Sheep Tags Available

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Meeting in St. Maries July 7-9, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved two bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery for 2005.

The Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS) will sell both tags. The auction tag will be sold at the FNAWS annual convention with a hunt in Unit 11 available in 2005. A Unit 11 hunt, considered among the most desirable in North America, is available in odd-numbered years. The auction bid for Idaho's tag is usually about double in those years.

Funding from the auction sale goes to transplants of sheep into historic bighorn range and to research.

The Idaho chapter of FNAWS sells lottery tickets for the second tag to raise money largely for bighorn disease research conducted at the wildlife lab in Caldwell. The lottery provides a way for hunters of average means to obtain one of the coveted tags.

To date, the auctions have raised $809,950 for Idaho Fish and Game sheep research and management while the lottery has brought in $356,327 for the wildlife health lab.

This year's lottery drawing is set for 2 p.m. July 28.