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Fall 2011 Volume 32 Issue 3

Ram Tracks

Fall Newsletter 2011

Volume 32 Issue 3

Wild Sheep Foundation - Midwest Chapter Officers and Directors PRESIDENT Curt Babler (‘14) 1760 Molitor Drive Lino Lakes, MN 55038 (651) 490-9395 PAST PRESIDENT Jerry Mariska (‘14) 14203 410th Avenue Waseca, MN 56093 (507) 835-1442 VICE PRESIDENT Al Holland (‘14) 11933 Highway 65 NE Blaine, MN 55434 (763) 755-8680 TREASURER Andy Otte (‘13) 2630 270th Street East Randolph, MN 55065 (507) 301-8655 SECRETARY Brian Helm (‘12) 1910 Stowe Avenue Arden Hills, MN 55112-7826 (651) 631-9273

DIRECTORS Mike Bouton (‘13) PO Box 41 Knapp, WI 54749 (503) 798-7304 John Coulter (‘14) 201 Craig Tracy, MN 56175 (507) 829-2304 Rod Garland (‘13) 43433 N Trevor Road Antioch, IL 60002 (847) 612-4408 Jack Smythe (‘13) 20667 County Road 1 Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-4467 Dave Swenson (‘12) 955 McDonald Lane Hudson, WI 54016 (715) 386-8772 Dave Tremble (‘12) 334 Michigan Street Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 (920) 743-8809 Ron Vollrath (‘14) 705 Northwood Drive Delano, MN 55328 (763) 972-1280

WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION - MIDWEST Office Headquarters Patti J. Murry, Executive Director 307 Division Street, Northfield, MN 55057 (507) 645-8811, (507) 645-9291 - fax

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In this issue 3

Presidents Message by Curt Babler


Stoned and Slammed


30 Year Ram


One Sheep Tag, One Wedding, One Week


South Dakota Luck


Colorado 6x6

by John Baar

by Kevin Hurley

by Gavin Strait

by Joshua Spies

by Greg Powers

12&13 Banquet Information 14&15 Member Photos


Youth Essay Contest Information


North Dakota Update


South Dakota Update

by Brett Wiedmann

by John Kanta

MISSION STATEMENT To enhance, expand and preserve wild sheep populations; to educate the public about wild sheep and conservation efforts surrounding wildlife; to encourage lawful hunting and protecting hunters’ rights; and to encourage youth participation in hunting.

Also this year we would like to showcase a few member produced auction items. If you or a family member have a hidden talent feel free to contact Jerry Mariska for more information on this unique opportunity! Remember to get a friend, family member, neighbor or work colleague to sign up for a membership and they will receive a change at the Youth Whitetail Hunt in South Dakota with Wayne and Diane Henderson of Paradise Outfitters. See page 10 for more information! What better way to pay it forward! Our Banquet and Fundraiser is March 16th and 17th, 2012! As I sit here pulling burrs from my bird dogs I am reminded that fall is quickly coming to a close. With the end of another hunting season I reflect on time spent enjoying what we, as sportsman have preserved. We do this not by sitting on our hands and relying on others but rather how we roll up our sleeves and put spade to ground, pen to check, and phone call to legislators. We do this to ensure that the same if not greater success can be enjoyed by others in the future. “Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.” -Theodore Roosevelt, Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907 Wolves are again a threat to what our forefathers worked so hard to manage. I recently viewed a photo which showed 25 four legged animals walking single file thru the snow. Just a few years ago we would see photos like this and immediately think Elk. This is what I originally thought when I first glanced at the photo until I looked closer....Those aren’t elk moving from the high country to lower elevation..those are wolves. Head to our Facebook page if you want to view the photo.

