Rio Grande del Norte National Monument:
Above Taos Junction Bridge, and not far beyond the Vista Verde trail parking area, I encountered a bachelor group of young bighorn rams. They were directly above the road on steep terrain, and moving along slowly.
What I had failed to notice before, and now see in these photos, is the black area between their front legs (and which extends a few inches to the rear). Curious.
This herd of sheep tends to hang around the area of the road, and is, therefore, easily located. This, no doubt, explains why they seem to be attracting increasing interest. I was not alone while watching the sheep, and one individual (who must have been a hunter) told me that the state Dep’t. of Game and Fish would, this year, allow the killing of one sheep from the population inhabiting the gorge – and charge a king’s ransom for the privilege. $250,000 was the figure I believe he cited. I’m thankful that it’s only one, because, as can be seen, the sheep are now very trusting of humans, which gives us the opportunity for viewing them at close range. Hunting pressure would, of course, change that very quickly.