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2020 Alaska Dall sheep hunter success ?

fulldraw

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
643
Location
Iowa
I was looking for any info on Alaska Dall sheep hunter success for 2020 . Not sure if I have missed some posts on this topic or if there has not been anything posted. I heard from one Alaska outfitter that said his numbers were way down this year due to a hard winter last year.
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,126
Location
Chugiak, AK
From what I've heard so far numbers are a bit lower, I haven't heard the unofficial count yet, it takes a month or so to get the preliminary numbers. I'd say maybe 10-15% lower at most. The winter was rough in some areas, but what we saw this year was more a factor of the winter of 2012 which killed most all the lambs and a lot of the yearlings in many areas. Next year will be pretty rough in many areas too. The good news is 2 years out we'll see the bumper crop of lambs (rams) start to crop up into the bag. Bad news is we'll experience the same as this year 7-8 years from now, and the ewes took a beating last winter in many areas.

The long term weather forecast is an easy winter. The summer was wetter than normal, and there was lots of feed for them going into fall/winter. Unless we get a bad winter, I would expect a good lamb crop this spring.

Mature rams fair much better than ewes do in bad winters, although some of the older rams don't make it. Its kind of a double whammy. Not enough old rams to fill the void of the rams that are missing in the fall to harvest.

On a given year about 15-20% of rams killed are 7 year olds, 45% are 8yo, 25% are 9yo, with the rest being older and a few younger. Since there is a "hole" in the age class where the majority of harvest happens we put more pressure on the few that survived last year, and there was very few 7-8yos running around this year... if that all makes sense. I haven't looked at the age class harvest stats in depth from last year but the overall average age class last year was about 0.2 years younger than years prior. as I recall, meaning we killed more young rams last year.

The weather was awful in many parts of the state (it rained 7 of 9 days I was out, and I couldn't see the mountain 5 of those days) The weather undoubtedly saved a few rams.

I'm pretty optimistic for next fall. I heard similar reports from others (plenty of younger rams), yet have heard dismal reports from some other areas of the state. Mainly the Talkeetnas and parts of the central and western AK range. The sheep hunters in TMA (Tok) had a really rough go at it, but the DCUA (Delta) hunters did well, just across the river, more or less. Center of areas are maybe 40 miles apart.
 

Lawnboy

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Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
3,612
Location
Bozeman, Montana
My brother reports way low numbers. Saw 1 legal ram all season so far. He talked to a bio in his area that is reportedly seeing 50% less on his collared ewes. Bio also mentioned that we are seeing the effects from a hard winter years ago in lambs. Just overall lower numbers. This is just in his area anyway. Ivan's report is telling as well. I was suppose to come up this year but he said it was a good year to miss.
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,126
Location
Chugiak, AK
Waiting on the prelim stats, but harvest was down 25%. The stats aren't finalized until sometime next spring, but the majority are in the system. 200 less sheep killed this year (compared to 2018 and 2019). Need to dig deeper to success rates, etc. I suspect there was a few less NR hunters, but I think resident hunter numbers may have been even or up.
 

Mdoolin

New member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
3
Does anyone know when the official harvest data gets published on the department of fish and game website?
 

EYJONAS!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
3,159
This is a sign from EYJONAS.....he's opening the door for you to elaborate with stories and pics.
I talked with @C Bow he shared his adventure via pm. Hopefully he can share some more. Looked like an amazing adventure.
 

Sourdough

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
4
Thanks Fulldraw, first sheep for my son and son in law. Walk in hunts are always a lot of hard work but with the population down we had 30 miles on before we even spotted our first sheep. I'm getting too old for this :p
 

BradA

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
24
From what I've heard so far numbers are a bit lower, I haven't heard the unofficial count yet, it takes a month or so to get the preliminary numbers. I'd say maybe 10-15% lower at most. The winter was rough in some areas, but what we saw this year was more a factor of the winter of 2012 which killed most all the lambs and a lot of the yearlings in many areas. Next year will be pretty rough in many areas too. The good news is 2 years out we'll see the bumper crop of lambs (rams) start to crop up into the bag. Bad news is we'll experience the same as this year 7-8 years from now, and the ewes took a beating last winter in many areas.

The long term weather forecast is an easy winter. The summer was wetter than normal, and there was lots of feed for them going into fall/winter. Unless we get a bad winter, I would expect a good lamb crop this spring.

Mature rams fair much better than ewes do in bad winters, although some of the older rams don't make it. Its kind of a double whammy. Not enough old rams to fill the void of the rams that are missing in the fall to harvest.

On a given year about 15-20% of rams killed are 7 year olds, 45% are 8yo, 25% are 9yo, with the rest being older and a few younger. Since there is a "hole" in the age class where the majority of harvest happens we put more pressure on the few that survived last year, and there was very few 7-8yos running around this year... if that all makes sense. I haven't looked at the age class harvest stats in depth from last year but the overall average age class last year was about 0.2 years younger than years prior. as I recall, meaning we killed more young rams last year.

The weather was awful in many parts of the state (it rained 7 of 9 days I was out, and I couldn't see the mountain 5 of those days) The weather undoubtedly saved a few rams.

I'm pretty optimistic for next fall. I heard similar reports from others (plenty of younger rams), yet have heard dismal reports from some other areas of the state. Mainly the Talkeetnas and parts of the central and western AK range. The sheep hunters in TMA (Tok) had a really rough go at it, but the DCUA (Delta) hunters did well, just across the river, more or less. Center of areas are maybe 40 miles apart.
By two years out for it to be the bumper crop, do you mean in 2022? That it will be a good year ?
 

BradA

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
24
Thanks Fulldraw, first sheep for my son and son in law. Walk in hunts are always a lot of hard work but with the population down we had 30 miles on before we even spotted our first sheep. I'm getting too old for this :p
Can I be your son in law if you take me sheep hunting.... haha 😂
 
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