Species / International Ovis
Ovis gmelini musimon
The Mediterranean island of Corsica and Sardinia were where the European mouflon originated. Now has been introduced and spread throughout central and southern Europe. Outside Europe, they have been introduced in the wild within the conterminous U.S. Also on the islands of Lanai and Hawaii.
Shoulder height 26-30 inches. Weight 70-100 pounds. One of the world's smallest wild sheep, resembling a slim domestic sheep except that it has a normal coat of hair, any wool being concealed beneath. Upper parts are reddish-brown with a pale (almost white) saddle patch in the winter coat. Under parts, rump, lower legs and muzzle are white. There is dark neck ruff but no bib. The horns usually grow in a tight circle, with the tips turned inward toward the face and broomed back to about a three-quarter curl. In a purebred European mouflon, the tip-to-tip spread should not be the widest spread.
The purebred mouflon, especially an old male with large horns, is a fine game animal that is difficult to hunt. It is the only sheep that is mainly nocturnal and lives in thick cover. The premier hunting period is during the October-November rut. Good heads can be found throughout Europe but traditionally the best trophies have come from the Czech Republic, with Spain also producing some very good heads. There may be no such thing as a totally "pure" mouflon, because mouflons will cross with any other species of sheep (including domestic sheep) under certain conditions.