up the rest; there are very clear and measurable metrics for almost every sheep population in the state.

    For what it's worth (and I hope it's worth something to someone out there), here are the standards ADFG uses in many of our sheep populations:

    =======================
    Kenai Mountains: No management objectives stated.

    Alaska Range West: Management objective: average harvest of 78 full curl rams.

    Wrangell Mountains, East of the Copper River: Management objective: sustainable annual harvest of 60 rams.

    Chugach Mountains: Management objectives: to provide a quality hunting experience, to provide the opportunity to take a trophy class ram in the central Chugach, to provide sustainable subsistence hunting opportunity in eastern Chugach. Recommended long-term harvest objectives of 20 rams in western 13D, 30 rams in east-central 13D, and 8 rams in the TCUA.

    Mentasta, Nutzotin, and northern Wrangell Mountains: Management objective: maintain the Dall sheep population. Goal modified to maintain a harvestable population of sheep fluctuating within historical limits of abundance and the carrying capacity of their habitat.

    Tok Management Area: Management objective: to provide Dall sheep hunters additional opportunity to harvest large-horned, trophy rams, maintain a population that produces a harvest of 30-45 rams with mean horn sizes of at least 36 inches and greater than 8 years, maintain an average of at least 7% rams with 40-inch or greater horns in harvest, prevent unacceptable increases in hunter concentration and maintain the existing aesthetically pleasing qualities associated with sheep hunting in the TMA.

    Talkeetna Mountains and Chulitna-Watana Hills: Management objectives: Provide the greatest opportunity to participate in hunting sheep, provide an opportunity to view, photograph, and enjoy sheep (within the Sheep Mountain Closed area in GMU 13A), maintain sheep populations that will sustain an annual harvest of 75 rams.

    Delta Controlled Use Area: Management objectives: Provide aesthetically pleasing hunting conditions by managing hunter numbers, hunter access, and transportation means, annual harvest of 35 full-curl rams with a mean horn length of more than 36 inches and an age exceeding 8 years.

    Chugach Mountains (GMU14C): Management objective: Maintain a minimum harvest of 30 full-curl or larger rams, while providing aesthetically pleasing hunt conditions and avoid overcrowding of hunters in the field.

    GMU 20A (north Alaska Range): Management objectives: manage for a Dall sheep population of approximately 5,000 sheep, maintain an average harvest of rams greater than 8 years old, provide the opportunity for hunters to harvest mature rams during a general hunting season.

    White Mountains area: Management objective: manage for the annual opportunity to harvest full-curl rams from a population of at least 250 Dall sheep.
    =======================

    ...and so on (that's only about half of what's in the report).

    There are many very clear, objective management goals and standards by which Dall sheep hunting opportunity and numbers can be measured. I am not saying that the system is perfect, or that anyone knows exactly how many sheep we have out there. What I am disagreeing with is your claim that the Department has no threshold by which a biological concern could be documented, and upon which harvest limits could be dictated. We do have those tools, and they have been used specifically for that purpose.

    -Mike
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I just got done listening to the rep from the Wiseman AC testify that he has lived and hunted the central Brooks his entire life and has never sen sheep number as low as they are now and he testified that legal rams are also the lowest he has ever seen.

    If there is resource shortage,, then why did F&G make areas 13 and 1 draw only???

    Why did F&G cut by half the number of permits for TMA and DCUA???

    Why did F&G shut down by EO sheep hunting in the western Brooks last fall???

    Why did F&G eliminate the permit hunts in the Western Brooks DeLong Mountains???


    Please listen in to the testimony from the many sheep hunters that are currently testifying that they are seeing less sheep than ever before.

    The lack of official surveys does not mean that local observations are not true.

    Steve
    Steve,

    I don't think the Department discounts anecdotal testimony from hunters in the field, but unless it's backed up by hard science, I don't think it's actionable. I'm glad it isn't, frankly. Not because I don't care about sheep populations, but because I do. There are many, many reasons why some hunters are not seeing sheep, or mature rams, and there is simply no way to measure why. Did bad weather prevent access? Did the rams move into an area where access was difficult or impossible?

