Tag Archives: Badlands

Mammal Lifer – Big Horn Sheep

14 Sep

Big Horn Sheep #2

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see a Big Horn Sheep in the wild.  When I was a 7th or 8th grader, we lived in the high Sierras.  In nearby Lee Vining Canyon (the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park), Big Horn Sheep were released into the wild to try to re-establish them as wild animals.  Every time we drove through there, I’d pin my nose to the windows, hoping against hope that I’d see one on one of the steep canyon walls.

I never did.

Really, at this point, I’d given up.  I figured they were rare enough and reclusive enough that I wasn’t destined to see one.  Oh well.  Life goes on.

When we were in the Badlands, this summer, I got the thrill of a lifetime.  I was driving as we returned to our campsite after a long day of driving in this amazingly beautiful park.  We came around a corner and I saw out of the corner of my eye, a Big Horn Sheep on a steep canyon wall.

I don’t know how I managed to avoid driving off the road in my excitement.

I stopped, made a u-turn, and we drove back to a vantage point.  We all ended up seeing it although for a few moments, I’m sure my family thought I was nuts.  It was hard to see.

We continued our drive back to the campsite.  I couldn’t stop talking about how excited I was to have seen a Big Horn Sheep.

Imagine my surprise as we came around a corner and I saw another one.  It was lying down, admiring the view in front of it.  (And it was quite a view . . .)

Two in one day.  Way to end a lifelong hunt!