Wyoming Wild Sheep News
Whiskey Basin Iniative Meeting Held in Dubois
The passion for the Whiskey Basin bighorns was evident the evening of February 11, in Dubois. Over 50 folks attended the first meeting of the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Herd public collaborative process. The focus of the first meeting was to pin down what the public felt were the prevailing issues associated with the declining herd. The broader issue categories were habitat, disease, nutrition, predators and genetics. The next meeting will be March 14, 2019, 6-9:00 p.m. at the Headwaters Center. This meeting will focus on the science behind the herd’s management issues. It will include the thoughts from a panel of bighorn sheep specialists from around the nation. The WY-WSF is providing the majority of the funding for this public collaborative process.
For updates, notes, etc. go to :
Photo by Chris Martin G&F
The 2019 SE WY Bighorn Sheep Capture Project is Underway
From January 20-22, 2019 the WGFD, with the help of Native Range Capture Services Inc., captured 34 female bighorn sheep and collared 30 of those ewes with GPS Satellite Radio Collars. A total of 8 ewes came from the Encampment River Herd Unit, 10 from the Douglas Creek Herd Unit and 16 from the Laramie Peak Herd Unit. This was part of the state-wide disease surveillance project looking at pneumonia pathogens in all of Wyoming’s Bighorn sheep herd units. Six locations per day will be collected from the collar's GPS for approximately 3 years to help identify lambing areas, seasonal movement patterns, and crucial winter range. This project could not have been possible without the help of WY Wild Sheep Foundation and the Governor’s Big Game License Coalition. Their funding and support was instrumental in pulling this project off.
Photo by Chris Martin G&F.
Encampment kids assist with Bighorn sheep capture and sampling
Jordan Seitz is an amazing Encampment teacher. His classes assist the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with the capture and sampling of bighorns. Bighorns are slung by helicopter to processing sites where students help take blood, nasal, tonsil and fecal samples for disease surveillance. In addition, GPS radio collars are deployed, all to better understand the health, disease dynamics and general ecology of the Encampment River herd. Funding is from the Bighorn Sheep Committee of the Wyoming Governors Big Game License Coalition, which has funded over $2.5M worth of bighorn projects since 2003. Be sure to thank our new Governor Gordon for continuing this project and enabling WY-WSF to “put and keep KIDS and SHEEP on the mountain”. Listen to the radio cast……wish I was a kid again!
Respiratory Pathogen transmission between Domestic and Wild Sheep
“This is well done documentary on the quandary of respiratory pathogen transmission between domestic and wild sheep. Lethal respiratory pathogens, acquired from domestic sheep and goats, are considered by expert wild sheep managers, veterinarians and pathologist to be the paramount reason behind the low levels in wild sheep numbers across the West. We now have less than 100,000 bighorns in the West, when we once had 1.5-2.0 million. We need more of the cooperation and concern illustrated across wildlife and agriculture lines to solve the this one. Let’s work together.”
A recent article from the SD GFP's SD Conservation Digest Magazine 2018 Winter issue that discusses the bighorn sheep shedder study in Custer State Park that showed good success.
Back in November of 2015, WY-WSF was asked to help fund this study. Without your Chapter's funding, SCI's Greater Dacotah Chapter, and South Dakota's bighorn sheep auction tag funds, this project would not have happened. I know how tough it was to get Montana and Wyoming WSF Chapters to send your local funds raised to a South Dakota project, since it is the Midwest Chapter's area. Thank you to all of the organizations, their members, and SD GFP for their hard work! Also here is a recent news clip video from 1/16/19, showing SD GFP moving to the Rapid City herd to complete the shedder study a second time.
Bighorn sheep on Utah's Antelope Island dying from respiratory disease
SALT LAKE CITY — When pioneer settlers first arrived in Utah, a herd of bighorn sheep lived on Antelope Island but disappeared over time.
Then in 1997, the Division of Wildlife Resources, along with Utah State Parks, reintroduced 29 bighorn sheep to the island to create what the division calls a nursery herd, to help start new populations throughout the state and bolster existing ones, said DWR spokesman Mark Hadley.
Sportsman's Legislative Reception
Call Dwayne Meadows for further details 307-760-6802.
LET YOUR STATE LAW MAKERS KNOW WILDLIFE MATTERS. Every year the sportsmen/women groups host a reception for Wyoming’s Legislators. The event is very casual with free drinks and food. This is a great opportunity casual in-person visits with those folks that make laws governing the future of your wildlife. Our new Governor Gordon and leaders of the House and Senate will probably give short presentations. If you can’t attend, pass this along to a friend
2019 Governor's License Auction Details Announced
Call Steve Kilpatrick for further details 307-413-7249.
Since the creation of the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition (WGBGLC) under Governor Freudenthal in 2003, over $2M has be raised for bighorns in Wyoming.
Governor Gordon has committed to continuing this program. THANK YOU, Governor Gordon. The sellers keep 10% of the sale and the remainder is returned to Wyoming for BHS projects.
Bighorn management is costly. Annual Wyoming BHS management costs are about $2.2M, and license sales bring in only about $180K. So, generating about a half million dollars through the sale of these 5 licenses is a huge help. The Bighorn Sheep Committee of the WGBGLC will allocate generated funds at their annual meeting in Casper, Wy on May 22, 2019.
