All summer and fall dall rams have shunned the groups of ewes and lambs.  The rams prefer the high country where they hang out in small bachelor bands.  With the approach of winter their association begins to fray as they begin to sort out a pecking order.  The rams stand in tight groups, displaying their massive curls trying to intimidate. They kick, growl, shove, and finally engage in dramatic displays of head butting.   For the most part dominance has been been sorted out when they join the herds of ewes and lambs already on the winter range.14-09-59Dall rams

14-09-85A couple rams searching for ewes.

14-09-88Dall sheep on the winter range.

14-10-34The ram on the right is dominant but a smaller ram tries to improve its status.



Large ram visits each ewe in the herd to check on their breeding status.  Ewes tend to come into heat one at a time.

14-09-133Ram lip-curls testing the scent for ewes in heat.

14-12-27Rams pursue a ewe in heat.


A photographic composite show a couple of rams head butting.  Thick skulls and gristle shock absorbers usually prevents serious injury.

14-12-40Horns chipped and broomed from fighting, this dominant ram received a gash over his eye.



One thought on “RAMS IN RUT

  1. Chris Cook

    Great photos Michael! I continue to be amazed by the images you capture!
    Your dedication to your work shines through the tough conditions you endure to capture these intimate glimpses into the natural world.
    Thank you!


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