Dall sheep hunting on Federal public lands in Brooks Range closed thru 2024

HONEYBADGER

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
460
They will close the whole state eventually, give them an inch and they will take a mile. Time after time after time.
 

Rainer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
547
I'm curious if it had anything to do with the report about thinhorn numbers being down in Alaska over the last few years. During the thinhorn convention in Whitehorse it was brought up as an issue.
 

Carnage2011

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,389
Location
Whitehall, MT
Yeah, because it seems these days that BHA is the only sportsman's group that takes on controversial issues.

Anyone heard from FNAWS or WSF?

Any other Alaska groups?

BTW, are you a BHA member?
Yep, quite a few groups in Alaska have spoken out about it. WSF as well as SCI.

BHA is a self proclaimed access organization. That’s a lot of access down the drain. Yes, I’m a member of BHA…I question that decision more everyday. I think the state level BHA orgs do some good, but the national level is garbage at this point.

This has nothing to do with population levels. Alaska biologists spoke out against this and the feds still pushed it through. So much for the state managing their wildlife….
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,798
Location
Chugiak, AK
They will close the whole state eventually, give them an inch and they will take a mile. Time after time after time.
They'll get all the federal lands closed eventually. Luckily 1/3 of the state is state owned, bit it will squeeze everyone in to those areas.NR will be the first to get axed.

This proposal and the "science" behind the closure was a joke. The board took at face value the anecdotal evidence of a resident of the area as gospel. Hes also on the RAC board for the local area. The subsitence board is appointed by the secretary of the interior... who saw this coming? Hahah

In this area 2-3 sheep are killed for subsistence. Sheep are not really a subsistence animal outside of the wragells and a couple communities in the Brooks.

General harvest in 24 is +/-20 a year. They killed 11 last year, but according to the proponent there should have been zero legal rams. The age of rams killed averaged over 10 as well. I won't discredit there being fewer sheep, maybe a lot fewer, but... there are still sheep to hunt and saving a few rams isn't going to do shit.

Populations are down across the state and some areas are in terrible condition. However according to numerous studies shooting old rams doesn't have any negative effect on population. Rams don't have lambs not does shooting rams make the ewes have better body composition in the spring or does it? Either way this is getting tiresome. I would be surprised to see them close the rest of the Brooks.

Also wanted to add... if you believe that federal lands in the L48 are protected from similar restrictions, you haven't thought too hard about it. I believe most federal lands in the west have some sort of treaty rights for access. Once they figure out how to make them exclusive they will. Alaska is the litmus test, IMO. The feds own the wildlife don't kid yourselves.
 
Last edited:

BuzzH

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
14,245
Location
Laramie, WY
Yep, quite a few groups in Alaska have spoken out about it. WSF as well as SCI.

BHA is a self proclaimed access organization. That’s a lot of access down the drain. Yes, I’m a member of BHA…I question that decision more everyday. I think the state level BHA orgs do some good, but the national level is garbage at this point.

This has nothing to do with population levels. Alaska biologists spoke out against this and the feds still pushed it through. So much for the state managing their wildlife….
Seems a sheep specific issue so wsf should be the lead and look for support from other orgs.

If you're concerned about Alaska BHA's position might be a better question to ask the Alaska board about. Or you can continue to wonder, up to you.
 

LuketheDog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2015
Messages
3,384
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
How many subsistence hunters target sheep? I think it would require a pile of sheep for a family to “subsist” over a year. I know nothing about this area but would you have to walk past caribou and moose to get to the sheep?

The more I read and hear about 'subsistence' hunting in Alaska, the more I learn the number of people doing it for actual subsistence is far less than what my previous understating was.
 

Labman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
320
What’s the angle of this FSB on this? They closed it to all users, so subsistence hunters too. Will they look to reopen it someday only to subsistence users? Anyone know the outfitters who were affected?
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,798
Location
Chugiak, AK
What’s the angle of this FSB on this? They closed it to all users, so subsistence hunters too. Will they look to reopen it someday only to subsistence users? Anyone know the outfitters who were affected?
Not sure what you mean by angle. They were buffalo'ed into believing that the sheep need a break.

It's closed to everyone.


The guides up there can still operate on... state land. Keep it Public 😀 It screwed all the guys that bow hunt the corridor (60-100 hunters, whi kill 1-2 rams), and much of the area within striking distance of the road. Still some state land open and accessible though.

It's wasted time to fight it. The feds do what they want no one is going to convince them once they belive that there is any sort of impact by non-subsistence users. Their decisions are emotionally based anymore.
 

Labman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
320
Not sure what you mean by angle. They were buffalo'ed into believing that the sheep need a break.

It's closed to everyone.


The guides up there can still operate on... state land. Keep it Public 😀 It screwed all the guys that bow hunt the corridor (60-100 hunters, whi kill 1-2 rams), and much of the area within striking distance of the road. Still some state land open and accessible though.

