Bighorn spotted at Ranch A

A lone bighorn sheep ewe is seen here at Ranch A in Wyoming. The female has been roaming around the historic ranch for the past several years and has been given the nickname “Betty.” Pioneer photo by Mark Watson

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BEULAH, Wyo. — For the past several years a single female bighorn sheep has been calling the historic Ranch A, near Beulah, Wyo., home.

Residents around the area have reported seeing her frequently hanging out with whitetail deer. They have dubbed her “Betty.”

At areas above Ranch A residents have seen a handful more.

“Early last summer there were about five,” said Annette Viergets, facility manager for Ranch A.

Viergets said in areas above Ranch A, the sheep are typically seen in the winter or early spring, but she added she has not yet seen them this spring.

Viergets said that no one that she knows of has seen any other sheep inside Ranch A other than Betty.

“She’s very friendly,” Viergets said. “She hangs out on lawns. People have some great pictures of her.”

So where are these bighorns coming from?

“The general speculation is that they are coming up from Elk Mountain (of South Dakota), “ said Trenton Haffley, regional terrestrial resource supervisor for the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks.

Haffley said the initial thought was that the bighorns came from the Deadwood herd; however, since the Deadwood herd was small enough to count the number of individual animals, he said wildlife managers would have noticed missing animals.

Haffley said that the area in and around Ranch A is “not great sheep habitat, but OK sheep habitat.”

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