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Thread: Sheep proposals

  1. #1
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    Angry Sheep proposals

    Sorry I just had to vent: I thought the proposals to eliminate general season hunts in the Talkeetna and Chugach mountains were rumors. Seeing them in writing proposed by ADFG is alarming. These draconian proposals eliminate vast areas of sheep country and greatly reduce the opportunity for Alaskans to participate in sheep hunting. Because they will shift hunting pressure to other areas they may create more problems than they solve leading to further or total restrictions on sheep hunting. Sheep hunting will go the way of goat hunting on the Kenai, reduced to a rare to nonexistent opportunity equally available to someone in Alaska or Florida. Because drawing odds are so prohibitive, hunters who do draw are rarely successful as they are not familiar with the area. The Kenai sheep and goat areas have extremely low harvest rates. There are more creative and realistic proposals for reducing the harvest proposed by others which would preserve the opportunity to hunt, but probably wont be given as much weight as they are not proposed by ADFG. Harvesting a ram every few years is one. The proposals ignore the real problem: Guides familiar with the areas spotting game from planes and machines and overharvesting areas for their out of state clients. Resident hunters have much lower success rates and could be managed easily by restricting access or reducing bag limit. Many areas of Alaska have different regulations for residents vs nonresidents so I donít think that is the problem ADFG say it is. And every sheep survey I have every seen over the years has shown stable sheep populations statewide so this entire debate may address an issue that does not exist. For instance a recent survey of the Western Wrangells that was described as declining sheep populations for years by ADFG found that the populations were in fact stable and at historic levels. I guarantee that once the general hunt is eliminated it will never be returned and a wonderful benefit to being an Alaska resident will be lost. In my opinion we need to restrict the guides or harvest, but not eliminate hunting opportunity for resident hunters.
    ďI 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. ď Fred Bear

  2. #2
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    We had some discussion about these proposals a couple of weeks ago. As you stated, a drawing hunt is not the only option, but it could dramatically improve the quality of the sheep hunting in these GMUs. Are you planning to comment to the BOG in writing or in person about these proposals? Your post would be a good start to a written comment.

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    Cool support for sheep draw

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    Sorry I just had to vent: I thought the proposals to eliminate general season hunts in the Talkeetna and Chugach mountains were rumors. Harvesting a ram every few years is one. The proposals ignore the real problem: Guides familiar with the areas spotting game from planes and machines and overharvesting areas for their out of state clients. Resident hunters have much lower success rates and could be managed easily by restricting access or reducing bag limit.


    In reference to outfitters overharvesting the sheep for their out of state clients (me).

    Alaska Trophy Adventures (Dan Montgomery) supports the sheep lottery for open areas despite the fact that the majority of his business's income for the year comes from hunting these sheep in the open areas (chugach).

    he supports it, because that is the right thing to do, management wise and ethically. i love to hunt the sheep as well and i too support it. i saw the need for the reduction in the harvest and the need for the lottery back in 2002. you did not need a crystal ball to see this coming.


    i feel that these days many guys want a dall sheep for their trophy room wall and since the prices of taking a dall sheep are 50% to 100% cheaper in some cases than a brwn. bear, more guys can afford a dall sheep. this is part of the problem as well.

    b.t.w. any word on the sheep lottery results?

  4. #4
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    "Guides familiar with the areas spotting game from planes and machines and overharvesting areas for their out of state clients."

    man i'm really getting sick of hearing that as an excuse. lets say 2 percent of the guides do that...its not realistic, it kills their business and no ones even got fact that they do it...its all speculation but people keep using it for something to point their finger at!

    Sheep limitations are coming, more people, more predators, bad winters and wallaa low sheep hunters..then what? you gotta change something, a sheep every four years would bo ok, drawing would be ok, or make it curl and quarter for the legal sheep harvest...i don't care. i'm just happy that they might do something to try and preserve such a unique hunt.

    I'd rather see it go to a sheep every four years like the brownies, but if they do something else, ok. The opportunity won't be gone...just limited. but what do you expect?! this states filling up..and everyone wants more opportunity, more access, easier, cheaper and more hunting opportunities but no one apears willing to sacrifice a little to make sure they'll have those opportunities 15 years from now.

    It ain't perfect and it ain't gonna get easier....do the math.
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    I have to say BRWNBR is correct, this is small portion of the guiding community that participates in this practice as well as over harvest. I think we all know some of the stories, one guide in particular comes to mind relatively close to my area. In addition to this I believe we all know resident fanatics that burn up alot of av-gas the first week of August. What do you think they are doing? Hmmm. We all do have to give a little if that means giving up some general seasons for better chances and or experiences in more drawing areas, I might be up to that. I think you should be able to put in for more than three hunts though, or try and make some kind of preference point system work. The all controversial resident preference system might be looked at. Everyone gets a chance but residents get little better odds should sound fair to most. If not please put out some of your own because we all need to get in front of this before someone else makes the decision for us.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down Don't like drawings...

