Montana Outdoors

July 13, 2007

Bighorn sheep

Usually this time of year Bighorn sheep are spending their time lounging around in the higher parts of their range, so yesterday I was pleased when I saw this young ram all alone down at the valley level, about 4,000 feet below where he would usually be. I had to at least try to get within camera range of him and was pleased and a little surprised when he allowed me to do so and even seemed to want to pose for his portrait.

In a few more years his horns will have grown on around to complete their full curl and he will be right in the thick the of the competition for king of the mountain.

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

This young ram lives in the Patrick’s Knob roadless area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of Western Montana. While not endangered or especially rare, these beautiful animals need wilderness or roadless areas in order to maintain their numbers.



  1. I’ll bet I’d been going to Yellowstone every year for over ten years before I ever laid eyes on one of these creatures. Now I see one almost every trip.

    Maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention.


    Comment by Pinhole — July 13, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

  2. We’re kind of used to seeing them around here, but not so much this time of year. A few years ago there were several that came right through our yard. This guy was about 15 miles away from here. If they’re at a distance, I usually see their white butts first.


    Comment by montucky — July 13, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

  3. he really looks like he was trying to meet up w/ you for a photo session, his “poses” are awesome!


    Comment by silken — July 13, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

  4. These are great Terry, what a life, today I saw a squirrel.


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 13, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

  5. silken,

    I think his poses are an indication of his attitude. When they get that size they aren’t afraid of much, so he wasn’t spooky; maybe just a little annoyed. They’re pretty cool!


    Comment by montucky — July 13, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  6. Bernie,

    You’ve probably noticed I mention the roadless areas and the wild country a lot. Those areas make it possible for this kind of natural wildlife to exist. It’s part of our heritage and I sure hope we will have the wisdom to protect it for those who will come after us.

    A couple of years ago, just a few miles from where these photos were taken, I was fortunate enough to see a really big ram (a little better than a full curl) taking on all comers with his horns. He did it with such class and dignity that it made me feel happy just knowing that an animal like that was still around.


    Comment by montucky — July 13, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

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