Montana Outdoors

February 9, 2011

Winter Big Horns

Filed under: Animals, Bighorn sheep, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 8:32 pm

It was a cold, snowy day today but with their heavy winter coats the Big Horns didn’t mind.

Big Horn ram


  1. I do believe this might be your best yet! Just perfect!!


    Comment by kcjewel — February 9, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    • He’s a pretty nice specimen, isn’t he. Not a real old ram. They are having a great winter this year I’m happy to say!


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  2. Spectacular!


    Comment by Jeff Lynch — February 9, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  3. that is some zoom lense you got there =o)


    Comment by Sandy — February 9, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    • Actually I do like that lens a lot, but there’s no way to beat getting close either. This was at 220mm from about 50 feet.


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  4. Very nice! I can tell by his eye he knows your there and he’s watching for any sign that you might come closer then they will be gone in a second.


    Comment by anniespickns — February 9, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    • He was actually pretty relaxed. Somehow I get along very well with Big Horns: we seem to trust each other. I’ve seen some that were extremely wild and would spook at 400 years. Others let me get very close and I always avoid getting into their individual private zones.


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  5. 50 feet, that’s pretty close but the zoom helped. I love it, so handsome.


    Comment by Candace — February 9, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    • I always prefer to have the zoom when I try to get a shot at wildlife, but there have been several times when I had to back off to get the subject in the frame.


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  6. Beautiful animals. I’ve always wanted to see big horned sheep in the wild.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — February 9, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    • they are awesome, Bo. You would love to watch them. This time of year we see many right on or near the roads. I prefer to encounter them in their summer habitat though.


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  7. Fantastic shot! They are so beautiful. I cannot even imagine running into them anywhere!


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — February 10, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    • There are good numbers of them here, Roberta, and from November to April they can often be seen near the highways. Lots of folks get to see them and they can usually get some photos. In summer they move to higher, remote locations where they are a challenge to see and difficult to approach, although sometimes I have been surprised at how close they let me come.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  8. Hi Montucky, I so admire your photographs. Tremendous picture of those Big Horn Sheep! These sheep are beautiful! Have an outstanding day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 10, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher. They really are interesting animals. The really big old rams have a presence about them that I don’t sense in any other animal.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  9. Lovely! And so nice to see a closeup like this.


    Comment by Val Erde — February 10, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    • I’m always glad to see them. They are susceptible to disease that they can contact from domestic sheep, and large numbers have died from it this year in Montana. In this particular area however, they are doing quite well.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  10. I agree with the others, this is one of your best wildlife shots. The whole tone of the photo is so nice.

    Could that be green grass sticking up through the snow?


    Comment by sandy — February 10, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    • Thanks Sandy. Yes, there is green grass under that snow! It’s amazing: when the temps get above freezing, the grass greens up in just a couple of days.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  11. Gorgeous capture! Wonderful wildlife shot. I am impressed. Wonderful horns.


    Comment by Anna — February 10, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  12. Magnificent!


    Comment by kateri — February 10, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

    • He is! He’s not very old and in prime condition. Hopefully he will be around for many more years.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

  13. oh wow! how amazing!


    Comment by silken — February 10, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

    • I think they are too. I get to see them just about every week and I always get excited.


      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

      • I can’t imagine. you have quite a collection of wildlife photos. I sure wish I could have gotten a photo of that mink when we were up there. I have not been able to find any pictures of mink that look like the one we saw. do you have any?


        Comment by silken — February 11, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

  14. It looks like he has a scar on his left shoulder I wonder what happened. Great photo!


    Comment by Jim — February 11, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    • Hopefully nothing serious. He didn’t show any problem at all.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

  15. What an incredible shot! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.


    Comment by farmhouse stories — February 11, 2011 @ 6:01 am

    • I wish you could see them: I know you’d fall in love. they are larger than you might think too. This guy was probably over 200lbs and they can get up to 400.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  16. A strong lad who might challenge an older ram in the future. They look very good for late winter which is great to see.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — February 11, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    • Yes, he’ll be in the thick of it next fall. I see by his horns that he saw action already this year.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  17. oh my Terry – those animals are stunningly gorgeous! Great capture! thanks for all the well wishes!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — February 11, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    • Hi Stacey! It’s great to see you out and about again! You made my day!


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  18. What a photo!!! I cannot praise it more than others already have done.

    I have seen big horns in real life and it is incredible beautiful.


    Comment by sartenada — February 12, 2011 @ 2:40 am

    • On a hike today we saw several small bands of Big Horns that were very high on the mountainsides. They included several rams who were much larger than this one. Much too far for a photo though.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

  19. A wonderful image… some day I hope to see these beautiful animals up close… the best I’ve ever done is see them as specks on a distant peak.


    Comment by Victoria — February 18, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    • They have become one of my favorite animals. I see them on nearly every trip outdoors. Last weekend we saw some small groups, and one was on such a steep slope I was impressed.


      Comment by montucky — February 18, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

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