Wyoming Wild Sheep News
"Keep Em Separate"
All, We are learning more about those pesky pathogens which continue to decimate our wild sheep herds. This “hot off the shelf” (Oct 25, 2019) publication is authored by some of the best. The discovery of 184 strains of Micoplasma ovipneumoniae in domestic sheep is certainly concerning. The authors conclude, ”The genetic data identify domestic sheep as an infection reservoir with multiple and ongoing spillovers to bighorn sheep.” Given no other known preventative measures, we need to stress “separation” as a first step in mitigating pathogen transmission.
Migration corridor debate takes center stage as governor, Legislature wrestle over policy
“It is critical for the wildlife resource that we let the scientists, Wy Game and Fish Department and UW, delineate science-based migration corridors. They have been delineating other season ranges, winter range, calving/fawning areas, crucial winter range, etc., for decades without concerns. Moreover, our Governor assembled a team, Governor’s Migration Corridor Advisory Group, to address migration corridors and will be issuing an executive order soon. We the public, would like to help our political representatives address migration corridor policy once the science and executive order are completed.” Steve Kilpatrick, WY-WSF Ex. Dr
Bighorn Sheep Dying From Pneumonia, State Hopes To Double Populations
Utah working hard to increase their Wild Sheep Population
Park Plan Aids in Conservation of Native Bighorn Sheep
WYO G&F Announces $1 Million Dollar Super Tag Celebration
For the first time ever, the Wyoming Super Tag is on track in 2019 to break $1 million in annual revenue. Your organization has been an important part of the Super Tag’s success. To celebrate this achievement, the Wyoming Game and Fish, Gunwerks, and Worldwide Trophy Adventures have established “ $1 Million Super Tag Celebration Raffle ”. Every time a hunter purchases a Super Tag or Super Tag Trifecta ticket in May, their name will be entered into a raffle to win a custom-built ClymR rifle from Gunwerks. This raffle is running concurrently with the normal Super Tag and Super Tag Trifecta hunting licenses raffles as well as the Super Tag Ultimate Hunting Gear Raffle. Theoretically, one individual could win every Super Tag raffle offered, since winning one raffle does not exclude individuals from other raffles for which they have purchased tickets. The winner for the “$1 Million Super Tag Celebration Raffle” will be announced on or before June 15th. I think your membership would be very interested in both the conservation impact they are having through the Super Tag as well as the raffle opportunities in May. Super Tag ticket purchasers have raised over $3.7 for wildlife conservation and big game management since its establishment in 2014.
A first-of-its-kind bighorn sheep study hopes to offer answers to an iconic Wyoming herd’s slow demise
Almost 2 million bighorn sheep once roamed the West’s mountains. They moved in waves so thick early explorers could hardly count their numbers. They provided endless food for Native Americans and settlers.
Encampment High School Video
Check out the video created by the Encampment High School Kids during their bighorn sheep capture field study. Read more about these kids and their teacher, Jordan Seitz in our January 26, 2019 news release further down this page..
Montana's Missouri Breaks Herd may be in jeopardy
Montana’s Missouri Breaks, one of the most coveted bighorn hunting areas in the US, may be in jeopardy. Disease issues continue to plague bighorn recovery across most of their historic range. Wild sheep advocates and managers have spent millions of dollars trying to understand and mitigate this issue. The need to work “together” to resolve the disease issue has never been more imminent.”
Humans Are Destroying Animals’ Ancestral Knowledge
“Translocated wild sheep have to learn how to seasonally migrate for better groceries. That may take 50-60 years! Wild sheep conservation takes patience.
2019 Outstanding Teacher Awards Announced
The Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and the National Bighorn Sheep Center have chosen to honor two outstanding Wyoming educators in the field of Wild Sheep Conservation. This year’s recipients are Brady Samuelson from Riverton Middle School and Jordan Seitz from Encampment K-12. They will be recognized at the annual convention of the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation in Casper on June 1, 2019 at the Ramkota Inn.
Mountain Goats Now Outnumber Native Wild Sheep in the Tetons
“Wild sheep experts from across the West provide recommendations for Teton bighorns. Thanks to Grand Teton National Park, B-T National Forest, Shoshone National Forest, WGFD and the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretative Center for partnering with WY-WSF to make this happen.”
Livestock disease linked to California desert bighorn sheep die-off
A new survey has found a sharp decline in desert bighorn sheep in Southern California and biologists suspect the cause is a disease contracted from domestic animals.
“The WY-WSF teamed up with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, National Bighorn Sheep Center, national Wild Sheep Foundation, US Forest Service and Grand Teton National Park to bring eight wild sheep experts from across the West to Wyoming. These experts, specializing in disease, genetics, nutrition, predation and general bighorn ecology brainstormed with Wyoming’s bighorn sheep managers for two days. They focused on management and conservation measures directed at the future conservation of the Teton and Whiskey Mtn. herds. Over 160 concerned citizens attended evening meetings in Jackson and Dubois to hear the experts thoughts and provide their own. Yes, Wyoming cares about its wild sheep!
More on the Whiskey Mtn. Initiative at:
Bighorn sheep managers from across the nation, along with local managers, will be discussing current and future management of the Teton and Whiskey Basin herds. They will be providing management thoughts, recommendations and ideas. They also want to hear from you.
Please attend if you can. Questions, call Steve @ 307-413-7249.
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.
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 email@example.com
Kim Nieters, 406-404-8764 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Hurley, 406-404-8753 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug McWhirter, (307) 272-7186 email@example.com
Steve Kilpatrick (307-413-7249) firstname.lastname@example.org
Live Auction 6/1/2019, Casper WY. Advertised through Online Hunting Auctions and streamed live. Phone bids taken.