Yellowstone Reports

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Junction Butte Part Two

Out of Season Rut
by Dan Hartman

April 18, 2013

When I heard the rams hit heads behind Junction Butte, I climbed back up hoping they would continue.
Well, the two sparring rams worked their way down through the trees until they reached a small valley at the foot of the slope. They were soon joined by the other rams and had a spirited meeting.
The two large rams continued their posturing and pushing around, then suddenly rose to their hind legs and slammed their horns making the little valley echo with a hollow crack! Instantly two younger rams followed suit, but their small horns gave off a higher clack.
I climbed atop a nearby boulder and watched the scene below me. The rams now meandered so closely together, it became hard for the two big rams to continue their sparring game. When ever they found an opening and tried to face off, younger rams would race between them, spoiling the moment. Even with all this interference, the rams somehow got in a good wack!! now and then. I noticed the larger of the two had a good sized chip in his horn. One time the only other large ram in the band joined in and the chipped ram actually took on two rams at once.
I watched for a while longer, hoping I might get a perfect shot, but the cold was creeping through my body making my hands red and stiff. Reluctantly, I headed back. Thirty minutes later I reached the car and heat.
It dropped 6 below zero that night.


View slide show

Meeting Of The Rams

Wack !!!

Smack !!!

Two At Once !!!

After The Hit