Montana Outdoors

April 14, 2011

Rocky Mountain Bighorn

Filed under: Bighorn sheep — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:50 pm

Rocky Mountain Bighorn SheepOvis canadensis

He’s still a little thin from winter and his winter coat looks rather scruffy and will soon be replaced, but he’s doing just fine!


  1. I don’t think I have seen a better shot on a magazine cover…this is really a great shot !!!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 14, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    • I was pretty happy to see that guy stop just there before continuing on up the slope! Had I been able to I would have had him do just that!


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  2. Wow and wow again! Amazing.

    Well framed photos. It looks like it waited just for You to take a photo from it and later to show to the world.

    I love this photo. Thank You.


    Comment by sartenada — April 14, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    • That’s a Bighorn as I love to see them and as I always think of them.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

  3. Do the horns indicate the age?


    Comment by mitambien — April 14, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    • Not directly as the rings of a tree indicate its age. The relative size of a ram’s horns does indicate age up to about 8 years when they will usually be at or near to a full curl. The one in the photo is a younger ram: there was a full curl ram in the same group, but he wouldn’t pose as nicely.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

  4. Amazing! Are there certain roadless areas or trails where they can typically be found over there? We have a nice population on Hall Mountain near Sullivan Lake.


    Comment by Aaron — April 14, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    • In this area there is a stretch of about 40 miles that contains large numbers of them. In winter and early spring many can be seen from Montana Highway 200 and are often right on the highway. During other times of year they will be well up into the higher areas. I’m fortunate to have quite a few within just a few miles of my house in an area that I can enter on foot. Sometimes they will let me approach to within twenty yards or so; other times they are more nervous and won’t let me come that close. I also see them frequently in several of the roadless areas not too far from home. I have very much respect for them and a deep fondness for them as well I personally believe that they sense that.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

  5. Great shot it looks like your getting leaves on some of the undergrowth over there. Your a couple of weeks ahead of us.


    Comment by Jim — April 15, 2011 @ 3:40 am

    • It’s a late start here too. The leaves are just starting. I think if we get a few sunny days with temps that are even up to normal, the country will just explode. I did see the first trilliums in bloom yesterday though.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:24 am

  6. I love the majestic look of these animals. It is so nice to see them in the natural habitat too. Great job!


    Comment by marysquilt — April 15, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    • “Majestic” is a good word for them. This guy was in a group of five rams. For the time being they have separated themselves from the rest.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  7. Unbelievable photograph! What power telephoto lens did you use to capture this? And no distortion that I can see.

    I really like the imperfections of the spring coat; so to be shed and replaced with summer wear!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 15, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    • The lens is a Nikkor VR 70-300mm at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec., ISO 360. He was pretty close. It has been cool enough so far, his winter coat probably still feels good at night, especially when he’s a few thousand feet higher up the slope.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:36 am

  8. What a shot! He is beautiful, ragtag and all!


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — April 15, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    • I was very fortunate to be there when he gave me such a great opportunity for a photo!


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  9. First words out of my mouth were “WOW, beautiful shot. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.


    Comment by anniespickns — April 15, 2011 @ 6:49 am

    • I was lucky to get six shots of that group of rams: I liked this one best.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:51 am

  10. Oh. Wow. Such a magnificent animal! What a great portrait.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — April 15, 2011 @ 6:50 am

    • I have a deep love for the Bighorns, especially the rams. It’s a privilege to be around them.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  11. Hi Montucky, Superb photograph! He is magnificent and proud. Have a fantastic day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 15, 2011 @ 7:26 am

    • He sure is, wildlifewatcher. It’s a wonderful thing to see them in their natural environment, and this is typical of that.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  12. Did my previous comment on your chickadee say your photo is spectacular? Well let me rephrase for this one. This photograph is SPECTACULAR!!!!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 15, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    • Thanks Jewel! Both photos are a result of just being outdoors a lot. Every once in awhile you get an opportunity for a good photo.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  13. We’ve been seeing 4 rams at the base of the cliffs along I-90 just west of Rock Creek Lodge(Exit #126. Always a thrill to see them. Your photo is lovely.


    Comment by Kim — April 15, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    • I’m happy to hear about them being there. Isn’t that the same area where so many were lost to pneumonia during the last year?


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  14. Amazing shot, Terry! Wow!


    Comment by Barbara — April 15, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  15. Wow, bet that shot made your day! That is a great shot for sure.

    You know me and the bushes, what is that grayish plant right in front of him?


    Comment by sandy — April 15, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    • It really did make my day! the shrub is Rabbit-brush Chrysothamnus nauseosus. Soon it will be covered with small yellow blossoms. It is sometimes used as browse by the sheep.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  16. Terry – he’s gorgeous! What a fabulous capture!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — April 15, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    • This was a case of being in the right place at the right time.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  17. Great photo of a bighorn. Is he as close as he looks? If so, were you offering granola bars to lure him into range?


    Comment by knightofswords — April 15, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    • He was about 25 yards away. I’m sure he would have appreciated a granola bar or two!


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

  18. WOW! What a wonderful capture. Just WOW!


    Comment by Marcie — April 16, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    • I was lucky to be there at just the right time, Marcie!


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  19. Isn’t he a beauty & that mountain is something else… WoW! If only I could wake to views like that everyday! LoL!

    Now I’m off on photo shoot of lots & lots of flowers! There’s an annual azalea festival about 2 hrs from here in Charleston, Mo… never been before, but I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful!!! =)


    Comment by Tricia — April 16, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    • I hope you have good weather for that festival, Tricia. I will never forget an azalea festival I was able to attend in North Carolina many years ago. I love those flowers!


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  20. Wow, 25 yards away, that’s pretty close but your lens sure helped. I think I need to put that on my wish list. Another awesome photo!


    Comment by Candace — April 16, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

    • Yes, the lens helps get all of the detail in a photo at that range. I sometimes wish for a more powerful one, but even if I could afford it I wouldn’t want to carry it around.


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  21. Oh wow, that is an impressive shot and what a magnificent looking Bighorn! This amazing shot certainly could grace Outdoor magazine. 🙂 I love that textured brush nearby.


    Comment by Anna — April 17, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    • It was really nice to be able to photograph him in his natural habitat!


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  22. Nice to see, Terry. Looks like his genes will survive.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — April 18, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    • If he grows like another ram that seemed to be the leader of the group, he will do very well!


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2011 @ 10:10 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: