PHOTOS: Salmon Arm trail cam takes rare shot of wolverine

This trail camera photo of a wolverine is what the photographer believes to be a once-in-a-lifetime shot. (SIMDeer Project)
This trail camera photo of a wolverine is what the photographer believes to be a once-in-a-lifetime shot. (SIMDeer Project)
A pair of mule deer are captured by a motion-triggered trail camera. (SIMDeer Project)
A wolf takes a stroll past a motion-triggered trail camera near Granby Provincial Park. (SIMDeer Project)
A lynx takes a stroll past a motion-triggered trail camera near Granby Provincial Park. (SIMDeer Project)
Two cougars run past a motion-triggered trail camera near Granby Provincial Park. (SIMDeer Project)
A grizzly bear meanders past a motion-triggered trail camera near Granby Provincial Park. (SIMDeer Project)

When Grant Hiebert offloaded photos from his trail camera, he came across what he considers a once-in-a-lifetime shot, a nearly perfectly in-focus photo of a wolverine.

For over a decade Hiebert has been venturing into B.C.’s Interior to place motion-triggered trail cameras to take photos of the province’s wildlife. More recently, he signed on as a volunteer for a study conducted by the BC Wildlife Federation in collaboration with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, The University of BC Okanagan, The University of Idaho and the British Columbia Fish and Wildlife Branch.

WATCH: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

READ MORE: ‘Predatory’ grizzly euthanized after B.C. man survives attack

The goal of the study is to learn how to restore mule deer populations in B.C. by examining a variety of factors over a vast geographical distance, a task made possible only by the help of volunteers. Information about how landscape change like forest fires, and the predator-prey community are affecting the mule deer populations, will be gathered through a combination of vegetation sampling, the collaring and tracking of deer and, of course, trail cameras.

The three areas examined by the study are the Kettle, Peachland and Garnet valleys, as well as the site of the Elephant Hill fire extinguished in 2017. Throughout these areas, the study calls for the placement of more than 150 trail cameras. Volunteers hike out to specific GPS coordinates and set up the cameras and, after a time, they go back and collect them. Hiebert is responsible for placing and collecting cameras placed in the Elephant Hill area.

READ MORE: Grizzly bear catches paw in trap near Big White

READ MORE: Funding available to control B.C. urban deer population

The series of photos that included the wolverine shot were not taken at Elephant Hill, but relatively close to Salmon Arm where Hiebert has been a resident for more than 35 years. The photos were taken with his personal trail camera in the area southeast of Cherryville.

He shared his cache of photos on Facebook, which included shots of a lynx, cougars, a grizzly bear and the wolverine. In the post he mentioned the presence of these animals should be enough to keep every hiker’s head on a swivel.

“With the exception of the wolverine, every animal you saw in there is here,” Hiebert said. “Every animal you saw in there we can have on Mt. Ida.”

READ MORE: Trapped deer part of government research project

WATCH: The secret lives of B.C.’s wolverines

Out of the 12 years of experience Hiebert has had with trail cameras, he has seen three photos of wolverines, none of them his own – until now.

“I’ve been doing trail cameras for 10 or 12 years now and that is the first I’ve ever got and it’s probably the last I’ll ever get,” Hiebert said.

Hiebert’s motivation to volunteer his time towards the BCWF’s project didn’t come from rare wildlife photography. Instead, it came from the dwindling deer population throughout B.C.’s Interior.

“If I can do something to help us understand it better, that’s kind of what I’m looking for,” he said.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Emergency crews responding to a serious MVI on Quesnel-Hydraulic Road

Quesnel-Hydraulic Road traffic is single lane alternating at Janicki Road

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend about 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Musical message of hope in Quesnel

A group of talented young musicians serenaded the residents and staff of Dunrovin on Sunday, May 24

Highway 97 north of Quesnel down to single lane alternating

Emcon Services Inc. crews will be working on repairs between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, May 25

Pickleballers hit the courts after City lifts COVID-19 restrictions

Patrons must follow specific health and safety guidelines

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Most Read