Bighorn sheep survey shows healthy population
Based on observations during the state Game and Fish Department’s annual bighorn sheep survey, biologists believe North Dakota’s tough winter didn’t significantly harm the state’s bighorn sheep population. In fact, statistics show the population likely increased from last year. Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist, Dickinson, said lamb recruitment was at 35 percent, about average in North Dakota, but lamb survival was exceptional as 80 percent of lambs counted during summer survived the winter. "Based upon the high number of recruited lambs observed in the population, we are optimistic that the adult segment of the state’s bighorn sheep population came through the winter in good shape as well," Wiedmann said. Each summer, typically in August, Game and Fish Department biologists count and classify all sheep. Biologists then recount lambs in March to determine lamb recruitment.