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Thread: close Unit 14 for sheep hunting

  1. #1
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    Default close Unit 14 for sheep hunting

    Close Unit 14

    2. What is the problem you would like the Board to address?


    Low sheep population = poor sheep hunting. I believe it is time to take some drastic measures in the way the state of Alaska manages sheep.

    What is causing our sheep population problems? Nobody knows! It could be weather, predators, it could be us! Not sure we can blame one group but something must be done to preserve Alaskans precious recourses. ADF&G did hire a sheep biologist for Region II and this is a great start, but if we are required to wait for ADF&G to do “studies” we will end up with the state going to a draw on all sheep hunting.

    I would rather be proactive than reactive when it comes to the management of Alaskan sheep. Here is a study that would provide ADF&G data on how much a factor we (hunters) have on the sheep population.

    I am requesting that we Close sheep hunting in Unit 14 for the next 5 years.

    3. What will happen if this problem is not solved?

    Sheep hunting opportunities for all users will continue decrease. The available tags numbers will continue to drop and the quality of the hunt will continue to suffer.

    4. What solution do you prefer?

    Close sheep hunting in Unit 14 for the next 5 years.

    5. Does your proposal address improving the quality of the resource harvested or products produced? If so, how?

    No, no resource would be harvested if my proposal is implemented.

    6. Solutions to difficult problems benefit some people and hurt others:

    A. Who is likely to benefit if your solution is adopted?

    Everyone that has an interest in sheep hunting would find that after five years, this would simply be the best Dall sheep hunting Unit in the world.

    B. Who is likely to suffer if your solution is adopted?

    For 5years all sheep hunters would have to apply for other sheep hunting Units. ADF&G may lose some money, but I believe this would be minimal (if at all) since those hunters that applied for Unit 14, would put in for other Units. Guides.

    7. List any other solutions you considered and why you rejected them.

    • Make it an archery only area for the next five years. See my other proposal.
    • Ignore our sheep problem and wait for sheep to go to a statewide draw. I believe we should do whatever we can before we allow this to happen.

  2. #2
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    I am requesting that we Close sheep hunting in Unit 14 for the next 5 years.

    4. What solution do you prefer?

    Close sheep hunting in Unit 14 for the next 5 years.

    Make it an archery only area for the next five years. See my other proposal.
    Do you bow hunt, by any chance?

    This will fail and I'm glad it will.....

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default ?????

    Troy, do you talk with the area biologists about any of these proposal ideas and get their opinion and input?

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    I don't see this flying at all. hunters would rather the chance at ONE tag for $1000.00 then to be told no. Troy i mentioned earlier you need to back up your request with legitimate data as much as possible for a serious consideration. As mark has pointed out on several occasions.. we do not need MORE props. we need better ones. i have the benefit of not being part of the system down there and it has been 17 years at least, since i hunted down south. so i do not have the emotional attachment to your units, and resources. props such as these will rail more against your work then with it....

    .02cents

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    Last time I hunted with bow was in 2000. I haven't shot my bow in over 4 years, So yes I have hunted with bow (I have never made a kill with one), so I am not a big time bow hunter.

    My goal is to reduce the harvest. I have three proposals in my opinion would increase the sheep #'s in Unit 14.

    1. Close the season. This would solve the issue. We would have 237 less hunters and thus would increase the sheep numbers. After 5 years this would truly be a great place to draw a tag. I am willing to give up my right, but I doubt ADF&G will.

    2. Make it archery only. This would still allow 100 hunters or more hunters a chance to harvest a Dall sheep. Success rate would be low (less than 10%) and this low success rate would still allow many sheep to live and make more babies, thus more sheep. This one is a win/win for both the users and ADF&G

    3. Limited aircraft usage. This is one reason, again that I believe, that the non-resident sheep hunters are so successful. They have someone fly the hell out of an area to spot sheep. Once they find an area where all the sheep are they flock to it. If we banned all or limited airplane activity during hunting season we would have more sheep.

    Again my only goal is to have more sheep. If any of you have better ideas then post them!



    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Do you bow hunt, by any chance?

    This will fail and I'm glad it will.....

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    Troy, Given the studies that I have read on thin horned sheep management along with correspondence with Wayne Heimer I haven't found any evidence that the full curl harvest is a contributing factor in the sheep decline. Everything I have read indicates that lamb recruitment is comparable between herd comprised of full curl vs 7/8ths rams. That was the reasoning behind implementing the full curl regulation. The old 3/4 curl regs caused a marked reduction in lamb recruitment.

