Come See Bighorn Sheep in Sunnyside

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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Press Release

Those who live in Sunnyside share their town with some unique neighbors: a herd of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

A free wildlife viewing event on June 14 is your best chance to see the sheep. From 6 p.m. to dusk, biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will answer questions and suggest places in town to see the sheep.

“Bighorns are most visible in the evening,” stated DWR Regional Conservation Outreach Manager Brent Stettler. “So that’s when we’re holding the event. When the day cools down, they start feeding and drinking water.”

Because of a persistent drought in the area, Stettler said spotting the herd will be more difficult this year. “About 25 rams have been seen in the Sunnyside area since last winter,” he said.

One of the rams is wearing a radio transmitter, which will help biologists locate the herd.

“Bighorn sheep are social, so it’s likely that the ram wearing the transmitter will be near other sheep,” Stettler explained. “If he’s visible from the road, chances are good that the others will be too.”

Stettler said several biologists and wildlife watchers, all of whom have experience locating the herd, will be at the event.

“Your chance of seeing sheep at the event is far better than it will be on your own,” he advised. “Unfortunately, there’s still a possibility that the sheep won’t be visible.”

The event is free and Stettler encourages the public to enjoy this unique opportunity. “Don’t worry about hiking,” Stettler said. “You can usually see the sheep from the road.”

If you have a dog, Stettler asks you to leave it at home. “Even the barking of a dog sitting on your lap can push the herd away from a viewing site,” he explained. “Loud voices can have the same effect.”

Sunnyside is less than 20 miles east of Price. Once you’re in town, signs will guide you to the viewing area.

For more information, contact Stettler at (435) 613-3707 or brentstettler@utah.gov.

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