rocky mountain bighorn sheep

Posted on December 17th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  10 Comments »


We came upon a herd of Rocky Mountain bighorns the other day, grazing along the side of the road.  A big male with battle-worn horns seemed to be in charge.


There was another male, a younger one, in the herd as well.  The two of them seemed to have an amicable relationship.


We’ve seen bighorn sheep before, but they have always seemed skittish, and we’ve usually only caught glimpses of them bounding away into crevices in the mountains.


This herd was very different–not at all afraid, and they didn’t even seem to care that we stopped to watch.


Some other people stopped after we did, and a few got out of their cars and tried to get closer to get pictures of themselves with the sheep.


That didn’t go over well with the man in charge, and he stared at them with a look that would have made me edge back into my car as fast as my little feet could patter.  My heart would have been pattering, too.  I don’t have hooves or horns, and if we butted heads, I’m pretty sure I know who would win–and it wouldn’t be lil’ ol’ me.


The picture-takers didn’t seem to notice the ram’s icy stare, but thankfully he overlooked their blissful entrancement.  “Just think! ME, on Facebook, with a herd of mountain goats!”


The old ram finally shook his head in disbelief and turned his womenfolk (and son?) up the mountain.


I’ve read a little about Rocky Mountain bighorns, and their horns alone can weigh 30 lbs–more than all the bones in their body combined.  They come down lower in the winter to find food, which is probably why they weren’t eager to leave their bit of grass by the road.


The females’ horns are smaller, and not so curved.  Check out the funny mismatched horns on this little female!


It was awesome to see them so close, and for such a long time.  They were strong and majestic, and not the least bit intimidated.  I still want to see one of those big furry white Rocky Mountain goats…but I’ll probably have to go up a little higher in the mountains for that.

10 Responses to “rocky mountain bighorn sheep”

  1. Robin Follette says on :

    Woooooooow! I would love to see sheep in the wild. What a great find. Thanks for sharing the photos with us!

  2. Your Lion says on :

    Those are some sweetness right there. I had to laugh at the “look at me with mountain goats” haha too funny. I really wanted to see ol’ grampa butt heads with someone.

  3. Mom & Dad says on :

    Hi honeeee….. Too beautiful 🙂 thanks/mom

  4. appleshoe says on :

    These are lovely. In your yard?

  5. mountain girl says on :

    Down the road a bit. All the kids were with us, and it was a fun sight for us all!

  6. Mimi says on :

    Amazing you actually get to see them in the wild so near to you! Beautiful shots.

  7. Colleen says on :

    Mia, WOW these are BEAUTIFUL shots!!!
    I haven’t been by in a while!!! My life got a lot busier recently!!!
    I had my little boy on December 15th, 8lbs 12.9oz!
    so far he is so sweet and chill which is what I was praying for with #4!!!
    my last post has a few pictures of hime in it!!!

    Love all of the beautiful necklaces you are making!!! The one Zia is wearing with Rudolf is especially cute!!!
    I hope your holiday season is FULL of His BLESSINGS!!! <3

  8. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Colleen! Congrats on your new baby boy! Going over to check him out…;)

  9. goat girl says on :

    Magnificent animals! Your photos are better than National Geographic! I noticed one particular photo of a ram doing what biologists call the Flehmen Response, and it looks straight out of Star Wars. Thanks for sharing these amazing close-ups of such a beautiful herd. BTW, have you been up Mt Evans? There are herds of mountain goats there that practically walk up to you, they are so friendly!

  10. mountain girl says on :

    Hi Goat Girl 🙂

    I haven’t been up to Mt. Evans…are they the white furry mountain goats? I might have to go up there…;)

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