November 17, 2013
Fellow NBU Members:
WWith Nevada’s hunting season is full swing, I have seen reports of some great harvests from our sportsmen, sportswomen and youth. Fantastic photos and stories of Nevada antelope, mule deer, elk, bear, and California bighorn sheep have been recorded. With the late seasons and the Desert Bighorn Sheep season coming right up, more enjoyment of Nevada’s great outdoors is sure to come. Congratulations to the successful hunters! Some of this year’s hunt stories you will find in this issue of the NBU Journal. Nevada’s big game successes are due in no small part to your donations of time, talent and resources. Working in conjunction with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), NBU members are really making a difference!
We are reminded of the continued success of the Maison T Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills Camp (MTOYOSC) with recent stories of MTOYOSC alumni enjoying hunting and shooting opportunities. These young sportsmen and sportswomen have taken what they learned about hunter safety, gun handling, and respect and stewardship for Nevada’s wildlife and habitat and turned it into tremendous family hunting success stories. The MTOYOSC will be recruiting 2014 campers coming up soon, boys and girls aged 11-14 will be encouraged to apply. Please visit the website MTOYouthOutdoorSkills.com for information.
The Nevada bighorn sheep trap and transplant program is going full swing, with two recent November captures. Forty nine sheep were captured in the Muddy and Black Mountains of Clark County and transplanted to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Our strong collaboration with the Utah Department of Fish and Game continues for the benefit of both Nevada and Utah. I had the pleasure of participating with the Bare Mountains capture in Nye County. Through collaboration with NDOW, the Sterling Mine and over 25 wildlife volunteers, 50 Desert Bighorn sheep were captured via helicopter net-gun. These sheep were examined for any health issues, blood drawn for testing, ear tagged, some were radio collared, treated for minor health issues such as ear ticks, and then loaded into stock trailers including the NBU “Ewe Hauler”. They were released at three sites where NBU and NDOW have constructed guzzlers, including 15 released at the Robb Town Site guzzler, 15 released at the GSCO Mine Pad guzzler, and 20 released at the Marietta guzzler, all in Mineral County. This highly successful event was well planned by NDOW. Thanks to the capture crew, the NDOW big game biologists, the NDOW veterinary team and all the volunteers! Trap and transplant work for California bighorn sheep is in the works for later this year.
Bighorn sheep respiratory disease complex is still an active issue. In Clark County, recent disease events have occurred. There has also been a major disease event in California’s Mojave Preserve / Old Dad Mountain region where over 100 Desert Bighorn Sheep have perished. The Wild Sheep Foundation, in conjunction with the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn have started to the Southern Nevada Bighorn Sheep Disease Investigation Project to work with NDOW and disease investigators to determine the causes and course of action for the Clark County disease events. NBU stands ready to help with financial assistance as needed. We will continue to work together to battle this major threat to our bighorn sheep populations.
Upcoming volunteer opportunities include working with the Wild Sheep Foundation during their convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center at the end of January. NBU volunteers will be asked to help with move-in/move-out, manning the NBU booth in the convention hall, and participating in WSF’s Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience. The very same volunteer effort will be needed for the Grand Slam Club Ovis convention the first week of February, to be held at the Grand Sierra Resort. NBU’s Water Development Director Mel Belding has outlined a number of critical guzzler needs for the upcoming guzzler construction season. We will be building a number of water developments to help support the water needs of Nevada’s wildlife. Any upcoming events will be outlined in e-mail blasts to our volunteer base and Facebook page posts, along with information at NBU’s website. Your selfless volunteerism is what makes NBU great. I look forward to seeing many of you at these upcoming events and projects.
With the fall colors in full regalia, hunting and fishing opportunities waiting, and with the light snow on the mountains, this is the most wonderful time of year in Nevada. Many of you will be enjoying meals of freshly harvested game, making it only better.
Wishing all of you successful and safe Nevada outdoor experiences this season,
Dennis R. Wilson, DVM
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) grass roots sportsmen’s conservation organization with over 3,500 members throughout Nevada, the western United States and North America. The mission of the organization is to protect and enhance Nevada’s wildlife resources for sportsmen, outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts for this and future generations. NBU volunteers do this through the reintroduction of big game, habitat conservation and improvement, public education and participation, biological and scientific research, and the influence of public policy. NBU has raised millions of dollars and logged thousands of volunteer hours in support of Nevada’s wildlife.