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Thread: Unit 23 sheep, your getting shafted!!

  1. #1
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default Unit 23 sheep, your getting shafted!!

    In the early 90s, unit 23 had some pretty good sheep hunting. Knew guys in Kotz who had planes and there were stories of flying out on Aub. 9th, just before midnite, Waiting the mandatory 3 hrs, walking over to shoot a sheep and being back in Kotz by lunch.
    Late 90s and the sheep pop. had come on hard times. Restrictions on aircraft use were put in place to lower the harvest. Those restrictions are still in place.
    Last Oct. at the Sew. Pen. Regional Advisory Council meeting, the Park Service, which controls most all Sheep habitat in 23, gave a little talk on sheep pops and had a handout on sheep numbers over the last several years. Suffice to say, the sheep pop is back up to where it was in the 90s when hunting was so good.
    So the question is, why haven't restrictions been removed? My recollection is when species populations are good, access and harvest should be increased.
    If your a sheep hunter and looking for new country, give Steve Machida a call there in Anch. He's the region 5 supervisor. Ask him why unit 23 and western 26 are still closed to aircraft access for sheep hunters.
    If you would like a copy of the Park Services sheep info, call the Park office in Kotz. I suspect they could mail, maybe even fax, the info.
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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    You are correct, but many of us who hunt unit 23 have become used to that feeling.

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    Sheep getting shafted.....seen some Guides in Hip waders.... maby they really had Scotch accents.......this is getting weird...

    Oh ya, '93 had mid winter rains that killed more than half of 'em after 3 days and then a plunge back to below Zero........kicked Caribou rump roast #s as well......

    Its been easy enough to hunt sheep amnd be home for Dinner for a few years now, and its hardly restricted, theres a state hunt and a Fed hunt,(yes, the Feds are involved ~LOL!~) but then again Im a unit 23 resadent, so thats probly a factor in there somewhere....

    I wouldnt give any Sheep the "Shaft", just a bullet in the brain.
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Not really clear from your post, but it could be implied from said post that easy aircraft access and high success rates caused the sheep population to drop, now you're advocating for that same management approach to be resurredted? Just want to make sure I'm clear on this.

  5. #5
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    Not really clear from your post, but it could be implied from said post that easy aircraft access and high success rates caused the sheep population to drop,
    So typical for folks to think us humans are always the problem! No Chisana, wasn't us evil humans. Read Strangers post. Weather and some disease was the problem.
    I'm not calling for any "management approach" Chisana. I'm calling for legally mandated access to a population that is once again healthy.
    Is there any other sheep population, or area, where no aircraft access is allowed?
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Is there any other sheep population, or area, where no aircraft access is allowed?
    Thanks for clarifying your intent. Certainly there are CUAs that limit access to some sheep populations or segments thereof, notably the Tonsina CUA. We could probably use a few more of them.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Is there any other sheep population, or area, where no aircraft access is allowed?
    No airplane access in the 14C sheep hunts (with the possible exception of Lake George - though there aren't many sheep around there - or the cub strip at the end of Eklutna Lake), nor is there airplane access to much of the Kenai Mountains sheep hunting areas.

  8. #8
    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Have all the variables to the process been evaluated? It seems as though the only variable noted are sheep numbers, and access.. What about human population factor? Does that equate.. if we take the restrictions away wont the population of sheep decrease (faster) due to increase in population of hunters? I see emplacement of restriction and decrease of restrictions in an effort (effort) to maintain the population not cycle it. JMO

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    From what I can see in the regs for unit 23 is that aircraft are not allowed for the two registration hunts (RS388 and RS389). No mention of aircraft prohibitions for the drawing hunt (DS384) or the harvest hunt. For unit 26 it looks like the same thing. No aircraft for the two registration hunts (same number) and no mention of aircraft restrictions for the drawing hunt and harvest hunt.

    I've never been to these areas, but from what I'm seeing in the regs is there is quite a bit of area available to aircraft hunters.

    There are numerous areas where aircraft aren't allowed for other species, such as moose. Quite a few areas that have motorized restrictions in wilderness areas, national parks, and as mentioned above CUAs.

  10. #10
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    From what I can see in the regs for unit 23 is that aircraft are not allowed for the two registration hunts (RS388 and RS389). No mention of aircraft prohibitions for the drawing hunt (DS384) or the harvest hunt. For unit 26 it looks like the same thing. No aircraft for the two registration hunts (same number) and no mention of aircraft restrictions for the drawing hunt and harvest hunt.

    I've never been to these areas, but from what I'm seeing in the regs is there is quite a bit of area available to aircraft hunters.

    There are numerous areas where aircraft aren't allowed for other species, such as moose. Quite a few areas that have motorized restrictions in wilderness areas, national parks, and as mentioned above CUAs.
    In this case Park Service regs restrict A/C access, not state regs.

  11. #11
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    In this case Park Service regs restrict A/C access, not state regs.
    Incorrect. The aircraft restriction is by state mandate. All areas open to the draw hunts are open to aircraft use.

    My point is that this sheep herd has recovered and is populous enough to do away with registration hunts. Or at least do away with the aircraft restriction. Aircraft use was not the reason the sheep herd decreases to begin with. Therefore, no reason to think it would be detrimental to the current pop.
    By restricting aircraft use for the reg. hunts, the state is favoring locals. When pops are low, that is proper. This population is not low. IT IS HEALTHY. Legal resident hunters are being denied an access means that is not warranted by the current biology of the population.
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    I was mistaken about the distinction between state and federal regs.

    Isn't the A/C restriction limited only to the registration hunt and the Noatak CUA? Looks like the HT and drawning hunts outside of the Noatak CUA are open to A/C access if I read the regs correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Incorrect. The aircraft restriction is by state mandate. All areas open to the draw hunts are open to aircraft use.

    My point is that this sheep herd has recovered and is populous enough to do away with registration hunts. Or at least do away with the aircraft restriction. Aircraft use was not the reason the sheep herd decreases to begin with. Therefore, no reason to think it would be detrimental to the current pop.
    By restricting aircraft use for the reg. hunts, the state is favoring locals. When pops are low, that is proper. This population is not low. IT IS HEALTHY. Legal resident hunters are being denied an access means that is not warranted by the current biology of the population.

  13. #13
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    The Noatak CUA covers very little sheep country. Most of the area it covers is already closed to sheep hunting. Yes, the registration hunt is the only one effected by the aircraft restriction.
    The point I am trying to make is this sheep pop does not justify a registration hunt, nor the a/c restriction. All of unit 23 should return to a HT hunt for sheep, as it was the last time the population was at this level.................and for those who need it said twice.............no, it was not human hunters who contributed to the decline!!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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