Bighorn Sheep Tag Auction Brings $120,000

An Oregon hunter who is remaining anonymous has paid $120,000
for Idaho’s auction bighorn sheep permit.

The permit was sold at the recent Wild Sheep Foundation’s annual
convention in Salt Lake City. The Wild Sheep Foundation was
formerly known as the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep
(FNAWS).

Idaho bighorn sheep program manager Dale Toweill said he was
pleased to see the price for Idaho’s tag, which can be used this
year in Hells Canyon, hold up so well in a contracting economy. The
Hells Canyon Sheep tag is alternated between the auction and a
lottery each year. The record amount for an Idaho sheep permit at
auction was $180,000 in 2005.

Idaho’s permit brought the third highest amount of those offered
by any western state or province for Rocky Mountain sheep in this
year’s auction.

Bidders paid more for permits for Montana and Alberta Rocky
Mountain sheep.

The auction tag is sold at the Foundation convention to raise
funds for sheep research. Idaho keeps 95 percent of the bid amount
while the Foundation uses the rest for costs of promotion of the
auction. The tag sold by the Idaho chapter of the Foundation
through a lottery system brings in money for bighorn health
research at the Caldwell wildlife lab.

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