Species / International Ovis

Fannin Sheep

Ovis dalli fannini


Primarily located in the Ogilvie Mountains of the Yukon and occasional dark hued sheep in Alaska and the Northwest Territories.


Weight: 180-220 pounds, and sometimes up to 250 pounds. Horns are dark amber and vary widely in configuration. The Fannin sheep has been aptly described historically as a “saddle back” sheep departing from the all-white Dall by the dark haired areas of the back and shoulders and on the tail.

Fannin entries will need to show dark hairs in the field photos on the cape besides those in the tail. Sometimes dirty capes or poor photos make it difficult to discern a few sparse and dark or dirty hairs scattered in the cape, so look for places with distinct color variations and transitions like dark piping on the legs, hark hairs in the heart girth, dark transitions in the saddle.


Many people believe the Fannin sheep is nothing more than an offspring, or cross, between the Dall sheep and Stone sheep. This, in fact, may be the case, because their ranges do overlap. However, the fact that Fannin sheep exist in the northern Yukon defies this theory. The northern Yukon Fannins are totally isolated geographically from their southern Yukon relatives. The stereotypical Fannin sheep are primarily found in the Ogilvie Mountains of northern Yukon Territory. A small pocket of Fannin sheep can even be found in Alaska. At present, it is accepted that the northern Yukon Fannins simply range into Alaska. There are also Fannins found occasionally in the Mackenzie Mountains of NWT. It is difficult to explain this phenomenon, because the Dall sheep of NWT are isolated from Stones and Fannins by significant amounts of geography. The Fannins of the Mackenzie Mountains are more numerous (but still rare) in the southernmost parts of the range. However, they show up occasionally in the most northern part of the range as well. If a ram has only a black tail, it is generally accepted as a Dall sheep. It is only when the dark hair appears on the body that it is considered a Fannin. Because rams with color have begun to show up quite often in traditional Dall habitat, GSCO has made the following decision: If a ram has only a small amount of black hair within the body and/or down the legs, the trophy owner can choose to call it either Fannin or Dall.


Fannin sheep hunts are more expensive than Dall sheep and conducted with horses or on foot from fly-in camps.

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