Wild Sheep Forever- Fall 2022 Edition

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Fall 2022 Issue Editor in Chief Kyle Stelter (CEO) Editors Bill Pastorek Nolan Osborne Peter Gutsche Contributor Sydney Goward Design & Layout Sportscene Publications Inc. Printing Elite Lithographers Co. Ltd. Editorial Submissions
submit articles and photos to communications@wildsheepsociety.com
Printed in Canada
Board of Directors.......................................................................................4 President’s Message 5 Board Member Profile – Danny Coyne 6 Andre the Giant 8 Breaking Down the Burn 14 Women Hunt – Virality and the Art of Gratitude 20 You Never Forget Your First .....................................................................24 Periodization of the Mountain Athlete 28 Monarch Members 32 How Warm is a Sleeping Pad? 34 What is 1Campfire? 36 Once They Were Numerous 38 Member Highlights....................................................................................42 Dream Rams Books .................................................................................44 Bull Mountain Prescribed Burn in Region 4 46 Wild Sheep Society of BC Magazine is published four times per year for the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia by Sportscene Publications Inc. 10450 - 174 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5S 2G9 Ph: 780.413.0331
Fax 780.413.0388 Email: info@sportscene.ca www.sportscene.ca
Please
No portion of Wild Sheep Society of BC Magazine may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of the articles in Wild Sheep Society of BC Magazine are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 43363024 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia #101 - 30799 Simpson Road, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6X4 www.wildsheepsociety.com
Cover photo by Danny Coyne - Wild Sheep Ambassador

Chief Executive Officer – Kyle Stelter 250-619-8415 ● kstelter@wildsheepsociety.com

President – Korey Green 250-793-2037 ● kgreen@wildsheepsociety.com

Past-President – Dave Heitsman 604-250-4732 ● david@fortressforwarders.com

Vice-President – Chris Barker 250-883-3112 ● barkerwildsheep@gmail.com

Jesse Bone 250-802-7468 jessetbone@hotmail.com

Tristan Duncan 778-921-0087 tb.duncan@gmail.com

Rob Englot 250-719-9607 renglot@telus.net

Peter Gutsche 250-328-5224 petergutsche@gmail.com

Vice-President – Mike Southin 604-240-7337 ● msouthin@telus.net

Secretary – Greg Rensmaag 604-209-4543 ● rensmaag_greg@hotmail.com

Treasurer – Joe Humphries 250-230-5313 ● joseph_humphries@hotmail.com

Josh Hamilton 250-263-2197 josh.wssbc@gmail.com Greg Nalleweg 778-220-3194 greg@nextgenelectrical.ca

Colin Peters 604-833-5802 colin.peters12@gmail.com

Robin Routledge 250-262-9058 robin.wssbc@gmail.com

Communications Committee

Chair: Kyle Stelter ● 250-619-8415 kstelter@wildsheepsociety.com

Fundraising Committee

Chair: Korey Green ● 250-793-2037 kgreen@wildsheepsociety.com

Government Engagement Committee

Chair: Greg Rensmaag ● 604-209-4543 rensmaag_greg@hotmail.com

Hunter Heritage Committee

Chair: Jonathan Proctor ● 250-352-2020 proctorj72@gmail.com

Indigenous Relations Committee

Chair: Josh Hamilton ● 250-263-2197 josh.wssbc@gmail.com

Membership Committee Chair: Peter Gutsche ● 250-328-5224 petergutsche@gmail.com

Projects Committee

Chair: Chris Barker ● 250-883-3112 barkerwildsheep@gmail.com

Jurassic Classic

Trevor Carruthers ● 250-919-5386 ● trevor.carruthers@shaw.ca

Raffles

Joe Humphries ● 250-230-5313 ● joseph_humphries@hotmail.com

Women Shaping Conservation

Rebecca Peters ● 778-886-3097 ● rebeccaanne75@gmail.com

Bookkeeper

Kelly Cioffi ● 778-908-3634 kelly@dkccompany.com

Executive Assistant

Michael Surbey ● 604-690-9555 exec@wildsheepsociety.com

Danny Coyne

Darryn Epp

Jeff Jackson Trevor Carruthers

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s another hunting season nears an end, it is a good time to reflect on WSSBC’s year to date and look forward to the remainder of 2022.

Some success stories since our last issue of the Wild Sheep Forever Magazine include completion of the Gataga River Clean-up project, in which WSSBC contributed $75,000 towards, through the support of a B.C. Community Gaming Capital Project Grant; Fraser River sheep counts; approaching the 100th episode of the “Talk is Sheep” podcast; board approval of over $150,000 in funding towards wild sheep projects since July 2022; and an unprecedented Jurassic Classic event.

On the heels of the Jurassic, we have launched a number of fundraising raffles including our 1Campfire Raffle, Jurassic Classic Rifle Raffle, Vortex Optics Package Raffle, Sitka Gear Raffle, and BiG BoaR Rifle Raffle. This year we are excited to offer our largest Wild Sheep Raffle (WSR) offering to date, which includes a Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunt, NWT Polar Bear Hunt, Yukon Grizzly or Caribou Hunt, Alberta Pronghorn Antelope Hunt, and the Barney’s Ultimate Sheep Camp Package. We want to thank all our sponsors, members and supporters who make these raffles happen, as they contribute up to one-quarter of our funds raised annually.

This is the time of year we start making plans for our upcoming 2023 fundraisers. We are elated to be planning for a return to in-person events including the

Northern Fundraiser in Dawson Creek on February 4th, 2023 and the Kamloops Convention & AGM March 10-11, 2023. Please keep an eye out for information regarding the registration open dates for those events, as we expect them to sell out fast. In addition to these events, the board has been busy planning for the first BC Wild Sheep Summit to be held in Prince George November 16-18, 2022, details on this event can we found on our website.

Since obtaining charitable status under the Mountain Wildlife Conservation Society (MWCS), we have seen steady charitable contributions coming in. With the recent announcement of the exciting WSF/MWCS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Jurassic, we have already seen the benefits of this arrangement, with some substantial contributions following the announcement. The

MOU allows for WSF contributions from Canadian donors to donate through MWCS, receiving a tax receipt, with funds available for sheep projects within Canada. I want to thank Gray Thornton (WSF) and Kyle Stelter (WSSBC) for their efforts in making this MOU opportunity come to fruition. As we finalize planning for the upcoming BC Wild Sheep Summit and start planning for the fundraisers in the new year, on behalf of myself and the board, we want to thank all of our donors, members and partners, as without your support we would not be able to raise the funds or contribute to the on-the-ground wild sheep projects that we do.

in

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WILD SHEEP AMBASSADOR PROFILE

anny grew up in the small quaint community in the Similkameen Valley of Princeton BC. His family’s farm is nestled against the Similkameen River, and this is where he fell in love with his passion for wildlife and the outdoors. Some of his best memories are exploring the backcountry with his dad, Bob Coyne. Danny comes from a family rich in history within the Similkameen Valley. His 2nd great grandfather, John Fall Allison was the first European Settler in the Princeton area, where he staked gold, copper, and coal claims, and established the first cattle ranch. John Fall’s first wife, Danny’s 2nd great grandmother, Nora Yakumtikum of the Upper Similkameen First Nations, ran a pack train over the Cascades in the nineteenth century. Danny is a proud member of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band and spending time in British Columbia’s backcountry is deep within his family’s heritage and traditions.

During his backcountry adventures while growing up, his dad taught him everything he could about nature and wildlife. From identifying types of trees and plants, to how to locate animals and understand their behaviours. But most of all, he learnt the importance of being a steward of the land and the importance of habitat and wildlife conservation. It was instilled into Danny at any early age that it is our responsibility to take care of wildlife and our sensitive natural habitats. Danny believes that as hunters and anglers, whatever we take from our natural resources, it is our duty and honour to contribute back through conservation efforts.

While growing up on his family’s farm, Danny participated in the local 4-H Lamb club. This is where he learnt the importance of responsible farming practices to ensure domestic livestock are cared for and treated properly, so they don’t negatively impact wildlife with diseases such as Movi. As a teenager, Danny spent many summers herding livestock in open range throughout the province. During these times he had the privilege to work with some of the best provincial vets while they worked together to test and treat the livestock for diseases before allowing them onto the open range.

Danny now resides in Peachland with his wife, Marina Coyne, however his family still lives on the farm in Princeton that has been in their family for close to a century. His professional career as the Director of Operations for Budget Rent a Car has allowed him to travel the province of BC very thoroughly over the last 15 years. This has let him spend a lot of time fishing, hiking, and hunting in a wide variety of regions in the province.

In his spare time, you will find Danny enjoying the outdoors with his wife Marina by his side. Danny is extremely passionate about introducing people to the outdoors and mentoring them on how to fish and hunt ethically. He acknowledges that a lot of people, especially in urban centers, did not have the opportunity like he did to grow up with fishing and hunting as part of their family’s tradition. Danny takes extreme pride when he has the privilege to introduce and mentor people to the outdoors.

During the pandemic in 2020, Danny committed to a lifelong dream of his to seriously pursue wildlife photography. Wildlife photography came very natural to him as he was able to utilize his outdoorsmanship abilities to locate wildlife and pursue that perfect shot. Danny believes that the story he captures through his photos will help better connect people with wildlife. It will also help create greater awareness for the need of sciencebased conservation funding, efforts, and management. The more that people care about wildlife on our landscapes, the more they will want to get involved.

