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!

December 8, 2007


Several years ago I had the rare privilege of witnessing a battle for supremacy within a group of Rock Mountain Bighorn rams, and I’ll never forget it. One huge ram took on all challengers, calmly, one at a time, until he was the undisputed king of that mountain. The sound of their massive horns colliding echoed back from the cliffs clear across the Clark Fork River valley. It was a magnificent display of power and confidence, and ever since that day I have felt good just knowing that animals like that are still out there in the wild country as their ancestors have been for thousands of years.

Today I was able to approach a big ram and get close enough for this photo. I know of no other animal that would have enough confidence to remain lying down even when I got to within 15 yards of him. His attitude was that he would be able to handle whatever challenge was coming his way, and if I were to become a threat, he would simply stand up and butt me off the mountain. Short of that, there would be no cause for excitement on his part. How I admire that!

Rocky Mountain Bighorn

This is a completely wild Bighorn living in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana. He’s not in a park or a wildlife area, or any kind of an enclosure. He’s as wild and free as he can be and a picture of complete confidence. He’s simply awesome!

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