The Nevada Department of Wildlife partnered with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), in late June, to send 31 desert bighorn to Utah to help dwindling sheep herds in the Beehive state. The sheep were captured from the Muddy Mountain Wilderness, which is north of Las Vegas. After the sheep were captured they were driven to northern Utah where they remained under observation to ensure they were healthy and not overly stressed from the entire process.
The sheep were released on the privately owned Skyrider Wilderness Ranch, owned and operated by the Young Living brand. Additionally, the ranch is surrounded by a high fence which should push the odds of the herd thriving in the right direction.
“The property plays a pivotal role to native wildlife by providing a perfectly suited habitat, water source, and high-fence area that keeps predators out.” – Mary Young, co-founder and CEO of Young Living
The ranch, approximately 1800 acres in all, believes the carrying capacity for the sheep herd to be up to 150 animals. The UDWR hopes that the herd expands so they can begin relocating the surplus sheep throughout the state of Utah to bolster native herds. Also, the UDWR estimates the total bighorn sheep in Utah to be approximately 4400 sheep between Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and Desert Bighorn sheep.
The goal of the UDWR is two continue this process for two more years. Each of the next two years they would like to bring in 30 sheep each. Likewise, the growth of this sheep population should help struggling herds within Utah.
You can read more about this sheep swap by clicking here. Also, you can read more western hunting news by clicking here. Thanks for reading!
So, what are your thoughts on Utah receiving sheep herds from Nevada? Have you ever helped bighorn sheep? Let us know in the comments!