    Sorry boys, I missed the thread where the discussion took place regarding drawing hunts being more "quality hunts" so I'm going to vent too.

    I think this is a very bad idea. I will never support a drawing hunt for anything anywhere. Why limit OPPORTUNITY for EVERYONE just to benefit a FEW hunters? I don't get this. Increaded quality? Yeah, right. That's a major tradeoff; a "better" hunt, yet the hunts will be 5-7 years apart, maybe more(I've drawn 4 tags in 22 years).

    One sheep every four years would be better, at least it gives EVERYONE a chance to hunt until you get a sheep. I don't like the idea of shortening/abolishing GENERAL SEASONS. I think its bad policy.

    Sollybug: Ditto what Chisana said; re-type that post in a word processing document and fire it off by 2-16-07 to the BOG.
    Tim

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    I know my knowledge is very limited in political & management end of things like this but it's always seemed to me that anytime there is a "shortage of game" or "overharvesting" of a certain species in a certain area, the place to start management wise is by limiting the opportunities for out of state hunters. THEN, in neccacary you look at additional measures.
    I too think you should mail your letter Sollybug. We all need to get involved a bit more where we can.
    Vance in AK.

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  8. #8
    New member akhunter02's Avatar
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    Default agree

    Something needs to be done, and one ram every 4 years would be the way to go, just like for bears. I love hunting sheep as much as most, but its not a meat issue nor is it a trophy issue, how many are you going to put on the wall anyway. Its being up in the mountains, seeing and getting close that makes the trip worthwhile.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs down sheep restrictions

    I sent my comments to BOG. Anyone can send them by letter or fax. I started the thread so hopefully there will be many comments to ensure the proposals are necessary and sound. I think there are many alternatives that protect sheep and allow residents to hunt.

    The only reason I put that comment about guides was because it certainly isnít the resident walk or drive in hunters that harvest the trophy sheep that supposedly are disappearing. My basis for reporting guides spotting and harvesting trophies by plane is by personal observation and written account. Also statistics are obvious that guided hunters harvest many more and bigger animals that us residents. We harvest the few road accessable populations and fly in to an unfamiliar area occasionally. Its people spotting the trophies from planes and landing nearby in remote areas that gets them a trophy. The proposals admit that walk in hunters are not effecting these herds. Anyways, if the sheep are so scarce how come harvest statistics are the same for ever? And I donít have a recent B and C book but I have sure heard lots of stories and seen lots of pictures of large sheep in recent years so I doubt the very premise that trophy sheep are overharvested anyway. We should make them provide concrete research and stats so hunting is not restricted needlessly. These are the two most popular hunting areas of the state for locals. Most of the Alaska range is already locked up. We cannot make the whole state a trophy drawing area cause most people hunt for the experience and they need areas to hunt also.
    ďI 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. ď Fred Bear

  10. #10

    Default one in every four is ridiculous!

    This requirement is ridiculous! Who benefits from it? The guides? The transporters, and the do it yourself sheep hunter gets screwed? I remember a few years back a transporter proposed this and was that the pot calling the kettle black! He flew 32 sheep hunters into one general area! There is a need to LIMIT how many hunters transporters can drop off. It was all about protecting his money, not the sheep.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Wow - I can't believe that this many people support this proposal. One of the greatest thing about full curl sheep and 50" moose regulations is that it preserves opportunity. There is nothing I love more than sheep hunting, and success has very little to do with that enjoyment. I've been pretty lucky when it comes to drawing permits, but in my years of hunting general season sheep I have had pretty limited success. Am I upset by this? Quite the opposite, actually. I am always so thankful to have the opportunity to walk myself into the mountains and chase this majestic animal. There doesn't seem to be a need to restrict harvest if we keep full-curl regulations. Legal animals may be harvested at a high rate, but there are always younger rams there to keep the lamb rate healthy.

    I agree with the original poster - having the ability to go chase sheep every fall is one of the very best things about Alaska - it would be a crying shame to lose that opportunity.

    -Brian

  12. #12
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Everyone benefits from a 1 in 4 policy, UNLESS, you live in an area, or can afford to hunt, where you can be successful every year.
    1 in 4 was the way it was for grizz all over Alaska a few years ago. I hunted under that rule and it made me be more picky about what size bear I was willing to shoot. Now that it's one a year, I shoot the first grizz I see.
    I suspect the same would happen under a 1 in 4 for sheep. If the fun is in the hunting, alot, ALOT of guys will think twice before pulling the trigger on a legal, but less than book size ram. 1 in 4 allows everyone to keep hunting until they are successful.
    Hey, how many sheep does a guy need to shoot in his lifetime!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  13. #13
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    Never let a GOS go to a draw. It would be better to go to a 1 in 3 so the opportunity always remains for residents, and hunters will be picky before pulling the trigger. If the sheep are that badly threatened, why would not the guides be put on a quota as well? Is it just the residents who are over harvesting?
    It's the journey, not the destination.

