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Thoughts on 14C archery sheep

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  • Thoughts on 14C archery sheep

    I've hunted the october archery hunt, thinking i had some speical tag, until i realized those sheep were tuned up like a whitetail in chicago on crack. Did some research and realized the number of sheep harvested by archery hunts is super slim.
    My thought is this, why don't they offer an archery only hunt, the first week and a half of august before the rifle season opens. that would be a little bit more of an honest tag to me. Anyone have thoughts on this? i knwo in parts of canada you can hunt rams in july, why won't alaska allow it any earlier for archery hunts?
    Master guide 212

  • #2
    bow only hunts

    seems to me that most states that have archery only hunts schedule them before firearms season. it only makes sense to do it in that manner - it gives the person who has to be within 40 yards of his target a reasonable chance of sucess.
    some reasons why AK doesn't do it that way:
    3. Alaska doesn't do things the way they do them "outside".
    2. if the BOG did change the season to accomodate bow hunters, they would have to put up with the calls from irate rifle hunters, who like things just the way they are and remember that archery hunters are still a minority group up here.
    1. the members of the BOG see no way to make a profit from changing the season.
    Those same reasons could also be used to explain why we don't have a point system for our drawing hunts.
    I'm not sure if I'm trying to be funny or not. my response started that way, but I'm not so sure that it couldn't be taken seriously. I do know that it takes the BOG an ungodly amount of time to consider any changes or recommendations. A case in point would be the massive deer kill on Kodiak (I think it was winter of 98-99) where some parts of the island experienced an estimated loss of 90% of the deer herd. It took about 2-3 years for BOG to lower the limit from 5 deer/year to 3 deer/yr. by then the herd was already rebuilding, so why do anything???
    One need only study to take the registered guides test to realize that some of the regs would only be referred to as archaic anywhere else. You're a guide so I'll ask, "Where do you hang a slab of bacon when you have a client in the field?" (that part was meant to be funny :>).


    • #3
      Be happy to have a season

      I'm happy there is at least an oportunity to hunt. If they move this hunt in front of the Rifle Hunters, there will be alot LESS tags and alot LESS oportunity to hunt them. Every year this discussion comes up.

      There is NO tag in Alaska for ANY Sheep that is a guarantee. In fact - at least Bowhunting you can take ANY sheep ( meaning any size Ram) - Rifle Hunters have to get FC or better. Check DS139 Stats...30 Tags - maybe 7 Rams are taken by the Rifle guys every year or there is NO guarantee your going to get a sheep...even a ewe. At least in OCT - there is a chance that weather could move them down - that aint gonna happen Aug 1.

      Bottom Line - if you want a Sheep with Bow - your going to have to work for it - its special, only because you GOT THE OPORTUNITY to hunt the Chugach Mtns - and be close to Anc.

      There are plenty of other places in this State a guy can go with his bow and hunt sheep.

      I'm a relatively new bowhunter, so I'm not going to argue semantics on who should get a chance to hunt something first....we already get that oportunity for Moose, and I'm glad we get these chances - period



      • #4
        i hang my bacon in the clients every guide does!!
        I think the BOG would see that they could make wayy more money on sheep tags prior to the rifle season, better weather, better odds of kiling sheep, the mental advantage to guys thinking the "big one" is still out there for them. Just all and all it would be a better hunt. I love your point on the kodiak deer herd, that spring of 99 when you looked at the coating of deer hair along the ocean it wasn't science telling you lots of deer died...but since BOG?F&G have to do everything thru"science" then they had to study the hair for a while..just like wolf control, gotta study it, that pack of wolves running a circut over 12 moose kills could just be coinincidence.
        Master guide 212


        • #5
          Why not put in for the early season and then just hunt with a bow. I never saw any competition when hunting the regular season. You don't need special seasons to accomplish your goal of shooting a sheep with a bow. Special interest groups will be the downfall of our society at large. They will destroy hunting as we know it very soon. You can hunt with any choice of weapon, during any of the drawing hunts. No need for archery or blackpowder hunts, unless there is a safety factor, needing addressed. Short ranged weapons are only needed in densely populated areas. Sheep don't usually reside in those areas, like the moose and bears do.
          "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
          ~~Abraham Lincoln~~


          • #6
            I'm torn on this one. It would make more sense to have the bow season early for sheep and late for moose instead of the reverse, which is what we have now. That being said, the late hunt is an awesome opportunity, as draw rates are high (perhaps because success is low).

