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A message from WSF President & CEO, Gray N. Thornton


September 10, 2020






September 10, 2020

A message from WSF President & CEO, Gray N. Thornton

Nobody wants to see the Sheep Show canceled over a virus. Not me. Not our Board. Not our staff. Nor, do our members, exhibitors, sponsors, donors nor anyone we’ve spoken with that’s concerned about wild sheep conservation. 

Likewise, no one wants to see the Sheep Show turned into a stripped-down, quarantined masked ball, patrolled by security armed with thermometers and no more than 50 people allowed in our banquet venue we normally fill with 2,000. 

I think we can all agree that either scenario is just as distasteful as the other.

Please know, WSF and I respect everyone's health concerns. They’re important to me, our board, and the entire Wild Sheep Family. 

So, what to do? What I can tell you is we’re not going the route of, “we'll just plan on having a convention in Reno until someone says we can’t.” We must move forward with a solid plan, and we have. Two plans, as a matter of fact.

Let’s start with Plan A – our Sheep Show - an in person gathering. If it looks like we can have "our" show in Reno, we will, and rest assured we are planning for it. But the caveat is "our" show, not one that looks like what I described earlier.

As you probably suspect, the likelihood of Plan A happening with what we know today is questionable. We can always hope, but simply hoping for the best is not good enough. We don’t do it on a sheep hunt…we make a plan, and a backup plan. It would irresponsible for WSF not to have a backup plan, and we are working on that, and have been for the last two months.

Sheep Week 2021 regardless if it is in person, or not, is going to be an all stakeholder's celebration of wild sheep. We know not everyone who cares about wild sheep and mountain hunting can always make it to Reno. So, we’ll bring it to you.

Sheep Week 2021 will be a place everyone can go, meet friends, make new ones, learn, plan their next adventures, and participate in a spectacle dedicated to one thing; our passion for wild sheep restoration, conservation, hunting, and standing guard over the wildlife and wildlands we care about.

Think about this new look as a spike camp. What do we do when we're not in base camp? We spike out. We set up a temporary waypoint to get closer to our goal. The only difference is we all have a number of goals to cover in one trip, and this allows us to cover them all.

Whether you're an exhibitor or a sponsor, a WSF Chapter or an Affiliate. A state, provincial, territorial, tribal or First Nation agency, a career wildlife professional, a WSF member or want to be, and everyone in between that counts on Sheep Week. We're building a best-in-class spike camp with all the trimmings, including chances to win and come away with incredible hunts, adventures, gear, sporting art and collectibles.

Now, I might be underplaying the amount of work we’re undertaking to build-out this new spike camp just a bit. There are a lot of new moving parts, and we’re going to need your help with some of them.

To that end, we’ll be reaching out in the near future with what Sheep Week and this new opportunity will look like, and keeping you updated as we run down this trail and climb up this mountain.

We will be together one way or the other for Sheep Week in January. Count on it!

Until then, stay safe, get out there, and enjoy your fall hunting with family and friends.

Thank you.



Gray N. Thornton


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