The Pope and Young Club Provides Support For University Of Wyoming Mountain Sheep Project
The Pope and Young Club is proud to announce support for the North American Mountain Sheep research project from the University Of Wyoming. The goal of this project is to validate the relevancy of trophy records as indicators of biological trends and provide valuable information to managers and state biologists that will help promote healthy North American sheep populations.
“As Conservation Chair of the Pope and Young Club, it’s truly an honor to award the University of Wyoming with a 2017/2018 conservation grant,” said Merritt Compton. “The University of Wyoming, in collaboration with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, will be studying factors influencing trends in horn size of mountain sheep in North America. This research project will identify the underlying factors that influence horn size, assess the validity of using trophy record books as indicators of biological trends, and identify the influence of environmental factors on annual horn growth. This research project is exciting to the Pope and Young Club as it references our bowhunting records with the hope that this valuable information will be passed along to managers and state biologists and that it will help promote healthy wild sheep populations.”
“Results of our analysis of data from Records of North American Big Game maintained by the Boone and Crockett Club indicated that the average size of horn-like structures in trophy ungulates has declined slightly for most trophy categories over the past 50-100 years,” said Dr. Kevin Monteith of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. “Nevertheless, our ability to draw strong conclusions about what contributed to patterns of change likely was limited in part by the nature of the Boone and Crockett dataset. Furthermore, the biological relevance of trophy record programs has been called into question, because those data are truncated by a minimum size requirement for entry. Therefore, a much larger sample and a wider range in size resulting from the lower minimum score requirements make the Pope and Young data set a valuable addition to our evaluation. Data provided by the Pope and Young Club will allow us to more rigorously test the validity and scope of trophy record programs when assessing biological patterns through time. Moreover, our efforts to include data on harvested sheep across state and provincial agencies will allow us to perform a rigorous assessment and synthesis of valuable information that has been collected by many agencies for decades, and to gain a better understanding of factors that contribute to size of horns and antlers, and will yield the opportunity to evaluate the relevance and usefulness of trophy records maintained by conservation groups.”
For more information go to wycoopunit.org.
(Photo Credit - Donnie Vincent)