            After years of neglecting this hunt, I put in for it again this year. I have two good friends who did this hunt last year. One was successful on a 7/8 ram and the other just barely missed two opportunities on two different full curl rams (arrow fell off the rest as he was drawing on one, kicked a rock on the other, both within 30 yards). How is it that these guys got on three nice rams when the overall success rate is abysmal? The walked their butts off and worked harder than most are willing to. They slept at high elevations in cold temperatures and devoted over a week to chasing sheep in various drainages from one side of the unit to the other. I think one of the biggest reasons that success is low on this hunt (besides the fact that you have to get within bow range) is that people decide not to hunt very hard because of the weather and diminished daylight. I've known many people with this permit who never used it or who, at best, just went on a day hunt over the top of Twin Peaks hoping for a lightning strike. It's a tough hunt, for sure, but success is possible and - as someone above pointed out - you get the incredible privilage of chasing sheep in those mountains.



            • #7

              good point.
              Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"


              • #8
                bow season

                I dont know about changing the permit timing as it would change the odds of success and therefore numbers of permits and so on.. But on a related note I have always thought AK needs a short, early general season bow hunt for sheep. To have a bow hunter have to compete with rifle hunters on even terms is rediculous. An early season would increase hunting opportunities which is what F and G is supposed to do.
                I 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. Fred Bear


                • #9
                  what F&G is supposed to do...

                  this is the mission statement right off the website.

                  * * *
                  ADF&G Mission Statement

                  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's mission is to protect, maintain, and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development for the maximum benefit of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle.

                  i don't see where it say's "increase hunting opportunities".
                  i do see where it says "the people" NOT "the hunters", and also where it says "sustained yield" not "maximum sustained yield" or "to provide high levels of harvest for human use" (as IM law dictates)
                  it would behoove us all to remember that F&G is here to fulfill thier mission statement for ALL the people of alaska...archers,riflehunters,backpackers and photographers, present AND future..
                  get politics out of game management, fund the department so they can do the job they are supposed to, and we will all benefit.
                  Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"


                  • #10
                    don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining about the season we do have already or even trying to get things changed. just cursious why its set up the way it is. I know theres never a garuntee with anythign and just because there might be an early season dont' change anything, i just wonder what folks thought of how it was set up compared to some places where bow seasons are always first.
                    Master guide 212


                    • #11
                      bow hunting chugach sheep

                      I'm undecided about this as well. I drew DS 139 this year. I chose to hunt it with a bow because bow hunting is just a lot more fun than hunting with a rifle. The good part was, the only rifle hunter that I saw in the 7 days I hunted, was on the hike out.


                      • #12
                        How did you do, Jeff? Any luck?



                        • #13

                          Shoulda brought a rifle. Joking aside, I did get within rifle range but I have no regrets about trying to do it with a bow. I learned a lot about sheep hunting, saw a lot of beautiful country, and my brother-in-law arrowed a nice blackie.


                          • #14
                            Tough Hunt... the reward is the hunt

                            I have been fortunate to draw this permit 3 times in the last decade. I love hunting sheep in the chugach, but there is nothing easy about this hunt. If you like a tough challenge and are rewarded with your efforts and experience this is a great hunt. if you want a sheep to lazily walk by your tent in the sunshine, dont bother to apply. I agree with you BRWNBR, the sheep are as nervous as long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs immediately after 3 gun seasons. Immediately, is the key term here. I was in the field two days before my season this year and walked out the day after it closed. I was wishing that I had more time. The season needs to be lengthened to provide a bowhunter enough time to score that great stalk where everything comes together.
                            Pick A Spot


                            • #15
                              So its really easy to draw that permit because there is a very low sucsess rate so they can issue more permits and allow more people to get a chance
                              I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


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