These boys really pack a wallop.
If you've ever taken a stroll up Waterton Canyon in Colorado, you've likely seen the herds of wild bighorn sheep that call it home. Sometimes they are high up on the cliff faces, grazing like it's no big deal to be hanging out on the side of a rock wall (and to them, it really isn't anything out of the ordinary). Other times, they make their way down to the road, giving hikers an up-close view.
They are, no doubt, a sight to behold, and I highly suggest you bring a camera or binoculars with you the next time you head up the canyon to be prepared to see them in all their glory.
One Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) official, Jerry Neal, did just that, and was able to catch some amazing footage of two rams sparring. It's rutting season for bighorns, so these big boys were flexing their muscles and battling it out over the ladies. And, it reminds you why you want to give these animals a wide berth if you see them in the wild—no one wants to be on the receiving end of that hard head and those horns!
Check out the video below!
Every fall, bighorn rams fight and butt heads during their mating season called the "rut." CPW has spent decades rebuilding bighorn populations through trapping and relocation efforts. Today, Colorado is home to more than 7,000 bighorn sheep -- the largest population in the West. pic.twitter.com/wLhVZAa8rI— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (@COParksWildlife) November 19, 2020
Bighorn sheep were native to Colorado, but hunting and disease dwindled the numbers down to virtually nothing by the early 1900s. CPW began transplanting bighorns into the state in the 1940s, starting with the Georgetown Herd, which you can still see today.
Today, there is an estimated population of around 7,000 bighorns across the state, including the Waterton Canyon herd, a herd in Gore Canyon, the herd between Georgetown and Silver Plume, and more.
What do you think about this bighorn battle? Leave a comment below.