Back on the topic of sheep, you will notice a new state update on page 21. Please welcome John Kanta of South Dakota to our fold. John is the Regional Wildlife Manager for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks. John will be keeping us abreast on the sheep in South Dakota. I have mentioned it a few times recently about our Facebook page. Social media is all the rage. Being in the printing industry I am seeing first hand how social media is supplementing and in some cases replacing the traditional delivery of information. We have a few tech junkies on the board and we are going to utilize both Facebook and Twitter to help deliver you the most information as fast as we can without being intrusive. For those of you that have a Twitter account, follow us at WSFMidwest and Tweet, Tweet! We have a couple more items in the works so stay tuned! Until our next issue make sure you get your hunting photos in as our next newsletter will be upon us in no time! Curt Babler

In order to win these wars of disease, predation, and legislation blunders we need to all do our part. One easy and fun way to do this is to participate in banquets. With the banquet season right around the corner the simple task of attending helps ensure the success of each of those organizations. I’ll again toss out the idea that we would like to see you “bring one” person that you feel would enjoy our banquet. We are featuring a new item at this years banquet.. Member Videos! If you have a digitally shot clip of a recent hunt you were on contact Brian Helm as he is undertaking the huge task of compiling it for our show. Page 3

Stoned and Slammed

by John Baar

to be the cook, wrangler, and huntress on the 1st day for another pair of eyes. We arrived at the sidehill camp, so named because there is absolutely no flat ground anywhere. After setting up camp, Monty and I donned packs for a scouting trip. Fifty uphill yards from camp, my legs got their first test - a high, almost vertical hill plateauing where we could glass into the drainage we rode in on, and into a high set of granite cliffs. Only ewes were spotted that afternoon as rain gear was put on as showers moved in and out of the area. Starting the hunt the following morning, Monty, Kirbi, and I duplicated the previous days climb and duplicated the previous days sightings. We then climbed to a second plateau, the hill being longer and steeper than the first one. Again, no rams were spotted.

In 2001, the concept of me attaining a Grand Slam速 was at best, laughable. This changed only slightly with a 2001 Then began the third ascent-up - it was longer and steeper Colorado Bighorn Tag. It changed significantly with a than the second! This brought us to a ridge overlooking the granite cliffs and allowed us to look into a second coveted 2004 Colorado Desert Bighorn Tag! bowl on the opposite side. We stayed until early evening, Fate determined the first two sheep, but the next two again only seeing ewes and lambs. The decent of those would require my commitment to hunt (easy) and a three hills tested every new and old muscle in my legs! priority of finances to be able to afford to hunt (not so The 2nd morning found us saddling two horses, and easy). Monty and I rode north in a drainage that turned into a The Dall came in 2006. long valley with ridges on either side. Tying the horses in the last of the trees, we hiked to the lip of the ever rising August 2, 2011 found me on a 15 foot wide grassy chute valley floor. There, we had a panoramic view of rising that went out of sight 30 yards below us. My guide, hills and mountain ranges. Glassing, we found no sheep, Monty, had set the spotting scope at the edge of the grass but saw 3 caribou and several of the ubiquitous elk found overlooking a large rock covered chute and was keeping in the area, including one enormous bull. tabs on 6 stone sheep rams. Starting back, we walked the crest of the west ridge, This hunt had started with the auction purchase of a peering over the edge into steep hills and rocky cliffs, stone sheep hunt generously donated by Tuchodi River disappointed that we were not seeing sheep. However, Outfitters, owned by Larry and Lori Warren. The that changed quickly when sheep appeared high on the 1,900 mile drive to Fort Nelson, B.C. from my home in east ridge. Caught in the open, we laid down immediately Minnesota started on 7/27/11 with my 63 year old legs and glassed 5 ewes below and 6 rams on the ridge top in the best shape of their life - the 2 hour/6 day a week heads outlined by the sky. Two, maybe three rams, were routine had been effective, but I did miss the mountain possibly legal. We were pinned for over an hour before hikes available at my previous home in Denver. the rams moved back out of sight over a ridge. A 100 mile charter flight put me in base camp on 7/30. Base camp was a beehive of activity on 7/31 as horses were saddled, and pack horses loaded for what was to be a three hour wilderness ride to spike camp. The organization, efficiency, and professional attention to detail were evident throughout the process. My guide was Monty Warren, Larry & Loris son, and their daughter, Kirbi, was Page 4

We immediately crossed the valley floor and climbed the opposite end of the ridge to begin the stalk. Working our way down the opposite side of the ridge crest, Monty would crawl to the ridge crest to try to locate the rams. The third attempt brought him face to face with a ewe at 50 yards, which, fortunately, did not see fit to warn her cousins, brothers, or boy-friends! Two caribou were the

next threat, coming up to 25 yards away from us, running down the slope, then returning, and then back down the ridge without going over the top, possibly scaring our rams. At the end of the ridge, Monty crawled down the aforementioned grassy chute and glassed the rock slide to our left. His motioning finger told me that he had found the rams. Out of sight rams, moving rams, mingling rams, and sleeping rams--it was at least an hour before Monty would confirm a legal ram. When he motioned me to the scope, there were two rams visible. Monty said “Shoot the one on the right!” I was looking at my Grand Slam® ram! Within seconds, the ram laid down and I could confidently take my eyes from the spotting scope, pick up my rifle, and find that ram in my rifle scope. One last communication with Monty, The one lying down? He replied, Yes.