Since Danny has started with wildlife photography, his photos have been auctioned off in wildlife conservation fundraisers, featured in art galleries, tourism info centers, news media outlets and many other platforms.

Danny is deeply involved with several fish and wildlife conversation groups. He volunteers on numerous fish and wildlife conservation committees, along with being very active with volunteer work with groups such as the Wild Sheep Society of BC, Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance, BC Wildlife Federation, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, DFO Sport Fishing Advisory Board Region 3&8, the Oceola Fish & Game Club, and volunteering with the Ministry of Lands Forest & Natural Resources.

Danny is very passionate in creating awareness for wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship with others, he tries to do this by capturing special wilderness moments through his lens. This is what he hopes to do with his wildlife photography. In 2022, Danny won the “Photographer of the Year” award with the Wild Sheep Society of BC and joined our ambassador team to help create awareness in protecting and enhancing wild sheep and their habitat in beautiful British Columbia.

Danny’s favourite quote that he believes best defines his personal values is from Theodore Roosevelt “Wildlife & its habitat cannot speak, so we must & we will!”

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Province of BC Regional Wildlife Heath Biologist Cait Nelson asked us to share this with our members. If you are on a deer, elk or moose hunt this fall, please consider submitting a sample to ensure we do all we can to keep chronic wasting disease from affecting wildlife in British Columbia.

ait for them to clear”, I thought to myself.

Screened by three does, if they move, I’ll have a shot opportunity. Hard to believe it was really happening. I might take my biggest pronghorn antelope to date!

One doe walked away... then the second. The third, well, she wasn’t in any hurry. Moving only a couple of steps, she stopped, still blocking my shot. Chambered with a 140-grain Accubond bullet, I settled my 280 Ackley Improved, on the giant buck’s chest, and prepared to squeeze. Then it happened. She glanced back at him. Her patience had worn thin, and she bolted, instantly followed by the buck. At that moment, I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Scrambling to find them again in my scope, I honestly thought my opportunity had just vaporized. Back in July, our good friend Jesse Van Maarion and I discussed getting an antelope tag for my fiancé. He and his wife Ashley own and operate Wild West Outfitters in southern Alberta. A few conversations, a commitment from us, and the tag was ours. We were set to be in Alberta for the antelope opener on September 26th, 2022! This was a fun hunt that Kelsey and I had really been looking forward to. By comparison, pronghorn hunts are relatively low impact, so we had planned to bring our 10-month-old son, Gatlin, along. To prepare, Kelsey spent many summer days at the range, shooting her 6.5 Creedmoor. She’s always been a great shot, but knowing this was a hunt of a lifetime, she wanted to be as ready as she could be. For the last three years she’s dedicated herself to raising our two youngest children, so she hadn’t been out hunting as much as she had in previous years. As a hunter you dream of the perfect hunting partner. Not only did I find this in her, but I also put a ring on her finger. The best

part – our family loves hunting and spending time together outdoors. Fast forward a month. One day while I was servicing a tractor at work my phone rang. It was Jesse. The call began as most calls with Jess do. How’s things?” he says. “You guys ready for your antelope hunt?”

A few years back, I’d won an antelope hunt at a local Rod and Gun Club auction. I had the good fortune of hunting with one of Jesse’s top guides, Kerry Meyer. We bow hunted antelope for a week. With many close calls, blown stalks, and a missed opportunity at an 80-incher, the hunt ended with an open tag. Returning opening day of the rifle season, Kerry had put a great buck to bed the night before. The following morning, we relocated him, and put the hammer down. And so went my first Alberta pronghorn hunt. With a green score of 80 2/8 inches I was elated. That same year Jesse had a cancelation on his last hunt of the year for mule deer. I jumped on that opportunity, even though I only had two days to hunt because of work. On the first day we woke up to cold weather and snow. Jesse put us onto a beautiful 190-class non-typical and I wasted zero time putting him down. So not knowing where this phone call was headed, I said, ,”hey, just a random call to chat,

or what’s up?” He casually said,” I have another tag in the same zone as Kelsey, are you interested?” Initially I wasn’t sure I wanted to go again, but the thought of hunting with her and our son, was compelling. In turn, I jumped on the opportunity quick, as you never know what life is going throw at you.

On September 24, we loaded the truck and made our way to Jesse’s place in southern Alberta. The next morning, after an amazing breakfast, we spent the day scouting, traveling through various grazing lease lands and private ground where we had secured permission to hunt. We did find a giant buck with 10 does but, unfortunately, he was on ground we couldn’t hunt; so, our search continued.

That afternoon we found an impressive, tall buck that Jesse figured would score in the high 70s. Target buck acquired. Jesse had to return to the ranch to pick up a horse for a sheep hunt the next week, so we met up with Kerry for the evening cruise. On the way to meet Kerry we passed through some new country. Almost simultaneously we all yelled, “big buck!”. In no time, the spotting scopes were on him and we were capturing photos. After careful evaluation, we had a number. He was big, real big!

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Quick and dirty we came up with an estimate of 83-inches. New target buck acquired. This one was worth putting to bed, so we stayed and watched him and his six does until dark.

The 90-minute drive back was filled with laughter and high hopes for the next morning. Gatlin was a champ all day. Zero fuss. He just loves being out with us cruising around looking for animals. Before we knew it, we were back at Jesse’s enjoying another awesome meal prepared by Ashley. A quick visit, a couple whiskeys, and we made our way to bed - full of anticipation for the next day.

4:45 a.m. came quick. Coffee and lunches were made. Kelsey quickly got Gatlin up, and we were outside waiting for Kerry and our 5:30 a.m. pick up. We took two trucks. Jesse

would sit where we left the buck only hours earlier, and we would cruise around making sure he didn’t sneak out a different way. At 8:00 a.m. my phone rang. It was Jesse. He found the six does, but the buck was nowhere to be seen. Rejoining Jesse, we questioned whether that buck had actually left his does or was maybe nearby but not visible.

Gatlin was sleeping, so we left him with Jesse. Kelsey, Kerry, and I went and did a stalk to see if that buck was maybe still in there. Twenty-five minutes later, we were in position. Peeking over a rise, we saw the does, but no buck. Then, moments later, his unmistakable big black horns emerged from behind one of the does. They knew we were there, but he didn’t. All he cared about was his

girls. Broadside at 150 yards, all six does began moving away. He had us pinned. Kelsey was trying so hard to stay calm, but Buck Fever had set in. To say she was excited would be an understatement! We decided to let them walk out past 500 yards and move over to another small knoll. Crawling to the next ridge we found them again. A few does were feeding and some were looking back at us. The buck was so preoccupied with his does, that he had no idea what we were up to. I hit him with my rangefinder – 278 yards. I looked back and Kelsey was already on the bipod laying down just about ready to send this buck a lead pill for breakfast. I quickly tweaked the turret on her rifle and turned on the video camera.

“When you’re ready, I’m on him”, I said.

He turned and quartered slightly toward us. On the shot, he dropped instantly. I turned to look at Kelsey. Between the hooting and hollering, the raw emotion in her face said it all. Laughter, crying and hugs. We did it! She had just knocked another animal off her North America 10 slam list. The walk over was surreal. He just kept getting bigger! Jesse made his way over with Gatlin, so they could celebrate with us. After we tagged him, we took some video and a ton of photos. We then carefully skinned him, loaded the meat in our packs, and headed back to Jesse’s. It had been a great morning indeed!

Later that afternoon, Jesse called and said, “are you sitting down?”

“Yup in the truck”, I replied.

“This thing goes over 85-inches!”. Hard to believe, her first antelope was a ‘Booner’!

We spent the next day cruising to find a buck that would either match or break that 85-inch mark. Passing up lots of respectable bucks, we just couldn’t cross paths with one that made me want to pull the trigger. I was beginning to question if I’d made the right decision passing up some of those bucks. Kerry and Kelsey

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reassured me I was doing the right thing. One of the bucks had a horn that actually grew like the shape of an “S”. Unique for sure, he was young, so I opted to pass on him. I wanted a mature antelope. The drive home that night was quiet... I couldn’t help question whether I’d made a mistake. The final morning of our hunt was now upon us. Fortuitous, Kerry commented that he felt like it was going to be a great morning. He wasn’t wrong. He wanted to head back to where we had seen the giant buck to see if he’d left the property we couldn’t hunt. The eastern sunrise danced above the prairie floor. Right then I had a feeling it was going to be a special day. Kerry made the turn east and we made our way up the gravel trail to our destination. Rolling up to a vantage point, the sun was coming fast, but it was still too dark to shoot.

The view was breathtaking. Alberta’s prairie sunrises can warm the soul. Now legal shooting light, we slowly rolled down the road. In the distance

I noticed some antelope in a shallow valley. It was a buck we’d seen previously. He was nice; low 70’s for sure. And so our search continued.

As we crested another small rise, Kelsey yelled from the backseat to stop! Kerry piled on the brakes and immediately saw a giant buck off to his left. In fact, there was one off to our right as well. Kerry noticed right away that it was the big guy on the left! At the same time, I stared through my Swarovski

EL Range binoculars at the buck on the right. Honestly, he looked massive! He had serious bases.

“I want to kill this buck,” I said to Kerry. “He’s the one.”

Kerry wasn’t convinced, until he put his spotting scope on him. All he said, was “wow!”

One quick call to Jesse, and we confirmed access. The hunt was on. Unfortunately, the buck had different plans. He ran his does over into the next section of land. Working the does the giant from earlier in week had with him, it was apparent that at least one was in heat. He wouldn’t leave her alone.

