Two dead bighorns could be a big threat to East Fork Bitterroot Herd-

The article says they have no knowledge that these bighorn encountered domestic sheep, but there are “isolated herds in the area.”

Dying bighorn sheep. Herd to be culled. By Perry Backus.  Ravalli Republic

This is a large and successful bighorn herd.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to Bighorn sheep near Darby, MT dying of pneumonia

  1. Ryan says:

    God Damnit, this is a shame.

  2. hilljack says:

    To bad, hate to see this happening. They where quick to point out no known contact with domestic. Most likely they did come in contact at some point.

  3. Save bears says:

    I have done work in the Darby area over the years, and I don’t remember seeing much in the way of domestic sheep.. I do agree it is a shame they have become infected…

  4. I have seen members of this herd numerous times off Hwy 93 between Sula and Darby, including several trophy rams. This is terrible! There is a follow-up story in the Ravalli Republic from today (12-1-2009) at:

    Apparently, the infection has worsened and there are more sick and dying sheep. I don’t remember seeing domestic sheep nearby, but there certainly might be. However, in the next drainage in the Big Hole, I have seen several large flocks of domestic sheep, and in one case, devastation of a stream and its riparian area – nothing else to eat!


November 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey