At this point, Lee believes it most likely that the first few (possibly three) permits could be auctioned at the January conventions of the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), Grand Slam/Club Ovis (GSCO), and/or Safari Club International (SCI) with hunts taking place immediately thereafter. If that scenario can't be met, Lee still believes it likely that there will be at least limited hunting opportunities beginning in December 2012 and running into 2013.
"Hunting for desert sheep was closed throughout Mexico in 1990 by presidential decree," says Lee. "It's very difficult to reopen a season that has been closed for more than 20 years, but the biological data is there to support a hunting season on Baja, and the communities and governmental wildlife agencies which would benefit most from the revenues generated by the hunt want it to reopen as soon as possible. Every state with free-ranging desert bighorn sheep (including four states in Mexico) offers auction permits. These auctions have generated millions of dollars for wildlife conservation efforts, with many of these dollars being spent locally. In every state where these conservation programs have been in effect, desert bighorn sheep numbers have increased. Baja California is the last holdout." Lee notes that there are still several hurdles before a permit hunt can open. "While the bighorn sheep population in Baja California can certainly support a hunting harvest, the where, when, how many, and........(continued)