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Life Behind the Scenes-Tagging the Bighorn Sheep

I am sitting here at my desk looking out my window. The sun is shining brightly and my phone tells me the temperature will reach somewhere in the 60s today. I believe it is goin to be a wonderful day. As I am looking out my window I observe two big Canadian geese circle over out yard and land in the neighbors pond. They come in about the same time every morning stay a little while and then go on their way.

I feel blessed to live in an area where I can observe and enjoy these birds coming and going. It reminds me of the importance of protecting the wild birds and animal in our world.

This reminds me of the time when I went out with the Fish and Game men to tag the bighorn sheep. Tagging the process of putting a large orange square plastic number in their ear so each sheep could be individually identified and the herd could be monitored as to their movement.

Here is my story about that day

Hey Jylene, they are bringing in the helicopter on Saturday to help trap and tag the Bighorn Sheep so we can keep better track of their movements. Would you like to get a babysitter and come and watch the process.

“I certainly would,” I answered. excitedly.

Saturday arrived and here I was standing midway in the sheep trap watching the helicopter flying in very low and quite fast. It was driving a band of ewes and their almost year old lambs into narrow part of the trap.

Let me stop here and describe the trap. It was built out of wooden snow fencing and the opening was so wide across that the sheep couldn’t see the fence, they thought they were just running across open sage brush land. It was wide at the opening and built in a “V” shape at the end. The sheep had no clue they were headed into a trap until they were into the small area which could then be closed off. Pretty cleaver, huh.

Well let’s go back to watching the helicopter flying in low and quite fast with about maybe 10 to 20 sheep running as fast as they could to get away from the noise coming behind them. The little band ran past me and into the V of the trap. The Fish and Game men pulled extra fencing across the opening and the sheep were caught inside.

The idea was to tackle each sheep individually, attach a large plastic individual number to one of her ears. Each sheep could then be identified when seen from long distances or close up within the herd. This helped gather future information about their movements from their winter range to their summer range up in the primitive area (now called the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area)

Now remember I am there to just observe the process, but I watched one wily old ewe sneak through the end of the fence and take off running right towards where I was standing. That old ewe was so intent on getting out of the loud activity going on behind her that she never saw me. As she ran by me, I just reached out, grabbed a hold of one of her hind legs and held on tight. She was emitting loud screeching noises as she was jumping around, trying to pull away from me. I just held on tight and began to yell, “Somebody come and tag this sheep. Someone come and get this sheep.” I finally caught their attention and one of the men ran to my rescue. He tackled her, tagged her and released her. As she scrambled to her feet she looked back at me with a mean look and ran off bellowing very loudly in protest as fast as she could go.

I received a number of positive comments from the men after the tagging was completed and questions like “Are you Okay!” I was really fine just a few scratches on my arms and a few aches and pains. To tell you the truth I was pretty proud of myself and I believe the men were impressed. It was an experience I would never forget.

This story happened just before we had BUMMER come into our lives. My book BUMMER our Pet Bighorn Sheep is the story about the first day that she came to our home. My new book BUMMER and the Nanny Goat tells about driving along the Salmon river to get goats milk for BUMMER and the adventure of actually buying Nanny Goat.

We will start taking preorders on May the 1st 2021 for the June 1, 2021 release. Make sure you are on our email subscription list to get the lastest updates and for the Pre Launch Order Freebies.

Jylene Morgan is a retired educator. She is passionate about the importance of reading aloud to children from top quality

children’s books. Writing about her life experiences she captivates her audience by telling the tales of her family’s adventures. The first several books are written about funny exchanges that occur when human and wild animal’s lives come together.

To read more about me, my passion for reading aloud to children and my books go to Make sure you join our mailing list so you receive Jylene's "Most Treasured Books List". So you can also be the first to know when Jylene's next book, BUMMER and the Nanny Goat, is available.


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