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Now he was on a grazing lease with foot access only and no contact for permission. This was going to happen. Every now and then, he’d run his does from close to what felt like a mile away.

It was time. I grabbed my Kimber and began to move in. Rolling under the fence, I belly-crawled to a spot that would offer a 400-yard shot opportunity. The massive buck was completely unaware of my presence, allowing me to attach my bipod and quietly load three rounds. Ranging him, I got 389 yards. Antelope, especially during the rut, are constantly moving about. I got myself comfortable and settled the crosshairs on him. Screened by does, I had to wait for a clear shot opportunity. It felt like a 15-minute stand-off. One doe walked away, then another. A third had other plans. She took two steps and stopped. She looked back at him and decided she’d had enough. Taking off on a dead run, the giant buck went with her. My heart sank. Did my opportunity just disappear before me?

I scrambled to find them again in my scope. “This can’t be happening”, I thought to myself. Ultimately, he pushed the doe in my direction. Once they stopped running, the three does and the buck were inside 300 yards,

but they were again standing in front of this giant buck! As soon as the does cleared, I saw that he had his head down. I quicky looked back at Kelsey and got the thumbs up that the camera was rolling. I took three calming breaths and held. Slowly squeezing the trigger, it was like time stood still. All the planning and time that had gone into this hunt replayed through my mind. I watched the buck jump followed by a familiar ‘thump’ zoomed out my rifle scope, just in time to watch him rear up and fall over. Andre had fallen. I glanced back at the truck, and the looks on Kerry’s and Kelsey’ faces said it all. We set out to harvest another buck in the 85inch range and, by the looks of it, we blew it out of the water. A huge round of hugs and high fives and we were ready to make our way over to the fallen giant. Notably, Gatlin was still sleeping. We chuckled and proceeded to wake him up and get him dressed for the walk in.

With packs on our back, and Gatlin riding in a backpack, we made our way across the open prairie towards Andre. This was the longest 300-yards I’ve ever had to walk. Zero ground shrinkage on him. I was first to get to him, I laid my rifle down beside him and the excitement set in. I grabbed

one horn and was completely in shock. He had well over seven-inch bases with matching cutters and each horn was easily 16-inches long. Emotion is a real thing. I laughed and then I cried. We had just accomplished something pretty cool, especially with a 10-month-old boy in tow.

I called Jesse and told him we’d just taken a giant. He wanted us to hurry back so he could see it before going on his sheep hunt. We took some awesome photos of my buck, then I threw him over my shoulder, and we headed back to the truck.

The drive back was surreal. Numbers were crunched. When we got back to Jesse’s he was waiting by the horse trailer with a horse he was trying to load. As soon as we stopped, he came running over with that horse in tow.

He dropped the tailgate and, all he said was “Oh my God”. It was starting to sink in, slowly. Out came the tape measure. Fifteen inches turned into sixteen then it was seventeen. He was bigger than we thought. I’d taken an absolute giant. 92 1/8 inches of antelope lay in front of us for the world to see. My emotions went nuts. I called a few buddies, and we chatted quickly about the hunt, it was a dream come true. A dream that I wouldn’t change for the world.

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Figure 1. Low severity burn example.

Source: National Interagency Fire Center

ildfire is a natural part of our landscapes in BC and across North America, with a long track record of supporting healthy ecosystem functions. Science and on-the-land observations have shown natural levels of fire to have a plethora of beneficial effects, including increasing understory plant production (great for animal forage), suppressing invasive species, supporting seed germination in some native plants & trees, and maintaining healthy tree densities. Our ecosystems are not static: some of the most foundational components of wildlife habitat, such as forage, tree cover, and movement corridors are drastically shaped and changed by disturbances including fire. Our fire-adapted ecosystems need periodic burning to maintain these characteristics [1].

How an area responds to fire depends on the type of ecosystem and the severity of the fire. For example, Interior Douglas-fir systems have evolved to have regular, low-severity wildfires, but a severe wildfire can occur if regular fires are not maintained in these areas. Instead of frequent, gentle wildfires bringing increased understory plant production, we might see an occasional severe wildfire burn off the organic layer of the soil altogether and cause damage to the seedbank, meaning the system will take longer to recover. If you’re interested in understanding the shifting Interior Douglas-fir landscape, check out this interactive story map by researcher Spencer Bronson: https:// storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/ c0a1bc0538684ee799c8c72d56ebb13e.

Humans have long been a part of maintaining wildfire on the landscape. Indigenous people have historically (and still to this day)

Figure 2. A seasonal calendar illustrating aspects of Indigenous fire stewardship. Image concept by K.M. Hoffman and A.C. Christianson, design and illustration by Alexandra Langweider of Align Illustration. [2]

carefully managed forage crops for both humans and wildlife through regular cultural burning practices. These practices usually have goals of supporting overall ecosystem health and balance, improving wildlife habitat, increasing forage food crops such as medicinal and culinary plants, and reducing natural wildfire risk to communities [2, 3] (Figure 2). Recent research has also pointed to the role of Indigenous people’s contribution to fire regimes as critical to both ecology and culture [4].

Keeping “natural” levels of wildfire on the land (supporting the historical fire regime) ensures that these systems – which evolved with varying levels of fire to support healthy function – stay in tip-top condition to support the animals that depend on them. Understanding the natural fire regime of a forest

is important to guide management actions like mechanical harvesting, prescribed burning, and Indigenous fire stewardship [5].

The research on wildfire within BC universities alone is immense. There are fire ecology labs and experts at every major institution in our province, investigating foundational research and designing innovative solutions on fire’s natural role in ecosystems and how to bring it back to the land in a healthy way that supports modern land-use objectives. There are many examples, but I’ll just highlight a few local favourites. In a 2021 study, researchers at UBC found that certain types of forest harvesting in mule deer habitat can be compatible with complex disturbance regimes such as wildfire [6]. Researchers at UBCO recently showed in 2019 that fire size is a

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great predictor of snowshoe hair relative abundance, emphasizing the importance of these regenerating sites for hares after large wildfires [7]. One finding from a 2022 study by the University of Victoria and others gave valuable insights into what type of plants dominate after different severity of burns, and found that the history of disturbance has an even bigger role to play in what grows back than just the most recent fire itself [8].

Of course, our friends south of the border are also working on excellent research; one example comes from a 2022 study where researchers in Arizona described how mixed-severity fires shape habitat use by a variety of wildlife [9]. In another example, one study by the US Forest Service found that during the spring and summer, Elk selected for habitat areas treated with prescribed fire for up to 14 years post-burn. By tracking elk with telemetry data over 22 years, this study also found that the patchwork of burnt and unburnt

areas was important for elk, based on their needs at different times of year [10].

Since we’re in BC, let’s let forestry enter the conversation: there are elements of designing landscape-level forest management plans to follow this historical fire regime. This means managing the age-structure of the trees and the patch sizes of the blocks to essentially mimic that disturbance caused by wildfires [11]. Some prescriptions even called for logged areas to be burnt before tree planting. Though it still has its merits, forest harvesting leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its ability to mimic wildfire. In best practice, there must be a balance between all landscape tools (like prescribed burns, Indigenous fire stewardship, and harvesting) to make sure we are maintaining healthy landscapes and further, healthy wildlife habitat.

I’d say it’s been demonstrated that the role of wildfire specifically in maintaining ecosystem health and function is well understood and

studied. Even with this in-depth understanding, we are seeing a general lack of healthy fires on our landscapes. Why?

Governments have historically campaigned (very successfully) for wildfire suppression across North America, with the idea of protecting communities and forest resources. If you need one example, just think of Smokey the Bear as a loveable public icon, drilling the message into us all that only you can prevent wildfires. There is some importance in his message not to undermine: we really don’t want cigarettes, campfires, and fireworks to initiate and exacerbate wildfires, and we also can’t deny the real safety risk of uncontrolled wildfires near our communities. But these messages also proliferated a public standard on controlling and putting out all wildfires that naturally occurred on the land. This action, based primarily on safety and economics, largely halted prescribed burns as a management tool. Further, the very fire suppression aimed to keep

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Figure 3. Three years post-fire vegetation growth in part of the Elephant Hill fire. Photo: Josh Batson

people safe has led to greater risk to communities by allowing fuels to build up beyond natural levels. When fires do come to these areas, they burn more severely than the system has evolved to tolerate.

I’m sure there are many readers out there who have experienced first-hand the devastating impacts of some of the severe wildfire seasons BC has seen in recent years. It’s understandable the fear associated with wildfire, but science is teaching us that increasing prescribed burns, and supporting some natural burns, has an overall positive effect by not only protecting our communities but also supporting our landscapes.

Moving forward, we are seeing pathways open within our government systems to allow for more prescribed burning projects. There is a growing appetite from the provincial government to partner with organizations, Indigenous groups, and communities to execute local projects. The Forest Enhancement Society (FESBC) is one mechanism that provides support to a wealth of projects related to forest resource enhancement in BC, many of which include prescribed burning. FESBC supports “indigenous groups, local communities, contractors and companies to implement innovative forestry projects that reduce greenhouse gases, protect communities from wildfire, improve wildlife habitat, and create jobs for British Columbians”. You can check out an interactive map of all FESBC projects here, and filter to the ones specific to habitat enhancement or wildfire risk reduction: https:// www.fesbc.ca/projects/ (note: not all habitat enhancement projects by FESBC include burning).

The Ministry and several partners (including WSSBC) are also working on prescribed burning in the Kootenays to enhance Bighorn sheep habitat and support herd health [12]. We’re also seeing new programs that grant rights

back to First Nations to conduct cultural burning on their traditional territories – another huge step towards restoring healthy wildfire on the land.

The science on fire is clear, but on a project by project case, how can we monitor the success of these burns? People on the land observing the impacts is awesome, but it’s ideal to include scientific approaches to monitoring too. One really great option for designing a monitoring program is the tried and true before and after control impact design. Surveying burnt and unburnt areas both before and after a treatment gives a great reference on the impacts of a burn. We should consider evaluating both habitat quality, such as surveying specific plants or communities of plants (diversity, density, biomass, etc.)

or wildlife use of an area (using satellite collar data or wildlife camera data).

I can’t talk about prescribed burn projects to the WSSBC audience without exploring the fantastic work the Society and its partners are doing on several burns right here in BC. The Stone’s Sheep Habitat Enhancement project that has been underway for three years in Northeastern BC is one example I think we’re all very excited about. The objectives of this project are to “improve forage quality and quantity, remove the ingress of trees and woody vegetation, and increase the line-of-sight for better predator detection” [13]. In May of 2022, approximately 160 hectares of winter range was treated, with a goal of the long-term program to treat 500-1000ha of Stone’s sheep

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Figure 4. Prescribed Fire in Northern British Columbia to improve Stone’s Sheep habitat, May 2022. Credit: Josh Hamilton.

Figure 5. Setting up remote wildlife cameras to monitor pre and post burn wildlife activity. Credit: Josh Hamilton.

habitat every year. These efforts are being complimented by an effectiveness monitoring program, using remote wildlife cameras and vegetation plots both pre and post treatment. There are many additional research opportunities that can arise from projects like this.

For those of you that caught the article “Science-based wildlife management: what is it and why does it matter” on pages 16-18 of the Summer 2022 issue of this very magazine, you might already

References

be recognizing some important aspects of good science-based management here (and for those of you that didn’t read that article, you’ve just assigned yourself some further reading!). The design of this burn prescription is detailed in science-backed knowledge of where fire can achieve certain vegetation objectives, fire ecology and behaviour, and more. It’s a collaborative and transparent project, and it even includes a monitoring program to determine its successes and improve the design for the future. Because fire has holistic and broadly reaching landscape impacts, we generally see a benefit to all species in the system when fire is brought back to a system where it would naturally occur. This is great news for all wildlife and people that depend on these landscapes, not just one focal species (Stone’s sheep in this case). Now for the curveball. It’s not just fire suppression and subsequent fuel loading contributing to the imbalance of fire on the land. The effects of climate change are also driving significant changes to the severity and frequency of wildfires. This is an unfortunate feedback loop – where wildfires are releasing massive amounts of carbon and greenhouse gases that are stored in forests, furthering

exacerbating climate change. A 2022 study in Alaska suggests that some fire management (including suppression) is actually needed to manage stored carbon in the boreal forest [14].

The history and science behind wildfire is complex to say the least. What’s exciting is we are now in a paradigm shift: we still need to protect our communities and ecosystems from wildfires, which appear to be increasing in frequency and severity with climate change, but we are also recognizing and supporting fire as a tool to do this important work.

Sydney is a wildlife researcher and forestry professional (non-practicing), with a degree in Natural Resource Science. She is currently working on her Master of Science degree at the University of Victoria, where she is partnered with Gwich’in organizations, studying Dall’s sheep and mammal community ecology in the Northern Richardson Mountains, NWT. She is also currently working on BC’s Thinhorn Sheep Stewardship Framework, as part of the Indigenous perspectives working group. Born and raised in the Interior of BC, Sydney is an active hunter, fly fisher, forager, wildlife photographer, and overall backcountry enthusiast.

1. Saladyga, T., K.A. Palmquist, and C.M. Bacon, Fire history and vegetation data reveal ecological benefits of recent mixed-severity fires in the Cumberland Mountains, West Virginia, USA. Fire Ecology, 2022. 18(1): p. 1-20.

2. Hoffman, K.M., et al., The right to burn: barriers and opportunities for Indigenous-led fire stewardship in Canada. FACETS, 2022. 7(1): p. 464-481.

3. Christianson, A., Social science research on Indigenous wildfire management in the 21st century and future research needs. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2014. 24(2): p. 190-200.

4. Copes-Gerbitz, K., L.D. Daniels, and S.M. Hagerman, The contribution of Indigenous stewardship to an historical mixed-severity fire regime in British Columbia, Canada. Ecological Applications, 2022.

5. Brookes, W., et al., A disrupted historical fire regime in central British Columbia. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2021. 9: p. 420.

6. Leclerc, M.-A.F., L.D. Daniels, and A.L. Carroll, Managing wildlife habitat: Complex interactions with biotic and abiotic disturbances. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2021. 9.

7. Hutchen, J. and K.E. Hodges, Impact of wildfire size on snowshoe hare relative abundance in southern British Columbia, Canada. Fire Ecology, 2019. 15(1): p. 1-12.

8. Halpern, C.B. and J.A. Antos, Burn severity and pre-fire seral state interact to shape vegetation responses to fire in a young, western Cascade Range forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 2022. 507.

9. Lewis, J.S., et al., Mixed-severity wildfire shapes habitat use of large herbivores and carnivores. Forest Ecology and Management, 2022. 506.

10. Spitz, D.B., et al., Fire history influences large-herbivore behavior at circadian, seasonal, and successional scales. Ecological Applications, 2018. 28(8): p. 2082-2091.

11. Bunnell, F.L., Forest-dwelling vertebrate faunas and natural fire regimes in British Columbia: Patterns and implications for conservation. Conservation Biology, 1995. 9(3): p. 636-644.

12. Wild Sheep Society of BC. Projects. 2022; Available from: https://www.wildsheepsociety.com/wild-sheep-society-of-bc-projects/.

13. Ridgeline Wildlife Enhancement, Stone’s sheep habitat enhancement. 2022. https://www.wildsheepsociety.com/stones-sheep-habitat-enhancementaugust-2022-newsletter/

14. Phillips, C.A., et al., Escalating carbon emissions from North American boreal forest wildfires and the climate mitigation potential of fire management. Science advances, 2022. 8(17).

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For many reasons, the fastest-growing segment in the hunter/conservationist community today is women and understanding why and what it will take to help even more Women in Hunting™ enjoy the rich benefits of a hunting lifestyle are two great questions worth exploring. Our mission is to engage and help more women cross barriers on their journey into fields and the mountains, and the last year has seen some exciting developments.

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2021 saw the Women Hunt® (WH) Committee successfully launch an inaugural class of 12 women from across the United States and Canada who attended a New Hunter course designed and delivered by the FTW Ranch in the Hill Country of Texas. There they learned everything one needs to know to start hunting and about the symbiotic relationship between hunters and the conservation of wildlife and wild spaces. They left empowered and having gained more confidence to continue along their personal hunting and conservation journeys!

Class of 2021, FTW Ranch (Texas)

Inaugural New Hunter Course Participants with Chef Josh.

The second part of the course involved a partnership between the WH Committee and the WSF Chapters & Affiliates, where efforts were made to find mentors for the 12 women so they would have someone to help them following the completion of the course. Through the friendships made during the course, the use of group chats, social media and our YouTube channel, Women Hunt® also fostered an on-line community where the women could find support, just have a chat, or find resources.

The third and final requirement when selected for the Women Hunt® New Hunter course is what I consider to be the most important part of the program. Participants are expected to demonstrate accountability and gratitude and to give back. We asked that they find ways that resonate with them to give back to the WSF, the WH Program, and of course to their own Chapters & Affiliates and within their own communities. We encouraged them to consider how they

could inspire, engage, and bring along more Women in Hunting™, youth or others into the hunting and conservation community. Their responses have been tremendous and are truly impacting not only the lives of so many others, but through their conservation efforts they are also positively impacting wildlife and the landscapes they inhabit! Talk about giving back in spades!

The WSSBC family’s own Rebecca Peters was one of the 12 women of the Class of 2021 and as a member of the WSSBC, you’ve had an opportunity to see first-hand the impact Rebecca is having within your organisation, in your back yard. In the Summer 2022 issue of Wild Sheep Forever, Rebecca wrote about her journey in creating

Women Shaping Conservation, and she and her committee have already made a difference to the wild sheep of British Columbia through both education and fundraising. Their first event held in June featured a private screening of the film Transmission and through generous sponsors and attendees, raised money through raffles, ticket sales and donations for wild sheep!

