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

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

Couple opts for plan B for wedding in Courtenay

Pandemic restrictions prompt April Powell and Hayden Eely to change plans for the big day

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Union Bay water plant now finished

Work allows health authority to lift boil water advisory

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read