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Thread: Unit 11 and 3/4 curl?

  1. #1

    Default Unit 11 and 3/4 curl?

    Anyone know why the South Wrangell's are 3/4 curl? Doesn't make sense to me considering every other unit is full curl, along with all the perceived benefits for the full curl regulations. Couple that with the belief that the South Wrangell numbers have been on the decline for the last 15 years and may be at an all time low right now?

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default ?

    since noone is giving you a fact answer I will at least say what I think. It's sorta like unit 20c for moose. The population is very low but it is still an "any bull" for res, and non res. The justification I got when I asked why was that not enough people hunt the unit to hurt the populataion, and a large part of the unit is not easy to get into. Wether this is true or not is a whole other story but Im guessing the same logic is used when making laws for unit 11 on sheep.

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    I'd guess its for about the same reason as state owned areas inside national parks have a limit of 3 sheep... Just a guess though
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'd guess its for about the same reason as state owned areas inside national parks have a limit of 3 sheep... Just a guess though
    Could you explain what you're talking about?

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    Red face some info

    I dont know anything about the original politics. But remember until recently, last year I think, it was any sheep for residents only. It was nice in that you could hold out until the last day for a monster and if not you could take a meat animal to have something to take home. I think it was for subsistence reasons. Not many lambs or smaller rams were taken anyway so it didnt have much of an impact. And yes the unit is almost entirely fly in only with good sheep numbers and much of the land in the unit is closed to hunting due to national park status. As far as I can remember nonresidents have been full curl only which was nice. Any recent sheep fluctuations are likely due to winters. For instance for years the F and G sheep report laments the declining populations in the Western portion of the unit until a pretty thorough study a few years ago which included surveys found the populations had likely not declined at all. Kinda makes you suspect the speculation that fueled the recent general season closures in other units.
    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

  6. #6

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    Thanks Sollybug. That fills in some of the gaps for me. I spoke to the area biologist on the phone last week. She painted a pretty bleak picture of the sheep population in the Southern Wrangels. She seemed knowledgable and qualified, and I trusted what she said. In the end, she unknowingly discouraged me from trying to hunt there, and as I processed all she said, it left me wondering why 3/4?

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    Since when, does anything the ADF&G does have to make sense?

    HYUK, HYUK.
    Smitty of the North
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    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default 10 year old <7/8

    i hunted the south wrangells this past season and i saw probably 45 sheep in three drainages and ten i know where rams....i took what i belive to have been the largest one i saw in seven days....he is a nice sheep but my partner and i had are fingers crossed when we shot him.....but as it turned out he was 10 years old and not 7/8 curl.....i can say with certainty that i did not see a sheep larger than this one by curl...but we walked in and there were many people in the drainage... so i can understand why....but i guess if over the years if only full curl were shot then if you were to shoot out the genetics of an area thats all you would have
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    I dont know anything about the original politics. But remember until recently, last year I think, it was any sheep for residents only.
    It hasn't been any sheep for close to 10 years now in unit 11

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    I don't know the answer either, but I don't think its due to inaccessability. Nabesna Road cuts through 11 and gets a lot of pressure and its still 3/4. Remember though, they are doing an environmental impact statement (which I think is a bunch of bs) and some of the trails are closed for 4 years now (or permanently-depending on the environmental impact statement). Some areas now require a 20+ mile walk across the park to access sheep country now. When we were in 11 we didn't see a shortage of sheep. BTW, umzac is right, it hasn't been any ram for some time.


    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasken View Post
    Could you explain what you're talking about?
    I'll help monkey out. The Schwatka Mountains in Unit 23 is 3 sheep by permit for residents. (RS 388) Part of 24B is 3 sheep on harvest tags. Part of 25A is 3 sheep by permit (RS 595). Part of 26A is three sheep by permit (RS 389) and 26C (RS 595) as well, and 26A and B on private lands within Gates of the Arctic National Park is 3 sheep on harvest tags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasken View Post
    Could you explain what you're talking about?
    Check out the regulations there are several areas where the limit is 3 sheep, they all happen be inside of national parks (and impossible to get to pretty much) if I remember correctly
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13

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    The fact of the matter is, very few of our laws is made by fish and game.

    They are spawned by someone and approved by this holy'r then though bog. Which unto itself is a horrible shame!

    Many evenings spent on the tele with a good friend and biologist for the department in the valley as spent talking about this very subject and how the publics blind eye is always pointed to the deparment and not the board! What is done there isn't always spawned by, or even remotely approaved by our fish and game department. But like says, you dont have to like it, it's the law. The best we can do is change it for next season!

    So careful who you're stabb'n in the face here. SOme of the departments are quite good, where as others, (fairbanks, cough cough) is horrible and the rumblings are well known within, as much as on the outside!

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    Tradbow:
    Aren't the decisions of the BOG, based on the wonderful science provided by the ADF&G?

    Doesn't the ADF&G write the regulations for the decisions passed by the BOG, or do they come out directly from the BOG?

    Smitty of the North
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    Heimer here with a personal recollections about 3/4 curl and GMU 11:

    If I remember correctly, the original 3/4 curl regulation in GMU 11 (not counting the "really original 3/4 curl rule statewide--which came out of Wyoming via the Federal Government) came out of the Board of Game meeting about 1989. That was the year that Alaska (except the Brooks Range) went to full-curl to assure better lamb production and young ram survival to increase ram harvewsts while still mainintaining open hunting.

