An anonymous hunter shelled out $275,000 (USD) for a special mountain sheep permit at auction during The Sheep Show in Reno, Nevada. The event is hosted annually by the Wild Sheep Foundation and is recognized as one of the largest expos for mountain hunting and conservation.
Auctions for special permits can often be fierce and expensive, and this tag is no exception. The winning bid for the British Columbia permit emerged after a flurry of interest and is the highest to-date for the province. Proceeds will go towards the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to safeguard the future of the area’s bighorns. So what does one get for such a princely sum? According to The Vancouver Sun, it offers a chance to hunt outside of the normal sheep seasons, some bragging rights, and a warm fuzzy feeling for being charitable.
Many Canadian provinces and U.S. states have their own special permit auctions to help raise money for wildlife conservation. Alberta reports a similar hunt sold recently for $150,000. These permits allow sportsmen to give back to the community and raise millions in funds that will be used to protect species such as mountain sheep and elk.
This year’s bighorn tag auction breaks local records, trumping last year’s bid of $250,000. British Columbia tends to have the highest auction ceilings in Canada, which is not too surprising considering the province’s reputation for large bighorns. The area contains both Dall and California (or Rocky Mountain) bighorn sheep.
The current world record in bighorn sheep tag auctions stands at a $480,000 bid for a Montana permit.