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Bighorn Sheep Tag Auction Brings Record Idaho Bid

February 12, 2008

From Idaho Fish and Game:

The winning bid in an annual auction for an Idaho Special Bighorn Sheep permit set a record this year.

Frank Miles of Cecil Lake, British Columbia, bid $65,000 for the tag in the auction Friday, February 8, at the annual convention of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep in Salt Lake City.

That's the most paid for an Idaho bighorn sheep permit that did not allow hunting in Hells Canyon.

The highly-valued Hells Canyon hunt is rotated each year between the auction tag sold at the national convention and the lottery tag sold by the sheep foundation's Idaho chapter.

The record for an auction tag is $180,000 in 2005 when a Hells Canyon permit was up for bid.

Idaho's auction tag is sold along with others from western states and Canadian provinces at the annual Foundation for North American Wild Sheep convention.

Two Idaho tags are approved each year by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to raise money for bighorn programs.

The auction and lottery permits raise money for sheep research and management. Since their inception, these permits have raised nearly $2 million for bighorn sheep management.

The bids are "a clear example of hunters supporting bighorn sheep conservation and management," bighorn program manager Dale Toweill said. "This benefits all Idahoans, whether they hunt or not. These funds, raised by sportsmen, help ensure that Idaho's bighorn sheep prosper now and in the future."

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