On Nov. 16 and 17, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will celebrate the desert bighorn sheep in Utah with a free weekend event in Moab.
The timing of the event coincides with the peak of the bighorn sheep rutting season. This is an exciting time when bighorn rams battle for breeding rights.
The Moab Bighorn Sheep Festival begins the evening of Nov. 16, when festival participants meet at the Moab Information Center (on the corner of Center and Main in Moab) to listen to Bill Bates, UDWR Southeastern Region wildlife manager. Bates studied the Moab area bighorns for his Master's thesis, and has worked in a variety of wildlife management positions since then. Bates will use slides and videos to accompany a lecture he will give at 7 p.m., and again at 8 p.m.
On Nov. 17, participants will meet again at the Moab Information Center at 8 a.m., where they will be split into smaller groups. With the aid of a biologist guide, each group will travel in a variety of directions, searching for wild bighorns. These guided tours will conclude in early to mid-afternoon.
The Moab Bighorn Sheep Festival is free of charge and open to everyone. No pre-registration is required. Participants will want to bring a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, and snacks and water. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. The UDWR will provide several Ford Expeditions for those needing a ride.