• Sheep-Raising in the 17 Western States: Populations, Distribution, and Trends

      Pearson, E. W. (Society for Range Management, 1975-01-01)
      To study the relationship between sheep and predators, chiefly coyotes (Canis latrans), current baseline information was needed on numbers and locations of domestic sheep in the 17 western states. Although sheep population estimates were available from published and unpublished sources for a number of areas, including all 1,059 counties in these 17 states, they varied in types of sheep counted and years covered. When the data were compiled, a few trends were evident. The 17 western states continue to raise about 80% of the United States stock sheep, but there has been a steady downward trend in sheep populations since 1960; in 1972 the 17 western states had only 58.5%, and the 31 eastern states only 44.2%, of the stock sheep present in 1960. Local management conditions vary greatly, and various data suggested a gradual shifting of sheep-raising from mountains to plains and a gradual conversion from sheep to cattle.