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Thread: New sheep draw area question

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    Default New sheep draw area question

    Does anyone know if the new 14A/13D sheep draw will include the Tonsina Controlled Use Area?

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    last i heard i thought it stopped at the highway..so no. but that was the last i heard, so don't take it as fact.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    I would hope so. It would be nice to have an area for the poor folk to walk in and at least pretend to sheep hunt. thanks brwnbr-HH

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    If it doesn't it should, the pressure will be 3 times what your use to seeing,the state needs to think about what is going to happen in other areas outside the permit area. I'm all for total permit state wide with a 10% cap on non-resident hunters.....and one last wish,guides go back to having there own area, not the free for all were seeing now.I know wishfull thinking....

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    I hunted the Tonsina walk in area this year with the goat tag i drew, according to Fish and game in Glenallen...No! just the west side of the Hwy is draw. Unless you go down the copper R., Tonsina is pretty tough to get into.. you could float down the Teikel R. and arrange a pick up at the Copper...good luck...CK

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    Default Tiekel float a No No!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    I hunted the Tonsina walk in area this year with the goat tag i drew, according to Fish and game in Glenallen...No! just the west side of the Hwy is draw. Unless you go down the copper R., Tonsina is pretty tough to get into.. you could float down the Teikel R. and arrange a pick up at the Copper...good luck...CK

    The Tiekel has Class V rapids. It has been done by expert kayakers. From the description in Andy Embick's book Fast & Cold, the Tiekel narrows into a sheer walled gorge (read unescapable) before you hit the biggest rapids. There is a rapid named "Death Fang" on this river.

    The back door to the Tonsina is the Uranatina. ATV/hike or get dropped off by a Chitna river taxi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    The Tiekel has Class V rapids. It has been done by expert kayakers. From the description in Andy Embick's book Fast & Cold, the Tiekel narrows into a sheer walled gorge (read unescapable) before you hit the biggest rapids. There is a rapid named "Death Fang" on this river.

    That sounds like a place I'd like to be some time
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    The Tiekel has Class V rapids. It has been done by expert kayakers. From the description in Andy Embick's book Fast & Cold, the Tiekel narrows into a sheer walled gorge (read unescapable) before you hit the biggest rapids. There is a rapid named "Death Fang" on this river.

    The back door to the Tonsina is the Uranatina. ATV/hike or get dropped off by a Chitna river taxi.
    Be careful Erik, no ATV's in the controlled use area. Yes that includes the old railroad grade. I had hoped few people would catch this omitted area for next years draw, but alas it's not to be.

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    Thanks for the correction elan, I was not aware of that.

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    Erik, the way I read the regs you can only use ATV's for hunting in that area through July 25. I suppose a guy could use them to stash your gear in bear proof containers before the opener.
    Is the trail now passable to the Uranatina? I have heard that there was slides that blocked it in recent years.
    Kahawai, how did you goat hunt go there?

  11. #11

    Default Lower Tiekel

    The Lower Tiekel is not runnable. There is a 60ft caract that killed an exploration party in the 1920's. You can try to portage it but it is not good easy or friendly.

    My guess is that they will make Tonsina Controlled Use Area into a 1 sheep per lifetime area because of the limited depressed Sheep numbers. They are about 1/2 of traditional numbers because of wolves.

    The big rams are not only getting pressure from guides(Two use it as their main areas and four others sometimes hunt there) but are getting hit by a number of hunters with planes, money and time. Unless you want to spend a month and use pro climbing aids, there are greener pastures elsewhere.

    Chitina Native is charging $1500 to walk in on the Copper River Side for land use.

    Maccoll Ridge, Hawkins, Bonanza and much of the Eastern Wrangells Preserve is the best sheep hunting area open to all presently.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Kaboku- where are these planes landing at in the Tonsina area, according to fish and game no landing area also it was prohibited???

