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Thread: We hunters better think about things soon especially for sheep

  1. #1

    Default We hunters better think about things soon especially for sheep

    I just got done with our advisory committee meeting. I didn't/haven't paid much attention to recent proposals involving sheep. I read through proposals that were submitted by guides and others. Here are some area of concerns that us resident hunters better pay attention to if you want to hunt in the future.

    First of all let's throw some facts out on sheep. It is a FACT that sheep populations are down across the state of Alaska. This was a derived from biologists and fellow hunters who are involved with sheep and have seen this from first hand experience.

    What we are seeing are proposals that want more "drawing" areas. What does this lead us to? What will happen is dividing up the state into drawing areas that will ultimately lead to severe restrictions in resident sheep hunting. What do these drawing areas do? They allow the guide to have as many clients to put in for these draws, ultimately short changing the resident hunters. I am specifically refering to a proposal from a guide that affects the 13D area and some other units. Do us resident hunters see how that hurts us? The draw doesn't hurt a guide at all because he will get new hunters each and every year.

    Now the second problem is the "one in four" rule. This is really a BAD thing for resident hunters. We will be the one that is limited to sheep hunting one in every four if we get a sheep. This DOES NOT stop the guide from booking the same amount of hunts each and every year, which does not affect his hunting at all. So, for those of you residents that think this is okay, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Once this happens it will happen across the state, so us do it yourself every year sheep hunters will be screwed, but the guides that are shooting/overharvesting the sheep in certain areas will continue to harvest at the same rate, not being hurt at all by these regulations.

    Recommendations:

    It is a FACT that guides are way more efficient at harvesting sheep and are the ones that are harvesting the larger sheep. They are complaining about a lack of "big" sheep and want restrictions. Well here is what I recommend and hope that everyone will make their comments heard to the BOG.

    In areas that biologist feel the sheep may need some help. Create areas that will be drawing permit for NON-RESIDENTS only. Limit the amount of non-resident drawing permits to 10% of the annual harvest of that unit. These non-resident drawing areas have no effect on resident sheep hunters as resident hunters will still be able to hunt these areas with the full curl regulations.

    Ultimately, make a 10% rule across the state. Non-residents can have an annual harvest of 10% of the current sheep harvest. This will allow everyone a fair shake.

    If you read what the guides want, they realize that the "one in every four rule" benefits them if there continue to be "no limit" for the # of sheep they are harvesting. Their clients aren't repeat, so they won't be affected by the one in every four, only residents will be hurt by it.

    The final issue I see is this: when game populations are declining, the first obligation of the state is to it's residents. Non-residents have to feel the squeeze before residents. If it is an important enough issue, non-residents need to be limited by drawing/a limited percent of harvest/or by being not allowed to hunt in areas designated by the state. Another solution could be to close the units totally to hunting for a year or two if needed.

    The states main focus shoud be on resident hunters first. This is stated in the constitution. We must NOT stand by and see drawing restrictions and one in every four rules put on us residents because those ultimately are way more detrimental to resident sheep hunters.

    I hope all of you will chime in and show the BOG that more drawing areas and one in every four rules are not the answer.

    Now for the onslaught!

  2. #2
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    onslaught i dont' think will come. alot of folks are still winded from the other sheep threads..lol

    i think the one of four should only apply to the non res, it would do some good. i think guides should only be able to apply for as many people as there are tags, like kodiak or even if their is a higher number of tags, mabye only 50 percent of them. example, 20 tags, a guide may put in 10 people have them on a contact, or guide client agreement like other drawings.

    my favorite option, resident stays over the counter, their success rate is low enough they'll do slower damage, guides get a allocated tag, or couple. so each guide would get say four tags, end of story. no trading tags, you sell them to a client and thats that. after the guides get tags, the remaining number of tags go to a non resident drawing.

    As resident hunters want their share of hunting opportunities, i'm a resident guide and want to be second in line, but before non residents.

    sum up...
    residents stay over the counter.

    guides get X number of tags based on area and surveys, fish and game to determine...so hunters who want to pay the bucks and support the economy can have a garunteed tag.

    remainder of tags go a to a non res drawing with no guide requirement.

    sheep are so blown outa proportion that we need to have a reality check when it comes to managing them. knee jerk reactions will only hurt the situation more. make a decision and reply based off logic and common sense not an i feel or i wish or i hope or any sort of anger related rebuttle.

