View Poll Results: Should Alaska continue to require sheep to be sealed?

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  • Yes! sheep sealing is a viable part of good sheep management.

    50 73.53%
  • No! It's a waste of time and resources.

    13 19.12%
  • Undecided.

    5 7.35%
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Thread: Sheep sealing--yes or no? Vote your take.

  1. #1
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Sheep sealing--yes or no? Vote your take.

    Take a second and vote whether you think Alaska should continue to require sheep to be sealed.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Absolutely! Two reasons:

    1. If it saves even one sublegal ram from being shot, it's worth the hassle. Many hunters have expressed that they are now more careful to ensure that the ram is legal before pulling the trigger.

    2. With genetic testing and knowledge increasing in value each year, we have no idea what valuable information may yet be gleaned from DNA samples taken from horn plugs. We want sheep management based on data? Then we need samples.

    Incidentally, the argument that it wastes resources doesn't hold water. There are no designated "sheep sealing" employees with ADF&G. They are the same folks that staff the offices and would be there working anyhow. It only takes a few moments, and costs virtually nothing to perform.

  3. #3
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default ADFG position just out - they support sheep sealing!

    Frank et al,

    ADFG positions and comments for the statewide BOG proposals became available today. Our org sent in comments opposing the two proposals to cease the sheep sealing program, that were pretty much the same as what ADFG comments said. I am pasting in our comments on this to the BOG, below. Based on ADFG opposition to this proposal, I hope the Board does not cease the sealing programs. There was some other pertinent info in the ADFG comments I was not aware of too...will see if I can get the ADFG comments up somehow.
    Best, Mark

    Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (AK BHA)
    Comments to the Alaska Board of Game
    Inre: January 2008 Statewide Proposals

    Proposal 35 (and Proposal 74) – 5 AAC 92.171 Sealing of Dall sheep horns
    OPPOSE

    This proposal has no clear substantive information given on why AK
    FNAWS and the Anchorage Advisory Committee want to cease the sealing
    of Dall sheep horns other than the sheep-sealing program is “misguided” and a “waste of money.”

    Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (AK BHA) wish to point out to
    the Board that the proposal process is not intended to be one in which a
    proposal from an Advisory Committee and/or prominent hunting
    organization is hastily written with few words and justification, and then
    only later are justifications given for a proposal outside the framework most of us rely on in order to provide comments. Normally, the only thing we (and others) can judge a proposal on, in order to comment prior to the
    deadline, is what is in the actual proposal, and on those grounds alone this proposal should
    not pass. Neither does AK BHA believe the Board should continue to allow this kind of precedent to be set, whereby proposals are very poorly thought out and submitted and only later in the process is any real justification or reasoning given for a proposal. This kind of thing has the potential to skew the entire proposal process.


    AK FNAWS has just recently provided information on why they want to
    cease the sealing of Dall sheep horns, and AK BHA has taken the time to
    find and review this information. Most of this recent information provided
    on their website goes against what ADFG biologists and managers and
    Alaska Wildlife Troopers are saying about the real benefits of sheep horn
    sealing.

    Sealing of sheep horns got off to a somewhat rocky start, but there are now ADFG staff (technicians and biologists) who are adequately trained and able to accurately age, measure, and seal Dall sheep horns in a consistent manner. The real biological data now being gathered by ADFG from sheep horn sealing is much better than it was prior to sheep horn sealing, when hunters and guides (often incorrectly) “scored” their own sheep and sent in a harvest report. (This is similar to the justification behind bear-skull sealing/measuring being done by trained ADFG staff.) This more-accurate harvest data comes at a minimal cost to the Department and can’t help but benefit sheep management. In no way is it a “waste of money and man hours” as this proposal states. Biologists are also getting information from the sheep horn sealing program that they would have never gotten otherwise that can help them better manage our sheep populations.

    There is also little doubt that the sheep horn sealing program has cut down on harvest of sub-legal rams. Many hunters have reported passing up on a ram they felt they were just not sure met the age/curl requirement mandated by the sheep-sealing program. This benefits all sheep hunters and sheep populations where full-curl/age restrictions are in place. While it is a “hassle” for sheep hunters to have to accurately judge sheep in the field, and to seal their Dall sheep horns, this is not at all a valid reason to cease the sealing program.

