New Unlimited Bighorn unit in Montana?

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http://helenair.com/news/local/fish...cle_06471c81-04c5-53d9-8d01-0d3fa583259a.html

I'm having a hard time seeing how this hunt's going to be anything other than a complete disaster. There's no way they can actually sell unlimited OTC tags for this right?

The only way I could see it working is having some sort of drawing similar to the cow bison hunts, where they filter in a couple hunters every week until the sheep are gone.
 

TRS_Montana

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Yeah, it seems they could be a bit more efficient in their effort to reduce the population. This just feels like they are trying to get as much money out of it as possible, but if they just increased the number of tags, or did a series of lagged hunts, it would be a little less chaotic. Who knows, though. Maybe not too many people would want to waste their points on an over the counter tag.
 

npaden

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New Mexico did something similar a few years back with over the counter licenses for ewe Ibex in the Florida mountains. If you killed 2 ewes you got put into a drawing for a ram tag.

From what it sounded like from some of the hunters who were there, combat skills were a definite advantage on opening day.
 

LopeHunter

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Wow. I also hope they limit the number of hunters at any one time to no more than 10% of the remaining herd in initially and then when the herd is at 10 send in pairs of hunters and then only one hunter when is only one sheep left.

Having 500 or 100 hunters show up at one time and be out there chasing a few dozen rams would be criminal because someone will fell pressure to climb too steep a ridge then fall or a bullet hit another hunter in the confusion.
 

Pagosa

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I will go if they offer tags. I might take a video camera and watch the craziness. And hope to see some sheep. You guys are right it could get dangerous.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Aren't you guys putting the cart way before the horse? All I got when reading the article is the FWP is going to assess the situation with a possibility that hunters may be used to eliminate the sheep in that area that have had disease problems for a long time, and that has significantly reduced their numbers to the point where they probably won't recover. It mentions OTC licenses, but didn't say they would be unlimited in number. It looks like the actual process isn't close to becoming a reality at the present time the way the article is written or am I missing something?
 

phutch30

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Having 500 or 100 hunters show up at one time and be out there chasing a few dozen rams would be criminal because someone will fell pressure to climb too steep a ridge then fall or a bullet hit another hunter in the confusion.

I see this herd all the time. There are maybe 5-7 adult rams in this unit and the biggest is prob mid 160s". This will be a zoo.
 

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I see this herd all the time. There are maybe 5-7 adult rams in this unit and the biggest is prob mid 160s". This will be a zoo.

phutch, have you heard anything more than what the FWP minutes say and what the few articles have said? I just can't believe they would go ahead with an unlimited hunt where they'd let everyone hunt on the same morning like that.

If they are it has got to be one of the worst ideas of all time. They better have the entire region 3 warden crew there if they do.

My Dad almost had a whitetail buck taken from him this year that another hunter thought he had shot, I can't imagine what some guys would do for a bighorn ram.
 

fowl_minded

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Bad Idea

I would agree with you randy, this thing would be like the Deckard Flats on steroids! Im remeber my first ever elk hunt I even had a chance to shoot at a elk let alone a bull, I was fourteen and it was the last week of the season and we are riding out on to the flats and im looking around at all these elk thinking "what the hell dad why dont we just come here this is a gold mine" not know what was about to happen. The sun came up and we were surrounded by orange vests and the next thing i know more elk start hitting the ground than a guy even knows what to do with. The first bull I was ever pulled down on gets dumped right when im about to squeeze the trigger and i turn around and look at this guy that took us and go "that guy shot my BULL!" and he goes "what do you want me to do about it give him mouth to mouth and give you a second chance you gotta be quicker kid." That was one of the biggest lessons i have ever learned. I can only imagine what this thing would be like in comparison to that. Some people Im sure would dang near kill another for a shot at a ram. Why don't they do some sort of a drawing system where they have limited entries and the only ones that can apply are people that have been putting in for years and years with no success in drawing a coveted sheep tag? Here is another question, why haven't they ever done anything like this in the past? Maybe they have but I don't ever remember anything usually its just a frenzy for some population control for them. I mean can a person even imagine what that hillside would even look like come opening morning. HA That deal would be a joke.
 

Baerman

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I don't know anything about this unit but it sounds like it's going to be a wreck. What if the hunt was limited to archery and boxing gloves only? :D
 

Bambistew

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Make it walk in only form the highway... no drop-off of people, or gear, or recovery of meat by motorized vehicle or pack animal. Another suggestion would be to make the participants lose their preference points.
 

phutch30

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I dont believe they have an decision on what they are gunna do.

I see no reason to make it harder to kill the sheep. FWP wants them ALL dead. They wont close the county rds or BLM rds. Besides, on any given day you can see them from the truck off the Big Sheep Cr rd.
 

Oak

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In case you missed it, MT FWP is taking comments until May 15 on the proposed depopulation and reintroduction of sheep in the Tendoy Mountains.

http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotice...ents/speciesRemovalAndRelocation/pn_0070.html

I'm not familiar at all with the area. After reading the EA, I have concerns about the fact that the domestic sheep threat has not been mitigated yet, and the about the proposal to manage the new herd to a much lower objective than prescribed in the 2010 Conservation Stragegy (180-220 sheep). The proposed plan to manage for "less than 150 observed sheep" is only slightly above the 125 sheep threshold considered by the Conservation Strategy to be a viable population.

You MT guys have a better grasp on the situation that I do. Just throwing it out there in case you hadn't seen it.
 

roadhunter

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Make it walk in only form the highway... no drop-off of people, or gear, or recovery of meat by motorized vehicle or pack animal. Another suggestion would be to make the participants lose their preference points.

Or just make it an archery only hunt.
 

kmf

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If the biggest is only 160" I will take the high road and take that one so no one has to burn points or get embarrassed for shooting a little one.
 

shoots-straight

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I wonder if the herd isn't stronger after living through die offs. In the Root we've had 2 of them, and now the East Fork herd is at capacity. Why not leave the ones with the imunity to pass those genes alone.

I think the real problem is there's still co mingling with domestic in the area. If that's the case then their wasting time till the next outbreak.
 

roadhunter

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That would seem to be self-defeating when the end goal is to remove the sheep. The quicker you remove the herd, the quicker you can transplant healthy sheep.

I think the suggestions given (roads closed, archery only, etc)were to limit pressure.

If the intent is to kill them as fast as possible then make the tags easy to get and cheap.
 
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