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Environmental issues regarding Anza Borrego

2012 Annual Bighorn Sheep Count Messages in this topic - RSS

DesertWRX
DesertWRX
Posts: 133


7/9/2012
DesertWRX
DesertWRX
Posts: 133
I was lucky enough this year to be assigned to the 1st palm grove in Palm Canyon. Beautiful spot with lots of sheep used to humans and we also had plenty of hikers to watch!
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0381.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0377.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0375.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0380.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0404.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0390.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0373.jpg[/IMG]
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tommy750
tommy750
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7/10/2012
tommy750
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DesertWRX wrote:
I was lucky enough this year to be assigned to the 1st palm grove in Palm Canyon. Beautiful spot with lots of sheep used to humans and we also had plenty of hikers to watch!


Great post! Kinda have a handle on the defining characteristics relevant to the last pic, but would you mind commenting on determining the age, sex, etc of the bighorn sheep in your other photos? Thanks. Tom
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
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DesertWRX:

Are you the group who threw the kid from the 911 call into the water pools? I was up at Rattlesnake Spring and heard the call on the radio.

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ziphius
ziphius
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7/10/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Are there some palm grove areas that are off-limits to hikers during the summer, to avoid disturbing the sheep? Apparently, your spot wasn't one of them? I want to hear more about the kid being thrown into the water. I came across a couple of "heat-strokers" on El Cajon Mountain on Sunday.

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
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ziphius wrote:
Are there some palm grove areas that are off-limits to hikers during the summer, to avoid disturbing the sheep? Apparently, your spot wasn't one of them?


Palm Grove is open, Coyote Canyon is closed.

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dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
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Looking at the count numbers, your spot was a good one. You guys spotted 37 sheep, way to go!

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DesertWRX
DesertWRX
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7/10/2012
DesertWRX
DesertWRX
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We had a pretty good count. We were not in the traditional area (down closer) with poor shade and no place for chairs! Won't do that again! The sheep are very used to hikers in Palm Canyon. On the last day we had a ewe walk over to us and pass behind! Guess she was curious. Counters can sit close to the sheep here.
Now on to the 911 call. We spotted 2 hikers who turned around and went back. After a while a young man came by looking like he shouldn't have been there. In about 10 minutes his dad came up calling for him. He said his son was sick and he had called 911. John Peterson of our group went down with the dad and found the son in the grove. They got him wet, hydrated, and feeling better. The father was able to call 911 to cancel even though he had no signal. Ranger Steve Beir happened to be at the trail head when the fire dept. showed up. He got a copter going and started to prepare for trip up when the fire dept. was called off.
The father was dressed for the hike and the flabby computer geek/gamer son was not prepared. First pic is the son going up. I took pictures of him because he was out of place. The second picture is of the dad and him going back.
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0399.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0401.jpg[/IMG]
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ziphius
ziphius
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7/10/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Those are great photos of the sheep and the gamer son. I'm inspired to go out and see sheep this summer. I'd like to be respectful of the animals' habitat though, so I'd take any advice given. First thing I noticed about the son was the DARK-colored hat without a sufficient brim. Second thing I noticed is the apparent lack of any water being carried. The one time in my life I got into heat trouble is when I was wearing a black wide-brimmed hat. That hat is gone now.

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Borregolinda
Borregolinda
Posts: 69


7/10/2012
Borregolinda
Borregolinda
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ziphius wrote:
First thing I noticed about the son was the DARK-colored hat without a sufficient brim. Second thing I noticed is the apparent lack of any water being carried. The one time in my life I got into heat trouble is when I was wearing a black wide-brimmed hat. That hat is gone now.


Not to mention hiking in flip flops!
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DesertWRX
DesertWRX
Posts: 133


7/10/2012
DesertWRX
DesertWRX
Posts: 133
He did pull a bottle out of his pocket and we couldn't see how full it was.

