Montana Outdoors

August 14, 2010

little Bighorns

Filed under: Animals, Bighorn sheep — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 8:04 pm

While returning from a trek into the high country yesterday I found a small band of Bighorns, including these lambs, grazing beside a small road near the river. Who can resist lambs?

Large numbers of Bighorns have died this year in our region from pneumonia for which there is no vaccine and no cure. They simply have no resistance to it. It was nice to see a good number of lambs in this group to help retain their numbers!

Bighorn lamb

Bighorn lamb

Bighorn lamb

Bighorn lamb



  1. So cute. Too bad about the pneumonia. Do they get it in the summer as well or mostly a change of seasons illness like it is in humans?


    Comment by kateri — August 14, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    • I don’t think it is seasonal. It seems to be mostly any time. They catch diseases like that from domestic sheep which have immunities to those things. The Bighorns just don’t and when pneumonia hits a here there is about a 70% mortality rate.


      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  2. Hi Montucky, Simply precious! Yes, who can resist those adorable babies! Great photographs!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 15, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    • They have grown a lot already and will need to put on more weight before winter. Judging by the way they were eating they will, too.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

  3. Oh, they ARE sweet! So glad they can keep the population going!


    Comment by Barbara — August 15, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    • It was great to see so many lambs. I didn’t count them, but there were at least a dozen in this small band.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

  4. They have a certain personality about them. sweet.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — August 15, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    • Bighorns all have a lot of personality, all different. It’s fun to be around them.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  5. Oh my – these are precious. How sad so many have gotten sick.


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — August 15, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    • It is sad. Most years there aren’t that many problems in this area, but this year was very bad.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

  6. cute! I never thought of animals catching things like that….sad


    Comment by silken — August 15, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    • As far as I know this type of problem is unique to the Bighorns.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  7. Wow, 70% mortality rate, that’s awful, poor things. Lambs have the sweetest faces.


    Comment by Candace — August 15, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    • The ones in the area where this band lives has, as far as I know, not had the problem. They look a bit shaggy, but they were in a pretty heavy rain the night before and their coats look a little unkempt.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  8. The face on the first little guy/gal is very sweet! I also like the tiny horns in the last photo. 🙂


    Comment by Juls — August 15, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    • The horns get started while they are very young compared to deer or elk.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  9. How fortunate you are to stumble upon such wonderful treasures…when I stumble, I usually end up getting hurt =o)


    Comment by Sandy — August 15, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    • Encountering Bighorns is a function of how often you are in their areas. I tend to like many of the same places that they do.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  10. Interesting, let us hope these new lambs are born with some resistance. Nature tries to fight such events in its own way.

    I hope to find some Bighorns myself next month when I return to North Dakota for a few days.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — August 16, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    • I hope you find some too! Hope you have a good, safe trip!


      Comment by montucky — August 16, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  11. Oh gee, I haven’t seen baby Bighorns before. Aren’t they the cutest! What a neat find!


    Comment by Anna — August 17, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    • I wish I had been able to see them a month ago. They are pretty good sized already.


      Comment by montucky — August 17, 2010 @ 8:00 am

  12. Babies are always cute.


    Comment by Preston — August 17, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  13. These are gorgeous and so different from their domestic counterparts. Shame about the pneumonia and mortality rate, though.


    Comment by Val Erde — August 22, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    • I think they are amazing animals. They are very special to me although I see them frequently.


      Comment by montucky — August 22, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

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