Bighorn Sheep Viewing Event Scheduled in Green River

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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Press Release

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep up close. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will host the annual Bighorn Sheep Watch on Dec. 7 along the Green River in southeastern Utah.

“Bighorns are in the rut this time of year,” explained DWR regional conservation outreach manager Brent Stettler. “So they are less wary of people.”

Since the sheep are focused on courtship and breeding, Stettler says they will allow vehicles get closer than they normally would.

In past years, participants have gotten within 50 yards of bighorns. Occasionally, the group sees rams butt heads. Most of the time, however, members of the group watch large rams kick and harass smaller males. The ewes and lambs seem relatively uninterested in the harassment.

“The opportunity to see the courtship behavior of these animals is worth the trip,” Stettler stated.

The Dec. 7 watch will take place along an eight mile stretch of road alongside the Green River.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. at the John Wesley Powell Museum parking lot, 1765 E. Main St. in Green River. From here, the group will caravan to the river road. The road is asphalt, gravel and packed dirt. It’s suitable for passenger cars, except after a rain or snow storm.

The event is free, and pre-registration is not required. Those who attend should bring binoculars, a spotting scope and camera. “Wear warm clothing,” Stettler advised. “Bring water and snacks, or a lunch.”

Stettler will have extra spotting scopes and binoculars to lend out to those who do not have their own. DWR personnel will also drive participants who do not want to drive their own vehicles.

Because bighorn sheep are wild and unpredictable, Stettler can not guarantee sheep will be seen. ”Regardless of the outcome, the beauty of the Green River will make the trip worthwhile,” he stated.

For more information, contact Stettler at 613-3707, or email him at brentstettler@utah.gov.

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