Montana Outdoors

April 1, 2011


Filed under: Animals, Bighorn sheep — Tags: — montucky @ 10:42 pm

Big Horn Sheep

Well, at least I’m not going to go up there after ’em!



  1. I would bet anything that they’re perfectly safe and happy there. Excellent picture.


    Comment by Ratty — April 1, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  2. What an incredibly rugged landscape – and well done for spotting them.

    I wouldn’t be going up there after them either!


    Comment by Reggie — April 2, 2011 @ 3:47 am

    • I am very comfortable on deer and elk trails, but very cautious when following a sheep trail. For them it’s no problem, but for me it’s easier to get up in the first place than back down again.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

      • Quite agree – I also find it easier to go UP than down again.


        Comment by Reggie — April 5, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  3. I would say it is safe to say that there aren’t many things that are going to venture up there to get them! But what are they finding to eat up there? Is it moss?


    Comment by kateri — April 2, 2011 @ 5:30 am

    • I have very little idea why there were there. They will also eat lichens, but that doesn’t look like a very good area for them either. Maybe there was a predator that came by some time before I got there, perhaps a lion, but I didn’t see one.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  4. What? You mean there’s somewhere/something you won’t climb?

    This is a question I’m not sure I want the answer to, but do they ever fall off?


    Comment by Val Erde — April 2, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    • There would have to be a very good reason to want to climb up there!

      Yes, sometimes one will but I think very rarely. In my experience I can recall seeing only one time seeing a carcass at the bottom of an area like that.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  5. Whoa, they really are up there! Wouldn’t you love to be able to scramble around up there like they do? Did you have time to sit and watch them?


    Comment by anniespickns — April 2, 2011 @ 6:55 am

    • I would love to have their ability and confidence! Yes, I watched them for some time: I always do because it’s pretty unbelievable how they will actually leap around up there.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  6. Oh my! What a climb! Love the ruggedness and perspective with the big horn sheep. Whoa!


    Comment by Anna — April 2, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    • That’s one of the many things I like about them. They do live in rugged areas, yet at times they will be right down in the valley bottom.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  7. Hi Montucky, How wonderful and special is that to see these Sheep? I am amazed at how easily these animals can run up sheer walls of rock and find the tiny ledges and wide spots. Yes they are safe up there from most predators. Good picture, by the way! Have a super Saturday!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 2, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    • Yes, their climbing ability is amazing as is their confidence in those nearly sheer places.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  8. What a great photo! It appears that they are up there without a care in the world..I think!


    Comment by mitambien — April 2, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    • They certainly appear that way. They actually leap up some of those rocks.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  9. Wow … they are rather crazy animals, aren’t they? It is amazing how they can live and play in such a place.


    Comment by bearyweather — April 2, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    • I really don’t know why this group was even there, but they had a reason I suppose. I could see only one ram among them and he wasn’t a really big one.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  10. An awesome shot!! Lucky that you got to see them.


    Comment by Barbara — April 2, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  11. WOW! What a shot! How do they do it is what I want to know, without falling?

    Great shot!


    Comment by Roberta — April 2, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    • They are very sure footed and has a superb confidence about them, learned at a very young age I guess.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  12. Aren’t you glad you have a zoom lens? What a wonderful shot you got. Imagine living up there!


    Comment by sandy — April 2, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    • Yes, I’m happy that I do have the zoom, even though it sure adds weight to my pack! One thing is that they always have great views!


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  13. I am as fascinated by the plating in the bedrock as I am by the wild sheep. It looks like you are “up after ’em”!

    Stunning photo.


    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 2, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    • Actually that shot was from about 600 yards. I was in the area scanning some other cliffs to see if a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons had returned yet. The sheep were a bonus.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  14. Wow, I can;t believe they are standing on the side of a rock cliff? Doesn;t it make you want to go and get a super super telephoto so you can see them up close? 🙂 But you have been pretty close to a bighorn, yes? What’s the nearest you’ve been able to get to one?