  14. #14
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    Default Non res drawings

    Limit drawings to non-residents only. If the goal is to help ensure numbers and quality of animals this wouldnít hurt. As an Alaska resident I canít just go anywhere in another state & hunt bighorn why should they be able to do the same here. Not saying the blame should be place on the guides for over harvesting, but look at it this way. If a guide, even a small one does 4 hunters a yr. they must have at least 75% success rate or in the long term the business will suffer or fail. Most resident hunters donít hire guides for sheep & arenít as knowledgeable about the area they are in or hard working to achieve this % of success. So over the bigger picture with the sheer # of guides ( & some advertise +90% success rate ) going out & achieving this rate every year while the DIY local rate is dramatically less you can see the trend of quality & number of animals available decreasing more by one user group. I am not anti guide as you canít blame them for working hard & doing what they are hired to do, but we may need to adjust the parameters in which they are working with.
    The one in four doesnít really address this as the nonresidents seem to be in endless supply right now so there would always be someone to fill the spot for the next year.

  15. #15

    Default BOG comments

    As a government employee that conducts public notices, I can tell you that the more written comments I recieve the more I scrutinize a proposal. I'm glad to see so many chiming in here, but unless you send your comments to the BOG they wont accomplish anything. Proposals submitted by ADF&G pull a lot of weight, so if you don't like these ideas, write in. Seems like I remember another time sheep hunters over-turned ADF&G opinion-oh ya, when we got full-curl regs implemented.

  16. #16

    Default Drawings

    It's the DOLLAR. If they go to limited drawings it will be for resident hunters. There is more money in non-resident hunters for the state and it's residents if non-resident hunters hunt in ALASKA. Tourism is 85% of Alaska's Gross State Product, that includes hunting and fishing folks. The state won't cut off it's nose to spite it's face. Hunting and fishing are a resource the state uses to profit from. It uses the trickle down effect and everyone gets a part of the profits. Most sheep hunters won't come back for sheep if they get one anyway, but their next door neighbor will and he'll come next year.Their are more non-residents than there are sheep and they have MONEY.

  17. #17

    Default Address for the BOG?

    Does anybody have an address for the BOG that we should send our letters to? Should they be addressed to any one person in particular? It would be a shame to lose this opportunity.

  18. #18

    Default sheep

    I don't like drawings. I'd rather see it a ram every 2-4 years (like a brown every 4 years on the peninsula) than go to a draw. Drawings suck and there are a fair number of applicants who put in just to put in, thereby reducing the odds for those who really care. Imagine Chugach 14A----3% chance, like Chugach 14C units---already 2-3% chance, 13D-----4% chance, etc, etc, etc. The non-draw areas will be hit harder. Another idea would be to do something similar to Montana's "unlimited" bighorn sheep district (I think this is still in effect). The district is very tough hunting and has a full-curl regulation I believe. If a hunter hunts this non-draw unit----or even buys a tag, they can't even apply for another bighorn license for a few years whether they get a sheep or not. Something similar may work well here. For example, I want to hunt the Talkeetnas as a resident or non-resident with a guide-----so I do. I do or do not get a sheep-----and guess what, I can't apply for any other drawing districts or hunt in a 4 year sheep area (if that regulation came to be) for 4 years. Now that may be excessive, so maybe 4 years is too long-----so maybe wait even 2 or 3 years. That would limit hunters, but also give most an opportunity to hunt at least often. Better than not at all if your luck is bad with drawings. I also like the idea of limiting non-res a bit more as well. Other states do it and make them draw to hunt (look at MT's elk or mule deer permits). Here in AK non-res can pay to play if they want to right now. Maybe that needs to change before hitting residents with more drawings, especially considering resident unguided hunters have a low success percentage anyway.

  19. #19

    Default Address

    The address is on the first page of the proposal. They must be sent no later than 5pm Feb. 16, 2007.

    Here is the address:

    ATTN: BOG Comments
    Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
    Boards Support Section
    P.O. Box 115526
    Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526
    FAX 907-465-6094

  20. #20

    Default how many sheep?

    Why limit me to a sheep every four years when I can harvest one each year? How many, well I think it is 10 or 11 and counting. NONE are trophy sheep and don't expect to find a book sheep where I hunt, but I live in an area that allows me to hunt each and every year. I look forward to hunting sheep each and every year. I couldn't imagine not being able to hunt for one each season. I am greedy? Not sure, but I am willing to bust my butt to get into sheep country each and every year. What next, 1 moose every 4 years? Maybe that should happen for Tier II caribou? Maybe a better idea would be to limit harvest in areas by having a bag limit. Maybe split 2 seasons Aug. 10.-Sept 1 with a limit. Sept. 1-Sept.20 with a limit. Make it a requirement that F&G be notified within 2 days of kill. Not sure if this would work, but to restrict sheep to 1 in 4 or whatever just isn't right. I guess the FED'S are looking better all the time.

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