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Bighorn Sheep Hunting

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Big Horn Capture Bighorn Sheep
Reintroductions

Big Horn Sheep Hunt Permit - Lottery Application

Check out the March 22, 2011 - Afield and Afloat Blog Article
"Catching Bighorns" by Bob Grier.

View the Panhandle Photos Collection on our Facebook Page for fantastic photos of bighorn sheep in Western Nebraska.

Read articles on Omaha.com bighorns bound for Nebraska | Omaha.com on the recent bighorn sheep relocation effort. Watch the video below (video is preceded by advertising)

Follow Alyssa Schukar's Photo Blog from the trip | Read Eric Fowlers Blog on the Trip

Before the 1900s, Audubon bighorn sheep inhabited parts of western Nebraska including the Wildcat Hills, the Pine Ridge, along the North Platte River to eastern Lincoln County, and along the Niobrara River. It is thought that the Audubon bighorn probably became extinct in the early 1900s with its last stronghold being the South Dakota badlands.

In 1981, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with the help of the North American Wild Sheep Foundation and the Nebraska Chapter of Safari Club International, began a bighorn sheep introduction project in the Pine Ridge. A dozen bighorns were released into a 500 acre enclosure at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford where they could be viewed by visitors.

In December 1988, 21 sheep were released from the pen and in January 1993, the remaining 23 sheep were released. A few sheep, mostly rams, have ranged from the Fort Robinson complex as far east as the Bordeaux Creek drainage southeast of Chadron, south near Belmont, west near the Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area and north in the Oglala grasslands.

In March 2001, 22 sheep from Colorado were released in the Wildcat Hills south of Gering, on Cedar Canyon WMA.

In January 2005, 49 sheep from Montana were released in the Pine Ridge east of Crawford on Bighorn WMA. We expect that these sheep will add genetic diversity to the Pine Ridge population and speed colonization of unused sheep habitat.

In January 2007, 51 bighorn sheep from Montana were released in the Wildcat Hills south of McGrew. This release allows bighorns to occupy habitat in the Eastern Wildcat Hills.

In February 2012, 39 bighorn sheep from Alberta, Canada were released in the Sowbelly Canyon area of the Pine Ridge, near Harrison.

In 2014, 52 bighorns were captured from the Wildcat Hills herd. Twenty six were moved to the Pine Ridge area to supplement the Fort Robinson herd. The other 26 were fitted with radio collars and released back into the Wildcat Hills to increase the number of bighorns with tracking collars.

The total bighorn sheep population in Nebraska near the end of 2013 exceeded 400.

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