Idaho Fish and Game Director Cal Groen and Lt. Gov. Jim Risch will be on hand to draw the winning ticket in Idaho's special bighorn sheep drawing permit at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at Idaho Fish and Game headquarters in Boise.
The drawing is run by the Idaho Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and other hunters.
Hunters pay as little as $10 for a ticket to enter the annual drawing for a permit to hunt bighorn sheep. Permits for bighorn sheep are among the most desirable in Idaho. Another tag will be auctioned at the foundation's annual convention next February.
The special lottery tag allows the winner to hunt in any open bighorn sheep hunting area in Idaho during established seasons. Money raised by the permit drawing supports Idaho's Wildlife Health Laboratory in Caldwell.
"This permit has raised $650,000 to support the Wildlife Health Laboratory since this program was begun in 1992" said Dale Toweill, trophy species coordinator for Idaho Fish and Game and the supervisor for the Wildlife Health Laboratory. "This is a shining example of how sportsmen raise funds to give something back to all citizens of Idaho, hunters or not. These funds allow wildlife veterinarians to work with the Department of Agriculture on topics of concern to both the wildlife community and livestock interests, providing direct and indirect benefits to all Idahoans."
The lab investigates tests for wildlife diseases, such as brucellosis, chronic wasting disease, West Nile virus and other pathogens of concern to hunters and the livestock industry.
The tags are released by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The foundation is allowed to keep up to 25 percent of the money raised to pay for expenses, such as marketing the lottery and paying for the tag and a hunting license for the winner.
Proceeds from the auction tag go to improving sheep numbers and habitat in Idaho, particularly in Hells Canyon, which contains the largest area of ideal bighorn range in the continental United States.