Bighorn sheep viewing event set for Dec. 7 near Green River
Dec 05, 2013 | 1754 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A bighorn sheep roams a canyon near Green River in 2011. The DWR’s annual bighorn viewing event is scheduled for Dec. 7. 
Photo by Brent Stettler
A bighorn sheep roams a canyon near Green River in 2011. The DWR’s annual bighorn viewing event is scheduled for Dec. 7. Photo by Brent Stettler
You can see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep up close at the annual Bighorn Sheep Watch. The Division of Wildlife Resources will host the free event on Dec. 7 along the Green River in southeastern Utah.

“Bighorns are in the rut this time of year, so they’re less wary of people,” Brent Stettler, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, said in a news release this week.

It’s easier to observe the sheep and they will often allow vehicles to get closer than usual during rut season because the animals are focused on courtship and breeding, Stettler said.

In past years, participants have been able to see the sheep from as close as 50 yards, DWR officials said. Occasionally, participants have had the opportunity to see bighorn rams butt heads, but most of the time members of the group watch large rams kick and harass smaller males, Stettler said.

“The ewes and lambs seem relatively uninterested in the harassment,” he said.

Stettler said the chance to view the annual mating ritual is an experience not to be missed.

“The opportunity to see the courtship behavior of these animals is worth the trip,” he said.

The Dec. 7 watch will take place along an eight-mile stretch of road alongside the Green River, about 40 miles northwest of Moab.

Those wishing to participate should meet at 8 a.m. at the John Wesley Powell Museum parking lot, 1765 E. Main St. in Green River. From the parking lot, the group will caravan to the river road. The road is asphalt, gravel and packed dirt and is suitable for passenger cars, except after a rain or snow storm, DWR officials said.

The event is offered free of charge and no registration is required. Participants are asked to bring binoculars, a spotting scope and a camera, if they have them. Stettler will have extra spotting scopes and binoculars to lend for those who don’t have their own.

Participants who prefer not to drive to the site can arrange a ride with DWR personnel, according to the news release.

Dressing for cold weather is advised, Stettler said.

“Wear warm clothing,” Stettler said. “And bring water and snacks, or a lunch.”

Because bighorn sheep are wild and unpredictable, Stettlersaid he cannot guarantee participants will see sheep.

”Regardless of the outcome, the beauty of the Green River will make the trip worthwhile,” he said.

For more information, call Stettler at 435-613-3707, or email him at

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.