For Colorado wildlife watchers, there are certain “must see” wildlife that should be on your bucket list – greater sage-grouse viewing in spring, wildflowers in early summer, sandhill cranes in early fall, and bighorn sheep in late fall and early winter. So, that makes this the prime time of the year for viewing bighorns. Read more
A bighorn ram. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
Hunters may have additional opportunities to hunt bighorn sheep in northwest Colorado thanks to an ongoing reintroduction effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society.
In January, CPW wildlife managers trapped 13 bighorn sheep from Basalt and successfully relocated them to their new home in Gore Canyon near Kremmling. The 5 lambs, 1 ram and 7 ewes were captured using a dropnet and were safely released in Gore Canyon later the same day. The sheep were ear-tagged and fitted with either telemetry collars or ear transmitters to monitor seasonal movement and habitat use.
The relocation effort is part of a broader management plan, which was established back in 2004, to reintroduce bighorns to Gore Canyon. Although Gore Canyon’s steep and rugged walls provide ideal bighorn habitat, sheep had been extirpated from the area since the late 1960s, presumably as a result of domestic livestock interaction, market hunting, poaching and habitat loss. CPW’s reintroduction plan estimates that the area could support a minimum of 150 sheep. Read more