Thanksgiving in Estes – Big horn Sheep

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During Thanksgiving many people think of Turkey, but Thanksgiving in Estes Park is thee best time of the year to observe Big Horn Sheep. That week is close to thee peak of the Big Horn Sheep rut, and on special occasions we are lucky enough to see Ewes and Rams in their Rut behavior but sometimes we Rams fight!

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Big Rams

Its rather rare to find the big rams in Rocky Mountain National Park at a close distance to photograph. Yesterday however the big guys were along the hillside and were really putting on a show for guests. My clients Nancy and Frank got some great shots both with their camera and mine. Below is an image of one of the larger rams up on the rocks from my Nikon 200-400 lens. For more information on Big Horn Sheep or to book a tour visit www.YWGuiding.com

Big Horn Sheep, Ram, Photo Workshop, Wildlife Photography, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado

Photography with the McGills with special guests, Big Horn Sheep

Yesterday I took out the McGill’s for a photo safari. We shot sunrise then heading out looking for animals. The elk soon showed up and we got some good shots with them. Then we did some landscapes and snow abstracts and headed to find Big Horn Sheep. We found 3 ewes up on the hill so I broke out the 500mm added the teleconverter and John went to town shooting. After lunch at Deleo’s Deli we found the resident elk at McGregor Mtn Lodge already growing their new set of antlers. Up the road we found 25 more big horns and I got the picture below. We wrapped up the day spotting 3 coyotes too far to out to shot and shot the water at the alluvial fan. Good day even though it was sunny.

Big Horn Sheep, Ram, Wildlife Photography, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado

Big Horns in the Snow

Today was not just cold, it was frigid at best, -2 F. It was so cold that each breathe was freezing to the camera back. My nose almost froze to the camera a few times. After the snow the Big Horns often head down to the roadways to lick up the salt, and this time of year is the end of their rut so there was a nice mix of males and females out and about. Unfortunately I found them late while they were heading back uphill for the evening rest.

Big Horn Ram in the snow, Estes Park, Wildlife Photography, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Sheep!

Today at the end of a great tour starting with a hike up to Dream Lake in the snow finished off with a great sheep sighting. There were 27 sheep, with at least 8 males hanging around the females as they prepare for the pre-rut. There was lots of low-stretching, a behavior showing dominance,a bit of mounting, also about dominance. The sheep were visiting the highway for the salt laid down for last week’s snow storm. It was a great treat for the day.

Big Horn Sheep Ram chasing a female down Route 34, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO