Mountain Minutes
May 13, 2011

New Mexico wildlife officials consider delisting endangered desert bighorn sheep
The Republic
The New Mexico Game and Fish Department is considering removing desert bighorn sheep form the state's list of endangered species. The department is planning public hearings this fall in Truth or Consequences and Deming to discuss the proposal. Once one of New Mexico's most imperiled native species, the desert bighorn population has grown from fewer than 70 in 1980 to about 565 in several mountain ranges. Transplanting efforts and cougar control have helped the numbers increase.More

Deadline for special hunting permits is May 18
The News Tribune
Hunters have until May 18 to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey seasons. The special permits qualify hunters to hunt at times and places beyond those authorized by a general hunting license. Like last year, applications for this year's permits include a wider range of hunting options for deer, elk, moose and big-horn sheep than before, Dave Ware, game division manager, said in a news release.More

Students study mountain lions
Powell Tribune
Bumping over seemingly endless rutted four-wheel drive trails, hiking in rugged country or chasing baying hounds describes part of the work to capture and study mountain lions north of Lovell, Wyo. The goal of a three-year project is to determine the relationship between mountain lions and their primary prey, mule deer and possibly bighorn sheep and wild horse foals. The ultimate objective is sustainable populations of the deer, sheep and wild horses and their top predator, mountain lions, in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and vicinity, said Linsey Blake in her thesis proposal.More

Colorado outlaws hunting bears in dens
Real Aspen
The Colorado Wildlife Commission set license numbers for most big game species for the 2011 hunting seasons recently and unanimously approved a regulation banning the hunting or harassment of black bears in their dens. During the first day of its busy two-day May meeting, commissioners also approved a number of regulatory changes for properties owned and managed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, including an emergency regulation suspending bag limits at Bonny Reservoir State Park near the Kansas border to maximize the opportunity for anglers to catch fish before the reservoir is drained this fall.More

Federal government to continue monitoring gray wolves
The Missoulan
The announcement that gray wolves are back under state management in Montana and Idaho also included a warning: The federal government is watching. "We will continue monitoring gray wolves to ensure those populations remain robust," Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes said during a news conference call. "We will continue to follow the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho."More

New magazine features reservation hunting opportunities/conservation
The Circle News
Hunting The Rez is a new Native American owned magazine that features hunting and fishing opportunities on North American Indian lands. Hunting The Rez staff and their quarterly magazine, which is distributed nationally, provide news and information for outdoors enthusiasts, big game hunters and fisherman all over the country. They are also a liaison between tribal Fish & Game Departments, State and Government Departments, local businesses and outdoor sports enthusiasts.More

Memories of two old sheep hunters
The Jamestown Sun
Bill Utzinger was 80 years old when Bernie Kuntz met with him in 1978 to interview him for "Wyoming Wildlife" magazine, where Kuntz was associate editor. Utzinger had hunted Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in Wyoming for half a century, beginning in 1925, and had one of the largest collections of bighorn heads in existence.More

Nosler's trophy grade rifle wins Golden Bullseye Award
The NRA publication, American Rifleman, has named Nosler's Model 48 Trophy Grade Rifle as their chosen "Rifle of the Year" and recipient of the esteemed Golden Bullseye award. "This much-coveted award, now in its ninth year, is a symbol of excellence, innovation and quality in firearms, accessories and related equipment Joe Graham, Executive Director of NRA publications.More