View Full Version : So does subsistence hunting correlate to poorer genetics?
So does subsistence hunting correlate to poorer genetics?
12-18-2006, 08:47 AM
This could be true, take for example WMU 400 since 1980 there have been 2 boone and crockett bighorns taken (thats over 26 years). Then take a look at just one WMU in Kananaskis 22 boone and crockett rams over the same period. On one hand we have a WMU with easy access (400, we might as well throw 402 and 404 into the mix), on the other hand we have a WMU with lots of road closures to protect wintering herds of Bighorn Sheep from overharvest by Subsistence hunters, looks like there may be some correlation here, but its just speculation right!! I wonder how many rams were Subsisted off plateau mtn in the last month and a half??
I've thought about it. Theres probably more genetic damage due to the easy access and general seasons. I've seen a few rams in 400 over the years that would go book, but weren't full curl. Theres still good genes over in Waterton though and you see some nice full curls. Who knows? I haven't seen a big ram in 402 ever, access too easy on both sides of border. Itthink access is still the biggest factor, whether it be subsistence or poaching.
Easy access of course is the number one reason
12-18-2006, 09:41 PM
I wouldn't say general seasons however. Kananaskis has tougher access and general seasons and produces huge rams consistently most every year, 400-404 don't. Have any pictures of these Book rams from Waterton to Highway 3?, I've got pictures of Book rams from Kananaskis and further North and it didn't take much effort to get them but I haven't seen anything of that class in the South, including Waterton or was this before 1984?? The last ram I could gaurantee you would make 180 in the South was 1991 it would be nice to hear someone actually take ones like that in 400-404 but you don't and not likely ever will even by subsistence hunters. Over the last few years at Willow Valley a few 183 to 184 rams have been on display taken by some locals but these came from North of the Bow. A ram that scored 178 was taken in 402 early this fall, but thats not much an indicator of good things to come.
12-18-2006, 09:56 PM
Are you just trying to stir things up? You seem like you're really looking to nitpick things apart with this whole 400-402 hunting thing and actually questioning whether JRS has seen a 180 plus ram....whats your deal?
Something seems mighty weird here with the way you're going about things......
Why is a ram that scored 178 not a sign of good things to come? A 178 ram is a good ram, especially if he's full curl in the south.....Just seems like you're really wanting to come out and say it....why not do it, rather than skirt around acting like you know more than everyone else?
Hey, if you've never seen any big rams in waterton or around there thats probably just your luck. They normally seem to hang out in the park come August but there around. Have you seen the one in Lethbridge fish and wildlife from the 1990's? I'm pretty sure he came from down there. He must be around 180. I realize larger rams are present more often further north but whether your licenced or subsistence access is going to make it tougher to get old. I know some guys who have been chasing the same 3 rams down south for 4 seasons running now, they figure there all book or close too. They photographed one through a spotting scope but due to the recognizable terrain i would not post it on the internet. The big ones get wise, but there creatures of habit. Look at the former world record, the genes are down their. I bet if that ram was measured right after it was shot it would still stand. I know of a ram that lost 2'' over 6 months of drying, was still huge.
Why would I know anymore?
12-18-2006, 10:31 PM
Just looking at the facts (where do you get this know more than everyone else?), nothing wrong with shooting a legal ram, actually been a few taken in 400 through 404 over the last few years. It seems to reason that if booner rams exist in these WMU's someone including subsistence hunters is going to take one just as they have done in most other WMU's right up to 438. What I'm mostly getting at is frequency of 180 plus rams taken vs subsistence hunter access. Access to 400-408 greatly increased throughout 1950 on but road closures were implemented in Kananskis at some point in time and look at the difference in ram quality. Do a comparison of rams taken in 400 and 406 from 1950 to 1970 then do it again for 1980 to present time, you can't tell me there is no correlation here.
If you see an old ram like this in 400-404 let me know
12-18-2006, 10:35 PM
Seen any Old Man River headwater rams like this lately? Maybe one peaking over the divide after a stroll up from Ewin Creek British Columbia? I saw some ewes in 402 with ear tags would these be BC mine sheep or Cadomin transplants, anyone know??
12-18-2006, 10:36 PM
I have seen several with ear tags between 402 & 404. I heard they were transplants.
12-18-2006, 10:37 PM
So what exactly is the point? I'm not sure if you're just speaking of restricting more access, or complaining about native/metis hunting. Guess I'm misunderstanding what your posts are saying in the end....
I see your point (i think) but theres not much we can do about it. Just hope the new access management plans in the south part of 400 help the sheep numbers recover. Even if the yews are protected thats a bonus (maybe there protected from subsistence hunting in the area, not sure). All i know is half the yews i see seem to have collars and that can't mean theres all that many (seeing the same ones over and over every time out).
12-18-2006, 10:46 PM
Yep....I agree with JRS.....not much a guy can do about it, but if access is the issue that you speak of, then ya...I'm all for closing down more roads/quad access to the mountains.....
Rams, rams, rams
12-18-2006, 10:53 PM
I totally agree with you that the Weiller ram would have easily beat the current world record it was scored decades after it was shot, I'd bet Riggall knew it was bigger than the Bovey ram at the time. You should see some of the old pics of Riggalls rams from them days they were just huge 190 class rams monster bases, it must have been some good hunting back in those days. Just from looking at pictures of what rams in Waterton looked like in the 70's and early 80's and to what there is now there is a huge difference, those rams used to be big. At any rate I hope someone shoots a real twister down there just to prove me wrong, nothing wrong with that.
Rack, closing roads would help, but then again thats all I can figure with the info at hand.
