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Thread: What to do about our Sheep hunting problems

  1. #1
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    Default What to do about our Sheep hunting problems

    There is a lot of passion about sheep hunting on this forum and I for one do not want my hunting opportunities for sheep reduced. I am not for the 1 every 4 year proposal. In the future, I do not sheep hunting a draw only.

    That being said, I do realize that if we donít come up with a solution we will be force to some type of restrictions. So letís talk about it.

    Is our sheep population decline? If so why? Do we have too many hunters? Do we harvest too many sheep? Are the guides to blame? Predators? Are we sheep hunters to greedy by wanting to harvest a sheep every year? Will throwing more money at it help?

    What do you think?

  2. #2

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    Well, I think if you want to shoot a Dall Sheep in Alaska, you should do it at your earliest opportunity. The regs are going to change dramatically and quickly. Far too many competing sources for the few sheep available. Predators have now attained status as being on the Top of the Food Chain, so hunters will be afforded opportunity if some still exist. Your children will one day look at the mounts you acquired and drool upon themselves. Very few if any of them will savor the flavor of sheep meat.

  3. #3
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    First thing is: become involved with the process! Attend and comment at the Board of Game hearings- as an interested & affected party, your imput is vital to maintaining access to a healthy resource. You can also join the Alaska FNAWS chapter and other hunting/wildlife advocate groups, and encourage them to lobby on your position. I think that we could have avoided some of the current situation if more sheep hunters showed up at last spring's BOG when these proposals were under consideration. If you don't like it, work for change and don't give up so easily.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Akres said it plainly, and he is probably right! the Regs are going to change in the future, and it already started as you can see, Dall sheep is the CROWN JEWEL !!! theres no doubt about it, and with the challenge of gettin' one makes a hunter come back for more, its addicting!! You gotta look at most of the lower 48 hunts for Big Horn is draw, and if your lucky to draw, its a once in a lifetime (like wyoming) However, They have preference points that you can buy, so it boils down to whose been putting in for preference points the longest...the bottom line....$$$$$... and who has the most, I'd hate to see dall sheep go to preference point system, but if it does, it does...another good way to make a few extra $$$$ I guess.....CK

  5. #5
    Member calndux's Avatar
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    Default Guides and overhunting take large toll....

    I am not anti-guide, but I do believe the State should limit non-residents to a certain percent of total tags in areas (i.e. 14, Tok, and Delta). I have already heard the story about guides bringing in all those dollars to the state, but they hunt on mostly state or federal land and very few dollars goes to state. Resident hunts should be first priority. I realize the guides will get mad at my point, but I am or have been (not this year) waterfowl guide. I never had the priviledge to hunt state or federal land. I had to pay several thousand dollars per year just to hunt a one farm and I guided on several farms. So, forgive me if I don't feel sorry for the guides. I feel that as a resident I should have the best chance at tags (every other state with sheep ensures residents have the most advantages).

  6. #6
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    Default Limit guide units

    How about limiting the units that guides are allowed to hunt in? For example, guides aren't allowed to guide moose hunts in Unit 13. Why not prevent guides from harvesting sheep in certain areas. Obviously this would increase guiding in areas that it is allowed. Perhaps a maximum put on the number of hunters, not number of sheep as I don't think you get your money back if you don't kill, a guide can take in a year should be considered- if things would still be too crowded, allow guides to hunt sheep every other year- they could focus on other species one year (bear, moose, caribou, etc., and hunt sheep the next.

    The bottom line is that residents should have priority when it comes to OUR resources---unfortunately there's that **** almighty dollar that always seems to get its way...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post

    What do you think?
    Briefly;

    Commercial interests do not go to the front of the line.

    Adoption of guide licensing regulation by the State (people) was never intended to be perverted so as to enable what has become "business as usual".

    A guide license is nothing more than a professional personal [individual] service license. Like a certified "message therapist license" there is always going to be a place for that kind of thing and it is protected, but the LICENSE is an individual license to practice a profession and does not authorize or grant rights to the person who holds the license to open up a parlor and hire "assistants" for personal benefit.

