Wildlife groups aid bighorns

Each winter starting around Christmas bighorn sheep are fed pellets and hay three times a week in a joint effort amongst local clubs.

The West Kootenay Big Game Trophy Association ventured over the hump to Creston to pick up 4,400 pounds of feed for Salmo-Creston bighorn sheep in early December.

The program originated over 25 years ago with the Trail Wildlife Association (TWA) and the Nelson Rod and Gun Club. Each winter starting around Christmas the sheep are fed pellets and hay three times a week in a joint effort amongst the clubs.

“It is a great opportunity for anyone to see these animals up close and personal,” said longtime TWA member and co-chair Laurie Bursaw. “I have taken my family and friends on feed days and they love it, especially the kids. To see these sheep that close and watch their behavior with each other is priceless. If you haven’t made the trip I would strongly recommend it to anyone. It just doesn’t get old”

A few years ago a shed was constructed to store hay bails that are brought up earlier in the fall before the snow falls. For over 20 years Bursaw has taken part in the program with help from Gordon Krantz and now Ken Moon. Feed days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the winter months until mid to late March.

The sheep-feeding program is one of many conservation efforts overseen by the TWA over the years. Others include the Murphy Creek spawning channel, the mountain goat transplant, Fort Shepherd Conservancy, Elk transplant in Arrow Lakes and Christina Lake regions, as well as mule deer tracking in Fort Shepherd.

The West Kootenay Big Game Trophy Association will also be holding its Big Game banquet on Mar. 7 at the Trail Memorial Centre. Doors open at 3 p.m. with awards presentation starting at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale until Wednesday, Mar. 4 at Colander, Valley Firearms, Warfield FasGas, Country Roads in Fruitvale, Integra Tire in Castlegar and Castlegar Sports Centre.

For more info contact W.K.B.G.T.A president Josh Conci at 231-5674.

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