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)
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 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 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)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)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)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

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Reader’s Lens
The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this photo on a recent windy day in Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this… Continue reading

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read