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Bighorn Sheep ram pauses for his portrait

A fun day this past weekend with this big guy as he chased the ladies all over the canyon. I had hoped for a show of head butting with the rams as the rut is getting close but, for some odd reason, this guy was the only one that wanted to come down and play. He was probably quite happy about that as he then had all the ewes to himself. 😉

As he kept watch on the ladies, he paused and looked at me as if to say, “here’s your shot.” I of course took advantage of it and the fall foliage in the background really help to make for a nice image. Taken in Waterton Canyon near Denver, Colorado.

Found across much of western North America, Bighorn Sheep are adept mountain climbers, best known for the male ram’s monstrous horns. While the animals are social, rams and ewes typically only meet during mating season. The young are kept on high ledges to help protect them from predators.

The Bighorn Sheep is the Centennial State’s official animal and to me that is quite fitting. Just like the terrain and many of its people, these animals are very rugged, strong and tough. The animal is found in many places in the state’s high country.

Diseases from European livestock and overhunting had caused the animal’s population to drop precipitously by the early 1900s. Thankfully conservation efforts have been successful in helping the sheep rebound since then.

A Bighorn Sheep ram poses in front of fall foliage in the Colorado foothills. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bighorn Sheep ram poses in front of fall foliage in the Colorado foothills. (© Tony’s Takes)

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