    An assistant guide license is NOT a professional personal license which grants rights to guide hunts; it specifically excludes professional rights. The intention of the State (people) in adopting regulations was to establish a training program to establish a person as qualifying as a professional.

    IMO; The most critical base line issue; the most straight forward issue to get resolved, that would have the most positive impact, (and in perpetuity) in the quickest amount of time and effect the least number of people is to challenge the notion that "Licensed guides" are acting legally (within the intent of resource regulations) when they book hunts, accept the booking of hunts, sign contracts to provide the guide service and do not guide the hunt.


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    Default chime in

    board of guides(BOG) has already put themselves in front of the line. i have to say that i am becoming anti guide because the guides are threatening resident opportunities in exchange for commercial hunting of apparently dwindling resources. i'm sure a lot of guides are interested in preserving sheep numbers and don't wipe out drainages as a few have done. however, it doesn't make any difference when sheep availability for the resident hunter takes a back seat. i watched a sheep guide out of the brooks range pull 4 hunters out in 10 days with beautiful sheep at over $18K a pop. he knows his boundaries, only takes mature rams and provides a top quality hunt with his knowledge of where the sheep are and how to get to them. he is strongly in favor of the 1 sheep per 4 years for residents. does he ever take a follow up shot? does he carry a gun? yes/yes. will he be subjected to 1 sheep hunt each 4 years? no. this is a big problem.
    next, board of guides has parts of the alaska range mountain area tied up in nonmotorized access only to those sheep. this is another example of guides taking care of themselves and getting pesky locals out of their area. they have big horse teams, which we locals obviously don't, and have their way with those sheep.
    finally, while it's not the board of guides fault, what is it about all those sheep allocated for subsistance???? show me where any native group relied historically on dall sheep for their survival. what a bunch of garbage. we're talking hundreds of sheep that can be slaughtered from parks (that we can't go in) and shot from snowmachines in the deep snow after they get pushed down.
    fix these areas and there will be no need to consider limiting resident hunts for sheep in alaska. if it's not possible to fix the obvious, then it's ending right in front of your faces.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by holly View Post
    what is it about all those sheep allocated for subsistance???? show me where any native group relied historically on dall sheep for their survival. what a bunch of garbage.
    The book "Nunamuit" by the archaeologist Helge Ingstad. A book about Ingstads stay with the Nunamuit of the Brooks Range in the winter of 1949-50. "No caribou and once again the Nunamuit hunted sheep for survival as they had for as long as their peoples memory."
    I'm too lazy to povide other examples but the Arctic village people, Kaktovik people, and other peoples in the western Brooks Range have historically hunted Dall Sheep for survival purposes.
    I doubt the accuracy of the rest of your rant also. Have a nice day

  10. #10

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    control it like the canadians do.

    X unit has so many surplus sheep. The guides in that area can kill so many %. once it's reached, the unit is shut down for guides.

    This still allows them to guide, yet limits the outfits killing 20 or 30 sheep, and can be said for moose also, instead of the fly by day, land and hunt the next morning outfits, they'll only be able to shoot sooooo many.

    This would do a few things. More funding for our fish and game, and hopefully will in the long run, take away the board of game and let fish and game do there jobs. Second it would make the guides more responsible for their areas. Many many are, and many are not not. Those fly by nite outfits will be even more exposed hopefully.

    Next I'd like to see the resident guides who live here, get first chance at things...whether it's fishing or hunting. This will in turn reduce the number of registered guides, help keep the resource in Alaska, and in the longterm help manage our herd management goals.

    It sounds like I'm anti guide. I'm not, I am one in both catagorys, a boat capt and asst guide. I've busted tail to get into something, and the deeper I delve, the more disgusted I am about this.

    It's amazing not very far away the season for sheep and how long they run, liberal bag limits etc. Less pressure by guides, and to a certain degree, less pressure by regular diy'self'rs.

  11. #11
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    non resident registration hunts per unit.
    residents over the counter harvest...as is currently.
    guides get some sheep, residents get the same opportunity, that outa pacify for a few years....
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Quote Originally Posted by holly View Post
    finally, while it's not the board of guides fault, what is it about all those sheep allocated for subsistance???? show me where any native group relied historically on dall sheep for their survival. what a bunch of garbage. we're talking hundreds of sheep that can be slaughtered from parks (that we can't go in) and shot from snowmachines in the deep snow after they get pushed down..
    What areas allow this? Units 11 and 12- Wrangell Park and Preserve allow only one fullcurl ram and the season is the same as the regular season. They do have the Elder and youth hunt but only one ram can be taken.

    "A joint permit may be issued to a pair of a minor
    and an elder to hunt sheep during the Sept. 21Ė
    Oct. 20 hunt. The following conditions apply:
    The permittees must be a minor aged 8 to 15
    years old and an accompanying adult 60 years
    of age or older;
    Both the elder and the minor must be
    Federally qualified subsistence users with
    a positive customary and traditional use
    determination for the area they want to hunt;
    The minor must hunt under the direct
    immediate supervision of the accompanying
    adult, who is responsible for ensuring that all
    legal requirements are met; and,
    Only one animal may be harvested with this
    permit. The sheep harvested will count against
    the harvest limits of both the minor and
    accompanying adult."
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Cool more rant for dws

    there's always someone that will bring up a penguin every time you try to argue that birds fly. i don't have the book "nunamuit" never heard of it. i do have a book called 2007-2008 alaska hunting regulations. feel free to read about the wood river controlled use area and nonmototized access(where sheep are more populous and available to any locals with horse teams)
    i also have the subsistance regulations(they're separate regs from the hunting ones). you can get your free copy at fish and game and read about the HUNDREDS of sheep allocated for slaughter throughout the state of alaska including parks. check out how many sheep can be killed in the gates of the arctic park north of bettles.
    everyone knows natives harvested sheep throughout the past wherever available. however, native villages did not rely directly on sheep for their existance as they would #1000 moose with a sustainable population density or caribou migrating through their region. sheep populations couldn't sustain feeding an entire village or villages throughout the year. not enough meat on the hoof or population density to support a village or villages. even in the lower 48 it required buffalo herds to sustain healthy survival for populations of natives.
    but, since this thread is about the issue of sheep availabilty and not helge ingsteds archeology book...as an answer, i'd advocate any changes in management of sheep as a natural resource that reflect availability of remaining stable healthy sheep FOR ALASKA RESIDENTSf. any remaining SURPLUS population area opportunities should be afforded to commercial guiding by alaska resident guides AND to native subsistance to celebrate traditional hunting.

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    Default If it's not broke... don't fix it.

    With a little bit of research, the sheep harvest data collected from individual harvest reports can be accessed and summarized. So without any rantings, biased polls, or influenced opinions, here are some very basic numbers to ponder:

    Without distinction as guided/non-guided or resident/non-resident

    2007 2293 hunters harvested 770 sheep 33% success rate
    2003 2877 hunters harvested 960 sheep 33% success rate
    1999 3134 hunters harvested 951 sheep 30% success rate
    1977 2594 hunters harvested 1126 sheep 43% success rate

    I didn't include all the reported years mainly because of time and space, but also the trend in numbers varied very little.

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    Default Alaska Range

    I hunted the Alaska Range this year and ran into several guides/clients on horseback while i was walking in an out. Several made comments that the certain air service I flew in with brought in too many "locals" and that the area was being over hunted by "locals". I took offense to this as I watched client after client be shuttled in and out. In the GMU I hunted the harvest stats for the year prior had a total of 83 sheep killed. 32 were taken by residents and and 51 by NR so I found it hard to believe that the apparent over hunting was all due to locals. My partner who was hunting the brooks this year had an identical conversation with several assistant guides while he was hunting.

    I posted some comments to a BOG proposal for the 1 sheep every four years in a different forum. Below are the ISSUES brought up by the proposal the guide submitted and some of my thoughts. They kind of fit in to this discussion.

    ISSUE: "there is a significant increasing high demand of this stressed resource by users each year. The pressure needs to be limited" "Dall Sheep arenít a maximum quantity harvest animal, but a high quality outdoor hunting experience for a once in a life time hunt"

    My thoughts: I appreciate his concern on the pressure on dall sheep hunting needing to be limited and would like to know if he intends to also limit the pressure by decreasing the number of clients he takes sheep hunting each year? Somehow given the price he is charging for these hunts I seriously doubt it.

