Sheep Hunting and Sheep Organizations
I have never killed a sheep, although I have tried this past year with a bow, and next season I'm trying a different method. I admit, since I was last stationed here back in 1986-87 it has been one of my lifetime dreams to kill one. In fact the "White Ram" has brought me back to the state of Alaska with a few sacrifices ( did a 1 year remote to Korea to get back to AK.) I had just recently visited the Bighorn Sheep Interpretive in Dubois, WY and was thinking about joining FNAWs, because of the things they do to help sheep and sheep hunting (from what I hear) However, I have heard from some friends to join "Ovis Grand Slam club" ( don't need a slam to join) instead of the other,(for reasons and names I won't mention), I would like to join one of them but can't afford to join both, I have done some research on both org. but kind of limited when your not a member. Just wanted to see what all you sheep hunters think, I know you sheep guys/gals are all members...
On another note, at these annual banquets: what does all the members talk about and what goes on, I know I am not part of the ELITE GROUP, of one that has killed a Ram or sheep, but I don't want to feel like an outcast. I'm sure all talk about their success for the past season, Also, My wife says that if I kill a sheep, that I should join, she says Its a priviledge to get one , and its part of giving back...so what do you think?
Bro I have considered doing the very thing you speak of some time ago but when I was inquiring about doing so, something occured to me. Most of the FNAWS guys are non-residents and they appear at least to me to be in the upper echelon pay bracket compared to most of us. I went to their website and was expecting to see some of the isuues being discussed that face Alaskans and the Alaskan Dall sheep talked about there. All I found was info on banquets and membership and donation fees and auctions. Long lists of guide services and 0 talk about whats being done to preserve sheep hunting. They back many of the large guide organizations and to me the whole thing smelled of our current problems. So I passed on the idea.
AK Cub- I agree with you! I have been on some of the forums of these orgs. and I can't hang with these guys, especially when they are talking about throwing around a hundred or so thousand dollars for an auction tag, and raffles etc. ....CK
been a member of Foundation for North American Wild Sheep for many years. I think it's a great org. and puts lots of money on the mountain for sheep. Sure, it caters to the high rollers who can bid hundreds of thousand dollars on governors permits. That's how it can afford to put so much money into sheep conservation. Been to two conventions and it didn't matter if you wore blue jeans or a tux- just be a sheep hunter or care about sheep and you fit right in. I'll probably never kill another sheep but you can bet I'll continue to support F.N.A.W.S. If you care about sheep, please consider chipping in $40. for a membership- you will enjoy the mag and feel good about helping out those mountain monarchs.
If you do not care for F.N.A.W.S., then you will defintely not like S.C.I..
I am a member of FNAWS, AK FNAWS and GSCO, they are all good groups to belong to. As far as someone saying that all their members are rich, this is far from the truth. The majority of the members are average people that have to work for a living and save for that hunt of a lifetime, but everyone belongs because they want to try and help the wild sheep.
Most of the members are non-residents! When FNAWS has members from all 50 states, that seems like a lame excuse. If it bothers one to be a member of a national organization, support FNAWS state chapters, almost every state has a chapter.
You hear about the high rollers, because they are the one's who buy the auction tags and most of them are pretty darn nice people who will talk to a fellow sheep hunter.
The conventions are a lot of fun to attend, you meet some great people and lots of exhibits and new products to see.
If you do not belong to a wild sheep organization, how can one say he is trying to help the wild sheep. That is about like not belonging to the NRA and then complaining about losing our gun rights. Sure there are problems within the groups, but the majority of the time they do a darn good job and they do help the wild sheep.
Originally Posted by cold zero
To me many of the orgs are a double edged sword. We need them because they are the ones that have the money to fight the antis who also have lots of money. But so many of them have lost sight of the cause and they get so wrapped up in the politics of $$$$$. Its just like NRA, I was a member for many years, but towards the end it seemed as though they just want so much money. I would renew my membership and it wouldn't be 3 months and they were calling me with some screaming deal to re up for x many more years. It just gets old. I have a hard time finding an org that really isn't full of it. Or they support fair chase hunts and then do sneaky stuff and premier a high fenced hunt that was such a challenge or something like that. No I am not fond of SCI either. Too many of them want that wealthy target audience and I believe thats whats ruining hunting nation wide!