    AK BHA can find no real justification whatsoever for ceasing the Dall sheep
    horn sealing/plugging program. The sealing program will benefit sheep
    hunters and sheep management long term in areas where it is mandated. It has already cut down on sub-legal harvests and will continue to do so, and has made for a much more educated sheep hunter on the mountain when it comes to judging/aging Dall rams.

  4. #4
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default ADFG position on sheep sealing

    This may format funny, like my post above with the AK BHA comments, but here is a cut and paste from the pdf file of the ADFG positions for the statewide proposals:


    PROPOSAL 35
    EFFECT OF THE PROPOSAL: This proposal would discontinue the sealing requirement for Dall sheep in south-central and southwest regions.
    DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDATION:
    Do Not Adopt

    RATIONALE: Dall sheep have been subject to a statewide sealing program since 2004. The regulation was put in place largely for law enforcement purposes. All ewes and rams harvested in 14C drawing hunts were previously required to be brought in for a check-in process with
    ADF&G; the statewide program expanded this effort to all rams harvested statewide in areas with horn restrictions. In 2004 and 2005 rams were marked with plastic seals. Since 2006, ram horns have been marked (above the core) with permanent plugs bearing unique identification numbers. Beginning in 2008, all rams taken in any-ram drawing areas will also be subject to sealing under discretionary permit conditions.
    Very few rams harvested statewide are not sealed. These rams are from the limited any-sheep or any-ram hunts that take place. All sheep hunters are tracked via state harvest tickets, state permits, or federal permits. Of the rams harvested in 2006 under state permits and harvest tickets, only 39 (<5%) were taken in sealing-exempt areas. Even though not required, 13 of those hunters brought in their rams to the Department.
    With the requirement to bring ram horns in for sealing, hunters must be confident of the legality of the animal prior to pulling the trigger. This has changed sheep hunter attitudes, and they are increasingly showing interest in the definition of full-curl, even though the same definition has been used in Alaska since the 1980s.
    The hands-on approach has also allowed for the collection of important anecdotal information from sheep hunters - observations and data previously unavailable to biologists. By having a small pool of biologists, technicians, and law enforcement officers taking horn measurements and aging rams, the error in this data is reduced compared to having up to 900 different hunters collecting the data.
    In addition to basic horn measurements, additional biological information can be collected at the time of sealing. Rams harvested from certain areas have already been subject to detailed measurements (horn length and circumference at each annulus), as well as raw Boone and Crockett scoring. Additionally, small flesh samples have been taken from these rams for development of a database from which genetic variability is being assessed via a cooperative research project.
    With concerns about sheep health and population status statewide, ADF&G finds that the sealing program will provide useful biological information if conducted over the long term. Sealing is time consuming, and it is an expense to the Department. However, the benefits of consistent regulations, hunter contacts and hands-on data collection now outweigh our previous concerns. With a few more years of sheep sealing, the Department will be able to evaluate the efficacy of the data gathering program for wildlife management rather than law enforcement purposes.

  5. #5
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    Default minutes from homer AC meeting...

    we opposed 35 unanimously.


    Proposal 35 Action: Oppose 0-14
    Discussion: The department uses the information and talks to hunters coming in from the field. The national chapter of FNAWS supplies many of the states with the seals used for sealing. Universally agreed by FNAWS and the department that people take more time when hunting sheep to ensure they are full curl.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    I really don't mind getting my sheep sealed but I am not convinced it makes much difference as far as sheep management. I suppose if it makes some hunters think twice about pulling the trigger that's a good thing. But, what about the mentality of the moose hunter faced with the 50 inch decision? Shouldn't we apply the same logic to spike, fork, 50 as they do full curl sheep? If it would save one more sub legal moose from being shot wouldn't it be worth it? Think of the biological data they could collect.

    My question is: If it's so good for sheep why is it not good for moose?

    With regards to dna. I don't recall them ever taking any plug from my rams horns or the rams of my friends whom I saw plugged. They just drilled a hole in them and wrote down the same data that they would have gotten anyway on the harvest reports. How is this helping sheep?

