Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep aren’t just one of the best winter creatures to photograph they are also one of my favorite. While they are technically still sheep their behavior is so fascinating that they draw attention. Everything from how they butt heads, climb steep cliffs and drink only once a day makes them interesting. In winter time they are one of my favorite subjects to work with because they are often down on the roads.
Bighorn sheep love salt. Salt is a mineral and for sheep minerals are essential for their diet. Bighorn sheep have a rather unique digestive system that actual doubles as a survival mechanism. Sheep have four stomachs, they eat and then climb back up the cliffs to re chew and digest what they have eaten. It’s a way to quickly gather food and then go back to where it’s safe from predators. The downside with the salt is if there are any other chemicals mixed in with the salt covering the road, then the salt can do harm to the sheep. These chemicals can be disastrous for the sheep so many precautions have been made to the deicing process in order to avoid these conflicts. I’ve photographed Bighorn Sheep with everything from a 70-300 VR to a 600 f/4 and TC-17E II Teleconverter. My best advise to go prepared because you don’t know how close or far away they will be.