It is January 2011 and the Sheep Feeding Program is progressing well again for its 20th, or maybe 25th year? The exact number is lost to time, except that Jack Floyd, of our club, has been feeding them for at least 20 of those years. The sheep are doing fairly well, there being an average of 34-35 Bighorns in attendance. Six lambs started the winter and six lambs are still showing up, so they have made it halfway. (see pix) Mature rams are still with us too. Only one was reported successfully hunted in the legal season. The ewes, who seem to be the continuity factor in any herd, are also faring well. Some ewes have some apparent injuries to legs, but are obviously managing.
Saturday saw 12 visitors as well as us feeders, and the sheep provided the usual photo ops. Visitors are always welcome.
One important note for visitors: Do NOT feed the sheep anything. Several instances this winter have shown someone(s) is tampering with the feeding and leaving the wrong type of food, in the wrong places. Food beside the highway below the feeding station creates the very problem the station was trying to overcome: namely keeping the sheep away from the traffic. Preventing vehicle accidents and dead roadkill sheep are a big reason for the program. The winter diet fed to the sheep is for their winter metabolism. Tampering with it does not help the sheep, it hinders them, and defeats the program goals. They are not domestic sheep, and cannot be handled that way.
Please come and look, watch them, and take lots of pix, but please leave all feeding to nature and the feeding program. Also, I know you know better, but please leave all dogs at home or inside your vehicle. Bighorn sheep do not see pet dogs. They see predators.
Feeding: Mon, Wed, Sat about 10 A.M., on the Salmo-Creston. Look for the yellow Sheep sign and park at the next big pull-out uphill. You'll see the sheep looking down at you, probably, and the access is up the road 200 m, then turn left to the foot trail.
Name: Dan Danforth Title: Active Member