In addition to Rebecca’s efforts, her classmates have been making tremendous impacts in other meaningful

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Rebecca Peters (British Columbia) – Chair of Women Shaping Conservation (WSSBC) Premiering the film “Transmission” and fundraising for wild sheep at a WSC event. Stellane King, Class of 2021 (Arizona) Being Mentored on a Bird Hunt. Stacey Dauwalter (Idaho) 2021 Project Work (Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation) Capture, collaring and ultrasound.

ways! Their efforts include: teaching middle school students using the WSF’s Sheep Kits, developing and delivering skills-based shooting and hunting clinics, volunteering on conservation projects, teaching and mentoring women and children, being invited to speaking engagements, forming women’s social groups and support networks, participating in panel discussions, writing articles for the C&A magazines, speaking on podcasts, bringing awareness through social media, and demonstrating gratitude for the opportunity the WSF and its’ C&As, Women Hunt®, and all of our generous sponsors and donors have given them. As I was thinking of all the work these 12 women have been doing, I suddenly remembered a commercial from my youth in the 1970s and early 1980s. Some of you may remember it too, where a woman has used Faberge Organics shampoo and loves it so much that she tells two friends who tell two more friends, and so on, and so on, until the TV screen was filled with duplicated images of the woman. The viewer in that moment understood that the Ripple Effect from the actions or words of one person can cascade into a nearly incalculable impact on the lives of so

many others. As I was tripping down memory lane watching a YouTube video of that popular commercial, I learned that what used to be called the Ripple Effect is now being called Virality, certainly appropriate in the age of viral

messaging on the internet. And that is precisely what has happened because of the program requirement that the participants be accountable, grateful and to give back. Their actions, words and choices are viral in nature, and they are spreading virally to the benefit of our hunting and conservation community, and to the wild creatures we treasure and the wild spaces they inhabit. Check out some of the amazing work being done by the Class of 2021 of the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Women Hunt® Program!

Women Hunt® was proud that nine of the participants of the Class of 2021 were available to volunteer at the 2022 Sheep Show. There they worked at the registration booths and in the WSF store, sold raffle tickets at <1 Club and the Ladies Luncheon, ran auction slips at all four of the evening banquets, participated in the 4th annual Women Hunt® seminar, and did whatever else was asked of them to support the show!

Women Hunt® will again be a presence at the 2023 Sheep Show and this year we’re excited to host our own exhibitor booth for the first time, where we’ll be featuring a daily special event! Our seminar will feature a lively conversation with special guests to be revealed in the Winter 2021/2022 Wild Sheep magazine. Watch for it!

This October we’re going to be hosting the Class of 2022 at the New Hunter course, and I invite you to follow along on their journeys and their experiences at the FTW Ranch learning to shoot, hunt and prepare wild game. More importantly, stick with them along what is sure to be a fascinating journey watching how they develop over the next year and how they harness their enthusiasm, energy and gratitude, and impact even more lives through the power of Virality!

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Website: www.wildsheepfoundation.org/womenhunt Email: womenhunt@wildsheepfoundation.org @womenhuntprogram @women_hunt @womenhunt
L-R: Jessie, Brooklyn, Chelsey, Rachel, Brandi Love (Alberta) High Country Huntress Panel Discussion (Wild Sheep Foundation Alberta) Bea Segura (New Mexico) and Tiffany Osburn (Texas) Water Guzzler Conservation Project (Texas Bighorn Society)

n August 8, 2019 we started our adventure North. Excited to try and find first-time rams for Megan Kruse and Wesley Sharpe. Megan’s husband, Shane Kruse, was excited to show Megan mountain hunting and why he fell in love with it. We know rams are always a bonus on our trips. The beauty of the North country and opportunity is the real gift.

After a two-day hike, we arrived to our spike camp. Our first morning we planned our hunt directions in groups of two. We each picked our ridges and directions to first explore.

It wasn’t long when Wes and I spotted our first ram. He only had one horn and was six years old. Glassing lots to make sure he was alone we continued on. Another kilometre down the ridge we spotted two rams bedded just above tree line, far below us. They both looked decent, deserving some time to examine legality. We got as close as we could without exposing ourselves. Further than I like to be to age we had to be careful as being up above them made their horn length hard to judge. We set the spotter up, waiting for the proper head turns and trying to age. With the heat waves and their position we didn’t feel comfortable with aging or curl. The rams then got up to feed, out of our view. We tried to get better angles to locate them without getting spotted. Sitting patiently, they would come back into view. One suddenly appeared! 15 yards from us!

BUSTED! Both rams took off. We watched them cross the valley towards where Megan and Shane were. As the rams left us, Wes and I finally did get a good side view of one of the rams and knew its horn was over the bridge of the nose. It did not present a decent ethical shot. Our hearts sank! We knew they looked like good rams. That’s sheep hunting, you need to be sure and confident of age and curl!

After an hour of watching the ridge that the rams went over we

saw Megan and Shane working that direction. Watching through our binoculars as they approached where the rams exited our view. We saw Shane crouch down into sneak mode and out of our sight. They must see the rams we saw. Sure enough, after about 30 minutes we heard a shot. Megan just got her first Stone sheep! Shane got a perfect side view at 200 plus yards and could clearly count 8 and see the horn over the bridge. Megan’s ram aged nine years old and

scored 157”. Shane was a very proud husband and now had Megan hooked on mountain hunting!

The following morning, we helped deal with Megan’s ram. Shane had seen some rams further down the ridge the day they got theirs. Wes and I decided to go try and find them again. We hiked on, picking apart every drainage and rocky outcrop. We finally located them down in the smaller trees. It was a band of, at least, nine rams feeding through the trees.

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It was hard to get an accurate count as they disappeared and reappeared through the brush. Wes and I picked out the contenders, watching them all feed into a deep rocky drainage. We waited for half an hour to see if they would come out the other side but none did. I then said that they must be bedded and we should sneak down as far as we can and peek into the drainage. The wind was good so we bum skidded down the mountain staying as low as we could, not to be seen by their incredible eyesight.

Once we got down far enough, we peeked over a ridge. It was thick with trees and you could see them moving and feeding amongst them. It was hard to see which ram was which but one ram was bedded on a pinnacle. We aged him at 8 for sure. He was broomed on one side, and after a bit showed his other side which was lamb tipped well over his bridge. I ranged the ram at 220 yards and turned my angled Swaro spotter sideways so Wes could use it as a rest. Wes got settled in comfy. We would now just wait for the ram to stand. Wes said that it would be no problem to take a shot with the ram bedded as long as he turns his head out of the way of his vitals. I heard the safety go on and off as the ram moved his head,

just waiting for the perfect shot. The ram finally twisted his head long enough. Wes squeezed off a terrific shot! The ram didn’t even leave its bed. Wes, after 4 years of sheep hunts with me, finally got his first stone sheep! Wes’ ram aged nine years and scored 161”.

It was now getting late and we were quite a ways away from our spike camp. Wes and I made the call to deal with his ram and then just spend the night in the drainage. We took pictures and processed the ram, starting a fire to feast on sheep tenderloins. With our bellies full and ecstatic about Wes’ ram we quickly set up my sil-tarp under the trees. We put on every bit of clothes and rain gear to try and keep warm through the night. Sleep that night was restless but morning came fast. We loaded our packs and headed for the top of the mountain and then back to our camp.

Megan and Shane were anxiously awaiting our return. We had kept them posted on our events via our Garmin InReachs. Camp was full of stories, laughter and gratitude of the days that just passed.

Everyone was so appreciative to have the privilege to hunt these majestic mountain animals. While I caped and salted I watched Megan and Wes take multiple pictures of their ram skulls.

Admiration in their eyes and the utmost respect for the rams that now will adorn their memories and lives until the day they die.

Their FIRST STONE RAMS!

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eriodization is a constant debate in the world of strength and conditioning. The old guard would have you believe that every program must use periodization or you’re doing yourself a disservice. The naysayers will tell you that periodization is a myth and, if it worked, we’d see personal records and new milestones reached at every major international competition.

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Like anything, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Though periodization may not be the most important aspect of your training program, it can certainly help you maximize your results.

Before we go any further, we should define periodization. Periodization is simply the organization of training elements across time. This time could be as short as a few days or as long as multiple years. When we think about periodization from a practical standpoint, it’s managing what the body is getting lots of vs. what the body could use more of.

Now we can outline a few examples of how to effectively periodize your training. The first thing we want to do is assess what we currently have going on in our lives, especially as it relates to the demands we’re placing on our bodies outside the gym. For the mountain or backcountry hunter, this will vary significantly based on the time of year. Unless you’re chasing winter mountain goats, December and January are when you should focus on rebuilding your body for the next season. You’ve spent the last few months putting on tons of miles and likely spent a significant amount of time away from family. Being away frequently or for long periods of time means you probably weren’t hitting the gym with any regularity, and if you were, it was pretty minimal.

We need to take a break from all that hiking. This time of year, focus on time with family, eating, sleeping, and working on your mobility. Also, consider seeing a professional bodyworker or manual therapist to help you with any injuries you may have picked up doing the rigorous hunting season. Training in this period should be pretty minimal, consisting of slow-controlled compound strength exercises with an emphasis on range of motion.

Some examples would be goblet squats, dumbbell presses and bench press, and kettlebell deadlifts. Utilize a tempo of 2-seconds down, with a 2-seconds active pause in the bottom of every rep. Three gym sessions per week at 30-60 minutes per session is plenty. The goal is to repair

all the damage we’ve done to our bodies by carrying heavy loads, squishing our feet into boots, and enduring long stretches of caloric restriction. Do your training barefoot, go slow, eat lots, and prioritize recovery!

February to April is your pre-season training phase. The pre-season is where we’re going to dial up the intensity and prepare the body for the hunting season. This is when we’ll focus on developing strength, which means prioritizing time in the gym. The big value of strength development is to increase resiliency for hard hiking and rucking. When you get to the next phase of your training, you’ll be spending a good amount of time on your feet and you want to have a bulletproof body to

handle all those miles.