    Harry- The goat hunt was kind of disappointing, it was kind of poor planning on my part , but the best way to access the area was by Jet boat along the copper R. well, what my hunting partner and I did was we went down towards Chitina and talked to the native area clinic and asked about the "five mile creek access" they said we could drive up (6.5 miles in) drop off our gear come back out park on their property then walk back up. (took me almost 5 hours to walk back in with just my gun and water. We saw goats but just nannies, No billies, and they had no hair on them at all, I don't understand why they have this draw for goat from 10 Aug- 20 Sep. I'm not too crazy about goat meat either, I'd probably jerk it. We did see alot of ewes and lambs but no rams either, and to top that off we saw ATV tracks all over up there and fairly fresh, Don't think its fish and game either. I was told the natives have free reign in that area. I did see a lot of moose! and was told that no body hunts moose in that walk in area, now I see why. Well, we were there for a week , then moved on toward Valdez just past Mt Billy mitchell. i tell you that part of the Chugach range is very tough to get into, but I'm sure once your in there, you will score! I wanted to shoot a lone nanny with long thin horns but my partner talked me out of it, she was pretty thin too and my partner said she was probably sick and diseased thats why she was by herself... I was thinking more along the line of a nice European mount...oh well

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahahawai View Post
    Kaboku- where are these planes landing at in the Tonsina area, according to fish and game no landing area also it was prohibited???
    My perception is that the big rams (42"-43") coming out of the TCUA every year are taken by folks who put in major hours scouting from the air and then hiking in. I imagine this is what Kaboku was refering to.

  14. #14

    Default Two Guides are pretty Class acts.

    The two guides who hunt the unit are both nice guys.
    Steve Johnson of Ultimate Alaska Adventures and Otto Kulm of Pacific Mountain Guides.
    I think that they are better with the country than most who go in.
    They use planes to spot with and then you got to march in. It isn't a free hunt. You generally have to go 30-40 miles through some of the roughest terrain there is to get in to Sheep Country.

    The Trooper from Valdez has busted rogue sniper supercub hunters who will drop into the valleys. Your plane for a ram. Well that is your choice.

    There probably are 40-60 hunters who go into this area each year and there are only ten legal rams in this area. It has a very low success rate.
    The Wolves have hit the rams pretty hard. There was also a young man who shot 4-5 young rams when they came close to an ATV trail. This very much trashes the hunting prospects.

    I have a vested interest in this area since it is close to where I grew up.

    I have also done much work on the trails that go in.( I help Norris several days every year) This is more than what most people do.
    Most people trash the trails and leave junk. We found two tents/ four or five nasty campsites and junk up and down through several of the access trails.

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    Harry,

    According to my information, it will not...

    Wayne Heimer FNAWS

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    Default Kaboku,I didn't realize...

    that many people were hunting the TCUA. Perhaps I am interpreting the F&G harvest report info wrong? About 15 non-unit residents hunt there on average,they say. Would the balance be the guided nonres hunters maybe? They also say, according to my number crunching, that nonunit residents have just about as good odds there as anywhere. I know you said "very low success rate", that may be a given any time you decide you are going to walk in for sheep .
    Help a brother out- where are the "greener pastures" you mentioned for walking in?
    Kahawai, thanks for the goat story.
    sheep man, you have a point. Perhaps if we went to a total draw system now, we could preserve quality sheep hunting overall before the populations get so pressured that something has to be done. The downside would be that a guy is not going to draw every year.
    Thanks Wayne for the clarification. HH

  17. #17

    Default Break it down into four main parts and look at numbers

    10 hunters (both early and then some late season) into North Chitina Area via five mile trail or Nagangast mine road.(Hundell Creek, Dust Creek, Obrien Creek)
    10 hunters south Unit to Cirque Creek and Lower Uranatina Valley. usually more early.(Goat hunters generally hunt here.)
    5 hunters later season south Unit.( Dangerous because of storms and really slick environment)
    10 hunters through season into Obrien and Halley Creek Drainages.
    (Bernard Creek, Halley and Obrien)

    This is just average sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less.

    Nims generally have a list of everybody who walks in from Ernestine.
    Generally 50 hunters are on the list and 20 hunters actually make to visit over a season.

    Nims run probably 30 miles of trails from behind their place. BLM has talked about taking over their trail system. It is really pretty darned crowded.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    I did see rams behind pump station 12, this season, not sure if they were legal, i know few were banana horns. Tried to go up the Little Tonsina river and Ernestine Creek, but you have to go through some swampy areas almost chest deep, hip waders wouldn't cut it. believe me Copper R. is the way to go, unless your willing to hike it along the Tiekel...Good luck

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Anybody know if Horses or pack animals can be used in the Tonsina walk in area? Just wondering.....CK

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    thanks Kaboku for the extra info. It is a little disappointing and perhaps fodder for another thread- the disparity between the F&G online harvest reports and your info re how many hunters are in the area. People must be fibbing. So if people are under-reporting that they even hunted there, how many sheep are taken and not reported? Hmmmm...
    By the way who is "Nims"? HH

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