This is Passport to Texas
By the early 1960s native Texas bighorn sheep, which once populated 16 mountain ranges in the Trans Pecos, were gone. Unregulated hunting and disease from domestic sheep brought in by landowners did them in. But Texas Parks and Wildlife TV producer Bruce Biermann says a segment [on the TV show this month] spotlights a successful restoration project.
64—This story is called Home Again, because the bighorn sheep are finally being brought home again. For the very first time they are being released on a state park.
We show the population here it lives at Elephant Mountain. The capturing process is really interesting, with the use of helicopters.
Once they come upon a herd, they try and capture what they call family units. That’s another measure taken to increase survivability.
They use a net gun and shoot a net over the sheep, and then a guy goes down and handles the sheep and gets is shackled, blindfolded and into a bag that they then sling underneath the helicopter and bring back to processing. And then they release them out at Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Forty six sheep were captured at Elephant Mountain and released. And, of those forty-six that I know of, they’ve had three die to mountain lions. But, that’s part of the normal cycle. They’ve had many babies already born. So, the birth rate is far outgrowing the death rate. And the population is surviving and thriving.
The show airs this week.
The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.