Rams have started coming down in elevation and congregating in preparation for the upcoming sheep rut. As tempers flare they'll attempt to prove their dominance by kicking their opponents in an uncomfortable location and ramming their impressive head gear into their opponents. This doesn't prevent other rams from breeding as the biggest, most dominant ram only breeds about 50% of the ewes. Ultimately, bighorn sheep have adapted a strategy that allows many genetics to be passed on to the next generation.
When tensions do get high and two males are closely matched you can witness them rear up on their hind legs and run forward toward their opponent until they ultimately clash together in a violent impact that can send shards of horn flying and sounds like a gunshot going off! They will continue to do this over and over until a dominant ram is determined. These fights can sometimes last for hours are are a physical and mental challenge but bighorn sheep are built for this.
If you want to witness the sheep rut for yourself - reach out and schedule a photo tour. Since we customize all our tours if you want to focus on sheep we will drive you to the best locations for the sheep rut and hopefully see multiple rams doing all the amazing things they do during the rut which ends around early December.