Wyoming Wild Sheep News
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
Eastern Chapter of Wild Sheep Foundation Adopts a Wyoming Bighorn Sheep Project
Given that the Wyoming and Eastern Chapters’ goals are basically the same, long-term conservation of wild sheep, it seemed only wise that we form some type of a partnership. This winter Wy-WSF approached ECWSF with the proposal that they “adopt” one of our “high maintenance” children – the Devil’s Canyon to Ferris Mountain wild sheep translocation project. It is high maintenance only in that it is costly, not that the bighorns are bad! The ECWSF, with a commitment to long-term wild sheep conservation at its core, quickly “adopted” the Devil’s Canyon to Ferris Mountain translocation project during their 2018 Convention in Lancaster PA. The Chapters collaborated to raise revenue for the newly “adopted” Wyoming wild sheep project. Merchandise related to Wyoming was incorporated in the ECWSF Convention including; WY-WSF hosting ECWSF membership participation in capture and release activities, WY-WSF hosted tourist trip to Jackson, Wy. to see bighorns and mountain goats, and the sale of a Wyoming Governor’s BH sheep tag (ECWSF keeps 10% of the sale price which they reinvest in the “adopted” project). The end result - a partnership where ECWSF has a tangible long-term project which is consistent with both chapter’s missions. ECWSF membership are encouraged to wonder West to view and assist with their “adopted” Devil’s Canyon to Ferris Mountains translocation project.Read the entire article
Wind River Big Horn
Follow our efforts to restore big horns to the southern Wind River range by watching this video featuring our ED Steve Kilpatrick and Treasurer Joni Miller during our last joint capture/disease surveillance/collaring operation.
Life Member and Conservation Fund Founder Gary Butler is elected to the Wyoming Outdoors Hall of Fame
Review the List
In 2015, we were thrilled to have Wy-WSF Past President and Life Member Jerry Galles, inducted into the Wy Outdoor Hall of Fame. This year we are equally elated to have Live Member Gary Butler, founder of our Conservation Fund, inducted. Gary grew up in northeast Wyoming then served in the Army, after which he acquired Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Wildlife and Range Management at UW. After some temporary work positions with the WGFD he landed at Whiskey Basin near Dubois, a bighorn sheep mecca. A passion for wild sheep was born, and it’s never stopped growing.
Gary and his family spent 13 years living with the Whiskey Basin sheep and then they moved to Cheyenne where he assumed the statewide supervisor position for Terrestrial Habitat. There he initiated and led a cadre of biologists engaged in implementing thousands of acres of habitat improvements. His habitat program was the envy of surrounding western states.
Gary is not only a student of the land and wildlife, he is a student of us, people. He has always been quick to learn our skill sets, philosophies and potentials. Then as a “quiet giant” coach, he builds Super Bowl winning teams to accomplish tasks and goals. He is always willing to try new ideas, give credit to others for success, and take all the heat if something fails.
Moreover, Gary is visionary - always an eye on the future. Thus, his establishment of the WY-WSF Conservation Fund, which will fund “putting and keeping KIDS and wild SHEEP on the mountain” forever.
To learn more about this extraordinary individual, we encourage you to read his full nomination letter at
Gary's Nomination .
Please donate to Gary’s ongoing conservation legacy by purchasing a raffle ticket for a Dall’s Sheep hunt in the NW Territories. All proceeds go to the Conservation Fund.
Encampment Students Get Involved in Studying Wild Sheep
The Wyoming G&F captured 5 bighorn sheep ewes in the Encampment River herd unit on February 28th; as part of the statewide disease surveillance project. We are teaming this as an educational project for Mr. Jordan Seitz's 6th and 8th grade classes at the nearby Encampment School. We intend to involve the students in monitoring the collared ewes over the course of the next 2 years, getting them out in the field to assist with habitat monitoring and lamb surveys, and teaching them about bighorn sheep ecology in the classroom. Photo credits: Jordan SeitzSee More On Facebook
BLM Cody, Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and partners improve wildlife habitat in Devil’s Canyon By Sarah Beckwith, BLM Wind River/Bighorn Basin District public affairs specialist
The Bureau of Land Management Cody Field Office values its ongoing partnership with the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, Big Horn County Weed and Pest and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to improve wildlife habitat in the Devil’s Canyon area east of Lovell. The group recently completed ten years of cheatgrass treatments for the benefit of bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Partnerships like this are an essential component of the BLM’s mission to practice shared conservation stewardship on public land.Read the Article
Where Public Lands Are in Limbo, Local Sportsmen Help Find a Path Forward by Nick Dobric
For decades, 500 Wilderness Study Areas in the West have awaited individual acts of Congress to resolve how they should be managed, and those closest to the land are finally helping to make the call—wilderness or something else?Read the Article
Life Members Rusty and Rosemary Gooch make land donation to aid the Conservation Fund
“Some of the best times of my life have been spent sitting with a good pair of binoculars and glassing a high cirque for Big Horn Sheep. It doesn’t get much better than that in the Wind River Range - - - my back yard!
“My wife and I are WWSF life members. Donating land to WWSF is our way of being good stewards of the land and of wild sheep, in addition to saying “thank you for great times and memories.”
Wow! Passionate and charitable! Those are two of the many amazing qualities that make up the fabric within Rusty and Rosemary Gooch. They are certainly visionary when it comes to investing in the future of “putting and keeping kids and sheep on the mountain”. We are more than humbled by their gracious real estate gift to the WY-WSF Conservation Fund. Their supplement to the Conservation Fund corpus will generate additional interest revenue, which will assist in funding dozens of projects in perpetuity. They invested in the future and generations of kids and sheep to come thank them. Moreover, they have inspired us to explore innovative ways to “give back”. We thank you, Rusty and Rosemary!! Please share their gifted and picturesque property listing below with friends and relatives. Better yet, you purchase it and we will all come visit!
112 Red Mountain Court Patagonia, AZ 85624
Located in scenic Patagonia, Arizona, a four season mountain area of southeast Arizona. Home to Coues Deer, Javelina, Quail and Dove, the area is a sportsman’s paradise in the late fall and early winter months. Public lands are numerous and very close to this parcel. The four acre parcel is in a gated community of site built homes called “ The Mesa”. Water, power and septic in place. The Mesa is always in demand because of its unique combination of rural privacy & desirable proximity to historic Patagonia with all its charms & conveniences~ an easy walk down the hill! Known for its serene, grassy & wooded hillside habitat in the foothills of Red Mountain, rich wildlife & bird populations & good neighbors will enhance your daily experience. All roads are paved & maintained by the HOA; handsome homes populate The Mesa & smart Deed Restrictions preserve & protect property values. From the home site you'll experience breathtaking views of the Santa Rita's, Patagonia's & Canelo Hills as well as dazzling sunrises, sunsets & dark evening skies for ultimate star gazing. Coronado National Forest access is very close for endless adventuring, hiking & birding. $75,000.View the Listing
Grant in Aid assists in transplanting more Bighorns to the Ferris Mtns
The Wyoming G&F department recently captured 20 Bighorns from the Devil's Canyon herd and transplanted them to the Ferris Mountains in central Wyoming. There they joined the 100+ of their relatives who have been moved there over the past few years. WY-WSF has been instrumental in funding these transplants as well as the 5 guzzlers that were erected there in 2017 to ensure sufficient water is available to the new herd. Another transplant of around 20 more Bighorns is planned for Feb 2018.
Hunting of Bighorn Sheep ewes could produce more trophy rams
UW Assistant Professor Kevin Monteith, right, and graduate student Tayler LaSharr release a bighorn sheep ram on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation last March. The two are among authors of a new paper that concludes that hunting of female bighorn sheep may well be one of the most effective ways to increase the number of trophy rams in North American bighorn sheep populations. (Kevin Monteith Photo)Read the Article
Pneumonia in Jackson Hole herd?
