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Thread: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    29

    Warning to bc sheep hunters.




    I enjoy reading the many threads on this site outlining people’s happy accomplishments and hard work. However, this thread is a warning to all hunters regarding a recent occurrence that has happened in our community to a young hunter. In 2016 a 16 year old went Stone Sheep hunting in Northern BC with his Father and a Family Friend. They were fortunate enough to shoot not one but TWO TREMENDOUS B&C Rams. One of these rams was the young man's first ram himself. When they got back to Kamloops they took them in to get CI’d as we all would. The first ram was put on the jig, both lamb tips extending well beyond the bridge of it’s nose and verified to be a legal ram. Now when the Kamloops Bio aged this ram he aged it at 9 years old when the ram is VERY CLEARLY 11. He missed not 1 but 2 years of growth! HOWEVER, the ram was legal and he was taking it home. Now the second Ram goes onto the jig as the young man looks on. Double Broomed and just a hair over 16” bases. Yes you read correctly, 16” bases on a Stone Sheep. As the ram had broomed both of its lamb tips it did not break nose and was shot on age as it was very clearly 8 years old MINIMUM. The Biologist starts to Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7….7.5. He then turns to the young man and says he would like to get a second opinion. He returns to the room with a Kamloops CO (Not Biologist) for a second opinion which yielded the same number 7.5 years of age. They tell the young man that he has shot an illegal sheep and that they are confiscating the ram. Despite trying to reason with the Biologist in the room and showing him that the ram cannot physically be 7-7.5 years of age as they say, the ram is confiscated.


    Fast Forward 2 years of Legal matters and a 3 day Court Case.


    The Province has it’s “Expert Witness”, the region 6 Biologist. The young man and his father have their Expert Witness Dr. Valerius Geist, a Biologist that has spent his entire life studying sheep in the wild and putting on aging seminars to teach both the public and also teach biologists in the university setting.


    The Result: The Judge did not overturn the Province’s decision based on a "balance of probabilities”, meaning that in the Judge’s eyes he was unsure whether the province or the defendant had proved their case. Unfortunately the truth and facts about sheep aging fell on deaf ears for 3 days.


    I am directing attention to this matter because this is something that should not go unnoticed. For all those with Facebook please check out our friend and world renowned Sheep Guide Clay Lancaster’s post on the matter as his opinion and the comments of various well known hunters are voiced. If the link does not work, check out Clay Lancaster's Facebook page to read the story and comments.


    https://www.facebook.com/clay.lancaster.10?ref=br_tf&epa=SEARCH_BOX


    Both he and a handful of other professional hunting guides have eagerly voiced their opinion regarding the ram in question and every one of them agrees this is a legal ram. If nothing else changes regarding this case we want to get the word out regarding the decision and raise awareness about the matter at hand. Mistakes can be made by ANYONE, even people in power and Governmental authorities, however it takes good people to admit when they are wrong. Unfortunately in this case there are no “Good People” on the other side and they are hanging a 16 year old out to dry. It’s embarrassing.


    In conclusion, this message is not written to be “Hate Mail” directed at anyone but rather a message to the public. A warning that right now it’s not just the Anti hunting and uneducated parties that are working against outdoorsmen and women but that it is those in Government too. The same people that are suppose to be teaching and setting an example for the next generation.


    Please Share.


    PS. Here is how a very well respected Sheep guide that has guided over 100 Rams has aged the ram in Question.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Tent city Victoria
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    2,951

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    I’m not a sheep guy so can’t comment on whether or not that ram is legal but if it is that’s a travesty

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    In the bush near a lake
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    6,457

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    I am not a sheep hunter and no expert on aging sheep but if I am understanding correct in the last diagram if you use only the existing horn it only shows 7.5 years of growth

    Is this correct?

    If so for legal purposes the bio can only use the existing horn to age the sheep even if it’s a broomed off older ram. Can’t expect non existent horn to be used for aging purposes

    If the existing horn shows more than 7.5 years ignore what I have to say. My knowledge with sheep aging is limited to what I have been shown on mounts from friends who hunt them

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    N. Okanagan
    Posts
    12,222

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    Agree with the lines in the last picture, there has to be growth at the base for the current year. So either 7 or 8, depending on how much credit is given to the broomed off portion.
    If Govt claims the first ring at the tip is actually the first years growth, they had better have supporting evidence from rams in the same area sporting similar size lamb tips, with similar large circumference

    Reaaly surprised Geist would suggest that maybe two or more years are broomed off.
    Never say 'whoa' in the middle of a mud hole.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    6

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    Obvious 8.5 year! Any hunter/guide would shoot this ram on age!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    N. Okanagan
    Posts
    12,222

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    WO you are correct, and in fact the reg does state 'as evidenced by true horn annuli...'
    Never say 'whoa' in the middle of a mud hole.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    29

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    You're correct about the visible horn annuli. But when you look at the circumference around the broomed portion of the horn and compare that to what the printed literature says, you will see that it is over 2-3x the size of what a 1 year old ram would be thus suggesting the first visible annuli to be at least 2 years of age. If you are just to look at a 1 year old ram/lamb and see the amount of horn protruding from its head you often won't even see it past the hair however they are saying that this lamb at one year had bases as big as you see in the picture at the first visible annuli when that is physically impossible. A little lamb does have that much space on top of its head to fit those.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Sidney
    Posts
    1,568

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    The first annulus, even on unbroomed sheep is often hard to detect, on a heavily broomed ram it may be absent. Herein lies the danger in shooting a short 8 year old ram on age alone.

    The regulations are clear the annulus must be present, not implied by mass or brooming.

    This ram clearly is 8, but by the letter of the law, does not meet the requirements.
    Last edited by ryanb; 05-09-2019 at 07:59 AM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Region 4
    Posts
    52

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    Don't really have much to add but would find it interesting to see the results if every other bio/inspector were to make a legality call on this sheep with no prior information. How much variation would there be?

    I think it is the variation in regulatory systems that sometimes make the decisions hard to except.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    In the bush near a lake
    Posts
    6,457

    Re: Warning to bc sheep hunters.

    I would say this ram falls under the same category as an elk that broke of its 6th point you can tell the tine was there but with it missing it falls short of legal requirements

    I think most would agree it’s 8+year old ram but it falls shy of physical legally required evidence

    Sorry but I have to respect the bio’s call on this one

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