his 9 rings, my Grand Slam® quest was at an end! Three hours of picture taking, skinning, and boning and we were ready to return to camp. Just a note here - upon caping the head, we found well over fifty porcupine quills in the ram’s head. We think it was recently done and cannot imagine what that ram might have gone through in the coming days. Monty, with his full pack of meat, cape, and horns and me, with a pack full of mine and Monty’s gear, now faced what seemed a never-ending journey to the valley floor. How Monty remained standing going down that steep, rock filled chute will remain a mystery. For myself, I did not stand, and literally took out the seat of my pants by sliding down on my hind end, feet for brakes. He did not stand for one phase, a shear drop with no way around it. Both of us took a breathe after that!

Two hours later, we were able to retrieve the horses, an The 210 yard ranged shot was much too downhill for hour ride back to camp, and my sheep hunt, my Grand prone, over the backpack, so from the sitting position I put the crosshairs on his shoulder and then lowered the Slam® sheep hunt, was over! point of aim to just below the ram. At the shot, my next Thorton Wilder said, “When you are having an adventure, scope view was running rams!!! you wish you were home safe, when you are home safe, I asked Monty, Which one is he? Monty replied, He is you wish you were having an adventure.” Coming down dead. Again I asked, Which one is he??!! Monty again that slide I thought to myself, this is my last sheep hunt! replied, He is dead. You smoked him! It was the third Today, writing these words, sitting in my chair, feet up, exchange before my brain registered that my Grand Slam® and my Siamese cat, Chui, asleep in my lap, I am thinking, sheep was dead! Maybe one more, maybe one more sheep hunt?? Five quick thank yous 1. 2001 - Bighorn - Colorado - Powderhorn Outfitters, Vince Tanko and Sons 2. 2004 - Desert Bighorn - Colorado - Majestic Mountain Outfitters - Jeff and Cindi Chadd; Horn Fork Guides - Joe Boucher 3. 2006 - Dall - Alaska - Majestic Mountain Outfitters - (again) Jeff and Cindi Chadd 4. 2011 - Stone - British Columbia - Tuchodi River Outfitters, Larry and Lori Warren 5. And finally - my wife, Ruth - for her never ending The 165 Grain Barnes X Bullet from my Kimber 300 patience, understanding, and encouragement. WSM had killed him instantly! GRAND SLAM® is a registered trademarks of Grand Watching the running rams made me miss his 100 yard Slam Club/Ovis. Used with permission. roll down the chute! We circled back to the top of the chute. Quite frankly, I don’t remember much of the sliding, rocky, 400 yard descent to the sheep. Confirming Page 5

The “30-Year Ram” by Kevin Hurley, Cody, WY Conservation Director, Wild Sheep Foundation

Simply put, I waited 30 years for this moment. In the fall of 1981, I started down the path of wild sheep work, thanks in large part to an interesting and relatively new organization known as FNAWS. For those of you who know me, the rest is history. Having retired at the end of January from Wyoming Game and Fish Department after almost 30 years, and going to work “part-time” for the Wild Sheep Foundation, 2011 was the year to go north! With support and a promise from my 20-year old son Kyle to help his old dad hike the mountain, I booked an Alaska Range Dall Sheep Hunt with long-time friend and outfitter, Mike Colpo, owner of Lazy J Bar O Outfitters, Big Timber, MT. Since 1998, Mike has owned and operated a hunting camp on the Yanert Fork (of the Nenana River), in Alaska’s Game Management Unit 20A. Mike’s is a flyin backcountry camp, and he runs some top-notch, stout draft-horse cross stock, agile yet tough enough to handle the thick alder and willow brush the Yanert Fork is famous for. Kyle and I were fortunate to be flown in (and out!) of Mike’s camp by seasoned bush pilot Ron Payne of Wasilla, AK. I have to admit, after living through two plane crashes (1991 and 2002) doing wildlife surveys for WGFD, I thought more than a few times about climbing back into a small plane. This was absolutely my first time in a small plane since my 2002 crash, and a firsttime experience for Kyle. I’m not sure whose heart was pounding faster when we took off, Kyle’s or mine. Once in camp, and given the low clouds and more than intermittent rain, there wasn’t much glassing to be done, but the day before the season opened, we caught a glimpse of 5 Dall rams, the first sheep to be spotted. A good sign! On opening morning, with clouds still hanging low in the valley, we saddled up and rode into a tributary drainage across the Yanert Fork from the main camp. Page 6

