Utah hunter snags bighorn sheep tag — for $130,000

A Utah man Saturday paid a record-tying $130,000 for a bighorn sheep tag auctioned as part of Oregon's Access and Habitat Program to raise money for hunter access, habitat improvement and big-game management in Oregon.

Cam Wadsworth, of Draper, Utah, placed his record bid during a Foundation for North American Wild Sheep fundraising auction, according Michelle Dennehy, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Division spokeswoman.

The bid matched the price paid for a bighorn tag auctioned in 2005.

For his money, Wadsworth will get to hunt a Rocky Mountain or California bighorn during an 87-day season in any bighorn sheep hunt area throughout the state.

Wadsworth could not be reached for comment.

The bighorn tag was part of a string of auction tags sold this month.

Terry Hickson of Springfield spent $26,000 on a statewide deer tag during a Mule Deer Foundation auction Feb. 4, in Salt Lake City.

The next day, a statewide deer tag sold for $25,000 to Calvin Spratling of Pendleton. That tag was auctioned during the annual fundraising banquet of the Santiam River Chapter of Safari Club International.

The organizations that sponsor the auctions keep 10 percent of the proceeds, to be used for habitat-improvement and hunting-access projects. The remaining 90 percent go to fund management of the specific species of animals for which the tag was sold.

Spring bear tags sold out in region

Spring black bear tags for southwest Oregon sold out Monday, with the last of the 4,000 first-come, first-served tags going to a hunter via the state's point-of-sale licensing system.

It marks the third time the hunt has sold out since the hunt was taken out of the controlled-hunt loop three years ago, says Mark Vargas, Rogue District wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The southwest Oregon black bear season runs April 1 through May 31.

Last year, the hunt sold out on Feb. 20, the day results were posted for the spring bear controlled hunts.

The controlled hunt results for spring bear season will be posted Sunday by the agency, Dennehy says.

Would-be hunters can check their results on the ODFW website at www.dfw.state.or.us.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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