    I think the department needs to take some steps to further isolate sheep population from domesticated farm animals, case in point is the hunter creek cattle ranch on Knik River Road! Studies have shown that Dall Sheep are EXTREMELY susceptible to common domestic disease why risk it?
    The next thing would be to reduce lamb mortality through a focused predator control plan. From what I have read Golden eagles tend to hunt fairly close to their nest since they bring up to 4lbs of raw meat back to the nest to feed eaglets. Given that information it may be possible to remove nests in prime lambing grounds and try to give the sheep a bit more of a buffer distance between lambing and nesting locations.
    The second step to improve lamb mortality I would do is open up more black bear opportunity in the 14 A/C and eliminate the restrictions on Coyote hunting (no closed season - no bag limit). Then let the sheep bio identify prime lambing habitat and give him the ability to sign Chugach park landing permits for hunters that are willing to go in and predator hunt those areas in the spring.
    I guess all that leaves is hoping for good weather and low winter kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Troy, do you talk with the area biologists about any of these proposal ideas and get their opinion and input?
    No I don't ask permission or get the blessing from ADF&G. I know this is a smart ass answer, but you always reply “did you talk with the bios”. Do you always agree with the Bio’s Mark? I don’t think so! You put a lot of effort into stopping SFW with their efforts in wanting to take bears in the predator control area Unit 16. You continued this effort, even after ADF&G bio’s where backing this plan.

    I know a few of my plans might not even make it into the book, but I am tried of “studies” and I am tired of seeing our hunting opportunities go away because of poor management!

    If ADF&G don't like my proposals, then they have every right (just like we do) to go to the BOG meeting a make public comments as to why they like or dislike a proposal.

    Don’t forget the biologists are people just like us. They enjoy hunting and are tired of the BS even more then we are. Even if the biologists like your ideas it doesn’t mean ADF&G will back your proposal. Sorry to say, It is all about the $$$.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Do you bow hunt, by any chance?

    This will fail and I'm glad it will.....
    Matt I don't doubt Troys intention with the bow hunting prop. The simple fact is that archery sheep hunting is akin to running on a stair stepper at the gym. You get exhausted but when you get off you are still in the same place you started. Another words the odds of success are extremely low with archery, to the point that the harvest would be insignificant. People still get to "hunt" but the harvest is drastically reduced.
    That said I don't agree with Troys prop but I feel his motives are sincere!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Troy, Given the studies that I have read on thin horned sheep management along with correspondence with Wayne Heimer I haven't found any evidence that the full curl harvest is a contributing factor in the sheep decline. Everything I have read indicates that lamb recruitment is comparable between herd comprised of full curl vs 7/8ths rams. That was the reasoning behind implementing the full curl regulation. The old 3/4 curl regs caused a marked reduction in lamb recruitment.

    I think the department needs to take some steps to further isolate sheep population from domesticated farm animals, case in point is the hunter creek cattle ranch on Knik River Road! Studies have shown that Dall Sheep are EXTREMELY susceptible to common domestic disease why risk it?
    The next thing would be to reduce lamb mortality through a focused predator control plan. From what I have read Golden eagles tend to hunt fairly close to their nest since they bring up to 4lbs of raw meat back to the nest to feed eaglets. Given that information it may be possible to remove nests in prime lambing grounds and try to give the sheep a bit more of a buffer distance between lambing and nesting locations.
    The second step to improve lamb mortality I would do is open up more black bear opportunity in the 14 A/C and eliminate the restrictions on Coyote hunting (no closed season - no bag limit). Then let the sheep bio identify prime lambing habitat and give him the ability to sign Chugach park landing permits for hunters that are willing to go in and predator hunt those areas in the spring.
    I guess all that leaves is hoping for good weather and low winter kill.
    LuJon,

    I agree with all of your positions, but they have been mentioned for many years and still nothing is being done! We have been talking about wolf and bear predator control forever and we stood by and watch our moose population go from over 500,000 to 100,000 in less than 20 years. Instead of any bull moose we have spike/fork or 50. Many units are going to draw for moose and many more will soon be.

    I am the last person that wants our hunting opportunities taken away. I understand studies and there purposes, but I am tired of ADF&G wasting our time. When is this “lets do more studies” crap going to end?

    This should sum it up. A guide at the sheep meeting mentioned he turned back a client because he flew an area 12+ times and was unable to find a legal sheep. If a guide, with an airplane can’t find a sheep and passes on $10,000+ we are in a world of hurt. There is your study ADF&G!!!!!!!!

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    Default Strange answer Troy, considering the question

    Troy, I don't really understand your response to my continued advice to talk with area biologists about your concerns, and to get their input. I am not saying for you to ask for permission or to get their blessing on a proposal; I am advising you to talk with them because in my experience they are a wealth of information about what is going on in their units, and their opinion carries a lot of weight with the Board of Game.

    It was just a simple question: Are you talking with the area biologists about your concerns? The answer appears to be "no." So be it.

