I do think the ram is 8 years old, not 10 as noted in the article.
But as Kurt noted, I can't see how this was aged at ten.
Heck, I don't see eight annuli.
Awesome ram for sure!
I'd like to go back and spend some more time in those hills. . . . Fun place
From the article: "Proceeds help fund the state's bighorn sheep management and reintroduction efforts."
"As soon as I read auction tag, I quit reading."
Care to 'splain that one, Lucy?"
On the other tag allocated to a resident, is it a pure lottery drawing, or do you build points?
There are Big horns in the Wildcat hills as well as soldier creek wilderness by Crawford.
I have never seen any rams there however I did come across some Ewes with a couple of lambs one day. I thought it was pretty remarkable considering the troubles they have with lambs surviving.
No one simply 'walks up to a wild sheep' in the wild.
I do not question that.
Animals of all species can become comfortable with living in close proximity to humans.
Witness Boulder City, NV and Palm Desert, CA.
But in the wilds of Nebraska? Not so much.
Just because one person can afford it, and another can't (or can and doesn't want to buy the tag), does not provide justification for the existence of auction tags. You are assuming that all that are opposed to such tags are suffering from sour grapes, which is just not the case. There are certainly both positives and negatives from allowing such auction tags.
Just because one person can afford it, and another can't (or can and doesn't want to buy the tag), does not provide justification for the existence of auction tags."
I agree with your point about justifying the existence of fundraising tags based upon someone's income level.
After that, however, I will say, and absolutely know without question, that these tags are a YUGE source of critical funding for the state agencies and their ability to manage wild sheep, conduct surveys, and do translocations.
Fundraising tag ADD tags for the average Joe far beyond the one tag the average Joe cannot afford.
I talk with the state wildlife agencies in every one of the 'sheep states' in the west on a regular basis, and to a person, every single one of them tells me that if it weren't for the money the auctions and the raffles for the fundraising tags raise, they couldn't even do the minimum conservation efforts they are charged with doing.
The funds those auction tags raise cover those shortages and a lot more, therefore allowing the state Wildlife agencies to go beyond the 'minimum required,' and therefore, in the long run, provide MORE tags to the average Joe!
It's mind boggling to me that there are still people out there who either do not understand that, or (and there are few, I hope and pray) are so selfish that they simply want 'THEIR' tag NOW with no concern about the future for the resource nor the benefits for everyone else.
I completely agree that the funds normally go to helping the species and ultimately putting more sheep on the mountain for all. I also appreciate all of your hard work and sacrifice in helping with that cause, so thank you. I wasn't taking a side, one way or the other, I was just pointing out the flaw of the previous poster in his implying that all those that are opposed to auction tags do so because they can't afford to buy one themselves. There are many reasons a person might be opposed to these auction tags other than financial envy.
That being said, I am opposed to many aspects of what the auction tags have become. I would personally prefer that the income produced by these special tags, and used to help the particular species, come from other sources. I would want that even if that meant that every hunter had to buy a special stamp (the total of all sales approximating the funds that the auction tags would have produced) or even a significant increase in permit fees to offset the loss. It doesn't particularly bother me that the wealthy can avoid waiting 30 years to draw a tag and can step to the front of the line, but the fact that they get to hunt before the person that waited all that time's season even begins, and sometimes can hunt statewide and year-round, does bother me. I think the tags would still sell for just as much, or very close to it, if the hunting "out of season" element was removed. I think simply jumping to the front of the line would be sufficient. The auction hunter's season should begin at the same time as the regular hunter. Perhaps it could run longer, but it shouldn't start earlier in my opinion. It used to be that way, in the early days of auction permits. At least in Arizona, I believe that the auction only bought the tag without having to wait or be subject to a bag limit. The fact that they often kill the biggest of a species that a state has to offer, year after year, because they get to hunt before the regular season opens, does bother me. The fact that a hunter that has applied for a hunt for years, possibly having applied for that particular hunt because he had found a huge trophy prior to applying, just to have it killed by an auction hunter days before his once in a lifetime hunt begins...bothers me.
I don't doubt that the money goes to a good cause, and helps the wildlife and hunters in general by ultimately providing more opportunity for all. I just don't personally feel that the ends justify the means, if there are other options that could provide the same funds. We all feel differently about this, and I completely respect that you might feel different. You have a different perspective, working so closely with sheep, than the average hunter has. But you can't fault the average hunter for having a different perspective either.
I personally don't see your Kansas example as making the elk tags prohibitively expensive. That would take the elk permit's cost to something between $552 and $702 for an elk tag, an extremely rare animal to hunt in Kansas. I'm quite sure that the state could find far more than 20 people willing to pay that amount. In Arizona, residents pay $1,100 for a bison tag and it still takes decades to draw a tag due to the number of applicants. I think a rare animal with very few permits SHOULD cost significantly more than a deer tag. I also have no problem providing a raffle tag or two to help makeup the funds, so everyone has a chance (but still don't feel their season should begin prior to the regular season for the hunters that drew the tag).
I have no doubt that you can find scenarios where the stamp idea wouldn't work, but I think it would work in many Western States where such tags are most prevalent. My real issue, however, isn't that I'm completely opposed to the auction tags existing, but what they are becoming. I don't think that special tag hunters should be permitted to hunt before the draw hunters can, hunters who may have waited 10-30 years for the tag just to have an auction hunter kill the best trophy (or sometimes the only trophy of much quality) shortly before the actual season opens. I also question whether entering such trophies to record books coincides with "Fair Chase" in some cases, such as hunts that allow year-round 365 day hunting state-wide. But that's a whole different conversation!