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Battle Scar

Battle Scar
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-15
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-02-25 16:55
Viewed: 3800
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,
In May of last year we were in Yellowstone when I captured this Bighorn near the Yellowstone River. The funny thing about this capture was I was sitting and this ram came up to me yet A ranger gave me heck for approaching him too closely. He just wanted to see the bald guy sitting in the grass. Notice his battle scar, a broken right horn.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Ovis canadensis

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Fast Facts
Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 6 to 15 years
Size: 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m)
Weight: 117 to 279 lbs (53 to 127 kg)
Bighorn males, called rams, are famous for their large, curled horns. These impressive growths are a symbol of status and a weapon used in epic battles across the Rocky Mountains. Fighting for dominance or mating rights, males face each other, rear up on their hind legs, and hurl themselves at each other in charges of some 20 miles (32 kilometers) an hour. The resounding clash of horns can be heard echoing through the mountains as the confrontation is repeated—sometimes for many hours—until one ram submits and walks away. The animal's thick, bony skull usually prevents serious injury.

A Rocky Mountain bighorn ram's horns can weigh 30 pounds (14 kilograms)—more than all the bones in his body combined. Females (ewes) also have horns, but they are of smaller size.

Rocky Mountain bighorns inhabit the mountains from Canada south to New Mexico. They are relatives of goats, and have balance-aiding split hooves and rough hoof bottoms for natural grip. These attributes, along with keen vision, help them move easily about rocky, rugged mountain terrain.

Wild sheep live in social groups, but rams and ewes typically meet only to mate. Rams live in bachelor groups and females live in herds with other females and their young rams. When fall mating arrives, rams gather in larger groups and ram fighting escalates. Usually only stronger, older rams (with bigger horns) are able to mate.

In winter, bighorn herds move to lower-elevation mountain pastures. In all seasons, these animals eat available grass, seeds, and plants. They regurgitate their food to chew it as cud before swallowing it for final digestion.

Lambs are born each spring on high, secluded ledges protected from bighorn predators such as wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions—though not the golden eagles which target lambs. Young can walk soon after birth, and at one week old each lamb and its mother join others in a herd. Lambs are playful and independent, though their mothers nurse them occasionally for four to six months

lovenature, CeltickRanger, saeedabbasi, Miss_Piggy, zulfu, nasokoun, boreocypriensis, jhm, nglen, siggi, jaycee has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Rick
Ouch...I can't imagine how hard this Ram had to head butt another to break a horn. I guess that what they do to win over the girls.

Nice portrait, lighting, composition and details. He's a real beauty, hope I can say that about a guy.
TFS Janice ; )

hello Rick

aoutch ! great portrait photo of this Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
showing his broken horn after a tough battle, great focus
sharpness and detail, and a great expression on his eye-contact,



Hi dear ,
What a great portrait.
Excellent details and nice sharpness.
A perfect work.

Kind regards

Hallo Rick
Although this Bighorn has a broken horn, it still remains a beautiful animal. I like the close approach you have here, as it gives us the opportunity to see its lovely details from closely. The texture on the horn, the fur and the V shaped nose is well seen and is really striking. I also like the direct eye contact it has with you. A great portrait. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

nice portrait, greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2010-02-25 22:22]

Hello Rick, superb shot of this bighorn sheep with excellent composition, details and colours.
TFS and G's,

hello Rick,
very beautiful portrait,this animal is really imposing, you use very well the light electing the details and natural colors with a fine way!
"keep photographing my friend!" TFS

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-02-25 22:45]

Wow, what eye contact, Rick!
Who won the staring contest?
A wonderful full front POV of this amazing bighorn.
His horns tell us he has been around the corner once or twice.
A very sharp and well exposed image.
TFS. ; )

Hi Rick,

An exciting and lovely pose of a pretty mountain beauty!
Great eye-contact with him:) I love his facial expression!
TFS this high quality view indeed.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-02-26 2:55]

Hello Rick,
Great photo of this Bighorn Sheep. Everything looks very natural in beautiful light and colours and excellent sharpness. Gorgeous frontal POV. Good DOF and OOF BG.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2010-02-26 8:58]

Hello Rick,

Splendid head and horns, real a Ram type.
Sharpness and clarity are wonderful
Nice the blurred background.
Very well done, TFS.

Nice weekend,

Hello Rick,
Wonderful portrait of this Bighorn sheep. Excellent sharpness, details, good eye contact and a lot of luck for you.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2010-02-26 11:19]

Hi Rick. This is some fine looking animal. with its large horns. he had his eyes on you . Taken with fine detail and natural colours. All with intersting notes. TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-02-26 14:30]

Hello Rick,
Very nice portrait shot! Excellent details and POV. Well composed, beautifull.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-02-26 15:13]

Hi Rick,

I always said you had a way with animals. Pretty funny that the Ranger reprimanded you. This Bighorn is still beautiful even with the broken horn. It gives him a very distinguished look. This close-up shows us such fine details of his face and horn. I love the colors, shadings and natural setting.


  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2010-03-03 17:33]

Hi Rick,
I saw a few of these guys in Glacier NP. and when they get close, I back away. They are beautiful and intimedating. Love the close up and really wonderful details.

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