After riding and busting brush for 1.5 hours, we tied off and struck out on foot, in search of the rams we had glimpsed the previous day. Within minutes of hiking, we spotted 5 white spots, way up the slope. Through the fog and rain, we were able to make those into rams, including one stellar-looking ram. We marked their location, and continued scouting up the drainage. After bumping into 2 large ewe/lamb groups, and spotting another 4 rams (including another full curl+ ram), we opted to drop back down the drainage, since that earlier ram was clearly worth another look. Typical, by the time we retraced our steps, those first 5 rams had moved even higher on the mountain, and as open as that slope was, and noting the time of day, we knew enough to leave them alone. Back in camp, we hatched a plan for Day 2, to come in on these rams from above the next day, entailing a 2-hour ride, followed by a 2,000+ foot climb. What a great feeling that was, trying to climb like I was 27 again (but feeling all 57 of my years!), knowing my son Kyle was mere inches from me, helping me achieve a life’s dream. By late afternoon of Day 2, and following what my son Kyle described as “the hardest hike he’d ever done”, we found these rams, bedded within 100 yards of where

they’d been opening day. I credit Mike Colpo and guide Paul Zitzer for their knowledge of Dall sheep behavior and habits; they made the perfect call! After working into position, Mike set me up at ~290 yards, with a pretty good downhill angle. Now, those who know me know I’m honest, and I have to say, I was pretty excited. After huffing and puffing my way up that mountain, and with the expectation of 30 years of dreaming hopefully about to become reality, I didn’t do my best shooting ever! After Kyle and I both learned some new cuss words from Mike (an expert marksman and former Olympic shooting contender!), I finished this ram from ~220 yards. I could not have accomplished this feat without the able assistance and guiding ability of Mike Colpo and Paul Zitzer; I will be forever grateful to those two men, and to the young man at my side. As Mike and I slid down 1,200 feet of scree slope, Paul and Kyle backtracked to bring the horses around to where we’d bottom out with the ram. I’m happy to say this ram met, then exceeded my hopes, taping out at 37.5” long, with 12.5” bases; we aged him at 10+. He was almost 2” past full curl, and he was just the kind of ram I had dreamed about. For 30 years.

WSF – Midwest 2011 Funding

National Wild Sheep Foundation Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Nevada Department of Wildlife North Dakota Game & Fish Northern BC Guides Association Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Predator Control – Carl Hansen Sportsmen for Wildlife Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming Wyoming Chapter of FNAWS

$ 5,600 $ 1,600 $ 37,000 $ 51,767 $ 350 $ 23,400 $ 1,700 $ 3,500 $ 33,750 $ 600

That is a total of $156,267 funding done so for in 2011. The board has also approved additional funding to North Dakota and South Dakota but those funds have not been dispersed yet. Thanks to you, our members, for making this funding possible! Page 7

