Some of North America’s greatest herds of large mammals roam Wyoming’s mountains and plains, wintering at lower elevations in the basins where there is little snow and forage is abundant, and then moving up into high peaks for the summer. Wind River Country supports its share of these animals and visitors are guaranteed to see pronghorn and mule deer through the windows of their car as they pass through the area. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s field office in Lander has a display featuring the different animals that live in Wind River Country, so it’s a great place to stop off and learn more about what you might see as you explore the area.
For wildlife watchers, Whiskey Mountain near Dubois is home to the largest herd of wintering bighorn sheep in the nation, and the animals can often be viewed grazing on the windswept flanks of the foothills near town. Peak viewing of the Bighorn Sheep rut
in Dubois Wyoming is in November and early December. The National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center in Dubois provides visitors with an in-depth look at this majestic animal’s unusual life cycle and habitat. Guided tours by professionals are also available by reservation or take the self-guided tour.
Wyoming’s healthy big game herds support a large carnivore population. These animals are another tourist attraction, although they tend to be more elusive than their grass-eating prey and can be hard to spot outside of Yellowstone National Park. Wind River Country’s largest concentration of carnivores is found in the Absaroka Mountains where wolves and grizzly bears, as well as smaller, less-known species like pine martens and wolverines, flourish.
In addition to these large animals, wildlife watchers can spot eagles and hawks perched on telephone poles along the highway, and ducks and other waterfowl on ponds and lakes around Fremont County. The area has several lakes where male greater sage-grouse put on an exciting courtship display each spring and in Wind River Canyon, you’ll spot thousands of over-wintering ducks floating on the river. Sinks Canyon State Park’s Visitor’s Center has interpretive displays on the canyon’s wildlife and geology, and is surrounded by bird feeders that attract a variety of birds, including lazuli buntings, chats, and colorful warblers. Check with the Wyoming Chapter of the Audubon Society to find out more about bird watching in Wind River Country.
Hunting is part of Wyoming’s culture and lifestyle. It can also be the
experience of a lifetime for visitors. The grandeur of Wind River
Country’s landscape, the camaraderie of hunting camp, the excitement of
the chase, and the thrill of success combine to create memories that
last forever. Many outfitters offer full-service hunting expeditions
into the Wind River Mountains, the Absaroka Mountains or out into the
Red Desert, which is home to a unique herd of desert elk that are
coveted for their massive antlers. Out-of-state hunters must secure a
license through a lottery system managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish
For more information contact:Wyoming Game and FishNational Bighorn Sheep Interpretive CenterSinks Canyon State Park's Visitor's Center