Bighorn Sheep Auction License Brings $35,000

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Jerry Rubenstein from Bellaire, Texas paid $35,000 for North Dakota's 2003 bighorn sheep auction license at the March 22 Minnesota-Wisconsin Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep annual meeting in Minneapolis. In comparison, last year's license sold for $32,000.

The Minnesota-Wisconsin chapter is a strong supporter of bighorn sheep management efforts in North Dakota, according to Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Dickinson. "They have provided funding for our ongoing telemetry project in the badlands as well as several bighorn translocations, including last January's capture and transplant of 26 sheep from Oregon," Wiedmann said. "Their enthusiasm for North Dakota's bighorn sheep continues to grow and is reflected in the national interest our auction tag generates."

License sale proceeds, along with an additional grant of $25,000, will be used to enhance management of North Dakota's bighorn sheep. The grant and license auction are part of a five-year agreement, signed in 1999, between the department and Minnesota-Wisconsin conservation group.

In addition to the license the chapter auctioned a three-day bighorn viewing trip with all proceeds being donated to sheep projects in North Dakota.