    We could come up with a solution that would work, with some money you can make anything happen, we just need the right people to hear it and get some more insight from people in a position of unbias.
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  3. #3
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    oh ya and geez ease up off the guides a bit huh?! just cause they do good don't mean they do wrong. lol
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  4. #4

    Default when and where

    Northway, I have attended some prior advisory council meetings in the past, and need to get involved again. Where do we go and when to make our voice heard? I thought I read in a prior post a while back sometime in March? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Default

    Very solid post Northway, you covered a lot of good ground there.

    I think one thing to keep in mind with the sheep issue is that these proposals are about hunt quality. When people say that sheep numbers are down relative to historic high abundance levels that's a true statement, but sheep aren't disappearing. The decreasing numbers are affecting hunt success, but not the overall viability of the population. Compare that to some of the caribou herds like the Chisana or Alaska Peninsula where they are just going away regardless of hunt pressure( or the absence thereof).

    One thing we need to worry about is where people will go when and if they are displaced from from their favorite hunting area by new drawing hunt regulations. That trickle down effect will lead to poorer hunt quality in other GMUs.

    Glad I'm hunting in ANWR this fall!

  6. #6

    Smile Good info

    BRNBR,

    Sorry on being hard on the guides. I see a lot of proposals from them that limit the resident hunters, but in reality don't hurt their business, so I guess I am a bit harder on them. I just don't like to see the residents get any cuts until all other avenues have been followed. I sure can appreciate how you operate your business and your insight on these issues.

    Chisana,

    You are right on the nose. If we start doing drawing areas, it will put undo pressure on the other areas which in my opinion will lead to a trickle effect of more drawing areas and before you know it, BAM! All we will have is drawing areas!

    You are right on the sheep, they aren't disappearing, what I think is happening is people aren't finding the "big" ones and they are thinking that the full curl regulation is doing that and like you said, sheep aren't at the al time high right now, but they aren't extinct either. The sheep are there, probably not living long enough to get big though.

    Sad on the Chisana caribou. The Canadians are giving it hell on their side. That is the ONLY reason it is probably even still alive. I haven't read up on it lately, but sure was interesting what they were willing to try.

    I am off into a new sheep adventure myself this fall. Sure hope it all works out and we find the sheep we are looking for. One way or another it will be an adventure to remember and maybe even try again if successful!

    Well, I am off to bed. TGIF!

  7. #7

    Default sculpin

    I will get that info for you tomorrow. I just have to find my proposal booklet!

    Northway

  8. #8
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default BOG meets in Anchorage

    March 2-12; I believe you can comment on proposals March 2-4. Written comments are due FEBRUARY 16, 2007 @ 5PM.

    I've sent in comments on half-dozen proposals and may go to the meeting as well.

    Brownbear, your comments seem appropriate and well thought-out. Like someone else said in another post, you are even-keeled and would be a great BOG representative for the hunting community!

    2007 Proposals Book:
    http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/g...info/gprop.php

    Meeting Location and Information:
    March 2-12, 2007 Anchorage
    Southcenteral and Southwest Regions

    Coast International Inn
    3450 Aviation Avenue.
    Anchorage, AK
    Reservations: 1-800-716-6199


    Tim

  9. #9

    Default Sheep Allocation

    It seems Alaska is finally having to deal with the abundance and allocation issues that most of the western states were dealing with in the 80's. Both Northway and BRNBR have valid and well thought out comments. If the majority of the guiding industry felt the same way as BRNBR this would be a non-issue. I think that both sheep and moose allocations for non-residents are heading for a limited draw and hopefully that will postpone the same for residents.

  10. #10
    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    Default sheep management

    It's really hard to say what the answer is, but in my opinion something does need to be done. I think the sealing of horns was a step in the right direction to try to eliminate the killing of sub-legal sheep. It should have done a long time ago.

    I'm not a biologist, but I can tell what I've seen in 13D, I guided sheep hunts in that unit from 1990 to 2000. I was taking two clients a year, and in the early years there was a very good chance to take two mature rams, always seeing many more that would mature from year to year. I was confident I could continue with my two hunters every year and there would still be rams for my son to hunt years from now.

    What I saw for the last three years I was guiding was a drastic decline in the sheep population in general. I'm not talking about the lack of mature rams. I'm talking about the lack of sheep period. There were a couple of places where we could sit and count hundreds of lambs and ewes over the years. In the late 90's we were counting handfuls.

    In the area I was hunting the sheep were disappearing. I think the wolves had done a number on them, but like I say, I'm not a biologist. I just quit booking sheep hunters.

    Seems to me F&G waits until things are in crisis mode before any action is taken to manage properly. I think that's what's happening now. They knew what was happening in unit 13 ten years ago and now suddenly something has to be done. IMO they've done a very poor job managing sheep outside the drawing areas.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I can see the issue from the point of a resident hunter as well as a guide. I think a drawing with a limited number of tags going to non-residents might be a good idea.

    On point I would like to make is that guides as a rule are more involved in the BOG process so you always see a lot of proposals submitted by guides. You can speculate as to why, but when I was actively guiding I was attending all the BOG meeting I could, especially when it affected the area I was working in. I was dealing with a handful of hunters every year and I was doing what I could to protect that. The point I'm trying to make is anyone can be involved in the process, but there is a lot of concern by most folks after all the proposals have been submitted. If resident hunters who are so concerned about what's going on would get involved in the process before things start hitting the fan it would save a lot of aggravation for everyone. Some of the things I've seen said about proposals in general it's like someone pulling their head out of the sand with a real attitude problem.

    This was going to be a short post. Get involved with the BOG process and attend the meetings and voice your opinion!!

  11. #11
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    Default Hmmm, 10 years ago...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alasken View Post
    Seems to me F&G waits until things are in crisis mode before any action is taken to manage properly. I think that's what's happening now. They knew what was happening in unit 13 ten years ago and now suddenly something has to be done. IMO they've done a very poor job managing sheep outside the drawing areas.
    The truth is that weather impacts sheep populations alot more than hunters. The full-curl regulation has no effect on the number of ewes or lambs in a population, but it does have an effect on the number of legal sheep available for harvest each year. Interestingly, there were more sheep counted in the 1990s than during the 1980s in F&G surveys in 14A and 13D. Remember, just because one local area might seem to have less sheep, it may not be a population issue, but rather a localized problem. Also, since 1999, these areas had 3 severely deep snow winters that had a major effect on the sheep numbers. Unfortunately, hunter numbers haven't dropped as fast as the sheep numbers. So, it's not really the sheep that need managing, it's the people. Sheep hunting quality will be the main issue at this Board of Game meeting. A side issue will be whether or not too many mature rams are being taken, and whether that may have any negative genetic impacts on the population. And once again, F&G does not make the regulations, the Board does, and it's up to you guys to come tell the Board what you want to see.

  12. #12

    Default

    QUALITY SHEEP HUNT:
    How would you or I define that term? Yet ADF&G is proposing big changes to the sheep hunting we have known in the past for the reason cited in the proposals, "Improve the Quality of the Hunt".
    This is bogus and not science or biological data at all. It is a way to control the people...period.....Some have already bought into this bunch of baloney. They need our pity, come...lets have an ODD Pity Party. Quality is so subjective, no two of us would define it the same way, but no doubt however our personal definitions of it are, it looks as though it WILL be Improved upon.

  13. #13
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    well if we can't make enough sheep for everyone, then maybe we shouldn't have "everyone"? we all see the writing on the wall with the sheep. same writing on the wall that came about for brown bears on kodiak, there was a time when those bears were on the top rung of the ladder, now sheep are, the same trend will happen with the sheep.
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    Unhappy BOG

