What would you do?
Several state DFG's even include this in their hunt booklets.
Also, if enough hunters were preferentially letting the tagged ones walk, then they'd underestimate hunting mortality, which could lead to issuing too many tags. Which might not be altogether bad for an outfitter's business if if he had kind of a corner on the market for a particular area....
On the other hand... Nothing like a radio collar to make a poacher's life easier.
And just a thought, but if it was the unnatural color of the tag that had tipped me off to the whereabouts of an animal I would otherwise never have noticed.... To a degree, that would feel like cheating. A little, anyway.
Is your hunt, go for it and enjoy!
I think they even print numbers to call afterwards to report it and return it.
Not sure about hunting mortality stats being effected if you did or didn't kill that particular animal? These sheep hunts the kill is required to be reported anyway. Most big game hunts they want to at least report successful or not.
I would be willing to bet a steak dinner that the outfitter was likely trying to save this ram for other reasons. Maybe a higher paying client? Maybe he really wants this ram for next year?
Sorry but I do not buy the story of not shooting a legal animal simply because a government person decided to follow that animal.
More often than not, the DFG folks would prefer you shoot so they can recover the data.
Don't believe me? Watch the video and tell me when you see the collar through that thick, MGM Grand lion mane.
On a serious note, shoot the biggest ram and be done with it. My father's cousin (who is now deceased) shot a ram with a collar and ear tag. The taxidermy looked great (less the ear tag and collar) and he was very proud of the ram. When I shot my ram, they asked me how many collared rams were in the band. When I replied that all 9 did not have a visible ear tag nor collar, they were shocked. They are common and as far as the office was concerned, there are at least one or two in every group. If it's the biggest ram, drop the hammer or string.
Sampling technique. Let’s say they tag/collar 10 legal rams out of an estimated population of 50. 1 in 5. If 10 hunters fill a tag and 2 of the rams are tagged, they can figure that their population estimate is pretty much on the money. But it only works right if hunters pay no attention to the tags and they get a more or less random sample.
If only one Hunter out of the ten reports killing a tagged ram, then the model says that they must’ve tagged fewer than 1 in 5 animals - data say 1 in 10 - which means there must be more than 50 of ‘em out there. Probably more like 100 if you work only off of the numbers...
And if the model says they can take 20% of the legal rams every year, then they “should” be issuing 20 tags instead of 10.
And heck, if there are really twice as many sheep out there as they thought, it’s probably time to start issuing tags for some ewes.
So you can see where this might lead to some problems... Which is why Sciencing is Hard.
I'm not sure where the guys posting above are getting their information but as far as I know it would be the exception to the rule for a State or Federal Game Management Agency to want you to shoot their GPS collared animals! Most collars are GPS Collars now , in most cases the collars are pretty much single use, most are remotely downloaded via iridium GPS technology and supply real time location data for years, they are expensive to purchase and expensive to put on. There is nothing illegal about shooting collared animals in most places but you are probably not doing your wildlife managers any favors by eliminating the animals that are supplying long term data. Things were a little different with drop off GPS collars a few years ago, they needed to be recovered in order to be downloaded. Most collars are now remotely downloaded and programmed to drop off on a pre-determined date or can be remotely triggered to drop off when no longer needed and are more reliable than they were in the past.
I recall a guest lecturer telling us about these new collars that were “in the pipeline” somewhere, which let you keep track of an animal down to within about 10 feet, and you’d never again have to charter an airplane and freeze your tail off flying around trying to work out where they were via radio telemetry, accurate to oh, I dunno... somewhere in this XX acre patch...
He sounded a little crazy, at the time.... too many episodes of Buck Rogers. Damned if THAT doesn’t make me feel like a dinosaur!
There are likely a lot of potential scenarios and you won't know unless you talk to the local biologist.
I'm going to guess that you didn't see my earlier post about this, but just FYI.... if that's your attitude, you are NOT HELPING.
Hunting mortality should ALWAYS be designed in to any study of a huntable population; not just as an assumption, but as a TOOL (you have to make assumptions about poaching, predation and winterkill; sometimes you can find the winter-kills, but you don't expect poachers or lions to turn in any tags..).
And just so you know that I'm not making this stuff up, I'm just offering what I learned when I took a statistics course.. in bio-sampling... taught by a guy who was considered to be about the best bio-sampling statistician in the country.... while I was at the U of Wyoming... taking classes alongside folks who were getting PhDs in Population Ecology or were in at the UW-FG Co-op unit studying to be the people who are probably running these sheep studies right now.