I would like to get FNAWs membership, and the quarterly magazines would be nice, but actually how does FNAWs put sheep back on the mountain?? Just curious how they use the dollars( research, transplanting, etc.)I haven't seen or heard of any transplanting here in AK . And if so, why are the numbers of sheep decreasing in so many states? I know the popularity of hunting sheep has increased, They (FNAWs) have a nice website, however very limited info. I do know they have a lot of auctions and raffles,I know this org. isn't all about making money is it? However,I'm Probably gonna join anyway.
I wish I could respond with a good literate answer to your very valid questions- however it is late friday night and I am a little hammered. I do know that fnaws has a good track record when it comes to how much they spend on sheep management compared to their income. I wish Wayne Heimer or someone more Knowledgeable would chip in. All I can say is that I am proud to be a member of fnaws.
Originally Posted by kahahawai
p.s.- your wife appears to be a wise woman
Originally Posted by kahahawai
My name is Wayne Heimer. I was the ADF&G sheep guy from 1971 till I retired in 1997. I've been a member of National and Alaska FNAWS for about as long as either has existed. After my retirement from ADF&G, I ran for service on the National Board. I served two terms, then took a year off (and got involved in the Alaska Chapter Board), I'm presently serving both on the National Board and as president of the Alaska Chapter. Obviously, I believe in the outfit or wouldn't be as involved with it as I am.
The National organization was formed 31 years ago. It was started by some "sheep crazies" who had asked management agencies why they weren't doing anything for sheep. The answer they got was "no money for sheep." These "crazy men" said, "If that's all that's needed, we can raise money." That's where the emphasis on dollars started. The way FNAWS raises money is to get hunting opportunities donated to the organization (which is a non-profit), and then sell the hunts at auction at the FNAWS convention. In the course of its existence, National FNAWS has raised and spent about $31 million on wild sheep restoration, and the number of bighorn sheep in North America has approximately doubled as a result. You're right, much of this growth has come from reintroducing bighorns into former habitats. It's not an easy business.
Much of the rest of the money spent by FNAWS has been to keep sheep on the mountains (after we've put them there). Domestic sheep diseases are a constant threat, and FNAWS is the leader in funding researching the reasons why domestic sheep kill bighorns almost like dynamite...and what can be done about it. Also, our ADF&G sheep program would have accomplished little of what we did without help from Alaska FNAWS and National FNAWS. We'd be worse off in Alaska than we are if it had not been for the hunters who make up FNAWS. I try not to forget that.
I realize we don't have bighorns here, and that many Alaskan won't ever hunt bighorns (even though it sounds like something many would like to do). However, FNAWS is all about sheep conservation, restoration, and management. The "hunting" part is the reason for all of the rest of it. We're a serious hunting outfit, and not ashamed of it. Still, we believe in sheep "just being there" because they "always were," BUT they do better when there's money to manage and protect them, and the hunters are willing to pay to make it happen. Sometimes the "dollars" and "fundraising" seem to get in the way and create a "super rich" feeling or atmosphere.
Whoever said, these folks are sheep hunters first and rich dudes second hit it right on the head for most of them I've met. Of course there are some huge egos and some "show" among some of the members, but I've never felt I wasn't welcome (and I'm certainly not wealthy).
In the Alaska Chapter, our traditional focus was on "keeping" sheep on the mountains. As things changed, we broadened that focus to keeping "hunters" on the mountain. Then to "putting sheep back on the mountains." Our current efforts to protect sheep hunting and improve it through our objectives are on the Alaska FNAWS website www.alaskafnaws.org. It's still under construction, so about all it's good for now is information.
Getting the National FNAWS website to where it accurately reflects what the Foundation is all about has been a protracted struggle. We have minimal staff, and may be "too proud" of being a "lean" organization. We don't put much into "being FNAWS." Most of our expenditures go to directly supporting the mission. Our National website should be improving soon.
The Alaska website is also under construction, and will be improving over the next few months. I heard from our designer this week that he was going to try to get "joining" up and running this weekend. We'll see. Till then the Alaska FNAWS website will continue to give some updates about what we're doing. Our highest priority is to help ADF&G get back into sheep management in a structured, rational program.
I hope this helps you.
Sure would be nice to have someone with your background in sheep management chime in on some of these other threads addressing the problems we face here in Alaska concerning sheep hunting.
Thanks for the Information Mr. Heimer, I will be checking out the Alaska Chapter website....CK