    A great example of this was last fall's general lack of success with air charter clients hunting the Central Arctic Caribou Herd. A lot of hunters simply didn't see anything in the usual places. As a result, three of the biggest charter outfits that serve that area determined that they were not going to drop caribou hunters in there this coming fall, or for the foreseeable future, believing that the numbers were slipping below sustainable levels. It was one of the worst seasons in some time. By the way-- My hat is off to any commercial operator who voluntarily limits their harvest of game because of resource concerns. I know many guides who don't wait for the regulations to force a reduction. They just book less hunters. Deltana Outfitters just did that last season with their sheep hunts. Okay, so back to the story. Well, it turns out that last fall the weather up north was warm and there were no bugs north of the Central Brooks. There was also no wind to speak of. Normally that herd migrates to escape bugs, and they do it with the wind on their noses (it usually comes out of the west). Because there were no bugs and no wind, there was no migration during hunting season. The bulk of the herd stalled out way east from where they are normally found. I got this information straight from the Area Biologist, who was scratching her head all season, wondering where the hunters were. My point: Hunter success and hunter sightings of game, even if a lot of hunters saw nothing, are not hard evidence of a population decline.

    Okay, so that's what can happen with a faux-decline. But what if a lot of hunters saw tons of sheep, and reported that back to the area biologists / Board of Game? What if they used that data to assume we had a huge spike in sheep numbers, and they increased the bag limit? Then they discover (too late) that the reason for the huge uptick in sheep sightings was because the animals moved en-masse to an area that was more accessible to hunters. Sheep do that sometimes.

    My point is that anecdotal testimony (stories) of sheep sightings by hunters are not in themselves a basis for changing our regulations. I don't think there's a biologist out there who would put all his eggs in that basket. He's going to want to back it up with actual field work.

    Does that completely discount that kind of testimony? Not at all. But it is only one factor, and it's highly subjective.

    Finally, in case I didn't say it in this thread (I've said it before), I'm not saying that there is or is not a sheep population problem. I don't know one way or another. And if the biologists have not weighed in on that question, neither do they.

    -Mike
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    Polar and Steve,

    Thank you for the updates from the meetings.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    This sheep stuff is messy after listening to a little bit of the sheep portion of the meeting today. I could actually buy proposal 207 for conservation reasons and preserving some large rams for breeding and future years. Some metrics seem to be indicating we have an average age of harvested sheep decline from previous averages. I have a hard time buying 207 as a way to improve hunter satisfaction. Certainly some hunters will like it but an animal harassment law is already on the books and the board chairman admitted you could judge a ram from a single pass. You would have a hard time on the ground reporting someone for spotting for sheep based on one pass over a mountain. The pilot could easily say he was scouting terrain, scouting a plan B area, made the pass for safety reasons, didn't even see a sheep when he made that pass, etc. I didn't hear board members really mention 207 for conservation or sustained yield reasons and most of the conversation seemed to revolve around BOG findings, fair chase and attempting to improve hunter satisfaction.

    For "fair chase" and hunter satisfaction (some jealousy) reasons you could support proposal 70 and banning all different kinds of things. I don't own a plane but I don't care if someone uses it to scout terrain and animals. As long as they aren't buzzing so much as to spook an animal, which could already be viewed illegal under the animal harassment law and highly unethical if you're a pilot to fly low enough to chase game. 75% of the harvest occurring in the first 15 days and probably at least that percentage if not more of the hunting effort causing "crowding" issues is still going to be an issue with or without 207.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    This sheep stuff is messy after listening to a little bit of the sheep portion of the meeting today. I could actually buy proposal 207 for conservation reasons and preserving some large rams for breeding and future years. Some metrics seem to be indicating we have an average age of harvested sheep decline from previous averages. I have a hard time buying 207 as a way to improve hunter satisfaction. Certainly some hunters will like it but an animal harassment law is already on the books and the board chairman admitted you could judge a ram from a single pass. You would have a hard time on the ground reporting someone for spotting for sheep based on one pass over a mountain. The pilot could easily say he was scouting terrain, scouting a plan B area, made the pass for safety reasons, didn't even see a sheep when he made that pass, etc. I didn't hear board members really mention 207 for conservation or sustained yield reasons and most of the conversation seemed to revolve around BOG findings, fair chase and attempting to improve hunter satisfaction.

    For "fair chase" and hunter satisfaction (some jealousy) reasons you could support proposal 70 and banning all different kinds of things. I don't own a plane but I don't care if someone uses it to scout terrain and animals. As long as they aren't buzzing so much as to spook an animal, which could already be viewed illegal under the animal harassment law and highly unethical if you're a pilot to fly low enough to chase game. 75% of the harvest occurring in the first 15 days and probably at least that percentage if not more of the hunting effort causing "crowding" issues is still going to be an issue with or without 207.
    I agree,, I don't feel planes should be used to spot game. My issue with 207 is the way it was enacted. A BOG generated proposal with little support for it, and several request to repeal to included several proposals to repeal or change wording,, the troopers said that it would be very hard to enforce and even the BOG is spit on it with a 4 to 3 vote to keep it in place. Prop 207 just smells like a "we know what is best for ya" type of thing to me.