So in case anybody is interested....
One of the lab demos that we wrote up was estimating the size of a population of jellybeans in a 5-pound jar. No kidding.
Principle is this: if you know there are exactly 50 blue jellybeans in the jar - mixed in thoroughly - then you can use a random sampling technique to take out whatever number of beans at a time and you write down the percentage of blue ones. If it comes out at 3% pretty consistently, then there must be about 3300 beans in that jar.
But as I said before, if the people doing the sampling don't get on board with the idea of keeping the sampling at RANDOM - for instance, by choosing to shoot or NOT shoot a particular animal BECAUSE it was tagged - then the whole study is (potentially) compromised. And again, if there is a consistent factor skewing the data - such as, oh, maybe an outfitter in the area who discourages his clients from shooting tagged rams - then unless the people running the study have made allowances for that, the total population will be overestimated... which would lead to more tags being issued... which would be good for that outfitter's business... until it all hits the fan.
Now... For all I know,the outfitter mentioned at the top of this thread is working absolutely hand-in-hand with the Study... But if you are fortunate enough to get your hands on one of these tags and you want to know the real scoop, I would bet that somebody at FNAWS knows exactly who is running the study on your unit, and it would be an easy thing to get your facts straight from the horse's mouth.
So that's what I'd recommend.
Collared and tagged animals are NOT 'study specimens.' To treat them any differently on a hunt than you would treat a non-collared/tagged animal will skew the data the agency is wanting to obtain.
Not that I'm aware of!
Can you tell or do you know if the animal was recently tranquilized?
There is an absolute period of time after drugging that the meat is considered UNFIT for human consumption, dependant on the type of drug used. This time could be a long as a year.
I have been involved in the killing of two tagged animals that became a concern of whether or not we could eat them. Both had small button ear-tags that were not visible before they were shot. One was a moose that was drugged ten months earlier, The biologists suggested that the meat was considered safe for consumption after 12 months. It was a personal call as to eat the meat or not....
The other was a Bighorn. Upon getting ready to gut it, we saw that it had a fresh shaved patch of skin on a lower leg, and an needle wound that was fresh. Turns out it was drugged just days earlier. There was no question in this case, the sheep was without question UNFIT for consumption. What a piss-off that was. Felt like we had wasted the sheep after a hard hunt.
To my knowledge, research into human safety and the consumption of previously drugged wildlife is still several lacking. The governing agencies are having to take a best guess as to human safety while acknowledging they really just don't know the facts on eating this meat.
If you are content to risk killing a Ram and tossing the meat, fire away. If throwing the meat out gives you second thoughts, then perhaps one needs to research how and when animals in the hunting area were captured.
walking buffalo's Link
There is very little research done on the safety of consuming meat from animals that have been drugged. Even the pros are just taking a guess at what is a safe timeline.
Some info linked. A CCWHC Technical Bulletin: Drug Residues in Wild Meat – Addressing A Public Health Concern
I've been on several sheep captures and never have I seen a tranquilizer used.
You net-gun them from a helicopter, land, jump out and 'mug' them by blindfolding them and hobbling them as fast as you can. Then the 'bagging crew' will come in to finish the job, securing the hobbles and the blindfold, and getting them out of the net.
At that point they call the helicopter to come pick the animal up, which is done by hooking the bagged sheep onto a cable hanging from the chopper.
The chopper then flies the sheep to a nearby 'staging area' where the vets take over, They weigh and measure the sheep, get blood samples and do other tests,, put a collar on them and, for ewes, may do an ultra sound to check for pregnancy.
Then the sheep goes back in the bag, is flown back to from where he was captured, at which point the bagging crew gets it out of the net, removes the hobbles and the blindfold and the sheep runs off.
Sheep generally get very docile once blindfolded, so are relatively calm until the blindfold is removed.
He later sent a map to the hunter showing where the moose had been collared, it's seasonal travels, etc.. It has been tracked for several years so no worries about the drugs used. In the end, it worked out pretty well for everyone except the moose...
I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a tagged, collared, or otherwise marked animal after that conversation with the biologist. In huntable populations, they expect some to be killed. They learn from that.
