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Stone Sheep

HOME RANGE: Stone sheep are found in several areas in northern British Columbia, extending northward into the southern Yukon Territory. They can vary in coloration dramatically, based on their range. Usually the sheep found in the traditional areas of British Columbia and the southern Yukon have unmistakable characteristics that distinguish them as Stone sheep, even when they are on the “lighter side” of the color scale. A Fannin sheep is usually significantly lighter, but is still considered a Stone sheep.

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Stone Sheep

Ovis dalli stonei

ANIMAL SUMMARY: A mature adult Stone ram has a body weight of about 180 to 220 pounds, but occasionally they can be 250 pounds or more. Females (ewes) are considerably smaller. The Stone sheep has been aptly described by wildlife scientist Valerius Geist as "a Dall sheep in evening dress." It is a handsome animal, differing from the Dall mainly by not being white. Individuals vary greatly in color and pattern, ranging from almost white in the north through shades of gray and brown to nearly black in some areas. (Sheep that appear black at a distance actually have a brownish tinge at close range.) Stone sheep with "lighter" coloring are often considered Fannin sheep.  Fannin sheep are typically found in the northwestern most regions illustrated on the  species locator map.  Sheep of various colors may be found in the same group. The head, and often the neck, are a lighter color than the body. The muzzle, belly, backs of legs, and rump are white. The tail is black, and is usually connected by a dark band to the dark hairs of the back. Older rams sometimes have a dark band across, or partially across, the white belly. The Stone sheep is somewhat larger and chunkier than the Dall sheep, with a larger and relatively wider skull, and heavier, darker-colored horns. Horns are brown or dark amber and exhibit considerable variation in size and shape. Females have short, slender horns.

BEHAVIOR: They are usually found in alpine country, including glacier edges and below permanent snow line. Essential elements are steep, rugged cliffs and rock outcroppings for escape from predators, and nearby meadows for feeding. Stone sheep habitat is generally a little steeper and more rugged than traditional Dall sheep habitat areas. Other than that, they live in quite similar areas.  

Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For Grand Slam Club/Ovis’s Grand Slam®, as well as the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, sheep predominantly white should naturally be entered as Dall sheep. When there is enough dark hair to show a distinct “saddle,” as well as dark hair down the legs, a hunter should enter that ram as a Fannin/Stone. GSCO is quite lenient with this rule, and allows the member/hunter to make the determination within reason, using the aforementioned criteria. GSCO has stated for many years in its GRAND SLAM publication that within two or three more decades, it may become nearly impossible to find an all-white Dall sheep except in isolated pockets of Alaska. 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.

Stone Sheep Species Map

Stone Sheep Range in North America: 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.