A couple of coughing lambs were seen by tour groups near Miller Butte in early December. Managers have not been able to relocate the lambs, nor have they seen additional coughing sheep within the herd (approximately 100) on Miller Butte, within the National Elk Refuge. Hopefully we dodged a bullet!!Read the Article
2017 Ron Ball award winner Freddie Goetz makes annual pilgrimage to study NW Wyoming wild sheep
Ron Ball winner, Freddie Goetz, has been making an annual pilgrimage to NW Wyoming to study our wild sheep during their mating season for many years. He has taken thousands of still photos, hundreds of videos and kept detailed notes of how many wild sheep he observed each day. Watch for an article by Freddie in the Spring RamPage.2017 Photos 2016 Photos
Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition Announces 2018 Wild Sheep Tag Auction Dates
|Date||Selling Entity||Contact(s)||Selling Location||Additional Info|
|20-Jan-2018||Wild Sheep Foundation|| ||Reno, NV||Phone bids may be arranged. Internet auction will be streamed live.|
|17-Feb-2018||Eastern Chapter - Wild Sheep||Lancaster, PA||Phone bids may be arranged. Internet auction will be streamed live.|
|10-Mar-2018||Iowa Chapter Foundation of North American Wild Sheep|| ||Des Moines, IA||Phone bids may be arranged.|
|16-Mar-2018 to 17-Mar-2018||Wild Sheep Foundation Midwest Chapter|| ||Minneapolis MN||Phone bids may be arranged. Internet auction will be streamed live.|
|02-Jun-2018||Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation||Casper, WY||Phone bids may be arranged.|
90% of the auction proceeds come back to Wyoming for wild sheep related projects
Wild Sheep Foundation Reno - $70,000
Eastern Chapter – $72,000
Iowa FNAWS – $72,000
Midwest Chapter - $72,500
Wyoming Chapter - $75,000
Wild Sheep Foundation Reno - $92,500
Eastern Chapter – $76,000
Iowa FNAWS – $70,000
Midwest Chapter - $69,000
Wyoming Chapter - $95,000
Northeast Idaho Sheep Grazing Stopped to Protect Wild Bighorns
Conservation groups win injunction in Sheep Experiment Station grazing lawsuit BOISE, Ida. – A federal court in Idaho blocked domestic sheep grazing in bighorn habitat on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest yesterday, ruling that the risk to the South Beaverhead Mountains bighorn sheep population from deadly disease outweighs any possible benefit to the government-run grazing operation.Read the Word Document Read the Court Order Read The Wildlife News article
Remote Sensing Camera equipment sends photos to WY-WSF website
The Rawlins BLM staff had the opportunity to finally mount and install a camera trap on the recently constructed Ferris Mountain - Miners Creek wildlife guzzler on Friday (9/9/17). This camera trap is set up to forward any triggered pictures to an email address (the camera only allows for pictures to be sent to two email addresses) via a Verizon cell phone data plan; so we do not have to frequently re-visit the project site to recover photo data. We have another camera trap to install on the Sand Creek guzzler site, but I'm not sure when that installation will occur. We plan to operate the cameras from spring through fall and remove the cameras and their hardware in the fall (November) of each year.
The camera set ups purchased are produced by Reconyx and and each kit cost around $1,650.00. Each kit contains a Camera (PC-900C), solar power unit, security box, and a high gain directional antenna. We custom fabricated a mounting pole for all the hardware and also installed a small cattle panel exclosure around the camera mount.
When we arrived at the Miners Creek guzzler location we documented both mule deer and bighorn sheep near the guzzler location and the guzzler tank showed signs of utilization by elk and mule deer; the tank was half full of water (400 gallons).
Over the course of the first weekend the camera trap captured pictures of both elk and mule deer utilizing the guzzler. I just wanted to share with folks these first few photos documenting the positive impacts these projects are already having on wildlife in the Ferris Mountain area. I placed a small sign on the camera trap documenting the purpose of the wildlife guzzler and thanking all our project funding supporters which included - Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, Bow Hunters Of Wyoming, Water For Wildlife, Rocky Mountain Elks Foundation, Wyoming Governs Big Game License Coalition - Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust.
