OLYMPIA – Randy Pittman is the first hunter in nearly a decade with an opportunity to bag a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington state.
Pittman, from Hancock, Md., won the raffle for a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) permit to harvest a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. His name was on the ticket drawn at random Wednesday from the more than 3,400 tickets purchased in the raffle, which was conducted by the Washington chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS).
Donny Martorello, WDFW special species section manager, said bighorn sheep haven’t been hunted in the Blue Mountains for nine years because of a disease that had reduced the region’s population. Sheep numbers in the Blues have rebounded to a level that cleared the way for the special one-permit hunt to take place.
Pittman will be allowed to hunt for his bighorn sheep between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 in Game Management Units 166, 169, 181 and 186, where he should see some large rams, according to Glen Landrus, the Washington chapter president for FNAWS.
“It’s not surprising that we attracted national interest for this drawing,” Landrus said. “The Blue Mountains is an area with great hunting opportunities for big rams.”
Landrus presented WDFW with a check for $61,434 in raffle proceeds, which will fund WDFW’s sheep management program for the coming year, plus an additional $5,000 check to help fund a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep research project in the Blue Mountains.
More information about FNAWS is available at http://www.wafnaws.com on the Internet.