Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

I went out into Cliff Creek yesterday and immersed myself in a herd of wild bighorn sheep.

How close did I get to them?

There were about 10 of them visible on the west knob yesterday, so I took my camera and walked over to try and get a few shots.

What I didn't realize was that the entire herd was there in the drainage. About 30 on the flat, 10 up one slope (first bench), and 10 up the other (west knob).

A small band up in the drainage let me get progressively closer and closer.

The sound sheep make is hilarious. It's like a bored or sarcastic person just saying "muuuuh." Anyone can imitate it.

The key is to not look like you're actively stalking them, because they're very wary of that. I pretended I was looking for my wallet.

This is a mature ram checking to see if a ewe is in estrus. If he can't tell, he'll butt her until she pees, and then he'll sniff that to check for hormones. I want to use this for my Valentine's Day card.

The ewes mostly just want to be left alone.

The rams will then curl their upper lip back to expose their Jacobsen's organ, to process the smell better. It's weird-looking.

Verdict: SO COOL.

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