One Sheep Tag, One Wedding, One Week by Gavin Strait, Greencastle, PA

In 2011, I was fortunate enough to get a sheep tag for sheep hunt, if he wanted to see what sheep hunting is all Wyoming. It would be my FNAWS ram if I was successful about. He agreed without a second thought. in harvesting one. The only bad luck encountered during the trip was at the I was also lucky enough to find a great girl who said she very beginning. Our flight out of Baltimore was canceled would marry me. The only unfortunate part the situation due to Hurricane Irene. It only set us back a half day was that we had already picked a wedding date before I and I wasn’t worried because we still wouldn’t lose any got the sheep tag. Naturally, the wedding was during the hunting time. We arrived in Cody around midnight and first part of the Wyoming sheep season. But with all the first thing the next morning, John was right on time. He positives, I certainly wasn’t going to get depressed. showed up with everything ready to go to the trailhead. It was a two hour truck ride followed by five hour horse I started the researching right away. I contacted several ride into camp. At the trailhead everyone moved like outfitters and in a short time had it narrowed down to clockwork and was very organized. three. After checking out several references I decided to go with John Porter and Morning Creek Outfitters. John The ride into camp was amazing. We saw many mule deer, had showed me pictures of many nice rams, the references antelope, and elk. When we were 30 minutes from camp had all great things to say, and John was confident even we spotted two rams from the horses. One of the rams with only a few days to hunt because I had to get home to was very young, but the other had us all talking about Pennsylvania to get married. getting a closer look the next day. Camp was already set up when we arrived. After we unpacked we had a great I talked John into setting up camp two days before the dinner (no freeze dried in this camp) and talked about our season came in to allow for scouting time. I wanted to plan tomorrow. There may have been three or four dozen make sure with the short time frame we would be able to hunting stories also told around the fire. find rams. If nothing else, this would give me some more days in beautiful country. My dad, who had been in sheep camp with me for the other three sheep hunts would not be making this trip due to his aging knees. Instead, I asked my best friend Danny, who had never been on a

The next day and half were spent taking easy climbs and doing a lot of glassing. During the three days we were in sheep country we saw between 60 to 70 rams, over 200 elk, and many ewes and lambs. We occasionally saw bear sign but luckily we never had any bear encounters. Page 8

One afternoon we spotted a band of 11 rams with some really nice ones in the group. In this band there was one ram that stood out as being very impressive. They were only visible for a minute or two and at several miles away before disappearing behind a ridge.

band of 11 rams. There were only about 400 yards away feeding. They had been just out of sight while we were glassing. We all got off our horses to get a better look. The big ram was found in the middle of band and as soon as I saw him through the spotting scope I knew that was my trophy. We let them feed out of sight and began our stock.

It seemed to take forever to find the rams that were right in front us a minute ago. Everyone was whisper quite. John even mentioned to me to put my bayonet on. Shortly after, he said that the top of the ram’s horns were spotted. I quickly put my pack under John’s rifle (I was using one of John’s custom made rifles) and started to get steady on the large ram. John had to calm me down because he wanted to view the other rams to make sure we were harvesting the best. He told me there was an older ram in the bunch, but he wasn’t as impressive. John said both rams were mature and I could take either one. I had Of course it was hard to sleep the night before 9/1/11, made my decision a long time ago when we viewed them opening day, after seeing so many rams. We were all from 400 yards. I took a deep breath and finished my up early and on horseback right at day light. We rode FNAWS. downstream to the third basin from camp and started our hunt in this basin. When we got above the timberline we sat down and started looking for sheep. There we found sheep- lots of sheep. I think we glassed over 40 rams in this basin. Most of them were very far away and didn’t appear to be trophy caliber. We stayed here a while because new sheep kept showing up and other sheep kept leaving. After the sheep bedded down we ate some lunch and came up with a new plan. We packed up and headed down the mountain and upstream to the next basin towards camp. Again, after we got above the tree line we started glassing. There again, we saw lots of rams, many ewes, and lambs among them. There were also many young rams. I was a little bummed because this was the basin we had seen the large ram in with the band of 11. We sat for a long time talking about our next move. The wind was picking up and getting very intense. John was getting tired of sitting and said we might as well head to the top of the mountain and look down over the other side. Everyone was in agreement and started getting their stuff ready for the long, windy trip to the top.

There were so many thoughts going through my head, I was so excited. From my soon- to- be wife, to my dad who wanted to be there to see me finish the FNAWS, to having my best friend along, to completing the FNAWS, and of course the fact that I just took a great Wyoming Big Horn. At this time I don’t have official scoring, but the in- camp scoring had the ram at 173 6/8’’. He had 35 ½’’ curls with 15 1/8’’ bases.

It wasn’t 200 yards and there right in front of us was a 2011 turned out to be a very good year. Page 9

South Dakota Luck by Joshua Spies

I was fortunate to draw one of two sheep tags in South Dakota. The sheep in South Dakota have been devastated by disease and mountain lions. I was very lucky to locate a band of seven rams with this guy in it. He is nine years old and grosses just over 176. When I checked him in at the GF&P, I was told that it was the biggest one taken in the last several years. I am very happy with my ram, but bummed the hunt is over.