    The full curl regulation had been made a very contentious issue before the Board of Game by the Department. In those days, the Department was VERY ADAMANTLY against full curl. I'd been proposing it through ADF&G for years, but the regulation never got "out of" the Department. It was always "killed" either in Juneau or by the Anchorage Region. Eventually, FNAWS and APHA worked with legendary Alaskan Guide, Bill Waughaman (all of whom had a good command of the research data on the subject), and put in a public proposal which the Department couldn't kill, and it went to the Board. I wasn't allowed to attend that Board meeting to present the research data. In fact, our old friend, Dave Harkness, called me from Anchorage one day to say he'd heard the Director (whose office was in Anchorage then) talking to the supervisors in Fairbanks, saying "I don't care what you do with Heimer, but I don't want him within 200 miles of the Board meeting." Still, when the meeting was over, I got the tapes and listened to the whole thing. It was amazing! I've never heard such bitter deliberations in any matter to come before the Board of Game.

    The Department was rabidly against the full curl regulation for reasons I've covered in several papers over the years. ADF&G leadership was so passionate about it that the then-director (a fellow named Lou Pamplin) actually threatened the Board that if they passed the proposal, he would put the whole state on permit. Of course, this was an idle threat because the Director of Wildlife simply can't do that. By the time all the blustering and threatening had been done, the full-curl proposal had passed (thanks to FNAWS and APHA who presented the Department's own data to the Board--and arranged for no less an authority than Val Geist to phone in testimony that our data seemed good to him).

    It is important that the Board, in passing this regulation passed a "FINDING" saying essentially that the harvestable surplus from sheep populations was limited to mature rams. This meant that harvesting other than mature rams was likely to interfere with sustainability of the sheep resource.

    The Department was VERY unahappy, and may still have a few "old timers" who don't believe in or are still sore over the full curl regulation and the way it got passed. The Department's point of view has been clearly laid out in several Department papers on the subject over the years, but that is all pretty well ancient history by now. Still, we live with the fallout. Now, back to the story.

    By the time all this had "gone down," finding anyone on the Board or in the Department's representation to the Board who was not emotionally "over the edge" was not easy! As luck would have it, before tempers cooled, the Board had to deal with a subsistence sheep harvest proposal for GMU 11 relating to ANILCA and federal subsistence use of sheep in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, another emotional issue.

    There were, of course, more emotional arguments about that subject. Some argued sheep had been subsistence animals since time immemorial, and others argued sheep shouldn't be subsistence critters, that they were not designated a subsistence species by the state subsistence law and this would be a state reg. forced on the state by the Park Service, and on and on. In the end, the Board Chair, Henry Springer came to the end of his patience and said (in his notable German accent) "By Got! If der gonna harvest subsistence sheep, the sure aren't gonna be trophies!" The out of frustration compromise came the "modern" 3/4 curl regulation for subsistence users in GMU 11. It has morphed from that beginning through several other iterations, but that's how we began with the state's vestigial "modern" 3/4 curl regulations for subsistence. Subsequent Boards walked away from the earlier "FINDING" that mature males were the sustainable harvest from Dall sheep populations, and thought (mistakenly according to the biology) that subsistence bag limits should be more "liberal" than the regular bag limits so they "pasted" 3/4 curl into some other subsistence areas over time.

    That's my recollection. It may be inaccurate in some details because I have written this off the top of my head. If it is really important, I can look up the papers on the history of things and clear up any details.

    In the end, the reason things are confused in much of game management, particularly with respect to sheep, is the federal intervention in sheep management. About a quarter of Alaska's Dall sheep live in National Parks or other areas where open hunting is not allowed, subsistence uses are basically unregulated, and the dual management system has caused long-lasting confusion. This all began with ANILCA, and the repercussions (or would that be "ramifications?") continue to this day. Perhaps even more sadly, another major ANILCA legacy is that managers, both federal and state, have stepped away from sheep biology as the basis of what they do. Managing people, most of whom are not "local to the resource" has become more important than biology.

    Wish I had news that was a greater cause for optimism.

    Wayne

  16. #16

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    smitty,

    Go to the local board of advisory meetings.... Be active in it you'll see. I hate to spoon feed info when dinners staring you in the face

  17. #17

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    Wayne (et al) -

    Thanks for all the info. Hard for me to believe that the current 3/4 reg was morphed from an "any sheep" rule for subsistence hunters, but I do believe it. The older I get the more I get disgusted with public officials and the manner in which we allow them to do things to us.

    I really do wonder what the future of sheep hunting is going to be for residents in just the next 5 years. Why we let money hungry guides and their clients exploit our resources is beyond me. The phrase "guide use area" makes my blood boil!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    smitty,

    Go to the local board of advisory meetings.... Be active in it you'll see. I hate to spoon feed info when dinners staring you in the face
    Tradbow:

    I don't think you have much "info" to "spoon feed". All you've got is a buddy who works for the ADF&G.

    Obviously, the decisions of the BOG, are based on input from the ADF&G to some large degree depending on the particular case.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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