Wild Sheep Foundation
Gray Thornton, 406-404-8751 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Nieters, 406-404-8764 email@example.com
Kevin Hurley, 406-404-8753 firstname.lastname@example.org
Live Auction 02/09/2019, Reno NV. Advertised through Online Hunting Auctions and streamed live. Phone bids taken.
Eastern Chapter-Wild Sheep
Tina Everhart, (717) 588-4190
Live Auction, 2/ 16/2019, Lancaster PA. Advertised through Online Hunting Auctions and streamed live. Phone bids taken.
Iowa Chapter Foundation of North American Wild Sheep
Craig Nakamoto, (402) 650-1383 email@example.com
Live Auction 2/23/2019, Sheraton West , Des Moines, Iowa. Phone bids may be arranged.
Wild Sheep Foundation Midwest Chapter
Nick Negrini, (763-238-6333)
Patti Murry (507) 645-8811 firstname.lastname@example.org
Live Auction 3/16/2019, Minneapolis Marriot Southwest, Minneapolis MN. Advertised through Online Hunting Auctions and streamed live. Phone bids taken.
Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation
Daryl Lutz (307-262-9381, email@example.com
Doug McWhirter, (307) 272-7186 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Kilpatrick (307-413-7249) email@example.com
Live Auction 6/1/2019, Casper WY. Advertised through Online Hunting Auctions and streamed live. Phone bids taken.
Whiskey Basin Bighorns Need Your Help
Call Steve Kilpatrick for further details at 307-413-7249 or Daryl Lutz at 307-332-2688 .
This bighorn herd was historically the largest in the lower 48. The herd just hasn’t responded to a variety management activities since the 1991 and continues to decline. This is your opportunity to engage and help bring it back. At one time there were an estimated 2,500 sheep in this population; today there are about 750. The reasons behind the continued decline of this iconic herd are complex, interrelated and not well understood. The WGFD has launched a special initiative for this herd and wants your help!
The WGFD, WY-WSF and the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center have partnered up the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute to initiate a public involvement process to explore management concerns, issues, and future management actions. Please read the attached “Situation Assessment” for further information.
Open public workshops will held February – June, 2019 in Dubois to explore and discuss management issues, concerns and opportunities to turn this herd around. We will keep you posted on meeting dates/times. Let’s help our wildlife managers turn this herd around. The bighorns need your help. Please plan on attending.
Annual Winter Meeting hosts record crowds
Despite cold weather and slippery roads a record crowd turned out to visit our Temple Peak Herd and then to approve another $77,000 in grant in aid projects on behalf of Wyoming's Wild Sheep.
WYOMING WORRIES OVER WHISKEY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP
As bighorn sheep herds continue to falter across the West, states search for ways to prevent the massive die-offs. For Wyoming, that means focusing on the Whiskey Mountain herd—a bighorn sheep herd that has been struggling for decades.
RESCHEDULED- Guzzlers to be installed on Elk Mountain near Newcastle
So the guzzler installation has been rescheduled for August 21st and 22nd, with the 21st being the media day. We will meet same time and same place as before. On August 21st, we will install a guzzler on the Wyoming side of Elk Mountain near the fire tower. This location has fairly easy access, with a decent gravel road going close to the project site. Most vehicles with decent clearance should have no problem getting to the project site. The USFS will also be conducting a media day during this day, so it would be a great opportunity to get the word out about your respective organizations and highlight the great conservation work you do. On August 22nd, we will be installing the last guzzler, which will be on the South Dakota side of Elk Mountain. This site is much more remote. Access is via a windy, rocky narrow road. Vehicles with four wheel drive, high clearance, and heavy duty off road tires will be needed to access the site. We welcome volunteers to help one or both days, whatever they prefer. If participating, volunteers will need to bring lunch, lots of water, work clothes, sunscreen, and gloves. The USFS will also require volunteers to sign volunteer paperwork before they can assist. If you have already submitted your volunteer form, thank you and you will not need to fill out a new form, if not, please get those to me ASAP. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail Todd Caltrider at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know which days you plan on helping and provide me with an e-mail address so I can e-mail the USFS volunteer paperwork to you. Please RSVP by August 1st. We will be meeting at 8 AM at the Tepee Work Center, just across the state line into SD, about 20 miles east of Newcastle, WY. Attached is a link for Google Map directions from Newcastle.
The destination address is not correct, but at the location where the map shows the destination, take a right on Tepee road, and that will take you right into the work center. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail Todd Caltrider at: email@example.com
Pease let me know which days you plan on helping and provide me with an e-mail address so I can e-mail the USFS volunteer paperwork to you. Please RSVP by June 1st. After the 1st, I will e-mail interested volunteers further information about logistics, meeting time and locations, etc.... Please send any questions to the e-mail address listed above.
Thanks and we hope to see you up there!
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Terrestrial Habitat Biologist
110 W Tonk St.
Gillette, WY 82718
2018 Ron Ball Award winner is Ryan Amundson
The man whom we all look up to for his unswerving dedication to Wyoming Wild Sheep was awarded the 2018 Ron Ball award at our June 2, 2018 banquet in Casper. Read more about him courtesy of daughter, Sierra.Sierra's Introduction