    Props 21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,31,32,33,34, and 35 NO

    Props 30 and 29 Yes

    Testimony resumes at 08:30am tomorrow for the remaining sheep proposals.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I agree,, I don't feel planes should be used to spot game. My issue with 207 is the way it was enacted.
    I absolutely agree on that one. Process matters. If we're going to have written policies on how board generated proposals should be considered, then it is the responsibility of the board to follow them. It doesn't matter if the idea is a great one - process matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I absolutely agree on that one. Process matters. If we're going to have written policies on how board generated proposals should be considered, then it is the responsibility of the board to follow them. It doesn't matter if the idea is a great one - process matters.
    This is one area of the argument against 207 that I am not well versed in. Can someone please explain to me the policy on board generated proposals, and why the board of games action on 207 violated this process? Thank you in advance!!!

    As far as the many arguments that this law is too hard to enforce, who cares. Jaywalking is hard to enforce. There are many laws that are hard to enforce, that doesn't make them bad laws. I think the fact that some of these super cub cowboys realize there could be severe repercussions for violating this law, i.e. losing an airplane, is a strong deterrent enough to keep them from doing it, enforcement issues aside. Just my two cents.

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    J,

    The BOG has a list of strict criteria for making a Board Generated Proposal. Generally for some pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Some feel that this proposal did not meet any of those criteria. Some feel that the proposal was crafted in secret without public input. That only a selected group of stake holders, SCI being one, were invited when the discussion began. Then when the time for public comment came the comments were 2-1 against proposition 207. Also a majority of the Fish and Game advisory committees that debated this proposal were opposed to it. The BOG passed the proposal anyway. This is what helped lead to the forming of the Sheep Working Group. But that is another fiasco for another thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    J,

    The BOG has a list of strict criteria for making a Board Generated Proposal. Generally for some pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Some feel that this proposal did not meet any of those criteria. Some feel that the proposal was crafted in secret without public input. That only a selected group of stake holders, SCI being one, were invited when the discussion began. Then when the time for public comment came the comments were 2-1 against proposition 207. Also a majority of the Fish and Game advisory committees that debated this proposal were opposed to it. The BOG passed the proposal anyway. This is what helped lead to the forming of the Sheep Working Group. But that is another fiasco for another thread.
    Thanks Polar, I appreciate the info.

    I can understand and believe a process needs to be followed, and whether or not the board of game did this in generating their own proposal, I have no opinion other than they should follow the proper process.

    It is my opinion that a very loud contingent of aircraft owners and guides led the choir in opposing this, hence some believing that the arguments were 2-1 against. As far as the advisory committees, yes, some were against, and some were for. They are to provide input, but ultimately it is the job of the board to decide. Maybe the less vocal committees and members of the public made better and more compelling arguments for this regulation, and that is why it passed, hard saying. I realize this can be debated ad nauseum, but as one who has had multiple sheep hunts screwed up by super cubs, I am glad this is now law, and that it wasn't rescinded.

    And I agree with you about the sheep working group, fiasco indeed. I have some very good friends on the working group, and from what I hear, there is a small, very headstrong and selfish contingent that is unwilling to make any sort of compromise, which has basically locked the working group into gridlock.

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    Stid,

    My feelings are spotting from the air is an ethical thing. The same day law helps evens the playing field there. If someone is making a pass or two at a good distance I don't have too much of an issue. Several close range passes that spook animals and disrupt their behavior and disrupt other hunters In the field I have an issue with. For instance I've flown before in the fall to see if the black bears were out on the berry hills but kept an ethical distance away and didn't repeatedly pass over an area. I look at it as more of a scouting method and each hunter can determine if it's a good fit for them. Aerial scouting or spotting can increase efficiency so in times of shortages or conservation concerns I can get behind a restriction like 207. Maybe I missed it (I didn't listen to all of board deliberations) but I didn't really hear saving some legal or older sheep as a reason. It sounds more like a hunter conflict solution and even a suggested safety reason but why wouldn't on the ground moose, black bear, caribou hunters want similar regulations for those species? I don't see this relieving hunting pressure at the front end of sheep season which seems to be the main issue, that and NR/R allocation. The process behind the proposal is an understandable complaint.

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    Criteria for board generated proposals.