12-18-2006, 11:20 PM
Those of you reading this thread and wanting a story to go with the names:
They would wander through now and then. The BC version of Cadomin is just over the border (Line Creek). There are some monster rams in there. I know when they transplanted those sheep, a huge number of them looked over the border and ran for the green reclamation areas, was just like there former home. I sure like reading that story of the Bovey ram, i printed a copy of that years ago from some source. If you go up the same trails they did for that hunt now its very disapointing. The wheeler ram was even more impresive, it came from a spot easily accessed by anyone in about an hour presently. I was thinking though hunter, there are some really nice rams that hang out along the no hunting strip between 402 and 400. I think they summer in BC but in the winter (when snow is deep) you see them right along a couple wind swept slopes. I almost hit a pair of full-curls two winters ago. Last year was too mild, i only saw ewes in the area. There no one can hunt them, i've noticed guys in full camo in January glassing high up on the same mountain though so maybe there not around anymore. I didn't jump to conclusions of what they were up to, maybe high altitude coyote? I hope anyway.
12-20-2006, 10:01 AM
I have hunted 402 a little bit. I for one have never seen a sheep. I have seen one goat though. In talking with a outfitter down that way. (Blue Brauna) he said there was the odd herd aroun but he only saw them once or 2 every 2 years.
It was great to read that story and try and reconcile the places he talks about with the places I have been. Thanks for posting that
You will see sheep if you spend enough time down their, As for goats they end up being on almost every slope when you look hard enough. I actually emailed the area biologist the fall before last inquiring why theres not a goat season. Occured to me the easy access would decimate the herds when non-licenced hunters got going after the fact. We have seen up to seven goats a day, usually see two or three. I can't think of a day in the area in the past couple seasons we haven't seen at least one. Kind of like the areas in 400 where a seasons held. Same for sheep though, i've seen sheep in there about 6 out of the last 7 trips, almost pulled the trigger on one but the curl wasn't convincing enough. They usually escape into BC where they hang out the most, especially as you hunt further north. I know two guys that got rams out there this fall, both squekers that i wouldn't have shot (too close for me to call). The one was likely the ram i saw a few days before and couldn't make my mind up. The other was further north, i didn't really ask specifics but i know it was in the upper half of the zone. As you spend time in there you'll know where they are but you also realize theres a dozen better zones to go sheep hunting in. Its nice theres other opportunities at the same time.
Careful, what some of the locals tell you as well, i know they have tried to talk me out of one certain valley a few times (they say there just looking for elk and have never seen a sheep that way in 25 yrs kind of thing). Then you notice there spotting scopes to the sky and the small herd of banana heads always hanging out at the top. I think every areas like that, except 438, i talked to some awesome guys up there this season, some guy even told us where a small ram (legal) was but we noticed about 3 other guys on it already so we headed way back. We shared a few tips with him as well concerning deer and elk. Really nice to talk to someone not trying to hide everything.
so looks like I was right all along
02-10-2007, 06:42 PM
No Boone and crockett rams at Willow Valley once again from wmu's 400- 404.
And what do we have going on right know? Unregulated Subsistence hunting and poaching of sheep on critical Winter Range.
I Still think there's got to be a link,
02-10-2007, 08:03 PM
What about habitat: feed, predators (natural), etc.
These items will have an impact on big Rams.
02-10-2007, 08:48 PM
400-404 has some of the best habitat for Bighorn Sheep, this was noted for many years, producing larger rams on average than sheep ranges further North, habitat is still there but the sheep are not. I would suspect increased predation on winter ranges in the south as well due to all the predators visiting the carcasses left on the winter range from all the poaching and gut piles from subsistence hunting.
02-10-2007, 10:34 PM
increased predation on winter ranges in the south as well due to all the predators visiting the carcasses left on the winter range from all the poaching and gut piles from subsistence hunting.
You know this as fact ?
If so, why have you not done something to correct it ?
02-11-2007, 12:06 PM
Hunter, I don't know if you have noticed that native hunting rights have been in effect long before 1980. And metis hunting right s have only come into effect the last few years.
Most of your discussion has centered around 1980-2007. I would think lungworm and the recovery from it is the biggest reason for no b&c rams being taken. Like jrs mentioned, there is large rams around, just hard to get during the season.
Lungworm has hit the area before
02-11-2007, 12:25 PM
and it didn't take 30 years to recover, in fact the sheep came back better than ever, that was until the oil and gas roads were built, this created easy access for poaching and subsistence hunting.
There are records of subsistence hunters shooting 13 rams at one location during the 70's along one of these roads, entire herds at Spionkop Creek (go see how many sheep occupy this drainage today, good luck finding one) as well as a well near P Junction. Not to mention a number of rams taken to taxidermists throughout Southern Alberta shot on Winter Range after the regular season. There was a substantial subsistence harvest of sheep in the area after the lungworm hit, further decimating the population, according to well operators in the area, unfortunatly when it really mattered no records were kept due to the lazy misconception that subsistence hunting has a small impact on wintering bighorn sheep.
Even the Bighorn Sheep Management Plan recognized the importance of protecting sheep on winter range although it apparently fails to do so.
"Goal: To ensure that viable populations of bighorn sheep are maintained.
Objective: Maintain the viability of all existing wintering populations of bighorns. This will be achieved by protecting populations from over harvest, illegal hunting, disturbance and disease, and by securing and maintaining all of the known wintering areas whether surveyed or not"
Obviously this plan is failing due to EASY ACCESS to wintering range by subsistence hunters and poachers.
Where are all these large rams?
02-11-2007, 12:36 PM
Just because a ram is 4/5 or has horns doesn't mean it is large. I keep hearing about these large rams but there is no evidence that they exist, and if they do certainly not to the extent that they did exist.
02-11-2007, 01:01 PM
Is native hunting rights the same as subsistence hunting (IMHA)?
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