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»Know Your Game - California Bighorn Sheep

California Bighorn Sheep

HOME RANGE: Their distribution was formerly from south-central British Columbia southward into eastern parts of Washington, Oregon, and California, and in northwestern Nevada. In the last few decades, there have been numerous transplants within British Columbia, but especially in the United States. Those transplants into the U.S. were done predominantly in cooperation with British Columbia wildlife agencies.

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California Bighorn Sheep

Ovis canadensis californiana

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The California bighorn is considerably smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with rams of the same age weighing as much as 50 pounds less. The horns are usually shorter and less massive, and tend to have more flare. The ears are longer, the coat is not as heavy, and the color is lighter. Normally a dark stripe extends from the dorsal area through the white rump patch to connect with the dark tail, whereas in the Rocky Mountain bighorn this stripe is usually interrupted or absent. Their habitat is less steep and rough than that of the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with more grass and less browse.

BEHAVIOR: Their habitat is less steep and rough than that of the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with more grass and less browse.  

Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam® and Grand Slam®, GSCO accepts a California bighorn from wherever it was taken, as long as it is an established, huntable population. For the required bighorn, either the Rocky Mountain or the California counts, but not both. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission. Visit www.scirecordbook.org.

California Bighorn Sheep Species Map

California Bighorn Sheep Range in North America: The map above is used by permission from the on-line Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals. Visit www.scirecordbook.org.