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Dall sheep

Dall sheep are characterized by their curled horns, but if you look closely at their horns, you can also tell how old they are. The horns grow for three seasons and then stop in winter. The re-start of growth in spring causes a ridge to form on the horn, and you can count the ridges to tell how old the ram is. Rams with particularly large racks are said to be “full curl,” meaning they have an entire 360-degree turn in their horns. One of the most popular places to see Dall sheep is along the Seward Highway south of Anchorage. They are found many other places, but not usually so close to a major thoroughfare. The Alaska Railroad runs south along the highway in the same section, and the glass-domed cars on the train also make for an excellent vantage point.

Where to find them:

Dall sheep inhabit the mountain ranges of Alaska, generally in relatively dry country as opposed to the usually wet coastal regions. They frequent open alpine ridges, meadows, and steep slopes with extremely rugged "escape terrain" to which they can flee if danger approaches.

When to come:

Dall sheep can, technically, be seen any time of the year. But because of their white color, it’s much easier to spot them on remote cliffs during the summer, when the brown and gray rocks contrast nicely with their coats.


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