Stone Sheep In British Columbia Under Pressure


Published: July - 2009

In British Columbia, Darwin Cary of Scoop Lake Outfitters has some interesting comments on the Stone sheep situation in the northern part of BC. He says that the burning programs there that created vast areas of terrific browse have resulted in a major expansion of elk into the mountains, which are now competing with Stone sheep. Add the predators that followed the elk, and the sheep are under significant pressure. This has contributed to those quota cuts for Stone sheep over the past two decades, and hunting success has suffered as well. Now Cary says there is a shift in the topography that also is affecting sheep hunting. Cary reports that the timberline is getting higher in the mountains, and aspen willow and alder are moving upwards. This means hunters need to watch the brush more closely and be more patient spotting sheep.

The good news is that an aerial survey this spring puts Stone sheep up 10 percent from 10 years ago. I'll have more on the state of BC's Stone sheep in an upcoming report. For now, it's safe to say that the price of Stone sheep hunts has hit the stratosphere in BC at over $30,000. But the tough economy has exerted real pressure to bring the prices down this year.

I know of one last-minute Stone sheep hunt available with Craig Kiselbach of 5 Stone Outfitting. He just started his outfit last year in an area he recently purchased. The concession laid fallow for two years during the sale transition period. It encompasses 2,000 square miles of the Omineca Range north of Smithers and is accessible strictly by float plane. Previously outfitted by Calvin Kostynuk of Kostynuk Outfitting, and Charlie Stricker before that, the area should produce good sheep, but Kiselbach needs some hunters to establish a track record. He is charging $25,000 for a 1 x 1, 13- to 14-day hunt....

........(continued)

 
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