I still recommend using the 2-seconds down, 2-seconds pause tempo. Perform sets of 6-12 reps for a given exercise, leaving only 1-2 reps in reserve. Gym sessions will be an hour long starting with a primary lift like squat, split squat, deadlift, or a press or pull variation. After that, we’ll perform 3-4 accessory and hypertrophy exercises for common weak areas. Accessory exercises are movements that target a particular muscle or muscle group. Examples are glute bridges, biceps curls, calf raises… the list goes on.

What about “core”? When training is properly designed, the core is trained simultaneously through strength and accessory work. Though you might still

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want to include a few specialized core exercises, most of the core strength you’ll develop will be done via compound lifts.

In this pre-season phase, we still need to maintain our hiking fitness. So, once or twice per week, you need to get out and put some miles on. Start modest and build up to some more extended efforts but for now, keep the volume and intensity to a moderate level.

The mid-to late-summer is your in-season training phase. Ideally, you’re doing tons of hiking, rucking, and scouting in preparation for the upcoming season. Your gym sessions should be brief and focused on bang-for-your-buck supportive strength and mobility exercises to assist with the stress and strain you’re accumulating with all those hard miles. Goblet squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and kettlebells should be at the top of the list.

This is a great time to leverage circuit training. After a good warm-up, pick 4-5 exercises and perform 3-5 rounds of 10-15 reps of each, resting as needed between exercises. The goal is not to make yourself tired but to maintain the strength you’ve built over the past 6 months. With more time on your feet, you’ll want to reduce your time in the gym. Cut your gym sessions by three-quarters to half; if you were doing 4 days, come down to 3 or even 2 gym sessions. The focus now is on building your engine and your mind. Start doing some hard shit that mimics the unforgiving demands of mountain hunting and build capacity around the

strength and power you built over the first 6 months of the year. Depending on the volume and intensity of the miles you’re putting in and the amount of time you have, you can also consider certain recovery modalities like massage and other soft tissue treatments, cryotherapy, or yoga.

Coming full circle, we are back into hunting season. For the sheep hunters, late summer is your season kick-off. For the elk nuts, it’s early fall. And, all the other species follow suit. Gym sessions are down to once or twice per week, and you’re (hopefully) in excellent backcountry shape.

You should be able to hike on variable terrain for 3-4 hours without stopping. You should feel strong and confident with no nagging injuries. The confidence you’ve built in yourself over the past year of hard training means this is going to be your best hunting season yet. You are prepared to tackle new challenges, reach new heights, and take big risks as you head into the mountains. You know that you’re ready, and all your hard work is about to pay off...

If you want to take your mountain fitness to the next level but want guidance and accountability to follow the schedule outlined in this article, keep an eye on the Beyond the Kill podcast feed for exciting announcements coming soon.

The editors would like to thank Beyond the Kill for sharing this article with WSSBC.

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Monarch Platinum:

(30) Don Lynum (9) Omer Hrbinic (12) John Davies (79) Tom Foss

Monarch Gold: (1) David Heitsman (17) Malcolm Bachand (10) Daryll Hosker (31) Bill Pastorek (24) Mike Southin (2) Frank Miles (29) Erik Skaaning (94) Cameron Foss (96) Adam Foss

Monarch Silver:

(4) David Hale (21) Jeff Glaicar (41) Steven Rochon (37) Peter Gutsche (52) Terry Earl (58) Nolan Wannop (15) Chad Rattenbury (49) Adam Janke (45) Rob Englot (6) Kyle Stelter (33) Oliver Busby (78) Trevor Querel (8) Kevin Hurley (55) Chris Barker (84) Jeffrey Brown (85) Casey Cawston (53) Benjamin Matthews (92) Joey Prevost (56) Scott Albrechtsen (64) Ricky Roman (108) Barry “Bear” Brandow

Monarch:

(3) Barry Watson (5) Darryn Epp (7) Waylon Vipond (11) Ken Kitzman (13) Gray Thornton (50) Lawrence van der Peet (14) Brad Moore (16) Colin Peters (18) Chase Oswald (19) Rodney Zeeman (20) Josh Hamilton (23) Foster Thorpe -Doubble (22) Korey Green (25) Kelly Cioffi (26) Fred Vitali (27) Carlos Dionisio (28) John Woodcock (32) Nathan French (34) Neil Armsworthy (35) Stefan Bachmann (36) Rebecca Peters (38) Justin Leung (39) Sean Davidson (40) Rod Deighton (42) Robin Routledge (43) Kyle Southgate (44) Mike Kirk (46) David Pearse (47) Frank Briglio (48) Chris Wheeler (51) Branden Adams (53) Ben Matthews (54) David Heathfield (56) Scott Albrechtsen (57) Clint Gill (59) Ben Berukoff (60) Greg Rensmaag (61) JT Hansen (62) Jeff Agostinho (63) Mike Tomlinson (64) Ricky Roman (65) Stu Rhodes (66) Sabrina Larsen (67) Magnus Mussfield (68) Rhett Pedersen (69) Darren Thomson (70) Dean Bergen (71) Glen Cartwright (72) Levi Reid (73) Nick Negrini (74) Craig Stolle (75) Glen Watkins (76) Caelin Folsom (77) Jonathan Proctor (80) Jeff Jackson (81) Nolan Osborne (82) Steve Hamilton (83) Jesse Wuerch (86) Greg Nalleweg (87) Darcy East (88) Daniel Mclaren (89) Russ Burmatoff (90) Devon Stuart (91) Tyler Sawicki (92) Joey Prevost (93) Don Willimont (95) Mark Gushattey (97) Melanie Stelter (98) Arnold Zwiers (99) Gabriel Krahn (100) Michael Surbey (101) Kyle Noble (102) Alex Kairouz (103) Ben Stourac (104) Chuck Peeling (105) Kyle Burritt (106) Anthony Klubi (107) Jonathan Viel (109) Don Stevenson (110) Joe Eppele (111) Michel Beaulieu (112) Andrea Mussfeld (113) Ryan Jones (114) Dale Hislop

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Thank you to our Monarchs for elevating us to new heights!

n recent years, the trends in our industry have increasingly focused on getting hunters into the backcountry. Public land access concerns are a focal point in conservation conversations throughout North America, and hunting companies are continually pushing to provide lighter, more breathable, and durable equipment for the backcountry. More and more, our closets and gear rooms are filled with Gore-Tex, carbon fiber, treated down, and ultralight sil-nylon materials. Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars are invested on the best products to keep you in the field longer and during increasingly inclement weather.

As a mountain hunting guide in Northern British Columbia every fall, I not only have the pleasure of discussing gear with clients, I also get to see how it performs in the field and observe certain trends — and oversights. Every season I have clients show me some piece of kit that is supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, only to fail to deliver after a few days in the mountains. I believe one of the most overlooked, and under-invested, considerations of a backcountry hunters kit is their sleep system.

Without consistent, quality sleep, our cognitive functions decrease — functions we rely on heavily as hunters and backcountry users. I wouldn’t go so far as to profess myself an expert on the subject, but I have spent 150+ days a year on a sleeping pad for the last several years in a range of temperatures from -22F to 109 F, and I know this to be true; not all sleeping pads are created equal. I’ve tried a handful over the years and fallen for a few too good to be true marketing claims and prices along the way. The one consistent thing I have seen in regards to sleeping pads is that

Therm-a-Rest builds some of the best. Their ratings and claims hold up in the mountains, and that is where it matters most.

Even when you have narrowed down a brand, there is still a wide gamut of products available, and understanding how they are tested will lead you to a more informed purchase, and ultimately a better nights sleep. Thankfully, Therm-a-Rest understands the importance of this, and they were kind enough to share a recent article from the Camp Therm-a-Rest Blog with our publication.

When you’re looking at camping mattresses, quality pads will list a packed size, materials, weight, thickness and, perhaps the most important spec, the warmth of the pad. The warmth of a pad is listed in one of two ways: R-value or a suggested degree rating. So, what’s the difference?

Why It Matters

First things first, why does this matter?

Well, it matters to us. We started with the promise to provide a better night’s rest outside and which makes figuring out the best and most accurate way of measuring a pad’s thermal resistance part of our DNA. All of our gear goes through rigorous testing to guarantee performance at camp.

It matters to you because waking up refreshed and ready for the day’s adventure is important to anyone spending time in the backcountry. If you spend the night letting the cold ground sap your precious calories, you’ll be breaking camp feeling sluggish and tired. We make gear with the singular goal to help you rest better, because, when you rest better, you play better.

Science of Heat

To ensure we stay on the cutting edge of thermal science and engineering, we work with a neighboring company called Thermetrics, an engineering group that, in their words, leads the industry in “thermal comfort testing solutions that deliver advanced performance, innovative design and leading-edge features.” They build the R-value testers we use to design, test and modify our sleeping pads. These devices take two large plates and place the pad in between. One plate is kept at a steady temperature with an electrical current. A pad that offers a lot of insulation will require less energy to keep the plate at a steady temperature. The less energy used to maintain the warmth of the plate, the higher the R-value the pad receives.

When designing our award-winning sleeping pads, we thoroughly test our products in the field and in our Seattle factory with the Thermetrics machines. This equipment gives us crucial insights while designing gear, allowing us to

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consider and test the most minute details of our products and make design decisions that lead to better performing gear. Our products are some of the most thermally efficient pads available thanks to our innovation and use of these devices. When putting other pads on the market through our testing standards, we found their ratings to be “optimistic” both in the lab and out in the field.

