Prime out-of-season ram costs Ohio hunter more than $250,000

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- An Ohio trophy hunter who paid $172,000 for the rights to an exclusive out-of-season sheep hunt in British Columbia wants similar hunts made available in the name of conservation.

''That's an expensive piece of mutton,'' said Bernie Fiedeldey, 60, who owns a steel-fabricating business in Cincinnati. ''It's not about that. It's about the opportunity and where the money is going.''

After a dozen years of lobbying by hunters, British Columbia finally put a mountain sheep permit up for auction in January at the 7,000-member Foundation for North American Wild Sheep annual convention at Reno, Nev.

The permit allowed the successful bidder to kill a trophy ram anywhere in the province three weeks after the close of the regular hunting season.

Fiedeldey's bid proved successful, and was the highest amount a hunter has paid to kill a big-name animal in British Columbia.

But that amount is far from a national record. American Sherwin Scott paid $1.1-million in license fees to shoot a prize ram a year ago near Jasper, Alberta.

Doug Dryden, a hunter and chief of wildlife for the British Columbia Environment Ministry, said he was pleased with the auction and expected the ministry to put up another sheep permit at the foundation's auction next year.

Fiedeldey was hunting with Robert Fontana of Elk Valley Bighorn Outfitters near Fernie, British Columbia.

On Nov. 9, his fourth day of hunting, Fiedeldey shot the 13-year-old ram from 200 meters with a 270-caliber Weatherby Magnum. The ram measured in at 191 points -- a scoring system based on the length and girth of the horns -- but that wasn't a record, officials said.

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