Southern Okanagan Sportsmen’s Association annual sheep count shows populations holding steady. (File photo)

Vaseux Lake count shows sheep population holding steady

Southern Okanagan Sportsmen’s Association 70th annual sheep count shows steady numbers

For most people counting sheep for five hours sounds like a sleepless night, but for members of the Southern Okanagan Sportsmen’s Association it’s a yearly routine.

The group wasn’t out on the trails around Vaseux Lake battling insomnia Sunday, but rather spent the day climbing hills and checking forest service roads on the lookout for California Big Horn Sheep.

“It was the 70th annual sheep count,” said Lee Clarke, one of the annual count’s organizers. “It’s (the sheep count) kind of unique to this area. To have sheep and a population that has been monitored and looked after by this group for so long, it’s just kind of a tradition.”

Related: Devastating disease put South Okanagan-Similkameen Bighorn sheep at risk

Ninety-seven California Big Horn Sheep (23 rams, 57 ewes, and 17 lambs) were counted, which Clarke called average.

The group also took note of 66 Mule Deer (64 does, one buck, one fawn) and three coyotes.

He said members were happy to find out population numbers were similar to recent years, noting about 20 years ago the group were the first to identify a problem with the sheep population in the area.

“About 20 years ago there was a major die-off because of pneumonia. It was the sheep count that brought that to the attention of biologist because the club wasn’t seeing the numbers out there,” he said.

Clarke said the count is possible because sheep winter at lower elevations and in groups.

Cold wasn’t a deterrent for the dedicated group.

“We go out in the morning between 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. and everyone was back in the clubhouse by 1:30 p.m. So we were out there five hours or so. It was cold standing outside in the morning, but as soon as we got up that first hill we started to sweat.”

The annual count is open to anyone who wants to be involved and is held the second Sunday of February. Contact the Southern Okanagan Sportsmen’s Association for more details.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Businesses directly impacted by Hwy. 97 closure

Members of the Penticton Wine Country Chamber of Commerce faced late deliveries. no staff, etc.

Fundraiser started for mother who had stroke while visiting Central Okanagan family

Tina Parry was visiting her daughter Rita Bruce Nanakeain and grandsons when she had a stroke

Vote for your favourite Penticton photo

Over 700 photos were submitted to the Snap Your City photo contest.

Princeton pot plant getting ready to hire

Princeton’s newest employer - which promises to be one of its biggest… Continue reading

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Okanagan College professor awarded for promoting financial literacy

Leigh Sindlinger received a Distinguished Service Award for inspiring financial literacy in youth

Poll: What do you think of Family Day weekend’s move?

Until this year, Family Day has fallen on the second Monday in February

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read