2011-2012 Membership Drive In the spirit of “Bring one” get a friend or family member to sign up for a new membership (non renewal) before our 2012 Fundraiser and they will be entered in a drawing for a Youth Whitetail Hunt in South Dakota for themselves (if they are a youth) or for them to give to one of their kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews! Wayne and Diane Henderson of Paradise Outfitters have fully donated a 4 day whitetail-upland game hunt in 2012 for a youth hunter between the ages of 12 & 18. All guiding, accommodations and meals will be included for one youth and one parent or guardian. South Dakota licenses and transportation to hunt areas are not included. Hunt will be between November 10-25, 2012. Page 10

Greg Powers and John Coulter journeyed to Colorado in mid-September where Greg took this 6 X 6 bull elk after looking at many bulls. John had helped Greg arrange this hunt outfitted by Scott Limmer owner of Commanche Wilderness Outfitters.  Greg Powers has been a member of our Chapter family for over 20 years and never misses our annual fundraiser.  John reports Greg to be a loyal friend, a good shot, and a great walker!  Congratulations Greg! 

While on their way, Greg and John were in the middle of Wyoming and noticed this motorhome and this handsome couple standing alongside the road. It was Chapter family members Butch and Kathy Townsend, who were on their way to Texas to support their grandson as he tries to make the Olympic shooting team. What a coincidence!

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Please join us at the 33rd Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, 2012 Minneapolis Marriott SW – Minnetonka, MN

Two fabulous live auctions * Three wonderful meals * Two silent auctions Seminars * Raffles * Special Ladies Events Many Outfitters and Exhibitors * Awesome Taxidermist Display    

Tentative Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 15, 2012 WSF-Midwest Board of Directors Meeting 6:30 pm   Friday, March 16, 2012 Exhibitors and Taxidermists Set Up 8:00 am – 2:00 pm Taxidermy Display, Outfitter and Exhibitor Booths Open 2:00 pm Friday Night Buffet, Annual Meeting and Auction 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Visit with Outfitters and Donors 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm   Saturday, March 17, 2012 Taxidermy Display, Outfitter and Exhibitor Booths Open 8:00 am Saturday Morning Brunch 9:00 am – 11:00 am Many fun events, seminars and raffle drawings throughout afternoon Ladies Wine Tasting To be announced Gala Saturday Night Banquet and Auction 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Visit with Outfitters and Donors 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm     To register, fill out the enclosed Registration Form and mail to: Patti Murry, Wild Sheep Foundation-Midwest Chapter 307 Division Street, Northfield, MN 55057 or register online at


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Make your hotel reservation by calling the Marriott at 952-935-5500 or make your reservations by following the link on our website: For the $79/night room rate, make sure you mention you are with the Wild Sheep Foundation.

First Time at our Banquet!! Send in digital videos of your hunts and we will compile them to run Saturday afternoon along with your name and outfitter..if supplied! What better way to share your hunts with other members participating in our yearly banquet! Contact Curt Babler or Brian Helm for requirements. Due date will be February 20th!

Member Produced Auction Items! Corporate or individual sponsorships for the following banquet and fundraiser items

Ladies Wine Tasting Auction Books Youth Raffle

Do you or anyone of your family members have a hiden talent? Do you have a natural gift? This year we are featuring items produced by the membership. Here is an opportunity to showoff your talent along with give back to the chapter! All monies generated will benifit the Chapter’s endowment fund! Contact Jerry Mariska to learn more! 507-461-1195

Contact Curt Babler for more information! Help us “Keep Sheep On The Mountain”

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Jeff Lindgren traveled to the Waterberg Mountains Limpopo District of South Africa to hunt with Barrel and Bow Safaris

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Brothers Jerry and Tom Mariska hunted with Scott Limmer of Comanche Wilderness Outfitters in September for six days.  Their guide was Mike Williams.  Mike, by the way, is a board member for the Rocky Mountain Big Horn Society.  They hunted with muzzle loaders in  Area 186 near Estis Park, which was very heavily wooded.  It was a lot different than the open slopes that you normally think of an elk hunting area.  They got this 300 class bull on the last day of the hunt.  Jerry passed on a bull about the same size on Day 2, which now he feels was a mistake.  They hunted mostly by calling.  Everything on the hunt was as advertised.  They stayed in a log home in the area.   Having a soft bed and a warm and dry place to go each night was a big plus. Jerry and Tom send a big thanks out to Mike and Scott for the great hunt!

