Bighorn Sheep

This is an old webpage carried forward to our new site. Please note that some of the information might be out of date and we probably have newer footage.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep were once found throughout much of western North America, from the higher peaks in the Rocky Mountains to the badlands of the Great Plains to the deserts of the southwest. Due to hunting, habitat destruction, and other factors their range has been greatly reduced. But in recent decades they have made a dramatic comeback in some places and can even be found near some cities and towns.

The majestic bighorn sheep ram, with his graceful full curl, is one of the iconic wildlife species. It takes several years for a ram to get the full curl desired by hunters. The colliding of horns by males during the fall breeding season creates a crashing sound that echoes from canyon wall to canyon wall. The fights typically last for only a few seconds and perhaps no more than one collision, but they can sometimes go on for many minutes between two equally matched males. For the victor is the right to breed with a receptive females. A ram may mate with a female several times in one day.

Filming Bighorn Sheep Stock Footage

Several decades ago filming bighorn sheep might have required an expedition type trip into some rugged and far away place in the American west. Sheep can now be found on the edge of many western towns. Where they are not hunting, such as in national parks, they can become very tolerant of people, providing some excellent photo and video opportunities. Still, a good lens is a must as they may be high up on a canyon wall. During the breeding season its best to keep the camera running as the collision between two rams can occur with little warning. The bighorn sheep breeding season tends to be later in the fall than that of some other ungulates; in many northern regions its as late as mid-December.