    On the one hand I can see reasons for it but on the other hand if it's just to make sure guys are killing legal rams well, then F&G has some internal issues to deal with. Like consistency in determining what a full curl ram is. And having guys that know how to count rings. I watched two F&G guys disagree last year on the age of a ram! In this case it was okay because the younger age was still legal but what if it were the difference between legal or not and you end up getting busted because of a guy who doesn't know how to count rings! And then there is the whole stick thing, which is not even in the regs.

    I guess I lean more towards shutting down the sealing program and doing something better. I'd be willing to help pay for anything that would really make a difference. I'd pay $50.00 for a resident sheep tag if the money went towards sheep management.
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  7. #7
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    I really don't mind getting my sheep sealed but I am not convinced it makes much difference as far as sheep management.
    Snyd, Have you talked to a bio about this? I think if you asked Kelleyhouse or Hunter you'd get a different take. I mean, thats what these guys do.

    I suppose if it makes some hunters think twice about pulling the trigger that's a good thing.


    Snyd, I'd bet most hunters think twice now before pulling that trigger! Think about it, in the past there was NO system at all in place to oversee legality! That's incredible!

    But, what about the mentality of the moose hunter faced with the 50 inch decision? Shouldn't we apply the same logic to spike, fork, 50 as they do full curl sheep? If it would save one more sub legal moose from being shot wouldn't it be worth it? Think of the biological data they could collect.

    My question is: If it's so good for sheep why is it not good for moose?

    Snyd, I'd bet a bio would say it's just not worth the effort logistically. Think about how prolific moose are in comparison to sheep. 50" moose aren't everywhere, but they aren't white dots on green hills either.


    With regards to dna. I don't recall them ever taking any plug from my rams horns or the rams of my friends whom I saw plugged. They just drilled a hole in them and wrote down the same data that they would have gotten anyway on the harvest reports. How is this helping sheep?

    Ask a bio, but I'd bet that there's a better understanding of sheep numbers in certain areas than in the past.

    On the one hand I can see reasons for it but on the other hand if it's just to make sure guys are killing legal rams well, then F&G has some internal issues to deal with.

    Snyd, I always enjoy your take, but in this case I think your on the wrong side. I think any effort to watch over the herd and it's harvest is worth the time and effort. Like Brian said, these guys are at F+G doing their thing anyway.

  8. #8

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    No, when they can fix the current problems with the people that seal them then maybe but for now, no way.

  9. #9
    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default on the fence

    Thats where I am on this. IF and thats a mighty big IF the data being collected such as DNA is really going to be colloected and used for something OK, but thats not happening right now, intentions are good but they dont get the job done. The problems with sealing is when you first take your horns in to F&G, more times than not the person doing it does not know what they are doing. There are WAY too many differences between sealers, if it was possible I would love take one set of horns to 3 or 4 different places to have them sealed and see what each says. Unfortunately you cant do that with a plug in the back.

    Right now I dont see where it helps or hurts, Ill give it another year or two and see what becomes of it. If its just like it it now I say dump it

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    Thanks for the response Frank. I see your point about moose. I'm trying to learn more and be open minded about this whole deal. Maybe in regards to the issue of guys being more careful it just doesn't make sense to ME personally. I mean, I figure if the law says full curl that means full curl whether I have to get the ram sealed or not. The law is the law. So from that perspective it seems like sealing is a form of law enforcement rather than game management. I guess they must figure the hills are full of sheep hunters who will knowingly shoot a sub legal ram but the sealing program puts the "fear of God" in them. I for one am offended if that's how F&G views us. Clearly this law is aimed at honest hunters. Poachers and dishonest hunters will simply not take sub legal rams in to get sealed and it won't stop them from pulling the trigger. But, if it's keeping guys from pulling the trigger on sublegal rams then that's good. Problem is, how can they measure that? It's based on assumption. I have seen a couple guys here mention that they think it makes them more careful but on a statewide scale, how can F&G measure it?