Good luck, Robb
He's from rural Ohio and when I met with him in her Reno office last month, he expressed an interest in seeing some wild sheep. So I made contact with a friend at NDOW and away we went!
In our group will be one on NBU's key guys as well as three guys from NDOW.
I'll raise this issue to them and post their thoughts.
Have fun Kyle, tour guide isn't a bad gig!
Good luck, Robb
I felt that way when I shot a young buck whitetail that had rubbed all the hair off of a patch on his neck because he was eating out of a trough on a regular basis. Of course, I also figured that since feeding deer is illegal here, I was just doing a little completely authorized citizen law enforcement... ;)
Besides - you don't get a lot of corn-fed deer around here.
But a tagged animal is just one that has had one more (stressful) run-in with humans than most; if anything, I'd think they'd be MORE educated and an even greater challenge to get close to. It's not as if the researchers are making pets out of them.
I think some of you guys are taking this whole thing way too seriously....
Probably a bit of a surprise to the animal when it goes off....
To the guys worried about shooting an animal that has presumably been unwilded by human handling? Really? Remember, the animal didn't willingly submit to the process. How many of you shoot animals that are semi-habituated to people anyway due to human proximity?
He is a better man than me.
I bet the "personal thing" would change really quick once you actually sheep hunted...
First of all, you have to draw the tag. Being from Pennsylvania, that is going to be tough. Then you have to scout, as one doesn't want to take on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt without a little knowledge of the unit. So your story begins... As you scout during the short 5 day trip you begged to get off work, you struggle to find anything but ewes and lambs, you realize you are out of shape and probably need to exercise and practice shooting--a lot. Back home you go and already mentally questioning yourself and the hunt. You assure yourself, 1.5 months to go--you can do this.
Then the big day arrives and season opens. Due to your lack of success in scouting and the fact you are out of state and you'll never draw a tag in the Lower 48 again, you plop down $7,000 for a guide. You pack-into your basin to start your hunt but get socked-in for the first 3 days. You get to know your guide too well. You spend the next 2 days trying to turn-up sheep. It's like they vanished suddenly. On day 6 of a 7 day hunt, you finally locate a band of rams. You feel blessed to have this opportunity to finally see rams. You begin your stalk and your guide stays off 800+ yards to flag you in.
At 100 yards, a rock below you falls. You freeze. Did you just let all this time, effort, and money invested just evaporate for not watching your step? Your guide gives no indication that the rams have left. Whew. That was close. You begin creeping closer with the stealth of a cat. You get to the rock where the rams were bedded not 40-50 yards below you. You knock your arrow and begin to shake. It all boils down to this one moment.
You ease around the rock and realize 4 of the 5 rams are up and have fed off to the side of you and out of range and out of a stalkable position. However, one ram is still there, he may go 7/8, he may be full curl but who cares, you've practiced and put everything into this opportunity, as has your guide and outfitter. Then you notice something --red ear tag #42 in his left ear. Crap. Someone has handled this ram before and you can't justify it. Sheep hunting is supposed to be tough. This seems too easy.
You walk back to your guide after he feeds off with the rest of the band and out of your life forever. As you hike off the mountain for good the next day with empty packs after a grueling 7 days on the mountain, I'm sure your guide will completely understand.
It's legal, the odds are few sheep hunters will ever face such a dilemma. Make up your mind if and when the time comes. As for me, I'm shooting.
Then again, there are guys who pass up animals because they have broken tines and won't score as well as they would have a month prior...
By far the coolest experience I've ever had. Of course, my battery died and I don't have pictures...
"but first.... are you experienced??? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN EXPERIENCED..... well, I haaave......"
Didn't think so.
What they said was this:
1. It's completely legal to shoot a tagged animal.
2. For sheep, shoot one you want, but if you have a choice between two rams you'd be happy with, they'd prefer you shoot the non-tagged ram.
3. For bears and cougars, same thing, only they would even more-so prefer you not shoot a tagged one.
The reasoning they gave was not so much because of the science issue, but was more because of the time and expense it takes to collar one in the first place. For bears and cougars, the danger issue as well as those critters being more difficult to find and capture was the main reason they gave.
Can you say, "MASS?"
Note the cactus in the photo.
It would be really cool if there were a national database you could go to so that you could find out what animals might be tagged in the area you plan to hunt and whether the biologists on that study would prefer for hunters to pass up the marked animals or not.