You'll remember we told you last November, the Canadian Supreme Court granted Metis peoples (a group of mixed heritage, largely Indian and French) rights to hunt and fish equivalent to those granted Indians. A significant number of Metis promptly began to exercise those rights in the Cadomin area of Alberta, where coal mine reclamation has produced exceptional habitat and a number of huge bighorn rams. Subsequent harvest clearly reduced the number of rams (and other wildlife) available. As if that were not enough, there is currently a move afoot to add three new hunts (with five permits apiece) for residents. Few hunters are willing to pay big prices for a permit under these conditions.
This is in contrast to the British Columbia permit for a Rocky Mountain bighorn. That tag sold for $150,000, a $15,000 increase, at least partially on the strength of a 197 2/8 point ram taken last year.
(Postscript: If you would like to keep up to date on what's happening with the Metis hunting issue, check out the following web site: www. sportsmenofalberta.com.)