Bighorn Sheep Rut – Post #3

This post is the third of four that includes the behaviors and actions that I captured in the Bighorn Sheep rut in Waterton Canyon, Colorado, recently. If you missed the first two posts, here are the links:

In this third post, the action really heats up as the larger rams really get involved and exhibit some of their rut behaviors. The following images were captured on my first hike back into Waterton Canyon.

In this first image, a large ram and a single ewe (the same ewe featured in previous rut posts) are shown along the slope of Waterton Canyon:

Bighorn Sheep Ram and Ewe

Just moments later, the ram tries to mate with the ewe, but the ewe quickly rejects him:

Bighorn Sheep ram attempts to mate with a ewe

At this point, the rest of the rams become involved, with a couple of them sizing each other up :

Bighorn Sheep rams "square off"

Bighorn Sheep rams "square off"

The two rams back off a short distance, but continue to size each other:

Bighorn Sheep rams "square off"

They then move in close and proceed to head butt:

Bighorn Sheep rams butting heads

Being some distance away, and having lots of boulders and foliage between me and the sheep, it was very difficult to get clean, closeup shots of the action. In this next image, I’ve cropped the above image to give a better view of the action:

Bighorn Sheep rams butting heads

Bighorn Sheep rams butting heads

Bighorn Sheep rams butting heads

Bighorn Sheep rams butting heads

Following this action, the ewe decides to make another run from the rams. And the rams exhibited more interesting behavior. I’ll feature this action in my next bighorn rut post.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC (shot at 300mm to 560mm)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/7.1
  • Shutter 1/800 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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