Possible Change to Montana Unlimited Sheep

Ok, another thought on the first point and to counter yours. If these friends are so successful, wouldn't it be great if the people that know it so well and are shooting a ram every 7 years are no longer eligible? Wouldn't that make for in the long run a few more rams on the mountain for those that have been trying hard but failing eventually fill their dream of getting a ram?
You’re looking for a problem that doesn’t exist. @MTGomer has addressed this in other posts. The unlimiteds are big nasty and expansive. Every ram is earned. Well most of them anyway. The issue is not amazing hunters crushing all the rams every 7 years.
 
You’re looking for a problem that doesn’t exist. @MTGomer has addressed this in other posts. The unlimiteds are big nasty and expansive. Every ram is earned. Well most of them anyway. The issue is not amazing hunters crushing all the rams every 7 years.
This happens a lot around here. Guys arguing about things they know very little about.🙂
 
All rams should be measured and evaluated by 2-3 guys, set up the skull in a jig and come to a unanimous decision.

Mandatory reporting shorter time frame, and FWP updating every single day seems pretty easy to do.

Sitting out every other year isn't really going to reduce the crowds. I would guess most hunt with a partner, and I'd be surprised if there has ever been a double whamy on UL rams, but could be wrong, but it would seem very highly unlikely.

@YoungGun How many of those guys that killed more than one, have done so in the last 30 years? I don't remember when they started the 7 year wait, but it was within my lifetime. I know a few people that have killed more than one, but the wait was much shorter then. There was also about as many hunters then (40-50 years ago) as now, IIRC.

I'd also be interested to know how many people get the tag and hunt it once vs once every few years, vs every year. OTC sheep tags here, very few people hunt sheep more than once, let alone every year. The UL are obviously different, but I'll be a large portion of those going every year are on their first and last sheep hunt.

Outside the reporting and measuring, I don't' think there is really anything that should change. Leave it be... If you want a better experience apply for the limited tags.
 
Montana 87-1-115. Restitution for illegal killing or possession of trophy wildlife. In addition to other penalties provided by law, a person convicted or forfeiting bond or bail on a charge of the purposeful or knowing illegal killing, taking, or possession of a trophy animal listed in this section shall reimburse the state for each trophy animal according to the following schedule:
(1) bighorn sheep with at least one horn equal to or greater than three-fourth curl as defined by commission regulation, $30,000;…

Did the illegally harvested rams have horns less than 3/4 curl? Did the hunters that harvested the illegal rams have to pay restitution to the State of Montana $30,000 each?

Thanks, TheGrayRider.
 
Wow, Im... kinda glad... to see this coming up.
As has been stated, it is a bit of a mystery just how many UL sheep hunters there are every year. Between drawing the license, OTC and who actually is showing up to hunt it. But it does seem to be growing in popularity with more folks showing up year after year.
I also strongly feel that the unlimiteds are somewhat self limiting. That is, theres only so many folks that will put in the work that is needed to be successful.

What we do need is stronger enforcement of the rules that are already in place. Legality, reporting, two way communication, unlawful use of aircraft etc.

Lets get with the times and shorten the reporting/closure windows.
The closure window is easy, season is closed at sunset of the day the quota fills. We have to check the quota every day.
The reporting window... Could we require a 24hr electronic check in, while maintaining the 48hr in person check in?

Just out of curiosity, have any of you guys who spend time in these units not been able to get a spot/inreach message to go in/out? I know I can think of times down in the timber/valleys where it might take a long time but they seem to always go through eventually. Im also some what uneasy with the idea that this regulation would more or less be mandating that hunters carry some sort of satellite communication with them, although I guess this really isn't that different than being forced to carry a radio with you in the 70/80s.
 
All rams should be measured and evaluated by 2-3 guys, set up the skull in a jig and come to a unanimous decision.

Mandatory reporting shorter time frame, and FWP updating every single day seems pretty easy to do.

Sitting out every other year isn't really going to reduce the crowds. I would guess most hunt with a partner, and I'd be surprised if there has ever been a double whamy on UL rams, but could be wrong, but it would seem very highly unlikely.

@YoungGun How many of those guys that killed more than one, have done so in the last 30 years? I don't remember when they started the 7 year wait, but it was within my lifetime. I know a few people that have killed more than one, but the wait was much shorter then. There was also about as many hunters then (40-50 years ago) as now, IIRC.

I'd also be interested to know how many people get the tag and hunt it once vs once every few years, vs every year. OTC sheep tags here, very few people hunt sheep more than once, let alone every year. The UL are obviously different, but I'll be a large portion of those going every year are on their first and last sheep hunt.

Outside the reporting and measuring, I don't' think there is really anything that should change. Leave it be... If you want a better experience apply for the limited tags.
I agree with a higher enforcement standard and shorter check in times, just as you and @mtnkid85 have brought up. As @MTGomer pointed out, hunters are already trying to do their part and get reporting early, but until FWP updates their practices, it doesn't make a difference. We don't need legislative changes to have the results Mr. Tabor is possibly going for- just need to better enforce what's already on the books, IMO.

@Bambistew -I'm not old enough, nor have I been hunting in Montana long enough to know many guys that hunted before the 7 year wait was in place. These are all post 7 year individuals. If you look prior to that at guys like Jack Jr., there were a lot more than 2 rams being taken by individuals in their lifetime. Repeat hunters are not the issue in the Unlimiteds. Loosely enforced laws, lack of meaningful price increases with the economy, and information being shotgun blasted across the world wide web by those that have "got theirs" instead of being gate keepers are just some of the more prevalent issues as I see them.
 
Comments on these issues are due tomorrow if you're emailing ([email protected])

Even though the Department has seemingly addressed the points presented by Tabor, it doesn't hurt for the commission to get a sense of where the hunting public stands on an issue. Whether you agree or disagree with Tabor's proposal, your comments matter. If you don't hunt the ULs and don't intend to, maybe reach out to someone on here that has and see what their thoughts are on each issue so we can support each other as hunters.
 

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