Jeff Lindgren took this huge cougar with Fraser River Outfitters in central British Columbia

In Memory Wild Sheep Foundation-Midwest Chapter Life Member

Eldon Helm Oct 29, 1939 -Nov 8, 2011

Joe Perrella purchased this elk hunt from Carl Hansen at the 2009 Wild Sheep Foundation - Midwest Chapter’s fundraiser. This bull was taken on Carl’s ranch on October 16, 2011. Page 15

There’s an APP for That!! Which wine goes with Pork..Where is the nearest drug store..what is Angry Birds...Where is the Midwest Chapters next banquet? Huh? The Wild Sheep Foundation-Midwest Chaper has an App? Yes we do! How do you get it? Well....All you have to do is scan the QR code below. What is a QR code? I am sure you have seen these funny looking square boxes popping up more and more lately. Most of the QR codes you see only do one thing, redirect you to there web site that you can’t see on your smart phone as it is. The Midwest Chapter went out and found a way to utilize the QR code technology to direct you to their App. The best part is the QR code will always direct you to the latest information. If you happen to leave this issue of Ram Tracks in a hunting camp, in two years the code will still be current! Imagine that...someone hunting in the Yukon could scan this code and actually joun the Midwest Chapter right there in camp! How cool is that that? If you have a smart phone, download a barcode reader from either itunes or your market place for free and scan the QR code below and there you go, you now have the chapters APP!!


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Page 17 *Credits to be used with expo exhibitors - Must be present to win.




Midwest Chapter

Youth Essay Contest

“Who benefits from a waterhole project and why?” Chapter members, this is your opportunity to invite a youth to enter our waterhole Essay Contest. We especially want to encourage you to select a youth that ordinarily would not be able to take part in a project like this. One of our better ways of promoting wildlife for generations to come is by helping our youth along the road to understanding the phrase “giving back to the mountain”. The Wild Sheep Foundation Midwest Chapter will choose 14 young people to participate in a water hole project. Our Chapter will provide air transportation from Mpls-St. Paul International airport to Arizona, ground transportation to the waterhole site, food, lodging, and a return flight from Arizona to MSP.

ESSAY REQUIREMENTS 1. Theme - “Who Benefits from a waterhhole project and why?” 2. Length - One page only with a minimum of 150 words, maximum of 250 words. 3. Essays must be typed with a heading containing the youth’s name, address, phone number, and age. 4. Deadline for entries - December 25th 2011 5. All Entries must be sent to WSF-Midwest Chapter Youth REQUIRMENTS 1. Youth must be in Grades 8-12 in the 2011-2012 school year. 2. Boys and Girls may enter. 3. Both the winning youth and parent(s) will be required to sign a release for WSF-Midwest and Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, releasing them of any liability in case of an accident during any part of the project, or while traveling to and from the project destination. 4. Youth must be able to provide sleeping bag, personal gear and clothing.

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

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Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Craig Stevenson

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North Dakota Game & Fish by Brett P. Wiedmann

While three consecutive severe winters played a significant role in reducing many of North Dakota’s western big game populations, overall bighorn sheep numbers are strong. Our 2011 July-August survey in western North Dakota showed 290 bighorn sheep, unchanged from last year and just 26 below 2008’s record summer survey. After recording dramatic declines in mule deer and pronghorn numbers, we were pleasantly surprised to see that our bighorns have remained stable. Low adult mortality last winter despite very deep snow conditions demonstrates just how hardy bighorns are. Survey results revealed 85 rams, 158 ewes and 47 lambs – 233 in the northern badlands (an increase of two from last year) and 57 in the southern badlands (down just one). Bighorns are doing very well in the northern badlands, and, following three years of declines, have stabilized in the south. However, 43 lambs were observed in the north, but only four in the south. Although the ewe segment of the population actually increased five percent from last summer’s survey, rams