The canyon is the home for these sheep. They seem to be quite accustomed to the hikers. We walked right through them when we walked out one evening. It you make sudden moves they move fast. If you just do things slowly they move back a little and let you pass. Several hikers got great shots of the sheep around them and above them on rocks. I'm talking sheep about 15 feet away from them. One of the counters was telling me that he had a face to face with a ram at a distance of about 3 feet when he was hiking in that area! He wasn't too comfortable with that.
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TR
TR
Posts: 67


7/10/2012
TR
TR
Posts: 67
I was under the mistaken belief that Coyote Canyon was only closed to vehicle traffic when I went hiking there June 3rd. A check with the park headquarters shows that Daren is in fact correct. Coyote Canyon is closed period. No cars and no hiking of any kind.

dsefcik wrote:
ziphius wrote:
Are there some palm grove areas that are off-limits to hikers during the summer, to avoid disturbing the sheep? Apparently, your spot wasn't one of them?


Palm Grove is open, Coyote Canyon is closed.
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Borregolinda
Borregolinda
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7/10/2012
Borregolinda
Borregolinda
Posts: 69
TR wrote:
I was under the mistaken belief that Coyote Canyon was only closed to vehicle traffic when I went hiking there June 3rd. A check with the park headquarters shows that Daren is in fact correct. Coyote Canyon is closed period. No cars and no hiking of any kind.

dsefcik wrote:
ziphius wrote:
Are there some palm grove areas that are off-limits to hikers during the summer, to avoid disturbing the sheep? Apparently, your spot wasn't one of them?


Palm Grove is open, Coyote Canyon is closed.


Coyote Canyon is open to just after 2nd crossing.
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surfponto
surfponto
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7/10/2012
surfponto
surfponto
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That is a great story and awesome you saw so many Bighorns.
Kind of wondering the motivation was for the dad and son to be hiking out in Borrego when the temps were that high?



DesertWRX wrote:
We had a pretty good count. We were not in the traditional area (down closer) with poor shade and no place for chairs! Won't do that again! The sheep are very used to hikers in Palm Canyon. On the last day we had a ewe walk over to us and pass behind! Guess she was curious. Counters can sit close to the sheep here.
Now on to the 911 call. We spotted 2 hikers who turned around and went back. After a while a young man came by looking like he shouldn't have been there. In about 10 minutes his dad came up calling for him. He said his son was sick and he had called 911. John Peterson of our group went down with the dad and found the son in the grove. They got him wet, hydrated, and feeling better. The father was able to call 911 to cancel even though he had no signal. Ranger Steve Beir happened to be at the trail head when the fire dept. showed up. He got a copter going and started to prepare for trip up when the fire dept. was called off.
The father was dressed for the hike and the flabby computer geek/gamer son was not prepared. First pic is the son going up. I took pictures of him because he was out of place. The second picture is of the dad and him going back.
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0399.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/BillFX/IMG_0401.jpg[/IMG]


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dsefcik
dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:
That is a great story and awesome you saw so many Bighorns.
Kind of wondering what the motivation was for the dad and son to be hiking out in Borrego when the temps were that high?


There are actually a lot of people who go hike Palm Cyn and Hellhole right now. They were several day hikers at the Palm Cyn parking lot July 5th. I think most people just don't get what a 3 mile "hike" in triple digit temps in the desert is like.
<em>edited by surfponto on 7/10/2012</em>

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dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
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tommy750 wrote:

but would you mind commenting on determining the age, sex, etc of the bighorn sheep in your other photos? Thanks. Tom


I'll have a stab at it....

In order from the top, left to right:

1. old lamb, 4-5 year old ram, yearling, ewe
2. ram 2-3 years old,
3. ewe, ram 3-4 years old
4. ewe, ram 2-3 years, unknown
5. lamb, ewe
6. both rams 4-5 years old
7.

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DesertWRX
DesertWRX
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7/10/2012
DesertWRX
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Notice the damage to the top of the right horn on the left ram. Pretty major stuff. This was one of the biggest rams we saw.
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dsefcik
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7/10/2012
dsefcik
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DesertWRX wrote:
Notice the damage to the top of the right horn on the left ram. Pretty major stuff


We had a 4-5 year old ram on one of our days with perfect horns, one of my count partners nicknamed him "pretty boy" and called him a wuss.

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