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

Colonialism examined through an Inuit lens in Film Club’s next offering in March

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk in on next Friday, March 6 at the Gibraltar Room

RC Cotton bridge officially open to the public

The bridge is now accessible 24/7 by lakecity residents looking to use the trails

Lodge owner in Tsilhqot’in declared title area wants to be bought out for fair price

Hausi Wittwer has operated the Chilko River Lodge for 21 years

Cariboo police forces recover truck, Bobcat and trailer stolen from Quesnel

A 100 Mile House resident was arrested after trying to flee a police roadblock near Wildwood

B.C. budget ‘not friendly’: Cariboo Chilcotin MLA

As critic of rural development, Donna Barnett said she sees nothing in the budget for rural B.C.

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read