This will be my last go round for sheep before the BOG meeting.
After looking at the proposals and reading comments from viewers here I will try my best to represent the ideas that I feel will benefit sheep hunters of this great state.
#1-Limits like "one sheep every four years" are DETRIMENTAL to resident Alaskan sheep hunters. I have read here where people say that residents don't need to hunt sheep every year. I ask why? Do you have a problem with sheep hunting every year? It is something that I LOOK forward to each and every year. I am selfish and greedy by wanting this? If so, too bad. Call me what you want. I want my kids to be able to look forward to it each and every year. Realistically, when my kids go sheep hunting, I will probably cease my harvest of a ram to allow them to harvest a ram.
#2-Creating new DRAW AREAS are DETRIMENTAL to resident Alaskan sheep hunters. All this does is "displace" hunters into other open areas further reducing the quality of sheep hunting "down the road" which will in turn lead those areas to "DRAW AREAS".
Both these choices are BAD for the do it yourself, every year sheep hunter and new up and coming sheep hunters, or even the person who wants to draw a tag and can't. How many of you have been putting in for the TMA? How many years has it been for NO DRAW? Exactly, it could be years. Could you imagine an Alaska that is exclusively a draw area all the way across and the only way you could hunt sheep is by drawing a tag? That would be sad and would hurt residents ability to hunt sheep.
Both the "one sheep every four years" and a draw is BENEFICIAL to guides. First of all, none of their clients are return hunters for sheep, so realistically the one in four is a joke to them! They are laughing their butts off for this to happen as then darn well know it ONLY penalizes resident hunters. Again, creating drawing areas only benefits them as well as there will be a limited amount of resident hunters getting drawn and however many of their hunters that they FLOOD the drawing hunts with they will get to guide. And for the new drawing areas created, those resident hunters that used to hunt there are going to be going somewhere else, creating the same situation in another place.
What is ironic here is Alaskan residents selling themselves short with we don't need to shoot a ram each year. Well where is this going to lead? We don't need to shoot a moose each year, a caribou each year, a black bear each year? Putting a one in every 4 year period is ridiculous and makes no sense. Our state constitution protects the "RESIDENTS" of this state first. Before any restrictions are put on residents, we need to exhaust all avenues of restricting NON-RESIDENT hunting first.
For this reason, I recommend creating drawing areas for non-resident sheep hunting. This would not in any way affect resident sheep hunters as they could still hunt there in a general hunt. Limit the non-resident hunters to at the most, 10% of the harvest that F & G decides is best. This 10% rule needs to be put into ALL drawing hunts that are now in place.
If you look at Proposals 162, 163, 166, and 167, I believe these proposals are all written by an NON-RESIDENT guide. He KNOWS that his proposals do not hurt non-resident hunting (particulary his guiding business), but restrict resident hunting. I am appalled that someone from "outside" is wanting to change our regulations and make it more difficult for Alaskan residents to hunt sheep. If there is that big of a problem in Unit 13 for sheep, then maybe sheep hunting needs to be closed to everyone for 2 years? We can not sit back and let non-residents continue to have an unfair advantage to our sheep.
All sheep hunters, please send or fax a letter to the BOG stating your opposition to Proposals: 158,160,161,162,163,164,166,167. These proposals are bad for resident Alaskan sheep hunters.
Send or fax proposals to the following address or fax # by 5:00 pm Friday, February 16, 2007. Let your voice be heard. The BOG needs to know that we are against the limiting of resident sheep hunting before measures are taken against non-resident sheep hunters.
Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Fax # 907 465-6094
Best wishes to all whether you agree or not.