The lottery tag was awarded to the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation and the auction tag was awarded to the Wild Sheep Foundation. Both organizations have a long track record of conservation projects and contributions to benefit bighorn sheep in Idaho. The two groups will market the 2016 tags as fund raisers with proceeds going to benefit Idaho Department of Fish and Game's bighorn sheep research and management.
Information on ticket sales for the 2016 bighorn lottery tag will be available at idahowildsheep.org.
This year, a hunter paid $100,000 in January for the Idaho 2015 auction tag at the national Wild Sheep show in Reno. The 2015 lottery tag was also drawn on Wednesday, and it raised $62,000 for sheep research and management.
Idaho's bighorn auction tag has sold for $100,000 or more five times since 1988, including a record $180,000 in 2005.
Since releasing the first auction tag in 1988, Fish and Game has received $1.8 million for bighorn research, a field of research in which Idaho has been a leader. The lottery tag, first released in 1992, has raised over $1.1 million to support solving problems between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep, and funding research to speed recovery of bighorn sheep populations limited by pneumonia. The groups auction the tag and selling lottery tickets keep only enough of the proceeds to cover their expenses - or no more than 5 percent of the money raised by the auction and no more than 25 percent raised by the lottery.