saw a 10 percent decline. However, due to an abundance of forage, rams were scattered and in smaller-than-usual bachelor groups, so I’m confident that poor detectability had more to do with the lower ram count than an actual population decline. The Department’s survey does not include an additional 30 bighorns that inhabit the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Annual bighorn sheep survey statistics are not recorded using a calendar year, but instead are done over a 12-month period beginning each April and ending the following March. Each summer, Game and Fish Department biologists count and classify all bighorns, a process that takes nearly six weeks to complete as biologists locate each bighorn herd in the badlands by tracking radio-marked animals from an airplane, and then hike into each band in order to record population demographics using a spotting scope and binoculars. Biologists then complete the annual survey by recounting lambs in March to determine lamb recruitment. North Dakota’s bighorn sheep hunting season opens October 21 and continues through November 3. Six licenses were issued. The state’s Zone 1 (Badlands) mountain lion quota was increased from 10 to 14 in 2011. The season opened September 2 with four cougars already having been harvested by the end of the month. The observed increase in bighorn survival will hopefully continue as more lions are harvested. Thanks for all your support and good luck hunting this fall.

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South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks by John Kanta - Regional Wildlife Manager

South Dakota Bighorn Sheep Management and Research Update The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) would like to thank the Wild Sheep Foundation – Midwest Chapter (WSFM) for the generous donation to our upcoming bighorn sheep research project. We will be providing periodic updates to your group as the project gets under way.

Cause Specific Mortality for Lambs 2010 - 2011 Abandoned 4% MIA 2%

Infection 2% CE 2%

Hypothermia 4% Stillborn 4% Starved 8%

Predation 28%

Currently the bighorn sheep population in SD remains stable at approximately 350 total sheep. We have four distinct herds that consist of the Badlands, Custer State Park, Elk Mountain and the main Black Hills herds. We issued 2 licenses valid for the Black Hills herd Pneumonia 46% and 1 license valid for the Elk Mountain herd. As the elk Mountain herd is a shared herd with Wyoming, the Wyoming Game and Fish (WYGF) also issue one permit valid for the Elk Mountain herd. Season dates As mentioned previously, we will be conducting a study on the Elk Mountain herd in cooperation with SDSU run from September 1 – December 31, 2011. and the WYGF. This project was partially funded In cooperation with South Dakota State University by the WSF-Midwest. The project is slated to begin (SDSU), we are currently conducting a study on the on July 1, 2012 but work is currently being done to Black Hills bighorn sheep herd. This project started in explore the possibility of deploying collars this winter 2009 and is investigating prey selection by mountain to get additional data. The plan is to collar 30 adult lions and cause specific mortality on bighorn sheep. bighorn sheep and monitor to estimate population size, Currently we have 36 yearling and adult ewes and 2 assess movements, determine survival and recruitment lamb bighorn sheep radio collared. To date we have rates, evaluate genetic diversity, and assess disease radio collared a total of 52 yearling and adult ewes and prevalence in the herd. This is a masters project and a 53 lambs. Preliminary data shows an adult survival rate student has been selected to conduct the study. We look of approximately 77%. Unfortunately, lamb survival is forward to providing you data as it becomes available. very low. We lost 100% of the collared lambs in 2010 and as mentioned above, only 2 lambs remain from the 28 collared in the spring of 2011. Pneumonia is the major mortality factor for lambs with lion predation as the second largest cause of mortality for this herd (see chart).

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You Can Make A Difference It is no secret that the economic downturn has affected all of us in some way in the last few years. This downturn has also been felt by the many conservation organizations that support wildlife, The Wild Sheep Foundation – Midwest Chapter included. As you know, our membership and our annual fundraiser are the driving forces that provide us with the funds necessary to “keep putting sheep on the mountains.” Our annual fundraiser for 2012 seems a long way off, but before we know it, it will be here. It is not too soon to start planning for that. This is where you can help. The old saying “strength in numbers” says it all. The board would like to ask each and every one of our members to make our chapter bigger and better than ever. You wonder how one member can make the difference. It’s easy. Start thinking about someone in your life that may be interested in becoming a member of the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. It could be anyone - a family member, a friend, a business acquaintance, etc. Then share our newsletter with them or tell them to check out our website - peak their interest. Also, if each one of us could find one additional person to bring to our fundraiser next March, it will go a long way in making our chapter stronger and better so we can continue our conservation efforts. Your Board of Directors thank you for your continued support. See you all next March at the Marriott!

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Fall/Winter2011 Newsletter  
Fall/Winter2011 Newsletter  

Our Fall/Winter of 2011 issue.