January 22, 2014
Video: Catching Bighorn Sheep With a Helicopter and Net Gun
By David Draper
I should start this article with the caveat don’t try this at home, but I don’t suspect anyone would ever have the need or even the opportunity to hobble a bighorn sheep unless he’s a wildlife professional like these guys. This video, shot by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, shows the wildlife division’s efforts, along with help from the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority, to trap 40 bighorn sheep from the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana and transport them to South Dakota’s Black Hills and Badlands.
The guy who does the sheep wrestling is called a mugger, and that’s a pretty apt description of what he does to get the sheep hobbled, blindfolded and into a harness for aerial transportation to the livestock trailers that will ultimately take them on a 12-hour ride to South Dakota. It’s hard to imagine what the sheep are thinking throughout this process, but at the end of the full video they’re released healthily, if not happily, into their new home where they’ll provide genetic diversity to established herds.
Watch the full video here.