Matt Hansen of Idaho Falls was the lucky winner of a hunting tag from the 24th Annual Bighorn Sheep tag lottery drawing July 27. The tag is offered under a partnership between Idaho Fish and Game and the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation.
“I’m beyond excited to get it,” Hansen said.
He plans to hunt Hells Canyon or the Mount Borah area, both of which are prime areas for trophy bighorn sheep. This will be Hansen’s first opportunity to hunt bighorns, and it was his first time applying in the bighorn lottery.
The lottery raised $73,413 that will be spent towards the benefit and enhancement of bighorn sheep in Idaho. The Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation has been hosting this bighorn lottery since 1992 with the proceeds going back to Fish and Game for sheep research and habitat development.
The winning ticket for this year’s lottery was drawn from the pool by Dr. Bob DiGrazia, a charter member of the foundation and member for the past 35 years. Dr. DiGrazia has been instrumental in the success of the foundation, and he was primarily responsible for partnering with the Idaho Fish and Game Department to auction off a bighorn sheep tag through a lottery to raise over $1.5 million dollars for wild sheep in Idaho.
The Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to enhance wild sheep populations in Idaho, and with partners in adjacent states, for public enjoyment, education, fair-chase hunting, and to promote professional wildlife management and protect sportsmen's rights.
The Idaho Wild Sheep was founded in 1982 by two dozen concerned sportsmen who wanted to “put more bighorns on Idaho’s mountains.” From that core group, many of which are still very active, the organization has grown to a thriving group with over 300 committed members.
For more information, contact Terri Ottens at the Idaho WSF office, (208) 345-6171 or visit their website at www.idahowildsheep.org.