Actually, this Bighorn is “phlemming” …..ie, he’s smelling the air with his nostrils and tongue searching for a female in estrus.
Much like all members of the deer family, (elk, moose, whitetail, muleys) sheep do the same thing during their yearly mating ritual.Beginning in early October, there will be a small herd of about 200 sheep assembled here (just outside of Jackson) for the winter months.
Here sheep will mate in December. At that time, rams become aggressive towards each other and often violently charge their rivals to establish breeding rights. Their head-to-head collisions can be heard clearly.
A few months afterward, the ewes will give birth to the next generation and then all will migrate a few miles north of Jackson to higher elevations and remain there for the summer.
Some of the “kids”, as newborn sheep and goats are referred to, will be born here. Other kids are born on the way to Sheep Mountain and will not be seen here until the following fall. The kids are fun to watch and are amazingly nimble when traversing rocky cliffs…even at such a young age!