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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

BC Hyrdo outage map shows a section of Clearwater without power, Sunday, April 18. (BC Hydro)
BC Hydro confirms outage caused by wind storm in Clearwater

Residents are reporting their service has been restored, but the cause is not yet known.

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Most Read