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Hey Utah, Here's Your Chance to See Bighorn Sheep

PHOTO: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Green River area are likely to have an audience this weekend as the animals become less concerned with humans and more interested in reproducing. Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
PHOTO: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Green River area are likely to have an audience this weekend as the animals become less concerned with humans and more interested in reproducing. Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
December 4, 2014

GREEN RIVER, Utah - People in Utah interested in getting a closer look at the elusive Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep may have no better opportunity than Saturday in Green River. Mark Hadley, public information officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says people from across the state will travel to Green River to watch the animals during the height of rutting season.

"They've been able to come away with just having had a great viewing experience, where they've been able to see a good number of sheep," says Hadley. "Watch their behavior this time of the year because there's a lot of fighting between the males, and they're able to get fairly close to the sheep, closer than they would other times of the year."

Hadley says the bighorn are less concerned with humans and more concerned with procreating, allowing people to get within 50 yards of them.

He says Rocky Mountain and Desert bighorn populations, once in severe decline because of overhunting and disease, have rebounded.

"They're not doing as well as when the settlers first came, but they're still doing really well," says Hadley. "We've got some good, healthy sheep populations in the state of Utah."

Hadley says the sheep watching will take place on an eight-mile stretch of road along the Green River. Participants will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at the parking lot at the John Wesley Powell Museum, on Main Street in Green River.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT