Home National Parks Grand Teton Park says leave bighorn sheep alone

Grand Teton Park says leave bighorn sheep alone

leave bighorn sheep

With the arrival of winter in Grand Teton National Park comes a lot of challenges for wildlife in and around the Tetons.

That’s why wildlife scientists are reminding people who use the park to carefully observe all winter closures and particularly avoid bighorn sheep winter zones.

It is the law to stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other animals. It’s not only for your safety but for theirs.

Wintering wildlife must maintain their vital energy reserves as snowfall makes it harder to forage and to travel through the park.

Moose, sheep, elk, bison, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep can only survive the winter when the use the least amount of energy. This is especially true for females to successfully produce young in the spring.

Chip Jenkins, Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park said that the bighorn sheep in the Teton Range are particularly susceptible to winter disturbances.

He said that he is asking skiers and snowboarders to voluntarily avoid sensitive bighorn sheep winter habitat.

A map of bighorn sheep winter zones is available for download at tetonsheep.org.

Areas closed to the public to protect important winter range include:

  • Summits of Mount Hunt, Prospectors Mountain, and Static Peak: Dec. 1 through Apr. 30
  • Areas around the Snake River, Buffalo Fork River and Kelly Hill: Dec. 15 through Apr. 1
  • Northern portion of Blacktail Butte (the open slopes on the southwest side of Blacktail Butte and the Practice Rocks climbing area at the northern tip of the butte remain open): Dec. 15 through Apr. 30
  • Wolff Ridge and a portion of the Spread Creek drainage: Dec. 15 through Apr. 30

For more information, visit the park website at nps.gov/grte and follow Grand Teton on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For more information on park closures, visit go.nps.gov/tetonclosures.