Sheep Survey Update & Upcoming Meetings



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  • Sheep Survey Update & Upcoming Meetings

    I spoke with Todd Brinkman the other day; he is currently dissecting the sheep survey results and they will be out in early November. Needless to say, it will be interesting to hear what the respondents had to say and recommend. I encourage all sheep hunters to attend the upcoming November meetings and to participate in next winter's BOG process where decisions will be made.

    Additional Information on Sheep Hunting Proposals

    Attention Sheep Hunters:
    During the last few board meetings, the Board of Game received several proposals requesting
    changes to sheep seasons statewide. Hunters are expressing dissatisfaction with Dall sheep
    harvest opportunities. Many of the concerns expressed have noted increasing conflict among
    Alaska resident sheep hunters, hunting guides, transporters, and nonresident sheep hunters. The
    board deferred Interior Region proposals until the March 2015 board meeting in Anchorage.
    However, given the need for lengthy discussions to address the various complexities, the Board
    of Game has chosen to address these proposals at the February 2015 board meeting in Wasilla.
    At that time, the board will consider changes to all aspects of sheep hunting seasons and bag
    limits for the Central/Southwest and Interior Regions. The Southcentral Region sheep proposals
    will remain scheduled for the March 2015 board meeting in Anchorage.

    The Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has contracted with the University of Alaska to
    survey the public that may be impacted by potential changes, including sheep hunters, guides,
    transporters and air taxi operators. The survey will attempt to learn more about sheep hunter
    characteristics, behaviors and preferences, to quantify the extent of hunter satisfaction or
    dissatisfaction with current sheep hunting opportunities, and to quantify the extent of hunter
    approval or disapproval of potential changes to sheep hunting regulations and management.

    The survey was distributed during the summer of 2014, and results will be available in late
    October or early November. The results will be available on the Board of Game website at In addition, the results of the hunter survey and summaries
    of trends in sheep populations, harvest, and allocation will be presented to the public by ADF&G
    at venues in Fairbanks and Anchorage. The Fairbanks meeting will be held at the Murie
    Auditorium on the UAF campus on November 19, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The
    Anchorage meeting will be held at the Loussac Library on November 21, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. –
    8:30 p.m. These meetings are purely informational and are in no way Board of Game meetings or
    board sub-committee meetings.

    At the February and March 2015 meetings, the board will consider potential changes including,
    but not limited to:

    • Earlier seasons for residents
    • Change all general season hunts to registration or draw permits
    • Shorter seasons for nonresidents
    • Drawing permits required for nonresidents
    • Reduce permits for nonresidents
    • Limit nonresidents hunting with a next-of-kin relative
    • Resident only hunts
    • Limit hunters to hunting only one area
    • Smaller hunt areas with limited participation• Require training or orientation for all hunters
    • Changes to sealing requirement
    • Changes to full-curl bag limit
    • Reduce bag limit, (for example one sheep every three years, etc.)
    • Changes to same-day-airborne restriction
    • Restrict transportation used in some areas
    • Youth, restricted weapons, walk-in only hunts

    The public is encouraged to review the results of the survey and provide comments to the board
    by January 30, 2015 for the Central/Southwest meeting and February 27, 2015 for the
    Southcentral meeting.
    Mark Richards

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