Table of contents

Elements of bighorn sheep management

Wildlife management of bighorn sheep in Alberta benefits from:

  • administration of legal hunting
  • comprehensive wildlife management planning
  • documentation of distribution and population health
  • enforcement of management-based laws
  • regular monitoring of populations
  • research

Trophy Bighorn Sheep Management in Alberta

A comprehensive management plan completed in 1993 guides provincial efforts to sustain this species, which is also our official provincial mammal.

Alberta has been registering Sheep and monitoring populations from 1971 to present.

​Bighorn sheep monitoring datasets

The above data sets are subject to ongoing review and updates will occur as new information is available.

Goals and Objectives for Bighorn Sheep Management

Key management goals and objectives for bighorn sheep are as follows:

  • Harvest non-trophy sheep where appropriate.
  • Identify and protect bighorn sheep habitat, with an emphasis on winter range.
  • Maintain area-specific population goals.
  • Manage the harvest of bighorn trophy rams on a sustainable basis, including allowing non-resident hunting.
  • Provide for subsistence use, wildlife viewing, scientific research and educational activities.
  • Study in detail sheep winter ranges and ensure their viability.

A basic element of wildlife management is adaptive management, that is, to periodically re-examine how the wildlife are doing and whether there are adjustments that can be made to our practices to benefit the animals and the opportunities for various uses by Albertans.

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