    1. Is it in the publicís best interest (e.g., access to resource, allocation concerns, consistent intent, public process)?
    2. Is there urgency in considering the issue (e.g., potential for escapement objectives not being met or sustainability in question)?
    3. Are current processes insufficient to bring the subject to the boardís attention (e.g., reconsideration policy, normal cycle proposal submittal, ACRs, petitions)?
    4. Will there be reasonable and adequate opportunity for public comment (e.g., how far do affected users have to travel to participate, amount of time for affected users to respond)?

    Now try and explain how 207 met these.
    The board passed 1 in 4 for non res today after F&G said its 3-4% of non res that ever return. So how is that effective? It's easier to add to resident next..... Never happen right?

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    Just food for thought, here are a few examples why I support 207. Three years ago I was sheep hunting. While high on a ridge glassing sheep, a resident in a cub made multiple passes down the narrow drainage I was hunting, flying low over the group or rams I was glassing. The cub was flying at a lower elevation than where I was glassing from. The resident did not know I was there, or didn't care, as a day later he came charging up the small valley I was hunting and was going to attempt to hunt the same area, but due to hurting his knee, he turned around. Two days later, I was on a final stalk of a band of 12 rams. While glassing the rams, before I even heard a sound, I witnessed the rams start to run. The next thing I knew, a guide in a super cub was buzzing right over the top of those rams, probably not 50 feet above them. He turned around, made another pass and ran those sheep completely to the other side of the mountain. Stalk ruined. The next day, the guide shows up with his client on foot and attempts to hunt those same sheep he ran away from me, oblivious to the fact that I was on the mountain. It was quite the air show, and ruined the hunt for myself, and the very nice fellow who was on a once in his lifetime sheep hunt.

    The next year, I was hunting an entirely different range with a nice fellow who had saved up money for years, just so he could also hunt sheep once in his lifetime. We were flown in, dropped off with never having been to the area before, and proceeded to hunt our arses off on foot. A little ways down the valley, parked at a strip at the base of the mountain, two super cubs sat, one belonging to a local dentist. Every night around 8pm, the two "hunters" would hop into one of the cubs, and fly the surrounding mountains looking for sheep for about an hour or so. One night, they made repeated low passes at a band of rams that me and my hunter were attempting to hunt. Needless to say, my hunter on a once in a lifetime sheep hunt, was not too impressed at these super cub cowboys, as we non affectionately nicknamed them. So, at night, around 8pm, they would fly the mountains. Then, the next day, they would hunt that mountain on foot. We watched them do this three days in a row. Now, by the word of the law, they weren't violating same day airborne laws, but they sure as heck weren't ethically hunting in my humble opinion. It ruined the sheep hunt and the experience for the fine gentleman I was hunting with, who had saved for years just so he could experience sheep hunting in Alaska one time. Is that what sheep hunting is about, flying around till you find a big ram, then going up and killing him the next day? All perfectly legal before 207.

    Is it kosher for people to fly around each evening, making low passes over sheep, then hunting them on foot the next day?

    So, two out of the last three years I had hunts ruined due to unscrupulous behavior of "hunters" in cubs. I am just one Alaskan, quite the small sample size. I would venture to guess these type of things happened a hell of a lot more than most people will admit. Two of the biggest rams killed the last few years out of the brooks were the result of a cubdriver burning 55 hours of avgas before he found the "right" sheep. Once again, is that what sheep hunting should be?

    It is both residents and guides doing these sort of things, and thats one reason I am in favor of 207, in my mind, it affects them equally, with the greatest beneficiary the sheep themselves. The people that argue that it is unenforceable, well, maybe it is hard to enforce. Jaywalking is hard to enforce. The enforceability doesn't make it a bad law. Lots of laws are hard to enforce. But I think the fact that cub owners will think twice before in engaging in these sort of behaviors at the threat of potentially losing an airplane, well, thats a huge deterrent in my mind, and will do wonders for limiting these type of unethical behaviors.

    Now don't get me wrong, I love super cubs. I spend a lot of time in them, and heck, I dream of owning one someday. But, they should be used as a tool for access, not as a "weapon" of the hunt, as one board member eloquently put it today. Whatever people may think about the process it was enacted with, the enforceability, etc, bottom line is, its a good regulation. The intent is good, and the results will be good if its kept as law.

    I am just one Alaskan, and this was just my humble opinion. I am tired of sheep hunts being ruined by airplanes, and I wholeheartedly support 207.

    Flame suit on....

