Dall sheep question
If I want to go sheep hunting - do I need to have an outfitter first? I am a nonresident and I am not talking about the permit areas where I need an outfitter agreement. Since there are so few permits given in some areas I don't think the sheep outfitters would be overbooked. I am sure I am missing something here. I was just thinking if I wanted to apply for example in DS384 and DS204 I could, but they are different GMUs and would have different outfitters servicing those areas. Or would my best bet be to find an outfitter in one area and concentrate in getting a permit there? Never been sheep hunting so I may be out in left field. Any advise?
U Need A Guide
If you check on page 11 of the 2009-2010 of the Alaska game Regs. you will find that all nonresidents hunting Dall sheep are required to have on the hunt a registered guide or a relative within second-degree of kindred who is 19 years or older and an Alaska resident.
Them White Rams...
I can certainly understand why you have decided that you want to hunt Dall Sheep. Twenty-something years ago I coordinated my move to Anchorage, Alaska primarily so I could hunt dall rams for a few years. After a few years and a few rams I decided I could not get enough of it and I stayed. With a 40 days long season and over-the-counter tags sheep hunting is a rather wonderful deal for resident hunters. But, as a nonresident, as poster Joe L said, you will need to contract with a guide to hunt sheep (unless you have that close relitive who is a AK res).
As you indicated in your post, some sheep areas are "permit areas", where you must obtain a permit by applying in a ramdom drawing. And for some of those permit areas you need to contact a guide-outfitter prior to the permit application process and arrange a guide-client agreement/contract. If a guide-client agreement/contract is not required for a permit area, then you can simply participate in the permit drawing.
In your post, you mentioned two different permit hunts. Both hunts you mentioned, permit hunt DS 384 and DS 204, are examples of permit hunts where you can simply apply for the drawing without a prior guide-client contract.
I do not know anything about the hunt area concerning DS 384, so I can't comment.
But DS 204 is a hunt within the Delta Controlled Use Area where/when motorized vehicles can be used. It is a great hunt and that area, currently, is serviced by several good guide-outfitters. If you apply and draw it just PM me and I'll point you towards 3 or 5 outfits that you could consider contracting with.
If you are a an absolute-monster-hiker and can seriously do a 24 mile hike/approach, then I would suggest permit hunt DS203. This hunt takes place in the same area as DS 204, but motorized vehicles and even pack animals are prohibited. The DS203 hunt is a "foot powered hunt".
In recent years, most permit hunts for sheep now require a guide-client agreement/contract for nonresident hunters. It requires some pre-approach info prior to applying. For these hunts you would need some idea of areas where you might want to hunt, and then you need to contract guide-outfitters who work within those areas. If you then draw the tag, you already have your guide selected.
I'm not certain that I answered your exact question, but I hope I provided some info that might be useful for you prior to completing your nonresident application for sheep hunts in Alaska. Online applications must be completed prior to 12-31-09.
Yes you have answered some of my questions. I have contacted a couple outfitters and they have answered some more questions. I haven't decided to apply for a permit yet but was wondering if the permit areas are better? Are they permit areas because of reduced sheep populations? Or are they pemit areas to make them higher quality? There probably isn't an easy answer for those and in the long run probably doesn't matter. Thanks for the replies, Mark
All of the above. There are a variety of reasons that areas go to drawings and you need to evaluate each area on its own merit. Don't assume that an area is good (or bad) just because its a drawing permit.
Originally Posted by markopolo50
The DS204 hunt you originally asked about is within the Delta Controlled Use Area (DCUA). Established in 1971, it was specifically created to provide a quality, uncrowded sheep hunt for rams with beautiful, Argali-type horn configurations. This area could and would be otherwise overhunted due to the areas proximity to our limited highway system. Because of that, in 1978 it became a drawing-permit area. The adjacent Tok Mangaement Area (TMA) (established in 1974) was also established with the goal of providing hunters the opportunity to pursue trophy rams in an uncrowded setting. When created, both areas were reported to have a "moderate" population of sheep. While much or most of the state has recently experienced a drop in sheep populations, these areas have been largly (but not entirely) unaffected.
There really is easy answeres to your questions. Both of these areas were created to promote quality hunting for trophy rams. Although, I am not aware of the reasoning that initiated the DS384 hunt. Other permit areas, such as the hunts within Chugach State Park, and the permit areas between Palmer and Glennallen were all created for different reasons. (But you have not asked about those areas so I will spare you the details.)
However, any outfitter working the DS203/204 should know why the areas were established. (That is a simple test question.)
And YES, the permit areas are GENERALLY BETTER (define better?) than over-the-counter-tag areas. Because of that the permits are very difficult to obtain. Some hunts have drawing odds lower than 1%. Some have drawing odds of 5% or 8%. Most of the drawing hunts that I prefer have drawing odds between 1% and 5%. If you do not apply, you will not draw. Somebody has to win those permits. Why not you?
Hope I helped a tiny bit more...