Go Beyond the Elk Refuge: Spot Bighorn Sheep & Elk in Wind River Country
DUBOIS—We all know about the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyo., but did you know that there is a special habitat area established for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep on the other side of the Wind River Mountains? And don’t worry: There are plenty of elk to spot, as well.
“I think what’s cool about this time of the year through April is the fact that the bighorn sheep are still down on winter range, and that’s why the Whiskey Mountain Habitat Management Area was established in the first place,” said Sara Domek, executive director of the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois.
“Only in our case with our sheep it’s natural and part of their annual migratory patterns,” Domek explained.
The Whiskey Mountain Basin near Dubois is home to the largest wild wintering herd of bighorn sheep in North America. The National Bighorn Sheep Center provides tours to see the bighorns fall through the spring.
November and December are popular months, as this window affords the opportunity to witness the rams in rut. However, Domek likes later in the winter just as much, finding the sheep’s natural location selection to be a special aspect of their presence. Of course, this means there is a degree of luck in spotting them, but that just keeps the wildlife experiences of Wyoming’s Wind River Country authentic.
While taking a tour with the staff of the Bighorn Sheep Center or on your own this month, keep an eye out for the thousands of elk who are wintering on the East Fork of the Popo Agie. OF course, all of this is in addition to all the eagles, hawks, deer, and even moose you’ll spot in this special corner of Wyoming’s Wind River Country.
About Wyoming’s Wind River Country/Fremont County
Go beyond Yellowstone to Wyoming’s Wind River Country. This is authentic Wyoming, where the landscape and lifestyle provide room to breathe. Access world-class playgrounds for fishing, rock climbing, snowmobiling, hiking, and much more. Open the doors to the past on South Pass, the gateway to the West. Uncover an art scene that will surprise and inspire you, and learn about Native American culture on the only Indian Reservation in the Cowboy State. Find more inspiration at WindRiver.org.
About the National Bighorn Sheep Center
We inspire, educate and conserve through our exhibits, programs and outreach with a commitment to wild sheep since 1993. Learn more at bighorn.org