    Thanks for updating on the BOG meeting Northway. I worry that this whole controversy is due to a few guides fueling the fires based on competition from others Everyone is agreeing that its not sheep hunters hurting numbers of sheep which are influenced by weather and predation and habitat, but not full curl harvest. The same numbers of sheep have been harvested from these areas forever. And there is absolutely no evidence that sheep harvested are getting any smaller from harvest statistics.Lack of trophies recently? Look at any guide website and see pages and pages of huge sheep harvested every year from these areas. From harvest reports I have seen the numbers of hunters is not up either. So where exactly is the problem? Some reports of overcrowded strips have been recounted. If everyone agrees that this is an ongoing problem, then restrict the strips or airplane access for guides or alltogether which would solve the problem forever. In fact, almost all the trophy sheep harvested are by fly in with spotting beforehand, so restrict spotting from planes during the season. How about a drawing for fly in hunts with a resident preference for these? But there are many alternatives which preserve a general season in some of our last accessable areas without going to the most restrictive alternative first to solve a problem that doesnt exist.
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  15. #15

    Default

    Nothway I like your proposals. As a resident am getting tired of having to
    go to war with certain guides just to hunt sheep. I have equal rights no greater on less on public land. Would work a lot better if all hunters had equal
    ethics & respect. Esp like this proposal. (In areas that biologist feel the sheep may need some help. Create areas that will be drawing permit for NON-RESIDENTS only. Limit the amount of non-resident drawing permits to 10% of the annual harvest of that unit. These non-resident drawing areas have no effect on resident sheep hunters as resident hunters will still be able to hunt these areas with the full curl regulations.

    Ultimately, make a 10% rule across the state. Non-residents can have an annual harvest of 10% of the current sheep harvest. This will allow everyone a fair shake. ) Quote from Northway. Thanks for your input.

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default

    And make everybody have to eat the tongue. Yum, that'd take the pressure off!

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    Wink Sheep counts?

    Just a question, Alaska is so large a state who does the actual sheep counts? Is it the wildlife bio's, or are they estimates? Please note that I asked who is doing the counting, not compiling the data. Thanks Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  18. #18

    Default Aireal Sheep Surveys

    I believe most of the sheep counts are done by the area biologist for that particular region.

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    How often do you guys go sheep hunting? Every year or other year? Ive been sheep hunting a couple times,,Ive only shot 1,,quite a few years ago back by Nabesna,,Boyden Hills area.If hunters are taking sheep everyyear,maybe we should have something like 1 sheep every few years ,,or something like this.I dont shoot a lot of big game,mainly small game ,rabbits and grouse.But if I go out and have a good sucess in an area ,,i might go back once more,,but I like to leave some for the next time..Sounds kinda corny I no.But I do try and have my own little game management I place on myself..

  20. #20
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by kk alaska View Post
    Nothway I like your proposals. As a resident am getting tired of having to
    go to war with certain guides just to hunt sheep. I have equal rights no greater on less on public land. Would work a lot better if all hunters had equal
    ethics & respect. Esp like this proposal. (In areas that biologist feel the sheep may need some help. Create areas that will be drawing permit for NON-RESIDENTS only. Limit the amount of non-resident drawing permits to 10% of the annual harvest of that unit. These non-resident drawing areas have no effect on resident sheep hunters as resident hunters will still be able to hunt these areas with the full curl regulations.

    Ultimately, make a 10% rule across the state. Non-residents can have an annual harvest of 10% of the current sheep harvest. This will allow everyone a fair shake. ) Quote from Northway. Thanks for your input.
    10% of the total annual harvest for non-residents? holy cow. Why not make it 8%? Geez.
    I've really tried to look at this situation unbiased, but many of these "out of state" guys pay the lion's share for sheep management through tag purchases. Lets not forget the moneys spent in AK. Tourism is huge here. C'mon.



    The problem is with the efficiency of the guides! What more can a person say?
    If nonresidents hunted here without a guide requirement the take would be paltry in comparison to the take now with the almost scientific way guides harvest mature rams, and they are doing it because it's legal and its gonna make their client happy.
    This isnt a criticism of guides. Its the system.

    If some Alaskans can't stud up, get in, and get their ram without whining, hey, its their problem and no one elses. Opportunities exist across the state with some fitness and effort.
    I appreciated the fact that Northway alluded to the guide dillema, if it doesnt change, the problem with continue.

    One more thing, make nonresidents pass a written test before allowing them to hunt goat, sheep etc. and eliminate the guide requirement altogether. Its time to put that system to bed.

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