Teton Bighorn Sheep and Goats Surveyed

Jackson – Wyoming Game and Fish Jackson Wildlife Biologist Aly Courtemanch recently conducted the annual Teton bighorn sheep and mountain goat aerial survey in the Teton Range. The survey has historically been conducted in conjunction with the other big game surveys in February, but both Aly and the pilot had a window of time and favorable weather, so decided to do it earlier this year. Weather is always a significant factor when conducting aerial surveys, especially at such high elevation where these animals live.

Mountain goats are a relatively recent inhabitant of the Teton Range and for the first time, more goats were observed than bighorn sheep. The total number of goats recorded was 88, up from 66 last year. The number of bighorn sheep recorded was 81, a slight increase from the 76 counted last year. The total classification breakdown is as follows:

Mountain goats
Total = 88
Adults: 65
Kids: 20
Yearlings: 3
Kid:Adult ratio: 31

Bighorn sheep
Total = 81
Ewes: 33
Lambs: 9
Rams: 34
Unclassified: 5
Lamb:ewe ratio: 27

Bighorn sheep have historically been in two separate herds with approximately half occupying the northern portion of the range and the other half in the southern end of the range. This year 44 sheep were counted on the north end and 37 on the southern end. The mountain goats have generally occupied the central portion of the range.