DWR 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 13 is your best chance to see the sheep. From 6:30 p.m. to dusk, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources will answer questions and suggest places in town to get a good look.
“Bighorns are most visible in the evening,” said Brent Stettler, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR. “When the temperature cools down, the sheep start feeding and drinking water. That’s why we’re holding the event later in the day.”
Stettler explained that more than a dozen rams have been seen in the Sunnyside area since last winter. Two of the rams are wearing radio transmitters. The transmitters help biologists locate the herd.
“Bighorn sheep are social,” he explained. “So, it’s likely that the rams that are wearing the transmitters will be near other sheep. If we can see one or both of the rams, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to see some of the other rams too.”
Sunnyside has received a lot of rain this spring, which has provided the sheep with plenty of plants to eat. “The sheep could be widely distributed and a little more difficult to find this year,” Stettler stated.
Several biologists and wildlife watchers, all of whom have experience finding 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 said.
The event is free, and Stettler encourages you to take advantage of this unique opportunity. “You don’t need to worry about hiking,” Stettler explained. “You can usually see the sheep from the road.”
If you have a dog, Stettler asks you to please leave it at home. “Even if your dog sits on your lap, if it barks, it could push the herd away from the viewing area,” he said. “Loud voices can have the same effect.”
Sunnyside is less than 20 miles east of Price. To reach the town, travel southeast on U.S. Highway 6 to its junction with state Route 123, which is the East Carbon-Sunnyside junction. Turn east on Route 123 and follow it into Sunnyside. Once you’re in town, signs will guide you to the viewing area.
For more information, contact Stettler at (435) 613-3707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.