Thank you again for all your support, and I'll continue to share photos from the camera trap. I'm looking forward to our first bighorn sheep photos utilizing this development!
Mike Murry, Rawlins BLM
Trail Cam Photos
Convention 2017, One for the Record Books
Our 2017 annual convention and fund raiser at the Ramkota in Casper was remarkably fun and successful. We can’t thank you enough for you energy and support for “putting and keeping KIDS and SHEEP on the mountain”. Friday Night Social - More folks attended the social than ever before. Live background music by Sara Domek (Natl. BHS Center) and Erica Flom (Water for Wildlife) provided an enjoyable atmosphere for socialization. Sorry we ran a little short on food. We will order more for next year! A revolving slide show of sheep, members and their youth “on the mountain” also received praise. Keep those photos coming! Complimentary Life Member Breakfast - A record 118 folks showed up to our 16th LM breakfast. Your passion for wild sheep is evident when 519 of our 750 members are Life Members! Simply amazing. One of highlights was LMs contributing $3,800 to the WY-WSF Conservation Fund, which is being used to fund wild sheep projects into the future. Membership Meeting - Attendance to the membership meeting was also excellent. Membership was brought up to speed on numerous topics and approved funding for 11 Grant in Aid projects totaling $97,200. In addition, leadership changed hands with Kurt Eisenach being approved as the new President and Zach McDermott as the new Vice- President. New Board members are Adam Johnson, John Harris and Warren Youmans. Ladies Sip and Paint - This activity was hit with 37 gals producing their own paintings while sipping on whine. They did have an instructor to help keep the wild bunch in order and provide basic painting tips. It was a good thing that the floor was covered with plastic! Youth Activities - We believe in putting and keeping kids on the mountain as well as sheep. So we incorporated youth activities by recruiting Sara Domek, Karen Sullivan and crew from the Dubois Sheep Center along with Dr. Ryan Brock from WSF. They engaged a “herd” of youth in BH sheep ecology, archery and other activities throughout the afternoon. Seminars - A full suite of seminar topics including transplants, habitat enhancements, sheep hunting, national Wild Sheep Foundation update and statewide BH sheep updates were presented. WGFD Director Scott Talbot also provided a general Department update. Approximately 125 folks attended and asked questions. Banquet - There were numerous highlights during the Banquet! • Ron Ball Award - our most prestigious award - presented to a most deserving Freddie Goetz • Youth - approximately 50 youth were front-and-center for awards including 2 life memberships donated by the Conservation Fund, 2 custom log chairs, a youth cow elk hunt along with several other prizes and awards. Kids are the future! • Attendees were asked to donate to the Conservation Fund. They generously donated $13,700!! • Wounded Marine Veterans Kirstie Ennis and Brian Meyer made short presentations and provided a short and inspiring video of Kirstie’s life and determination to excel. WY-WSF and Hunting With Heroes will be sponsoring Kirstie on a Wyoming sheep hunt in 2018, thanks to a donation sheep tag from Keith Neustel (LM#98) and outfitting services by Trails West and Grizzly Outfitters. • Kirstie Ennis announced the recipient of the 2017 wounded veteran BH sheep donated tag, Sara Harris, of Casper. Gap Pucci, of Jackson, donated his BH sheep tag for hunt area 7. • Life Member Mtn Goat Hunt - Pat Pace of Cheyenne will be going to BC and pursue a mtn goat with Wicked River Outfitters, who full donated the hunt for our LM incentive. Auction -Many fine items were gifted and underwritten for our live and silent auctions and folks were quite willing and generous in sporting Wyoming’s wild sheep. Some highlights include: • Two Wy WGFD Commissioner licenses bringing $13,000 to $14,000 each. • The Wy Governor’s BH sheep tag brought $95,000!!! In summary, you have expressed your passion and generosity by generating a net of approximately $180,000 to put and keep KIDS and SHEEP on Wyoming’s mountains. WE THANK YOU!!2017 Raffle Winners 2017 Convention Photos Watch Kirstie Ennis Video