    I suppose one of the reasons I am not convinced is that I have not heard directly or indirectly from any bios regarding this program and the data that they are getting. Maybe that's my fault. I have recently in life though made a choice to get more educated and become more involved in our game management. I think I was asleep for many years like most hunters are. Anyway, I am not totally against this program, I am just trying to learn more and am on the fence in some ways. In my limited experience I have only seen them age and seal 4 or 5 rams. I don't remember them taking any more data than what would show up on the harvest report anyway. Did I miss it or am I just forgetting? I can see the point that if F&G is collecting the data it will (or should) be more accurate and that clearly could be a positive. But how does one measure that? It's an assumption F&G has made. Again, they figure the hunters aren't capable of measuring some horns and filling out a form. I am sort of offended by that also. And, I don't think the f&g guys I've seen are much more capable than sheep hunters I know when it comes to aging rams. I've seen it. If F&G can get a handle on that it would be good.

    I don't mind taking my ram in and I kind of enjoy it. And I can get past my personal issues of being offended by the some of the motives behind this law. But, if I ever have two guys disagreeing on the whether or not my ram is legal, then, well, I will definitely have a problem.

    I will read more, continue to research and am more than willing to jump through hoops as a hunter if it will help the sheep population. I think all the recent discussions here regarding game management have been a good thing. It has caused many of us (at least me) to really take a look at some of these issues. I am trying to not just take a side based on my opinion or personal feelings. I will keep listening too others views and look at hard data.

    Maybe at this point I just don't have enough info. I'll have to see what the bios have to say like you mentioned. I would like to see some data. I have to tell you, I was at a moose management meeting a couple weeks ago, all day on a sunday and the F&G bios presented a tremendous amount of data regarding 20A and moose. I was very impressed and learned a ton.

    So, I marked undecided in the poll but am open to supporting this program if I can see some things. But I agree with akhunter02 and akhunter45 in that there are some problems with it as it currently stands. They need more consistency and if they want data then start collecting more than what goes on the harvest reports anyway. ln the meantime, I guess I need to do a little more looking

    Perry



    Quote Originally Posted by fullkurl View Post
    I really don't mind getting my sheep sealed but I am not convinced it makes much difference as far as sheep management.
    Snyd, Have you talked to a bio about this? I think if you asked Kelleyhouse or Hunter you'd get a different take. I mean, thats what these guys do.

    I suppose if it makes some hunters think twice about pulling the trigger that's a good thing.


    Snyd, I'd bet most hunters think twice now before pulling that trigger! Think about it, in the past there was NO system at all in place to oversee legality! That's incredible!

    But, what about the mentality of the moose hunter faced with the 50 inch decision? Shouldn't we apply the same logic to spike, fork, 50 as they do full curl sheep? If it would save one more sub legal moose from being shot wouldn't it be worth it? Think of the biological data they could collect.

    My question is: If it's so good for sheep why is it not good for moose?

    Snyd, I'd bet a bio would say it's just not worth the effort logistically. Think about how prolific moose are in comparison to sheep. 50" moose aren't everywhere, but they aren't white dots on green hills either.


    With regards to dna. I don't recall them ever taking any plug from my rams horns or the rams of my friends whom I saw plugged. They just drilled a hole in them and wrote down the same data that they would have gotten anyway on the harvest reports. How is this helping sheep?

    Ask a bio, but I'd bet that there's a better understanding of sheep numbers in certain areas than in the past.

    On the one hand I can see reasons for it but on the other hand if it's just to make sure guys are killing legal rams well, then F&G has some internal issues to deal with.

    Snyd, I always enjoy your take, but in this case I think your on the wrong side. I think any effort to watch over the herd and it's harvest is worth the time and effort. Like Brian said, these guys are at F+G doing their thing anyway.
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  11. #11
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    I have a few questions and comments.


    Sealing of sheep horns got off to a somewhat rocky start, but there are now ADFG staff (technicians and biologists) who are adequately trained and able to accurately age, measure, and seal Dall sheep horns in a consistent manner.

    Well, last year I saw one "technician" educating another one while aging a ram. Hopefully they will be better this year.

    The real biological data now being gathered by ADFG from sheep horn sealing is much better than it was prior to sheep horn sealing, when hunters and guides (often incorrectly) “scored” their own sheep and sent in a harvest report.

    How do they know this? This statement is based on assumption, not scientific data. And, the guy who I saw measure a ram last year at F&G was using a half inch wide plastic tape. NOT a 1/4 inch wide metal tape which is required to accurately score a ram.


    Biologists are also getting information from the sheep horn sealing program that they would have never gotten otherwise that can help them better manage our sheep populations.

    What data?

    There is also little doubt that the sheep horn sealing program has cut down on harvest of sub-legal rams. Many hunters have reported passing up on a ram they felt they were just not sure met the age/curl requirement mandated by the sheep-sealing program.

    Little doubt? How does F&G know these guys were correct? How many is many? They may have passed up legal rams. Again, this statement is based on assumption, not scientific data. Did these guys make thier decision NOT to shoot a ram based on the sealing program or the Hunting Regulations??


    While it is a “hassle” for sheep hunters to have to accurately judge sheep in the field, and to seal their Dall sheep horns, this is not at all a valid reason to cease the sealing program.

    Not a hassle to determine the legality of a sheep. It's the law. Not a reason to cease the program either.

    AK BHA can find no real justification whatsoever for ceasing the Dall sheep
    horn sealing/plugging program. The sealing program will benefit sheep
    hunters and sheep management long term in areas where it is mandated.


    How?

    It has already cut down on sub-legal harvests and will continue to do so,

    Again, how is this know "for sure"? How many guys killed rams and did not turn them in? How many guys passed up legal rams thinking they were sublegal?

    and has made for a much more educated sheep hunter on the mountain when it comes to judging/aging Dall rams.

    I'm not so sure about this. The regs are the authority on judging/aging sheep. Having to get a sheep sealed has had NO influence on me as a hunter judging or aging a ram. I just read the regulations. No different than spike/fork/50. It's the law.

    Is there any solid scientific data published yet? Or is it all speculation and statements of justification based on assumption?
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  12. #12
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    I agree with the sealing of sheep horns. Any info the ADFG can get from this is good in my book. I found a set last spring and took them in. I mostly wanted a hands on learning experience on how to age and how to judge full curl. She was great! Did all the measurements and was even able to take a hair sample to send to the lab. It still had a bit of hair on the skull between the horns that the wolves didn't get

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    Sounds like she did more than what I've seen them do here. That's great. I would still like to know what "other info" they get. I would love to find some horns. What method did she show you to judge full curl?
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    The horns were aged, distance between the age rings, circumference of each age ring, circumference of bases, horn length, and took a skin/hair sample for DNA. I think that was everything. We went over the posters they have hanging in the office for starters then she showed me how to judge full curl from the side using the naked eye and then we played around with the pipe method. If I remember correctly I asked about a method I had heard of using a straight edge laid across the base of the horns pointing out across the tips and was told no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    The horns were aged, distance between the age rings, circumference of each age ring, circumference of bases, horn length, and took a skin/hair sample for DNA. I think that was everything. We went over the posters they have hanging in the office for starters then she showed me how to judge full curl from the side using the naked eye and then we played around with the pipe method. If I remember correctly I asked about a method I had heard of using a straight edge laid across the base of the horns pointing out across the tips and was told no.

    Sounds to me like she was MUCH more thorough than they are here, or at least what I have seen in the past. I have seen bios and techs here use the "stick" method, which is not a viable method and is not even mentioned in the hunting regulations. If they all did what she did all the time and collected all that data and compiled it then that gets me a little more excited about the sealing program. Sounds like she was on it. I see you are in Glennallen. Is that where to took the horns?

    Anyone else ever have a bio or tech collect all the data this bio did?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    The horns were aged, distance between the age rings, circumference of each age ring, circumference of bases, horn length, and took a skin/hair sample for DNA. I think that was everything. We went over the posters they have hanging in the office for starters then she showed me how to judge full curl from the side using the naked eye and then we played around with the pipe method. If I remember correctly I asked about a method I had heard of using a straight edge laid across the base of the horns pointing out across the tips and was told no.

    Sounds to me like she was MUCH more thorough than they are here, or at least what I have seen in the past. I have seen bios and techs here use the "stick" method, which is not a viable method and is not even mentioned in the hunting regulations. If they all did what she did all the time and collected all that data and compiled it then that gets me a little more excited about the sealing program. Sounds like she was on it. This to me is good news. I see you are in Glennallen. Is that where to took the horns?

    Anyone else ever have a bio or tech collect all the data this bio did?
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  17. #17
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    Default Perry...

