Big horn sheep capture in Cody area helps balance populations

WYOMING – Good news has been hard to come by where big horn sheep are concerned, but a success story may be brewing in the Cody area.

Bighorn sheep populations in the Devil’s Canyon Herd Unit continue to grow and the herd is now over-objective, according to Game and Fish officials. Currently, an estimated 250-300 bighorn sheep are believed to comprise the herd where population objective is 175. The Ferris-Seminoe Herd Unit, however, has an estimated 150-170 bighorn sheep with a population objective of 300.

In the interest of balance, multiple partners, volunteers, and area landowners, along with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department relocated 20 bighorn sheep from the Devil’s Canyon herd near Lovell to the Ferris-Seminoe herd north of Rawlins.

The bighorn sheep were captured using a helicopter net-gunning operation. They were then outfitted with satellite telemetry collars, transported by truck and trailer, then released in Miner’s Canyon on the east end of the Ferris Mountains to augment an existing population of bighorn sheep.

This is the fifth capture and transplant of bighorn sheep from the Devils Canyon Herd Unit to the Ferris-Seminoe Herd Unit; 12 sheep were transplanted in 2010, 25 in 2015, 24 in 2016, and 22 in early 2017.

Game and Fish wished to extend its thanks to Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation for funding the project and all of the partners, volunteers, and area landowners who assisted in this effort.

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