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    Troy, go back and read the proposals that have been adopted in the past. You'll find that the ones that pass generally are worded much more formally and succinctly than yours. I do not mean to insult you, but you're taking far too conversational of a tone in your proposals and that makes them seem less valid. In another proposal you equated the success rate for archery moose to "hunters throwing rocks", and in many of them you ask rhetorical questions and present hypothetical worst case scenarios.

    Whether you like studies and statistics or not, they are (and should be) the basis of our management system. Write proposals that are based in documented fact (try the harvest statistics for starters) and that are written clearly without words that convey bias. Furthermore, if you actually want something to pass and not just spin your wheels, get the feedback of the area bios. You may not like bushrat's suggestion, but again, if you look back at those that pass they are almost all supported by the department.

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    I agree that the final copies will need to be dressed up and I will make sure they are. I don't expect everyone to argee with my proposals, in fact most will not, but this will not stop me from at least trying to do something. If they make it to the BOG, that would be the time ADF&G can speak out about how much damage having an extra 100 rams in Unit 14 will cause.

    I also agree that it helps to have ADF&G to back them up as it does an AC, but not always. Last year we broke up TOK into two different draws and the Bio's I talked with were against it.

    The proposals are mine! I am not speaking on behalf of an AC, SFW, FNAWS, NRA, Alaska Moose Federation, Ruffled Grouse, or any of the other group. It is just me Troy sixpack!


    I asked Tom ( new sheep Bio for Region II) for some sheep data. Here it is:


    Here is the harvest data you requested. We don’t have the 2008 data summarized yet.

    I had to go to another source for the governor’s tag information, should have that for you shortly.

    All numbers are totals from 1997-2007 inclusive. Hunter numbers include only those hunters that reported hunting. The numbers do not include the total number of tag winners or people who obtained a tag/harvest card, just those that reported actually going into the field.

    GMU 13 all subunits

    6641 total hunters, 5534 resident (83%), 1107 nonresident (17%).

    1305 total rams harvested, overall 19% success rate.

    687 rams harvested by residents (12% successful), 618 by nonresidents (56% successful)

    GMU 14 subunits A and B combined

    2285 total hunters, 1901 resident (83%), 384 nonresident (17%)

    479 total rams harvested, overall 21% success rate

    248 harvested by residents (13% successful); 231 by nonresidents (60% successful)


    GMU 14C rifle hunts

    2991 total hunters, 2783 resident (93%), 208 nonresident (7%)

    740 total rams harvested, overall 25% success rate

    609 rams harvested by residents (22% successful); 131 harvested by nonresidents (62% successful)



    GMU 14C archery only hunts

    882 total hunters, 850 resident (96%), 32 nonresident (4%)

    81 total rams harvested, overall 9% success rate

    70 rams harvested by residents (8% successful) 11 harvested by nonresidents (34% successful)


    Troy

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    Red face sheep proprosals

    Troy:
    Good thinking on the sheep proposals, however some things to consider: One is that make sure whatever stats you look at you divide by the number of hunters. The number of sheep hunters has been declining statewide and any reduction in harvest is usually explained by this. Secondly, harvesting full curl rams only apparently has no effect on sheep numbers and any fluctations in populations is likely weather and predator related so eliminating hunting wont help. Thirdly, a bow season for sheep? Awesome. I might try it. I would never get one but at least I could get into the mountains. Fourthly, limit plane spotting? Amen. Even the most supposedly "fair chase" guides plane spot sheep and kill them the next morning. Not sporting and not fair chase and accounts for a lot of the guided hunters success. As does their use of machines and horses and boats to get the rich fat cat clients into the hills.

    Good luck

    Pete
    “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

  14. #14

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    That is some very useful data right there.


    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    I agree that the final copies will need to be dressed up and I will make sure they are. I don't expect everyone to argee with my proposals, in fact most will not, but this will not stop me from at least trying to do something. If they make it to the BOG, that would be the time ADF&G can speak out about how much damage having an extra 100 rams in Unit 14 will cause.

    I also agree that it helps to have ADF&G to back them up as it does an AC, but not always. Last year we broke up TOK into two different draws and the Bio's I talked with were against it.

    The proposals are mine! I am not speaking on behalf of an AC, SFW, FNAWS, NRA, Alaska Moose Federation, Ruffled Grouse, or any of the other group. It is just me Troy sixpack!


    I asked Tom ( new sheep Bio for Region II) for some sheep data. Here it is:


    Here is the harvest data you requested. We don’t have the 2008 data summarized yet.

    I had to go to another source for the governor’s tag information, should have that for you shortly.

    All numbers are totals from 1997-2007 inclusive. Hunter numbers include only those hunters that reported hunting. The numbers do not include the total number of tag winners or people who obtained a tag/harvest card, just those that reported actually going into the field.

    GMU 13 all subunits

    6641 total hunters, 5534 resident (83%), 1107 nonresident (17%).

    1305 total rams harvested, overall 19% success rate.

    687 rams harvested by residents (12% successful), 618 by nonresidents (56% successful)

    GMU 14 subunits A and B combined

    2285 total hunters, 1901 resident (83%), 384 nonresident (17%)

    479 total rams harvested, overall 21% success rate

    248 harvested by residents (13% successful); 231 by nonresidents (60% successful)


    GMU 14C rifle hunts

    2991 total hunters, 2783 resident (93%), 208 nonresident (7%)

    740 total rams harvested, overall 25% success rate

    609 rams harvested by residents (22% successful); 131 harvested by nonresidents (62% successful)



    GMU 14C archery only hunts

    882 total hunters, 850 resident (96%), 32 nonresident (4%)

    81 total rams harvested, overall 9% success rate

    70 rams harvested by residents (8% successful) 11 harvested by nonresidents (34% successful)


    Troy


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    Default Day in field

    First, anyone can slant the numbers, day in field of nonguided are double what a resident are. I am normally, if not almost always, not on the side of nonresident hunters, but I think you need to take time in field into consideration. As Tony Russ say in his book, 10% of the hunters take 90% of the game. Why, the more you do it the better you get, if you learn from you mistakes. There are several members on this forum not only got their sheep this year, but took friends and family to harvest sheep and without airplanes. The problem with hunting in area 14 is the area for years in has been hunted hard by the largest population in Alaska, because it is in Anchorages back yard.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i agree some of the "fair chase" guides are spotting daily for rams, but as i look over the unit 14 harvest numbers the resident harvest wayyy out numbers the non res harvest by around 60% or more. The way you guys talk about non resident sheep hunters you'd think they were the majority of the hunters taking the sheep....what with all the rich fat cat clients, machines, horses and airplanes.
    I get a ride in and a ride out and the rest is on my feet with the clients, my success rate is right there with the rest of them and i know there are other guides doing it the same way i am.
    I'm gonna back up LuJon on whats really causing lower sheep numbers and i really don't see full curl ram harvest as being the issue. Where i am, it seems that snow and hard winter seems to be the overwhelming factor in the sheep decline. Lack of full curl rams will coincicde with that, they are the in the worst physical condition come late november and will be some of the first to be effected by hard winters. Now i know you can't write a proposal for that but i'd maybe start with righting one to soften the predator hunting regulations in sheep areas that are seeing the largest declines. Gotta save the ewe who has the lamb and the lamb as well, if you want sheep numbers to come back. saving 8 year old sheep isn't gonna balloon the population anytime soon.
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    This should sum it up. A guide at the sheep meeting mentioned he turned back a client because he flew an area 12+ times and was unable to find a legal sheep. If a guide, with an airplane can’t find a sheep and passes on $10,000+ we are in a world of hurt. There is your study ADF&G!!!!!!!!
    Well, also the guide flying the area so much to target his sheep over the years is probably what drove the sheep out of the area in the first place. There was a study in the Western Wrangells where for years ADFG said the numbers were down and predators were killing all the sheep. A more recent study found that the sheep were there but had moved into different habitats. Often sheep will move into new areas if the pressure is too great and they are all getting killed which is the problem with plane spotting.

    I think that the idea behind this proposal is better than the permit option because at least there will be pressure to open the area as soon as possible while the permit system is a cancer that will never go away......
    “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

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    Thumbs down Close It?

    To those of you suggesting unit 14 be closed to all sheep hunting......How old are you? And for how many years in the future do you intend to hunt sheep?

    Because if you close unit 14, or any other sheep hunting area, you may not see it opened up again within your lifetime.

    Dennis

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    dennis i'm pretty sure they just want the guides out....if i was standing on a river and a guide was catching "all" the fish, i don't think i'd want him gone, i'd just want to know what he was using....
    its easier to eliminate than learn i guess....
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    since this area is literally my back yard heres my .02 ,closing the area would only serve to keep it off limits probably for my grandchildrens lifetime. Limiting the flying is a good start,making it a walk in area would also help, enforcing the full curl reg to the letter is needed.The black bear numbers have gone up and as I watch them hunt sheep I know they don't do things like that if they don't make a kill now & then,three bears a year will keep the #down.Coyotes are everywhere & a lot of them, don't know the answer to that one, they are tough to kill in any numbers.Maybe no closed season on them to. Maybe controled burns in select areas ,the alders have crept up to the cliffs in many sheep wintering areas making it easier for wolves & coyote to get close, might even help in the nutrition area. Alex

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