FIRST DESERT BIGHORN NURSERY IN UTAH – Utah is well-known for its Rocky Mountain bighorn nursery on Antelope Island.  The island provides a place for the bighorns to grow and mature.  Because of the success on the island, Utah is now looking to expand its nurseries.

Desert Bighorn Nursery

The Utah DWR is partnering with Young Living to create and develop the first nursery for desert bighorns in the state.  The new nursery will be located on the SkyRider Wilderness Ranch, which is roughly 1,800 acres.   Young Living has owned and managed this ranch, and they have developed a perfect habitat for the bighorns.

“We are really excited about this area and the opportunity. There have been some disease issues with our bighorn sheep populations in the past, and this fenced area will provide a place for our herds to safely grow. This nursery herd allows us to have long-term viability of desert bighorn sheep in Utah. Whenever we have a need to supplement or create new populations in the state, we will have our own internal bighorn sheep population and can be self sufficient in maintaining healthy herds. The benefit of this nursery area cannot be overstated.”

Obtaining Bighorns

Utah is excited about this new opportunity.  However, they want to make sure the nursery is successful.  The bighorns they bring in need to be healthy.  For that reason, the DWR is partnering with the Nevada Department of Wildlife to obtain healthy bighorns.

The ranch can support around 150 bighorns.  They also noted that hunting will not be allowed on the ranch.  They want to use this herd to help grow and improve population throughout the state.

“We will maintain a viable number of desert bighorn sheep on this property.  The additional animals will be relocated to other Utah areas to help supplement those bighorn sheep populations or to start new herds,” Peck said. “We are so grateful to Young Living, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and the Wild Sheep Foundation for their partnership in these crucial conservation efforts. We are very appreciative of the generosity of the Nevada Department of Wildlife for giving Utah hundreds of bighorn sheep over the years to repopulate our herds.”

As hunters, we are excited about this new nursery.  The new herd will help support current herds in the state.  It will also be used to help grow other herds.

Did you enjoy the Article? We would appreciate a Share!