It's wasted time to fight it. The feds do what they want no one is going to convince them once they belive that there is any sort of impact by non-subsistence users. Their decisions are emotionally based anymore.
What’s their end goal here? Shut it down to everyone for 2 yrs then open it only to subsistence users after that time, close it permanently to everyone?
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,404
Location
interior Alaska
I'm curious if it had anything to do with the report about thinhorn numbers being down in Alaska over the last few years. During the thinhorn convention in Whitehorse it was brought up as an issue.
We have had rain-on-snow events and heavy snows the past several winters.
The winter and spring of 2012-2014 were also bad in terms of heavy and late snows.
The statewide harvest is usually about 800 rams, that has declined to 650 rams harvested in 2020,
to a record low harvest of 451 rams in 2021.
The Tok Management Unit permits have declined from 150 permits 20 years ago to 87 permits issued a decade ago
to 10 permits total this year.

In Alaska, a ram must be full-curl or broomed on both sides to be legal, therefore sport hunting likely has minimal impact on the population
relative to weather and predation events.
AK Fish and Game response to closure proposal

AK rams article
 
Last edited:

TheTone

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Messages
4,475
Location
ID
I think the first push you might see for lower 48 subsistence/treaty only harvest is going to be related to anadromous fish. Tribes are already fishing very differently than state fisherman. Fishing different/closed areas, wanting exclusive tribal areas, snagging, gill nets, spearing, harvest of wild fish, shaky at best harvest monitoring etc. It can be an absolute mess on certain years and I’d guess will only get worse
 

rtraverdavis

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
3,131
Location
OREGON
I think the first push you might see for lower 48 subsistence/treaty only harvest is going to be related to anadromous fish. Tribes are already fishing very differently than state fisherman. Fishing different/closed areas, wanting exclusive tribal areas, snagging, gill nets, spearing, harvest of wild fish, shaky at best harvest monitoring etc. It can be an absolute mess on certain years and I’d guess will only get worse
Bet you’re right. Sure does feel like opportunity is rapidly closing around us on many fronts. This latest subsistence board decision is just the latest example. Those in the best position (whether it be through treaty or force of money and power) to retain their hunting and fishing privileges will find a way to do so, the rest of us be damned.

Edited, because that sounded real whiny. Got to keep fighting for equitable, science based access, wherever possible.
 
Last edited:

neffa3

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
7,995
Location
Wenatchee
I think the first push you might see for lower 48 subsistence/treaty only harvest is going to be related to anadromous fish. Tribes are already fishing very differently than state fisherman. Fishing different/closed areas, wanting exclusive tribal areas, snagging, gill nets, spearing, harvest of wild fish, shaky at best harvest monitoring etc. It can be an absolute mess on certain years and I’d guess will only get worse
Still, going back to the Salmon wars of the 70's and 80's, they've only ever wanted 1/2 of the catch, and even with all those liberal forms of take, they don't get 1/2 of the overall take, not if you considering ocean commercial harvests and bycatch (including foreign fleets).
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,798
Location
Chugiak, AK
What’s their end goal here? Shut it down to everyone for 2 yrs then open it only to subsistence users after that time, close it permanently to everyone?
It's hard to say for sure it can always be extended through another action, but right now its just the two years. Most closure have been short lived. 1-2 years, but come up again and again.

The board closed unit 13 federal lands to non-qualified users for moose and caribou in 2020, for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. The initial closure was going to be a year and an "experiment" in control, the proponents words. That closure just expired and the areas will reopen this fall. Luckily the GMU has a lot of state lands and it wasn't a huge issue, but it did close off a major migration corridor and a large area easily accessed by road. Under ANICA the board can justify closures for concerns of over harvest, low game numbers, safety concerns or administrative reasons. So basically can do what they want and justify it as needed. Anyone can write a convincing proposal and present it to the board. The feds control about 65% of the land in AK and most of it is managed for subsistence priority.

The state owns the majority of the range for the Nelchina, Mulchatna and 40 Mile caribou herds (~30% of total caribou), and the feds own the majority of the remaining herd ranges. For sheep, the feds control most of the Brooks, Kenai and Wrangel ranges (about ~65% of the sheep), the state controls the majority of the Talkeetna, Chugach and Alaska Ranges. Moose hunting is fairly even. Populations are higher on state lands due to predator control.

The light gray areas (state lands) are open within the closure area (cross hatch). the majority of the sheep are found between the label for 24A and 26B. its about 70-80 miles of sheep country that can be accessed off the road. There was rumblings last year of closing the eastern brooks to sheep hunting as well, but there is little to no subsistence hunting in those areas, most occurs on state and private land out of two villages. Usually late in the winter, early spring off snow machines. I think the limit is 5 sheep, but they may have reduced it. Subsistence sheep are a very small part of the overall take.

1659377780441.png
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
101,671
Messages
1,625,979
Members
31,796
Latest member
DS51
Top