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    Quote Originally Posted by J in AK View Post
    Just food for thought, here are a few examples why I support 207. Three years ago I was sheep hunting. While high on a ridge glassing sheep, a resident in a cub made multiple passes down the narrow drainage I was hunting, flying low over the group or rams I was glassing. The cub was flying at a lower elevation than where I was glassing from. The resident did not know I was there, or didn't care, as a day later he came charging up the small valley I was hunting and was going to attempt to hunt the same area, but due to hurting his knee, he turned around. Two days later, I was on a final stalk of a band of 12 rams. While glassing the rams, before I even heard a sound, I witnessed the rams start to run. The next thing I knew, a guide in a super cub was buzzing right over the top of those rams, probably not 50 feet above them. He turned around, made another pass and ran those sheep completely to the other side of the mountain. Stalk ruined. The next day, the guide shows up with his client on foot and attempts to hunt those same sheep he ran away from me, oblivious to the fact that I was on the mountain. It was quite the air show, and ruined the hunt for myself, and the very nice fellow who was on a once in his lifetime sheep hunt.

    The next year, I was hunting an entirely different range with a nice fellow who had saved up money for years, just so he could also hunt sheep once in his lifetime. We were flown in, dropped off with never having been to the area before, and proceeded to hunt our arses off on foot. A little ways down the valley, parked at a strip at the base of the mountain, two super cubs sat, one belonging to a local dentist. Every night around 8pm, the two "hunters" would hop into one of the cubs, and fly the surrounding mountains looking for sheep for about an hour or so. One night, they made repeated low passes at a band of rams that me and my hunter were attempting to hunt. Needless to say, my hunter on a once in a lifetime sheep hunt, was not too impressed at these super cub cowboys, as we non affectionately nicknamed them. So, at night, around 8pm, they would fly the mountains. Then, the next day, they would hunt that mountain on foot. We watched them do this three days in a row. Now, by the word of the law, they weren't violating same day airborne laws, but they sure as heck weren't ethically hunting in my humble opinion. It ruined the sheep hunt and the experience for the fine gentleman I was hunting with, who had saved for years just so he could experience sheep hunting in Alaska one time. Is that what sheep hunting is about, flying around till you find a big ram, then going up and killing him the next day? All perfectly legal before 207.

    Is it kosher for people to fly around each evening, making low passes over sheep, then hunting them on foot the next day?

    So, two out of the last three years I had hunts ruined due to unscrupulous behavior of "hunters" in cubs. I am just one Alaskan, quite the small sample size. I would venture to guess these type of things happened a hell of a lot more than most people will admit. Two of the biggest rams killed the last few years out of the brooks were the result of a cubdriver burning 55 hours of avgas before he found the "right" sheep. Once again, is that what sheep hunting should be?

    It is both residents and guides doing these sort of things, and thats one reason I am in favor of 207, in my mind, it affects them equally, with the greatest beneficiary the sheep themselves. The people that argue that it is unenforceable, well, maybe it is hard to enforce. Jaywalking is hard to enforce. The enforceability doesn't make it a bad law. Lots of laws are hard to enforce. But I think the fact that cub owners will think twice before in engaging in these sort of behaviors at the threat of potentially losing an airplane, well, thats a huge deterrent in my mind, and will do wonders for limiting these type of unethical behaviors.

    Now don't get me wrong, I love super cubs. I spend a lot of time in them, and heck, I dream of owning one someday. But, they should be used as a tool for access, not as a "weapon" of the hunt, as one board member eloquently put it today. Whatever people may think about the process it was enacted with, the enforceability, etc, bottom line is, its a good regulation. The intent is good, and the results will be good if its kept as law.

    I am just one Alaskan, and this was just my humble opinion. I am tired of sheep hunts being ruined by airplanes, and I wholeheartedly support 207.

    Flame suit on....
    You should've submitted a prop. That's the process.
    I thought trooper and dept of laws input being disregarded by Mr Spraker today was pretty telling.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    You should've submitted a prop. That's the process.
    Understandable, and I thank you for listing the proposal criteria a fews posts above.

