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Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep


Bighorns are extraordinary rock climbers. Their agility allows them to bound up steep, rugged rock croppings and craggy cliffs.

In lambing season, ewes retreat to secluded canyons or gullies that are safe from predators and free of competition from other foragers. After a gestation period of about six months, an ewe gives birth to a single lamb. By the end of the first day, the sure-footed lamb can climb nearly as well as its mother.

Bighorns are social animals; yet tend to segregate outside of mating season, when the rams head off in a bachelor band leaving the ewes and lambs in nursery bands. During mating season, November and December, rams posture for dominance. As rams batter at one another, the crack of their massive head clashing can be heard more than a mile away. The stocky rams reach speeds as high as 30 mph as they charge one another during these jousts.

You will find the nursery bands along the Mount Evans Road and at the top. Please take as many pictures as you want, BUT DO NOT FEED THEM. You will probably not see any rams until late August or early September, as they tend to stay in the more remote section of the Mount Evans Wilderness Area.

If you have a dog in your vehicle, expect the sheep to disperse within one to two minutes of dog barks, as dogs are a natural enemy.
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