    Comment by Bo Mackison — April 2, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    • Sometimes I would love to have a stronger telephoto, but it wouldn’t suit my style of walking about,,, too heavy and bulky. Also, I couldn’t afford one! Yes, I’ve been very close on occasion, the closest to an ewe about 10 feet; to a ram about 20 feet. One time I stalked two big rams for about 120 yards on my belly, using just toes and elbows to move with. I got to within about 20 yards for a few good shots and finally just stood up: they just stood and looked at me and one even lay down and looked out over the valley below.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

      • I remember your story about slithering on your belly–yep, that was pretty funny.
        I have to agree with you about those telephotos, I’d hate to lug it around and take care of it, but once in a blue moon I;d love to have one for a few shots–like those sheep on the side of the cliff!


        Comment by Bo Mackison — April 4, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

        • I know… those few shots, and I have seen so many great photos taken with bigger lenses! But I carry about 7 pounds of camera gear now plus all of my other stuff.


          Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  15. wow!!! that is incredible! I can’t imagine even thinking of going up there! it reminds me of the book Hinds Feet on High Places….


    Comment by silken — April 2, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    • I have no fear of heights, but there would have to be a very good reason for me to go up there.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  16. holey cow… i mean sheep. that looks like a treacherous walk!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 2, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    • It must be, but they don’t seem to have any concern about it.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  17. What a picture! Fantastic. The contrast of hard face rock with the sheep. What an adaptation.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — April 3, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    • Yes, they have adapted, and it stands them in good stead. I’m happy to say that they are doing very well now in this part of the country. These are on an Indian Reservation where they have a little extra protection.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  18. What a cool thing to see. I often wonder, though, do you think any of them ever takes a tumble?


    Comment by Candace — April 3, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    • Yes, occasionally one will. I’ve personally only once seen where that happened though.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  19. what a great place to raise the kids.


    Comment by knightofswords — April 3, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    • The kids do quite well there! Maybe youth is what it takes to learn that trade!


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  20. Wonderful to be able to see these guys! Nice image… amazing creatures…


    Comment by Victoria — April 4, 2011 @ 5:19 am

    • It is wonderful to see them! Not all that long ago they had nearly died out in this are and now they are quite plentiful. Once we had some come through our yard and there are many within a few miles so I get to see them often.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  21. I can’t imagine what makes them climb like THAT w/ a drop like THAT… there’s extremists everywhere, I guess! LoL! =)


    Comment by Tricia — April 4, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    • “Extremists” is a good word for them. I often hike in an area that has quite a few of them and I sometimes walk on their trails but not in areas like this. The trails can be incredibly steep, even though I’m pretty used to steep terrain.


      Comment by montucky — April 4, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  22. Those mountain goats are quite incredible! I’m not sure I would have the nerve to go anywhere near the places they do!


    Comment by songofthewolf — April 5, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    • Some of the wild critters have amazing ability to live where they do!


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  23. No sense of adventure to hike up and get a closer photo of them


    Comment by Evangeline Art Photography — April 5, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  24. To them, it’s like walking through a mountain glade. When I first saw Mountain Goat tracks that ended at a wall of rock that went almost straight up for the first time, I thought there was no way that was correct. Later, I witnessed them doing just that. Totally amazing to see.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — April 7, 2011 @ 6:07 am

    • Both the sheep and the goats are incredible climbers, the goats even more so than the sheep. IT seems to work quite well for them, however they do it!


      Comment by montucky — April 7, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  25. I am mute! I could praise Your stunning photo to the heavens, but I am late here, because everybody has done it before me.

    The picture is incredible! Thank You showing it and I present it to my wife as I have presented earlier Your flower photos.


    Comment by sartenada — April 7, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    • They are incredible animals. I still don’t know why they were up there, but they must have had a reason.


      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  26. Amazing spot for a reunion 😉 ! Aren’t they very adventurous ? In our alps you would see ibex climbing to such steep and rocky slopes. Your picture is fantastic. Thank you.


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — April 16, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    • I suspect the Ibex and the Big Horns are somewhat related. It’s always amazing to see where they are comfortable.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:15 am

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