Reduce Number of Bighorn Sheep LEH Seasons for Mt Assiniboine Park

Regulation Number: 
2020-04-10
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
MU: 
4-25
Regulation Type: 
Limited Entry Hunting
Species: 
Bighorn Sheep
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2020-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations: 

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 1-Oct 9

At least full curl

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 10-Oct 18

At least full curl

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 19-Oct 26

At least full curl

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 27-Nov 3

At least full curl

Proposed Regulations: 

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 1-Oct 20

At least full curl

Mt. Assiniboine Park

4-25

F

Oct 21-Oct 31

At least full curl

Rationale: 

Mt Assiniboine was inventoried for bighorn sheep in January 2019; 35 sheep were observed.  The last time this area was inventoried was March 2009 when 64 were observed. The estimated population of this herd has declined by approximately 45% since 2009.  There are plans to resurvey this herd in the next few years.  Observed sheep for this herd over the past 2 decades are:

2000    42 observed bighorn sheep

2001    51

2002    47

2005    65

2009    64

2019    35

Prior to 2010 there were 2 LEH hunts, each approximately 2 weeks. In 2010 the 2 LEH hunts were split into 4 shorter hunts, each approximately 1 week in length. At least 1 authorization must be made available for each LEH hunt; if there are 4 separate hunts 4 authorizations must be available, likewise 2 authorizations must be made available if there are 2 separate hunts.

As the population appears to have substantially declined, it is proposed to reinstate the pre-2010 seasons and provide wildlife managers with the ability to make available fewer than 4 authorizations; in this case the option would be created to reduce available LEH authorizations from 4 to 2.