Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2003


Associated Press - Nov. 25, 2003

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A magnificent, full-curl Dall sheep was killed by someone who likely pulled to the edge of the Seward Highway and shot the animal with a high-powered rifle or gun, state wildlife officials said.

The sheep, nicknamed "Old One Eye," had been impressing photographers and wildlife watchers for several years. His body was found between Girdwood and Anchorage on Wednesday.

"It kind of makes me sick," said Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement trooper Marc Cloward. Chugach State Park chief ranger Mike Godwin was the first to notice that the animal, discovered along the roadway, had been shot in the rump.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists had at first thought the 10  to 12-year-old ram might have slipped and fallen to its death from the cliffs above the highway, but the thinking quickly changed when Godwin found the bullet hole through both buttocks.

"I can't think of anything more offensive," Cloward said. "This is a slap in the face to every citizen in Anchorage."

Godwin said the impressive sheep was a favorite with photographers.

"The professional photographers are going to miss Old One Eye," he said.

The ram was a member of a large and healthy Chugach State Park sheep population that numbers in the thousands.

It appears someone stopped along the shoulder of the highway early Wednesday, Nov. 19, and shot the ram off a cliff about 40 yards from the pavement, Alaska State Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

"He shot him through both hindquarters, and he fell from there," Cloward said. The trooper spent several hours above the highway scouring the rocks for the bullet, but could find nothing.

"It's a pretty squeaky-clean crime scene," he said. "I have absolutely nothing to go on, but somebody had to have seen it."

It is unclear, according to authorities, whether the shooting was merely a thrill killing, or whether someone wanted the ram's trophy-size horns. If it was the latter, Cloward said, the culprit might have left without taking them because one horn broke in the fall from the cliff.

Fish and Game will keep the horns. The meat of the animal was recovered by a charity.

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