POTD: Death Grin

Death Grin
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana

I was bushwhacking down a canyon trying to work my way the the Bighorn Reservoir when I came across this bighorn sheep skull. There are approximately 150 bighorn sheep in the area and one evening we had about a dozen of them grazing right next to our campervan. This one has not done any grazing in a while. A complete skull of a bighorn ram is a rare find I think so my first thought was to carry it out and take it home. But I did not do that for two reasons. First it’s not allowed to collect bones, skulls, or horns in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation area. The other good reason for not taking it with me I discovered when I picked it up to reposition it to photograph–the darn thing was heavy! A pair of horns alone can weigh up to 30 pounds, and then there is the skull itself which has a very thick and dense forehead reason so that rams can do what rams do (ram each other) without suffering a fractured skull.