The study has caused hunters to ask if a lot of currently accepted Grand Slams are going to be disallowed? Are other record books changes on the way? I asked top record book officials precisely those questions last month, and I will pass on a little later what they said. First, though, to understand the controversy, it helps to know a little about the distribution of Dall and Stone sheep.
Dall sheep (named in 1884 after Alaska explorer William H. Dall) are white sheep, found throughout Alaska's mountain ranges. Stone sheep (named after Andrew J. Stone, who brought the first scientifically-recognized specimen back from the headwaters of the Stikine River in 1896) are found in British Columbia north of the Peace River. It's primarily in the Yukon where things get interesting, because there are a number of mountain ranges there where `colored' sheep become progressively lighter in color -- the Pelly Mountains (considered to include about 25 percent of the Stone sheep range), the Dawson Mountains to the west, the Ogilvie Mountains along the eastern border of Alaska and the Richardson Mountains. All of these ranges (and smaller associated ranges) have populations of thinhorn sheep that vary greatly in color, from pure white to very dark. These sheep were named as the Fannin subspecies in 1901 by William Hornaday, but were later simply considered as a color variant of Stone sheep if they showed a substantial amount of coloration. Sheep of the Mackenzie Mountains, except for a small area near the head of the South Nahanni River east of the Pelly Mountains, have been classed as Dall sheep.........(continued)