    WHO IS LIKELY TO SUFFER? Those who want to hunt sheep every year without regard to current sheep population conditions.

    My thoughts: So my desire to hunt sheep every year is somehow a desire to hunt without regard to current sheep population conditions yet his desire to take all of his clients on there ďdream huntĒ is somehow better for the sheep and the wildlife. I should be sitting home for three years after I harvest my ram while he hunts them every year? If the average joe hunter must wait every four years than maybe he would be willing to only guide sheep hunters every four years. I am assuming, since his business address is in the lower 48, that he is a non-resident. I donít want to sound anti-non resident but I donít feel they should have much say on how the State regulates its game. Its hard for me to believe his true intentions are focused around the well being of sheep when he has so much at stake financially. The people making the decisions on managing the game shouldn't have so much to gain or loose financially.

    If a 1 every 4 years rule ends up being what is truly needed to manage sheep numbers than I will be glad to go with it. However, residents shouldn't be the first ones to feel the pain.

  16. #16
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by KasitsnaBay View Post
    With a little bit of research, the sheep harvest data collected from individual harvest reports can be accessed and summarized. So without any rantings, biased polls, or influenced opinions, here are some very basic numbers to ponder:

    Without distinction as guided/non-guided or resident/non-resident

    2007 2293 hunters harvested 770 sheep 33% success rate
    2003 2877 hunters harvested 960 sheep 33% success rate
    1999 3134 hunters harvested 951 sheep 30% success rate
    1977 2594 hunters harvested 1126 sheep 43% success rate

    I didn't include all the reported years mainly because of time and space, but also the trend in numbers varied very little.

    Great post, K. Thanks for the info.
    The 1977 data stands to reason with the "less than full curl" regs in play at that time too.
    So much Chicken Little mentality lately, it's nice to see some real world data...

  17. #17
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    Default On the same page

    It seems like everyone is on the same page on the 1 in 4 issue, the problem is there is not one voice with enough money to get things done and protect our rights. I know I would kick in some cash so some day my kids could hunt in our great state.

    Terry

    Hunt with your kids, not for your kids!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by holly View Post
    you can get your free copy at fish and game and read about the HUNDREDS of sheep allocated for slaughter throughout the state of alaska including parks.
    Why is it that when we are allowed to hunt the sheep are allocated for harvest, but when it's a hunt for someone else the sheep are allocated for "slaughter".

    I'm no fan of many of our subsistence regulations, but come on. Argue the points on their merits without the intentionally inflammatory words.

  19. #19
    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Default non residents

    I'm fairly new here in Alaska and won't have my residency until june, but I read and hear the concerns on this topic. I know I'm probably in the minority of NR's that feel that the residents of Alaska should have first priority in utilizing whatever resources Alaska offers.
    I wish I could see a solution that would actually make sense being implemented. More than a few have been offered here as far as I can tell.
    Maybe sheep hunting should just be made harder! Walk in's only, and you have to pack your meat out. It might be that doing actual "work" might be the only deterent for over hunting. Obviously I'm not serious about this, however the usage of ATV's, fully enclosed hunting blinds for deer has drastically increased hunting pressure in my home state of Minnesota, since nobody has to "work hard or get cold anymore".
    How bout "stocking programs"for sheep! Now theres an idea and it would also create jobs scooping poop out of their pens! They could be let loose a few weeks before season and killed much easier and faster than the wild ones who know how to survive... maybe even dye them a really cool color....
    Well guys I got the day off here, but chores call.....

    ciao y'all....

    reuben....

  20. #20

    Default Can't we all just get along?

    I have no problem with the locals up north taking their three sheep per person to "SUBSIST" on. None at all. Just so long as they do it in a "TRADITIONAL" means. i.e. dog team, snowshoes. Take away the snowmachine and see how many sheep get taken. It does seem ironic that many scream "unfair" when a couple guys go out and shoot wolves from a plane to try and manage a resource while this is going on. Am I off base here or are those who are taking three sheep per year going to starve next winter if their turkey shoot for sheep is taken away?

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