    Perry,

    I think the comments I posted from our org, along with the Dept. position I posted, pretty much answer all your questions. You seem to be arguing points now based more on personal "feelings" than anything else, and are discounting what is to me just plain common sense.

    I will tell you that some of the "anecdotal" information ADFG is getting from the sealing program is very valuable from a mgmt standpoint. I have already mentioned this in previous posts...such as one hunter describing a "sick" ewe he saw when sealing his horns. Bios were able to find this ewe and then get the carcass to the lab to be necropsied. Other anecdotal info like # and gender of sheep seen, hunter #s etc. is also beneficial to bios.

    As to proof that the sealing program has cut down on sub-legal harvests among "honest" hunters...sigh, we've been through this all before. It doesn't seem to matter whether hunters post here that they passed on rams they weren't 100% sure of due to the sealing requirement, or if I tell you I've heard the same thing from half a dozen sheep hunters I know...that is still not enough "proof" for you. You are mired down I think in your own personal feelings on this inre being "offended" at the sealing requirement being "aimed at honest hunters." Step outside yourself for a moment Perry and recognize that not every sheep hunter is Perry, and that most sheep hunters have indeed been influenced by the sealing program. Never before have I seen such discussion, data, pictures and such on how to properly judge and age a ram than after the sealing reg went in. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the sealing reg influenced a whole lot of sheep hunters. If it didn't influence you in any way as to aging and judging a ram, that is really a moot point I think.

    My take all along on this has been that if the sealing program benefits sheep populations then I am for it. Some say it doesn't. Everyone has an opinion on it, but often that opinion is grounded in "emotion" or some other agenda grounded in animosity toward ADFG in general. Some had bad experiences with the sealing process and the initial inconsistency involved...and based on that want to toss the whole program. And all too often, opinions on the sealing program stem from lack of real knowledge among hunters who never talk with area biologists, managers, troopers, and only get their information from internet hunting forums <grin>.

    Our org's opinion on the sheep sealing program was formed from talking with area biologists, asking Wildlife Troopers for their position, and talking with other hunters. By doing that we came to the conclusion that sheep sealing will benefit sheep populations long term by providing better real harvest data and anecdotal information for biologists and managers, by putting a more educated and informed sheep hunter on the mtn, and by curbing sub-legal harvests.

    Hope that answers most of your questions. -45 here and I am glad I am home today.
    Best,


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    Thanks for your response Mark. My intention is not to come across as "arguing" against the program based on personal feelings. But, maybe in my writing style I have come across that way and apparently some things have gotten lost as well. In these discussions I do inject my personal opinion based on my experiences. But, I also am very open to seeing hard data and facts as I've stated before, and, I also said that I can deal with, and get past my being "offended". My personal feelings, as well as yours, really have nothing to do with sealing program being viable. Up to this point all I have heard has been speculation and assumption as far as it's effect. Like I said earlier, maybe I need to look further, I'm sure I don't have all the info. That's why I pose the questions I do. I still have not seen nor heard of any biological data that can be applied to sheep management that came from this program. I hear statements that it is helping but see no data.

    In my personal experiences with F&G here in Fairbanks and in talking with other sheep hunters I know regarding their experiences getting their rams sealed F&G just does not gather any more data than what they have received in the past. All they do is write down the gmu, the date of kill, the age and the horn length and bases. Same data that goes on the harvest report. I don not recall any tissue samples, there is no paperwork or formal interview for other info. I have personally been there to see 5 rams sealed and have talked to a few others as well. Have you ever been to F&G here in Fairbanks and been through the sealing process? Common sense may tell you that the program works BUT, if the program is not being implemented soundly it makes no difference. I just have not seen the kind of attention paid to sealing of rams here that mod elan said he experienced when he took his horns in. I am encouraged to read mod elans experience and also the anecdotal data you refer too. If F&G can actually gather and compile that kind of data through this program consistently statewide then great! I'm all for it. But if they can't then we SHOULD question its viability as the program now stands. Personal feelings and "common sense" opinions aside. Either fix it and make it work or scrap it and do something better. I would be more in favor of fixing the current program than scrapping it. Maybe all this recent attention will cause them to get it together.

