Dall's Sheep (Thinhorn or White Sheep)
The Dall's Sheep is the only wild white sheep in the world. Its color ranges from white to slate brown, varying from yellowish white to snow white. The male has horns that are thick and curled. The horns for the females are shorter, slender and slightly curved. The horns take eight years to grow to their full size. Their hair is hollow and provides insulation for their body to protect them from the cold. They measure 35 in up to the shoulder with the males weighing between 200 to 250 lb and females 110 to 150 lb. Their closest relative is the Southern Stone Sheep, which is slaty brown having some white patches on the rump and inside their hind legs.
The Dall's Sheep inhabit relatively dry country and are found on open alpine ridges, meadows, and steep slopes with extremely rugged ground in the immediate vicinity to facilitate escape from predators that cannot run quickly through such terrain. Due to their remote habitat, they rarely fall ill or contract diseases from domestic livestock. They are found in the subarctic mountain ranges of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, Mackenzie Mountains in the western Northwest Territories and northern British Columbia. They are regularly seen along the Alaska Highway at Muncho Lake and at Sheep Mountain in Kluane National Park and Reserve, as well as near Faro, Yuko.
Dall's Sheep feed on a wide variety of plants in summer because food is plentiful but in winter, their diet is limited to dry, frozen grass, sedge stems, lichen and moss. They regularly visit mineral licks in spring and are forced to travel long distances to source and eat the soil around the licks.
Dall's Sheep meat tastes like beef and is not in any way like mutton. It is rated as one of the best wild game meats.
The ram with the largest horns tops the dominance scale and treats all other sheep, regardless of sex or age, as subordinates. During the rut, the older rams challenge the dominant ram for mating rights by clashing horns and their fight lasts for several hours and ends when one ram is either tired, hurt, or behaves in a subordinate manner. The winner then breeds with the ewes in the group. After a gestation period of 180 days, the ewe seeks for a secluded spot that is quiet to give birth. Lambing is around late May or early June. The lambs are strong enough to leave the birthing areas and eat vegetation in as little as a week and are weaned in October. Their main predators are coyotes, black bears, and grizzly bears; golden eagles are predators of the young.
Dall Sheep Hunt
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