A survey in a new area (the Rodman's, Newberry's and Ord's) documented "over 150 sheep," which is significantly more than we'd expected. Better yet, the survey crew has yet to evaluate the camera work they did on those flights. Once they do, they expect the numbers to be "significantly higher."
That's tremendous news, and although I'm sure they'll want one more year of data, if the 2017 survey produces similar results, I would expect we'll see a new hunt zone for the 2018/2019 sheep season with 2-3 new DBHS tags available!
I'm going down the first of next week to help fly and survey the Chuckwalla mountains. We know there are sheep there, but have no idea as to how many.
Hopefully a lot!
I've scouted the Chuckwallas for deer and have seen lots of sheep. I can't imagine that even 1 ram couldn't be taken out of the unit each year.
Where in the Chuckwallas have you been seeing sheep? What canyons, ridges, etc.? Knowing that would be very helpful for when we do the survey.
Almost from the very day I founded CA WSF, I've been pushing DFW to survey all mountain ranges in which we know have sheep.
For numerous reasons, they didn't get that done: No money, no interest, the helicopter crash in 2010 that shut down all helicopter work, including surveys, bureaucratic inertia, all of the above, you name it.
FINALLY, beginning last year and at least in part due to the work of CA WSF, the helicopters are back in the air and surveys of not just existing hunt zones are being flown for the first time almost ever!
We have a lot of ranges which are known to have sheep but which have never been surveyed.
I'm heading down to Blythe this weekend to help fly the survey in the Chuckwallas.