    Stay warm. It's only 30 below here in Fairbanks. Still too cold to go skiing though!

    Perry

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Perry,

    I think the comments I posted from our org, along with the Dept. position I posted, pretty much answer all your questions. You seem to be arguing points now based more on personal "feelings" than anything else, and are discounting what is to me just plain common sense.

    I will tell you that some of the "anecdotal" information ADFG is getting from the sealing program is very valuable from a mgmt standpoint. I have already mentioned this in previous posts...such as one hunter describing a "sick" ewe he saw when sealing his horns. Bios were able to find this ewe and then get the carcass to the lab to be necropsied. Other anecdotal info like # and gender of sheep seen, hunter #s etc. is also beneficial to bios.

    As to proof that the sealing program has cut down on sub-legal harvests among "honest" hunters...sigh, we've been through this all before. It doesn't seem to matter whether hunters post here that they passed on rams they weren't 100&#37; sure of due to the sealing requirement, or if I tell you I've heard the same thing from half a dozen sheep hunters I know...that is still not enough "proof" for you. You are mired down I think in your own personal feelings on this inre being "offended" at the sealing requirement being "aimed at honest hunters." Step outside yourself for a moment Perry and recognize that not every sheep hunter is Perry, and that most sheep hunters have indeed been influenced by the sealing program. Never before have I seen such discussion, data, pictures and such on how to properly judge and age a ram than after the sealing reg went in. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the sealing reg influenced a whole lot of sheep hunters. If it didn't influence you in any way as to aging and judging a ram, that is really a moot point I think.

    My take all along on this has been that if the sealing program benefits sheep populations then I am for it. Some say it doesn't. Everyone has an opinion on it, but often that opinion is grounded in "emotion" or some other agenda grounded in animosity toward ADFG in general. Some had bad experiences with the sealing process and the initial inconsistency involved...and based on that want to toss the whole program. And all too often, opinions on the sealing program stem from lack of real knowledge among hunters who never talk with area biologists, managers, troopers, and only get their information from internet hunting forums <grin>.

    Our org's opinion on the sheep sealing program was formed from talking with area biologists, asking Wildlife Troopers for their position, and talking with other hunters. By doing that we came to the conclusion that sheep sealing will benefit sheep populations long term by providing better real harvest data and anecdotal information for biologists and managers, by putting a more educated and informed sheep hunter on the mtn, and by curbing sub-legal harvests.

    Hope that answers most of your questions. -45 here and I am glad I am home today.
    Best,

    Last edited by Snyd; 01-26-2008 at 12:45. Reason: spelling
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again

  19. #19

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    I am for sealing, for no reason other than taht it DOES make a lot of guys think twice before shooting a sublegal ram. I cant count how many rams over the years I have seen on walls in homes and businesses in Alaska that werent full curl or 8 years old. Truly nobody really cared that much back then and enforcement was so iffy.

    As to data being obtained from a biological perspective, well to that I say BS. I have sealed 2 rams since 2004, and neither of my sealers has even asked me a question or two about the sheep. Things like how many sheep I saw, how many sub legal rams I saw, bears , wolves, nadda! So if the sealin requirement is strictly for enforcement I am okay with it but to call it anything else is hogwash.

  20. #20
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Perry, I have not been present when any sheep horns were sealed, have not hunted sheep myself since the sealing program began. Maybe next August though if it comes together for a hunt. Certainly heard of "problems" encountered by sheep hunters with the sealing process early on, some inconsistency etc. Didn't think that was unusual really, but that it needed to get fixed, and from what I hear it has greatly improved statewide among all thirty people now trained to seal sheep horns.

    Roland and Perry, re-read the ADFG rationale in their comments I posted, and about biological data now being obtained from the sealing process. I'd say to Roland also that perhaps the next time you seal a sheep you ask to talk with the area biologist or offer to provide more information about what you saw out there in the field in order to better help bios understand and manage the population. The bios aren't always available, but I know for sure they'd like to get whatever info you want to pass on about your sheep hunt. Perry, I don't think we should need proof now that the biological data being collected can be applied presently toward management decisions. The data is valuable certainly...we'll see how the research on genetic variability pans out down the line. This stuff takes time, program hasn't been going on that long and the dna sampling just began.

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