Wyoming Officials Strengthening Bighorn Sheep Herds

Officials say the additional bighorn sheep were needed to help the herd survive

By Associated Press

RAWLINS, Wyo. – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is continuing efforts to strengthen and sustain the state’s bighorn sheep population by using land management programs, relocating 24 bighorns from the Devil’s Canyon herd near Lovell to the Ferris-Seminoe herd north of Rawlins.

Officials said the additional bighorn sheep were needed to help the herd survive.

“We’ve been trying to restore the bighorn sheep to a lot of their native ranges for over a half a century in Wyoming,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Biologist Greg Hiatt. “One of the places we know they were was in the Ferris and Seminoe mountains.”

Hiatt said larger bighorn populations mean officials can worry less about herds that are not doing well from disease or habitat problems.

Supplemental transplants of bighorn sheep were acquired from Oregon in 2009 and 2010, and from the Devil’s Canyon herd near Lovell in 2010 and 2015, and the animals were released in the Seminoe portion of the herd unit, the Rawlins Daily Times reported.

Hiatt said those sheep typically lamb in late April and early May, when there is still adequate high-protein forage, while some of the old herd was lambing too late in the spring, missing high-protein vegetation.

Hiatt said the herd is expected to reach 140 animals by fall.

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