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

Summerland’s Monro house has had minimal changes in 110 years

Home, Zimmerman’s Gulch, Sweetheart cherry tree recognized during Heritage Week

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

UPDATE: Tractor trailer overturned on Highway 3A near Yellow Lake

Drivers may be wise to plan an alternate route as crews will need to recover the truck

72 Summerland businesses nominated for awards

Summerland Chamber of Commerce to present awards at gala in late March

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read