The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plan to capture 100 bighorn sheep in five Hells Canyon herds by Feb. 14 as part of the ongoing Hells Canyon Initiative to restore bighorn sheep populations. Bighorn sheep will be captured by net gunning from a helicopter and brought to a processing site near the capture location.
Biologists will take health samples, radio collar the sheep, and release them on site. The operation is made possible through the cooperative efforts of Washington Wild Sheep Foundation, Oregon Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and the state wildlife agencies with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service and Nez Perce and Umatilla tribes. This project is part of research to determine health status and test strategies for managing disease in Hells Canyon bighorn sheep.