DWR Press Release
Free wildlife viewing event on Nov. 12
Price — You can see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep up close at the annual Bighorn Sheep Watch near Green River. The Division of Wildlife Resources will host the public event on Saturday, Nov. 12, along an 8-mile stretch of the Green River in southeastern Utah.
The event is free.
“November is the time of year, known as the rut, when bighorn sheep breed,” says Morgan Jacobsen, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR. “During the rut, bighorn sheep are less wary of people, so it’s a great time to observe the bighorns and photograph them.”
Since the sheep are focused on courtship and breeding, Jacobsen says it’s easier to get relatively close to the sheep without spooking them.
In past years, participants have gotten within 50 yards of bighorns. Occasionally, they’ve seen rams butt heads. Most of the time, though, they’ve watched large rams kick and harass smaller males. “Watching the rutting behavior of Utah’s bighorn sheep is a singular experience,” Jacobsen says.
Preregistration is required to participate, and slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The trip is limited to 15 vehicles.
Participants should bring a camera and binoculars or a spotting scope. If you don’t have your own binoculars or a spotting scope, Jacobsen has extras you can use. “Wear warm clothes,” he says, “and bring water, snacks or a lunch.”
Because bighorn sheep and the weather are unpredictable, Jacobsen says there’s no guarantee you’ll see sheep. “Regardless of the outcome,” he says, “the beauty of the Green River will make the trip worthwhile.”