Caribou Gear

Almost Go Time - Still Not Ready

ThunderNocked

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Aug 3, 2020
Messages
630
Location
North Pole, Alaska
I've had a pile of gear laying on the floor of my office for a week, not sure if its all there or not. I guess I better figure it out by Monday. On the proactive side, I printed off my sheep tag about an hour ago.
Hey me too!!! I have it all in a pile in my room/closet.
I also printed my Sheep Tag off today and started making a list of the last minute items I need (looking at you glassing tarp) before I leave.
Your out Monday @Bambistew !?
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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Chugiak, AK
Hey me too!!! I have it all in a pile in my room/closet.
I also printed my Sheep Tag off today and started making a list of the last minute items I need (looking at you glassing tarp) before I leave.
Your out Monday @Bambistew !?
Hopefully but weather looks aweful, and the pilot is getting backed up. Could be another opener drop off.
 

Dave N

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Feb 20, 2013
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5,434
Location
Illinois
Just got the first winter storm warning for high winds and up to a foot of snow above 2000 feet. Brooks range. Good luck boys.
And here I sit in mid 90s with humidity waaaayyyyyy up there. Jealous of you guys in Alaska. Wish I could just make a trip again but those days are gone now. Good luck to all! I'll be expecting pictures.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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Chugiak, AK
I just canceled my sheep hunt. Intel on sheep numbers is worse than abysmal. Going to give them a rest for a while, I can't in good conscience go kill one, knowing every one counts right now. I was hopeful, last year numbers looked good. This last winter was a killer, deep snow and a late spring. There was still feet of snow on the gound in late May in much of the state. The DCUA has half the sheep of normal, basically no lambs. Id expect big cuts in tags next year. Tok is toast. Sheep hunting the entire alaska range, east to west, is done for at least 5-10 years, hope we get a few easy winters.
 

Lambo

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Jul 24, 2022
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I just canceled my sheep hunt. Intel on sheep numbers is worse than abysmal. Going to give them a rest for a while, I can't in good conscience go kill one, knowing every one counts right now. I was hopeful, last year numbers looked good. This last winter was a killer, deep snow and a late spring. There was still feet of snow on the gound in late May in much of the state. The DCUA has half the sheep of normal, basically no lambs. Id expect big cuts in tags next year. Tok is toast. Sheep hunting the entire alaska range, east to west, is done for at least 5-10 years, hope we get a few easy winters.
Sorry to hear about this. I had my trip cancelled two years ago because of covid, last year I had Covid so was cancelled. So I am booked for '24, for the "hunt of a life time". Sounds like that may not be happening. Not sure of your situation but sad to hear you cancelled but completely understandable. I am questioning whether I start focusing on goats or elk. I am an east coast hunter (northeast) so elk are exotic to me as well.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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Chugiak, AK
Sorry to hear about this. I had my trip cancelled two years ago because of covid, last year I had Covid so was cancelled. So I am booked for '24, for the "hunt of a life time". Sounds like that may not be happening. Not sure of your situation but sad to hear you cancelled but completely understandable. I am questioning whether I start focusing on goats or elk. I am an east coast hunter (northeast) so elk are exotic to me as well.
There are a couple places that aren't quite as bad as the rest, but there will be big changes coming, if I had to guess. Either it will be closed in many areas or sevearly restricted, and NR will take the brunt of it. We're a decade of digging out of the hole we're in for most of the huntable sheep in the state... eith average or easier winters. Some areas may never recover like the Kenai mountains. Sad days ahead.
 

Carnage2011

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Sep 28, 2012
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1,389
Location
Whitehall, MT
Sorry to hear about this. I had my trip cancelled two years ago because of covid, last year I had Covid so was cancelled. So I am booked for '24, for the "hunt of a life time". Sounds like that may not be happening. Not sure of your situation but sad to hear you cancelled but completely understandable. I am questioning whether I start focusing on goats or elk. I am an east coast hunter (northeast) so elk are exotic to me as well.
Don’t get too discouraged. There are still sheep and legal rams. Bambi is correct on what he says, but you could still have a good hunt. I picked up a cancellation hunt last year and killed a ram opening day in an over the counter unit. I have a buddy up there right now that went into the field yesterday that is sitting on a 10 year old in An OTC unit.

The sheep have been hit hard for sure. I talked to a really successful outfitter a few weeks ago and he gave me the same poor report for TOK. He said he wouldn’t have any clients apply there next year. Hopefully the sheep catch a break soon and for an extended amount of time!
 

375H&H

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Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
1,119
Location
Northern Wyoming
I just canceled my sheep hunt. Intel on sheep numbers is worse than abysmal. Going to give them a rest for a while, I can't in good conscience go kill one, knowing every one counts right now. I was hopeful, last year numbers looked good. This last winter was a killer, deep snow and a late spring. There was still feet of snow on the gound in late May in much of the state. The DCUA has half the sheep of normal, basically no lambs. Id expect big cuts in tags next year. Tok is toast. Sheep hunting the entire alaska range, east to west, is done for at least 5-10 years, hope we get a few easy winters.
Just curious, does that mean the Brooks range closures may have been warranted and less political than originally thought? If so, then I am glad to hear they made the right call for the right reasons.
 

ThunderNocked

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Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
630
Location
North Pole, Alaska
I will be going out - weather has me a bit nervous as it'll be my first Solo Trip.
Honestly, not to talk down on myself too much BUT - I'm going in Solo, its only my second sheep hunt and I know I'm going into a lower density area hoping to avoid some of the people. But in all likely hood I know that it takes multiple trips to put everything together. So I am not planning on just going for a hike, in most likely hood the sheep are probably pretty safe. If I do find something legal I'll definitely do my best, and I'm going to be more cautious on what I determine as legal (I don't trust myself counting rings).

I dream of going to see the Brooks - maybe I'll take a trip just for fun.

@Bambistew any advice on counting rings? HAHA, to late for this year but I'll take any advice!
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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6,799
Location
Chugiak, AK
Don’t get too discouraged. There are still sheep and legal rams. Bambi is correct on what he says, but you could still have a good hunt. I picked up a cancellation hunt last year and killed a ram opening day in an over the counter unit. I have a buddy up there right now that went into the field yesterday that is sitting on a 10 year old in An OTC unit.

The sheep have been hit hard for sure. I talked to a really successful outfitter a few weeks ago and he gave me the same poor report for TOK. He said he wouldn’t have any clients apply there next year. Hopefully the sheep catch a break soon and for an extended amount of time!
There will be sheep killed this year, no doubt but there will be a lot of sad hunters, and I hope we don't see as many sublegal rams killed as last year (40+).

Most of the sheep are hunted on OTC tags. 90% of the harvest, draw tags for the most part have lower success rates and 70% are killed the first week. Not a surpise you killed one openong day, most are. :) Sure there are still rams and sheep but the population statewide is in the crapper. We killed 1/2 the normal last year, and will be evel less this year. It's not just a shortage of rams now. The sheep are gone. Recruitment isnt there, and we'll have yet another big hole in 7-8 years.

The race to the bottom is on. FC regulations prevent the wholesale reduction of sheep, but when populations are as low as reports I'm hearing at some point something has to give.

Historically populations ebb and flow due to weather, but we've never seen population decline statewide like this.

As far as the feds closure goes. They shouldn't have authority to do that willy-nilly. There is many other ways to limit harvest without a full on closure.

As mentioned the FC regulations prevent reductions of the populations, supposedly... I just can't kill one in my area knowing what I saw last year and the reports I've heard this year so far. I could probably find a legal ram, but really don't want to shoot the last one.
 

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