  19. #19
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in AK View Post
    Just food for thought, here are a few examples why I support 207. Three years ago I was sheep hunting. While high on a ridge glassing sheep, a resident in a cub made multiple passes down the narrow drainage I was hunting, flying low over the group or rams I was glassing. The cub was flying at a lower elevation than where I was glassing from. The resident did not know I was there, or didn't care, as a day later he came charging up the small valley I was hunting and was going to attempt to hunt the same area, but due to hurting his knee, he turned around. Two days later, I was on a final stalk of a band of 12 rams. While glassing the rams, before I even heard a sound, I witnessed the rams start to run. The next thing I knew, a guide in a super cub was buzzing right over the top of those rams, probably not 50 feet above them. He turned around, made another pass and ran those sheep completely to the other side of the mountain. Stalk ruined. The next day, the guide shows up with his client on foot and attempts to hunt those same sheep he ran away from me, oblivious to the fact that I was on the mountain. It was quite the air show, and ruined the hunt for myself, and the very nice fellow who was on a once in his lifetime sheep hunt.

    The next year, I was hunting an entirely different range with a nice fellow who had saved up money for years, just so he could also hunt sheep once in his lifetime. We were flown in, dropped off with never having been to the area before, and proceeded to hunt our arses off on foot. A little ways down the valley, parked at a strip at the base of the mountain, two super cubs sat, one belonging to a local dentist. Every night around 8pm, the two "hunters" would hop into one of the cubs, and fly the surrounding mountains looking for sheep for about an hour or so. One night, they made repeated low passes at a band of rams that me and my hunter were attempting to hunt. Needless to say, my hunter on a once in a lifetime sheep hunt, was not too impressed at these super cub cowboys, as we non affectionately nicknamed them. So, at night, around 8pm, they would fly the mountains. Then, the next day, they would hunt that mountain on foot. We watched them do this three days in a row. Now, by the word of the law, they weren't violating same day airborne laws, but they sure as heck weren't ethically hunting in my humble opinion. It ruined the sheep hunt and the experience for the fine gentleman I was hunting with, who had saved for years just so he could experience sheep hunting in Alaska one time. Is that what sheep hunting is about, flying around till you find a big ram, then going up and killing him the next day? All perfectly legal before 207.

    Is it kosher for people to fly around each evening, making low passes over sheep, then hunting them on foot the next day?

    So, two out of the last three years I had hunts ruined due to unscrupulous behavior of "hunters" in cubs. I am just one Alaskan, quite the small sample size. I would venture to guess these type of things happened a hell of a lot more than most people will admit. Two of the biggest rams killed the last few years out of the brooks were the result of a cubdriver burning 55 hours of avgas before he found the "right" sheep. Once again, is that what sheep hunting should be?

    It is both residents and guides doing these sort of things, and thats one reason I am in favor of 207, in my mind, it affects them equally, with the greatest beneficiary the sheep themselves. The people that argue that it is unenforceable, well, maybe it is hard to enforce. Jaywalking is hard to enforce. The enforceability doesn't make it a bad law. Lots of laws are hard to enforce. But I think the fact that cub owners will think twice before in engaging in these sort of behaviors at the threat of potentially losing an airplane, well, thats a huge deterrent in my mind, and will do wonders for limiting these type of unethical behaviors.

    Now don't get me wrong, I love super cubs. I spend a lot of time in them, and heck, I dream of owning one someday. But, they should be used as a tool for access, not as a "weapon" of the hunt, as one board member eloquently put it today. Whatever people may think about the process it was enacted with, the enforceability, etc, bottom line is, its a good regulation. The intent is good, and the results will be good if its kept as law.

    I am just one Alaskan, and this was just my humble opinion. I am tired of sheep hunts being ruined by airplanes, and I wholeheartedly support 207.

    Flame suit on....

    That sounds like the same two guys who ruined one of our hunts one year. Dentist from Anchorage. They tied down less than 100 yards from our base camp, and literally ran past us opening morning and chose the best drainage in the area for themselves. Stunk the place up for three days and left. My hunter was a really nice lady who ended up not getting anything. We had one shooting opportunity in a different drainage, but the ram was bedded just across the line between our guide use area and the adjacent one. Fifty yards over the line! And nobody was hunting the other area, either.

    If 207 keeps guys like that grounded, i'm all for it whether they're guiding or not.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    ...The board passed 1 in 4 for non res today after F&G said its 3-4% of non res that ever return. So how is that effective? It's easier to add to resident next..... Never happen right?
    I don't know that going to 1 sheep every 4 years for nonresidents is going to accomplish a harvest reduction, if that's the intent. The guides will fill the hole with another hunter, of course. I can't speak to ADFG's numbers on how many residents return for a second ram, but I do know several nonresident hunters who have harvested two or three. For guys like that it's not about the money. The fall in love with the experience, just like many of us have.

    Anyway, Proposal 30 sounds like a bone that was tossed out there to appease resident hunters, frankly. There's no way it will do anything to reduce harvest.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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