Utah Field Guide – Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, is native to rugged mountainous areas of
western North America. Unfortunately, the species has been eliminated from
much of its former range due to over-hunting, habitat alterations, and
diseases introduced by domestic livestock. In Utah, a great deal of effort has
gone into re-establishing Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and the species can
now be found in a number of mountain ranges.

Solid and stocky, with a large set of curled horns, the rams put on quite a
show during the rut. Males engage in violent battles, smashing heads with
other rams all in a show of dominance and the right to mate.
Fortunately, Bighorn sheep have a double-layered skull, honeycombed with
bone struts to protect their brains and thick tendons linking the skull and
spine to help
recoil from the impact.

November and December are great months to view these amazing animals and
coming up, the DWR is holding a free bighorn viewing event December 3rd
along the Green River corridor where we found this herd grazing in the
evening sun. For more information, log onto the DWR’s website at

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