Big Bighorn Day, Feb. 27, 2017

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.

Bighorn rams

Two of three bighorn rams

Bighorn ram

Bighorn ram

Bighorn ram

Bighorn ram

Bighorn ram

Bighorn ram

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.

About Evensteven

I am a photographer and author, and live in Embudo, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande. I have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: The Grand: I have also published six additional iBooks: 1. The Salt River: 2. Coyote Buttes: 3. Four Cornered, the Land: 4. Four Cornered, The Rivers: 5. Rio Marañon: 6. Rio Grande:
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