Measuring Comfort at Camp

Protection from the cold is crucial to resting better, but the insulation that your pad provides is very different than the warmth your sleeping bag creates. A sleeping bag uses a fill to keep cold air out and “dead air” circulating while heating up next to your body. However, your pad works differently. Your pad is tasked with creating thermal resistance against the cold, hard ground.

The massive amount of variables like humidity, surface and your own comfort preferences make it almost impossible to assign a temperature rating that applies to everyone. Sleeping bags use an EN rating system that uses certain constants to suggest a comfort and risk range, which was designed to help users compare sleeping bags from different brands. Since no standard exists for pads, temperature ratings between different pads are inherently inconsistent. This is precisely why we use R-value to test our pads and ensure campers can accurately know and compare the thermal resistance of our pads before hitting the trail.

By the Numbers

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of the differences between R-value and temperature ratings, how do you choose the right pad for you?

For temperature ratings, it’s hard to say. There are no constants or standards to help you know what temperature is right for you. If you’re a cold sleeper and plan on sleeping at altitude atop snow, it’s hard to know what temperature will provide you with the correct insulation, especially if it was “rated” for insulation on a dirt surface at sea level.

So, How Do I Know Which Pad Is Warmer?

Well, technically, you don’t know for sure. Since temperature ratings don’t have an agreed upon test standard, what one

company labels a “20-degree” pad might be vastly different from another company’s rating. This makes R-value the most consistent and accurate way to measure a pad’s insulation.

The same thing happens when comparing a temperature-rated pad to one of our pads. There’s no data to show a correlation to how the two ratings compare.

However, since R-value is a measurement of the insulative property or construction of the pad, making it a much more consistent and comparable value. Our R-value is tested and retested and our final numbers are made with your comfort in mind. Check out the table to get an idea of what R-value we recommend in different conditions.

Preventing heat loss is possibly the most important purpose of your pad. Keeping you comfortable means keeping you warm and sleeping soundly. This means that you are waking up refreshed and ready for the day’s adventure. Our knowledge and understanding of R-value has led us to make some of the most thermally efficient mattresses and the best warmth-toweight ratios available. Check out our full line of sleeping pads at Therm-a-Rest.com and start camping with confidence.

To learn more about R-value & sleeping pads, head over to the Camp Therm-a-Rest Blog https://www.thermarest.com/blog/ for the full story.

The editors would like to thank Beyond the Kill for sharing this article with WSSBC.

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@1Campfire @1Campfire

he Wild Sheep Society of B.C created 1Campfire to tell the story of a hunter, to the non-hunter. 1Campfire exists to bring people that love the outdoors together. To inspire constructive dialogue. To tackle tough, but no less critical subjects. This is a place where inclusivity, empathy, and an open mind are the rule, not the exception.

We founded this project to help breakdown stereotypes and find common ground with non-hunters. This is a conversation; a two-way street. We have so much in common with our fellow outdoor enthusiasts and this is the place to show that.

Although our primary driver is to educate about hunting, our main audience is not the hunter. Hunters already understand what we do, and why we do it. We target our messaging across North America and push it into spaces outside of the hunting arena. So if you have not heard about 1Campfire until now, that means we are continuing to address the correct audiences- the ones that need to hear from us. Although

the anti-hunters are the most vocal, the overwhelming majority of people remain neutral on the topic of hunting. It is their hearts and minds that we must win over. This campaign is designed around that premise.

Please follow along on social media, and make sure to share and interact with our messaging. Organic traffic is the best way to get us in front of as many people as possible, and to beat the algorithms. To date, our videos have over 1 million views- and with your help, these numbers can continue to climb and get in front of the non-hunter- our target audience.

Facebook @1Campfire Instagram @1Campfire

YouTube @1Campfire

Our campaign also costs money to build content and videos. If you, your business, or club wants to donate to this project, we would be incredibly grateful. Money is the best way to help, however donations for raffles are greatly accepted as well.

You can donate online or if you prefer, send a cheque made payable to the Wild Sheep Society of BC. Be sure to indicate that this is for our Hunter Heritage/1Campfire program. If you prefer you can also call 604-690-9555 to make a credit card donation over the phone.

For payment via cheque, make payment to: Wild Sheep Society of BC 101-30799 Simpson Road Abbotsford, BC V2T 6X4

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@1Campfire

ocated within the Central Cariboo Region of British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers, the Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park (Junction Park) consists of a diverse landscape, rolling grasslands, river valleys, forests, cliffs and hoodoos. The park contains some of the most natural grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region, providing critical habitat for 12 blue-listed bird, reptile and mammal species.

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This Article has been contributed by the fine folks over at Beyond The Kill and can be found in its entirety here: https://beyondthekill.net/once-they-were-numerous/

More than 30% of species-at-risk in British Columbia occur in grassland habitats, although grasslands cover less than 1% of the provincial land base.

The Junction Park has plants and animals that exist at the northernmost limit of their distribution. Several vulnerable and threatened species are found within the park, including the California bighorn sheep, prairie falcon, upland sandpiper, rubber boa, and longbilled curlew. Other species found in the area include cougar, black bear, mule deer, grouse, and owls.

Junction Park was formed in 1973 as a Wildlife Reserve consisting of 4,774 hectares and was managed by the Fish and Wildlife Branch. The Park was originally established to protect bighorn sheep and their natural grassland habitat. This area was designated as the Junction Wildlife Management Area in 1987, and was designated a Provincial Park in 1995. Two Biologists, Harold Mitchell and Wes Prediger, were instrumental in the effort to protect Junction Park as a Wildlife Reserve. On March 2nd, 1981 Harold Mitchell, Wes Prediger and Pilot Bert Warttig were killed in a helicopter crash while on a sheep counting expedition. Harold and Wes worked tirelessly to protect Junction Park for California bighorn sheep and their efforts lead to the creation of the Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park. Their effort and dedication to bighorn sheep are honoured with a plaque located on a cairn at the lookout of Junction Park.

Junction Park protects critical breeding, lambing, and winter range for the once numerous California bighorn sheep, a blue-listed species. The Junction California bighorn sheep herd (Junction Herd) was the source population for 36 transplants between 1952 to 1995. A total of 505 sheep were taken from the Junction Herd to establish and supplement populations within British Columbia and the United States. Of the 505 bighorn sheep transplanted, a total of 339 sheep were sent to Oregon, North Dakota, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada, while 166 where transplanted within British Columbia.

In 1995 the population of the Junction Herd was estimated to be 425 individuals, however the population declined by over 50% to 200 individuals in 1998 and by 2007 the population had declined to less than 100 bighorn sheep. No transplants from the Junction Herd have occurred since 1995 and the population remains low, at around 150 individuals.

No sheep population with less than 50 individuals has survived for more than 50 years. Several factors are likely contributing to the reduced populations

goats commonly carry pathogens without symptoms and pathogens can be transmitted to bighorn sheep upon contact or with proximity to domestic sheep and goats. The Junction Herd decline between 1995 and 1998 was likely the result of respiratory infection and subsequent pneumonia.

of the bighorn sheep who roam this vast landscape. Disease transfer from domestic sheep and goats is the single greatest threat to the sustainability and recovery of bighorn sheep populations across North America. Respiratory infections that result in pneumonia are the leading cause of all-age die-offs of bighorn sheep. The most prominent culprit is Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae which has been shown to kill up to 80% of a bighorn sheep herd in the initial outbreak. Domestic sheep and

Small populations can result in low genetic diversity, which can have a major impact on the viability of offspring and their immune response. Due to the population decline that occurred from 1995 to their all-time low in 2007, the Junction Herd may have been unable recover due to underlying genetic constraints. This hypothesis has yet to be examined and is a significant knowledge gap. A lack of genetic diversity is associated with reduced population growth, reduced adaptive potential to environmental changes and an increase in the risk of extinction.

Fire control and suppresion in grassland areas facilitates tree encroachment into grasslands, which reduces available habitat and increases

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the effectiveness of predators. A burning program is reportedly being initiated in the park to reduce encroachment, and renew the bunchgrass that bighorn sheep rely on. Encroachment from shrubs and trees into grasslands impacts the quantity and quality of forage, reduces access to escape terrain and restricts traditional movement patterns. Fire suppression not only facilitates forest in-growth, it indirectly leads to higher predation risk due to the increase in stalking cover.

for stalking predators and can increase the effectiveness of predators, resulting in an increase in predation rates. Rams are more vulnerable to cougar attacks due to reduced peripheral vision (in tighter cover) and poor body condition post-rut. Cougars utilize an ambush hunting strategy and are considered less selective for vulnerable individuals within the population, whereas, wolves target more vulnerable members of the population, like the young, old or weak. The differing hunting strategies can result in different impacts on the bighorn sheep populations. Coyotes have a direct and indirect influence on predation rates, they directly prey on young sheep and scavenge kill sites from cougars, indirectly leading to increased cougar predation.

Bighorn sheep are a resilient species and have been shown to readily colonize new areas and expand population size relatively quickly, given favourable conditions. Even though the habitat has been protected, the bighorn sheep population is not increasing. There is a suite of issues associated with limited population recovery including habitat quality and quantity, nutrition, disease, predation pressure, genetic isolation and human impacts. There is no silver bullet to population recovery, and numerous small changes will be needed to make a significant impact.

Cougars, wolves and coyotes are the main predators for the grassland dwelling bighorn sheep. All three are effective predators and when bighorn sheep wander near forested areas they are in danger. Increased forest encroachment provides cover habitat

This historically significant population of California bighorn sheep need help to return to their former glory. Scientific insight will need to shape the conservation initiatives in the years to come. We already know how to solve many of the factors affecting bighorn sheep within Junction Park, however there are some factors that will require further scientific understanding. Junction Park is a special landscape that is increasingly rare in British Columbia, as are the specialist species that rely on functioning grassland ecosystems.

The Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia is a conservation organization that is dedicated to enhancing and protecting bighorn sheep and bighorn sheep habitat within British Columbia. They financially support research on disease severity and transmission, population dynamics and herd heath and are instrumental in prescribed burns for habitat restoration. The scientific body

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Access to Junction Park is via a dirt road that is only accessible between July 1 and November 30. Forested slopes reduce forage quantity and allow cover for predators.

of knowledge is growing, and scientists and land managers are continuously adapting their practices. The Wild Sheep Society of BC has proven to be a champion for conservation and scientific knowledge regarding bighorn and thinhorn sheep in British Columbia.

The Junction Herd has been the source population for 36 transplants within British Columbia and the Western United States, totaling 505 animals. There are many success stories of transplants and re-introductions throughout bighorn sheep range, many of which Junction sheep were the source stock for, however, the current state of the Junction Herd is nothing to celebrate.

The Junction Herd was once touted as the largest non-migratory California bighorn sheep herd in the world. Times have changed. The once numerous Junction Herd is struggling, and the immediate solutions have not been identified. The Junction Herd deserves some attention, from scientific research to habitat enhancement and potentially

even the addition of new genetics. The road to recovery for the Junction Herd will undoubtedly be long, however the actions taken today are vital for future recovery.

Sheep hunters are the driving force of wild sheep conservation in North America, and luckily sheep hunters are some of the most passionate advocates for wilderness and wildlife. No other group has dedicated more to conserving and restoring wild sheep populations

throughout North America. The sheep hunting community will once again be called upon, this time to help restore the historically significant Junction Herd to its former glory. With a long and proven track record, the sheep hunting community will undoubtedly be up to the task.

The editors would like to thank Beyond the Kill for sharing this article with WSSBC.

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August 3rd, 2022, the thunderstorm passed and the rain finally stopped falling on the tent. My cousin and I made a plan to go glass a new drainage. We both barely had our packs strapped on when I saw this ram cruising 400 yards above the tent. We quickly closed the distance and the rest is history. Ram of a lifetime down in sight of the tent. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

A couple years ago at the WSSBC Northern Fundraiser, my wife Lindsay and I purchased this Mouflon hunt with Herederos Hunting Co. in Spain. We traveled there this September and were rewarded with this mature Mouflon Ram. The outfit and hospitality that Rafa provides you from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave is purely first class! We had an exceptional time while we were with Herederos Hunting in Spain.

Here is a picture from a recent tuna trip I did off the cost of Westport Washington about 50 miles from shore. The trip was epic from seeing hundreds of dolphins in one pod to the chaos of catching the tuna it was amazing.

Ricky Roman (Monarch Member #64)

Brogan Vipond (Life Member #500) of Pouce Coupe harvested this bull elk with a 7-30 Waters Rifle in the Chetwynd area. He called it in to 40 yards and made a great heart shot. Congratulations Brogan.

Every year I desire for the adventure of new places, this year was no different. Failure at the top of a mountain and no other elk to be found left us heading for familiar hunting grounds. This bull came in silently for my partner and he capitalized on a small window of opportunity.

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Members, send us your hunt story (~50 words plus a picture or two) to communications@wildsheepsociety.com.

To start out the 2022 hunting season, I headed north for a 14day Stone sheep hunt. After 7 days of not being able to turn up very many sheep, we finally found a small band that contained one good ram. I was fortunate enough to help a friend harvest his first Stone, a beautiful 8-year-old. We continued to hunt after harvesting the ram, looking for an old mature Stone. We were able to turn up some good rams, but ultimately just couldn’t find what we were looking for.

Once back home, the urge to get back into the sheep mountains quickly sunk in. I headed into big horn country to do some “looking around”. On opening day, we unexpectedly stumbled across a large band of good rams. The following morning, we made a great play and got in tight with the large band. After several hours of glassing, we could not confirm that

the ram we were after was one hundred percent legal. We tried to get a closer look, but could not make it happen. We decided to back out with full intentions of returning in the coming days.

Once back in Sheep country, we located the rams quickly as they luckily hadn’t moved far. We made a plan and fortunately were able to get within 200 yards of them. After 7 long grueling hours of patiently sitting, while soaking wet in rain and fog, we were able to confirm that the ram was legal and made the decision to take the ram. After what feels like a lifetime of chasing the illusive bighorn, taking my first is a moment that will forever be etched in my memories. I couldn’t be more thankful for my sheep hunting partners that helped and got to be a part of the journey.

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– Matt McCabe

ay back in 1969, this ram was taken by Bob Landis. A beauty of a ram. You may remember this photo from one of the photo galleries in “Dream Rams of British Columbia”. It had a score of 181 6/8 B&C points and because of the exact location it was taken, it was classified as a Stone sheep. The horn length was 47 3/8 by 47 5/8 and had bases

of 14 6/8 and 14 4/8. A true monster. Last year, the Wildlife Records Club of BC, in keeping with their newly adopted Thin-Horned Sheep boundaries, based on a newly released comprehensive genetic study, now recognizes this ram as a Dall sheep. So this Bob Landis ram is now the new #1 Dall sheep to come out of the province of British Columbia.

Taken by Bob Landis, west of Atlin Lake, this tremendous ram was originally measured by an Official Boone and Crockett measurer as a “White” sheep. It was also listed in the Wildlife Records Clubs’ 1st trophy competition in 1969-70 as the #1 Dall Sheep. It was not until sometime later that the Club adopted new Thinhorn

Sheep boundaries based on coat colour alone that the ram, although white in colour, was moved to the Club’s Stone sheep category based on the location of harvest. Boone and Crockett followed their lead and transferred the ram to the Stone sheep category. This was in 2005. The Club has notified B&C of this most recent transfer back to the Dall sheep category and its status as the New Provincial Dall sheep record.

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n the Summer 2022 issue of Wild Sheep Forever there was as story written by me, Bill Pastorek, titled “Legends of the Fall”. This story was taken from the sheep hunting book “Dream Rams of British Columbia”. Imagine my surprise when I came across two new, unpublished photos of this ram. This unpublished image (on the right) truly shows the massive size of this Spences Bridge monster.

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● Prescribed burning was successfully conducted on Bull Mountain on September 1, 2022 to enhance habitat for big horn sheep

● The burn was led by Habitat Biologists with the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship and operationally conducted by BC Wildfire Service

● Goals included enhancing habitat in transitional ranges to improve linkages to escape terrain and improve line of sight to support the Bull River bighorn sheep herd

● The project was funded by HCTF and Wild Sheep Society of BC

● Invasive plant control was completed by Crabbe Contracting, and helicopter services were provided by Bighorn Helicopters Ltd.

A prescribed burn was conducted in the Bull Mountain area on September 1st, 2022 to enhance habitat for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Burn planning was underway for the past 4 years, led by Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship (MLWRS) Habitat Biologists. The prescribed burn was a successful operation; the fire remained within the predetermined perimeter and maintained desirable characteristics of a moderately vigorous surface fire with occasional candling. This prescribed fire was a unique opportunity for the BC Wildfire Service to support MLWRS Habitat Biologists in restoring Bighorn Sheep habitat by returning fire to the natural landscape.

The Bull River bighorn sheep herd has high site fidelity; they spend the summer at the top of the mountain and migrate down to winter range in the Rocky Mountain Trench below the Steeples range. A habitat requirement of bighorn sheep is vegetation density with >55% visibility at 14 metres. Monitoring results showed conditions in transitional habitat on Bull Mountain were 0-30% visibility at 14 metres (i.e., not meeting the habitat requirement). This prescribed burn

aimed to support migration in transitional habitat including: improving line of sight for bighorn sheep, creating more open linkages to escape terrain, and rejuvenating forage (e.g., decadent deciduous species). This project links to ongoing habitat enhancement in the Bull River area including slashing to improve line of sight (thanks to previous WSSBC volunteer work bees!), invasive plant control, fence removal, and seeding. Fire is an integral and natural process in many of B.C.’s ecosystems. The Bull Mountain burn was situated at high elevation (approx. 1500 metres). Favourable conditions were required before completing the prescribed burn to ensure a successful outcome; this is known as the burn window. These projects can take years before a burn window is met that correlates with BC Wildfire Service availability. The conditions on September 1st, 2022 promoted grass curing and recent precipitation for a low to medium intensity fire with little risk for the fire to run outside of the predetermined perimeter.

Avalanche chutes, scree slopes, and a headwall were used as natural fuel breaks around the burn. In addition to the natural fuel breaks, BC Wildfire Service crews developed containment lines. An experienced burn boss led the prescribed burn, with support from BC Wildfire Service crews on the ground. In addition to habitat enhancement, prescribed burns reduce the risk of future catastrophic wildfires in the area by reducing the amount of dead and combustible material on the forest floor. Prescribed burns help reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to communities.

Many thanks to the MLWRS project team, BC Wildfire Service, and funders including HCTF and Wild Sheep Society of BC. Invasive plant control was completed by Crabbe Contracting, and helicopter services were provided by Bighorn Helicopters Ltd. Please contact Ariana McKay (Ariana. McKay@gov.bc.ca) for further information.

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Photo credit: Ella Both and Todd Blewett
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