Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Sportsmen's Association donates to local big game projects

Sportsmen's Association donates to local big game projects

June 28, 2018
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Sheridan - The Sheridan County Sportsmen’s Association (SCSA) has donated $5,000 to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for two ongoing research projects in the Bighorn Mountains.

“The Sheridan County Sportsmen’s Association has a long history of contributing to wildlife conservation efforts,” said Sheridan Regional Wildlife Biologist Tim Thomas. “Their recent donation will be used to help fund continuing research on elk and moose in our area, two species that the association has been instrumental in supporting for several decades.”

“This is a continuation of a more than 100-year history of collaboration between the SCSA and Wyoming Game and Fish that has included fishery and game bird projects, as well as big game,” added Bill Heitler of the SCSA. “We are looking forward to future projects in all aspects of fish and wildlife management.”

The majority of the donation, $4,500, will be used to purchase three GPS telemetry collars for elk. The collars will be used to collect data for a research project studying the movement of elk in our area. The project was initiated in 2016 in response to elk that tested positive to exposure to brucellosis. Identifying movement patterns of elk in the Bighorn Mountains will help wildlife managers better understand how a disease like brucellosis could move through the population.

The collars, which record and relay data on the elk’s location twice a day for up to five years, will be placed on cow elk in February 2019, bringing the total number of collared elk in the Bighorns to 82. The project was originally slated to run from 2016 to 2019, but the donation from SCSA, along with additional funding from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group in Gillette, the University of California – Berkeley and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will now allow it to continue until 2022.

The remaining $500 will purchase supplies for a research project started in 2017 in conjunction with the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming. The project aims to place GPS telemetry collars on 60 cow moose to study population dynamics and habitat preferences for moose in the northern Bighorns. So far, 51 moose have been captured and collared. Three of the moose have died, leaving 12 collars to be deployed this year. Funding has come from the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition. The study will continue through 2020.

- WGFD -

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