Despite its iconic status and current prominence, the bighorn sheep was near extinction at the turn of the century. Diseases introduced through European livestock and unregulated hunting had decimated populations throughout the West, and only a small number of the native sheep remained in Colorado in the early 1900s.
Majestic and agile, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep is a prominent figure on the steep and jagged walls of Colorado's canyons.
Since Colorado's restoration efforts began, CPW has completed more than 100 bighorn sheep transplants, most of which took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Gore Canyon in northwest Colorado is one of the most recent transplant locations. CPW closely monitors bighorn sheep herds and maintains healthy populations through controlled hunting and ongoing trapping and relocation. Thanks to decades of dedicated conservation efforts, Colorado's iconic bighorn sheep are once again abundant with an estimated statewide population of 7,000 animals.