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Tag Archives: Muddy Mountain

In the Sage

Guillermo’s ewes

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Animals, Sheep

 

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Easter Sunrise on the Muddy Mountain lek

male grouse line up to try to impress the girls

male grouse line up to try to impress the girls

One of the largest Greater Sage Grouse leks in southern Wyoming lies right on our lambing grounds below Muddy Mountain. We don’t start lambing until after the lekking season is past, but sometimes we go up just to watch the birds courting. It reminds me of a singles bar scene, where a bunch of guys show up and try to pick up a lady. The guys are the ones with the big white puffy chests, and the hens are the smaller brown ones. A lot of hooting and chasing around goes on, and I’m not too clear one why one guy becomes the chosen one. And these guys don’t seem to stick around for rearing chicks!

This particular area is slated for oil and gas development, and it has also been proposed for addition into Wyoming’s Sage Grouse core area, which would give some extra protections to the birds. It is also the nexus of a proposed mitigation area for the Grouse, which are awaiting a status determination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Sage Grouse dancing under Muddy Mountain

Sage Grouse dancing under Muddy Mountain

guys Sage Grouse looking for "Easter Chicks"

guy Sage Grouse looking for “Easter Chicks”

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Events, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Spring storm

Squaw Mountain

Squaw Mountain

Sure enough–as soon as we finished shearing and started lambing, a cold, windy, snowy storm moved in. While we are happy to see the much-needed moisture, we have scrambled to try to save lambs. We estimate we lost about 150 lambs due to the severe weather. Our lambing grounds on Loco got a foot of fresh snow and we couldn’t get in there for several days. The herders were well-provisioned but couldn’t do much except get the ewes into sheltered areas.

This is the first year we have lambed ewes through our new shed on the private land on Cottonwood. We had preg tested the mothers of the replacement ewe lambs in March, and we sorted the mothers of twins into a bunch to be shed lambed. Our crew piled the straw bales to create wind breaks at each end of the shed, and were able to save most of the new lambs in the shed. We lamb later than most of our neighbors, and it is always a gamble.

Lambing shed with straw windbreak

Lambing shed with straw windbreak

Ewes pregnant with twin lambs sheltering in the shed

Ewes pregnant with twin lambs sheltering in the shed

Ewes huddled behind tarp windbreaks

Ewes huddled behind tarp windbreaks

Baker's Peak

Baker’s Peak

Battle Mountain

Battle Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Horses at the lambing shed, with Muddy Mountain

Horses at the lambing shed, with Muddy Mountain

Siobhan and Tiarnan in the mud

Siobhan and Tiarnan in the mud

 

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Greater Sage Grouse under Muddy Mountain

Pat took our Partners friends to watch Greater Sage Grouse dance on our BLM lambing grounds near Muddy Mountain. According to the Wyoming Game & Fish, it is the largest lek within 3,000 square miles. We told our visitors, “You’re from the Government, and we’re here to help you.”

Morethan 1120 Sage Grouse were dancing on this BLM lek.

More than 120 Sage Grouse were dancing on this BLM lek.

 

Grouse under morning sky

Grouse under morning sky

Love Birds

Love Birds

 

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